History of video games/Platforms/Atari 5200


Atari 5200 Joystick schematic.


Atari 5200 Logotype.

The Atari 5200 was released in the United States of America in the summer of 1982 at a cost of $270.[1]

The console struggled in the market, as regular consumers did not like that the 5200 could not play their old 2600 games they owned.[2] While backwards compatibility as a concept was novel to game systems at the time, a lack of support for old games harmed sales. Complicating matters, poor coordination by Atari lead to 2600 games flooding the market after the Atari 5200 release,[3] which probably harmed the success of the system by not only reducing the incentive to upgrade, but also by releasing major games that would be incompatible with the 5200.



Production of the Atari 5200 ceased by May 21st, 1984 as Atari announced the successor system - the Atari 7800.[4][5] Over one million Atari 5200 consoles were sold.[6]



The Atari 5200 was based on the Atari 400 computer[7] and used an 8-bit 6502C CPU clocked at 1.79 megahertz.[1] The Atari 5200 has 16 kilobytes of RAM.[1] The Atari 5200 had 2 kilobytes of storage for its BIOS.[4]

By being based off of Atari home computers, game ports from these computers to the 5200 were supposed to be easier.[8] The trade off was a radically different architecture from the prior Atari 2600, potentially resulting in less portability between the two.

Notable games


Wikipedia has a list of Atari 5200 games.

Special Editions


A special version of the 5200 was made for use in hotels.[8]


4 Port Console




Other items





  1. a b c "OLD-COMPUTERS.COM : The Museum". www.old-computers.com. Retrieved 27 October 2020.
  2. Patterson, Patrick Scott (1 November 2017). "Back to the Future: A Look at the History of Backwards Compatibility". Scholarly Gamers. Retrieved 11 December 2020.
  3. Trautman, Ted. "Excavating the Video-Game Industry’s Past" (in en-us). The New Yorker. https://www.newyorker.com/business/currency/excavating-the-video-game-industrys-past. 
  4. a b "History of Consoles: Atari 5200 (1982) Gamester 81". Retrieved 27 October 2020.
  5. Sanger, David E. (22 May 1984). "ATARI VIDEO GAME UNIT INTRODUCED (Published 1984)". The New York Times. Retrieved 2 December 2020.
  6. "Atari 5200 SuperSystem (1982 - 1984)". Museum of Obsolete Media. 7 March 2014. Retrieved 28 October 2020.
  7. "Atari 5200 console - CHM Revolution". www.computerhistory.org. Retrieved 27 October 2020.
  8. a b "ATARI 5200 SUPERSYSTEM FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS". Retrieved 14 January 2021.