Atari 7800 - European version
The European version of the Atari 7800 had a slightly different styling to the case, and came with different controllers than the US version of the 7800. The logo was bigger, and so was the colorful bar on the aluminum decorative strip on the machine.
Atari 7800 Overview
The Atari 7800 was launched as the Atari 7800 Pro System in 1986 as the successor to both the Atari 2600 and the Atari 5200. Unlike the Atari 5200 the 7800 could run almost all the games that were released for the 2600.
The new system had improved graphics hardware over the previous consoles, but it still had the TIA on board to generate sound. Game makers were forced to get their games digitally signed by Atari, in an effort to improve the quality of the releases.
The 7800 has a custom variant of the 6502 CPU, the Atari SALLY. This CPU runs at 1.79MHz but drops to 1.19MHz if the TIA (for sound) or RIOT chips are accessed. The RIOT chip handled the Joysticks, and the RAM I/O timer
The system has better graphics than its predecessors:
- 160x240 NTSC, 160x288 PAL
- 320x240 NTSC, 320x288 PAL
There is a limit of 30 sprites per scan-line, and a total of 100 sprites on the screen. This is a huge leap from the Player Missile Graphics that the 2600 used. Sprites can be 4 to 160 pixels wide, with a height of 4, 8, or 16 pixels. Each sprite could have 1 to 8 visible colors, and 1 to 4 transparency bits.