- ATARI CX-2000 -

Atari CX-2000

  • Flash back to 1982. Atari's 2600 machine is feeling the heat from rival videogame systems, and Atari desperately needs to cut costs in order for the venerable machine to remain the price leader. What to do?

  • Well, there wasn't much Atari could do with the motherboard or chips (the 2600 had a pretty tight design as it was). The only solution was to eliminate much of the fat on the outside, including our beloved woodgrain finish. Enter "VAL", code-name for the VCS-compatible CX-2000 machine.

  • The Atari 2000 system differed in marketing strategy from the 2600jr model that was released later in the 2600's lifetime. First of all, the 2000 was meant as a complimentary machine to the 2600, not as a replacement. The 2000 was intended as an all-in one machine for kids, of all things. Whoever came up with the idea of integrated joysticks on the machine must have been smoking something very strong, because kids tend to be rough on electronic devices and the 2000's flimsy controllers (similar to the 5200) were not exactly suited to withstand heavy abuse. And what happens when the joysticks break? You have to take the entire machine in for servicing, of course. Smart idea, Atari!

    Blue CX-2000

  • Towards the end of VAL's development cycle, Atari decided to change the system to a light-blue color which was better suited to kids' tastes. In fact, it was exactly the same color used for the kids controllers (which did see the light of day).

  • To Atari's credit, they were wise enough to can the 2000 before letting the 2000 onto the market. The CX-2000 units shown above are two of the precious few still in existence today.

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