Hey. Follow us and stuff.

Look how social we are.

 

Atari's XE Game System is part of gaming's forgotten history

4/19/12 12:00pm

Editor's Note: Republished with permission from Patrick Scott Patterson, be sure to head over to his Examiner page to view a gallery of Atari XE games! Scott also provides a collection of commercials in the video below.

A lot of notable anniversaries in video game history will take place during the course of the year. Others may not be as notable, as we'll learn about today.

The Atari XE Game System (XEGS) turns 25 years old this year, a date that most industry experts might not notice. Thanks to the efforts of Nintendo and a series of new hits in the arcades the video game industry had come roaring back in 1987. Former industry king Atari wanted a piece of it, and tried in several different ways.

After re-releasing the original Atari 2600 as a value priced system and shipping the previously cancelled Atari 7800 product from warehouses, Atari introduced the XEGS in 1987. Little more than a redressed Atari 8-bit personal computer, the XEGS aimed directly at Nintendo in television commercials, touting it's own lightgun and items such as keyboard, disc drive and joystick.

The XEGS also boasted of a huge library of games available for play due to backward compatibility with previous Atari products. While technically true, the game library was deeply aged by the time the XEGS hit store shelves. Most of the XE branded games in stores were simply repackaged Atari computer game titles while others were translations of other home computer licenses as Nintendo had exclusive deals signed for almost every other arcade hit.

The Nintendo Entertainment System had gained more than 90 percent of the market by 1988, leaving the XEGS in the dust along with Atari's other product. It wasn't the last time Atari took aim at Nintendo, however. Years later Atari would introduce it's own handheld system, the Lynx, to compete with Nintendo's GameBoy. In 1993 they also introduced the 64-bit Jaguar, the last new console released by the legendary Atari.

Despite a short run, the XEGS and games can be found on eBay and other online sites fairly easily today.

More wicked cool stories and video from around the web. Got tips for us? Tips@ScrewAttack.com

g1 Discussions

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ScrewAttack's media platforms.

ScrewAttack Classics

This Weird VHS Tape We Fo...

Made popular in 2012

The Red Ring Towel Trick

Made popular in 2007

Video Game Vault - Dudes...

Made popular in 2006

The ScrewAttack Gauntlet...

Made popular in 2011

Beat That Soulja Boy | Cl...

Made popular in 2014