When the Atari VCS was revealed in 2017, it wasn’t instantly clear what Atari was aiming for with this new console. Is it a retro program like the SNES Classic and Sega Genesis Mini? Will it be a brand new console that tries to compete with contemporary Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo systems? Even now, far more than two years later, there’s nonetheless some confusion about the VCS.
Nicely, what is it?
When it launches in March 2020, the Atari VCS will be aspect retro console, aspect revival of the Steam Machine, and aspect streaming platform. It will also present an open platform for each customers and developers. At the incredibly least, the VCS is an intriguing project from the business accountable for the earliest well-liked game systems.
How do you use it?
When you very first boot up the sleek Atari VCS, you will be in a position to access the Atari Vault, a collection of 101 Atari classics ranging from arcade to Atari 2600 games. If you only appear at the VCS as a retro console, its premium price tag may well appear far more than a tad also steep. But the Atari VCS will also have a shop to buy contemporary games, although precise games haven’t been revealed.
As an open platform, the Atari VCS lets customers set up their personal apps and games. Presently, Redbox, Netflix, VUDU Television, and motion pictures will be obtainable to customers at launch. At E3 2019, Atari told us they’re aiming to have YouTube, Twitch, Hulu, and other streaming solutions on the console as nicely. Atari is nonetheless operating to finalize its partnerships, but we’ll be certain to update this roundup with that information and facts as soon as it is obtainable.
An open platform also implies that developers can develop games and very easily share them for other VCS customers to play. Theoretically, you could even create these games on the VCS itself considering that the console supports mouse and keyboard.
Atari desires to give customers the freedom to use their VCS how they see match. That mantra extends to the controllers. A contemporary Xbox One particular-style gamepad and classic joystick comes with the All-in Atari VCS 800 bundle. Every controller will also be sold separately, with the joystick going for $49 and the gamepad costing $59.
As talked about currently, you can also use mouse and keyboard on the VCS. For the reason that the platform is open and supports Windows, it stands to purpose that you may possibly be in a position to use other contemporary controllers like the Switch Pro controller, DualShock four, and Xbox One particular gamepad.
Atari partnered with Antstream to create a subscription game streaming service for the VCS. Antstream Arcade is presently obtainable on Android, providing a increasing library of retro games to play on your Android-primarily based devices. This new version of Antstream Arcade will be exclusive to Atari VCS. Dubbed the “Atari Edition,” the streaming service will present 50 games at launch but promises to steadily develop into “the biggest collection of Atari games obtainable on demand.”
The complete list of launch games hasn’t been revealed, but we know Adventure, Pong, Evening Driver, Tempest 2000, Yars’ Revenge, and Atari compilations released more than the years will be integrated.
You can attempt Antstream Arcade for 30 days no cost of charge. Right after the trial period, a month-to-month subscription fees $10. You can decrease the month-to-month price to $eight by getting a year subscription ($24 general savings).
The Atari VCS differentiates itself from retro consoles with its hardware. Beneath the hood, the VCS has an AMD Ryzen processor and Radeon graphics. It is also equipped with contemporary amenities like USB three., HDMI, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and Ethernet. It is basically a price range Computer that runs on a Ubuntu-primarily based OS. Why?
Nicely, the Atari VCS basically functions similarly as Steam Machines. As an open platform, you can boot in Sandbox mode and set up contemporary operating systems like Windows, Linux, and Chrome OS. From there, you can set up game customers like Steam or the Epic Games Shop and play your current library of games. Maintain in thoughts that the VCS is not a higher-finish Computer, so do not count on to run the most current and greatest AAA games.
For the reason that the VCS supports contemporary games, it also has HDR and 4K output. You can stream in 4K at 60 frames per second on the VCS.
In addition to installing new operating systems, you can upgrade the hardware itself. The VCS comes with either 4GB or 8GB of DDR4 RAM, but you can pop the console open and add far more RAM. The 32GB on board storage can be upgraded with flash drives and external difficult drives.
Release date and pre-orders
These who backed the Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign will obtain their Atari VCS consoles in December 2019. The crowdfunding campaign has ended, so if you didn’t contribute, you will have to wait till March 2020 to get your hands on the Atari VCS.
The VCS comes in 3 editions: The Atari VCS 400 ($250), the Atari VCS 800 ($280), and the Atari VCS 800 All-in Bundle ($380). The distinction in between the 400 and 800 models is the RAM. The 400 comes with 4GB, though the 800 comes with 8GB. The All-in bundle also comes with each Atari controllers ($108 worth).