For those unfamiliar, Atari unveiled the device, which marks its re-entrance into the console market, in 2017. At first glance, it looked like an Atari 2600, so many thought it would simply be a retro system in the same vein as recent nostalgia products like the SNES Classic. Of course, that would have been strange, considering Atari has had a string of third-party licensed retro consoles in circulation for years, including the recent Atari Flashback 8.
In reality, the console has a retro look and supports a large library of retro games, but it has modern hardware under the hood. It uses a custom AMD processor and runs a Linux operating system that allows it to play old school Atari titles and a select number of newer PC games. It even supports online multiplayer. The console is capable of running games in 4K at 60 frames per second. It’s fitted with Bluetooth and USB 3.0, and the on-board storage can be expanded through external devices. Additionally, you can connect a keyboard and mouse for PC games, and stream thanks to its ability to connect to webcams and microphones.
It’s definitely an interesting experiment from one of the industry’s most iconic companies. Judging by the Indiegogo campaign, which saw the project smash its $100,000 goal within hours, the experiment is working.
You have plenty of options, too, as the console has a pair of models and several bundles:
- Atari VCS Collector’s Edition ($300): Onyx black console with a wood front panel finish. Comes with a Classic Joystick ($29 value). Available to pre-order until June 11 at 12 p.m. ET.
- Atari VCS Onyx Early Bird ($200): Onyx black console with a glossy black front panel finish. Doesn’t come with a controller. Available to pre-order until June 4 at 12 p.m. or until supply runs out (25,000 units).
- Atari VCS Onyx Early Bird with joystick ($229): Onyx black console and Classic Joystick ($29 value). Available to pre-order until June 4 at 12 p.m or until supply runs out (25,000 units).
- Atari VCS Collector’s All In ($339): Collector’s Edition console plus Classic Joystick ($29 value) and gamepad ($49 value). Available to pre-order until June 11 at 12 p.m. ET.
If you don’t pre-order either of those four by the June cutoff dates, you can still get a VCS, but it will cost you more. After June 4, the prices are as follow:
- Standalone Onyx console: $250
- Onyx console and joystick: $279
- Onyx console, joystick, and gamepad: $319
Basically, if you want an Atari VCS, it would be smart to pre-order sooner rather than later to get the best deal.
Additional gamepads and joysticks can also be pre-ordered, and there’s a significant discount if you buy them together.
- Classic Joystick: $29 (10,000 units available)
- Gamepad: $49 (10,000 units available)
- Joystick and gamepad: $59 (10,000 units available)
If you don’t care about the wood finish and you want both the joystick and gamepad, your cheapest option is to pre-order the stand-alone Onyx console before June 11 along with the joystick and gamepad bundle (total cost = $259).
Though pre-orders are available now, you’ll notice that the console isn’t expected to arrive any time soon. Currently, all of the bundles and accessories have an estimated delivery date of July 2019.