5200 Paddles Pic 1
With the standard 5200 controllers having so many perceived (and perhaps real) shortcomings, it's no wonder that Atari's engineers burned the midnight oil trying to come up with solutions to overcome the handicap. Here's another example of a perfectly good idea that never saw the light of day. Imagine being able to enjoy Super Breakout, Pole Position and Kaboom! with a paddle controller! To be fair, however, a self-centering, digital joystick would still have been the preferred item if push came to shove, what with the standard joysticks having analog support that did a serviceable job with its analog functions.

5200 Paddles Pic 2

This particular prototype was sent in from a reader of Digital Press ( for us to check out. Judging from the pics, some individuals might be led to believe that it's nothing more than a hack job (or a fake) that any casual hacker could put together overnight. But notice the "Rubio" sticker on the back of the paddle: we know for a fact that Rubio was an ex-Atari guy who worked on several 5200 projects (his name can also be found on the title screen of the Ticker Tape Demo). Chalk yet another item into the "unreleased 5200 prototype" memory bank.

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