The MasterControl 5200 is a new joystick interface for the classic Atari 5200 game console. The MasterControl 5200 is a microprocessor controlled, intelligent interface that allows any Sony Playstationtm joystick-type controller to be used as a replacement for the original Atari 5200 controller.

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Atari 5200 with MasterControl Interface

MasterControl 5200 connections

(click for larger images)

MasterControl 5200 circuit board

Enjoy DIGITAL and ANALOG control using a Sony Playstation analog controller joypad/joystick. Either the left or right analog stick may be used for equal comfort by left or right handed players. Arcade-style joysticks, joypads, or most any other Playstation controller that can be used as a 'joypad' or 'analog compatible' joypad may be used to control the 5200. Press the "ANALOG" button on the Playstation joypad and the stick is in analog mode-- use with Missile Command, Pole Position, Kaboom!, and other analog input games. Turn the analog mode off on the joypad and use the digital pad for precise 4 or 8 way control of games like Pacman, Miner 2049'er, Qix, or Defender.
Run most games completely from the Playstation controller-- or connect a 5200 joystick to the MasterControl for games that require full keypad operation. The MasterControl 5200 emulates the most common keypad buttons (start, pause, *, and #) so most games can be run from the Playstation controller alone. For games like Star Raiders or Countermeasure that use the keypad frequently, just connect your 5200 joytick (the joystick and fire buttons do not have to be functional) to the pass-through port on the MasterControl and the keypad buttons can be used simultaneously with the Playstation controller. The MasterControl is 100% compatible with 'finicky' games like Ms. Pacman, Qix, and Vanguard that can give older solutions (like the original "MasterPlay") problems.
The microprocessor in the MasterControl allows many "trick modes" of operation from the Playstation controller. In addition to the fully adjustable auto-fire functions, game specific joystick configurations can be selected from the Special Function buttons + another key. For example, the special Pole Position mode allows the car steering to be done using an analog stick, with the brake, accelerator, low gear, and high gear selections activated by the joypad fire buttons. For Meteorites, left and right rotation can be done by either the digital or analog stick, while hyperspace, thrust and fire are mapped to fire buttons. User definable buttons are supported and all settings are stored in non-volatile memory in the controller leaving your configuration intact the next time you play.
The MasterControl 5200 was demonstrated at the Classic Gaming Expo in August of 2003. Once the shipping backorder for the Vectrex to Playstation adapters is cleared I'll start taking pre-orders and beging production on the MasterControl 5200.

The MasterControl 5200 will be priced at $79.99

If you have any comments, suggestions, or questions, please feel free to contact me at:

2003, Clayton Cowgill

Updated: 10-28-2003