Where $699.95 AUD gets you the Atari VCS 800 (8GB) Onyx Base and $849.95 AUD gets you that plus the Atari VCS Classic Joystick and Modern Controller. For its planned launch in November 2020, Atari has partnered with local distributor Bluemouth Interactive to bring the console/PC hybrid to our shores.
Pre-orders are now open, with the Atari VCS set to hit shelves at EB Games and JB Hifi. As for the final specs of the console/PC hybrid they are as follows:
Operating System: Atari Custom Linux OS (Linux Kernel)
And we say final because when we first reported on the device back in 2017 -- where it was being referred to as the Ataribox -- the look of the unit was all that seemed to exist. And in following the design flourishes of the 1970s Atari consoles -- the Atari VCS does look pretty sleek. And the ‘Atari Custom Linux OS’ comes pre-loaded with over 100 old-timey Atari games like Asteroids, Breakout, and Centipede. In addition to streaming app support so you can fire up Netflix for some 4K binge action. Which you’ll probably need after figuring out Atari 2600 games haven’t exactly aged well.
Where the VCS becomes interesting is with its Sandbox Mode. Where via USB you'll be able to install and run any OS on the Atari VCS, making it double as a small PC connected to your TV. A PC that should have no issue running games from the 70s, 80s, and 90s. Options to expand internal storage and memory might even extend that to the early 00s.
Even so, Atari is positioning the VCS as a new gaming console from Atari.
"We are delighted to announce our new partnership with Bluemouth Interactive to bring the Atari VCS overseas to Australia and New Zealand," said Atari CEO Frédéric Chesnais. "Bluemouth Interactive is an experienced distributor of video games, accessories, and gaming hardware, making them the ideal partner to help Atari launch its first new home gaming system in decades."
With the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 also on track for a November 2020-ish launch the Atari VCS, specs and feature-wise, might be a hard sell. For those that aren’t immediately smitten by its woodgrain finish.