atari

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Related to Atari game consoles, games, or computers.
Bill Loguidice's picture

Pitfall! Atari 2600 World Record Shattered

David Crane's Legendary Pitfall! for the Atari 2600 VCSDavid Crane's Legendary Pitfall! for the Atari 2600 VCSThe record for completing the Atari 2600 (Video Computer System (VCS)) version of David Crane's Pitfall! (Activision, 1982) in the quickest time has been shattered. The new record is now 1 minute and 28 seconds left with no deaths! For anyone who has played the game, they know this is an incredible accomplishment, particularly after all these years and all the countless games played by countless people.

It seems the world record breaker used a map to help himself out. All hail the power of the map...

Bill Loguidice's picture

Frog Feast - New Homebrew for Sale for Sega, SNK Neo Geo and many other systems!

Frog Feast - Sega CD Version - 2005 (RasterSoft)Frog Feast - Sega CD Version - 2005 (RasterSoft)File this one under "surprised". It seems that RasterSoft has developed and released Frog Feast on cartridge for the Sega Genesis (Mega Drive compatible), which is also available on Sega CD, SNK Neo Geo CD & MVS, IGM PGM and Capcom CPS-1 formats. Other versions planned include Commodore Amiga CD32, FM Towns Marty, Philips CD-I, NEC Turbo Duo and Atari Jaguar CD, though all of those have preview versions already available for download. RasterSoft has also seen fit to release the source code to several of the versions.

Frog Bog - Original Intellivision Version - 1982 (Mattel)Frog Bog - Original Intellivision Version - 1982 (Mattel)It seems the game was inspired by Mattel's original 1982 classic Frog Bog, which also spawned an Atari 2600 version called Frogs and Flies. It seems though that Mattel itself was inspired by Gremlin's 1978 arcade game, Frogs, which utilized a background overlay. While is some ways Frog Feast is actually graphically less rich than the Mattel version(!), it's refreshing to see a homebrew game inspired by something a bit different than the norm.

Matt Barton's picture

Atari 7800 Double Dragon: A Comparative Look

Author: Mark Wiesner Jr.
Editing: Bill Loguidice, Buck Feris and Matthew D. Barton
Online Layout: Buck Feris
Notes: All screenshots were provided with permission from the following sources – Atari Age and The Video Game Museum

Title screen of Double Dragon for the Atari 7800. Reprinted with permission from Atari Age.

Bill Loguidice's picture

Atari - A Tale of Two Systems, Part I: Atari 5200 and Atari 7800

Author and Photography Credit: Bill Loguidice
Editing: Christina Loguidice
Online Layout: Buck Feris
Notes: Portions of this article's text were previously produced by the author for and appeared at OLD-COMPUTERS.COM. All photographs were taken directly of the actual products in the author's private collection.
Special Thanks: Matt Barton

The Atari 5200 SuperSystem, released in the US in late 1982, was the direct follow-up to the highly successful Atari 2600 (VCS), and predecessor of the Atari 7800 ProSystem. Atari chose to design the 5200 around technology used in their popular Atari 400/800 8-bit computer line, but was not directly compatible, unlike Atari's much later pastel-colored XEGS (XE Game System) console. The similarities in hardware did allow for relatively easy game conversions between the two systems, however, particularly when porting from the computer line to the 5200.

The Atari 5200, as designed, was more powerful than Mattel's Intellivision and roughly equivalent to Coleco's ColecoVision, both of which were the 2600's main competition at the time and the systems Atari had to target in order to remain technologically competitive in the console marketplace. Besides the unusually large size of the 5200 console, the controversial automatic RF switch box (incompatible with many televisions of the day without the included adapter) that also supplied power to the system and the innovation of four controller ports (the Atari 800 computer also featured four controller ports), the most notable feature of the system was the inclusion of analog joysticks, which to the frustration of most gamers were fragile and did not self center (or as "The Game Doctor", Bill Kunkel, put it, "dead fish floppo"), but had a keypad that accepted overlays and featured one of the first pause buttons. Part of the 5200's girth accommodated storage for these controllers to the rear of the console, as well as a wire wrap underneath.

Atari 5200 with standard controller displaying Alienating a significant number of Atari 2600 users, the Atari 5200 was not backwards compatible with the popular system, requiring the purchase of all new software. With a lackluster initial game line-up, featuring cartridges with versions of software like "Pac-Man", "Space Invaders" and "Breakout" that were already available on other systems, there was little incentive for many consumers to not consider the competition when upgrading consoles. With the poorly designed controllers, the few games that were otherwise impressive technically were difficult to control. For games actually designed around the non-centering analog joysticks, like Atari's own "Countermeasure" or "Space Dungeon", the system fared much better, but unfortunately these types of games were few and far between.

Realizing some of their mistakes, Atari released a smaller, two controller port Atari 5200 with a standard television switch box and independent power supply. In addition, the company released an Atari 2600 cartridge adapter to directly address an advantage that Mattel and Coleco had for their systems. Unfortunately, this add-on did not work with most of the 4-port 5200 models without significant modifications to the consoles themselves.

Despite all of these set-backs, the Atari 5200 had a slow, but steady user growth cycle. Other hardware, like the trak-ball, was well designed and received good overall software support. The joystick holders that came with certain games, like "Robotron: 2084", were appreciated by hardcore gamers for allowing arcade authentic simultaneous use of two joysticks. Third party software support was fairly limited, but there were many games in development right up to early 1984. Unfortunately, by 1984, the console game market as a whole was mired in the throes of the infamous videogame crash, which left no mainstream console survivors or software support.

Matt Barton's picture

Tron + Atari Flashback 2 = Tron 2600

Encom Case Mod: Russ Caslis's Tron 2600 Atari Flashback 2 case mod.Encom Case Mod: Russ Caslis's Tron 2600 Atari Flashback 2 case mod.If you love classic Atari and Tron, then I have a nice treat for you today. A few weeks ago I was contacted by Russ Caslis, a PC case modder, about his latest project: Tron 2600, a special case modification for the Atari Flashback 2. The finished box looks like the "Encom Corporate Case" from the movie Tron. Caslin really had some fun with this project and has put together a very nice website with illustrations--I suggest you check it out.

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