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Why did atari switch to color labels?


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I was looking at my 7800 collection and I was thinking, why did atari switch to traditionally more expensive color labels later in the system's life. Was it actually a cost cutting measure somehow?

Great q. I have wondered this, too. I noticed that when Atari switched to color pics on the 7800 labels, they did the same on the 2600 labels. If you recall, the first three red label 2600 games had black and white label pics, and then the later ones were color.


I think it MIGHT be that the launch 7800 games were B&W and then they decided to go color after that, perhaps to keep up with industry standards? Pole Position II, of course, is completely different, likely because it was designed way back in 1984 for the original intended release of the 7800.

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I don't think they really cared what the label for the Pole Position II looked like since it was the pack-in anyway.

Sure, it was the pack-in, but it was designed in 1984, before the pumped the brakes on the system temporarily, so I doubt they had a clear vision of what they wanted the cartridges to look like moving forward at that point.


Of course, it was also later sold separately, and from what I understand, the CIB set carts varied between the old label and the more consistent gray background with color pic cart label.

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