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A Pal release planned for the 5200?


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11 replies to this topic

#1 Lost Dragon

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Posted 04 June 2016 - 01:25 PM

I'll openly admit the Atari 5200 is a format i know so little about, it hurts, but i'd always assumed it was never on the cards as it were, for a UK release, as the 2600 was doing so well, Atari UK seemed content to focus on that and pushing the A8 Micro range, but just stumbled across a supposed 'official' reason why Atari scrapped plans for it here in the UK ( i believe it was due to launch Summer of 1984?)...

 

 

Eric Salamon, then Marketing Director of Atari UK:

 

"We are in a fast moving buisness of high technology.When we isolate  a marketing opportunity, we seek to fill that gap.

 

Sometimes these gaps close and new ones arise before we can introduce the product.This has been the case with the 5200.

 

Atari will be concentrating on the 2600 and a new series of home computers, as well as making software for other systems."

 

 

So there we have it, the company line at the time as it were and yet another good example of just why the UK Press soon got tired of Atari annoucing new hardware, as often it simply never arrived here (1200XL, 5200) or arrived at all (Panther, CDST etc).

 

 


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#2 Greyfox

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Posted 07 June 2016 - 03:37 PM

It's always great to read newly revealed "hiding there all along information" and is a great discovery to have read it, and what's even more bizarre that your not even a freelance retro gaming journalist and yet you can bring to the table that these so called diet light half arsed gaming journalists can't ? It seem to be a parallel universe here where you rise while they sink into misinformed and incorrect or un-researched bile. So kudos fella. I'm sure your gonna rattle the cages of a few people, but at least they can't say they brought to the attention of the communities first.
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#3 Lost Dragon

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Posted 08 June 2016 - 03:20 PM

With statements made by named Atari UK staff, with time/date stamps in terms of the publication, and replies given to consumers question over what happened too, as was with the 5200, i personally fail to see Atari UK spokesperson having an agenda, or the need to track down numerous sources to confirm, as it's pretty cut and dry, 5200 was never released, here's Atari UK's viewpoint, make of it what you will.

 

 

The 7800 inital plans saw numerous publications report on, location/venue, planned release date etc, then you had inital speculation why plans changed (Atari couldn't bring it in at a consumer friendly price) and then statements from Atari UK giving their viewpoint, as to why they went with 65XE instead, who'd been involved (at least 2 Atari UK people, who else was handling other aspects of it etc etc) and then to add to that, likes of C+VG's Tony Tak.giving his personal viewpoint on why said plans had changed.

 

There's a huge gulf between media reports like this and claims by ACE that ex-Imagine coders were working on unspecified 7800 games.That's far too vague.

 

 

The fact remains as you well know Greyfox as your 'in' on the GTW Atari article Frank is writing, i conducted an exclusive interview for, spoke to numerous sources about, not EVERYTHING was documented chapter and verse here in UK and sent back to Atari USA, lot of deals were verbal, contracts etc to be signed once games finished.

 

So a lot has been hidden in plain sight :-)

 

 

Whats made me chuckle is when i contact someone who attempts to convert a UK game toan Atari system, game itself is unknown to a lot, people look it up, think, ohh that looks nice, would of been great on Jag, read coders explanation of why it wasn't possible, disbelieve me, until coder posts to confirm, then..claim he lacked experience LMAO.

 

 

You've also the incidents where you find a reason a high profile coder never touched an Atari system, from oldinterview he did (easy to find online) and also have someone tweet him to confirm claims made were true, they were, you share info, because it goes agains't claim certain people had made, your public enemy no.1.

 

 

Again, cracks me up, i used a mix of search engines on I.E on 360, PS3 web browser, ipad, smart phone, found the info and contacts, never used facebook etc, so why is it so hard to find good research in paid for publications at times?.


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#4 Lost Dragon

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Posted 12 June 2016 - 09:19 AM

I do need to point out that at least 1 UK publication,Retro Gamer magazine under guidance of live publishing and Marytn Carrol, did point out fact there were plans for 5200 in UK /Europe, prototype hardware made etc, but all plans for a later European launch abandoned after market crashed.

Article also keen to point out hardwares limits on PMG,only allowing 4 or 5 background colours etc, unless you coded to the metal and reused sprites,changed colours on the fly etc.

Where as later era UK based looks at A8 hardware suggested A8 hardware could hold its own against C64 in areas such as these...sigh.

But then, they enlisted help of a 5200 coder for the article and it showed.

But yes it is odd to compare today's write ups to those reporting years before and you often notice a decline in research and expertise.

I wonder what article writer, Peter Latimer,is doing these days? :-/

Pete also went onto do a nice 7800 article for RG in same era and whilst no mention of plans for UK launch, he did get a superb interview with Steve Golson and got the technical breakdown on the 7800,where Steve admits that graphically, despite probably being a bit better than the NES, it wasn't quite upto standard of the MS and in terms of sound, was behind both.

This is far more balanced than the last 7800 feature I paid to read with claims 7800 was on par with Master system and had meaningless and incorrect tech spec comparison charts
.

Standards in UK publications have always sadly been varied among all of them, but if you look back, you can always find those which were fair, well researched and we'll written, even if details missing due to word count limits.

Then there are those just thrown together to fill pages...you pays yer money and hope for the best I guess...

Edited by Lost Dragon, 12 June 2016 - 10:00 AM.

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#5 Lost Dragon

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Posted 05 October 2016 - 07:33 PM

Ok then, here is the 'Timeline' as i've best been able to follow it, for Atari UK's planned launch for the 5200, here in the UK:

 

News starts to appear in UK Press that Atari Uk were gearing up for the launch of the 5200, in earlySpring of 1983, a Summer'83 Launch is put forward with games set to retail around £29-95, no price lisited for console itself, though expectation is it'll be around £14.95 as that's the RRP for the Colecovision...........

 

 

The next piece of news is that there's been a slight set-back/delay to planned launch, Atari blaming the setting up of a new production plant in Ireland and the 5200 is now expected to launch in the UK for Xmas 1983....

 

 

However come Sept'83 Atari have told UK press all UK 5200 launch plans have been abandoned...

 

 

By Autumn'83 UK Press are reporting the reson Atari scrapped plans for the 5200, was due to it's failure in the USA, where it had faced stiff competition from the Colecovision and Atari had noticed a sharp decline in A8 micro sales in USA, claims of some regions seeing the C64 out sell the Atari 400/800 by a margin of 100-to-1.

 

 

Also on UK shores, there had been a sharp increase in the numbers of 2600 consoles appearing in second hand ads, as owners upgraded to home micro's like the ZX Spectrum, C64 etc...

 

 

 

ALL of these events seem to have escaped the higher profile Atari historians who wrote articles on XEGS, 7800, 5200 etc i'm aware of for UK Press, so thought this site would be the ideal place to document what really happened....



#6 Lost Dragon

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Posted 26 December 2016 - 01:30 PM

Final part of the puzzle:

 

Ok, it looks like Atari UK had told Press and retailers to expect the 5200 to launch in the UK in July 1983 and then, as i've stated above, canned that idea at the very last moment, catching many Mail Order firms in particular, out...

 

 

If you look back through UK Home Shopping Catalogues for Spring/Summer of '83, you can actually find the 5200 console and games 'on sale'.

 

 

I'm sure they were far from impressed having to notify customers who'd pre-ordered this item was no longer avaiable to purchase, wonder how many went for the Colecovision or similar instead?.



#7 TeddyGermany

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Posted 03 January 2017 - 01:57 PM

In the march-issue of TeleMatch - a german sistermag of Eletronic games - the Atari 5200 was promised for late summer. In the issue of July they announced its cancellation. They (Atari Germany)  had argued, that a Atari 600 XL would be the better offer for 550 Deutsche Mark. That was the stipulated price for both systems. The slogan later was: "Why should i buy a toy, when i can get an computer, which also plays Donkey Kong?" I guess, they had had the Colecovision in mind. :P


Edited by TeddyGermany, 30 May 2017 - 04:11 AM.

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#8 Lost Dragon

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Posted 04 January 2017 - 11:15 AM

Fantastic post and it's simply superb to hear the German Atari viewpoint here, as this is another as pect of Atari that sadly gets so little coverage in UK Press.



I'm delighted to read the inital launch plans for Germany with the 5200 were covered by the press, at the time.

So, this is at least 3 European magazines that not only covered the planned release and then gave the European reasoning behind why it was cancelled and what they thought would be better replacements for the 2600.

Yet you never read any of this when the supposed UK Atari Experts write articles on it.

5200 never mentioned and reasons for Atari going with XEGS don't even mention Atari UK were initially planning the 7800 as a replacement after the 5200 was called off.

It's fantastic to read yet more proof that's been overlooked by magazine writers etc classing themselves as historians and resident experts.

As Greyfox pretty much made clear, it's info that was hiding in plain sight, but it's taken forum posters like ourselves to bring it back to the front.

I've only ever seen Peter Latimer reference the fact there preparations made for the long overdue international launch and that was back in the Live Publishing days...

That was 2005 for crying out loud, articles after seemed to know nothing.

Edited by Lost Dragon, 04 January 2017 - 01:28 PM.


#9 TeddyGermany

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Posted 05 January 2017 - 08:05 AM

Here is more for curious people: ;)

 

https://archive.org/details/telematch

(all issues are scanned by a wise guy!)

 

https://archive.org/...ry=hartmut huff

an early guide to the german scene


Edited by TeddyGermany, 05 January 2017 - 11:56 AM.

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#10 Lost Dragon

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Posted 05 January 2017 - 01:36 PM

Outstanding, just bloody outstanding.

 

Yet again the superb Atari I.O community step forward to provide the fresh Atari content i've longed to read.

 

 

Teddy, i hope you continue to bring more gems like this to our attention in 2017, but wow, what a start.



#11 TeddyGermany

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Posted 07 January 2017 - 12:27 PM

 

Teddy, i hope you continue to bring more gems like this to our attention in 2017, but wow, what a start.

 

I'll try to do so! :beer:


Edited by TeddyGermany, 07 January 2017 - 12:29 PM.

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#12 Lost Dragon

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Posted 29 May 2017 - 06:23 PM

More 'proof' 5200 was very much planned to replace 2600 here in UK at 1 point..

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