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All Atari 2600 Vs 5200 Vs Intellivision Vs Colecovision Games Compared Side By Side

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I have been a proud 5200 owner for 40 years (this coming May 19th will mark that date) and had a friend (Natan Rivers, a brother of a former high school classmate, the now Lisa Rivers-Halfon) who owned a ColecoVision at that time. We both loved both consoles but due to our folks back then having us choose sides, we at that time couldn't have BOTH, but, here it is, 40 years later I now own both. 


Both have their unique quirks and capabilities and many developers and homebrewers over the past 5 decades have learned how to get the utmost out of each of these consoles' 16K of RAM, and even though there are critics of the 5200 citing that most of the games were purely A8 conversions, (yes most of them were) many were designed with improvements in their gameplay to further optimize the 5200 controllers' capabilities in which the A8 STILL CAN'T TOUCH even today!!!


THAT, RIGHT THERE, is why I chose to keep my 5200 and ditch the XEGS when it came to closing up shop of The Atari Report last year as part of my downsizing plans.


What was as of 1987 a mere 69 titles officially released for her during its 5 year support run, has turned into about 500 titles altogether, and many of them, 5200 exclusives (like Tempest) and in most cases homebrews that were developed on a 5200 FIRST (and then later converted to A8/XL/XE) along with all of the prototypes, many of them finished, and also those great A8 conversions done by the likes of Paul Lay @playsoft. Steven Tucker @classics and @Wrathchild, and the onslaught of (unheard of before last year) 2600 ports to the 5200 by the likes of @glurk and of course our wonderfully talented homebrew community and guys like @Ryan Witmer, the late Ken Siders and others putting out incredible games for her.


As for the 5200's controls, good gamers got used to them, those of us on this very forum are very well aware of how they operate, and have learned to adjust to them, because of my experience in 40 years of 5200 gaming, I have become hooked on its design, so when I got my Redemption 5200 interfaces from right here on AA 20 years ago I picked out the 7800 CX24 sticks as my choice of an all-digital stick as it wrapped my hand in the very same ergonomical way as the CX52 does.


Now on the other side of this "third-wave" (a term used by Electronic Games Magazine editors the late great Arnie Katz, Joyce Worley, and Bill Kunkel) coin, ColecoVision owners have their unique titles as well, games you can't get anyplace else, and many of them pretty damn good ones at that.


Plus, 40 years later and still going strong, each of these consoles now has tremendous support when it comes to an expanded choice of controllers for them, RetroGameBoyz happens to have similar tabletop controller systems as I already own one for the 5200 and will soon get on the queue for the ColecoVision version of that same one as well. Plus there are adapters and interfaces for each to expand controller choice whether it be digital or analog-based, as well as each can also play 2600 games on them (through an optional adapter).


Now if only Big Sexy had more love from the vintage gaming community enough to the point of someone perhaps making somewhat of a 5200 Flashback unit (with SD card slot and 4-port BIOS) or something similar to the CollectorVision Phoenix, we would all be all fine and dandy with that. Also, we need more unique, 5200-only titles like Keithen Hayenga come up with when he finished Tempest over 10 years ago. we need more pioneers like @Ryan Witmer to join him in the fold, Peter Meyer and the folks at Video 61/Atari Sales are doing their job of putting out unique titles for her, we need more of them to come here and step up to the plate and deliver for us, there are enough guys on the ColecoVision board here on AA who are already doing that for their followers, we can't afford to lose ground on them now can we???

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