The gaming console that defined a generation is looking to make a comeback. But don’t call it a comeback.
Roughly 44 years ago, there were few gaming options available for the home. That was until Atari came out with the Atari 2600. The year was 1977, and ever since gaming has been in households throughout the world. Nolen Bushnell would be proud.
Atari wasn’t the first to hit the home market with a gaming console, but they were the ones that were responsible for it going mainstream. The combination of affordability and the wide array of games available made it highly appealing for a generation looking for something new. Upon its release it sold like hotcakes. The ubiquitous cartridges the system needed were on every kid’s Christmas list for a decade to come. One must remember that prior to that time, families would sit around the kitchen table mostly playing cards or an assortment of board games like Monopoly, Scrabble, and the likes.
Fast forward to today and Atari is at it again. The company is not what it used to be. It’s not the powerhouse that controlled and arguably dominated an industry. In order to get the their latest iteration of their console to market they had to turn to their loyal user base and enthusiast via crowdsourcing to raise the capital necessary to pull its production. Needless-to-say they hit their target and the Atari VCS will start shipping in December 2020, to again undoubtedly fulfill many kid’s Christmas lists.
Atari has a few tricks up its sleeve that make this console very different than the original. Gone are the cartridges and the unit is considerably slimmed down. It also has 2 USB 3.0 inputs, an HDMI output, and a LAN port. These additions increase the functionality of the unit.
The Atari VCS comes shipped with more than 100 home and arcade classic games included with the purchase of the console. All the expected favorites like Night Driver, Centipede, Breakout, Asteroids will become home hits once again.
The console’s USB ports allow one to use a USB external drive to load a bootable OS and use the console as a computer. This is accomplished by including an AMD Ryzen CPU, AMD Radeon GPU and 8GB of RAM (expandable) with an output of 4k at 60fps. There are also Bluetooth and WiFi allowing for wireless connectivity.
In addition, the Atari VCS will have streaming options where one can watch streaming content and download games and applications. It can also be used as a music player and for surfing the internet via a web browser. The Atari VCS 800 All-in bundle includes the console, the Atari Classic Joystick, Atari Modern Controller, Power Supply, and HDMI Cable. The Atari VCS can be pre-ordered directly from Atari’s site https://atarivcs.com for $389.00 and free shipping. Three cabinet options are available currently: Black Walnut, Onyx Black, and Carbon Gold.