During the VCS's early years, Atari toyed with several ideas on how
to improve upon the machine. One such project was a remote control
system, dubbed the 2700. It was also known within the research department
as the "RC (Remote Control) Stella". This sleek and modern looking system
was planned as the natural evolution of Atari's best-selling VCS.
Unfortunately, several design flaws prevented the system from ever
becoming a reality.
Although Atari ultimately decided against bringing the 2700 to market,
many of the 2700's innovations (and flaws) were implemented in Atari's
next generation machine, the 5200 SuperSystem. The sleek, sexy exterior
of the 2700 was the inspiration for the 5200, 7800 and the "2600jr"
machines. The area above the cartridge slot was a handy storage bin
which housed the controllers when they were not being used. And like
the 5200's controller, the joystick do not self-center.
Although several factors conspired to doom the 2700, the biggest
problem had to do with the remote control itself. The radio signals
sent from the 2700 to the controllers were unreliable, making accurate
inputs with the joystick an exercise in frustration. When Atari later
solved this problem, they opted instead to release a (optional remote
control joystick for the 2600 instead of the costly 2700.