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Atari VCS gets another streaming service, teams up with Game Jolt

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With the Atari VCS looking to actually ship properly by the end of this year after many delays, they're finally starting to announce some actual partnerships.

Atari, well the people currently wearing the face of Atari, have been pretty tight lipped on what you will actually be able to do with it. We already know it will support the Antstream retro game streaming service, the Atari Vault selection of retro games, the newly released Missile Command: Recharged and recently they also announced support for the AirConsole game streaming service too. I actually tried out AirConsole myself and while it worked as advertised, the selection of games was hilariously poor. Today though, July 20, they also announced a partnership with indie game store/community Game Jolt which they said will help bring 'a curated list of games' from Game Jolt over to the Atari VCS.

It seems they've started calling it a 'retro console/PC hybrid' now, presumably to try and get a wider set of people to buy into it. Really though, it sounds like their idea of a retro console just hasn't worked out as well as they had hoped with still so few announcements of what will be supported.

"Atari is committed to bringing the creative work of small studios and independent developers to the Atari VCS platform," said Michael Arzt, COO of Atari VCS & Connected Devices. "Our partnership with Game Jolt will ensure the creative efforts of the Game Jolt community can find a home and reach an expanded audience on the Atari VCS."

"We have built Game Jolt to better highlight indie games and bring global opportunities to indie studios. Through our partnership with the Atari VCS platform, we're excited to extend our current reach into the family living room," said Game Jolt CEO Yaprak DeCarmine. "We are excited to be publishing games hand-picked from Game Jolt to the Atari VCS."

Worth noting they've only announced some sort of partnership, not a single title was confirmed as part of it yet.

The Atari VCS will come out of the box with the Linux-based Atari World, which shouldn't give developers much trouble porting to if they already support Linux anyway. You can also run any normal operating system on it like Ubuntu too.

After many delays, a lawsuit that Atari appear to have not even bothered to turn up for, more delays and plenty of scepticism, will it actually turn out to be a reasonably product in the end? I can only hope so for backers of the original IndieGoGo campaign and anyone who does actually pre-order.

It's shipping late towards the end of this year in a few different versions. Around $280 for just the basic Atari VCS, or $400 for the all-in bundle for the VCS plus a Wireless Modern Controller and a Wireless Classic Joystick and there's two special versions available from GameStop and Walmart. See more on the official site.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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11 comments
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Maybe these partnerships lead to another (more powerful) device in near future and the Atari VCS really takes off from there?
kuhpunkt 20 Jul
$400 for this. The market will be so small for something like this...
Donkeyboy 20 Jul
This is great news!
dpanter 20 Jul
"AAA" game companies have been whining about how games are too cheap and should cost 70$ (or more), while they are still gouging their customers with ever increasingly pervasive monetization.

The VCS is (potentially) launching around the same time as the next Playstation and Xbox, with less than 10% of the horsepower and having practically nothing in way of games. Offering "the creative work of small studios and independent developers" isn't how you sell consoles. It might have Netflix and such things, but again, nothing new.

I have no clue who they are targeting with the VCS.
It's not mobile gamers. Can't be PC gamers as they'll simply snort at this weak thing. Can't be current console owners as the VCS offers nothing new. Can't be prospective console buyers as the Switch is far superior in every aspect, plus portable, and the current MS/Sony consoles are even more superior again, not to mention the upcoming systems. It's not the HTPC crowd as even a Raspberry PI is vastly superior in every way. Emulation? Again, Rpi.

With the pandemic putting severe strain on most peoples finances worldwide, it's completely unreasonable to expect the VCS being anything other than a gigantic disaster. If you can afford a new console, why would anyone consider a VCS? I can't name a single reason.

I do want it to succeed... but it's not a realistic expectation. Even for hardcore Linux fans, it's an extremely tough sell. It has to cost so much less than the competition for it to even register as a viable alternative. 280$ for the most basic option without controllers? It's at least 100$ too much.

VCS, tragically dead even before launch.
mao_dze_dun 20 Jul
This TV box from Atari is really expensive :)
AwesamLinux 20 Jul
In my opinion they should just have made a high-quality case and a modern controller, and sold them separately or in a bundle (perhaps with an Atari Arcade Steam key included). I'm thinking something like:

- Atari case aimed at DIY enthusiasts making their own console/HTPC like builds, supporting standard Raspberry Pi and ITX boards.
- Atari modern controller that uses standard Bluetooth and USB, universal for PC/Android. Many PC gamers just buy Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo controllers only because those are the only decent controllers available.

Rant: Making their own full-fledged console I think is aiming too high.

The inclusion of the classic joystick made me straightaway question the sanity of this project. The Atari 2600 was my first console, and most people hated the joystick myself included (it was not a fancy micro-switched thing like arcade sticks from the old, but cheap spongy membrane nightmare).

They could instead have included a replica of the paddle controller, that would have been useful as it is something unique, and could be useful even for modern racing games (or playing classics like arkanoid).
TheRiddick 21 Jul
Wasn't this originally aimed at $199USD? now its double that and no hardware changes?

I'm sure it will be quite a decent little stream box, but $400 is the price of the NEXT-GEN consoles without a bluray drive.

Not sure why companies like taking Linux, then doing their absolute best to make a DOA product out of it due to dodgy effort. (looking at Stadia)


Last edited by TheRiddick on 21 July 2020 at 3:52 am UTC
TheSHEEEP 21 Jul
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Quoting: Thrash_Metal_Computers
Quoting: dpanter"AAA" game companies have been whining about how games are too cheap and should cost 70$ (or more), while they are still gouging their customers with ever increasingly pervasive monetization.

The VCS is (potentially) launching around the same time as the next Playstation and Xbox, with less than 10% of the horsepower and having practically nothing in way of games. Offering "the creative work of small studios and independent developers" isn't how you sell consoles. It might have Netflix and such things, but again, nothing new.

I have no clue who they are targeting with the VCS.
It's not mobile gamers. Can't be PC gamers as they'll simply snort at this weak thing. Can't be current console owners as the VCS offers nothing new. Can't be prospective console buyers as the Switch is far superior in every aspect, plus portable, and the current MS/Sony consoles are even more superior again, not to mention the upcoming systems. It's not the HTPC crowd as even a Raspberry PI is vastly superior in every way. Emulation? Again, Rpi.

With the pandemic putting severe strain on most peoples finances worldwide, it's completely unreasonable to expect the VCS being anything other than a gigantic disaster. If you can afford a new console, why would anyone consider a VCS? I can't name a single reason.

I do want it to succeed... but it's not a realistic expectation. Even for hardcore Linux fans, it's an extremely tough sell. It has to cost so much less than the competition for it to even register as a viable alternative. 280$ for the most basic option without controllers? It's at least 100$ too much.

VCS, tragically dead even before launch.

Basically exactly what I have to say. Just to add, after reading about the lawsuit and how poorly the company is run, I personally would never want to support them with my money.

Same here, this just really seems to be a completely mismanaged project from everything that came to the surface so far.
400$ for something that isn't even close to anything a console can do at that price point is an extremely tough sell.

Nothing wrong with a retro console, but again, for 400$. What.
Narvarth 22 Jul
Quoting: dpanteras even a Raspberry PI is vastly superior in every way. Emulation? Again, Rpi.


do not agree with this one : a rasp is by far inferior to the VCS. The VCS has a real Linux (based on Debian Buster) and a X86. this mean it can be a HTPC, but above all, you can play many Linux titles. You can play all the indie titles (maybe a few AAA in degraded mode). You can't Hollow Knight on a Rasp. It's a PC for the living room, a sort of steam machine.
It's a good deal for bakers (~200$ for the Onyx 800), but yes it's too expensive @ 400$.


Last edited by Narvarth on 22 July 2020 at 12:36 pm UTC
Narvarth 22 Jul
Quoting: TheRiddickWasn't this originally aimed at $199USD? now its double that and no hardware changes?


Actually they changed the quantity of RAM (4->8Go) and the CPU (From Bristol to Ryzen).
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