Atari has unveiled the new Atari VCS Console during the hustle of E3 and it is turning heads. The retro games company is making a return to the living room with a $249 system that plays retro games.
First announced back in 2018 as a crowdfunding project, the Atari VCS is clearly pitched as Atari’s step back into the lives of gamers who have long memories. Playing on the nostalgia of households who can afford to splash out more than a basic Xbox One, the Atari VCS is more than a retro hack job. The Atari VCS does play retro titles. The set top box comes with its own Linux based Atari World OS and provides players with access to the Atari Vault. This gives gamers more than 100 old school games to jump straight into and blast away. The console even includes a classic Atari joystick that screams seventies sensibility. The old aesthetic is joined with something of a forward-looking approach, however.
Whether you prefer the all black Onyx VCS design or the Black Walnut theme, what’s under the hood of the Atari VCS is from an entirely different era. The VCS packs in between 4-8GB of Ram, which is upgradable, and are powered by an AMD Ryzen processor. This allows Atari’s comeback to kick out 4K HDR streaming, which is no small feat for any console. This power is fully unleashed by switching the Atari VCS to Sandbox mode, giving gamers access to an expandable multimedia PC. Modern controllers augment this adaptation, designed and delivered by Power A to match the Atari aesthetic.
What initially seems like a frivolous expense could actually turn out to be one of the smartest looking hybrids on the market if Atari has things right. That, however, is something we will find out when it arrives in March 2020. The Atari VCS is already available to pre-order in the NA. You can check out the full range at Gamestop, Walmart, and AtariVCS direct. Packages range from the base Onyx and 4GB of Ram, for $249, through to the All In bundle with 8GB of Ram, for $389. If we manage to break out of our E3 coverage anytime soon we wouldn’t Manic Mine-d a nostalgic game of Galactica. In the meantime, you can find out more about the VCS project over at medium.com.