Atari VCS pre-orders are finally going live – but the wait is far from over

Atari VCS: Pre-order details, release date, specs, price and more

After decades of absence, Atari announced plans to get back into the console game last year – and now after multiple delays, the company has revealed the eagerly anticipated pre-order date for its forthcoming Atari VCS (née Ataribox) Linux-powered retro gaming system, as well as pricing information and an peek at the device’s specs.

Once a dominant force in the gaming industry, Atari left the limelight following the infamous video game crash of 1983. It’s been nearly 20 years since the release of Atari Jaguar, and the former giant is ready to make a comeback with a brand new machine.

Here’s everything you need to know about the Atari VCS, starting with the all-important pre-order and release date information. Alternatively, read on for what we know so far about the console’s specs, release date, games and more. All the Atari VCS news you need is here in one handy place.

Atari VCS Release Date and Price: When can I pre-order the Atari VCS on Indiegogo?

The Atari VCS was originally scheduled to be available to pre-order on Indiegogo in December 2017 ahead of a spring 2018 release date – but that obviously didn’t happen.

Atari hadn’t to delay pre-orders of its new consoles ‘indefinitely’ due to development issues, though luckily for us ‘indefinitely’ has only ended up being a few months.

The company has recently confirmed that Atari VCS’ new pre-order date will be May 30 2018, with Indiegogo still set to host the campaign.

An Atari VCS starting price of $199 (~£145) has been mooted for the all-black Onyx model, but note that this price doesn’t include controllers. Seriously, who ships a new console without at least one controller? A special VCS Collector’s Edition is also set to be made available – presumably at a higher price point – and this one will be bundled with a controller.

That’s the (mostly) good news.

The bad news is that Atari is now saying that the VCS won’t start shipping until spring 2019, or roughly a year after going up for pre-order – maybe the initial spring 2018 release date was a typo?

 

 

What is the Atari VCS? Specs, design and more

Atari has released a handful of images of its upcoming console, showcasing a surprisingly modern system that also sports a vintage wooden finish.

This first set of images reveal quite a bit of information regarding the console. It appears it will feature a SD card slot, HDMI output and four USB ports. You’ve also got what seems to be a headphone jack alongside an ethernet cable port.

The Atari VCS will be available in two variants: a black/red version and one with a stylish wood finish, which presumably is the Collector’s Edition.

Of course, all these design details were issued way back when, and Atari might have made some tweaks – minor or major – to the console’s design ahead of it going live on Indiegogo.

The console looks great in the photos, and it will support a ‘ton’ of classic Atari titles alongside modern experiences thanks to its Linux custom interface that will utilise a custom AMD processor and Radeon graphics card, complete with 4K support. This aligns with Atari’s promise to deliver both “classic [and] current gaming content,” leading to hopes that it might be more than just another throwback system and rival the likes of the PS4 and Xbox One.

While further details are still thin on the ground, we also now know that the VCS will feature on-board dual-band Wi-Fi and expandable storage, with a full spec sheet expected to go live when the Indiegogo campaign drops on May 30.

We’ll know more on May 30, so stay tuned.

Related: SNES Mini review

Atari VCS games – What can I play on it?

Speaking to Gamesbeat, Atari CEO Fred Chesnais confirmed that the decision to develop a new console was inspired by Nintendo’s success with the NES Mini. Keeping this in mind, it’s possible that the Atari VCS will be a reasonably priced bit of kit designed to play classic games.

Atari confirmed recently that its machine will be capable of playing both modern and classic games. The Linux-based machine will sport an AMD processor and Radeon graphics card, so expect it to be capable of supporting a host of different titles.

Related: PS4 Pro vs Xbox One X

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