Atari VCS Pre-Orders Start May 30, but What the Hell Are You Buying? – ExtremeTech

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Atari has introduced that it’ll start taking pre-orders for the upcoming Atari VCS on Might 30 through an IndieGoGo crowdfunding marketing campaign. It’s the newest step in a reasonably unusual improvement cycle that started final July. The corporate was alleged to launch an IndieGoGo marketing campaign final December earlier than delaying it for unspecified causes. Now the marketing campaign is able to kick off — however what, precisely, are you ordering?

Right here’s what we do know. The Atari VCS (not the Ataribox, because it was initially referred to as) will be ordered in both a pretend wooden or customary black mannequin. Each are clear callbacks to the unique Atari 2600. The system isn’t only a classic gaming platform, because it’s a Linux-based gaming PC — and that’s not precisely a system class that’s carried out nicely over time. From the Android-based Ouya to Valve’s SteamOS, Linux-based lounge gaming simply hasn’t lit the world on fireplace.

JoyStick

We all know that there’s AMD silicon powering the gadget and that it’ll be able to 4K output at 60fps. However what does that imply within the context of video games which might be, in some circumstances, 40 years outdated? It’s not arduous to drive 4K @ 60fps when the video games you’re taking part in have single-digit polygon counts. We all know the brand new VCS comprises options like dual-band Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0, USB 3.0, and a point of on-board storage, together with a traditional joystick and elective gamepad. Bundles and particular capabilities haven’t been detailed. However Atari is falling down in relation to speaking something about which titles will probably be out there past 100 traditional video games that supposedly ship with the system. The system will include the Atari Vault, together with such titles as Asteroids, Breakout, Centipede, Gravitar, Missile Command and Yars’ Revenge. As Polygon notes, you should purchase this assortment on Steam already for $9.99.

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However the Atari VCS isn’t promoting for $9.99 and even $99.99. It’s obtained an estimated avenue value of $250 to $300, although crowdfunders will have the ability to purchase in for $199.99. And for that value, there must be a killer function far stronger than something Atari has revealed so far.

There’s No Marketplace for This Factor

Let’s get one factor straight up entrance. Atari isn’t Atari anymore. This isn’t a rejuvenation of the traditional firm that constructed one of the vital well-liked residence consoles of all time. In reality, it’s not clear what this product is, or what it’s alleged to be, or why individuals are alleged to need to purchase it. Given the collapse of Steam Machines, SteamOS, and microconsoles just like the Ouya, there’s ample purpose to query whether or not a $250 to $300 console that’s going up in opposition to authentic launch techniques just like the PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Swap can pull sufficient eyeballs or gross sales to achieve success. Valve can say that it’s nonetheless devoted to SteamOS and Steam Machines all it needs — and possibly it’s, on some stage — however there’s merely no proof that PC avid gamers have migrated to those options in vital numbers.

Claims that the Atari VCS can do 4K @ 60Hz are going to lift the eyebrows of anybody who understands something about console {hardware} exactly as a result of even the $500 Xbox One X can’t pull that off. AMD’s fashionable Ryzen APUs like the 2400G are nice price range gaming choices, however they’re not going to push 60fps at that decision in fashionable titles, and there’s been not a whisper of an indication that Atari really ponied up for a semicustom APU the way in which MS and Sony have.

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Atari appears to suppose that being obscure is an alternative choice to a advertising and product launch technique. Both that, or it doesn’t even have any agency plans it may decide to relating to product capabilities and options. Neither is promising, and we are able to’t suggest anybody contribute to this challenge till Atari really reveals concrete data on what it’s, what it prices, and what it may do.

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