May 22, 2022

Atari is Making a Console Comeback

2020 hasn’t been the best, but at least we have next-gen consoles to look forward to. The Xbox Series X/S, the PlayStation 5, and…the Atari VCS 800?!

The former heavyweight of the console world is returning to the ring this year.

That’s right, Atari has announced a new, hybrid console that is launching this year; the Atari VCS 800.

From simply looking at the machine, you can see it’s influence and heritage; retro lines, an almost blocky exterior, and, most notably, that classic Atari joystick controller.

Behold; The Retro-chíc Glory

The Atari VCS showcases a staggering amount of features that juxtaposes against its otherwise olde-worlde façade. As noted on the Atari website, the VCS;

  • Includes 100 free Atari classic console and arcade games. Access new Atari classic Missile Command: Recharged and thousands of additional retro games and new games from the Atari VCS store. Additionally, the Atari VCS has joined up with GameJolt; meaning a heckuva lot of Indie games will be playable however you set the console up.
  • Watch your favourite streaming videos and entertainment at up to 4K resolution. Plus, get 60fps on many of your favourite TV/movie services available in the app store.
  • Install your own OS and use the Atari VCS as a mini-PC. Use all your favourite PC game libraries and apps. Compatible with most PC peripherals.
  • Develop new TV-based games and apps for yourself, your family, or to share with the Atari VCS community.

The Specs Are Worthy of 2020

It all sounds amazing if you’re wanting a true bridge between console and PC gaming. But you’ll be wondering what sort of specs does the VCS run at? Well, Atari has provided that as well. [Note; these specifications are for the US units. Other markets may differ];

For it’s APU and GPU, the VCS utilise the AMD Raven Ridge 2 and AMD Ryzen respectively. The Storage comes in at 32GB eMMC fixed, with an M.2 SSD slot, both internally. If that’s not enough storage, you have the option of using unlimited sized external USB HD/sticks. Or even via a cloud-based service. You can install Linux, Steam OS, Windows, or even Chrome OS on the VCS.

Is it a Blast from the Past, or Future-Proofing Your Gaming Experience?

Of course, though it is an Atari console and features the classic joystick, it isn’t the only Atari-peripheral on offer.

Atari has constructed a not-too-unfamiliar modern controller that wouldn’t look out of place alongside the Xbox or PlayStation alternatives. Hell, you don’t even need to use it with the VCS as it can be used with compatible PC and Android devices. It’s future-forward from the past.

If any of this has got you interested, the Atari VCS 800 is available to pre-order now via Atari itself, Wal-Mart, or GameStop*. Plus, each retail version comes in an exclusive colour;

I mean, I know which one I’d go for. Hell, I might even choose the Carbon Gold one over the Xbox Series X. Damn hipster that I am.

*Owing to the fact that we are UK-based, I could not source the URL for the GameStop store. It can be accessed via the Atari home page, however.


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