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Official VSS Homepage

VSS (Virtual Super System) is arguably the best Atari 5200 emulator among the three currently available. It's for MS-DOS, and it's FREE. The current version runs about 95% of the ROM images almost flawlessly, and at a reasonable speed even on a 486 DX2/66. On a Pentium system the emulator gets close to, or better than full speed on a lot of games. To use this emulator you will need a copy of the 5200's 2K BIOS ROM, and 5200 ROM cart images.

Unlike all the other emulators in this roundup, VSS is a dedicated, 5200-only emulator.

Official Rainbow Homepage

Rainbow is an Atari 8-Bit Emulator that allows Atari 8-bit Computer and 5200 game images to run on the Macintosh or Windows95/NT. Currently, only a preview demo is downloadable for Win95/NT, with the shareware version expected momentarily. A full shareware version for the Macintosh has been available for some time.

Here's a quick rundown of key features in the full shareware version:

* Accepts 16K and 32K ROMs for 5200.
* Fast full and medium screen displays.
* True 256 Atari colors.
* Full ANTIC/GTIA graphics, namely all ANTIC modes, Player/Missile Graphics, fine scrolling and Display List interrupts.
* Four joysticks (via keypad) and four paddles (using mouse)

Homepage Unavailable

Pokey, like VSS, is a free Atari Computer emulator for DOS that can also emulate the 5200 if you have the 5200's 2K BIOS ROM. It is one of the earlier Atari 5200 emulators and is quite outdated. For instance, the only way you can get sound is if you build yourself a Pokey sound card and install it.

Pokey features:

* 320 X 200 screen (scrollable) or Mode X (320 X 240 or 360 X 240)
* Supports two PC joysticks (swapple on the fly or upon loading)
* DLI and VBI supported.
* All ANTIC modes.
* Player-missile graphics with collision detection
* GTIA graphics
* Horizontal and vertical fine scrolling
* System monitor.

For Windows 95/98/NT

This is a fine Atari 8-bit computer and 5200 emulator for Unix, Amiga, MS-DOS and Falcon and was originally written by David Firth. The 5200 mode currently support about 80% of all ROM images, which is slightly less than what VSS currently manages to achieve. With sound turned on, you will need a fast (Pentium II) PC to run at full speed.

Official Homepage

This is an up-and-coming DOS emulator that is constantly being tweaked and refined by James (who calls himself "Jum" for some reason), and it has recently been ported to the Windows, BeOS and Mac operating systems. Definitely worth a look.

Official MESS Page

Call MESS the MAME for the home. MESS is a free emulator that supports a TON of home game consoles and computers, including the Atari 5200. The current release supports almost 100 systems! It is written in C and the source code is available for download. Ready-made binaries are available for a variety of systems.


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