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.