While the world waits with bated breath to see if Nintendo will actually announce the Switch Pro today, it's worth remembering that if the worse happens and we don't get a reveal during the E3 Nintendo Direct, we can console ourselves (no pun intended) with another new piece of hardware: the Atari VCS.
Atari is a company with a long and tumultuous history – one which stretches back to the dawn of the games industry itself. While the Atari of 2021 is a very different beast to the one which conquered living rooms in the '70s and '80s with the original VCS (also known as the 2600), there's no denying the firm's importance in the realm of video gaming – heck, it almost released the NES in North America.
This new VCS has endured a pretty painful road to market, initially coming under fire for being a crowdfunded project. In 2018, Atari executive Michael Arzt set alarm bells ringing due to the fact that he seemed to know very little about the system he was overseeing, then a year later, Atari's system architect Rob Wyatt walked away from the whole project after payments were missed.
Still, the original crowdfunding campaign for the Atari VCS raised almost $3,000,000 (its target was a modest $100,000), so there's clearly a market for this type of product. Atari has even stated that it looked to Nintendo for inspiration when it came to creating its new hardware.
After what feels like a long wait, the VCS is finally available to consumers in the United States today, with Best Buy, GameStop, Micro Center, and the official Atari VCS website all carrying stock online.
Here's some PR on the release:
The Atari VCS is a completely modern gaming and video computer system inspired by the iconic Atari 2600 Video Computer System. Blending the best of consoles and PCs to delight a whole new generation of gamers and creators, the Atari VCS offers a fully-featured multimedia experience that’s “Inspired by the past. Built for the future.”
Owners can enjoy a growing library of games from popular independent developers, over 100 free arcade and Atari 2600 classics, plus game streaming services such as Antstream Arcade. Atari VCS owners can even load up their favorite movies and TV shows — directly from the Atari VCS dashboard — or with help from the Atari VCS Companion app, available in the App Store and Google Play — using their favorite streaming media services, including 4K HDR content, as well as listen to music, shop, access their social media, and more.
For advanced users and PC hobbyists who enjoy the ultimate in configurability and customization, an optional PC Mode allows for the installation of Windows or Linux as an alternative operating system, transforming the Atari VCS into a flexible, fully featured and powerful mini-PC.
The base Atari VCS system starts at $299.99, while the Atari VCS Black Walnut and Onyx All-In system bundles cost $399.99, due to the fact that they include the Atari VCS Classic Joystick (available separately for $59.99) and Atari VCS Modern Controller (again, available for $59.99).
According to Atari, all prices represent "special launch day pricing" and "may be subject to change in the future." So, er, get in quick, we guess?
This article was originally published by nintendolife.com on Tue 15th June, 2021.
They actually made this thing?
This will be nothing more than a collector's item... I predict.
It’s insanely snazzy looking to be fair. Not sure it’ll really be remembered but wow, that’s a pretty console.
Micro Center is showing it "In Stock" in 15/23 stores. The only units it has are the $399.95 package (reduced from $449.95). They are not available to ship.
Best Buy only offers the $399.95 package. It is available for pickup in 9 days (June 24).
Gamestop has various packages — including the entry point, controller-less $299.95 unit. But it also says it releases on July 2.
I wonder if anyone will actually get one today.
A controller-less console package... we have finally arrived!
Plans change. Nate said Nintendo is petty so they won’t release it because he and others leaked it. Sounds credible. Love the YouTube influencer world. Changing billion dollar companies plans.
Lol on Nintendo switch news page it says software only..there is no switch pro at this e3.....I'll come back at 12:40 and say told you
The switch pro isn’t even gonna be announced today.
The showcase is exclusively focused on software mostly coming out in 2021.
If there were to be a switch pro, it would be after E3. And if it were to happen, switch pro would have its own standalone event
Just a friendly reminder, Nintendo has deconfirmed a new switch model twice now.
@Darkyoshi98 same. I might do that as well if it doesn’t get announced
Damo's right!!!! Suck it Nintendo.
I doubt they will announce a revised Switch today. From memory, the last time they announced a revision of an existing console at E3 was the Gameboy Micro wasn't it? That was in 2004... They will probably announce it when they want to and when it's ready, just like with the Switch Lite.
I hate how people ruin a nice joke by adding "no pun intended". Also, maybe it's best to buy the atari after a year it's released. It will either be discontinued or heavily discounted by then--If unless you're into buying discontinued consoles.
Might be worth a tinker to go along side my Shield. If it can run Unity it can replace my old outdated desktop.
I've had my Atari VCS since December. I love it. The Atari game store is pretty light on games, and most aren't any good. But, when you place it in PC Mode, tons of games are available through Stadia, and Geforce Now. I use a lot of emulators for retro games. On its own, it doesn't really have the power to play a modern game, but through Stadia and Geforce, it will. Price is a little on the high side, but I've used it daily, for 5 months straight.
@Jeromym why are you on a Nintendo site. Clearly you’re an imposter
A very late Steam machine with the Atari logo slapped on it. No thanks my PC does the job just fine.
I live in the UK, so this is about as relevant as the Polymega.
Although I'm 90% sure the Switch Pro won't be revealed, that everyone is so thoroughly 100% convinced that they won't is kind of annoying.
Just because a company says they're going to do something, that doesn't mean they will. In fact, I think that completely downplaying the possibility of a reveal would be an excellent way of creating a huge amount of hype through surprising everyone who were sure nothing would be said about it.
All they would need to do is show a short clip of it at the very end of their conference and everyone would go nuts about it.
Like I said, I'm mostly taking Nintendo at their word about software only. But at the same time, I won't rule out the possibility that they're lying
There is no switch pro and there never was. You people wanting new hardware already are insane. Take a chill pill and just enjoy the games. Odds are something they show today should be plenty exciting.
Fanboy merch, "It plays just as good, when its kept sealed with-in it's Original Box"
Need some HDR color gamut, for my Nintendo Switch.
Honest truth (in my opinion)? Obviously, Nintendo IS working on what’s next. Is it the Switch Pro? Maybe. Is it something else entirely? Also possible. Will whatever it is be announced today? Again- it’s possible but nobody knows except Nintendo themselves.
Me? I’m ready for it, and it’s simply from a performance standpoint for me. Example: right now I’m huge into Minecraft Dungeons and we’re a Switch-only household. The game runs OK but some levels are a headache-inducing mess. I’d just love a little more power, so things run smoother. If it’s a full-stop upgrade, even better. I love my Switch, it fits my life and reignited my love for gaming, I’d just like a little more oomph so games aren’t slideshow city.
So, we’ll see- all I really want is Spelunky to shadow drop today and I’d be a happy *****. It probably won’t, but who knows.😂
There's literally no connection at all between this company and the company that brought video games into the world's living rooms four decades ago, and there is nothing at all exciting about this news. I had a 2600 back in the day. It was amazing at the time. Atari captured lightning in a bottle.
This isn't that Atari, and lightning isn't going to strike twice.
“ Atari VCS Classic Joystick (available separately for $59.99)”
Lmao get out of here Ouya Twoya
Have you seen the amico intellivision présentation yesterday , it looks like cheap arcade games of the 70s are back.
switch ps5 xbox or an atari door stop. mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm
Christ, it's like with both this and Amico they just said "Hey, let's get every random tiny Unity developer out there to chuck whatever game they're currently working on onto the system and call that a games library". I'm not really sure 99% of those random Unity games games are truly worthy or more than a few mins of play at most though; we've moved past the days of the original Atari when basically anyone could slap together a game in a week or four and release it as an official title for the system. It just feels a lot like casual unpolished/clunky shovelware, of the variety and level I haven't seen on a proper console as part of the main library of games since the likes of Wii--that's not a compliment. This is not a great way to launch a brand new console imo, but I guess we'll see how these two consoles fair in the longer term. . . .
@nessisonett Yeah, I actually really like the look of the Collector's Edition version of the console with the proper wooden panel on the front. And both of the controllers are really nice too imo (gamepad and joystick). I'm just not convinced at all with the library of games, or the menu/UI design either. I guess we'll see how this things fairs in the near future. . . .
Lol, if they don't reveal the Switch Pro today then Nintendo already lost E3. They severely need to upgrade.
Unlike Nintendo or even SEGA, I really don't have any sentiment attached to Atari, so this is an easy pass for me.
@Zeldafan79 the games that come to the switch are very limited due to the hardware I would love to be able to play all multiplatform games on my switch but alot of them never gone to switch because the hardwares not powerful enough so people wanting Nintendo to step their game up are right to feel that way
@HammerGalladeBro Yeah that's how I feel. Atari was before my time so I have no real attachment to that brand or it's early consoles. That and this isn't a real Atari anyways, it's just some low-end PC with Atari branding. The whole concept just looks really lame, and I bet people will wind up just using these for emulation.
I have not seen anything that justifies the price point. Pass on the VCS.
I still have three Atari systems (7800, Lynx & Jaguar) and I wanted to want this thing. I could easily afford it so it was just a matter of finding ANY justification for it. But with a Switch and PS, I've already got the indie games covered, I have multiple ways of streaming to my TV, and I don't have any burning desire to play PC games (with modest hardware requirements). I'm not one of the people foaming at the mouth "THE VCS IS WORTHLESS!"* but for me and probably most people, it would be totally redundant.
If only Nolan Bushnell NEVER sold his baby to Warner Brothers to get the funding he needed to mass produce the Atari 2600! I have to wonder what might have been! Man!
I'll get mine the old-fashioned way --> I'll dig it up out of the landfill they are going to dump all these in lmao.
Although, the mini-pc mode does sound intriguing to me. I wonder if it is truly any good...for the price, I'm guessing not...
@Slowdive I'd be more interested in that if not for the Earthworm Jim game
@Slowdive I'm looking forward to the Amico too.
It's literally a low-spec PC. It even offers a "PC mode" and supports Windows, Linux, and Chrome OS. I won't fault anyone for buying what they like, but this is a bafflingly bad value proposition if I've ever seen one. Remember the Ouya?
@joey302 Nolan Bushnell made the wrong choice even if he was more successful than Atari in the end. He knew the ship is sinking and he jump off of it before it does. A captain abandoning his ship is why Atari failed in the 80s and never float back up to surface.
@Ghost_of_Hasashi well the fact is is that Bushnell sold Atari to Warner for immediate capital injection because he didn’t have the funds to mass produce the 2600. At that point Atari was still a very successful company. Everything went bad after those bozos at Warner took over which is also why even though he stayed on as a board member after the sale, he left due to disagreements with Warner executives plans of how to run the company.
It is true and Bushnell even admitted himself that he did indeed make more money for selling his stock in Atari right before the crap hit the fan, than the actual sale of the company itself as he chuckled through his explanation of what happened. He also admitted some regret in selling Atari in the first place.
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