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Atari VCS console launches on June 15

By Kara Santos Published Jun 07, 2021 3:42 pm

Atari is officially back in the video game business.

The company announced last Thursday that its Atari VCS home video game console will officially launch in the United States on June 15.

Consumers will be able to purchase this retro-centric console at retailers including Best Buy and GameStop as well as the official Atari VCS website

Atari’s comeback isn’t so much a gaming console, but rather a small computer, powered by an AMD chip and graphics component, with a 32GB drive and 8GB RAM, both of which can be upgraded and customised. 

However, the VCS looks and feels a lot like Atari's retro consoles from the '80s with the addition of several modern touches, including 4K, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth support, as well as a PC mode to allow owners to install Windows or Linux as an alternative operating system.

The console, which was first revealed in June 2017, pays homage to the Atari 2600, the iconic gaming console released by the company in 1982. 

The Onyx Base “Video Computer System” or VCS consoles starts at $299.99, while all-in bundles, which also include both a wireless classic joystick and modern controller, will sell for $399.99.

The Atari VCS Black Walnut All-in Bundle includes the 8GB Atari VCS PC/console hybrid, wireless Modern Controller, wireless Classic Joystick, and Atari Vault, featuring 100 classic arcade and console games, including "Asteroids," "Centipede" and "Missile Command."

Considering the hardware, this seems like a steep price to pay for a taste of nostalgia. In comparison, the Xbox Series S is currently priced at $299, while Sony’s PlayStation 5 Digital Edition (assuming you can buy one at a store near you) will set you back $399. 

However, the company stresses that the Atari VCS is a completely modern gaming and video computer system, blending the best of consoles and PCs to delight a whole new generation of gamers and creators.

Atari VCS owners also get access to Antstream Arcade, an on-demand game-streaming service that offers access to large collection of retro titles.

(Images via Atari VCS)