Dream come true or early April Fools? Probably neither or both, depending on who you ask. Atari has just announced what is tantamount to a deign and construction overhaul for its already delayed Atari VCS crowdfunded console. Noticeably missing from the announcement, however, is any mention of a delay for the launch of that console that supposed to come out last year. Hopefully, that means there won’t be any, at least not from this redesign.
Atari is proud to say that the Atari VCS is now visually closer to the Atari 2600 that inspired it, albeit with some modern touches. Unlike the original vision and prototype for this retro remake, the VCS now has a “floating effect” that raises the main body on top of a barely visible smaller base. The changes, however, were more than aesthetic.
With a new base, Atari decided to move two of the four USB ports to the front. This, it says, would make it easier to plug in peripherals while reserving the back ports for additional storage. Strangely, it also used that as a justification to remove the console’s SD card slot.
Gone, too, is the ambitious and wasteful construction that employed 18 different parts that required more than 10 unique tools and material to make. The Atari VCS will instead have just our primary pieces while still keeping “every cool curve and rib” promised in its crowdfunding campaign.
The Atari VCS is also changing its overall dimensions, which the company promises not only makes room for more specs but also improves thermal management. That last bit is critical for the new AMD Ryzen chip that has pushed back the console’s launch to late 2019.