Atari 5200

I didn’t get a Nintendo Wii for Christmas. (What follows is the obligatory Wii joke, I apologize beforehand) So no, I am not at home playing with my Wii. In fact, the only presents I received were some fudge and a modest check. Since I didn’t buy any gifts for anyone, I am not worthy of the gifts I did receive.

So I bought my own present. I hopped on to Ebay, and purchased an Atari 5200 game console. This is the console that was the follow up to the Atari 2600 (originally called the Atari VCS). The Atari 5200 hit the streets for the 1982 Christmas season. This system did not have a good run, even though it had far superior game quality. The reason? The controller that came with the system sucked. The controller was a non-centering analog controller that had a tendency to break quite easily. The Atari 5200 I purchased has only one working controller. It seems the best route concerning the controller is to buy a 3rd party replacement or get an interface that allows you to hook up Atari 2600 controllers. Here is a write up of the “curse” of the Atari 5200 controllers.

I went the route of getting the interface. I purchased the Redemption 5200. This is a device currently in production. I had a choice between this and the MasterPlay Interface. The Masterplay is what was in production when the 5200 was on the market. Now the Masterplay has reached collectors status. So you have to pay a bit of collector’s premium to buy.

I also purchased the Atari 5200 track ball. As opposed to the default controllers, the track ball is the “best controller for any video game console”. No, I don’t know what reviewer said that quote.

As far as games, I am taking a short-cut. I purchased the Atarimax 5200 128-in-1 USB Flash Cartridge. This device lets you upload 5200 rom files on to the flash cartridge via your PC. Then you plop the cartridge into the 5200 and have a choice of 128 games.

So this little project has started to cost me:

Atari 5200 console w/ 4 games: $75
Trackball controller: $30
Redemption 5200: $55
Flash Cartridge: $135

We are up to around $300, aren’t we.

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