The much-awaited Atari VCS has been further delayed even for those who contributed to the venture at IndieGoGo. It’s a new crowd-funded project that is a retro-modern-console or a gaming PC. Whatever description suits you the best.
The company still hopes to hit the ship date of March 2020, but the sponsors would still push the company to release their units right after December when it was promised before the public launch.
Michael Arzt who is the COO at Atari credited a hardware upgrade as the reason for the delay. This has happened before when the initial release date that was set for late spring or early summer of 2019 was pushed to December.
According to Arzt, “We were offered the opportunity to incorporate an all-new microprocessor built on a more powerful and more efficient architecture,” He wrote on Medium. “The team is well aware that the delay impacted our backers but feels strongly that we made the right decision to improve the product’s performance.”
“Atari will always prioritize delivering a high-quality product over a self-imposed deadline,” Michael added. “Our Indiegogo backers are extremely important to us, and the entire team and I would like to thank our backers once again for their loyalty and continued support. I am sure they will understand our prioritization of delivering a quality product above all else.”
If you look at the product itself, the Atari VCS has a bunch of Atari 2600 ROMs already loaded on it. It is not a mini-console to rival the switch. It’s effectively a Linux gaming PC with an AMD processor.
The console is mimicking the design of the original Atari VCS that was later renamed as 2600. It comes with a hard case and a wood-panel finish. All of this makes it more expensive. The Atari VCS will retail at $249.99. What that price gets you is 4gb of RAM and also, 4k and HDR support.
It also comes in an 8gb model but neither of these variants comes with an input device. The gamepad and joystick cost around $49.99 and $59.99 respectively.
The company didn’t declare any revised date for the IndieGoGo sponsors, but Arzt gave a statement saying, “We are talking weeks here, not months, and the Indiegogo backers remain our top priority.” He assured that the sponsors would get their consoles before the general public, as promised. “We will also try to come up with some kind of bonus to reward our backers for their patience.”
The general public will have to get their units by GameStop, Walmart or from the company itself. Each storefront will have its own console design. GameStop will sell the “onyx” which is the basic design, Walmart will sell the “Carbon Gold” and Atari will peddle the “black walnut”. You can pre-order the console right now.