NEC Advert - March 1984
From Personal Computer World
NEC personal computers
NEC was another of those companies, like Texas Instruments and Commodore, that was vertically intergrated - in this case making the computers as well as - according to the advert - most of the components in them, including the CPU.
NEC's Intel CPU clones (presumably built under licence) found their way in to at least a few other computers at the time, including the Opus range of PCs.
NEC was founded in 1899 as the Nippon Electric Company in what was the first-ever Japanese joint venture with a foreign company - Western Electric Company of the US.
NEC's PC-8000 series certainly seemed very well priced - the entry-level 64K CP/M PC-8000 model came with twin 5.25" floppies, a monitor and a bunch of software for £1,195 - about £4,520 in 2024. The similarly-specced Zen micro, from 1983, was around £1,610 in comparison.
The forerunner of the PC-8000 micro featured in the advert was the PC-6000, which NEC launched as a home micro in the US market at the beginning of 1983.
At the time it wasn't known whether the machine, which ran NEC's own Z80-compatible PD780C-1 processor with 16K ROM and 16K RAM, would make it to the UK, although Alan West, NEC UK's marketing manager suggested that they were "actively looking at it - there is every possibility we will launch it in Britain this year".
West continued "We see the PC-6000 at the Atari rather than Spectrum end of the market - if it goes on sale in the UK it will have a price around £400". This would have put it up against the BBC Micro, which seemed to be about the only machine on the market that could get away with such a high price for a home machine.
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