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Omegasupreme's Blog - Thoughts on 5200(or how to kill a system)


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Though I currently do not own a 5200 ( Hey I will take donations LOL). I have played the system. It was a great system graphically superior to the 2600 and even on par with the 7800. So why did this system epically Fail?? There have been tons or reasons and it has in some ways been talked to death. But I will give you my first-hand thoughts and reasoning.

1. The controller was ahead of its time and poorly designed. The first Major mistake was using a cheap flex board for the controller. Also not making itself centring was a horrible idea. However, its major flaw was it was ahead of its time. Most people were not ready for an analogue joystick. They were use to the tried and trie 2600 style joystick. Intellivision disc controller proved that. People were not use to very precise movements and control. The second problem was it had too many buttons. The controller was overkill.

Had the 5200 lived longer it may have used them. Star Raiders, for example, would have worked great on this controller and maybe even raiders of the lost ark. You could have simply pushed a button for inventory select. It would have been great but programmers really had no idea what to do with it.

2. The lack of games and not being backwards compatible. Most of the 5200 games were simple upgrades of 2600 games. Yes, the graphics were better but why would I buy another centapied if I already own one. There were very few new games for the 5200 and a small selection when the game system came out. Add to all this the pending video game crash where there was a glut of 2600 and other games It did not have a must have game. Pacman as a free game was a great idea and looked great but with the poor controller, many were not happy with another "crappy" Pacman game. he 5200 was doomed from the start. Retailers were nervous about carrying 2 atari systems plus a Coleco and Intellivision system and a ton of games for all the, Now we have a 4th system and games plus add ons It was a disaster in the making.

3. Atari makes a new 2600 cheaper but now also competes directly with the 5200. This was a bad decision. The game crash is coming Atari has basically 2 new systems they Update the 5200 to fix some issues so in theory at the same time you had 2 different 2600 systems 2 5200 systems and the list goes on. These decisions helped kill the 5200. If they got rid of the storage compartment made the system smaller and a better flex board the 5200 would have done better.

4. Lack of support and game crash. This says it all The 5200 was the system no one loved or wanted. It was supposed to be a game changer and in many ways it was but do to poor advertising marketing design and support it was doomed to fail.

I loved the 5200 and hope to add it to my collection soon. There are now many new boards and controllers out for this system that will breathe life into it. Those are my thoughts would love to hear others veiws.

Omega Supreme

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