Back in 2017, Atari announced a return to the console market with its own retro gaming system. The console has been through a lot since then, including a name change, a big crowdfunding campaign, content partnerships and internal hardware changes. Initially, the Atari VCS was due to ship out to backers before the end of 2019 but a delay has pushed things back into 2020.
Back in April, it was announced that the Atari VCS would be getting an upgrade from an AMD Bristol Ridge APU, to a newer AMD Ryzen Embedded R1000 SoC. According to Atari COO, Michael Artz, this upgrade is part of why the system has been delayed for backers, with the team opting to “prioritise delivering a high-quality product over a self-imposed deadline”.
Those who backed the console on Indiegogo will get their consoles later than initially promised and according to Artz, the timeline has shifted by weeks rather than months, so it should start going out in late January. Then, general public sales will go live in March 2020, although that date could potentially slip too depending on manufacturing.
Currently, the Atari VCS is a pretty expensive system, with a $249.99 price tag and an extra $50 or $60 cost for the VCS gamepad or Atari ‘Throwback’ joystick. In terms of specs, we are looking at a Ryzen R1000 SoC, 4GB or 8GB of RAM depending on the model you buy and support for 4K/HDR, which seems a tad overkill for retro gaming but perhaps Atari has some slightly bigger content plans in the works. Aside from all of that, we do know that Atari will be partnering with the Antstream retro game streaming service to boost the game library.
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KitGuru Says: The Atari VCS has been an interesting console to follow. Did any of you back the Indiegogo campaign in 2017?