I previously thought that the existence of the Atari VCS, a new video console from Atari announced in 2018, was some sort of fever dream.
But it turns out it actually managed to make it to production, and its official release date was earlier this month. The thing exists, and it’s in the wild now.
It should not surprise you that the Atari VCS is as bad as it initially sounded, once people understood what it was actually meant to be.
Do I have one? Absolutely not. I’m not going to waste money on that. I’m not even going to waste kilobits of data sending an email to Atari to request a review unit. Thankfully, some poor soul at IGN (Seth Macy) was given that task, and man, does this thing sound bad.
I would absolutely recommend giving the full review a read here, but the highlights of this “console” in action are:
All in all, this sounds to me like one of those mini retro consoles that were all the rage a couple years ago, except it’s not mini, costs US$300-400 and has the added bonus of sort of transforming into a crappy PC for some reason.
Atari is a shell. The name has changed hands so many times that what’s being made here has little to do with the company that once made the first classic consoles in the video game industry. The allegedly upcoming Atari-branded hotel they’re working on next should clue you in for that.
The VCS sounded like a vaguely interesting idea for about two days when it was announced, but once it became clear that it was mostly just a very expensive emulator, it was clear the final product wasn’t going to be anything special. And it’s not. A new-era relic for collectors perhaps, but if you do more than an hour of actual gaming on this thing after owning one, I’d be amazed.
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