Atari VCS console finally available for public pre-order at $249
After one of the most controversial development cycles in recent history, pre-orders for the Atari VCS console have finally been opened to the general public. Pre-orders for the base unit start at US $249 from Atari, Walmart, and GameStop.
The Atari VCS will come in two flavors. The VCS 400 ($249) is the base unit with an AMD Embedded Ryzen R1000 APU, 4 GB of DDR4 RAM, and 32 GB of eMMC storage. The VCS 800 ($279) bumps the RAM to 8 GB of DDR4 but will use the same AMD APU. (Atari did not clarify whether or not the VCS 800 will have more internal storage.) Atari is also offering an “all-in” package that includes the VCS 800, the classic joystick controller, and the Atari gamepad for $389. The joystick controller will be $49 by itself, and the gamepad will retail for $59.
Atari has said several times that the VCS will support “4K gaming” and will feature the Atari World operating system, a customized version of Ubuntu Linux based on the Linux Kernel 4.10.
There are also a few aesthetic choices, although only certain retailers will carry certain designs. GameStop will only carry the “Onyx” (black and red) version, while Walmart will offer the “Onyx” version along with a “Kevlar Gold” unit that features a carbon fiber-esque gold print along the front. Those that want the highly touted “Black Walnut” design (with real wood!) will need to order directly from Atari. Considering the VCS is powered by an AMD Radeon Vega 3 GPU, 4K may be a hard goal to hit. Of course, once the unit is officially released, gamers will be able to see for themselves whether or not the VCS can really play games at 4K.
Pre-orders from Walmart and GameStop are expected to ship in March of 2020, although IndieGoGo backers may receive their units in December.