The 7800 was Atari’s follow-up to the 5200 Supersystem, and was originally announced in 1984. Unfortunately, when ex-Commodore head Jack Tramiel took over the consumer division of Atari that year, he froze almost all video game projects to focus instead on the company’s 16-bit computer line. While the 7800 might have been a force to be reckoned with in 1984, the video game landscape had changed substantially by its eventual release in 1986, and Atari’s console struggled to make an impact in a market where heavyweights Nintendo and Sega were duking it out.
The ProSystem sold over 3.5 million units in four years, and produced some pretty good home translations of arcade hits like Dig Dug and Xenophobe. The gaming world, however, had moved on to the sprawling, original worlds of Super Mario Bros..For more on the history of the Atari 7800 ProSystem, consult your local Dot Eaters article.
The venerable Commodore 64 turns 30 this week, having been first introduced to the world at the 1982 Consumer Electronics Show (CES).
The C64 had a profound impact on two industries. Not only did its low price ($525 at retail, compared to $1200 plus for the base Apple II model) further Apple’s work at popularizing the computer for home use, the C64 became an incredibly prolific video game platform, on which many future game programmers cut their teeth.
It was a quirky system, especially the enormous 5140 floppy drive accessory, which was nearly the size of the computer itself, about 4 times the weight, and often seemed like it was going to shake itself off your desk while accessing information off 5 1/4″ disks. Despite this, the Commodore 64 became one of the most popular single computer lines ever, selling over 22 million units.
Although the 64K of internal memory in the C64 seems infinitesimally small, this powerhouse helped change the face of computing.