One of the original Atari 8-bit range, the 6502-based Atari 400 was one of two systems released to capitalise on the growing home computer market already, and to build upon Atari's existing success in video gaming. The 400 was released alongside the more powerful Atari 800, which bettered it by having a larger memory, two cartridge slots and a full keyboard. From an audio-visual perspective both systems were amongst the most powerful of their time, supporting 256 colours and 4-channel sound.
Unlike some other machines of the era, the 400 did not have BASIC permanently in ROM, but instead provided it as an add-on cartridge (plugging in under the cover on the top of the system). On the 800, the BASIC cartridge could be left in place while other software was interchanged in the second cartridge slot.
The 400/800 were the beginning of a long-running line of Atari 8-bit systems, with the same architecture later used in the XL and XE series (with the final outing being the XE Games System in 1987). Atari finally ceased support for the 8-bit range in 1992.
Donated/on loan from: Centre for Security, Communications and Network Research (CSCAN), Plymouth University
The 800XL is part of Atari's extensive family of 8-bit home computers, which began with the Atari 400 and 800 in 1979. The XL range essentially used the same technology (6502 processor alongside custom graphics and sound chips) as these earlier systems, but received a cosmetic overhall and, it t... (read more)Atari, 1983
The Falcon was the final computer product to emerge from Atari Corporation. Sharing a visual similarity with Atari's highly successful ST range, and using the same TOS operating system and GEM-based graphical environment, the system was based on a Motorola 68030 CPU and had 4MB of RAM. Graphics ... (read more)Atari, 1992
The Atari VCS (later known as the 2600) popularised the use of cartridge-based games as opposed to dedicated TV game hardware with all games built in. Originally shipped with a tank and plane warfare cartridge (Combat), the VCS utiltimatley played host to the hundreds of original games, as well ... (read more)Atari, 1977
A redesigned version of the Lynx handheld from 1989, which holds the distinction of being the first colour handheld game console. The 6502-based device hosted several innovations, including the use of custom graphics hardware (allowing polygon filling and zooming/distortion effects upon sprites)... (read more)Atari, 1991
The Portfolio distinguishes itself as the first PC-compatible palmtop computer, with Atari having licensed the technology from a Guildford-based company called DIP. Powered by an 80C88 processor running at 4.9152MHz, the Portfolio had 128K of RAM and 256K ROM. The latter held the operating sys... (read more)Atari, 1989
Atari BASIC Reference Guide, 61 pages (read more)Atari, 1983
Atari Computer 600XL/800XL Connection Instructions for PAL TV Systems, (read more)Atari, 1983
The 7800 was the successor to the ill-fated Atari 5200 Super System, which had failed in the market due to lacking a native ability to play games from its popular Atari VCS / 2600 predecessor. As such, one of the fundamental design decisions for the 7800 was that it must accept the 2600's game c... (read more)Atari, 1986