Task: Purchase an Atari 7800
Needed: Web browser
Time: 15-30 minutes
The Atari 7800 ProSystem was everything the Atari 5200 should have been. Released in 1986, the 7800 was smaller than the 2600 and backward compatible with the 2600 cartridges and joysticks. This should have been the successor to the 2600 and, had they released it earlier, could have prevented Nintendo from dominating the console market in the late 1980s. I never had a 7800 back in the 1980s but have several now and really like the machine. If you don’t yet have an Atari 8-bit console, this is the one to get. The only weird thing is the power supply that has a very different connector than the other consoles and 8-bit Atari computers of the time. Not sure why they did that.
These are plentiful on eBay and sell for anywhere between $50 and $150 depending on the seller and what comes with them. $75 to $100 seems like a reasonable price if it is in good condition, the seller has tested it, and it comes with a few cartridges.
Note that the 7800 only has RF video out which means you have all the same display challenges as the 2600. My favorite game for the 7800 is Dark Chambers. I plan to do a post on this game soon.
The 7800 GameDrive provides an SD card solution for loading games onto the 7800.