Atari 5200

Nickname: Atari 5200 SuperSystem
Manufacturer: Atari Milton Bradley
Predecessor: Atari 2600
Successor: Atari 7800
Release Date: 20/5/1984
Discontinued Date: -
Additional Sizes: -
Display Palette: 256 Colors
Initial Price: US$299
Supported Game Media:

The Atari 5200 SuperSystem, released in late 1982 for US$270, was the direct successor of the highly successful Atari 2600 (VCS) and a forerunner of the Atari 7800 ProSystem. Atari chose to design the 5200 around the technology used in the popular Atari 400/800 8-bit computer line, but it was not immediately compatible, unlike the much older XE Video Game System console. The similarities in hardware allowed relatively easy conversion of games between the two systems, especially when transferred from the computer line to 5200.

The Atari 5200, as planned, was more powerful than Mattel's Intellivision and almost equivalent to Coleco's ColecoVision, both of which were the main competitor to the 2600 and the Atari systems had to aim to remain technologically competitive in the console market. In addition to the unusually large size of the 5200 console, the console has a controversial automatic RF switch (incompatible with many TVs without the additional add-on adapter) that also powered the system and the innovation of four joystick four ports (the Atari 800 computer has the same feature). The most notable feature of the system was the inclusion of analog controllers, which to the disappointment of most were fragile and not only had a center joystick, but had also a keyboard that had overlaps and displayed one of the first pause buttons.