ATARI AT THE FAIR
by Peter Ellison
by Peter Ellison
The highlight of the Winter Consumers Electronic Show took place on the first morning, January 5, 1985, at the Atari booth where ceremonies were held at which Mr. Jack Tramiel, Chairman of the Board of Atari, Inc., presented his new organization to the Public. This event was opened by Mr. James Copland, Vice President of Marketing, who gave a brief speech describing how Mr. Tramiel started, and stating why he believes Atari will become the number one personal computer company in America. Following this, Mr. Tramiel spoke, explaining that Atari was going to change its image from that of a game company to that of a microcomputer organization. Finally, the Governor of Nevada spoke, stating that Mr. Tramiel hoped to, one day, open a manufacturing plant in Nevada.
The public interest in Atari was effectively demonstrated by the extremely large crowd that had assembled well before the ceremonies were scheduled to begin. One hour before the opening, it was virtually impossible to move in that area of the hall.
Apart from the ceremony itself, a word must be said about the Atari booth. It, being one of the more attractive and effective displays at the fair, reflected the new spirit of enthusiasm and creative thinking that Mr. Tramiel and his organization have brought to Atari. Of course, the exciting news was of the new line of Atari products that were announced at this time. These consisted of the following: New computers in the 16-Bit category, including the 130ST which will have 128K, and sell for under $400 U.S., the 260ST which will contain 256K, and sell for under $500 U.S., and, the top of the line, the 520ST which will have 512K, and sell for under $600 U.S. (refer to the article on the new l6-bit machines in this issue).
New 8-bit computers include the 65XE which replaces the 800XL, and will continue to sell at under $120. The 130XE is well under $200. There is also a portable 65XEP, including a 3 1/2" disk drive and a very clear 5" green monitor, which has no set price at this time. These computers are all compatible with Atari's earlier 8-bits. When the polyphonic AMIE sound chip is finished, around March, it's supposed to go into an alternate 64K machine called the 65XEM which will be priced in between the 65XE and the 130XE.
As you can see from the foregoing list, Atari is now a new company with new ideas and new inspiration, promising a brighter future for itself and for everyone using its products.