Atari VCS console-PC hybrid finally available for purchase three years after first being announced
Atari is a brand that has long been synonymous with gaming, helping to create the genre with classic titles such as Pong alongside the iconic Atari 2600 console. It reached the height of its popularity in the late 70s and early 80s before it was forced to go through the first of multiple ownership changes due to the infamous game crash of 1983. In its latest incarnation, the current owners have tried to leverage that heritage with the new Atari VCS that was first launched three years ago.
Following the launch of the console, it looked like it might never see the light of day on more than one occasion, which included the departure of the lead designer over a year ago. Despite the various hiccups, the console-PC hybrid is now available for purchase in two variants. The base model is priced at US$299 and comes without any controllers, while the second is priced at US$399 and comes bundled with both a wireless joystick and wireless gamepad.
The Atari VCS is fitted with fairly modest hardware that includes a 14 nm AMD Raven Ridge 2 APU with integrated AMD Ryzen graphics mated to 8 GB of upgradeable DDR 4 RAM. This is enough horsepower to run the included 100 free retro games as well as power operating systems a user might self-install including Windows, Linux and the open-source version of Chrome OS. On the gaming side, it also uses Chrome as the built-in browser. The device is available for purchase through the Atari website, Best Buy and Micro Center.