Atari’s recreation of its 80s home console is unique in many ways. It isn’t a miniature version, for one, and it is also terribly late. In fact, it proudly celebrated the second anniversary of its Indiegogo crowdfunding last May. After setbacks, delays, drama, and even more delays, the Atari VCS may finally be ready to launch in the last quarter of the year, just in time for the gaming holidays.
Unlike the likes of the NES and SNES Classics that started it all, the Atari VCS is by no means a smaller version of the Atari 2600. They do look similar as far as basic aesthetics go but the Atari VCS is perhaps better viewed as a Remastered Edition or even an Atari 2600 II.
Yes, the VCS will play classic Atari games but will also be home to a remastered title as well. The neon-filled Missile Command: Recharged, which launched on consoles also last May, will be the console’s launch title. It will, of course, have features exclusive to the VCS, like being able to play using the Classic Joystick just like in the good old days.
The Atari VCS, however, is more than just a nod to the console’s past. In fact, it’s practically what you can call a “PC Console”. Proof of that is the Atari PC Sandbox Mode that lets you install any operating system, most likely a Linux-based one, in, well, a sandbox. This is probably a gift to game devs and modders who would want to develop games for the console on the console, just like in the good old days.
Atari says that Indiegogo backers will start receiving their units by October while pre-orders and retail units will hopefully arrive by the holidays. The Atari VCS is available for pre-order for $400, which includes the Classic Joystick and Modern Controller but you can also buy the three pieces separately.