Issue 2

Feb/Mar 83

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First news of the Atari 1200 seems to be good news for 800 owners. The only reported improvements so far are that the 1200 has 64K and four programmable function keys. On the other side of the coin, the 1200 has only one cartridge slot and 2 controller ports. This obviously means that Atari have abandoned any plans to bring out software for that second slot, but then there are an awful lot of 800's about and maybe some enterprising independent software house will bring out a cartridge which will run on the 800 and not the 1200. Atari's argument for reducing the number of game controllers seems to be that there is not enough software around that needs to use 4 joysticks. One interesting thought though is that several people are beginning to develop printer interfaces that can be easily (and cheaply) connected to the existing 4 game ports. Could It be that these will not work with only 2 game ports and you will therefore be forced to buy the 850 interface once again? At something like 200 more for the 1200, one wonders why it is being brought out, but then maybe there is more inside, just like there is more in the 400's and 800's than the manuals would have you believe.

On the software front Atari have suddenly become very busy again. After what seemed to be a long while without any new games, Atari are now bringing out the arcade games in force. Galaxian has already been in the shops for 2 weeks and Defender should be available by the time you read this. Also in the pipeline in Qix although that may be a couple of months. On the serious side there should be a Microsoft Basic in ROM quite soon and also File Manager.

Choplifter, reviewed in the last issue should be available on ROM quite soon, so no need to buy that disk drive after all!

In the rumours department... watch out for a 3 inch Micro Drive at the end of the year and four-colour plotter-printer at only 150!

Atari have now come closer to sorting out the problems in repair delays by setting up a network of service centres around the U.K. Your local retailer should have a leaflet but if not, phone Atari on Slough (0753) 24561 for your nearest centre.

There's quite a buzz on the home front now as far as software goes. Apart from the new Adventure International mentioned last issue, watch out for U.K. written software from Liverpool based MicroSpot who hope to bring out a new game each month and a new series of Adventure games from Channel 8 Software. These promise to be of interest to those of you who have not upgraded, being 16K machine code adventures in the Scott Adams style, but written specifically for the Atari and featuring Display List Interrupts to add a bit more life to the text display. Expected to retail at 14.95

The new MicroNet service, heavily advertised in the computer press is expected to bring out an Atari compatible modem soon but no details yet of what software support can be expected.