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The Atari 5200 SuperSystem, commonly known as the Atari 5200, is a video game console that was introduced in 1982 by Atari Inc. as a higher end complementary console for the popular Atari 2600. The 5200 was created to compete with the Intellivision, but wound up more directly competing with the ColecoVision shortly after its release.
Containing technology from the Atari 400/800 computer, the Atari 5200 was certainly a step up in capability from the 2600. It is also massive in size, so large in fact that it can hold both its controllers in a rear compartment.
These controllers are a severe Achilles heel, as Atari decided to build a turning paddle controller into the design, making it very awkward to use. It also fails to self centre properly, so movements often drift during play. The spongy fire buttons do not help.
The Atari 5200 suffered because of it, despite the system having a very nice sized library of games released, its incompatibility with the 2600 proved to be a serious mistake, and before an adaptor and redesign could help boost sales, the American video game crash destroyed the market, and took Atari out of the console game until the Atari 7800 was released two years later.
Atari 5200 Manuals:
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This exhibit has a reference ID of CH28823. Please quote this reference ID in any communication with the Centre for Computing History.
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