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The Atari VCS console gets an upgrade (and another delay)

Good news and bad news for those that have pre-ordered Atari’s upcoming VCS console.

Let’s get the bad news out of the way first: it’s been delayed another few months. The Atari VCS was originally supposed to be under television sets in 2018, but was pushed back to this summer for some reason. Now Atari has pushed it back again: it’ll still arrive by the end of the year, apparently, but you’ll be thinking more about Christmas presents than your summer holiday when it finally arrives.

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Now the good news: the reason it’s been delayed this time is because it’s getting an upgrade. The machine is getting a better processor to power things: a 14nm AMD processor “featuring high-performance Radeon Vega graphics architecture and two ‘Zen’ CPU cores.” This replaces the original plans to include a processor from the Bristol Ridge family.

The company reckons this is a big deal. In a post on Medium, the Atari VCS team wrote that  “AMD’s all-new Ryzen embedded chip will be faster, cooler, and more efficient, allowing the VCS to benefit from a simpler and more effective power architecture and thermal solution.” It also supports built-in Ethernet, native 4K video and support for DRM video, meaning the likes of Netflix will work on the box.

While additional specifications about the new AMD processor will be announced closer to launch, be assured that the new AMD Ryzen processor is a much better fit for this project in multiple ways and will further enable the Atari VCS to deliver on its promise to be a unique and highly flexible platform for creators,” the company adds.

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While a boost to speed is definitely a good thing, it’s not the most important issue, and Atari has been extremely quiet about what kind of thing you’ll be playing on the VCS. Given the original schedule would have seen the console in backers’ hands by now, it’s a touch concerning that more details on the software front haven’t been forthcoming.

Are you an Atari VCS backer? Is the delay worth it for more power? Let us know what you think on Twitter: @TrustedReviews.

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