Monday, July 6th 2020

Atari VCS Console Finally Set To Release in Fall 2020 for $389.99 USD

The Atari VCS was first announced over two years ago in 2018 but has since suffered numerous delays. It looks like there may be light at the end of the tunnel for the Atari VCS 800 with the console now available for pre-order from Atari, GameStop, or Walmart. The console is only available as part of a bundle including the console itself, Wireless Classic Joystick, a Modern Controller, and free copy of Atari Vault of 100 classic arcade and console games. The bundle is priced at 389.99 USD and is expected to ship by the 2020 holiday season.

The console features a custom AMD Raven Ridge APU with Vega 3 graphics, paired with 8 GB DDR4 ram, and 32 GB eMMC internal flash storage. The device runs a custom Linux OS but also supports Linux, Windows, Steam OS, or Chrome OS if booting from an external drive. Connectivity consists of 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth 4.0 while I/O includes a single HDMI 2.0 port, gigabit Ethernet port, and quad USB 3.1 connectors. A lower-powered Atari VCS 400 system is also planned with half the ram at 4 GB and is expected to sell for 249.99 USD.
Source: Atari
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38 Comments on Atari VCS Console Finally Set To Release in Fall 2020 for $389.99 USD

#1
sam_86314
This would probably make a great little HTPC or game streaming box.

Also I'm sure people will eventually figure out how to install 3rd party OSes on the internal storage.
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#2
Searing
Kind of shows what a scam it is. Expect the Xbox lockhart to be 2x-4x in speed and specs for the same or less. Oh wait Vega 3? Xbox will be 20-40 times faster...
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#3
watzupken
I don't know how successful this will be. The asking price if true, is not at all reasonable.
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#4
Kenjiro
What if i install C-64 emulator on it... will it burn? ;-)
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#5
lemonadesoda
As a modern video games machine, seems a little underpowered. For a retro box, seems a little overpriced. Check out retrogaming superpi for a cheap old school emulator to play all the old 8 and 16 bit games.
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#6
ZoneDymo
yeahhhh considering what Atari is nowadays... I would not get this tbh
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#7
lexluthermiester
sam_86314
Also I'm sure people will eventually figure out how to install 3rd party OSes on the internal storage.
That's a fully supported feature by design. Not sure how it will work, but Atari has stated that it will be there. It's stated in the above article as well.
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#8
john_
Difficult sell. I can see some people buying it just for the retro design, but honestly, not many. People who would love to have a mini PC in a retro case, will probably abandon the idea and go for a cheaper and more powerfull mini PC. With a couple of Tiger Lake and Renoir mini PCs in the market by the time Atari comes out with it's system, this will look like a very bad option.
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#9
lexluthermiester
john_
Difficult sell. I can see some people buying it just for the retro design, but honestly, not many. People who would love to have a mini PC in a retro case, will probably abandon the idea and go for a cheaper and more powerfull mini PC. With a couple of Tiger Lake and Renoir mini PCs in the market by the time Atari comes out with it's system, this will look like a very bad option.
You're discounting the game library the system comes with.
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#10
john_
lexluthermiester
That's a fully supported feature by design. Not sure how it will work, but Atari has stated that it will be there. It's stated in the above article as well.
He is talking about the internal storage. The system seems to support installing other OSes on a USB storage, based on the article, not the internal storage. But really, a fast USB M.2 or SATA case with an SSD in it, will probably be a better option than that internal 32GB eMMC.
lexluthermiester
You're discounting the game library the system comes with.
100 ancient games that everyone by now can play for free(legally or not) with an emulator in almost any system that includes a modern processor? No I don't. I just don't value that bundle over $100. More so when they are not games that someone chooses, but a package of games that might include someone's favorite games or might not. It would have been probably better if they where giving $100 credit, to spend on an online store with games costing from $0.49 to $0.99. That download would have been probably a few megabytes. For simplicity they could have the bundle there, if someone didn't wanted to pass days trying to find and download 100 games.
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#11
sam_86314
lexluthermiester
That's a fully supported feature by design. Not sure how it will work, but Atari has stated that it will be there. It's stated in the above article as well.
The device runs a custom Linux OS but also supports Linux, Windows, Steam OS, or Chrome OS if booting from an external drive.
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#12
lexluthermiester
john_
He is talking about the internal storage. The system seems to support installing other OSes on a USB storage, based on the article, not the internal storage. But really, a fast USB M.2 or SATA case with an SSD in it, will probably be a better option than that internal 32GB eMMC.
That has not been clarified, so that conclusion can not be reached. However, an SSD+USB3 adapter is a good idea.
john_
100 ancient games that everyone by now can play for free(legally or not) with an emulator in almost any system that includes a modern processor? No I don't. I just don't value that bundle over $100.
You have the NES/SNES/Genesis/TG16 Mini on the mind. This system can be updated and new games downloaded. It's also much more powerful. And no one can disregard Atari's expansive library.
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#13
ixi
Searing
Kind of shows what a scam it is. Expect the Xbox lockhart to be 2x-4x in speed and specs for the same or less. Oh wait Vega 3? Xbox will be 20-40 times faster...
Xbox and ps will cost above 600 euro. Looking at specs I would even say closer to 1000.
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#15
ebivan
Yeah, I will definitely get that for 400 Bucks. Would not want to waste 500$ on a PS5 or Series X if I can get an Atari Raven Ridge and Vega 3 System for 400$...
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#16
john_
lexluthermiester
That has not been clarified, so that conclusion can not be reached. However, an SSD+USB3 adapter is a good idea.
It's clear in the article and I don't think they will let people install something different in the internal storage. People could create a mess and the console get negative publicity for no reason. Putting a fast USB storage solution on the rear USB slots, will not spoil the product aesthetics.
You have the NES/SNES/Genesis/TG16 Mini on the mind. This system can be updated and new games downloaded. It's also much more powerful. And no one can disregard Atari's expansive library.
This is an x86 PC in a retro case. I don't have those other systems on my mind. They are totally different to this. As for the option to get more games, haven't I already said that? And being an x86 PC it makes it more powerful and more versatile than the other options out there, but then in gets into the mini PC territory. In a few years you will have the potential customer thinking "$400 for the Atari with the controllers and the AMD Raven Ridge APU, or $400 for a Tiger Lake/Renoir mini PC?".

And that's why I think it will be difficult for the VCS. When the Atari STe came out to fight the Amiga 500, the verdict in the press back then was "Too little, too late". I think the VCS console is "too little, too late" in the game. They lost too much time. It targets a very specific audience that will pay anything for that case and that logo, but it lost the much bigger audience that also needs a powerful mini PC/HTPC, because things progressed from the day Raven Ridge was something to be considered desirable.

And that comes from someone who loves the Atari logo. I had passed from an Atari STe to a Mega STe before having no other choice than going to a PC. If the Falcon was a success, I might have stayed in the Atari platform for a couple more years.
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#18
silentbogo
lexluthermiester
That's a fully supported feature by design. Not sure how it will work, but Atari has stated that it will be there. It's stated in the above article as well.
At this point the only thing it has, is a third-party OS support. Their "custom" distro hasn't seen light of the day as of yet (I believe even their last ugly UI demo from CES2020 was running on Windows 10).
lexluthermiester
You're discounting the game library the system comes with.
So far it's only classic games, which you can buy on any platform for several decades now. Tempest 4000 came out to be a fake, and an embarrassing one as well (after being called out by Jeff Minter from Llamasoft). Antstream is also available on all platforms, including Android/IOS and a relatively recent Linux beta.
So far it actually makes more sense to buy a perfectly real Udoo bolt w/ time-proven XB360 or XBO controller.
lexluthermiester
That has not been clarified, so that conclusion can not be reached.
It's 32GB eMMC for all variants, and an empty M.2 slot (probably meant to be user-upgradeable). eMMC will run whatever they put on it OOB, while windows and linux can be installed on NVME drive or run off external storage.
Uskompuf
Atari VCS Console Finally Set To Release in Fall 2020 for $389.99 USD
And you've missed an elephant in the room. Right on their front page in bold letters they proudly announce that consoles will be shipped by Dec 24th... guaranteed :roll:
For this fall their plan is to ship that first batch of 500 units for devs and reviewers, part of which they proudly presented on that dirty pallet. The rest is still on the way, and AFAIK - shipping from China is suffering MAJOR delays now. Just glanced over their update on this shipment, and it definitely looks like they are putting Indiegogo backers at the end of the waiting line again.
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#19
goodeedidid
That price to specs ratio for 2020 are incredibly unacceptable imo.. no BT5 and no Wifi-AC??
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#21
Chomiq
They literally picked the worst time to launch that POS.
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#22
Sykobee
I can't see why they went with the low end embedded R1606 APU with Vega 3. That's less powerful than a Switch - well, a little bit more checking the specifications - 460 GFLOPS, or 1/3rd of an XBox1. I hope they've specced it at 25W instead of 12W.

At least it's Zen - albeit only 2 cores and 4 threads. It uses the Raven Ridge 2 small die, it should be dirt cheap.

I feel I would have bought a $50 "Atari Mini" console with the 100 2600/7800 games on it for a reasonable price, but this is just overpriced and the PC games are going to be appalling unless they're 10 years old.

If only they had used the V1807 - that's 1.8 TFLOPS of GPU and 4C, although higher TDP.
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#23
TheDeeGee
Atari?

They're just renamed Infogrames these days, and there are barely any people left working there.
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#24
lexluthermiester
Wow, just wow. Many of you seem to feel about Atari the way I feel about Microsoft. The only thing is, Microsoft deserves disdain, Atari doesn't..
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#25
Cr4zy
This has been rumoured for how long and they finally decide to release it with next gen consoles? GLHF Atari.
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