Atari will finally launch the VCS at retail this month

Shawn Knight

Posts: 13,516   +132
Staff member
The big picture: Atari has finally set a retail launch date for its Atari VCS home console following numerous delays and uncertainty that led some to wonder whether or not the system would ever materialize. While finally here, it's likely going to struggle considerably given its high price tag compared leading modern consoles.

Public confirmation of Atari’s interest in getting back into the hardware business came in mid-2017, but it’d be another full year before the firm launched a crowdfunding campaign for the Atari VCS. Multiple delays followed, and at one point, the entire project appeared to be compromised after the system’s lead architect quit.

Atari eventually started shipping orders to early backers, and now it seems that they are ready for a retail launch.

The Atari VCS will be available starting June 15, 2021, from GameStop, Best Buy, Micro Center and directly from Atari via its website. The VCS Onyx Base system starts at $299.99, while the VCS Black Walnut and Onyx All-In bundles, which add in the classic joystick and modern controller, will command $399.99.

Diehards are probably going to pick it up regardless of cost, but at such a high price, it's almost certainly going to be passed over by casual and mainstream gamers.

Each retailer will reportedly offer unique launch-day promotions, although Atari didn’t detail them in its announcement.

Permalink to story.

 

Dimitriid

Posts: 1,129   +2,145
400 USD is a lot to pay for what you can effectively do with maybe 40 bucks if you get a Raspberry Pi 4 and a bunch of emulators for it.

Sure it's a Ryzen chip, but you can get Ryzen embedded rigs for around 300 or so and I believe with a newer APU than these Atari ones will have.

So really, really pointless if you ask me.
 

QuantumPhysics

Posts: 5,292   +6,019
I don't see myself paying $400 for ANYTHING from Atari.

And that's including the Jaguar with every single game Jaguar and Jaguar CD had on a "mini" console...including all of the Atari games ever made.

In fact: that's not a bad idea.

$100.
 

DrSuess

Posts: 140   +109
I will bet the Atari VCS will be the console I could actually buy if I actually wanted one. Atari please stop wasting chip foundry capacity and maybe we can get some of the products we actually want.
 

Theinsanegamer

Posts: 2,724   +4,258
Everything atari ever made for all their consoles can be emulated on the cheapest of netbooks today. This VCS is trying to ride the wave of "mini" consoles yet launches at new console pricing.

I cant see this going anywhere but the dumpster. Atari's nostalgic fanbase is highly unlikely to be interested in such a device, and anyone who wasnt a kid in the 70's will also have little interest on spending PS5 money on a mini console like this.
 

pcnthuziast

Posts: 1,167   +892
I will bet the Atari VCS will be the console I could actually buy if I actually wanted one. Atari please stop wasting chip foundry capacity and maybe we can get some of the products we actually want.

Relevant point no doubt, but maybe low tier chips llike those are kinda 'throw-aways' anyway? They might claim it's a custom chip, but who knows if that couldn't still just be a failure of a higher sku on some other product line?
 

pcnthuziast

Posts: 1,167   +892
The price could be justified if the cabinet was very high quality materials because the design of that and the controls is pretty sick. Just not premium and robust enough build quality. They could sell just the case, just the board or various combos. All at radically different price points for obvious reasons. As much as I like the aesthetic of that case design, if the materials were right, I'd probably pay 399 just for that.
 

yRaz

Posts: 3,856   +4,046
What people aren't considering is that this will likely be fairly low volume. The console also isn't sold at a lose and subsidized by online services and game sales like xbox or Playstation. People forget that "new consoles" are sold at a loss to sell other services.

This will not have micro transactions or online multi-player to subsidize its cost. Going back to volume production, making dies for this stuff to be injection molded is VERY EXPENSIVE. For something will likely make less than 100,000 units, the cost does have to go somewhere.

An extra $100 for the controller and joystick? I paid $80 for the pro controller on my switch.

Frankly, I see this as reasonably priced for something that was asked to be made by small but loyal group of consumers.
 

umbala

Posts: 413   +587
The price tag is $300-$400? Get real. No one will be buying this junk. I predict the price will be slashed repeatedly and by Black Friday they'll be putting these on clearance for like $99.
 

umbala

Posts: 413   +587
What people aren't considering is that this will likely be fairly low volume. The console also isn't sold at a lose and subsidized by online services and game sales like xbox or Playstation. People forget that "new consoles" are sold at a loss to sell other services.

This will not have micro transactions or online multi-player to subsidize its cost. Going back to volume production, making dies for this stuff to be injection molded is VERY EXPENSIVE. For something will likely make less than 100,000 units, the cost does have to go somewhere.

An extra $100 for the controller and joystick? I paid $80 for the pro controller on my switch.

Frankly, I see this as reasonably priced for something that was asked to be made by small but loyal group of consumers.
Holy smokes, is this the perfect apples to oranges comparison or what? You're comparing an ancient console whose processor probably costs a dime to manufacture now to modern, highly advanced and highly expensive hardware being used in consoles today. Did Sega's mini Genesis or Nintendo's mini SNES have to cost $300-400 because they lack the "ecosystem" and game attach rates to make up the initial cost? Of course not. Your explanation and reasoning are complete nonsense. Also, mold injection doesn't cost hundreds of dollars per unit as you make it sound. Good thing they're going with low volume production though and save themselves the storage space for this junk, because no one will buy these.
 

ypsylon

Posts: 397   +334
400$ (or 500$ in EU). What are they smoking?

And yes I've watched GN teardown. 400$ for a console which has worse joysticks than the original from 4 decades back. Money well spent if you're snob. Nobody should be really interested at all. You don't need Ryzen CPU in a fancy box to play ancient 8-bit games.
 

Irata

Posts: 1,741   +2,914
What people aren't considering is that this will likely be fairly low volume. The console also isn't sold at a lose and subsidized by online services and game sales like xbox or Playstation. People forget that "new consoles" are sold at a loss to sell other services.

This will not have micro transactions or online multi-player to subsidize its cost. Going back to volume production, making dies for this stuff to be injection molded is VERY EXPENSIVE. For something will likely make less than 100,000 units, the cost does have to go somewhere.

An extra $100 for the controller and joystick? I paid $80 for the pro controller on my switch.

Frankly, I see this as reasonably priced for something that was asked to be made by small but loyal group of consumers.
I might be tempted since I like the look and - what many are forgetting - it can also be used as an SFF Windows and probably Linux PC.

Emulating old 2600 games is not getting me excited, 8bit or arcade versions would.

Price wise, it‘s probably better to compare this to OEM PC rather than consoles. And PC in this price class don‘t really shine when it comes to performance or features.
 

Wrinkle

Posts: 75   +53
I might be tempted since I like the look and - what many are forgetting - it can also be used as an SFF Windows and probably Linux PC.

Emulating old 2600 games is not getting me excited, 8bit or arcade versions would.

Price wise, it‘s probably better to compare this to OEM PC rather than consoles. And PC in this price class don‘t really shine when it comes to performance or features.

I also thought about repurposing this thing because I just like how it looks. On the other hand it has a Zen 1 CPU, a modern Brix or NUC would provide more bang for the buck.
 

terzaerian

Posts: 988   +1,434
It's not for me but I have nothing against it. If it beat out the Stadia at retail, though, that would be sweet.
 

defaultluser

Posts: 255   +226
I will bet the Atari VCS will be the console I could actually buy if I actually wanted one. Atari please stop wasting chip foundry capacity and maybe we can get some of the products we actually want.

Actually, this uses ancient Raven Ridge 2 -core cut

That comes from Global Foundries!