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.
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.
- Blue Print
- Buck Rogers: Planet of Zoom
- Congo Bongo
- Dig Dug
- Galaxian Including overlays!
- Haunted House II 3D Including overlays!
- Jungle King
- Ms. Pac-Man
- Pac-Man Including overlays!
- Pole Position
- Qix Including overlays!
- Star Trek
- Space Invaders
- Super Breakout
- Super Pac-Man Including overlays!