Atari will make a comeback

Atari VCS: is the comeback console over?

I would like to bet that very, very many people have a "I knew it" on their lips when they find out that there might not be a new Atari console after all. We have been reporting here for over two years that Atari wanted to make a comeback on the console market and yes - the box shown looked really great and caused euphoria among many gaming fans from the very beginning.

Atari has very little to do with the company from the eighties - it's more or less a small dump that manages the big name. In order for a new console to be created, other companies had to be brought on board as producers. With Rob Wyatt and his company The Giant, they have signed up someone who is responsible for the development of the mainboard. Responsible was, it has to be correct, because the collaboration with Atari has now ended.

This is now reported by The Register and raises great doubts as to whether the “Atari VCS” project actually still has a future. Most recently, we reported that the console can be pre-ordered, but has been postponed again to March 2020. At that time I was already throwing the term “vaporware” around and maybe it actually seems to be so.

Rob Wyatt has now told the newspaper that wages have not been paid for half a year and that he has therefore said goodbye as the main person responsible. With him, of course, his employees are also missing, who would have been responsible, among other things, for ironing out possible errors in the hardware. The first real prototype should not have been completed until September, which makes it seem difficult from the start that the final Atari consoles can be delivered just a few months later.

In addition, it became clear that the console would not be much more than a mini PC with admittedly fine optics. Linux is used as the OS, which Atari has not adapted due to a lack of funds. And speaking of the lack of funds: There is also no budget for game developers, which of course makes the motivation to port games for an Atari console negligible.

So we have a console that has only been pre-ordered around 15,000 times, so we don't expect a large fan base. We have schedules that are repeatedly not adhered to, a lack of support from the game developers and the company primarily responsible, which has given up due to a lack of payment behavior.

The console is currently still being worked on, but if you ask me, it looks pitch black for anyone who has been looking forward to an attractive Atari VCS console. It is well known that the dead live longer, but in this case you have to be very optimistic to believe that Atari is still doing something big here. Either you stamp the project down, or you bring such a harmless, uninteresting product onto the market that the big name Atari is only damaged further.

You know what? As far as I am concerned, Atari should concentrate on only offering the beautiful case. If hobbyists should order this fine housing (or perhaps produce it themselves in a 3D printer) and then install hardware as they wish and then that's good - Atari shouldn't offer much more anyway, Atari VCS should see the light of day at some point. What a pity!

Source: The Register via heise.de