What was the deal with the Atari 5200 in Canada?

I’m not big on reblogging posts but the main question of the piece still remains. I have a bigger readership than I did back in 2016, so maybe somebody can enlighten me.

Woodgrain Wonderland

Like most classic gamers whose interest in video games goes back further than the NES, I’m a little obsessed with the game crash of 1983: why it happened, how it happened and what companies were actually to blame. Atari generally gets the brunt of the blame – perhaps unfairly, perhaps not. Yes, they did rush supposed-worst-game-of-all-time E.T. to market and overproduced the number of cartridges, but that is really more of a symbol of the crash than the actual cause. Worst thing they did with E.T. is overestimate the literacy of young Gen Xers by expecting them to actually read the manual (seriously, the game is not that hard, folks).

atari5200However, I have come here not to hail Caesar but to bury him. There are marketing decisions made by Atari back then I simply do not understand. For one, I still cannot figure out for absolute certainty whether or not…

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