From WE Computers Museum
1989 Radio Shack.png
Products and eventsSee 1989 categories

1989 was a year of continued expansion of the use of computers in multiple industries.



Apple released several Macintosh computers, including the Macintosh Portable, Macintosh IIcx and Macintosh IIcl.

Atari Corporation released models of Atari ST known as the Atari 520 STE and Atari 1040 STE.

Commodore International released the Commodore PC40-III, a desktop computer that was IBM PC compatible.

Dell Computer Corporation established on-site service programs due to few local third-party service centers.

IBM released four models of Personal System/55 computers in Japan. The IBM 5550-V was a 25 MHz i386DX desktop, the 5570-V was a 25 MHz i386DX tower, the 5530-T was a 20 MHz i386DX desktop with an integrated display, and the 5530Z SX was a 20 MHz i386DX desktop which also had an integrated display.

NeXT made a test release of its NeXT Computer to universities in the United States at a base price of $6,500 USD.


Intel released the 32-bit i486 microprocessor. It was available in speeds ranging from 20 MHz to 50 MHz.

Motorola released the MC68302, a microcontroller which used a CPU core based on the 68000.

Operating systems

Apple released version 6.0.4 of Mac OS with the release of the Macintosh Portable and Macintosh IIci.

Atari Corporation released versions 1.04 and 1.06 of TOS, the operating system for AtariST computers.

Commodore International released version 1.3.2 of the Amiga operating system.

Digital Research released versions 3.40 and 3.41 of DR DOS, the MS-DOS compatible operating system.

IBM released OS/2 1.2, which supported the High Performance File System, which was created to overcome the limitations of the File Allocation Table file system.

NeXT released version 0.9 beta of NeXTSTEP, included in the NeXT computers released in test markets at the United States university campuses.


Microsoft released Windows 2.11, the final version of its second graphical operating environment for DOS.


Tim Berners-Lee launched a network of hypertext documents from his NeXT computer at CERN, creating the prototype of the World Wide Web.

Video games

Game & Watch

Nintendo made the penultimate release of its 4-bit Game & Watch handheld video game console line, Zelda, in North America and Europe.

Game Boy

Nintendo released the 8-bit monochrome handheld video game console, Game Boy, in Japan and North America.

Games released include Alleyway, Baseball, Battleship, Castlevania: The Adventure, Sokoban, Mickey Mouse, Fist of the North Star: 10 Big Brawls for the King of Universe, Golf, Hyper Lode Runner, Malibu Beach Volleyball Seaside Volley, Master Karateka, Motocross Maniacs, Pachinko Time, Puzzle Boy, QBillion, Revenge of the 'Gator, Shanghai, Shogi, Super Mario Land, The Sword of Hope, Teke! Teke! Asmik-kun World, Tennis, Tetris, and Warrior in the Tower of the Spirit World SaGa, and Yakuman.


Atari released the handheld video game console named Lynx on September 1. It was designed by Epyx and was known under the codenames "Project X" and "Handy". Launch titles included the Epyx video games Blue Lightning, California Games, Chip's Challenge, Electrocop, and Gates of Zendocon.

Nintendo Entertainment System

Samsung released the 8-bit Nintendo Entertainment System in South Korea under the Comboy brand name.


Nintendo released several games for its timer-limited NES-based 8-bit PlayChoice-10 arcade hardware, including Baseball Stars by SNK, Ninja Gaiden and Tecmo Bowl by Tecmo, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles by Konami.

Sega Genesis

Sega released the 16-bit Sega Genesis in North America on August 14. Launch titles included the Capcom game Ghouls 'n' Ghosts, the Sega games Alex Kidd in the Enchanted Castle, Altered Beast, Golden Axe, Last Battle, Space Harrier II, and Tommy Lasorda Baseball, as well as the Technosoft game Thunder Force II.

Sega Master System

Samsung released the 8-bit Sega Master System in South Korea in April as the Gam*Boy.


NEC released the 16-bit TurboGrafx-16 in North America, France, and the United Kingdom.

Motion pictures


Pixar released the four-minute long computer-animated short film Knick Knack.

The Walt Disney Company released The Little Mermaid, which included a final battle which was colored using the Computer Animation Production System developed by Pixar.

Live action

Twentieth Century Fox produced The Abyss, a feature film that featured the first use of photorealistic fluid morphing in the scene where the water creature mimics the faces of the human characters.


Consumer Electronics Show

Winter CES

The Winter Consumer Electronics Show was held in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S. from January 7 to Januar 10. At the show, Brøderbund demonstrated the U-Force hands-free controller with Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!! for the Nintendo Entertainment System. Cinemaware demonstrated the enhanced CD-ROM version of Defender of the Crown for DOS. Epyx teased "Project X", a handheld video game console with the codename "Handy" that would be known as the Atari Lynx upon release. Infocom demonstrated Journey, BattleTech: The Crescent Hawk's Inception, Quarterstaff: The Tomb of Setmoth, and James Clavell's Shōgun. Mattel demonstrated the Power Glove hand-based controller for the Nintendo Entertainment System. Nintendo demonstrated the Power Pad foot-based controller for the Nintendo Entertainment System.

Summer CES

The Summer Consumer Electronics Show was held in Chicago, Illinois, US. from June 3 to June 6. Sega introduced the Sega Genesis video game console, the Master System to Genesis Power Base Converter, the Tele-genesis modem, and the Genesis games Altered Beast, Forgotten Worlds, Ghouls'n Ghosts, Golf, Hollo Fighter, Hydlide Special, Last Battle, Rambo III, Red Belt, Sega Soccer, Space Harrier II, Super Hang-On, Super Thunder Blade, Thunder Force II, and Tommy Lasorda Baseball. Sega also demonstrated the Master System games Alex Kidd: High-Tech World, Basketball Nightmare, Bomber Raid, Captain Silver, Casino Games, Cloud Master, Cyborg Hunter, Dead Angle, Dynamite Dux, Passing Shot, Rampage, Scramble Spirits, Tennis Ace, Ultima IV, Wonder Boy III: The Dragon's Trap, Walter Payton Football, Wanted, and World Games.

Computer-related companies and organizations

Companies and organizations founded

APE, the company that created the Earthbound series, was founded in Kyoto, Japan.

Capcom was founded by Kenzo Tsujimoto after he was forced out of Irem, a company he founded in 1974.

Enix, the company that created the Dragon Quest series, was founded in Japan.

LK Avalon, an adventure game developer, was founded in Poland.

Nintendo Research & Development 4, the team at Nintendo managed by Shigeru Miyamoto, was renamed Nintendo Entertainment Analysis & Development.

Revolution Software, an adventure game developer, was founded in York, England.

Companies and organizations closed

Eldridge Park Arcade, an arcade active since 1923 and one of the longest continually running arcades, closed in Elmira, NY.

Infocom, the interactive fiction developer, was closed by its parent company Activision.