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GENERAL HARDWARE TIDBITS
5200 Hotel Unit
A console made by Spectravision (not to be mistaken for the
third party publisher of 2600 games, that's a different
Spectravision) that was used in hotels and motels. This unit
had a selection switch for television, movies and games. Game
boards were able to be added by placing them into a 4-game
internal cartridge board rack.
Recently discovered, this device was planned to compliment
5200 Asteroids. The control layout is identical to the
coin-op. Only one of these items is known to exist.
A prototype system that is completely compatible with the
(4-port) 5200. It was a trimmed down version of the 5200, much
like how the 2600jr. was a low-cost redesign of the woodgrain
Atari 5200 Carrying Case
Made of durable hard plastic and shaped like a suitcase, it can
store the console, power supply and two joysticks. Similar to
the cases found in Blockbuster video for systems that it rents
out to its customers.
Atari 7800 Cartridge Adapter
Announced but never released. This adapter would have allowed
5200 owners to play 7800 games without buying the 7800 system
separately (although the savings would probably have been
Atari 5200 Joystick Coupler
Allowed dual-joystick action for Robotron: 2084 and Space
Dungeon by snapping two 5200 joysticks into place using this
connector. Packaged with both Robotron: 2084 and Space Dungeon,
and was not sold separately.
Atari Video System X
The working title of the 5200 before Atari opted for a
numerical designation for its "third wave" videogame system.
Actual photos of the VS-X, which looked almost exactly like the
5200 with the exception of a few cosmetic differences such as on
the face plate, were shown throughout contemporary magazines
for much of 1982.
Competition Pro Joystick
An excellent third-party controller, the Competition Pro is
micro-switch based, giving a satisfying "click, click" response
to movements in the joystick. (Arguably) Better than the Wico
Command Control Joystick, but harder to find.
Here's a novel approach. Since games like Pac-Man require
pin-point precision control (something the 5200 sticks are
incapable of), Newport Controls decided to limit the movement
of the stick. They designed a piece of plastic that goes over
the top of a standard controller. It has grooves that only
allows the stick to go up, down, left, and right. A steal for
the $6.95 they originally sold for; so how come there aren't
more of these floating around?
Fire Command Joystick
Offering a slightly different feel than its non-analog cousin
for the 2600, the 5200-compatible version featured two buttons
and a y-adapter that must be connected to the keypad for full
compatibility (like the Wico and Competition Pro).
Allowed its owners to program 5200 games using an Apple
Similar to the 2600 Kid's Controller, only one prototype of
this peripheral is known to exist. Astro Grover and Big Bird's
Hide & Seek are but two of the titles believed to support this
Without a doubt, this is the ultimate solution to your
5200 joystick woes. Quite simply, this handy little box allows
you to use 2600 compatible joysticks on the 5200 and has a port
to plug in a standard Atari joystick for keypad functions, etc.
For games that required the top fire button on a standard
stick, the Masterplay comes packaged with an auxiliary fire
button that does the job very well. There are two different
boxes available for the Interface; one is similar to a cartridge
box and the other is a smaller yet wider box. Both the
Masterplay Interface and Meteorites are sometimes listed as
being made by a company called Intellicon. In actuality,
Intellicon was nothing more than a mail-order company that
bought and sold off the remaining inventory from Electra Concepts.
Recently discovered, this device is identical in appearance to
the standard 5200 joystick controller, except that a paddle is
found on the top of the controller where the joystick is
POP Demo Kiosk
POP stands for Point Of Purchase. These demo units allowed
gamers to sample several 5200 carts. Much like the demo kiosks
for newer systems.
A home exercise bicycle with two hand grip controllers, a wheel
speed pickup, and the necessary interfacing for an Atari
computer or 5200. For detailed information, see the Puffer
section elsewhere in this FAQ.
Trak-Ball Controller (Transparent)
Recently discovered, the clear Trak-Ball was used for
promotional purposes only and was never planned for release.
Triga Elite Joystick
Only a very few of these were made. It is not known whether
they made it past the prototype stage and onto store shelves.
This joystick had two fire buttons, an adjustable rapid-fire
button, and a digital - analog switch. A picture can be seen on
the back of the Masterplay Interface box (2nd stick from the
Voice Commander Module
Milton Bradley and Atari were jointly associated with this
speech synthesis/recognition device, where Milton Bradley was to
develop the add-on while Atari was responsible for developing
games for it. However, Atari canned the idea shortly
thereafter. A module for the 2600 was also planned, but it too
was axed before development went too far. Milton Bradley later
sued Atari for breach of contract.
Wico Command Control Joystick
An analog (but self-centering) controller that featured two
fire buttons and the ability to calibrate the joysticks. Came
packaged with a y-adapter cord which enabled the use of keypad
functions of the standard 5200 controller.
Wico Command Control Numeric Keypad
A stand-alone keypad which substituted for the 5200 joystick
keypad when used in conjunction with the Wico joystick.
Although this item had a 9-pin connector, it was only compatible
with the Wico controller. Sold separately from the joystick.
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