NEC announced its first personal computer, the PC-8001, in May 1979. This was a modular microcomputer system whose base configuration was a main unit with built-in keyboard, and other input/output devices could be added as options, including: a CRT display, printer, cassette tape recorder, mini floppy disk drive and modem. The BASIC interactive programming language from Microsoft was written into ROM (max. 32 kilobytes), so even beginners could easily write programs.
Eight colors could be displayed with simple programming, and graphic features were enhanced. The system could handle a wide variety of characters and symbols, including ordinary alphanumeric characters, kana letters, English lower case letters and various symbols, and a full keyboard with numeric keypad was provided as the input device. It was also possible to connect devices like a CRT display, mini floppy disk drive and acoustic coupler, so the system could be used as a terminal device for a general-purpose computer.