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Atari 800

As soon as the Atari 2600 game console was released, the engineering team, who called themselves as Cyan, began to work on their eventual replacement. They felt that the 2600 would have a life time of about three years, and they tried to limit themselves to those characteristics that could be perfected by that time. What they ended up with was essentially a "corrected" version of the 2600, fixing their most obvious flaws.

The new design would be faster than the 2600, it would have better graphics, and it would include a much better sound hardware.

However, at this point, the revolution of the personal computer began to be very popular with the computers Apple II, Commodore PET and TRS-80. the new, wanted to challenge the Apple. Atari investigated what it would be necessary to produce a viable personal computer for themselves. This included support for graphical characters, something that the 2600 did not have, some form of expansion for peripherals, the BASIC programming language, and a keyboard.