Atari has shed some new light on the Ataribox recently at Game Developers Conference (GDC). The console, officially named “the Atari Video Computer System”, or Atari VCS will be out soon and the pre-orders will start as early as April 2018.
Atari is now a shadow of what it once was. However, it recently sprung back to life after making multiple announcements which included the new console and its own cryptocurrency. The console, in particular, would be a throwback to the original Atari 2600, but with a modern twist to it. There is info here and there about the console but nothing concrete was known about its official name or release date until the unveiling at GDC.
What we know so far
The AtariVCS will have an AMD graphics card, which means it’ll likely be powerful enough to run modern games. It’ll also use Linux as its OS which means that you can customize and run the system however you like just like Linux allows you to do so on a PC.
The console will be able to run all the old games for nostalgia purposes. It will also have a few old titles preloaded inside as well. Moreover, the more interesting part is that it’ll also be able to run modern games, which means that it could possibly support the titles we see on other consoles such as Xbox or PlayStation. Lesser known game developers could also benefit from the AtariVCS. They can make games exclusively for the console giving their games the exposure they would otherwise not achieve due to being overshadowed by other huge games on other consoles.
As seen in the above photo, the AtariVCS will combine past designs with modern tech. The console has four USB ports, one HDMI port and it also has a very interesting Ethernet port. The ethernet cable port means the device will be able to access the internet which means that digital games or more could also be making their way to the AtariVCS and perhaps online gaming too. Of course, given 2018, anything that does not have internet would be almost destined to fail.
First few looks
According to the information available, there will be two versions of the console, black and red, and wood. The front panel of the console would be either wood or glass. The black and red version of the console can be seen pictured above and is the one Atari has chosen to unveil.
As seen above, the console, alongside its retro design supports two controllers. One controller is the classic Joystick that previous Atari consoles used to have. This will most likely be used for the old Atari games the console will support, who knows it might be used for future games too. The other controller is a more modern controller, very similar to the Xbox One controller.
The second controller also seems to have what looks like a 3.5mm audio port. This means that you’ll be able to plug in headphones when playing. It also opens up the possibility of talking to your friends online like on the Xbox and PlayStation. This is possible because the console does have an ethernet port meaning it can connect to the internet. Therefore, if any online game comes to the console, then online chatting will most likely also be available through the 3.5mm audio port. However, there’s no confirmation for anything so far, it’s just speculation.
Reason for the lack of details
The company hasn’t revealed much about the console, this is all that’s known so far. According to Atari, they’re being tight-lipped for a reason:
“We know you are hungry for more details; on specs, games, features, pricing, timing etc.,” the company said. “We’re not teasing you intentionally; we want to get this right, so we’ve opted to share things step by step as we bring Ataribox to life, and to listen closely to Atari community feedback as we do so.”
Although pre-orders for the console will start in April, no official release date for the console has been released. There’s no word on the price of the console either, but it’s rumored to cost around $300, it could be more. Whatever the case is, fans are excited that Atari is back with another console.