ATARI 7800

The Atari 7800 was released in 1986 to compete with the NES and the Sega Master System.  It was to late for the once powerful Atari Corp. The really cool thing about this system, is that it is compatible with all 2600 games.   The funny thing about all of these Atari systems is that they came out pretty close to one another.  This may account for the huge lull in video game sales back in the mid-'80s until the original Nintendo  came out.  An interesting story is that Nintendo came to Atari with their 8-bit Famicom system and the deal was botched at the last minute by Atari.  So instead of the Nintendo 8-bit from Atari, gamers were able to play games on the good, old 7800.  The 7800 was compatible with the 2600 (but not the 5200) which was the main reason why the 5200 didn't succeed.  Most of the games were similar to the NES but they didn't  have as many colors and nothing really came close to Super Mario Bros.  After the video game crash at the end of '83 Atari was left to single-handedly compete with the NES in 1985.  Guess what happened.

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Barry L. Laws, Jr.  on Wednesday, October 11, 2000 at 17:57:04
I started collecting the Atari 7800 earlier this year. I started off by buying three cartridges at a flea market for 
50 cents each (they were Xevious, Karateka [the only stinker in my collection], and Robotron [virtually arcade-
perfect]). After that, I got a 7800 system with 2 controllers, power supply, switch box, RF cable, boxed Asteroids, 
and boxed Galaga. Since then I have gotten several games in mint condition. The rarest of my collection has 
to be Motor Psycho (I think it is one of the rarest games for the 7800...and I got it in shrinkwrap condition). I 
think I now have 12 boxed games for the 7800, and 4 loose games (the above 3 plus Pole Position 2).

A note : I have heard that the 7800 is incompatible with the Arcadia/Starpath Supercharger. In fact, I have 
heard many timesof Superchargers being fried/blown by 7800s. I won't put my Supercharger in my 7800, 
so I would ask everybody to refrain from using a Supercharger with a 7800.

James Pemberton  on Thursday, March 2, 2000 at 10:59:16
If you're going to go retro, forget the 2600 and find a 7800.  It only has three drawbacks that might make you want a 2600. 

1 - Its power supply is unique.  If yours breaks, the only way to get another is to buy a whole new system, or pay the cost of a 
whole system just for the power supply.

2 - The controllers are awful.  Unless it's a game that requires both buttons, plug in a Sega Genesis controller; they work fine on 
most games, but only button B works. 

3 - More 2600 games don't work on it than most people will tell you.  While only a few won't work because of the programming, 
many will not work because the cartridge slot is slightly narrower than the 2600s.  This knocks out Tigervision games (Miner 2049er), 
and Imagic games (Atlantis, Cosmic Ark, etc.).  Imagic games can be forced in, but I mean FORCED. Insert them diagonally and
get one end hooked, and then push as hard as you can to get the other side to pop on.  I suppose you also have the option of cracking 
off the casing and plugging just the chip in, but who wants to do that?

Otherwise, it's a fun system.  The best title is Ms. Pac-Man. It's just like the original, and they fit the whole board on the screen, 
so no annoying scrolling.

Other neat titles to own are Apple //e ports, and some unique titles like Midnight Mutants (an RPG) and Ninja Golf (too weird to explain).

But you probably shouldn't buy this only for the 7800 games, because there aren't that many and they are hard to find.  What you're 
really buying here is a 2600 with the option of some souped-up cartridges.

And beware of a little sadness, the games are cool, and make you wonder what Atari could have done if they hadn't released the 5200.

All in all, of its Generation I think it looks better than the NES, and pales before the Sega Master System.  It even has a Super Mario 
Brothers knock-off "Junkyard Dog", a must-have if you get this system.

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