Atari's Linux-powered VCS console gets pre-order date, $199 starting price

The good news is the long-awaited video game system/living room PC will be available to pre-order from Indiegogo on May 30. The bad news is that Atari says it won't start shipping the VCS until the spring 2019.
Written by Sean Portnoy, Contributor
​Atari VCS
(Image: Atari)

The Atari VCS (formerly known as Ataribox) is edging closer to no longer being vaporware, with the company's announcement that it will finally be available for pre-order. The video game console/mini-PC combo is slated to go on sale on May 30 via crowdfunding site Indiegogo.

Even better, we learn a few more details about a system that has had precious little info beyond marketing hype and nostalgia transmitted to potential buyers. While we've been told previously that the VCS will be powered by Linux and feature some Atari classics, and we've seen plenty of product images complete with retro styling, we now get a starting price -- $199 -- along with a few specs.

Atari says the VCS will include a custom AMD processor with Radeon graphics, support for 4K resolution, built-in dual-band Wi-Fi, and expandable storage options. (A full spec sheet is promised when the Indiegogo campaign kicks off.) In addition to partnering with AMD, the company has enlisted Power A to help develop the console's two controllers -- a modern one with thumb stick and D-pad and a joystick modeled on the classic Atari 2600 one.

Read also: Atari to launch cryptocurrency token for use in casinos, gaming platforms

Also referencing Atari's first console is the VCS Collector's Edition, sporting the faux wood trim that was part of the 2600's aesthetic. While we don't know what the price of the Collector's Edition will be, Atari did reveal that an all-black Onyx edition will be available for a limited time starting at $199. That price seems to be for the console only, as the company points out that other editions will come with the controllers.

One other piece of news that's less encouraging is the expected shipping date. Atari will gladly take your money starting next month, but it says it won't have a finished product until next spring. Things seem to be progressing for the VCS, but there's still plenty of time between pre-order and the expected shipping date for those things to go amiss.

Are you convinced enough to pre-order one?

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