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Atari XL line - why no love for the Fuji?


oracle_jedi
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So here is something that always bothered me.

 

I love the Atari fuji symbol. It's elegant and simple and instantly recognizable. In the early 1980s it may have had brand recognition almost as good as any major brand.

 

On the 400/800 line the symbol is prominent. It is on cartridge port door, the keyboard, the disc drive, the 820 and 825 printers, every cartridge shell and the spine of retail software packaging.

 

Yet on the XL line, from the 1200XL to the 800XL to the unreleased 1400 series, the symbol is banished. From the keyboard sure - the inverse symbol made more sense - but its not on the case or any of the peripherals, and you have to hunt to find it on the retail packaging. The 1200XL's splash screen would have looked even better with a rainbow fuji on the screen!

 

The 5200 (1982) has the fuji on the case and on the screen on power up (although it looks like it was drawn in Atari Paint - the arcs look all wrong) and the 7800 (1984) also features the fuji on the case and on the splash screen if it detects a 7800 mode cartridge.

 

I dislike the XE line's poor build quality, but at least Tramiel put the fuji back on the case plastics and retail packaging.

 

Wondering if anyone knows what Atari's marketing department's reasoning was behind the missing fuji on the XL line?

 

 

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Thinking about the design mistakes with the XL , it seems, they shooted it out, to have a competitor to the "upcoming" C64.

At least the XL looked more professional and advanced. Well, it missed some real new features, but it still had good stuff to offer, just like the great keyboard, and the great BASIC for programming starters, it looked also more like a computer for serious daily works , not like a "gaming" device. The "serious touch" is imho the cause for that decision....

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Atari had a problem... people confused the Fuji as if the Atari was Japanese product not United States company or product... in fact on covers of certain magazines they showed the Commodore on the US map and the Atari on the other continent.....this was done a few time when doing the comparisons between the machines to the point commodores where red white and blue and Atari's were not.... it was a shame and always was a bother... Atari should have launched campaigns loudly against those things but they didn't and things silently were changed, which of course was a mistake.

Edited by _The Doctor__
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The biggest obstacle Atari computers were facing in the early to mid 1980's was the perception of Atari as a "game machine" company. I don't recall the origin of the computers being much of an issue. Mention that you had an Atari and you were written off as an unserious computerist by the likes of CP/M and Apple micro users.

 

They were trying to professionalize their computer line by the time the XLs rolled around, and a LOT of effort was spent on marketing the XL's as "serious" machines.

 

Leaving the Fuji off was undoubtedly an attempt to distance themselves from the "gaming" stigma that stopped businesses from buying Atari computers.

 

They probably should have spun off the computer division into a company with an entirely different name.

Edited by GlowingGhoul
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The seemingly biggest obstacle Atari computers were facing in the early to mid 1980's was the perception of Atari as a "game machine" company.

 

They were trying to professionalize their computer line by the time the XLs rolled around, and a LOT of effort was spent on marketing the XL's as "serious" machines.

 

Leaving the Fuji off was undoubtedly an attempt to distance themselves from the "gaming" stigma that stopped businesses from buying Atari computers.

 

They probably should have spun off the computer division into a company with an entirely different name.

Very similar to my opinion.

But they failed strongly, by disallowing the XL series to connect to serious Displays using a separated Luma and Chroma signal, and using a colour setting for PAL computers with unclear colours. While with NTSC machines, it was possible to adjust the colours right, PAL machines had been set to a palette without a real RED colour.

 

Only THEY know the cause for their desicions...

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Nothing wrong with the Fuji, from what I've seen the people who are at odds with it are the same types who will only buy their countries version of the computer / console or / and are fan boys of particular producer of machines.

 

Their loss...

 

There's a special place in my gaming world for all machines I've used, just at the end of Zelda Windwaker being played via emulation on Dolphin (I do actually own a Gamecube and Zelda (that and Metroid were my first buys)) as its easier to setup and less hassle for my arms but I also hit my C64, Atari, Snes, DC etc etc, usually emulated versions but if the emulator is not 100% I use the real thing instead.

 

The fuji would have been a really nice emblem on the Atari...

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I have no factual idea why it was not so prominent on the XL series but not having a fuji logo to a computer clearly aimed at competing with home gaming computer (you don't need most powerful sprites or expensive analog phase accumulating synth chips inside a business or even hobbyist home computer) like the C64 would only make sense from an industry that had abandoned arcade and home video game console markets all together by the start of the mid 80s. The truth is after the crash the PC was pushed as being the only respectable choice to invest in, something that could do more than games. Anything with the Atari logo would naturally be seen as a toy from the VCS ERA (which caused said crash in the eyes of many a fool btw)

 

Putting it back on the ST was probably a mistake too as despite the fact you would have to be an absolute fucking clueless twat to get anything other than an Amiga 1000 instead of a 520ST when choosing a new 16bit home computer (ie the dumb asses paying $5000 for PC XT or 128k Mac mono rubbish) hurt the machine a lot because very early on there was KUMA/GST software far more usable compared to anything on even Windows let alone DOS as far as small business/home office use and the Mac only had the Lotus/M$ office software initially too.The ST business software was 1000% cheaper doh! We all know it wasn't sales of A1000s to artistic businesses that stole sales of the ST in the USA.....and yet the ST made minimal impact at $799??!? Has to be down to the name Atari and the logo....bad memories of an era dominated by gaming crash. IMO

 

Nobody in the US computer industry wanted to be part of the Atari VCS invented video games market crash, well that's how investors in suits and fathers purchasing for the family perceived the problem of Atari I guess after the crash.

 

 

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It's a very interesting question. As a graphic designer, I love the fuji logo, and I'd never really considered that it wasn't even on my favourite computer, my 800XL!

 

I guess I agree with some of the other posters - it was possibly a decision made to have the XL line look a little more business-like.

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I've owned a 600 and 800XL and can't believe I never realized this!

 

If I were to guess-- Atari always had trouble with some people not taking their computers seriously because they were a videogame company (ironic that one of the biggest console videogame companies today is Microsoft, but anyway...). They may have thought the logo was too associated with games so they dropped it for credibility?

 

Although I'd argue that the name "Atari" and its typeface were just as iconic and associated with games as the logo

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