Released in 1987 to try and win back some of Nintendo's game market share the XEGS was pretty much a re-boxed Atari 65XE computer. The 65XE was essentially a rehashed Atari 800XL (minus the BPI connectivity) which meant that the XEGS was compatible with pretty much all of Atari's previous 8-bit software.
This was so much the case that a lot of the software released was simply the old software rebadged for the XEGS and in some cases even the same packaging was used with labels stuck on them to indicate it was for the shiny, new console you have, not the 'apparently' superseded computer you used to have.
The XEGS functioned natively a stand alone game console but had an optional keyboard which brought it up to an 'entry level computer / sophisticated game machine' standard. It was shipped in standard and deluxe releases with the standard only offering the addition of a single joystick and the latter a light gun and the keyboard (see separate pages for details regarding these items on this site). The XEGS came with two utilities, 'XEGS Manager' which let you set some of the console's features and a 'spray paint' program for checking the Light Gun.
Both the light gun and keyboard could be purchased separately for those who initially wanted to save a buck.
Due to its lineage, the XEGS was not only compatible with most of Atari's 8-bit software catalogue but also most of its peripherals; tape drives, printers, etc.
Regardless of a huge software library and peripheral selection, poor marketing and limited new software titles saw sales of the XEGS do poorly in a consumer environment that was seriously making the decision whether to buy a games machine OR a more serious computer.
|Unit pictured has been sold and its location is unknown.|