Atari 8-bit is a term used to describe a family of home computers made Atari from 1979-1987. The initial models were the Atari 400 and Atari 800 released in November of 1979. In 1983 the 600XL, 800XL, and 1200XL models were released. In 1985 the 65XE and 130XE were released. In 1987 the final model, the XEGS, was released, and Atari continued to support the 8-bit line until 1992. The computer family had thousands of software titles and games released for it as well as numerous hardware add-ons. Technologically, the computers were very similar to the Atari 5200 featuring the same 8-bit MOS 6502 CPU, sound chip, and various other internals. The 8-bit line was supplanted by the Atari ST when it was released in 1985.
Although my family never had any of the Atari 8-bit computers, they do play a minor role in my past. Around 1985, a friend of my aunt's owned one, and their child said we could play our Atari 2600 games on it, but I was disappointed to see that it used a different cartridge slot and was incompatible. Also, around 1988, a friend of my brothers owned a 65XE. He showed me various games on it, his printer program, and even showed me how to write a simple Atari BASIC programs. This sparked my interest in programming and made me seek out GW-BASIC and QuickBASIC, and ultimately led me to taking programming as a profession.
I have never owned a computer in the Atari 8-bit line, and have only very limited use with them.
I don't know the hardware well enough to write a review.
This is a list of Atari 8-bit software that is important to me.
- See all Atari 8-bit Games.