Atari - Console  Atari 7800 - US
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Atari 7800 - US Version

The US version of the Atari 7800 had a slightly different styling to the case, and came with different controllers than the European version of the 7800

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 palette of 16 colors, in 16 intensities, which results in a palette of 256 colors. Some restrictions for the number of colors in sprites exist, depending on which graphic resolution is used.

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.

By Atari CPU MOS 6502C @1.19MHz Memory 4K RAM Sound 1 channel Sprites Atari Player Missile Graphics (PMG) Display 160x192 128 color (4 color per scanline) Display Chip MARIA custom chip @ 7.16 MHz Sound Chip none CPU Class ALL Developed by Atari
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Atari  7800 - US
Books & Publications
Programming and other books for the 8-bit Atari line (400/800/XL/XE) of computers.
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A.N.A.L.O.G. Atari Newsletter And Lots Of Games
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