Here we go again, how many delays have we seen now? This time the Atari VCS team are saying that it's so popular they don't have enough components.
Reminder: the Atari VCS is a modern-retro hybrid console, that runs a Linux OS and it can have any other operating system of your choice boot up on it. Originally crowdfunded on IndieGoGo in 2018 with multiple millions, it's relying on some pretty heavy nostalgia.
In a fresh Medium blog post, the team mentioned that they're now looking at full retail production in January 2021. Instead of late October for the first lot of deliveries for backers, they've also now pushed that back further into mid-November. They said two issues have caused part of this which is a "critical" and "very scarce component" needed for the Classic Joystick along with "a specific part" needed for their AMD Ryzen CPU that they appear to be looking around to find more sources for. The January 2021 date still might not be hit, as they say they're "assuming" what they need arrives in time and in the full quantity they need.
On a separate IndieGoGo backer update, because they decided to split the info between two places because they're still terrible at communication, they gave this updated overall plan of what's going on:
- All Atari VCS units and Modern Controllers earmarked to fill backer orders are either in the US warehouse or will be before the end of the month.
- After being delayed due to a late-arriving part, all Classic Joysticks for backers are now scheduled to start departing the factory on 11/5/2020.
- To mitigate this additional delay, Atari has now arranged to import the joysticks from China via air freight, rather than by traditional trans-ocean shipping. This will significantly reduce the travel time from the typical 6+ weeks, down to 10-14 days.
- Based on this revised schedule, and barring any unusual customs delays (we’ve already experienced a couple), we expect to have all merchandise on hand in the US warehouse and ready to ship to backers starting as soon as the week of November 16th.
- Orders will go out via standard shipping in roughly the order that they were made. Product serial numbers will not follow any specific order sequence. This includes both domestic and international orders.
- We do not yet know the pace or daily outbound capacity of the fulfilment center and will share any info we can when it becomes available.
One of the bigger problems is that they've still confirmed very little in the way of games. They're getting the Plex media player along with two other minor streaming services and they teamed up with Game Jolt. We also know they're going to put on the Atari Vault classic collection but they've not shared much else which is worrying. They're also going to be messing around with an Atari Token crypto currency too, as if things weren't weird enough.
You can see more on the Atari VCS site.