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Phosphor Dot Fossils Atari 5200 Archive

Not long after the Atari 2600 debuted, Atari tried to extend its market dominance into the home computer market with the Atari 400 and Atari 800, home computers with, respectively, 16k and 48k of RAM, the ability to add disk drives and modems, and more. But at the heart of both machines was the same industry that had made Atari a household name to begin with - both of Atari's computers required RF connectors to use a TV as a display, and both had cartridge slots for games.

After failing to set the young home computer market on fire - at that time, Apple and IBM had already conquered the world with the Apple IIe and the original PC - Atari took its computers' processors, put them in a keyboard-less casing, repackaged the cartridges, and created the Atari 5200 - rather more expensive than the Atari 2600, but capable of coming much closer to emulating everyone's favorite arcade games.

It's easy to criticize Atari for making the 5200 unit completely incompatible with the far more prolific Atari 2600 - and more to the point, incompatible with most 2600 owners' growing collection of cartridges which would be useless with a new platform - and this made the Atari 5200 strictly a high-end luxury niche platform with a small audience. By the time they wised up and put a 2600 Adapter on the shelves, it was too late.

Click here to see an original Atari 5200 catalog! Games of the future from a catalog of the past!
Say what you like about Atari, their marketing department sure knew a thing or two about teasing the public. Case in point? This full-color catalog, scanned in all of its 1980s glory for you. Click on the thumbnail image at right to browse through it, and remember when you too were an eleven-year-old drooling over the video game system of the future.

  1. BattleZone
  2. Ballblazer
  3. Berzerk
  4. Blue Print
  5. Buck Rogers: Planet of Zoom
  6. Congo Bongo
  7. Dig Dug
  8. Frogger
  9. Galaxian   Including overlays!
  10. Haunted House II 3D   Including overlays!
  11. Joust
  12. Jungle King
  13. Ms. Pac-Man
  14. Pac-Man   Including overlays!
  15. Pole Position
  16. Q*Bert
  17. Qix   Including overlays!
  18. Star Trek
  19. Space Invaders
  20. Super Breakout
  21. Super Pac-Man   Including overlays!
  22. Tempest
  23. Zaxxon

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