1.9) What is the Atari XE game system?

With the February 1987 introduction of the Atari XE game system, Atari both
extended the established 65XE/130XE product line and also added a third game
system to complement the established 2600 and 7800 product lines.

Termed variously by Atari as the XE Video Game System, the XE Game System, or
the XE System, the name was actually trademarked by Atari as simply: XE.
(For clarity, this FAQ List will normally use "XE game system" or "XEgs".)

The core component of the XEgs is the XE System Console, which is essentially
a complete 65XE/800XE but without a keyboard.  A companion XE System Keyboard
was produced and often sold with the Console.

The XE System Console offers 64KiB RAM, and has the Atari XL OS Rev.4 (14KiB),
Atari BASIC Rev. C (8KiB), and Missile Command (8KiB) all built-in on ROM (all
on a single 32KiB ROM chip; 2KiB is unused), C101687.

Distinctive hardware features of the XE System Console:
- Keyboard Port (for the separate XE System Keyboard)
- Audio jack (phono)
- Video jack (phono, providing composite video)

65XE/130XE/800XE features not present on the XE System Console:
- No Enhanced Cartridge Interface (ECI)
- NTSC/PAL versions: No Monitor port
- SECAM version: No Television jack

System initialization types supported:
- Cartridge: Press [Power] on the Console with cartridge inserted.
   (disables BASIC and Missile Command)
- Atari BASIC, Missile Command, Self Test, Cassette boot, or Disk boot:
   (boot cassette or boot disk may or may not require BASIC or cartridge)
Keyboard    Held down while pressing [Power]:
Attached    [Option][Select][Start]   Result
---------------------------------------------
     N           N       N       N     Start Missile Command
     N           N       N       Y     Cassette boot, Missile Command enabled
     N           N       Y       N     Disk #1 boot if present, BASIC enabled
     N           N       Y       Y     Cassette boot, BASIC enabled
     N           Y       N       N     Disk #1 boot if present, else Self Test
     N           Y       N       Y     Cassette boot, BASIC/MC disabled
     N           Y       Y       N     Start Missile Command
     N           Y       Y       Y     Cassette boot, Missile Command enabled
     Y           N       N       N     Disk #1 boot if present, BASIC enabled
     Y           N       N       Y     Cassette boot, BASIC enabled
     Y           N       Y       N     Start Missile Command
     Y           N       Y       Y     Cassette boot, Missile Command enabled
     Y           Y       N       N     Disk #1 boot if present, else Self Test
     Y           Y       N       Y     Cassette boot, BASIC/MC disabled
     Y           Y       Y       N     Disk #1 boot if present, BASIC enabled
     Y           Y       Y       Y     Cassette boot, BASIC enabled
   (table adapted from AtariAge post by Tomasz Krasuski, May 2014)
- Cassette boot further steps:
       (System buzzer sounds.)
    2. Press [PLAY] on the program recorder with boot cassette inserted.
    3. Press [Return] on the Keyboard if present, else press [Start].

Versions of the XE System Console:
  o  Domestic version for NTSC M television (North America)
     - 6502 MPU (Atari SALLY), C014806
     - ANTIC NTSC 'E' version, C021697
     - GTIA NTSC version, C014805
     - No Monitor port
     - Monitor Video Jack (phono) for composite video output
     - Television jack for RF output
     - TV Channel Selector switch on back of Console selects RF channel 2 or 3
     - TV Switch Box and TV Cable both supplied with Console
  o  PAL versions for PAL B/G television (Europe) or PAL I television (UK)
     - 6502 MPU (Atari SALLY), C014806
     - ANTIC PAL 'B' version, C021698
     - GTIA PAL version, C014889
     - No Monitor port
     - Monitor Video Jack (phono) for composite video output
     - Television jack for RF output
     - No TV Channel Selector switch
     - TV output: RF channel 4 (PAL B version) or 36 (PAL G/PAL I versions)
     - TV Cable supplied with Console
  o  SECAM version (France)
     - 6502 MPU (Atari SALLY), C014806
     - ANTIC PAL 'B' version, C021698
     - FGTIA, C020120
     - Monitor port is Atari SECAM 6-pin
     - Monitor Video Jack (phono) for composite video output
     - No Television jack
     - No TV Channel Selector switch
     - TV cable (Monitor port to SCART/Peritel) supplied with Console

The components of the XEgs were sold by Atari in several different packages,
which are listed in the broader "kits" listing in this FAQ list.
(see Atari User v3n9 p.28 for a partial list of packages)

Manuals:
- Atari XE System Owner's Manual C100608 / C033514 (26 pages)
- Atari XE System Keyboard Owner's Manual C100609 / C033513 (99 pages)

The XE System Console was made in Taiwan.
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