Back at E3 2017, Atari released a 20-second YouTube teaser video that hinted at the existence of a new Atari console, dubbed the Ataribox. Not much was heard about the console for months until early 2018 when Atari announced the official name for its upcoming console: the Atari VCS, a throwback to the original name of the Atari 2600 back in the 70s.
Here, we round up all the latest news about the Atari VCS, from the release date to the design of the console and what it’ll offer.
When is the Atari VCS release date?
Following almost a year of rumours, Atari finally announced that the first wave of Atari VCS pre-sales will commence on 30 May 2018. You'll be able to pre-order the upcoming console via the Atari VCS IndieGoGo campaign page (which is already live).
If you do decide to become an early adopter, you can look forward to getting your hands on something special. Why? During the pre-sale, you'll be able to get your hands on the Atari VCS Collector's Edition. It's the same as the standard console, but features retro wood panelling on the front. If you prefer the sleek look of the Atari VCS Onyx, you'll also be able to order it during pre-sales.
The console will set you back at least $199 - UK pricing is yet to be announced - with the first consoles to be shipped in Spring 2019.
If you can't wait that long, take a look at our roundup of the best games consoles of 2018.
What does the Atari VCS look like?
The design of the Atari VCS console is reminiscent of the wood-infused Atari 2600, although the new console features a range of improvements compared to the original.
Changes to the design include ribbed lines, a raised back and a new front panel made of either glass or wood. There are also a bunch of indicator lights that glow through the material, giving it a sleek and modern look. It is said to be available in two variants; one with a wooden look, and one with a black and red colour scheme.
In terms of available ports, the Atari VCS is set to feature an SD card slot, an HDMI port and four USB ports.
This was followed up with confirmation that the console will come with both a Classic controller that looks and operates much like the original Atari rubber joystick, along with a more modern Xbox-esque controller.
What does the Atari VCS feature?
Admittedly, details are still sketchy as to what the Atari VCS will offer. Atari has said that it plans to deliver classic games alongside “current content” but it’s not clear what that’ll entail.
The firm has also confirmed that it'll bring a "full PC experience" to your TV, although again, it's unclear how this will be achieved at this stage. It's said to offer a range of apps that'll provide access to social media, streaming services, web browsing, music playback and more.
In terms of hardware, it's powered by a custom AMD processor with Radeon Graphics, and will run Linux OS with a custom interface. It's also capable of [email protected], will feature an internal hard drive alongside expandable memory, USB 3.0 ports, Bluetooth 5.0 and dual-band Wi-Fi.
Pocket-Lint has gone hands-on with a prototype of the console and reports that it included a coaxial input on the rear, suggesting digital TV support could also be in the works.
What seems to be clear is that Atari is looking to take the Atari VCS down the route of the SNES Classic, providing gamers with access to old titles in retro-themed modern hardware.
Apart from that, the company is staying tight-lipped. The company has said that it "...appreciates the community’s intense curiosity about VCS games and content, hardware specifications, production timelines and other key information, and is confident that it is putting the right pieces in place for a successful product and launch."
So, make sure you bookmark this page and head back often for the latest Atari VCS news.