Atari VCS – forever delayed?

Atari VCS
Atari VCS – it’s been delayed until the end of 2019… or forever. Whichever is longer.

All this unit has to do is play Atari 2600 games and be a low-end PC, all of which could even be run on a smartphone processor, but all of sudden, it needs a high-performance chip? Pull the other one, guys.

But, they claim it’s still coming, and they state the following, and all those who contributed to the $3m sitting in the company’s bank account – and who are still waiting for information on the game exclusives – don’t want to admit they’ve pissed away their money:

    “For many months, the hardware engineering team behind the Atari VCS has remained heads-down in the system architecture phase, working closely with our hardware and software partners to deliver the best possible user experience. We have now made the decision, in partnership with the team at AMD, to further enhance our VCS system architecture.

    The Atari VCS will now be powered by a 14nm AMD processor featuring high-performance Radeon Vega graphics architecture and two “Zen” CPU cores. This new processor replaces the model from the “Bristol Ridge” family that had been in the plan since originally selected for the Atari VCS back in 2017. 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. The new processor includes built-in Ethernet, Native 4K video with modern HDCP, and a secure frame buffer that fully-supports DRM video (Netflix, HBO, etc.).

    This upgrade will translate to better overall performance in a cooler and quieter box — all with minimal impact to our manufacturing processes. 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.

    Atari cannot thank our great partners at AMD enough for bringing forward this exciting new — and thus-far unannounced — product for us to utilize in the VCS.

    The North American schedule is now targeting end of 2019 for delivery. With this decision to upgrade, and the resulting modifications to the system architecture and software that are needed, the VCS team now projects a new delivery window for the Atari VCS at the end of 2019 for Indiegogo backers.

    Atari has an incredible community of backers and fans and the Atari VCS team is committed to delivering the best possible finished product and experience into our customer’s hands. The Atari VCS represents a huge part of Atari’s future and we refuse to compromise that opportunity with an inferior product experience.

    The Atari VCS team will continue to keep backers and fans posted on major developments and will publish an updated project schedule as soon as we finalize it with the factory and all stakeholders. More generally, we look forward to sharing a variety of other Atari VCS updates over the next few months, such as news about design architecture, distribution partnerships, peripherals and accessory updates, game and media partnerships and other content, VCS user experience, on-screen dashboard and storefront, service offerings, and of course, more specifics about the new AMD APU and its impact.”

Atari VCS
Previously on DVDfever:

June 8th:

Atari VCS – it’s a fake! It’s a trap! Don’t fall for it!

In short, RGT85, and thanks to BP Retropower, have found out that while Atari showed Tempest 4000 apparently runing on their platform, Llamasoft have confirmed they’re not producing the game for it! So, it’s nothing more than an artist’s impression… which will not come to fruition.

And that wasn’t the only faked footage – there’s also the ‘new’ version of Yars’ Revenge which was faked.

Hence, NOTHING that has been shown so far has been running on the console, and RGT85 likens it to the infamous Coleco Chameleon. Rerez, whose video is shorter and more concise (since RGT85 does tend to waffle a lot, and repeat what he’s already said), is also angry.

Almost $3m has been pledged by 10,000 backers, so it’s time to cancel those Indiegogo payments! It’s a massive SCAM!!!

Note: Rerez has since deleted his video, so I’ve replaced it with one from Smash JT, who was actually the FIRST with this news!

Atari VCS
Previously on DVDfever:

Atari VCS now available to pre-order… NOT! …maybe?

Atari VCS – it has real wood. It plays games from 40 years ago. It costs $199 and up! You can pre-order it now!

Well, for a time, when it went live at 2pm, the Indiegogo website was more of a ‘webshite’ as it crashed the moment the pre-orders went live. Some apparently did secure one, while others don’t know whether or not their order went through. And when it is due, will they ever receive it, given that it’s Indiegogo?

As I upload this, it’s now almost 6pm, and after four hours, the campaign has taken $1.7m. In fact, ten minutes before, it was just over that amount. Now, as I type, it’s just UNDER that amount! WTF?!

And we’ve STILL not seen anything concrete about what will be on it that you can’t get elsewhere, and certainly no exclusives.

If you signed up to the newsletter and are wondering about the ‘Secret Perk‘, it saves you $51, since it’s $199 for the Atari VCS Onyx unit, plus $29 for a “classic joystick”, making a total of $228, against a usual retail price of $279. Alternatively, you can buy the Onxy and classic joystick combined for $229… so, yes, you can save a dollar by buying them separately. Huh?!

Oh, and these are prices in dollars. I’m the UK, so why am I not seeing UK prices?

And since it’s Indiegogo, the whole campaign could crash and burn, and you’ll lose all your money. I think I’ll wait until it’s actually released, which is next summer, and that’s at the earliest! In the meantime, here’s The Bangles with the very apt song, Crash and Burn!


Posted: May 1st:

Atari VCS, formerly the Ataribox – yes, it’s still coming. You thought it had gone away when they offered pre-orders back in November, but it’s been put back to May 30th, and DEFINITELY MAYBE won’t slip again.

Atari, together with AMD, and a custom processor with Radeon Graphics Technology are making a console which will allow 4K resolution, HDR, 60FPS gameplay, onboard storage, expandable storage options, dual-band Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0, USB 3.0 and… well, whatever else they’re offering isn’t yet listed. However, even if it can play modern games based on those specs, why were they only showing the original Atari 2600 version of Centipede to show it off on their Facebook page?

BUT you’ll be able to pre-order it from $199 according to the email I received (erm… I’m in the UK and STILL got the same email as the US). That console will be the Atari VCS Onyx, which won’t come with any controllers, it seems. Erm….

And you’ll pre-order by giving your money to an Indiegogo campaign, which means they don’t have to have proof of concept, i.e. a working prototype, so… you could pay your money and get naff all at the end of it when it’s apparently launched in 2019.

Pay some more and you’ll get a console with REAL WOOD, maybe…. And controllers… maybe.

Either way, it will contain the 100 games in the Atari Vault collection… which is already on Steam. So you don’t need to pay $200 for it.

Posted: March 20th:

Ataribox – It’s now the Atari VCS… huh?

Ataribox is clearly such a revolution in gaming that it’s been renamed the Atari VCS… like the original ’70s console, it has a load of old Atari VCS games… like you can already have with Stella, and as well as a controller which looks similar to the one I played with in the late ’70s/early ’80s. As the picture above shows, it also has a controller which looks exactly like the Xbox One controller! WTF?!

It will play some indie games, and will still cost up to $300 in the US, which means a price of around £300 in the UK. Er… what? Where is the originality?

Anyhoo, come its alleged release in April, people will be saying – where is the console, since if this becomes a viable project, then my name’s Lily Savage.

Dreamcast Guy makes some fantastic gaming vlogs, and he has plenty to say on the subject, so please do check this out.

Plus, what he does at the end is what I was tempted to do with mine before I saw it! 🙂

Posted: December 15th 2017:

Ataribox was due to become available for pre-order from today, even though – despite some pictures of the first prototypes, back in September (and in this post) – we’ve still no-idea what we’re pre-ordering!

Today, they announced an update:

    “The countdown to the Ataribox launch on Indiegogo has been officially paused. Because of one key element on our checklist, it is taking more time to create the platform and ecosystem the Atari community deserves. Building Ataribox is incredibly important to us and we will do whatever it takes to be sure it is worth the wait.

    An updated launch plan is underway and more detailed information will be available soon.

    We will be keeping you, our community, informed every step of the way. Thank you again for your support of Ataribox.”

So, when’s it coming? Never, of course. This is vapourware. It ain’t happening! If it does ever see the light of day, AND is any good, I’ll eat my hat… but first, I’ll have to buy a hat!

Some previous news on this thing!

Atari stated in September, that everyone who’s seen it first-hand loves it, they feel that… oooh, the Atari 2600 influence, yet it still has a modern design. Well, I’d love to check one out for myself. Below is the other info that we have for it so far.

The console will be powered by an AMD customised processor, with Radeon Graphics technology and will run Linux with a customised, easy-to-use user interface. They tell us that this means not only is it a great gaming device, but Ataribox is also a full PC experience for the TV, bringing us streaming, applications, social, browsing, music and more.

Plus, while most TV devices have closed systems and content stores, Linux lets us be more open, with access and customise options for the operating system, allowing you to access games you’ve bought from other content platforms, as long as they’re compatible with the OS and hardware.

The Ataribox will contain “tons” of classic Atari retro games pre-loaded, plus current titles from a range of studios, with titles yet to be announced.

Ataribox is launched on Indiegogo this Thursday, December 14th, and delivery is expected in Spring 2018, and prices will range from $249-299 (so, around £250 in the UK), depending on specific configurations and whether or not you’ve got wood… i.e. a real wood wooden Ataribox.