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12-08-2019 at 05:57 AM
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Question to Atari 2600 experts

Does Atari 2600 console "overheat" if you play it for a long period of time. For example playing one game for 10-15 hours straight. Would this be possible or is there a high chance of the game going to a "tilt"?

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  1. Rogerpoco's Avatar

    Never say never, but I've never had any problems with the 2600 overheating, at the unit or in the PSU.

    Almost "better" than most other systems I've played in that regard, the 2600 is a pretty tough machine.

    Others will have to chime in about marathon play-I DON'T do that, but I do keep my 2600 powered on most of the day sometimes, playing different games.

    I think you are safe tho, I don't think you can overheat the 2600.

    Good Luck!!!

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  2. RTM's Avatar

    While the 2600 itself can hold up well, I had issues with the connecting wires between the console and the TV with the 2600 that I re-bought back in 1998. My cat would saunter by and moving one or more of the wires and so much for the game in progress. I'm guessing the wires were less than perfect.

    The carts can get pretty hot but don't otherwise stop performing.

    Odds are your joystick...but more likely your paddles...will give out far earlier than the system would. Anecdotal evidence suggests that the console can still perform well even after being left on for periods well in excess of 24 hours (and then some).

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  3. Garrett Holland's Avatar

    Ive left a 2600 on for days and it didn't even so much as get warm, much less overheat. Atari intentionally put in a very low-performing 6502 CPU and other components, so there is next to no risk of overheating. Also, unlike some other classic consoles like the Intellivision, the power supply (one of the usual suspects for temperature issues) is an external, separate component.

    If you have a 2600 that's getting warm, that would be very odd.

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  4. Marcade's Avatar

    Id say, the 2600 "gamer" gets overheated, not the console!

    Adapters, yes, a few of them went GFG, via overheating. Consoles, never had them overheat... Even though I am on my 3rd one in 40 years! Heh.

  5. Snowflake's Avatar

    my asteroids marathon was on the sears telegames which has the exact same interals as the vcs, just a different stamp on the shell, for 40 hours. so i can tell you it can last at least 40 hours straight

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  6. Snowflake's Avatar

    and i didnt even need to get my referree brother to verify it! publicly performed and transparent for all to see.

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  7. RTM's Avatar

    Quote Originally Posted by Garrett Holland
    Ive left a 2600 on for days and it didn't even so much as get warm, much less overheat...If you have a 2600 that's getting warm, that would be very odd

    RTM REPLY - odd indeed, but the carts can get hot when left on for that long.

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  8. datagod's Avatar

    The cards will give off heat, as they are read using electric current. The system itself will produce the bulk of the heat. If you are worried, I strongly suggest putting it up on blocks to give it good airflow. Alternatively, you could use a large glass or metal block to act as a heat sink.

  9. TB-303's Avatar

    Did 34 hours on Asteroids on a light sixer VCS. No overheating, console still runs fine as it did previously. Of course it will generate heat and your cart will also be warm as usual, but it's nothing too serious.

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