Atari is serious about getting back into the console race with its new Atari VCS. The crowdfunded device will run both older and newer Atari games, as well as some PC games via Steam. Those of you who are interested in the new home console can actually pre-order it sooner than expected.
According to the IndieGoGo page, the Atari VCS will be available for pre-order starting at the end of next month, on May 30th. The IndieGoGo page allows you to sign-up in order to stay abreast of any news and developments that take place between now and May 30th.
The pre-order for the Atari VCS will be available starting at $199. This is being touted as a limited-time early bird pre-sale special for the upcoming console.
The sale will be exclusive to those who back the project through the IndieGoGo platform, and pre-sales will include the Atari VCS Collector's Edition of the device, which features the retro-designed wood-grained panel on the front of the console.
Alternatively, if you would prefer to go with the more modern and sleeker design, it's also possible to purchase the Onyx-black edition of the Atari VCS, which looks closer to the more angular game console designs that Sony and Microsoft have put out.
The $199 edition of the console comes with the base console, along with a classic Atari analog joystick, which features a single red button on the base; this is for the older Atari games. The package will also include a modern dual-analog controller with four face buttons and a convex digital pad, not unlike Microsoft's Xbox Elite Controller. The modern dual-analog controller features an orange left analog cover, along with a matching orange Atari logo at the bottom center of the controller between the digital pad and the right analog stick. A start and option menu are located at the upper center area of the controller, while four face buttons are located on the right side of the controller.
The initial shipments for the Atari VCS are scheduled to go out starting next year, in spring 2019. This is all assuming that the IndieGoGo funding goes through as planned and that manufacturing for the system takes place ahead of the spring 2019 release window.
Additionally, those who sign up for the e-mail alerts will be rewarded with additional purchasing incentives starting May 24th, 2018, just ahead of when the pre-orders go live.
The Atari VCS will be based on AMD's Radeon GPU technology, and will feature specs that will allow for 4K support (although it's not clear if that's 4K media or 4K gaming, but for $199 there's no way AMD can squeeze a GPU into the box that supports native 4K gaming when even the $500 Xbox One X and even $1,500 PCs barely edge out at 4K gaming and 30fps), HDR, support for 60fps content, onboard storage, dual-band WiFi, Bluetooth 5.0 and USB 3.0 support, and options for retro and modern gaming.
The Atari VCS will offer gamers an Atari Vault featuring access to 100 classic games, pulled from the stock library of Atari 2600 classics, as well as a few new-school entries such as Alone In The Dark.
The full range of modern games from Atari's stash will be unveiled at a later date, likely around the time when the IndieGoGo campaign goes live.