1996 in video gaming
1996 has seen many sequels and prequels in video games and several new titles such as Blazing Heroes, Super Mario 64, NiGHTS into Dreams... Crash Bandicoot, Resident Evil, Dead or Alive, Duke Nukem 3D and Tomb Raider. May 16–18 — The second annual E3 is held in Los Angeles, United States. February 21 — Sega Model 3, an arcade system board considered to have the most technically impressive graphics at the time November 23 — Bandai's Tamagotchi virtual pet handheld Nintendo's Nintendo 64, the first true 64-bit home console Nintendo's Game Boy Pocket handheld console Sega's Net Link modem for the Sega Saturn home console SNK's Neo Geo CDZ Namco's Alpine Racer arcade game, including a new type of user interface February — Blizzard Entertainment acquires a development group known as Condor, renaming it Blizzard North February 13 — Atari Corporation announces a plan to merge with JTS Corp. April — Eidos Interactive acquires CentreGold plc, which holds Core Design and U. S. Gold May 1 — GameSpot and GameFAQs are launched June — Firaxis Games is formed By Jeff Briggs with Sid Meier and Brian Reynolds July — GT Interactive purchases Humongous Entertainment July 24 — CUC International, Inc purchases Sierra On-Line, Blizzard Entertainment and Davidson & Associates for about $3 billion in a stock swap.
August 6 — AOL buys Sierra's ImagiNation Network from AT&T for a reported $15m. August 24 — Valve Corporation is founded. September 1 — AOL closes ImagiNation Network, the first online video game with graphics, after 5 years of service. November 13 — Tom Clancy and Virtus Corp. found Red Storm Entertainment, headed by Doug Littlejohns Infogrames Entertainment SA acquires Ocean Software Ltd. Midway Games, Inc. acquires Atari Games Corp. from Warner Communications Inc. Technos Japan Corporation, originator of the Nekketsu Kouha Kunio Kun series and Double Dragon series, goes out of business Black Isle Studios forms as a division by Interplay; the 3DO Company purchases New World Computing 1996 saw a major shakeup in the crowded home console market, with the Virtual Boy, Atari Jaguar, 3DO Interactive Multiplayer, Sega CD, 32X, CD-i all being discontinued
The Atari 7800 ProSystem, or the Atari 7800, is a home video game console released by the Atari Corporation in 1986. It is fully backward-compatible with the Atari 2600, the first console to have backward compatibility without the use of additional modules, it was considered affordable at a price of US$140. The 7800 has improved graphics hardware over the 2600, but uses the same audio chip, it shipped with a different model of joystick from the 2600-standard CX40. The 1986 launch is sometimes referred to as a "re-release" or "relaunch" because the Atari 7800 had been announced on May 21, 1984, to replace Atari Inc.'s Atari 5200, but a general release was shelved due to the sale of the company. The Atari 7800 ProSystem was the first game system from Atari Inc. designed by an outside company, General Computer Corporation. The system was designed in 1983-1984 with an intended mass market rollout in June of 1984, but was canceled shortly thereafter due to the sale of the company to Tramel Technology Ltd on July 2, 1984.
The project was called the Atari 3600, though was renamed the Atari 7800. Atari had been facing mounting pressure in the form of competition from the ColecoVision, which boasted graphics that more mirrored arcade games of the time than Atari's 2600 system. At the same time, the Atari 5200 had been criticized for not being able to play Atari 2600 games without an adapter. GCC had a background in creating arcade games and designed their new system with a graphical architecture similar to arcade machines of the time; the 7800 allows a large number of moving objects. Powering the system is a customized 6502 processor, the Atari SALLY, running at 1.79 MHz. By some measures the 7800 is more powerful, by others less, than Nintendo's 1983 Famicom; the 7800 was released in southern California in June 1984, following an announcement on May 21, 1984, at the Summer Consumer Electronics Show. Thirteen games were announced for the system's launch: Ms. Pac-Man, Pole Position II, Joust, Dig Dug, Desert Falcon, Robotron: 2084, Food Fight, Rescue on Fractalus!, Track & Field, Xevious.
Atari was a sponsor of the 1984 Summer Olympics and planned to push the 7800 aggressively in time for Christmas that year. On July 2, 1984, Warner Communications sold Atari's Consumer Division to Jack Tramiel. All projects were halted during an initial evaluation period. Modern publications have incorrectly asserted that Jack Tramiel mothballed the Atari 7800, feeling that video games were a past fad, subsequently asserted that he dusted off the Atari 7800 once the NES became successful; the reality was that a contractual issue arose in that GCC had not been paid for their development of the 7800. Warner and Tramiel battled back and forth over, accountable, with Tramiel believing that the 7800 should have been covered as part of his acquisition deal. In May 1985, Jack paid GCC the overdue payment; this led to additional negotiations regarding the initial launch titles that GCC had developed and an effort to find someone to lead their new video game division, completed in November 1985. The original production run of the Atari 7800 languished on warehouse shelves until it was re-introduced in January 1986, after strong 2600 sales the previous Christmas.
The console was released nationwide in May 1986 for $79.95. Atari's launch of the 7800 under Tramiel was far more subdued than Warner had planned for the system in 1984 with a marketing budget of just $300,000. Additionally, the keyboard and high score cartridge were canceled, the expansion port was removed from production runs of the system and, in lieu of new titles, the system was launched with titles intended for the 7800's debut in 1984. By the end of 1986, Computer Entertainer claimed the Atari 7800 had sold 100,000 consoles in the United States, less than the Sega Master System's 125,000 and the Nintendo Entertainment System's 1.1 million. According to Atari, due to manufacturing problems, it only managed to produce and sell 100,000 units by 1986, including units, in a warehouse since 1984. A common complaint in 1986 was a lack of games, including a gap of months between new releases. By the end of 1986, the 7800 had 10 games, compared to Sega's 20 and Nintendo's 36. A reason cited for the lack of third-party interest in the 7800 was its small 100,000 install base and low market penetration.
Atari's lineup for the 7800 emphasized high-quality versions of popular arcade games like Joust and Asteroids. This had been a primary reason for the success of the Atari 2600, but Joust was four years old in 1986, Asteroids was seven years old. During the 7800's life cycle, Atari found themselves struggling to get developers to create 7800 versions of then-popular arcade titles because of a controversial policy employed by Nintendo; when Nintendo entered the industry, it signed up software development companies to create Nintendo Entertainment System games under a strict license agreement which imposed serious restrictions on what they were allowed to do. One of the key clauses was that companies who made Nintendo games were not allowed to make that game on a competing system for a period of two years; because of the market success of the NES, companies chose to develop for it first and were thus barred from developing the same games on competing systems for two years. The software libraries of the Atari 7800 and Sega Master Syste
The Game Boy is an 8-bit handheld game console developed and manufactured by Nintendo. The first handheld in the Game Boy line, it was first released on April 21, 1989 in Japan, followed by North America three months and in Europe nearly a year after. Designed by the same team that developed the Game & Watch and several Nintendo Entertainment System games, it was created and published by Satoru Okada, Gunpei Yokoi, Nintendo Research & Development 1. Nintendo's second handheld game console, the Game Boy combined features from both the NES and the Game & Watch; the console features a dot-matrix screen, five control buttons, a 2 voice speaker, like its rivals, uses cartridges as physical media. At launch, it was sold either as a standalone unit, or bundled with the one of several games, including Super Mario Land and Tetris. Several accessories were developed for the Game Boy, including a carrying pouch and the Game Boy Printer. Despite being technically inferior to its competitors, the Game Boy received praise for its battery life and durability, outsold the competition, selling one million units in the United States within a few weeks.
Together with its successor, the Game Boy Color, the handheld has sold an estimated 118 million units worldwide. It is one of the most recognizable devices from the 1980s, becoming a cultural icon in the years following its release. Several redesigns were released during the console's lifetime, including the Game Boy Pocket and the Game Boy Light. Production of the Game Boy continued into the early 2000s, until it was discontinued following the release of its successor, the Game Boy Advance, in 2001; the original internal codename for the Game Boy was "Dot Matrix Game", these initials came to be featured on the final product's model number, "DMG-01". The internal reception of the device was very poor; the Game Boy has four operation buttons labeled "A", "B", "SELECT", "START", as well as a directional pad. There is a volume control dial on the right side of the device and a similar dial on the left side to adjust the contrast. At the top of the Game Boy, a sliding on-off switch and the slot for the Game Boy cartridges are located.
The on-off switch includes a physical lockout to prevent users from either inserting or removing a cartridge while the unit is switched on. Nintendo recommends users leave a cartridge in the slot to prevent dust and dirt from entering the system; the Game Boy contains optional input and/or output connectors. On the left side of the system is an external 3.5 mm × 1.35 mm DC power supply jack that allows users to use an external rechargeable battery pack or AC adapter instead of four AA batteries. The Game Boy requires 6 V DC of at least 150 mA. A 3.5 mm stereo headphone jack is located on the bottom side of the unit which allows users to listen to the audio with the bundled headphones or external speakers. The right-side of the device offers a port which allows a user to connect to another Game Boy system via a link cable, provided both users are playing the same game; the port can be used to connect a Game Boy Printer. The link cable was designed for players to play head-to-head two-player games such as in Tetris.
However, game developer Satoshi Tajiri would use the link cable technology as a method of communication and networking in the popular Pokémon video game series. CPU: Custom 8-bit Sharp LR35902 at 4.19 MHz. This processor is similar to an Intel 8080 in that none of the registers introduced in the Z80 are present. However, some of the Z80's instruction set enhancements over the 8080 bit manipulation, are present. Still other instructions are unique to this particular flavor of 8080/Z80 CPU. Parity flag, half of conditional and all input-output instructions were removed from 8080 instruction set also; the IC contains integrated sound generation. RAM: 8 kiB internal S-RAM Video RAM: 8 kiB internal ROM: On-CPU-Die 256-byte bootstrap; the unit only has one speaker. Display: Reflective STN LCD 160 × 144 pixels Frame rate: Approximately 59.7 frames per second Vertical blank duration: Approx 1.1 ms Screen size: 66 mm diagonal Color palette: 2-bit Communication: 2 Game Boys can be linked together via built-in serial ports, up to 4 with a DMG-07 4-player adapter.
And 16 in maximum. Power: 6 V, 0.7 W Dimensions: 90 mm × 148 mm × 32 mm / 3.5″ × 5.8″ × 1.3″ Weight: 220 g On March 20, 1995, Nintendo released several Game Boy models with colored cases, advertising them in the "Play It Loud!" campaign, known in Japan as Game Boy Bros. Specifications for this unit remain the same as the original Game Boy, including the monochromatic screen; this new line of colored Game Boys would set a precedent for Nintendo handhelds. Play It Loud! units were manufactured in red, black, white and clear or sometimes called X-Ray in the UK. Most common are the yellow, red and black, Green is scarce but blue and white are the rarest. Blue was a Europe and Japan only release, White was a Japanese majority release with UK Toys R Us s
A brand is an overall experience of a customer that distinguishes an organization or product from its rivals in the eyes of the customer. Brands are used in business and advertising. Name brands are sometimes distinguished from generic or store brands; the practice of branding is thought to have begun with the ancient Egyptians, who were known to have engaged in livestock branding as early as 2,700 BCE. Branding was used to differentiate one person’s cattle from another's by means of a distinctive symbol burned into the animal’s skin with a hot branding iron. If a person stole any of the cattle, anyone else who saw the symbol could deduce the actual owner. However, the term has been extended to mean a strategic personality for a product or company, so that ‘brand’ now suggests the values and promises that a consumer may perceive and buy into. Over time, the practice of branding objects extended to a broader range of packaging and goods offered for sale including oil, wine and fish sauce. Branding in terms of painting a cow with symbols or colors at flea markets was considered to be one of the oldest forms of the practice.
Branding is a set of marketing and communication methods that help to distinguish a company or products from competitors, aiming to create a lasting impression in the minds of customers. The key components that form a brand's toolbox include a brand’s identity, brand communication, brand awareness, brand loyalty, various branding strategies. Many companies believe that there is little to differentiate between several types of products in the 21st century, therefore branding is one of a few remaining forms of product differentiation. Brand equity is the measurable totality of a brand's worth and is validated by assessing the effectiveness of these branding components; as markets become dynamic and fluctuating, brand equity is a marketing technique to increase customer satisfaction and customer loyalty, with side effects like reduced price sensitivity. A brand is, in essence, a promise to its customers of what they can expect from products and may include emotional as well as functional benefits.
When a customer is familiar with a brand, or favours it incomparably to its competitors, this is when a corporation has reached a high level of brand equity. Special accounting standards have been devised to assess brand equity. In accounting, a brand defined as an intangible asset, is the most valuable asset on a corporation’s balance sheet. Brand owners manage their brands to create shareholder value, brand valuation is an important management technique that ascribes a monetary value to a brand, allows marketing investment to be managed to maximize shareholder value. Although only acquired brands appear on a company's balance sheet, the notion of putting a value on a brand forces marketing leaders to be focused on long term stewardship of the brand and managing for value; the word ‘brand’ is used as a metonym referring to the company, identified with a brand. Marque or make are used to denote a brand of motor vehicle, which may be distinguished from a car model. A concept brand is a brand, associated with an abstract concept, like breast cancer awareness or environmentalism, rather than a specific product, service, or business.
A commodity brand is a brand associated with a commodity. The word, derives from its original and current meaning as a firebrand, a burning piece of wood; that word comes from the Old High German and Old English byrnan and brinnan via Middle English as birnan and brond. Torches were used to indelibly mark items such as furniture and pottery, to permanently burn identifying marks into the skin of slaves and livestock; the firebrands were replaced with branding irons. The marks themselves took on the term and came to be associated with craftsmen's products. Through that association, the term acquired its current meaning. Branding and labelling have an ancient history. Branding began with the practice of branding livestock in order to deter theft. Images of the branding of cattle occur in ancient Egyptian tombs dating to around 2,700 BCE. Over time, purchasers realised that the brand provided information about origin as well as about ownership, could serve as a guide to quality. Branding was adapted by farmers and traders for use on other types of goods such as pottery and ceramics.
Forms of branding or proto-branding emerged spontaneously and independently throughout Africa and Europe at different times, depending on local conditions. Seals, which acted as quasi-brands, have been found on early Chinese products of the Qin Dynasty. Identity marks, such as stamps on ceramics, were used in ancient Egypt. Diana Twede has argued that the "consumer packaging functions of protection and communication have been necessary whenever packages were the object of transactions", she has shown that amphorae used in Mediterranean trade between 1,500 and 500 BCE exhibited a wide variety of shapes and markings, which consumers used to glean information about the type of goods and the quality. Systematic use of stamped labels dates from around the fourth century BCE. In a pre-literate society, the shape of the amphora and its pictorial markings conveyed information about the contents, region of o
Atari, Inc. was an American video game developer and home computer company founded in 1972 by Nolan Bushnell and Ted Dabney. Responsible for the formation of the video arcade and modern video game industries, the company was closed and its assets split in 1984 as a direct result of the American video game crash of 1983. In 1966, Nolan Bushnell saw Spacewar! for the first time at the University of Utah. By 1968, Bushnell had become an employee of Ampex in San Francisco, worked alongside Ted Dabney; the two found they had shared interests, including the game Go, Bushnell shared with Dabney his gaming-pizza parlor idea, had taken him to the computer lab at Stanford Artificial Intelligence Laboratory to see the games on those systems. They jointly developed the concept of using a standalone computer system with a monitor and attaching a coin slot to it to play games on. Bushnell and Dabney worked with Nutting Associates to manufacture their product. Dabney developed a method of using video circuitry components to mimic functions of a computer for a much cheaper cost and a smaller space.
Bushnell and Dabney used this to develop a variation on Spacewar! called Computer Space where the player shot at two orbiting UFOs. Nutting helped to manufacture the fiberglass cabinet. While they were developing this, they took on duties under Nutting to repair pinball machines. Computer Space did not fare well commercially when it was placed in Nutting's customary market, bars. Feeling that the game was too complex for the average customer unfamiliar and unsure with the new technology, Bushnell started looking for new ideas, they decided to start a separate venture called the Syzygy Game Company, each putting in US$250 of their own funds to support it. They subsequently made sure that Nutting used "Syzygy Engineering" labels on each Computer Space game sold to reflect their work in the game. Bushnell began seeking other partners outside of Nutting, approached pinball game manufacturer Bally Manufacturing, who indicated interest in funding future efforts in arcade games by Bushnell and Dabney if Nutting was not involved.
The two quit established offices for Syzygy in Sunnyvale. Bally offered them a US$4,000 a month for six months to design a new video game and a new pinball machine. With those funds, they hired Al Alcorn as their first design engineer. Wanting to start Syzygy off with a driving game, Bushnell had concerns that it might be too complicated for the young Alcorn's first game. In May 1972, Bushnell had seen a demonstration of the Magnavox Odyssey, which included a tennis game. According to Alcorn, Bushnell decided to have him produce an arcade version of the Odyssey's Tennis game, which would go on to be named Pong. Bushnell had Alcorn use Dabney's video circuit concepts to help develop the game, believing it would be a first prototype, but Alcorn's success impressed both Bushnell and Dabney, leading them to believe they had a major success on hand and prepared to offer the game to Bally as part of the contract. In anticipation and Dabney went to incorporate the firm, but found that Syzygy existed in California.
Bushnell wrote down several words from Go choosing atari, a term that in the context of the game means a state where a stone or group of stones is imminently in danger of being taken by one's opponent. Atari was incorporated in the state of California on June 27, 1972. Bushnell and Dabney offered to license Pong to Bally, but the company had no idea what to do with the game, did not take the license. Instead and Dabney opted to create a test unit themselves and see how it was received at a local establishment. By August 1972, the first Pong was completed, it consisted of a black and white television from Walgreens, the special game hardware, a coin mechanism from a laundromat on the side which featured a milk carton inside to catch coins. It was placed in a Sunnyvale tavern by the name of Andy Capp's to test its viability; the Andy Capp test was successful, so the company created twelve more test units, ten which were distributed across other local bars. They found, they reported these numbers to Bally.
Bushnell and Dabney realized that they needed to expand on the game but formally needed to get out of their contract with Bally. Bushnell told Bally that they could offer to make another game for them, but only if they rejected Pong. After talks to release Pong through Nutting and several other companies broke down and Dabney decided to release Pong on their own, Atari, Inc. was established as a coin-op design and production company. Around 1973, Dabney felt. In March 1973, Dabney formally left Atari, selling his portion of the company for US$250,000. While Dabney would continue to work for Bushnell on other ventures, including Bushnell's Pizza Time Theater, the predecessor to Chuck E. Cheese's, he had a falling out with Bushnell and left the video game industry. Dabney's contributions towards Atari's founding generally
New York (state)
New York is a state in the Northeastern United States. New York was one of the original thirteen colonies. With an estimated 19.54 million residents in 2018, it is the fourth most populous state. To distinguish the state from the city with the same name, it is sometimes called New York State; the state's most populous city, New York City, makes up over 40% of the state's population. Two-thirds of the state's population lives in the New York metropolitan area, nearly 40% lives on Long Island; the state and city were both named for the 17th century Duke of York, the future King James II of England. With an estimated population of 8.62 million in 2017, New York City is the most populous city in the United States and the premier gateway for legal immigration to the United States. The New York metropolitan area is one of the most populous in the world. New York City is a global city, home to the United Nations Headquarters and has been described as the cultural and media capital of the world, as well as the world's most economically powerful city.
The next four most populous cities in the state are Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse, while the state capital is Albany. The 27th largest U. S. state in land area, New York has a diverse geography. The state is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south and Connecticut and Vermont to the east; the state has a maritime border with Rhode Island, east of Long Island, as well as an international border with the Canadian provinces of Quebec to the north and Ontario to the northwest. The southern part of the state is in the Atlantic coastal plain and includes Long Island and several smaller associated islands, as well as New York City and the lower Hudson River Valley; the large Upstate New York region comprises several ranges of the wider Appalachian Mountains, the Adirondack Mountains in the Northeastern lobe of the state. Two major river valleys – the north-south Hudson River Valley and the east-west Mohawk River Valley – bisect these more mountainous regions. Western New York is considered part of the Great Lakes region and borders Lake Ontario, Lake Erie, Niagara Falls.
The central part of the state is dominated by the Finger Lakes, a popular vacation and tourist destination. New York had been inhabited by tribes of Algonquian and Iroquoian-speaking Native Americans for several hundred years by the time the earliest Europeans came to New York. French colonists and Jesuit missionaries arrived southward from Montreal for trade and proselytizing. In 1609, the region was visited by Henry Hudson sailing for the Dutch East India Company; the Dutch built Fort Nassau in 1614 at the confluence of the Hudson and Mohawk rivers, where the present-day capital of Albany developed. The Dutch soon settled New Amsterdam and parts of the Hudson Valley, establishing the multicultural colony of New Netherland, a center of trade and immigration. England seized the colony from the Dutch in 1664. During the American Revolutionary War, a group of colonists of the Province of New York attempted to take control of the British colony and succeeded in establishing independence. In the 19th century, New York's development of access to the interior beginning with the Erie Canal, gave it incomparable advantages over other regions of the U.
S. built its political and cultural ascendancy. Many landmarks in New York are well known, including four of the world's ten most-visited tourist attractions in 2013: Times Square, Central Park, Niagara Falls, Grand Central Terminal. New York is home to the Statue of Liberty, a symbol of the United States and its ideals of freedom and opportunity. In the 21st century, New York has emerged as a global node of creativity and entrepreneurship, social tolerance, environmental sustainability. New York's higher education network comprises 200 colleges and universities, including Columbia University, Cornell University, New York University, the United States Military Academy, the United States Merchant Marine Academy, University of Rochester, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Rockefeller University, which have been ranked among the top 40 in the nation and world; the tribes in what is now New York were predominantly Algonquian. Long Island was divided in half between the Wampanoag and Lenape; the Lenape controlled most of the region surrounding New York Harbor.
North of the Lenape was the Mohicans. Starting north of them, from east to west, were three Iroquoian nations: the Mohawk, the original Iroquois and the Petun. South of them, divided along Appalachia, were the Susquehannock and the Erie. Many of the Wampanoag and Mohican peoples were caught up in King Philip's War, a joint effort of many New England tribes to push Europeans off their land. After the death of their leader, Chief Philip Metacomet, most of those peoples fled inland, splitting into the Abenaki and the Schaghticoke. Many of the Mohicans remained in the region until the 1800s, however, a small group known as the Ouabano migrated southwest into West Virginia at an earlier time, they may have merged with the Shawnee. The Mohawk and Susquehannock were the most militaristic. Trying to corner trade with the Europeans, they targeted other tribes; the Mohawk were known for refusing white settlement on their land and banishing any of their people who converted to Christianity. They posed a major threat to the Abenaki and Mohicans, while the Susquehannock conquered the Lenape in the 1600s.
The most devastating event of the century, was the Beaver Wars. From 1640–1680, Iroquoian peoples waged campaigns which extended from modern-day Michigan to Virginia against Algonquian and Siouan tribes, as well as each other; the ai
Commodore International was an American home computer and electronics manufacturer founded by Jack Tramiel. Commodore International, along with its subsidiary Commodore Business Machines, participated in the development of the home–personal computer industry in the 1970s and 1980s; the company developed and marketed the world's best-selling desktop computer, the Commodore 64, released its Amiga computer line in July 1985. With quarterly sales ending 1983 of $49 million, Commodore was one of the world's largest personal computer manufacturers; the company that would become Commodore Business Machines, Inc. was founded in 1954 in Toronto as the Commodore Portable Typewriter Company by Polish-Jewish immigrant and Auschwitz survivor Jack Tramiel. For a few years he had been living in New York, driving a taxicab, running a small business repairing typewriters, when he managed to sign a deal with a Czechoslovakian company to manufacture their designs in Canada, he moved to Toronto to start production.
By the late 1950s a wave of Japanese machines forced most North American typewriter companies to cease business, but Tramiel instead turned to adding machines. In 1955, the company was formally incorporated as Inc. in Canada. In 1962 Commodore went public on the New York Stock Exchange, under the name of Commodore International Limited. In the late 1960s, history repeated itself when Japanese firms started producing and exporting adding machines; the company's main investor and chairman, Irving Gould, suggested that Tramiel travel to Japan to understand how to compete. Instead, Tramiel returned with the new idea to produce electronic calculators, which were just coming on the market. Commodore soon had a profitable calculator line and was one of the more popular brands in the early 1970s, producing both consumer as well as scientific/programmable calculators. However, in 1975, Texas Instruments, the main supplier of calculator parts, entered the market directly and put out a line of machines priced at less than Commodore's cost for the parts.
Commodore obtained an infusion of cash from Gould, which Tramiel used beginning in 1976 to purchase several second-source chip suppliers, including MOS Technology, Inc. in order to assure his supply. He agreed to buy MOS, having troubles of its own, only on the condition that its chip designer Chuck Peddle join Commodore directly as head of engineering. Through the 1970s Commodore produced numerous peripherals and consumer electronic products such as the Chessmate, a chess computer based around a MOS 6504 chip, released in 1978. In December 2007, when Tramiel was visiting the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, for the 25th anniversary of the Commodore 64, he was asked why he called his company Commodore, he said: "I wanted to call my company General, but there's so many Generals in the U. S.: General Electric, General Motors. I went to Admiral, but, taken. So I wind up in Berlin, with my wife, we were in a cab, the cab made a short stop, in front of us was an Opel Commodore." Tramiel gave this account in many interviews, but Opel's Commodore didn't debut until 1967, years after the company had been named.
Once Chuck Peddle had taken over engineering at Commodore, he convinced Jack Tramiel that calculators were a dead end, that they should turn their attention to home computers. Peddle packaged his single-board computer design in a metal case with a keyboard using calculator keys with a full-travel QWERTY keyboard, monochrome monitor, tape recorder for program and data storage, to produce the Commodore PET. From PET's 1977 debut, Commodore would be a computer company. Commodore had been reorganized the year before into Commodore International, Ltd. moving its financial headquarters to the Bahamas and its operational headquarters to West Chester, near the MOS Technology site. The operational headquarters, where research and development of new products occurred, retained the name Commodore Business Machines, Inc. In 1980 Commodore launched production for the European market in Braunschweig. By 1980, Commodore was one of the three largest microcomputer companies, the largest in the Common Market.
The company had lost its early domestic-market sales leadership, however. BYTE stated of the business computer market that "the lack of a marketing strategy by Commodore, as well as its past nonchalant attitude toward the encouragement and development of good software, has hurt its credibility in comparison to the other systems on the market"; the author of Programming the PET/CBM stated in its introduction that "CBM's product manuals are recognized to be unhelpful. Commodore reemphasized the US market with the VIC-20; the PET computer line was used in schools, where its tough all-metal construction and ability to share printers and disk drives on a simple local area network were advantages, but PETs did not compete well in the home setting where graphics and sound were important. This was addressed with the VIC-20 in 1981, introduced at a cost of US$299 and sold in retail stores. Commodore bought aggressive advertisements featuring William Shatner asking consumers "Why buy just a video game?"
The strategy worked and the VIC-20 became the first computer to ship more than one million units. A total of 2.5 million units were sold over the machine's lifetime and helped Commodore's sales to Canadian schools. In another promotion aimed at schools (and as a