• 1982

Hardware Description

The Atari 5200 SuperSystem or simply Atari 5200 is a home video game console introduced in 1982 by Atari, Inc. as a higher-end complement for the popular Atari Video Computer System. The VCS was renamed to the Atari 2600 at the time of the 5200's launch. The 5200 was created to compete with the Intellivision, but wound up a direct competitor of the ColecoVision shortly after its release. While the Coleco system shipped with the first home version of Nintendo's Donkey Kong, the pack-in game for the 5200 was 1978's Super Breakout which had already appeared on the Atari VCS and Atari 8-bit computers in 1978 and 1979 respectively. The 5200's internal hardware is almost identical to that of Atari's Atari 8-bit family, although software is not directly compatible between the two systems. The 5200's controllers have an analog joystick and a numeric keypad along with start, pause, and reset buttons. The 360-degree non-centering joystick was touted as offering more control than the eight-way Atari CX40 joystick of the 2600, but it was a focal point for criticism. On May 21, 1984, during a press conference at which the Atari 7800 was introduced, company executives revealed that the 5200 had been discontinued after just two years on the market. Total sales of the 5200 were reportedly in excess of 1 million units, far short of its predecessor's sales of over 30 million.
Date discontinued: 
1984 May