Atari VCS supposedly goes on pre-order today

by: Sean Colleli -
More On: Ataribox

According to Atari, the Ataribox Atari VCS goes on pre-order sale today, exclusively on the console's Indigogo page. At least that's what they're saying, because as of this posting said Indigogo page only allows you to sign up to be notified when you can finally pre-order. According to the press release, that sexy faux-wood finished model is a limited run version, and the standard model, the Onyx version, is a sleek black. The early-bird packages will go for the low, low price of $199.99 for a limited time, and won't ship until spring 2019. Other bundles will include the Classic Joystick and Modern Controller. Supposedly we'll get full details when the console opens pre-orders later today.

This all still sounds pretty vague to me. "Other packages" will include a controller? What publisher in their right mind sells a console without a bundled controller? The VCS's capabilities are still rather broad as well, with an AMD CPU and a Radeon GPU capable of 4K resolutions at 60FPS. The launch lineup so far only includes an "Atari Vault" of 100 Atari 2600 arcade ports, including Asteroids and Centipede. Atari bills the console as a customizable entertainment hub, but that begs the question, who is this for?

The average consumer already owns a streaming device, be it a smart TV or a Firestick, and most gamers like me have at least two consoles under their TV that can stream media. If I want Atari games, I'll probably just nab one of those Atari Flackback plug-n-plays I can get at Target for $60. If I'm going to spend upwards of $200, I'd rather just get a PS4 or Nintendo Switch and play a bunch of great exclusives and indie games. This looks particularly bad when you consider Atari announced this thing last year and initial shipments won't go out until next spring.

Atari has everything to prove right now. They need to come out swinging with this vague little box and justify why it exists in today's market. They need to announce specs, launch lineup and the full line of SKUs right the heck now. All I see now, and all I've seen since they announced the AtariBox project, is a lot of talk and some pretty renders.

Atari® Announces Atari VCS™ Pre-Sale Begins May 30th on Indiegogo With Exclusive Wood-Front Collector's Edition, Onyx Model and Accessories

Time-Limited Early Bird Pre-Sale Package to Offer Atari VCS Platform Starting at $199


NEW YORK, April 30, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Atari® — One of the world's most iconic consumer brands and interactive entertainment producers — today announces that pre-sales of its new Atari VCS™ hardware platform will start May 30, 2018. The pre-sale is exclusive to Indiegogo and features the time-limited Atari VCS Collector's Edition featuring the special retro-inspired wood-front. In addition to the Collector's Edition, fans will have the option to pre-order the Atari VCS Onyx, a sleek black version. Early-bird Atari VCS packages will be offered, including the Onyx starting at $199 USD for a limited period of time. Other packages will include the Classic Joystick and Modern Controller. Initial Atari VCS shipments are planned for Spring 2019. Fans who have signed up for "insider" email alerts at AtariVCS.com before May 24, 2018 will be eligible for special purchase incentives during the pre-sale.

The VCS is a completely new Atari connected device, designed in California by Atari. The company has partnered with AMD who provides the Atari VCS custom processor with Radeon Graphics Technology. The Atari VCS platform will offer support for 4K resolution, HDR and 60FPS content, onboard and expandable storage options, dual-band WiFi and Bluetooth 5.0, as well as USB 3.0 support. A complete list of Atari VCS product specs will be posted with the pre-sale.

The updated Classic Joystick and new Modern Controller for the Atari VCS are being developed in partnership with leading video game peripherals maker Power A. Both items will be available in select packages and as standalone purchases.

Retro-inspired, but not a "retro-box," the Atari VCS will be a fully customizable entertainment experience. This means access to a vast array of games, media and streaming content options. As an homage to the past, Atari VCS covers the classics with the included Atari Vault of more than 100 classic games, including all-time arcade and home entertainment favorites like Asteroids®, Centipede®, Breakout®, Missile Command®, Gravitar® and Yars' Revenge®; a growing list of games, especially a full range of popular modern titles, will be announced at later dates.

"We continue moving forward on the Atari VCS project and are excited to see this pre-sale kickoff and to share more updates with our fans as we look toward the first shipments," notes Michael Arzt, Atari COO of Connected Devices. "We are building outstanding teams and forging alliances that will make this product great and truly worthy of the Atari VCS name. Expert hardware partners are helping make this project possible and we couldn't be more pleased with their contributions."

Atari appreciates the community's intense curiosity about VCS games and content, hardware specifications, production timelines and other key information, and is confident that it is putting the right pieces in place for a successful product and launch.

All Atari VCS branding and communications channels now reflect the product's official name. Fans can follow Atari VCS on Facebook, Twitter @TheAtari_VCS and Instagram.

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