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Atari VCS finally actually launches (in the US) on June 15

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After the crowdfunding campaign with lots of delays, more delays, a lawsuit and so on the Atari VCS will finally be released into stores (at least in the US) on June 15.

What Atari call a "console/PC hybrid" it runs a Linux-based operating system by default, with the option to use the PC Mode feature to run whatever other operating system you want. So you could turn it into a more traditional desktop-Linux based system if you wanted to.

Ports to the Atari VCS are also incredibly close to standard Linux desktop builds too. In fact, we've already seen the likes of Danger Scavenger and Jetboard Joust release on Steam for Linux after having a VCS build (along with others being available on Steam for Linux first, and then going to the VCS like Something Ate My Alien).

Atari said in their press release to expect new titles throughout the year, along with "free access to 100 arcade and Atari 2600 classics" and "free access to Antstream Arcade, the popular game streaming platform, which offers on-demand access to the world's largest collection of licensed retro titles".

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There's also Google Chrome built-in, along with a mobile companion application for controlling Chrome and other apps with a virtual mouse and keyboard. They also mentioned it enabling access to all other streaming services like Stadia and more.

Purchase options for the Atari VCS will be made available on June 15, 2021 via Best Buy, GameStop, Micro Center, and the official Atari VCS website and there will be special "unique launch-day promotions" from each. Launch day pricing will be $299.99 USD for the Atari VCS Onyx Base system, with the Atari VCS Black Walnut and Onyx All-In system bundles (which include the classic and modern controllers) will be available for $399.99 USD.

Specifications - based on what Atari provide:

Operating system Atari Custom Linux OS (Debian based)
APU AMD Raven Ridge 2 (RG1606G)
GPU AMD Ryzen
Storage 32GB eMMC fixed internal; internal M.2 SSD slot; unlimited external USB HD/stick; cloud (subscription required)
RAM 8GB DDR4 RAM (upgradable)
Compatible Systems Linux, Windows, Steam OS, Chrome OS
Wireless Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n 2.4/5GHz, Bluetooth 4.0
Ports HDMI 2.0, Gigabit Ethernet, 4x USB 3.1
USB: 2x front, 2x rear
Dimensions 11.6" x 5.9" x 1.9" (Approx.)

See more on the Atari VCS website.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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16 comments
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Eike 3 Jun
Well, good luck!
dubigrasu 3 Jun
I don't have the hardware itself, but I do have the OS (it was uploaded by some Youtuber > and promptly taken down afterwards) and I must say that is pretty neat.
It recognized most of my controller and got into some games right away. It has that retro feel look and sound overall and I can see why nostalgic gamers might love it.

What it needs is more games and a bigger user-base, hopefully the the actual launch will help. It would be sad to see it transform into another Ouya.
Eike 3 Jun
Quoting: dubigrasuWhat it needs is more games and a bigger user-base, hopefully the the actual launch will help. It would be sad to see it transform into another Ouya.

Are they making it to the Walmart shelves?
Ananace 3 Jun
Quoting: dubigrasuI don't have the hardware itself, but I do have the OS (it was uploaded by some Youtuber > and promptly taken down afterwards) and I must say that is pretty neat.
It recognized most of my controller and got into some games right away. It has that retro feel look and sound overall and I can see why nostalgic gamers might love it.

Definitely agree about the OS, threw some money at them for the cheap-tier on the crowdfunding campaign - mostly because of the Linux aspect. The controllers are rather good, and the UI they've built definitely provokes the right feel for it. Personally hoping to see some good results from their store once they start opening it up for more developers.


Last edited by Ananace on 3 June 2021 at 10:47 am UTC
elmapul 3 Jun
Quoting: dubigrasuI don't have the hardware itself, but I do have the OS (it was uploaded by some Youtuber > and promptly taken down afterwards) and I must say that is pretty neat.
It recognized most of my controller and got into some games right away. It has that retro feel look and sound overall and I can see why nostalgic gamers might love it.

What it needs is more games and a bigger user-base, hopefully the the actual launch will help. It would be sad to see it transform into another Ouya.

worse than that, some people are already installing windows on it to get acess to more games.
if most people do that, then supporting it will be useless to increase our marketshare
elmapul 3 Jun
actually the game selection that they showed on the trailer looks solid, i dont know any of those games but they look like polished indie games
Praxach 3 Jun
Not sure if I will get one of these, since my main Linux PC will do everything this can (and probably better). I would probably pick one up for the HTPC aspect of it. Something that looks nice compared to other HTPC's
CFWhitman 3 Jun
Quoting: PraxachNot sure if I will get one of these, since my main Linux PC will do everything this can (and probably better). I would probably pick one up for the HTPC aspect of it. Something that looks nice compared to other HTPC's

I was toying with the idea of picking one up and replacing the Raspberry Pi 3 I have in the living room with it. I imagine I could find a way to run Kodi and RetroArch/Emulation Station along with the other things it does. The Raspberry Pi 3 is pretty low power usage, though.
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Quoting: elmapul
Quoting: dubigrasuI don't have the hardware itself, but I do have the OS (it was uploaded by some Youtuber > and promptly taken down afterwards) and I must say that is pretty neat.
It recognized most of my controller and got into some games right away. It has that retro feel look and sound overall and I can see why nostalgic gamers might love it.

What it needs is more games and a bigger user-base, hopefully the the actual launch will help. It would be sad to see it transform into another Ouya.

worse than that, some people are already installing windows on it to get acess to more games.
if most people do that, then supporting it will be useless to increase our marketshare
Ha, yeah I don't get the 'let's put Windows on it!' considering who doesn't already have Windows 10 on something? Also having to buy another license for it...

I've got Debian Bullseye on mine. Works perfectly fine, though I switched away from Wayland, as I ran into issues with some games. Hoping they've fixed up some issues with their store (like having a proper cart) I haven't looked in a while as I've been busy playing Valheim, Conan, or just messing with my Commodore 128...

Hoping to get back to playing Boulder Dash on it though, it's pretty sweet.

The Ouya never even seemed appealing to me, as 'Android gaming!' always seemed pretty garbage to me :P
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Quoting: CFWhitman
Quoting: PraxachNot sure if I will get one of these, since my main Linux PC will do everything this can (and probably better). I would probably pick one up for the HTPC aspect of it. Something that looks nice compared to other HTPC's

I was toying with the idea of picking one up and replacing the Raspberry Pi 3 I have in the living room with it. I imagine I could find a way to run Kodi and RetroArch/Emulation Station along with the other things it does. The Raspberry Pi 3 is pretty low power usage, though.
Considering you can just slap in a m.2 SATA drive in it and boot into Linux with it, then yes it's very easy to set up Kodi and RetroArch. I haven't done so, as to me just plain ol' MAME with an nfs share for all the things, as MAME basically supports every platform (with varying success) at this point. May play with some launchers for that. I'm mostly just lazy with trying to figure out RetroArch and trying to configure my Atari Arcade stick (I got that fatty one that has two joysticks and a trackball). ha, one of these days I'll get that all set up...
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