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Atari 7800

Legacy of the Atari 7800

The Atari 7800 was made as the successor of the Atari 5200 during the 8-bit generation of Video Games. Originally produced in 1984, the 7800 was shunned by Atari’s leaders claiming they did not want to produce any more video games. Not till they witnessed the success of the Nintendo NES, Atari released the 7800 in 1986.

While the Atari 7800 was a brand new system, the basic architecture was based on the Atari 2600 allow full backward compatibility with Atari 2600 games and accessories.

The Atari 7800 had a power processor named the MARIA chip; this allowed games to run much smoother and was capable of displaying up to 100 items on screen. While the sound processor built into the Atari 7800 was not great due to size issues, some games, such as Ballblazer and Commando, had a superior POKEY sound chip built into the cart.

Even though the Atari 7800 did not have as many games, or a diverse collection such as the Atari 2600, it did have a share of great games such as: Robotron, Galaga, Alien Brigade, Asteroids, Centipede, Ms. Pac-Man, Dark Chambers, Food Fight and Tower Toppler.