The 2800 was Atari's entry into the Japanese home videogame sweepstakes.
Although various companies like Epoch had imported and distributed the 2600
in Japan, it was never officially supported nor was it heavily promoted.
Essentially a re-styled 2600, the 2800 made its debut in the Spring of 1983.
Although it's not known why Atari decided to alter the design for Japan,
apparently Sears thought enough of the system to rename it the Sears Video
Arcade II and sell it in the US as such.
The 2800's design is reminiscent of the 5200, 7800 and 2600 Jr., which isn't
surprising given that Atari seemed to have an infatuation of black plastic and
the sleek black look that first originated from the unreleased remote-controlled
VCS (2700.) The controller is a combination joystick and paddle, although for
4-player gaming like with Warlords, 2 pairs of paddle controllers are still
Around 30 games were released by Atari in Japan. Although the boxes
were in Japanese and had a silver/red color that is similar to the 1982-83
2600 games released in the US (Joust, Centipede, etc.), the cartridges themselves
had identical labels as the ones that were available in America, most likely
to reduce costs.
Unfortunately, the 2800 never had a chance in Japan. It was brought
to market just months before Nintendo's Famicom (NES in America), where
Japanese gamers quickly snapped up all available Famicom systems as they
were brought to stores. Perhaps if Atari had released the system in 1979 or
1980, the 2800 might have had a shot.