Atari 8-bit

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Atari 8-bit family
Developer Atari, Inc.
Type Home computer
Release date 1979
Discontinued 1992
Introductory price $549 (Atari 400)
$999 (Atari 800)
Successor ST
For emulators that run on the Atari 8-bit, see Emulators on Atari 8-bit.

Atari 8-bit is a series of 8-bit home computers introduced by Atari in 1979 and manufactured until 1992. It includes the Atari 400, 800, XL, XE and the home video game console version Atari XEGS. Due to the hardware similarity, most Atari 8-bit emulators can also emulate the Atari 5200.


Name Platform(s) Latest version Models libretro Accuracy FLOSS Active Recommended
PC / x86
Atari800 Windows Linux macOS FreeBSD 5.2.0 400, 800, XL, XE Cycle
Altirra Windows 4.21 400, 800, XL, XE, XEGS Cycle
Atari++ Windows Linux macOS FreeBSD 1.84 400, 800, XL, XE Cycle
MAME Windows Linux macOS FreeBSD 0.267 Good: 400, 800
Basic: XL, XE
? ~
Pantheon Windows 14.062 800, XE Mid ~
Atari800Win-PLus Windows 4.1 400, 800, XL, XE, XEGS ?
Rainbow Windows macOS 2.2.0 (Windows)
1.6.1 (macOS)
400, 800, XL, XE ? ~[1] TBD
XEGS-DS Nintendo DS git 400, 800, XL, XE, XEGS Mid
WiiXL Wii git 400, 800, XL, XE Mid
Atari800DC Dreamcast 0.78 400, 800, XL, XE Mid
PokeyDS Nintendo DS January 18, 2009 400, 800, XL, XE Low


Atari 400[edit]

The Atari 400 was released in November 1979 and retailed for $549.95. It had a 6502 CPU at 1.79 MHz with 4 KBs of RAM. It had 3 graphics modes, 24 X 40 text, 160 x 96 with 128 colours, and 320 x 192 in B&W.

Atari 800[edit]

The Atari 800 was also released in November of '79 alongside the Atari 400. It retailed for $999.95 with a 6502 CPU at 1.8 MHz and 8 KBs of RAM. It had the same graphics modes as the Atari 400.

Atari 1200XL[edit]

The Atari 1200XL was released in March of '83 and retailed for $899.99 with a 6502C CPU at 1.79 MHz. It had 64 KBs of RAM with 5 text modes, with the max being 40x24 and the min being 20x12, and 12 graphics modes, with the max being 320x192.

Atari 600 XL[edit]

The Atari 600 XL was released in January of '83 and retailed for $199.99 with the 6502C CPU at 1.79 MHz with 16 KBs of RAM.

Atari 800 XL[edit]

The Atari 800 XL was released in January of '83 alongside the Atari 600 XL and had the same CPU as the 600 XL but with 64 KBs of RAM.

Atari XEGS[edit]

427984Atari XE Games System-gen1.jpg

The Atari XE Video Game System (XEGS) was based on Atari's 8-bit 65XE computer and was released in the Fall of '87. It retailed for $159 and had a 6502C CPU at 1.79 MHz with 64 KBs of RAM. The operating system for most of the XEGS units is called the XE ROM revision C. That specification is the same as any other Atari computer (i.e., 800/XL/XE) that had that ROM, which is usually why no separate software was needed to emulate this console's hardware. The XEGS is backward compatible with the Atari 8-bit computer software library. The console could be turned into a computer with its specially designed keyboard and, while in computer mode, use most of the peripherals released for Atari's 8-bit computer line.

There are no XEGS-exclusive games; instead, they all run on the older machines (with enough memory) or the XE/XL line.

Main article: Atari_8-bit#Emulators


External Links[edit]

Atari logo.png
Consoles: Atari 2600Atari 5200Atari 7800Atari XEGSAtari JaguarAtari VCS
Handhelds: Atari Lynx
Computers: Atari 8-bitAtari ST
  1. only macOS version is still active)