Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
The Professor

Does the Atari 5200 really deserve to be included as one of the worst consoles of all time?

  

30 members have voted

  1. 1. Does the Atari 5200 really deserve to be included as one of the worst consoles of all time?

    • YES
      5
    • NO
      26


Recommended Posts

Sometimes people look back into the past with future knowledge that can make things a little unfair...

 

At the time, the 5200 was a great system IMHO.

 

1) The unit itself

     It was a visual work of art that did not make your living room look like a rats nest of cords.

     It would blend in quite nicely with your other 'larger' stereo components.  Let's be fair,

     everything was a little bigger back then.    

 

2) TV sets were different

    At that point in time the average TV did not have all the different inputs of modern units.  

    If you were average you had two, the cable connector and the screw terminals.   That little

    switch box was great, as it automatically switched to the game unit when you turned on

    the power.

 

3) Storage space

    I really liked the storage area for the controllers that was built-in.  When you are done playing,

     you could put the controllers away and not have a bunch of cables strung out all over the place.

 

4) The power brick

     Before the era of switching power supplies, things used transformers, transformers did add 

     weight, but across the spectrum of other things, wall warts were standard.  

 

4)  The Controllers

      The lack of durability IS a valid complaint... but was not mentioned.

 

I don't think the 5200 should be on any top ten worst list.  This unit had a ton of great and popular games, played well and above all was fun to play.   

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I voted no. The 5200 is the 800 come-console and the 800 is legendary! sure the non-centering controllers were a mess, but I love everything else including the style, the size (a place to hold the controllers rocks! new systems need to take a page from the 5200 here!) . Lot's of great classic games too. Would it have been better if Atari designed a new console from the ground up instead of using existing tech? Yes. but the 5200 tech was still leagues better than Intellivision and Colecovision, it just needed more new original games. 800 tech was way ahead of it's time. Period.

 

Angry video game nerd is a moron who wouldn't know a good game or system if it stood up and slapped him in the face. He's just another stupid person agreeing with the majority.

Edited by Bakerman

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

the 5200 tech was still leagues better than Intellivision and Colecovision, it just needed more new original games. 800 tech was way ahead of it's time. Period.

The 800 technology was nearly 4 years old when the 5200 hit. How would you compare the 5200 with the ColecoVision in terms of technical superiority? Because a lot of ColecoVision fans would insist it's hands-down graphically superior and more arcade-like than the Atari 5200.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry, not seeing it. I have a CV Flashback, admittedly maybe it doesn't play as well as the original because it may be emulated ( I don't know), but every game on the Flashback that I have on my Atari 8-bit (same as 5200 versions 99% of the time) is superior on my 8-bit, IMO. And i did own a 5200 once, so I know all about it. I must say I think CV fans are delusional. I always wanted a CV, and never got one until the flashback I got last year, and I was expecting better than 5200/A8 versions of the same games and I just don't see it! In still screen shots some CV games look *slightly* better graphically, like Zaxxon, but once I actually played them and saw terrible scrolling compared to the Atari versions, I was very disappointed in the CV flashback. It just made me want to play superior (IMO) 5200/A8 versions. And that's just with the same arcade conversions. i'm guessing you've never seen games made for the 800/XL/XE that were done after the 5200 era, the CV couldn't even dream of competing. Actually, you can look at the Lucasfilm games Ballblazer and Rescue on Fractalus on the 5200, the CV could never handle those!

 

As I said, the 800 tech was so far ahead of it's time, it still out-shined the CV in form of the 5200 even 4 years later. Sorry if you don't agree, but the proofs in the pudding as far as I can tell from my experiences. The ONLY game on the CV flashback that impressed me is the recent home-brew title MECHA-8, and believe me, the 5200/A8 computers could handle that no problem, they have better already.

Edited by Bakerman

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your comparing Super breakout to Donkey Kong? Come on...who cares if Atari made a bad choice in "pack-ins" Besides, I'm not talking about perceptions, but reality, especially looking at and playing both today.

 

Zaxxon:

 

Atari 5200/800/XL/XE: 

 

Colecovision: 

 

Atari 800/XL/XE Super Zaxxon: 

 

And Datasoft released a later original Zaxxon for the Atari 8-bit computers that was slightly superior (added in rockets, vertical manuver in space, better boss ending (not shown in this video) to the 5200/A8 original on disc. But my point is game-play, even if Colecovision Zaxxon looks  a bit better, it scrolls TERRIBLY and the Atari versions are fast and smooth, and consequently much more fun!

 

 

Datasoft version compared to original 5200 : 

 

Again Colecovision may look better (still a matter of opinion in some areas of graphics) but the scrolling sucks and game play sucks because of it, IMO. And this was true of every game on my CV flashback that I have 800/5200 versions of. This is the way I see them and play them today. I am not impressed at all with Colecovision compared to my Atari 8-bit.

Edited by Bakerman

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Even at that, I hear a lot of arguments that ColecoVision Zaxxon is superior.

 

Funny thing is, the real threat wasn't Intellivision or ColecoVision, it was what was marinating on the Island of Nippon with the Famicom.

Well, now you've heard and seen my argument why 5200 Zaxxon is superior.

 

Yeah, but that battle was between NES, Master System and 7800, not the 5200.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't believe the 5200 was/is as bad as the claims give it.  Then again my system was used on a daily basis and never got the chance to sit or wear out from not being used.  It was used for hours on end on a daily basis.  Between 4 and 5 hours a day.  On weekends you were looking at pretty much all day.  The only time my 5200 was not used was when Knight Rider was on, the more Atari right after.  We didn't have cable then either so 3 channels max was the norm...and that was on good weather days.

 

The 5200 was meant to be used on a daily basis.  You can't let it sit for months on end without using it.  More harm than good will come from not using it.  It needs to be exercised to maintain a good working condition on the controllers.  I'm not saying it doesn't have its faults but the 5200 was a good idea and it is a powerful console for an 8-bit system.  It's just too bad that its real power was never used to full potential and the controllers were overkill in the innovation department.  But, for what it is worth, the 5200 was my childhood friend and never failed me until a few years ago when my controllers failed for the first time.  It has been difficult keeping them working because of lack of parts but I have managed thanks to some great friends helping me out.

 

I hope that I can keep my 5200 working so that, after I am gone, someone else will be able to enjoy this system as much as I did.  Who knows I may donate it to a museum.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...