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Atari VCS console (Ataribox) lead architect Rob Wyatt resigns from project, claims non-payment for six months

Image via Atari
Rob Wyatt, the lead architect behind the Atari VCS console, officially resigned from the project on Friday, October 4th. Citing non-payment from Atari for six months, Wyatt's company Tin Giant, which was contracted to help design the console, has left the project. Additionally, sources familiar with the Atari VCS have claimed the console is little more than a generic Linux PC, which does not jive with Atari's marketing.

UPDATE: After publication, we received the following statement from Atari:

"The Atari VCS is proceeding according to its previously announced schedule. Specific updates on the project’s current state have been shared previously and in today’s Medium blog post, as well as in today’s media alert.

It is Atari’s policy not to comment on an isolated matter under dispute, only to say that the Atari VCS project has always been a team effort and its success has never been and will never be dependent on any single individual or partner.

We remain confident in the Atari VCS as the entire team works diligently to bring forth its vision according to plan, and we will continue to communicate accordingly over the coming weeks and months, including hands-on presentations to key media and partners planned for later this fall."

The Medium blog post referred to in this quote can be found here.

Original article:

The oft-delayed Atari VCS (formerly the Ataribox) console has had a troubled development so far, and it may get much, much worse. The lead architect behind the console, Rob Wyatt, has officially resigned from the project.

In a statement to The Register, Wyatt stated that he officially resigned on Friday, October 4th. Wyatt cited non-payment by Atari as a key reason for his departure. According to his claim, Atari hasn’t paid Wyatt’s company, Tin Giant, for the past six months. Tin Giant was contracted to help design and build the Atari VCS.

Wyatt’s departure has thrown the project into question, and with good reason. Aari has been blithe about project updates, software, and games for the console. Delay after delay has led many to speculate that the Atari VCS will ultimately be nothing more than vaporware, or hardware that never comes to be.

Further, The Register reports that, if it does come to market, the Atari VCS may be very different than what Atari sold to early backers. Citing sources familiar with the project, The Guardian reports that several features have been altered or nixed from the console, effectively rendering it as little more than a standard Linux PC. Per The Guardian, “Atari will not be able to build an ecosystem of games as it will not have its own store nor distinct operating system, and so has no control over how games and other software will actually run on it.” At this time, it seems that the Atari VCS has no original titles, no native apps, and will not be ready in time for release in March 2020, which would be the console's third delay.

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2019 10 > Atari VCS console (Ataribox) lead architect Rob Wyatt resigns from project, claims non-payment for six months
Sam Medley, 2019-10- 8 (Update: 2019-10- 8)
Sam Medley
Sam Medley - Review Editor - @samuel_medley
I've been a "tech-head" my entire life. After graduating college with a degree in Mathematics, I worked in finance and banking a few years before taking a job as a Systems Analyst for my local school district. I started working with Notebookcheck in October of 2016 and have enjoyed writing news articles and notebook reviews. My areas of interest include the business side of technology, retro gaming, Linux, and innovative gadgets. When I'm not hunched over an electronic device or writing code for a new database, I'm either outside with my family, playing a decade-old video game, or sitting behind a drum set.