Almost done with these articles, just two more Atari consoles to talk about. For their second and close to last console is the Atari XE or the Atari XEGS to be precise. Rather than just an average console, the XE is a console/computer at the same time. It was based on the Atari 65XE computer, and was completely compatible to the Atari 8-bit game library. So it can play like a video game console and function like a computer at the same time. Was first placed in the market back in 1987, still when the 7800 was still active in the market. Back then there were tons of computer systems to buy back then. It’s not like today where there’s only a couple to choose from, you’re either a MAC or Windows user as you can say in todays standards. But Atari having their own computer systems that seems unlikely in today’s standards.
With the support of Polish American business man Jack Tramiel(founder of the Commodore International, the company that made Commodore 64), the Atari company released two consoles in 1986, that includes the 7800 which was released two-year before to a test audience and the Atari 2600 Jr. The XE was released the following year as the latest computer system of Atari’s lineup starting with Atari’s first computers the 400 & 800. The purpose of releasing this system was to increase Atari’s sales in the market by providing a bigger variety of game systems. Regular boxes of the system came with a joystick, while the deluxe boxes came with an additional keyboard and light gun. The light gun is basically like the NES Zapper except it’s colored entirely gray.
Unfortunately the console didn’t help Atari improve their sales at the market, as it turns out that selling more than one type of console doesn’t mean better sales. It’s rather unusual for the XE to be paired with the 7800 & 2600 Jr. on the store selves. It’s like pick your poison, cause either of these consoles will do for video game entertainment. A few years later after the failure of the XE, Atari put their heads together for a whole know console to put in the gaming market, cause after they disbanded the 2600 & its successors. They know they’re going to need to release a console that can beat all the other competition out there. But how can they when Sega & Nintendo ruled the gaming industry back in the early 90s. So by 1993, Atari introduced the best they can offer: The Jaguar! What’s meant to be their savior from bankruptcy will ultimately become their biggest mistake since Atari 5200. Tune in next week to learn about the last Atari console.
For the mean time enjoy the commercials below which like the last three, these ones don’t have any gimmicks to them other than just showcasing what an XE can do.