Atari VCS console switches to AMD Ryzen, delayed to end of 2019

Ewdison Then - Mar 18, 2019, 11:52 pm CDT
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Atari VCS console switches to AMD Ryzen, delayed to end of 2019

Before Bitcoin was making headlines, the most revolutionary thing to happen in our modern world was crowdfunding. It made dreams possible but also robbed some not only of their aspirations but also of their money. Some crowdfunded projects, however, do seem to carry on and on and on, almost forever. One of those might be Atari’s VCS gaming console which is being delayed to by a few months to provide what Atari promises to be a significant upgrade to the PC gaming console.

To be fair, there is some technical merit to its claim. When the Atari VCS hit the news in 2017 as the Ataribox, it was designed to run on an AMD “Bristol Bridge” processor. Even back in 2017, it was hardly the stuff of gaming PCs. Launching that in 2019 would undoubtedly hurt Atari’s and AMD’s credibility.

A lot has happened since then and AMD has revamped its processors along the Zen CPU cores and Vega GPUs. Given that, it’s fitting and perhaps necessary that Atari switch to a new and still unannounced dual-core Ryzen CPU with built-in Radeon Vega graphics. This 14 nm processor is still a secret but Atari promises more details will come before the console launches. Which is in about nine months.

Atari also promises better cooling, quieter operations, and more efficient performance with the new processor. The AMD silicon also brings native 4K video and DRM support for free. Sadly, it also comes with a free delay from Spring to Fall, possibly event Winter.

While Atari says that the change won’t impact manufacturing, it will affect everything else, including certifications and especially software. So the Atari VCS, which started out in 2017, won’t be delivered until late 2019 in North America. The rest of the world will, of course, have to wait even longer.


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