Atari 7800 Specifications

Atari 7800 (1984 Version) Next to Clear 7800 Prototype System

        Atari had very big plans for the Atari 7800.   They wanted to do it and do it right, many new and exciting ideas and products were being prepared for the Atari 7800's big introduction.   Atari had learned its lessons from the huge drop in sales on its Atari 2600 line caused by all the Colecovision hype.

The Original Label of the Atari 7800 is
quite different then the released versions

        Also Atari had learned from its Atari 5200 introduction with its lack-luster titles and poorly engineered controllers.    The Atari 7800 was shaping up within Atari in 1984 as its new hot killer console.   Had Atari under Warner Communications released the Atari 7800 with its usual high volume marketing campaign of blitzing the media with TV and magazine Ads, the Atari 7800 would have put Atari right back on the top.    However the spotlight and the glitz were not meant for the Atari 7800.   With all its new features and upcoming peripherals, the ill-timing of Atari changing hands to the Tramiel's marked the 7800's death.  

        Instead of the spotlight and the glitz and hype, the Atari 7800 became a shelved warehouse resident for almost 2 1/2 years, sitting patiently while the world of videogames was being reshaped by Nintendo and Sega.   When the Atari 7800 finally did appear, it came out of the gate limping...   Its high score cartridge was canned, its compatibility module for the Atari 5200 was canned, its computer Keyboard add-on was also canned.

      Many titles which were planned were not introduced until much later and with no media coverage, almost everyone who saw the Atari 7800 thought that Atari was out of business because of the lack of TV and magazine advertising and simply looked at the Atari 7800 and moved on.   It was the Nintendo Entertainment System that everyone wanted and now it was joined by the Sega Master System, other systems were starting to pop up onto the scene as well.   The Atari 7800's chance at being ontop was no where in site.