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without a keyboard? The Atari 5200!
1982 Atari released its most sophisticated video game system of that time:
the Atari 5200 Super System. The system was announced as the 'Atari Video
System X', but was renamed later.
The Atari engineers put the latest Atari home-computer-technology, taken
from the 400/800 line of computers, into their powerful console and
brought it to the market where it had to compete with the 'Intellivision'
and the 'Colecovision' systems.
With the 5200, Atari invented some very 'progressive' controllers with an
analogue steering, 360 degrees, speed sensitive (the harder you
press/pull, the faster the sprites move) control! A great idea, but hard
to handle when using them, because the controller wasn't self-centering.
Atari had the idea of inventing a self-centering controller later, but it
never made it to the market, because the 5200 was cancelled very early.
The best innovation they had with the 5200 controllers were the integrated
'Pause', 'Start' and 'Reset' buttons. A concept, they used again on the
Jaguar controllers more than ten years later...
Technically, the 5200 was compatible to the 400/800 line of home-computers;
that should supply the players with a huge amount of available
software...you could think! But that was not true: due to rivalry between
the video-games and the computer division they had to make some minor
modifications, so that the 400/800 games wouldn't run on the 5200! For the
same reason the planned computer-keyboard was cancelled...
Atari's compatibility-interface for the 5200, that allowed to play all
Atari 2600 games, came too late and, by the way, Coleco offered an
interface for 2600 games before Atari did...