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.