IBM announced the S/360 Series in 1964, and this series of general-purpose machines was announced in the following year (1965) by Hitachi.
The HITAC 8000 Series was based on the basic concepts of the SPECTRA 70 Series, which RCA (Hitachi's technical partner) announced in 1964 to compete with IBM. Hitachi added its own technology to adapt this computer for the Japanese domestic market. Four types of systems were available to handle different scales of data processing. The HITAC 8200 was small, the 8300 and 8400 mid-size, and the 8500 large, and together they comprised a single family series. Their features were as follows: (1) Improved reliability due to the use of integrated circuits (ICs), (2) Program compatibility with the IBM S/360 Series, (3) Standardized connection of processing equipment and input/output devices to enable easy modification and expansion of the system configuration, (4) Use of an 8-bit data format (previously, 6-bits was more common) to enable representation of 256 characters and facilitate handling of kana letters. Finally, (5) this was a general-purpose computer with a wide range of applicability in areas such as business processing, scientific/engineering computation and data communications.