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Thread: Atari VCS

  1. #1
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2009
    Location: The Spiraling Sea

    Atari VCS

    Atari is back!

    The Atari VCS is now available for preorder at Indigogo, and will feature over 100 classic Atari games preloaded. It will also have streaming capability and a Linux OS that you can customize the way you want.

    $199 for the console, plus whatever controllers you may want.
    Estimated delivery: July 2019




  2. #2
    Member
    Registered: Dec 1998
    Location: Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
    Well, it's basically a Steam Box with Steam replaced with the Atari store they're launching. It's... not a terrible approach; even if the store crashes and burns, you could still just treat it as a Linux machine and install Steam or your GOG/Humble/itch.io Linux games.

    By the same token, if you already have a PC connected to your TV, I'm not really sure what this brings to the table beyond the user interface.

    Storage looks like a concern, but 32 GB + 200 GB microSD will go a long way before you need to start attaching USB hard drives. Unless, you know, you actually want to put your full music and video collection on there.

  3. #3
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2004
    Why are they advertising a classics collection with the phrase "Like Never Before"? Lol.

  4. #4
    Moderator and Priest
    Registered: Mar 2002
    Location: Dinosaur Ladies of the Night
    Quote Originally Posted by Zerker View Post
    Well, it's basically a Steam Box with Steam replaced with the Atari store they're launching. It's... not a terrible approach; even if the store crashes and burns, you could still just treat it as a Linux machine and install Steam or your GOG/Humble/itch.io Linux games.
    Which I think'll be its key to ultimate success. By itself, it's...alright. Looks nice, well built, good software design, all that good stuff, but I dunno if it's $200 good.

    But as a mini computer running some random Linux distro, opening it up to tons more games? If it's got a decent set of hardware behind it, it could end up becoming a great customizable emulation station and/or media streaming box.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Renzatic View Post
    If it's got a decent set of hardware behind it, it could end up becoming a great customizable emulation station and/or media streaming box.
    I wouldn't be surprised to find that it has Raspberry Pi level of hardware (if not actually using a Pi) to keep production costs down.

  6. #6
    Moderator and Priest
    Registered: Mar 2002
    Location: Dinosaur Ladies of the Night
    Quote Originally Posted by WingedKagouti View Post
    I wouldn't be surprised to find that it has Raspberry Pi level of hardware (if not actually using a Pi) to keep production costs down.
    Considering the price, I'd bet its a custom ARM chip setup.

  7. #7
    Member
    Registered: Dec 1998
    Location: Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
    They've already announced the specs. It's a laptop-class AMD processor, so it will run standard x86/64 Linux games as-is. And its already confirmed to be an Ubuntu-derivative, so you shouldn't even need to load a new distro to install non-store games. Scroll waaaay down on the Indiegogo page for the details.

  8. #8
    New Member
    Registered: Feb 2017
    I wouldn't give the steam off my urine for one of those

    emulation of any kind is always a poor 2nd class

  9. #9
    Moderator and Priest
    Registered: Mar 2002
    Location: Dinosaur Ladies of the Night
    Here comes the purists.

  10. #10
    Moderator
    Registered: Jan 2003
    Location: NeoTokyo
    I don't really get it either. There are dozens of Atari emulators out there already.
    It's a nice design anyway. Hope it has at least 128 kb of memory!

    I do like that there's a scene of people still making Atari 2600 homebrew games though, including demakes of contemporary games. I was thinking about making one myself. On the one hand, it requires wrapping your head around pretty low level code that doesn't hold your hand, but on the other we're talking about games that are only 4kb, so it's not like you have to do all that much work to kick one out.

  11. #11
    Moderator and Priest
    Registered: Mar 2002
    Location: Dinosaur Ladies of the Night
    It's not just an Atari 2600 emulator. The video shows it running Tempest 2000 with a Twitch style stream off to the side, and someone playing something that looks like a remake of Yars Revenge shortly thereafter.

  12. #12
    Southquarter.com/fms
    Registered: Apr 2000
    Location: The Akkala Highlands
    Seems a little pricey for what it's actually doing. And I can't help but think this is Ouya part 2.

  13. #13
    Moderator and Priest
    Registered: Mar 2002
    Location: Dinosaur Ladies of the Night
    It could very well end up like the Ouya, though it's more powerful hardware might serve as a saving grace for it.

  14. #14
    Moderator
    Registered: Sep 2000
    Location: Australia
    It looks great and all but I can't help feel that these games have had their day in the sun. The games from this era weren't particularly great in general, they were just all we had at a time where the hardware was so limited and gaming was still in its infancy.

  15. #15
    Moderator and Priest
    Registered: Mar 2002
    Location: Dinosaur Ladies of the Night
    I dunno about that. I still like Cosmic Ark and Barnstormer.

  16. #16
    Moderator
    Registered: Jan 2003
    Location: NeoTokyo
    I like them for my commute on the train to work, not to play on my big screen like it were Prey or Dishonored.

    (Re: the previous point) There are Jaguar emulators too, and streaming isn't really that hard on a normal PC. Well they still own the copyrights and it's the age of breathing life back into old IP. I don't blame Atari for giving it a shot. Just wondering if their target demographic will bite.

    Speaking of Jaguars, somebody ought to hail Zylonbane in here. He's our resident Jaguar junky IIRC.

  17. #17
    I don't see the point. My PC can play anything new on the rare occasion Obsidian or Arkane release something, and I have both a real big sixer and a Flashback 8 Gold Activision Edition if I feel like playing 2600 games (the FB8 Acti version is only missing like 2 games I care about afaik, Pitfall 2 and Robot Tank). If this were a budget system-on-a-chip and they had a virtual shop where they managed to license every game ever released for the 2600/5200/7800 and maybe the 400/800 I'd maybe go for it, otherwise it's just another Ouya.

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