Released in 1981, the Commodore VIC-20 was the second personal computer released by Commodore Business Machines. Though possessing only 5KB of RAM, the computer could play games of up to 16KB by storing the data on ROM cartridges. Designed as a "computer for the masses, not the classes," the VIC-20 initially sold at the low price of $299.95 and was known for being user-friendly. Instead of being sold only through dealers, the VIC-20 appeared in retail stores to compete directly with gaming consoles, and was the first computer to be sold in K-Mart. Commodore also focused on producing popular advertisements and hired Star Trek actor William Shatner to promote the system. In 1982, the VIC-20 became the first system to sell over one million units. Production ceased in 1985, with the Commodore 64 overtaking its predecessor.
Jack Tramiel, founder of the Commodore Company, introduced the Commodore 64 in 1982, following his vision of "computers for the masses." Called the "Model T" of home computers, the Commodore 64 debuted at $500 and quickly dropped to an appealing $199. Although the necessary disk drive and monitor raised the package price to $899, it still significantly undercut the competing Apple IIe by more than $1000. Consumers responded by snapping up 2 million Commodore 64s between September 1983 and September 1984. With 64K of memory, color graphics, and sound capacity, the Commodore 64 became the entry-level computer of choice for many Americans.