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History of video games/Platforms/Atari 7800

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History[edit | edit source]

Development[edit | edit source]

The system was initially known as the Atari 3600,[1] with some prototype consoles bearing this marking.[2]

Launch[edit | edit source]

Atari 7800 logotype.

The Atari 7800 was announced in 1984, mothballed despite being ready for launch for two years following losses Atari sustained during the crash of 1983, and launched in 1986.[3] The system cost $140 on launch.[4]

Legacy[edit | edit source]

The Atari 7800 was discontinued in 1992.[5][6] 3.77 million Atari 7800 consoles were sold, with its peak sales year being 1988.[7]

The system is well regarded for it's clean yet techie design aesthetic.[8]

The Atari 7800 was meant to be followed by the Atari Panther, though was instead followed by the Atari Jaguar.

Games[edit | edit source]

The Atari 7800 is backwards compatible with the Atari 2600.[5]

Technology[edit | edit source]

Compute[edit | edit source]

The Atari 7800 uses an 8-bit Atari "Sally" (MOS 6502c) CPU clocked at 1.79 megahertz.[9]

The 7800 has 4 kilobytes of RAM.[9]

The Atari 7800 used a "Tia Maria" chip for graphics.[10] This chip allowed for the 7800 to display nearly 100 sprites.[11]

Gallery[edit | edit source]

Console[edit | edit source]

Controller[edit | edit source]

Console Internals[edit | edit source]

Notes[edit | edit source]

There are a number of popular sayings as to why the 7800 is named as such, including being (2600*3) or (2600+5200).[12]

External Resources[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. "Atari 7800 (1986-1992)" (in en). History of Console Gaming. 11 October 2016. https://hiscoga.wordpress.com/atari-7800-1986-1992/. 
  2. "Consolevariations - Atari 3600 (Atari 7800) Prototype Console" (in en). Consolevariations. https://consolevariations.com/variation/prototype/atari-3600-atari-7800-prototype. 
  3. Rignall, Jaz (30 April 2016). "Steve Golson Interview: The Story of Ms. Pac-Man, the Atari 7800, and the Hyperdrive" (in en). USgamer. https://www.usgamer.net/articles/steve-golson-interview-the-story-of-ms-pac-man-the-atari-7800-and-the-hyperdrive/page-2. Retrieved 28 October 2020. 
  4. "Atari 7800 - Game Console - Computing History". http://www.computinghistory.org.uk/det/15473/Atari-7800/. Retrieved 29 October 2020. 
  5. a b "CVGA Disassembled Third Generation (1983-1990) · Online Exhibits". https://apps.lib.umich.edu/online-exhibits/exhibits/show/cvga-disassembled/gamegen3. Retrieved 18 November 2020. 
  6. "Atari 7800 ProSystem (1987 - 1992)". 9 January 2014. https://obsoletemedia.org/atari-7800-prosystem/. Retrieved 28 October 2020. 
  7. "Atari 7800 Sales Figures (1986 - 1990)" (in en). www.gamasutra.com. https://www.gamasutra.com/blogs/MattMatthews/20090526/84050/Atari_7800_Sales_Figures_1986__1990.php. Retrieved 28 October 2020. 
  8. "Lance Barr Interview". nintendojo ~ a site to see. 13 February 2006. https://web.archive.org/web/20060213124455/http://www.nintendojo.com/interviews/view_item.php?1130801472. 
  9. a b "OLD-COMPUTERS.COM : The Museum". https://www.old-computers.com/museum/computer.asp?st=1&c=898. Retrieved 29 October 2020. 
  10. "An Atari Graphics Chip, Ready For You To Build". Hackaday. 10 November 2019. https://hackaday.com/2019/11/10/an-atari-graphics-chip-ready-for-you-to-build/. Retrieved 28 October 2020. 
  11. "The Atari 7800 Pro System - The Atari Museum". http://www.atarimuseum.com/videogames/consoles/7800/7800menu/. Retrieved 28 October 2020. 
  12. "Silly question, but any idea what the name means? 7800?". https://atariage.com/forums/topic/15801-silly-question-but-any-idea-what-the-name-means-7800/.