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Frozone212

Was the 5200 really that bad?

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1 hour ago, RangerG said:

I think the 5200 gets a really bad name now. It's like the reverse of the Vectrex. Everyone thinks the Vectrex is a jewel and amazing (and it is a very cool console), but back when it was released it was a black and white console that bombed and ended up in clearance in mall toy stores. The 5200 gets bad press today, but it was the Super System. If you had one in 1982, you had a top of the line machine that looked the part and you got to mock your friends and their 2600 Pac-man. The 5200 tied with and may have overtaken the Colecovision by the time the crash came. The Colecovision vs. Atari 5200 battle was a great one that ended too soon. 

I finally got a working ColecoVision, and now an Adam.  I think the others likely need recapping... and even the working ones, as they are really blurry...  but both the CV and 5200 have some really great looking games!

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I like it. I have several (my first in 1983), a fairly complete selection of games, and I've cleaned/repaired controllers many times over the years.

On the other hand, I haven't played any 5200 games in several years now, and when I do, it seems I run through my stack of games pretty quick and go back to my favorite 2600/7800, Colecovision, N64, NES, SNES, Genesis, Master System, and Game Boy games for my regular menu.

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15 hours ago, leech said:

Ha!  Dude the Atari 8bit version of E.T. is actually quite good, and maybe it would have saved the industry if the 2600 version hadn't been released, and the 8bit version had been released for the 5200... Well that's my favorite timeline anyhow, Atari never went bust because the 5200 saved the day!

I don't really think E.T. had anything to do with the crash.   It was just the biggest sales flop simply because they produced a ridiculous number of cartridges.  It became the icon of everything that ailed the industry, helped fueled by the urban legend of carts being buried in the desert, which turned out to be true- kind of.   

 

But the 8-bit E.T. had almost no hype.   Even to this day it rarely gets talked about, good or bad, and it's easy to forget it exists.   I did get a second hand copy on cart back in the 80s but could never figure out how to play it so I can't say if I like it or not.

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21 hours ago, famicommander said:

ZX Spectrum [...] irredeemably awful platform.

This guy again. It calls for....

 

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It's not my fault you like a video game system with no redeeming qualities, nor that you seem upset when other people point that out. I'm sorry for whatever happened in your life that made you this way, but it's okay now. The Spectrum can't hurt you anymore with its awfulness. It's time to move on and live.

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4 minutes ago, famicommander said:

It's not my fault you like a video game system with no redeeming qualities, nor that you seem upset when other people point that out. I'm sorry for whatever happened in your life that made you this way, but it's okay now. The Spectrum can't hurt you anymore with its awfulness. It's time to move on and live.

Of all the retro user stereotypes, there's none funnier than the Clueless Console Fanboi. Keep it up bud! 🥰

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1 minute ago, youxia said:

Of all the retro user stereotypes, there's none funnier than the Clueless Console Fanboi. Keep it up bud! 🥰

Who's the fanboy, the guy who just states his opinion or the guy who follows the other guy around the forum getting upset at said opinions for no reason?

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12 hours ago, leech said:

You could totally store burritos in there!

Not tacos?

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I never owned a 5200, though as a kid I did lust over the improved versions of Pac-Man and the other games that were shown in the various Atari catalogs and pamphlets.

Weirdly enough, the first time I ever played one was a store demo in 1984 at a K-Mart I believe.
I thought the joysticks were broken because they wouldn't center, lol.


Little did I know that they were supposed to be like that. 

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On 5/26/2022 at 2:04 PM, famicommander said:

But it could be much, much worse. It could be a ZX Spectrum

I would throw the ZX Spectrum's library up against the 5200's library, and win every time.  🤓

 

(but yes, the hardware is less capable than the 5200...  🙂)

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I don't think the 5200 was a bad system at all, but Atari made it an unappealing purchase:  the intro price was $329 vs $199 for the Colecovision, and the pack-in was shockingly disappointing for '82.  It being an Atari 400, but incompatible, was another head scratcher. 

 

I bought the Colecovision in late '82, and it had great titles, but I was very envious of Robotron, Defender, and Space Dungeon in '83.

The magazines in '84 previewed Ballblazer/Fractalus, so the 5200 looked amazing two years in.

 

I don't criticize the joystick, as there were many odd controller implementations at the time.  There was no understood superior standard.

 

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24 minutes ago, hwrd said:

I would throw the ZX Spectrum's library up against the 5200's library, and win every time.  🤓

 

I throw up just thinking about trying to play ZX Spectrum games.

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GOOD NEWS!!! Mike (removed) over at Apt.(removed) here at (removed) loaned me out the very same $20.00 I paid him back yesterday for a gas borrow, so I went over and got my meds and took all 4 of them just now!!! They should kick in in about a few hours and then everything will be A-OK again!!! THANKS!!!

 

Now, on THIS subject matter, yes I myself thought that Donkey Kong was a superior pack-in game to Super Breakout, but as I mentioned earlier on this post, if they had finished and bundled Asteroids with it as it WAS SUPPOSED to have been the original pack-in cart before Warner cancelled it in May 1982 so it was scrapped and left unfinished (Paul Lay kinda worked on it before finally porting over and reworking the 8-bit version to the 5200, both are here in this post for us to enjoy, the fixed 1982 prototype and the A8 conversion) it might've sold more but as we all agree including Pac-Man with it (they did later on but it was too little too late) sure as hell would've put it over the top IMO.

Asteroids - 8-Bit Conversion - Improved Defense.bin Asteroids - 5200 Version - Hack.bin

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40 minutes ago, famicommander said:

I throw up just thinking about trying to play ZX Spectrum games.

What a sin, sorry.  😢

 

This is the first case I ever heard of where low self esteem made one physically ill.

There are trainer versions of many Spectrum games, if you find you aren't up to snuff.

🤣

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Posted (edited)
13 minutes ago, hwrd said:

What a sin, sorry.  😢

 

This is the first case I ever heard of where low self esteem made one physically ill.

There are trainer versions of many Spectrum games, if you find you aren't up to snuff.

🤣

No, see, what makes me sick is playing games on a system where everything looks like a Powerpoint presentation made the night before a 3rd grade school project was due and sounds like someone put a digital watch in a blender. The Spectrum doesn't handle motion in a way that makes it possible to have fun playing games on it. Especially not in 2022. It's Tiger game.com tier and it's sad that anyone would subject themselves to it on purpose.

 

Spectrum owners are like battered spouses, standing there with a bloody nose and two black eyes trying to convince the cops not to take their partner to jail.

Edited by famicommander
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1 hour ago, BIGHMW said:

GOOD NEWS!!! XXXXXX over at XXXXX here at Bishop Park loaned me out the very same $20.00 I paid him back yesterday for a gas borrow, so I went over and got my meds and took all 4 of them just now!!! They should kick in in about a few hours and then everything will be A-OK again!!! THANKS!!!

 

 

Asteroids - 8-Bit Conversion - Improved Defense.bin 16 kB · 0 downloads Asteroids - 5200 Version - Hack.bin 8 kB · 0 downloads

Dude, too much info.  Stop with the oversharing, please!

 

Also, it's highly recommended NOT to post people's full names and apartment #'s in a public forum.

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I loved my OG 4 port 5200, which I got when I was 14.  I'll never forget how spectacular the title screen on Pac-Man looked the very first time I fired it up.  It felt like a huge leap forward from my 2600, which I also loved.  Yeah, the controllers felt a little weird at first, but pretty quickly I got the hang of how to use them properly and it was never much of an issue again.  In those days Qix, Space Dungeon, and Gyruss were my favorites.  Today I can't get enough of Dreadnaught Factor, and Pengo and Popeye have joined the list of go-to favorites.

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1 hour ago, hwrd said:

I would throw the ZX Spectrum's library up against the 5200's library, and win every time.  🤓

 

(but yes, the hardware is less capable than the 5200...  🙂)

 

1 hour ago, famicommander said:

I throw up just thinking about trying to play ZX Spectrum games.

I find this argument baffling. Which is the better vehicle? A Chevy Spark? Or a Ford F-150? The 5200 was a stripped-down Atari 400, which was itself a stripped-down Atari 800. The Spectrum was a ZED-X 81 with sound, more memory, color capability and a slightly better keyboard. But it retained the primary design objective of being a computer that normal humans could actually afford to buy. Did the Spectrum's sound and graphics approach those found on the 5200? No. Did the 5200 provide a platform for tens of thousands of aspiring young programmers to begin life-long careers as software engineers? No.

 

Personally, I've never owned either machine. But I did and do have a 2600 and a 7800. And I did and do have a TS 1000 (the American version of the ZX-81), and it did inspire the software engineering career I've enjoyed for the past 30 years. I choose to spend my time here in the Atari Age forum to take a break from all of the things happening in our world that people are arguing about right now. I hope the argument here is good-natured and tongue-in-cheek - I'm going to try and take it that way. But seriously guys - it's all just good natured ribbing; until it's not.

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It's not that serious, I don't really care at all if other people enjoy the Spectrum, but no, it doesn't matter at all that it was a cheaper machine. I don't grade my entertainment on a curve based on how expensive it was to produce. Spectrum games are not fun, and this is coming from a guy who still regularly plays and enjoys Odyssey 2 and 2600 games. 

 

If people seriously can't handle other people on a video game forum feeling differently about the relative quality of various pieces of ancient gaming or computer hardware, they should probably stay off the internet entirely and permanently.

 

Lots of people say stuff I like sucks. I use Linux, watch Canadian Football, type on a Dvorak keyboard, listen to super cheesy over the top heavy metal from northern Europe, and occasionally enjoy games on my CD-i. Other people think all of those things are ridiculous and dumb. I don't feel the need to whine about it and defend my preferences to strangers on the internet because I'm not so insecure that my identity and happiness are tied up in having other people validate my leisure time activities. 

 

I chose to engage here because someone who is still upset about me saying the Spectrum sucked elsewhere a week or more ago felt the need to swoop in and defend the platform. If you think the Spectrum is so great, then have fun playing it. Do that instead of following critics around a forum screaming into the void. It's not like I barged into the Spectrum forum and started attacking the system or its users there. I used it as a comparison in a topic about a bad game system.

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20 minutes ago, famicommander said:

It's not that serious, I don't really care at all if other people enjoy the Spectrum, but no, it doesn't matter at all that it was a cheaper machine. I don't grade my entertainment on a curve based on how expensive it was to produce. Spectrum games are not fun, and this is coming from a guy who still regularly plays and enjoys Odyssey 2 and 2600 games. 

 

If people seriously can't handle other people on a video game forum feeling differently about the relative quality of various pieces of ancient gaming or computer hardware, they should probably stay off the internet entirely and permanently.

 

Lots of people say stuff I like sucks. I use Linux, watch Canadian Football, type on a Dvorak keyboard, listen to super cheesy over the top heavy metal from northern Europe, and occasionally enjoy games on my CD-i. Other people think all of those things are ridiculous and dumb. I don't feel the need to whine about it and defend my preferences to strangers on the internet because I'm not so insecure that my identity and happiness are tied up in having other people validate my leisure time activities. 

 

I chose to engage here because someone who is still upset about me saying the Spectrum sucked elsewhere a week or more ago felt the need to swoop in and defend the platform. If you think the Spectrum is so great, then have fun playing it. Do that instead of following critics around a forum screaming into the void. It's not like I barged into the Spectrum forum and started attacking the system or its users there. I used it as a comparison in a topic about a bad game system.

For the CFL, it's been the B.C. Lions for me since moving up to Washington state from L.A. back in 1987, GO LEOS!!!

As for the European metal, besides RAMMS+EIN, I also like the old '80s East German metal band Formel I, and have you ever heard the music of In Extremo??? SO unique at that!!! I have their 2001 release "Sunder Ohne Zugel" in which I imported BITD and the 2000 "Vollmond" CD single too.

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58 minutes ago, edladdin said:

I'll never forget how spectacular the title screen on Pac-Man looked the very first time I fired it up.  It felt like a huge leap forward from my 2600, which I also loved.  Yeah, the controllers felt a little weird at first, but pretty quickly I got the hang of how to use them properly and it was never much of an issue again. 

This is my exact sentiment. When my cousin and I (surrounded by friends) fired up his 5200 and played Pac-man (the pack-in when he got it) for the first time, we were in absolute awe. We felt like we were playing at the arcade, but now we were saving a quarter each time we took turns and played. We took a break and set up 2600 Pac-man just to play it and laugh (good naturedly, we loved the 2600). 

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17 minutes ago, BIGHMW said:

For the CFL, it's been the B.C. Lions for me since moving up to Washington state from L.A. back in 1987, GO LEOS!!!

As for the European metal, besides RAMMS+EIN, I also like the old '80s East German metal band Formel I, and have you ever heard the music of In Extremo??? SO unique at that!!! I have their 2001 release "Sunder Ohne Zugel" in which I imported BITD and the 2000 "Vollmond" CD single too.

I've been a Winnipeg Blue Bombers fan since the 90s. I picked them because they won the Grey Cup in the year I was born and I liked their name and color scheme better. So I was pretty happy when they finally broke through and won these last two Grey Cups.

 

I love female fronted metal. Especially stuff like Within Temptation, Battle Beast, Delain, Nightwish, Epica, Lacuna Coil, Sister Sin, etc. I'd put Sharon den Adel head to head against any rock or metal singer at any point in time. She's completely self-taught, too.

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Posted (edited)
On 5/25/2022 at 7:50 PM, Frozone212 said:

I know the controllers were awful but is all this hate for the console overblown or is it all true?

If you take away the 2600 sales, the 5200 outsold (1 million in 2 years) the 7800 (3 million sold in 8 years in existence in some states), Jaguar (250k sales in 3 years), and Atari Lynx (3 million in 6 years) in terms of avg units sold per year.  The 7800 was around for 8 years in some states and 6 years world wide and sold only 3 million.  If the 5200 was such a hated console, it wouldn't have sold that many. 

 

The 5200 in 1982 was cutting edge and only the Colecovision could compete in arcade quality games. 

 

With that in mind, there are no bad games on the 5200.  They are all good, many of them great.

 

The controllers were amazing if you grew up with them.  The controller problem is about reliability.  5200 controllers were the most advanced controllers back in the day.  They just had bad flex circuitry. 

Edited by phuzaxeman
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46 minutes ago, phuzaxeman said:

If you take away the 2600 sales, the 5200 outsold (1 million in 2 years) the 7800 (3 million sold in 8 years in existence in some states), Jaguar (250k sales in 3 years), and Atari Lynx (3 million in 6 years) in terms of avg units sold per year.  The 7800 was around for 8 years in some states and 6 years world wide and sold only 3 million.  If the 5200 was such a hated console, it wouldn't have sold that many. 

 

The 5200 in 1982 was cutting edge and only the Colecovision could compete in arcade quality games. 

 

With that in mind, there are no bad games on the 5200.  They are all good, many of them great.

 

The controllers were amazing if you grew up with them.  The controller problem is about reliability.  5200 controllers were the most advanced controllers back in the day.  They just had bad flex circuitry. 

Agreed. BTW, you did forget to mention the XEGS, I don't know its sales during its run so you should look into it.

 

As for the controllers, once you got used to the way they operated, they were THE BEST, good players quickly adjusted to them and their MO, they also contoured to your hand and ergonomically the best designed ones of the bunch, the CX24 ProLine stick for the 7800 was similar, but smaller, and a little thinner, so it was tougher to handle, had it been the same dimensions as the CX52, then maybe perhaps the "PainLine" would not have been so painful. Atari had the right idea for the CX24, as it was almost an exact clone of the CX52, in fact I like to use them with my AA Redemption 7800 interface I have had for nearly 20 years.

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