by Dark Watcher
The Atari 7800 Pro System was originally designed in1983 but saw a very limited release the following year due to the
of 1983. In 1985 Nintendo had revitalized the videogame industry with its release of the NES. This prompted then Atari
CEO Jack Tramiel to try again with this fully developed console in 1986.
The Atari 7800 was brought out of storage to compete against Nintendo's NES. By the time the system was ready for sale, Sega had released the Sega Master System and had made the marketplace even more hostile for Atari. So what happened?
If it were released back in 1984 the system may have done amazingly well, but now its specs were clearly dated compared to its competitors. The Atari 7800 played classic 2600 games and revamped versions of older arcade classics, but gamers wanted new original games. Atari had almost no 3rd party support mostly because of disinterest or Nintendo's restrictions, so they had to try and support the 7800 alone (Froggo, Activision, and Absolute were a few third party supporters). By the time original games came out it was too little too late and it was time to put the system out of its misery in 1989.
FACT: The Atari 7800 was originally developed in 1984 as the Atari 3600. It was actually designed by a company called General Computer Corporation (GCC). As part of a lawsuit settlement GCC had been sued for releasing an unlicensed speedup chipset for Atari's arcade version of Missile Command.