The 7800 was the successor to the ill-fated Atari 5200 Super System, which had failed in the market due to lacking a native ability to play games from its popular Atari VCS / 2600 predecessor. As such, one of the fundamental design decisions for the 7800 was that it must accept the 2600's game cartridges. Originally launched in June 1984, the 7800 was not actually released to the market until January 1986, the delay being caused by the sale of Atari from Warner Communications to Jack Tramiel and a subsequent legal wrangle over who should settle bills relating to the 7800's development costs. It finally found its way into the EU market in 1987. The system supported graphics of up to 320x240 pixels (with PAL models upping the vertical resolution by a further 48 lines), with 25 on-screen colours from a palette of 256. In addition to playing the 2600 games, a range of 7800-specific cartridges were released to take advantage of its higher specification. Support for the 7800 ended in January 1992, along with that for the rest of Atari's 8-bit home computer and video game systems.
Atari, 1986

Donated/on loan from: Centre for Security, Communications and Network Research (CSCAN), Plymouth University

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