We are finally starting to see light at the end of the tunnel when it comes to the Atari VCS... at least we hope so. We were first introduced to the Atari VCS (previously known as Ataribox) back in July 2017 as a retro Atari console that would offer a more powerful alternative to similar products like the Nintendo NES Classic and SNES Classic.
However, the console has been plagued with numerous delays and most recently got a brain transplant in the form of an AMD Ryzen Embedded R1000 APU. Today, we're learning that Atari has advanced past its Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign and has officially cranked up its official presales of the Atari VCS.
The console will be available direct from AtariVCS.com or from Walmart and GameStop. The base Atari VCS 400 Onyx system comes with 4GB of RAM and is priced at $249. Stepping up to the Atari VCS 800 Onyx gets you 8GB of RAM for $279. There's also an Atari VCS 800 Onyx "All In" bundle the for $389 that gets you a Classic Joystick and a Modern Controller.
“Atari made a commitment to its fans to make the new VCS the best and most versatile game and home entertainment platform it can be, with a wide array of options,” said Atari CEO Frédéric Chesnais. “After so many months of work defining and refining the products, and after the strong initial support of thousands of Indiegogo backers, we are excited to finally and officially announce our product launch configurations.”
We must admit that we’re experiencing quite a bit of sticker shock with the Atari VCS. Considering that you can get an Xbox One S for close to $200 these days and that $389 is Xbox One X/PlayStation 4 Pro money, we're not so sure how receptive the gaming community is going to be to this new console. On top of that, Atari is still saying that the VCS won't even ship until March 2020 -- nearly three years after it was first announced. By that time, the PlayStation 5 and Project Scarlett likely be just over 6 months away.
On the plus side, earlier Indiegogo backers of the Atari VCS are scheduled to get their consoles beginning in December 2019. What say you, HotHardware readers. Is the Atari VCS priced too high, or is it "just right" for the enthusiast community? Sound off in the comments section below.