Atari VCS

Skel

Diamond Member
Apr 11, 2001
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Seems Atari is coming back with a new console. This looks like it'll be more an emulator they hope people will start to develop on than a full blown newer gen console. While they claim it'll be something game devs can use (it's also using our tried and true PC parts like everyone else) it's still 90% the old 2600 games.
 

Red Hawk

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Jan 1, 2011
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Seems Atari is coming back with a new console. This looks like it'll be more an emulator they hope people will start to develop on than a full blown newer gen console. While they claim it'll be something game devs can use (it's also using our tried and true PC parts like everyone else) it's still 90% the old 2600 games.

In other words, all the games on it will be games you can already get on PC or modern consoles. There are no new games attached to the console or developers who have announced support. The "console" is going to do nothing current consoles don't already do, while missing features like a proper disc drive.They haven't "locked down" the hardware - which is a really bad thing with how close it is to its purported release - but I heard they were going with an AMD Bristol Ridge APU. AKA Bulldozer's last hurrah combined with a tiny Polaris GPU, aka going to run hot and have less graphics power than even the lower priced Xbox One S.

There's going to be no reason to buy this, unless you really like real wood grain veneer. And that's not even getting into how at this point it seems like snake oil only marginally more real than the Coleco Chameleon, as they have yet to actually show a working model at a trade show.

It's a slick design, I'll give it that. But good design alone does not a good console make.
 

Skel

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Apr 11, 2001
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This should be about as popular as Steam boxes were...

...or less.

Soooo have it's fans spend years telling us how this will destroy Sony and Microsoft only to silently fizzle out when no one cares?
 

Red Hawk

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Jan 1, 2011
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Soooo have it's fans spend years telling us how this will destroy Sony and Microsoft only to silently fizzle out when no one cares?
Seems like it.

They could have made Steam Box a thing. If they had:

-Locked it down a to a few manufacturing partners and SKUs no more expensive than $1,000;
-Put their development force behind it. Make Half Life 3 exclusive to Steam Box, and make a whole wave of new Valve games exclusive to Steam Box. Or, at least, exclusive to SteamOS/Linux.

Yes, that would have been risky. Yes, that would have made the Steam Boxes less like PCs. Yes, that would have sacrificed their Windows game business and probably pissed off a lot of PC players who wouldn't see it as worth the jump. .

But nothing ventured, nothing gained. Didn't people who wanted gaming PCs already have them? And if they were putting a console-esque ecosystem out there without console-style exclusives to support it, they might as well have not tried at all. If one goal was also to undermine Windows, provide an alternative to it, wouldn't removing support from Windows further that goal?

Not saying I would have wanted Valve to do any of that, It's just that if they really wanted Steam Box to be a thing, they needed to bet a lot more chips on it. They put a halfhearted effort into it, and got a halfbaked product in return.
 
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Justinbaileyman

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Aug 17, 2013
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They haven't even shown any games and this thing is supposed to release the end of next month or end of sept??
Yeah right!!
I got duped with the ouya thing but they wont get me again.
I will stick to my Xbox consoles and PC gaming until I see some kind of proof and lots of reviews.
 

Skel

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Apr 11, 2001
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They haven't even shown any games and this thing is supposed to release the end of next month or end of sept??
Yeah right!!
I got duped with the ouya thing but they wont get me again.
I will stick to my Xbox consoles and PC gaming until I see some kind of proof and lots of reviews.

I'm not sure if they changed it, but the site shows it won't be around until July of 2019. They've also shown games.. just the very very told Atari games that you can get elsewhere for much cheaper. I doubt this thing will go anywhere. The only thing the ouya did right was finally shut off the people that kept swearing that Android was going replace everything. I remember the thread on here that it's fans were arguing that the ouya was going to put not only all the current console makers out of business, but also the PC market.
 
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Justinbaileyman

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I'm not sure if they changed it, but the site shows it won't be around until July of 2019. They've also shown games.. just the very very told Atari games that you can get elsewhere for much cheaper. I doubt this thing will go anywhere. The only thing the ouya did right was finally shut off the people that kept swearing that Android was going replace everything. I remember the thread on here that it's fans were arguing that the ouya was going to put not only all the current console makers out of business, but also the PC market.
Wow didn't know they pushed it back a full year.. At this point i am thinking this is gonna be vaporware and i dont count old school roms as showing off games. I was referring to the supposed Atari Exclusives that they keep bragging about but havent shown not even a single screen shot of even a concept art pic, let alone screen shots of any beta.
Even when ouya was an idea they posted concept art of the console and of game beta's.
I would say if your gonna spend $300-$500 any way just purchase a mainstream console or top end GPU and be set and know your not getting screwed over!!
 

NostaSeronx

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Sep 18, 2011
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Well, this is out now. It is sort of in the cheaper range of the Raven2-class embeddeds that I have saw.

R1505G:
Asrock retail: $249.99
Gigabyte retail: $249.99

R1305G:
HP retail >$399
Maxtang retail ~$399

Getting the console thus R1606G only at $299 in between that seems fair imho.

Eyeballing the 3200u/3250u laptops/desktops/mini-pcs makes the $299 price seem like chump change. Especially, with the whole no SO-DIMM, only soldered fiasco to even get into the VCS price target.
 
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NTMBK

Lifer
Nov 14, 2011
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Well, this is out now. It is sort of in the cheaper range of the Raven2-class embeddeds that I have saw.

R1505G:
Asrock retail: $249.99
Gigabyte retail: $249.99

R1305G:
HP retail >$399
Maxtang retail ~$399

Getting the console thus R1606G only at $299 in between that seems fair imho.

Eyeballing the 3200u/3250u laptops/desktops/mini-pcs makes the $299 price seem like chump change. Especially, with the whole no SO-DIMM, only soldered fiasco to even get into the VCS price target.

It's weird that they styled it after a game console, when it's definitely a PC that comes with some preinstalled games. Would make more sense if it looked like the Atari ST.
 

TheELF

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Dec 22, 2012
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It's weird that they styled it after a game console, when it's definitely a PC that comes with some preinstalled games. Would make more sense if it looked like the Atari ST.
Yeah, let's go and tell sony and MS that they are doing it all wrong these last 6-7 years.
The only distinction between console and PC ever since the PS4 is the software you can run on it.

But I do agree, they should have made it much much cheaper by going with a Pi/arm cpu making it also much smaller giving it a cuter retro case, well it's cute enough but it would be smaller so...cuter.
Basically a mini snes/ps1 but atari, making a custom atari miniPC is just asking to fail.
 

NTMBK

Lifer
Nov 14, 2011
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Yeah, let's go and tell sony and MS that they are doing it all wrong these last 6-7 years.
The only distinction between console and PC ever since the PS4 is the software you can run on it.

But I do agree, they should have made it much much cheaper by going with a Pi/arm cpu making it also much smaller giving it a cuter retro case, well it's cute enough but it would be smaller so...cuter.
Basically a mini snes/ps1 but atari, making a custom atari miniPC is just asking to fail.

I wasn't referring to the underlying architecture, I was referring to the fact that the software runs a full Linux desktop. It's not just a games console.
 

mindless1

Diamond Member
Aug 11, 2001
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Never too late to play with your atari.
Meh, I had an Atari 800XL, was the first computer i learned to program on (atari basic), by modding games hacked from cart to floppy. I had two floppy drives and wico red ball joysticks... gave the whole set away to a friend, haven't missed it yet. I did think about converting the joysticks to USB for PC use, but then decided the friend would benefit more having them as the 800XL didn't come with any atari joysticks.

red.jpg
 
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Meh, I had an Atari 800XL, was the first computer i learned to program on (atari basic), by modding games hacked from cart to floppy. I had two floppy drives and wico red ball joysticks... gave the whole set away to a friend, haven't missed it yet. I did think about converting the joysticks to USB for PC use, but then decided the friend would benefit more having them as the 800XL didn't come with any atari joysticks.

View attachment 46402

Haha I remember the wico, extra durable, extra huge with a useless button on top.
Those sucked and were awesome simultaneously.
For the younger folks choice was:
A comfortable plastic & rubber joystick that would break after a few months
or
Even cheaper plastic & rubber unbranded sticks that would break in a few weeks plus be unresponsive
or
A industrial over sized metal & abs plastic joystick that worked okay but literally couldn’t be broken
 

NostaSeronx

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Sep 18, 2011
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Update on the price point of the Atari VCS (R1606G/8GB/32GB eMMC) which switched to $199. While the Raven2s (3xxxU/e, 3xxxC/e, and R1xxx) are mostly $300+ USD [being generous, R1000 minipcs are $500-$600 now] under the "new" tag rather than renewed/refurbished/etc. With Atari adding Google Workspace to the VCS after my prior post. The ~$199 price point for a weird gaming-branded ChromeBox-lite is sort of still a functional deal for that.

Still pretty much fails as a game console with a severe lack of non-streamed/non-emulated games. Which should be hopefully alleviated with the pivot that is still in progress at Atari. Where in 2021 they ended their F2P smartphone strategy and switched tracks to B2P PC/Console games affecting 2H2022/2023 titles. Bad news is still coming as most games in the pipe are still 2D-arcadey games rather than 3D-arcadey. For Atari's second-party [they don't internally develop games] game development these are the fixed machine targets:
1. Sony => PlayStation 4|5 / PlayStation Store
2. Microsoft => Xbox Series S|X / Xbox Store
3. PC => SteamDeck / Steam Store
4. Nintendo => Switch / Nintendo e-Shop
5. Atari => VCS / Atari Shop

Games that were on the F2P/smartphone side and had a 3D-arcadey vibe but have not yet gotten non-asset flip HQ VCS remakes:

Night Driver:
Night_Driver.jpegNight_Driver_1.jpeg

Ninja Golf:
ninagolf.jpgninagolf2.jpeg

Asteroids Star Pilot:
asteroids.jpegasteroids2.jpeg

Don't look up the gameplay, the screenshots are the best parts.

Now on to the hardware side; the VCS team went under review in the start of 2022 and is planned to continue through 2023. Which is where they will decide the new hardware strategy beyond 2023 during that period.
 
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quikah

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Apr 7, 2003
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This product is pointless. $199 and doesn't even come with a controller. The only use is as an emulation box, but Xbox Series S covers that just as well, with price <$250 with sales ($240 right now at walmart).
 
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NostaSeronx

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Sep 18, 2011
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This product is pointless. $199 and doesn't even come with a controller. The only use is as an emulation box, but Xbox Series S covers that just as well, with price <$250 with sales ($240 right now at walmart).
As a console it is a bad deal, but as a Linux PC it isn't as bad.

~$199 is Jasper Lake without SSD/RAM/OS:
Intel's BNUC11ATKPE0001
NEOSMAY's AC8-N6005
etc

>$299 with Jasper Lake Pre-built:
GMTek's NucBox 7, 16GB+512GB
AEROFARA Aero 5 Pro, 16GB+512GB
etc

The only case of buying the Atari VCS as a console at the current prices $199 Base/$299 All-in is for the novelty/collection aspect. The range of production is in the 10,000s, so at most out of 8 billion people only <50,000 could own a modern Atari VCS 1.0.

////
The ongoing price of the console will definitely be determined by the 2023 lineup of games. Which we can watch estimated results with Steam-focus: https://vginsights.com/publisher/351/atari

Given the supply issues specifically eMMC's tight supply and the hardware review. I would hold on buying a modern VCS1.0, because of a potential refresh to 16GB+512GB or 8GB+256GB specifiction. I am also hoping for a switch for Desktop<->Kiosk modes, because for the PC-part of hybrid PC/Console, it needs that capability. I am pretty sure that the PC Mode USB is 100% what is on the eMMC but without the Kiosk App and with a Gnome DE/Apertis[Debian] Repository:

Ranked-wise:
1. As a PC it is good. Best case scenario.
2. As a Console it is mediocre. There is a non-linear progression to higher-end consoles.
3. As an Emulator it is awful. There are cheaper devices.

2 and 3 can be solved by selling the Atari VCS Base at a lower price of near ~$99. Especially with the Stoney Ridge china-builds at $96-$129.99, A9-9400/8GB/128GB SSD.

Assuming Atari game-buying whales on the VCS:
7x 9.99 for each Recharged Title
1x 24.99 for Atari Mania
1x 29.99 for Atari 50th
1x 14.99 for Kombinera
1x 19.99 for Tempest 4000
2023 assuming 18 games at average price of $9.99 spread across each: 18x 9.99
= $339.71 for whales
50% off sales for dolphins
= $169.86

Talking about the above video games. The games this Atari are generally targeting on recharging, reimagining, etc. All of them are stuck in the wrong era for me to even consider it as a game console. The era in my opinion they should target is the missing mainstream console era between late fifth through early seventh console gens.

Fatal Run(etc), examples:
<<Twisted Metal, Vigilante 8, Carmageddon, Auto Assault, Split/Second, Hard Truck: Apocalypse/Ex Machina, etc>>

Night Driver, examples:
<<Need for Speed, Test Drive, Wangan Midnight, Blur, etc >>

Jet Fighter(etc), examples:
<<Ace Combat, TC's HAWX, Jane's Advanced Strike Fighters, Vector Thrust, Project Wingman, etc>>

Section 8 can be itself...¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Actually, I can use a game they have out right now: Missile Command Recharged
Where they cover the Classic-variants, but ignore the 3D variants on PS1/PC/Jaguar, and the VR variant on Jaguar.

Then, there is some cult classics under [Infogrames->Atari] era, if going PC/Console route would have nice remakes.
 
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NTMBK

Lifer
Nov 14, 2011
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2 and 3 can be solved by selling the Atari VCS Base at a lower price of near ~$99. Especially with the Stoney Ridge china-builds at $96-$129.99, A9-9400/8GB/128GB SSD.

I don't think that they can knock the price that low just by switching to Stoney Ridge- they would need to gut the quality of the materials and build quality, massively reduce the complexity of the board etc. It would be a very compromised product at that point.