Atari's new console combines 4K visuals and arcade classics
Gaming relic Atari is dusting off its joysticks and jumping back into the console wars. The company has been drip-feeding us details about its new machine, the Atari VCS, for almost a year. Now, ahead of a full reveal at the end of the month, Atari has spilled some of the beans regarding games, specs and a release window.
Atari first announced the machine last June at E3 2017, and we got a closer look at the shell of the so-called Ataribox in July. Apart from a name change to the Atari VCS, details have been pretty scant for the last few months.
Now the company has finally filled us in on what's in the box, and what niche it'll occupy in your living room. It sounds like a cross between a "retro" console, like Nintendo's Classic Mini line, and a more modern, indie-focused machine, like the Nvidia Shield or the ill-fated Ouya.
The classics are covered in the included Atari Vault, which boasts over 100 old-school games like Asteroids, Centipede, Breakout, Missile Command, Gravitar and Yars' Revenge. The system will also be able to play what Atari calls "popular modern titles," but doesn't elaborate on what that might entail.
To power all that, the Atari VCS will be running on a custom AMD Radeon GPU, and will apparently be capable of 4K visuals, with high dynamic range and clocking 60 frames per second. It'll be built with onboard storage that's expandable, and feature Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5 and USB 3 connections. Players control the action with their choice of a Classic Joystick or a new Modern Controller, and along with games, the box will give access to other "media and streaming content options."
The rippled, retro-looking box will be available in an Onyx (ie, black) version or a special wood-fronted Collector's Edition. Atari is launching a pre-sale for the VCS on Indiegogo on May 30, when it will hopefully answer more questions. Early Bird orders start at US$199 for the Onyx edition, and if all goes to plan, the company expects to ship the console in (Northern Hemisphere) spring 2019.