Atari 5200
Atari 5200



Setname:  a5200   
Year: 1982
Manufacturer: Atari
Status: good  works
Type: Home Computer
Emulation info
Overall emulation:  good   
Color emulation:  good  
Sound emulation:  good  
Graphics emulation:  good  
Savestates:  unsupported   

Tech info
 Base hardware: (available in all slot configurations)
M6502 ("maincpu")cpu 1789790 Hz
POKEY ("pokey")cpu 1789790 Hz
Speaker ("mono")audio
POKEY ("pokey")audio 1789790 Hz
Screen ("screen")raster horizontal 336 x 225 @ 59.923329
Media devices
cartridge ("cartleft") cartridge cart bin, rom, car, a52
BIOS options
default a5200
alt a5200 (alt)
RAM options
16K 16384
Software lists

 Optional hardware: (available with specific slot configurations)

 Configure the slot options for a5200:
 Slot Value

Show detailed info about 'Configurations' of this system

Television Artifacts Off

Show detailed info about 'Slot Options' of this system
Slot options

NameValueCompatible device(s)
sio cassettea8sio_cass

Romset info
ROM NameSizeCRC32SHA1Dump StateBIOS option
5200a.rom2048 c2ba26131d2a3f00109d75d2d79fecb565775eb95b7d04d5goodalt
5200.rom2048 4248d3e36ad7a1e8c9fad486fbec9498cb48bf5bc3adc530gooddefault


* CPU: Motorola 6502C (8-bit) 1.78 MHz
* RAM: 16K
* Colors: 256, 16 on-screen
* Resolution: 320x192
* Sound: 4-channel


MESS currently supports two Atari 5200 versions
* a5200 [Atari 5200]
* a5200a [Atari 5200 (alt)]

Both drivers support cart dumps in .rom, .bin and .a52 format, using the "cartridge" (cart) device.


The 5200 featured a controller with an analog joystick, numeric keypad, two fire buttons on both sides of the controller and game function keys for Start, Pause, and Reset.

Keyboard input is a little difficult, using a joystick or a mouse is recommended.

Known Issues

Most games are playable. See a5200.hsi for a fairly exhaustive compatibility list.

History and Trivia

The Atari 5200 was introduced in 1982, and was actually designed to be a competitor to the Intellivision, before ColecoVision entered the market. Developed under the name of "Pam" (Atari, at the time, typically named projects after well-endowed female employees), Atari
considered releasing it with that moniker; PAM in this case an acronym for "Personal Arcade Machine".

The 5200 shared much of the architecture of the Atari 400/800 computers, but featured a different cartridge connector and completely different controllers. Non-centering analogue joysticks which offered a full 360 degrees of mobility, were both innovative and unreliable. Other controller features included a keypad, and an ahead-of-its-time pause button.

The Atari 5200 suffered from its initial incompatibility with the VCS/2600 (an adapter was later released) and fierce competition from Coleco. When Warner Communications sold Atari Corp. to the Tramiels in 1984, they quickly removed it from the market.

== Different versions of the Atari 5200 ==

* The initial 1982 release of the system featured four controller ports, where all other systems of the day had only two ports. It also featured the innovation of the first automatic TV switchbox, allowing it to automatically switch from regular TV viewing to the game system signal when the system was activated (previous RF adapters required the user to slide a switch on the adapter by hand). A single cable coming out of the 5200 plugged into the switch box was used for both electricity and the television signal.

* The 1983 release of the Atari 5200 saw a scaled down controller port (2 instead of 4 ports) and a change back to the more conventional separate power supply and standard (non autoswitching) RF switch. It also saw changes in the cartridge port address lines to allow for the Atari 2600 adaptor released that year. While the adaptor was only made to work on the 2 port version, modifications can be done to the 4 port to make it line compatible. Furthermore, towards the end of the 4 port production run there were also an extremely limited number of 2600 adaptor compatible consoles produced. These much harder to find 4 port versions can be identified by an asterisk in the serial number.

(info on the different hardware versions based on Wikipedia)


* (covers many classical systems) --
* Dan B's Atari 5200 Tech Page --
* Atari Age --
* Atari Museum --

Other Emulators

Dedicated Emulators

* Jum52 (Jum's A5200 Emulator) --
* Virtual Super System (Dan Boris' 5200 emulator) --
* kat5200 --

Atari 400/800/XL/XE Emulators also supporting Atari 5200 (due to hardware similarity)

* Atari800 --
* Atari++ --
* Atari800Win Plus --
* Rainbow --

Edit the History info for this game.


Back to Home Page