I own both systems and was wanting to know a few personal opinions on which system is the best. Atari 5200 = HUGE with awful controllers, but fine arcade ports and Colecovision with slightly inferior graphics and sound(compare both version's Centipedes and Popeyes),but better controllers. In my opinion the Atari 5200 is the better console as the games are alot easier to find and enjoy although my Colecovision's controllers and expansion modules are very interesting to collect and better than the amount of add-ons that Atari provided (except both systems have a 2600 converter and trakball controller).
Yes, AB, you're right. Colecovision/ADAM = TI-99 = MSX1 = SG-1000/3000 as far as the video chipset (designed by Texas Instruments, I believe) is concerned. More advanced versions of that chipset would show up later in MSX2 computers, the Mark III/Master System/Game Gear, and the MSX Turbo-R.
I'd say ColecoVision, but to be fair, I do not own a 5200. The post-2600 Atari systems do not have much appeal to me. I picked up a ColecoVision only recently (I've wanted one for years), and I haven't been disappointed. I don't have any problems with the controllers personally, they're far better than INTV controllers. The ColecoVision has a good library of obscure/minor arcade hits and other titles that are exclusive to the system (I don't count MAME), which I what drew me to the system personally.
As for the Atari 5200, I had a chance to buy one in a local thrift store back about 3-4 years ago and I passed on it. Although I kind of regretted it shortly after, now I'm not so sure I need it. From what I've seen of the system, nothing has really impressed me. Many of the games are minor updates of Activision and Atari 2600 games, and others are done just as well or better on the CV. The CV is really weak on the sports titles, but the 5200 isn't much better. Realsports Baseball looks great, but I can't justify getting a system just for that. Plus, from what everyone says, it sounds like the controllers really suck. As much as I love Atari, the 2600 wasn't really a quality machine to begin with (Nolan Bushnell wanted to axe it and replace it with something better by '79), and the 5200 wasn't a significant improvement (Ray Kassar admitted that "the truth is, the SuperSystem is a piece of $h!t" in '82, and from what I've seen and heard, I tend to believe him!).
Choiplifter: To be honest, I never got ahold of the CV cart game (which is rather are) but I do have CHOPLIFTER on an Adam tape (on the "best of Broderbund: A.E. and Choplifter" tape) and I assume it must be the same as the CV game; if so again, best version I've seen, even sharper than the C64 one! The flag flutters in the breeze, stars twinkle in the sky, the copter rotates smoothly and all enemies are present EXCEPT, sadly, the airborne mines (not sure why)..but no big loss. I always loved this version and loathed the 7800 "remake" with the daytime clouds and squished sprites et al, it's a mess and not the same!
Actually PingvinBlueJeans, if you ever decide to buy a 5200, AtariAge sells a device called Redemption allowing you to use 2600,Sega genesis,7800, and PC controllers on your 5200. The games aren't bad but some ARE better on other systems such as the 7800. [/QUOTE]
Thanks Cody, I'll keep that in mind. Honestly though, I don't see myself picking one up any time soon. I really can't see myself buying a 5200 or 7800 when I already own a 2600, CV, NES, and SMS. Personally, I'm already at the point where I have too many games/systems as it is, and I'm trying to thin stuff out! ...I'm sure 5200 Berserk is great, but since I have 2600 Berserk and CV Frenzy, do I really need it? Do I need CV/5200 Popeye or 7800 Donkey Kong/Donkey Kong Jr. when I already own the (excellent) NES versions? Probably not...which is why the later Atari systems have little appeal to me. Let's face it...every system has its fans, but post-2600, Atari was not the innovative force in gaming. They were really getting lazy and still turning out the same stuff over and over (Asteroids, Centipede, Pac-Man, etc.), and I can only see Atari die-hards really being interested in that stuff, but that's just me.
Anyway, the 5200 has games that are unique or the best:
SPACE DUNGEON-like VENTURE in space. This is one of the best!
BERZERK-this version TALKS! Also random mazes and not as clunky
as on the 2600.
Joust-the 5200 is my FAVORITE version; controls like a dream!
Qix-best home version of the original arcade game!
MARIO BROS.-Again the best!
Vanguard-so much better than 2600, again! Great music!
I could go on but you get the picture. Oh, and I never thought the 5200 JOYSTICK was all that bad, it's the teeeny pez sized
buttons that ident your fingers!