Retro Game Consoles – Atari 5200

Atari 5200

Atari 5200 Retail Box

Above: Atari 5200 Retail Box


The Atari 5200 is based on a MOS 6502 processor running at 1.79 MHz, the same processor used in Commdore 64, Atari Home COmputers and other game consoles. The system boasts 16 kilobytes of RAM. This is a hugh number considering that the cartridges were limited to 32 kilobytes.

Atari 5200 Space Invaders

Above: Atari 5200 Space Invaders

The internal design of the 5200 resembles that of the Atari 400 and 800. The 5200 was a good machine but it was not the same success as the Atari 2600. The next big console for Atari should have beent he Atari 7800, but Atari decided to wait until after 1983 when they should have release it before to solidify their dominance in the market.

Joystick Ports

The Atari 5200 is the first game console to have 4 joy stick ports, which is great for game parties as more can play at the same time instead of lots of cuing times.

Atari 5200 Game Console

Above: Atari 5200 Game Console

The heart of the system is its ANTIC and GTIA graphics chips. They support four sprites that are upto 8-bits wide and upto full screen height, and two sprites that are upto 2-bits wide and uptofull screen height.


Atari 5200 Dig Dug

Above: Atari 5200 Dig Dug

There is also hardware support for veritcal and horizontal scrolling. The system has 6 text modes and 12 graphics modes for background graphics. It has a 256 color pallette and a screen resolution of 320×200. The sound was processed by a special chip dubbed Pokey.