by Dark Watcher
The Atari 5200 was established in 1982 to compete with Intellivision and to become the successor of the Atari 2600. The Atari
5200 was a modified version of the Atari 400/800 which was the most powerful 8-bit home computer system of its era. The graphics
were a step above the older competition and went toe to toe with their newest competitor the ColecoVision.
The 5200 enjoyed moderate success, but never reached the overall success of its predecessor the Atari 2600. Resources which should have been allocated for 5200 game development went instead to the 2600 (a system which was on its last legs and already saturated with software from Atari and its third party publishers). In addition, the fact that the 5200 was not compatible with the 2600 put off many 2600 owners who had accumulated a substantial library of games for the system. A VCS adapter which allowed 2600 games to be played on the 5200 was later released, but the Videogame Crash of 1983 prevented any hopes of it being making further sales. The Atari 5200 would soon become history with the rest of the home videogame consoles of that time.
FACT: The Atari 5200 cartridges were nearly twice the size of those for the 2600 and were basically designed in this fashion to make the consumer think they were getting a "bigger and better" game. The Atari 5200 was also the first videogame console to utilize a "Pause" button on the controller.