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Ah yes, Atari VCS, the delayed Linux-powered gaming box that was crowdfunded on IndieGoGo. It's still a thing and the team seem to think it's all going well.

In a new development update on the Atari VCS Medium account, the team posted a set of questions and answers from the COO Michael Arzt as to what's been happening recently. This follows on from the news back in October, where their system architect Rob Wyatt quit citing non-payment.

From the post they said they're currently going over the hardware to test "for functionality and reliability" and doing tweaks as needed, as then design and engineering teams recently went over to visit their partners in China who are building the actual Atari VCS units along with some photos:

Also detailed in the Q&A post is that they're developing the UI and store in the Unity game engine and they say it's "almost complete". Unity are apparently working closely with them on this, and they have "several studios" lined up ready for the Atari VCS launch. They're not saying who or what games though.

For streaming services like Amazon, Netflix and so on, it does sound like they will not have dedicated applications for them. Not yet anyway, they said for such service there will be the choice of viewing them through a web browser and that "the first big wave of apps isn’t likely to come before Q1".

When talking about the Atari OS, they confirmed yet again it's based on a "Linux foundation" with their integrated Atari VCS store and the Sandbox Mode will be available for installing and booting more traditional operating systems, like a standard Linux distribution (or Windows) so you could boot up Steam on it if you wanted.

IndieGoGo backers were supposed to be getting their units before the public release in December this year. That is now being delayed, although they claim "we are talking weeks here, not months, and the Indiegogo backers remain our top priority".

According to the post, they are on schedule for a full release in March 2020. Let's see what happens.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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58 comments
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sub 29 November 2019 at 3:38 pm UTC
The case looks rather cheap.
I thought they targeted a high quality finish...?
Mohandevir 29 November 2019 at 3:57 pm UTC
Google Stadia... Atari VCS... I still wonder if we'll ever see a Linux gaming system that starts with a "Bang! Nailed it!".

It's not impossible... Sony's Playstation is similar to a BSD platform... They did it.

Steam Machines had a lot of hype and were well tought, but the ecosystem was too lacking... If it could get a second chance, as things stand currently, it might be different, but Valve seems to be geared toward VR only.

Oh well...


Last edited by Mohandevir on 29 November 2019 at 4:02 pm UTC
0aTT 29 November 2019 at 4:15 pm UTC
subI thought they targeted a high quality finish...?

If this thing gets done at all, it's a lot more than you could have expected.
Nevertheless 29 November 2019 at 4:19 pm UTC
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MohandevirGoogle Stadia... Atari VCS... I still wonder if we'll ever see a Linux gaming system that starts with a "Bang! Nailed it!".

It's not impossible... Sony's Playstation is similar to a BSD platform... They did it.

They did it because they could legally own the underlying pre-existing operating system, and because it's relatively easy to support uniform hardware of dedicated vendors with drivers. It did not help people wanting to play games on their BSD boxes.
To support Desktop Linux means wanting to support open gaming on a wide variety of hardware and drivers.
Mohandevir 29 November 2019 at 4:39 pm UTC
Nevertheless
MohandevirGoogle Stadia... Atari VCS... I still wonder if we'll ever see a Linux gaming system that starts with a "Bang! Nailed it!".

It's not impossible... Sony's Playstation is similar to a BSD platform... They did it.

They did it because they could legally own the underlying pre-existing operating system, and because it's relatively easy to support uniform hardware of dedicated vendors with drivers. It did not help people wanting to play games on their BSD boxes.
To support Desktop Linux means wanting to support open gaming on a wide variety of hardware and drivers.

Totally... Still, I'm wondering what would have happened if Valve decided to go all in in the Console market with a Steam Machine initiative like Microsoft's Xbox. I mean, with a dedicated Steam Machine store that's a subset of what you may find in the desktop client (100% Linux/Proton and controller supported titles only) and optimized for the Steam Machine (dedicated hardware built by Valve)... But the games you buy on the Steam Machines' store are then available and synced on any other desktop clients...

Well we'll never know, I guess...


Last edited by Mohandevir on 29 November 2019 at 5:00 pm UTC
fagnerln 29 November 2019 at 4:41 pm UTC
I hope that it make success, it looks great, something nice to put near the TV, better than most of "android boxes", and this will encourage more companies to do similar projects.
lucinos 29 November 2019 at 4:46 pm UTC
NeverthelessTo support Desktop Linux means wanting to support open gaming on a wide variety of hardware and drivers.

This is not such a big problem as you make it sound. One should just say "64bit only and an open source vulkan implementation"

If games are working good in these terms then old hardware, who cares, and all other drivers should just get good as it does work on an open source driver there is no real handicap for every other modern enough hardware.

For lightweight games you want to run on older hardware just support OGL3.

If you want to support even older hardware then why not make it all the way and support DOS or even old 8bit computers?


Last edited by lucinos on 29 November 2019 at 4:53 pm UTC
tonyrh 29 November 2019 at 5:08 pm UTC
subThe case looks rather cheap.
I thought they targeted a high quality finish...?

Can you really judge the case quality from those two grainy jpgs?
Shmerl 29 November 2019 at 5:41 pm UTC
Only HDMI output? That's a huge no go. At least they should use both DisplayPort and HDMI, if they think HDMI is so necessary.


Last edited by Shmerl on 29 November 2019 at 5:41 pm UTC
tuubi 29 November 2019 at 5:48 pm UTC
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ShmerlOnly HDMI output? That's a huge no go. At least they should use both DisplayPort and HDMI, if they think HDMI is so necessary.
Plenty of TV sets with no DP inputs, but all of them have HDMI. I doubt this is such a no-go for most of their target audience.
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