You can sign up to get a daily email of our articles, see the Mailing List page!

The team doing the Linux-powered Atari VCS gaming console are finally talking about games. After a lot of silence, they've announced a partnership with Antstream Arcade to bring tons of classics to it.

What is Antstream Arcade? It's a game streaming service that hosts quite a lot of licensed retro games from various platforms like the Amiga, Spectrum, Commodore 64, Atari 2600, Atari ST, Sega Mega Drive and so on. It has a dedicated application you stream the games through but it comes at a cost with a subscription. They said Antstream Arcade will be available for the VCS at launch (whenever that is…).

From the press emails they sent out:

“Antstream Arcade is a perfect partner for Atari and its fans,” said Atari CEO Frédéric Chesnais. “Anstream’s offering lets players instantly access a vast library of games, including many Atari titles that have not been available for streaming before now. This partnership further cements the Atari VCS as a highly versatile entertainment platform and multimedia streaming device, built to embrace the best of classic and modern gaming.”

“Antstream is thrilled to partner with Atari to deliver the magic of the Antstream Arcade service to Atari VCS users,” said Antstream CEO Steve Cottam. “Our exclusive Atari VCS edition of the Antstream Arcade app puts us one step closer to fulfilling our mission of making every classic game all the way back to Pong available for retro gaming fans with a modern twist.”

I also reached out to Antstream Arcade, to see what they had to say about supporting the traditional Linux desktop since they currently don't. When I last spoke to them it wasn't in their plans so I was curious to see what they say now, especially since the Atari VCS is a Linux box. Here's what they said: "With regards to Antstream support for Linux, it is on our road map, and is something that the Antstream team is working on, and if there is increased demand for Linux support we will consider accelerating development.".

As for the Atari VCS hardware which they still haven't finished, they showed off a picture of an "actual" Atari VCS pre-production board:

I hope the Atari VCS lives up the the hype they're attempting to generate with it. Although, they've not been doing a great job at it lately. They've missed basically every deadline on anything they've talked about so far. This is the first proper update they've given on it since July and while interesting, they still clearly have a long way to go for the unit itself if they've only just been able to show us a pre-production board. In their July post, they said we were supposed to get a look at more "modern gameplay examples" this Summer. Well, Summer obviously came and went without a mention of it again and here we are with a retro gaming announcement and a picture of an unfinished board…

Additionally it's not even clear if Rob Wyatt (a system architect for the original Xbox), who Atari made a big splash about joining them as a partner is even still involved. When asked on Reddit, they gave a suitably unclear answer that didn't actually say yes or no: "Hello! Unfortunately, this rumor is circulating on the web. Rob Wyatt and Tin Giant work on many different projects. Atari fans should be excited for the Gameboard, too!"—how very clear, right?

It gets a little worse, their team were even removed as moderators from the AtariVCS Reddit for going around deleting posts they didn't agree with so they went and made their own. What a great way to build trust.

The Atari VCS is due to ship in "early 2020", although I wouldn't exactly be surprised if that date gets pushed back.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
12 Likes, Who?
We do often include affiliate links to earn us some pennies. We are currently affiliated with GOG, Humble Store and Paradox Interactive. See more information here.
About the author -
I am the owner of GamingOnLinux. After discovering Linux back in the days of Mandrake in 2003, I constantly came back to check on the progress of Linux until Ubuntu appeared on the scene and it helped me to really love it. You can reach me easily by emailing GamingOnLinux directly.
See more from me
12 comments
Page: 1/2»
  Go to:

Liam Dawe 30 September 2019 at 2:17 pm UTC
Antstream provided a statement about future Linux support, added it in.
gabber 30 September 2019 at 2:54 pm UTC
Streaming..
So they expect you to buy the box and then to lease the games?
No need for the box then...
Mohandevir 30 September 2019 at 3:07 pm UTC
gabberStreaming..
So they expect you to buy the box and then to lease the games?
No need for the box then...

Exactly my tought... Why a Ryzen based console when streaming requires an Rpi equivalent?

Quite sure it's not going to be the only way to play games on this device... The Atari VCS is probably powerful enough to run modern lower tier games, locally.

Let's hope they capitalize on that.


Last edited by Mohandevir on 30 September 2019 at 3:11 pm UTC
The_Aquabat 30 September 2019 at 3:13 pm UTC
gabberStreaming..
So they expect you to buy the box and then to lease the games?
No need for the box then...
pointless I might as well get a ChromeCast Ultra and use google stadia
mirv 30 September 2019 at 3:18 pm UTC
View PC info
  • Supporter
  • Top Supporter
Something like a raspberry pi seems more suitable to Antstream. Or just retro gaming on the raspberry pi without the hassle of a subscription (if you can get the games you want).

As for a "pre-production" board, those are typically for initial debug purposes. Which means they likely won't work properly, and a development team will spend a lot of money on coffee trying to figure out why, so that there can be another hardware spin to fix (hopefully) all the problems.

That means anywhere from 6 months to a year (depending on how many re-spins they need to get it working, if they have experience with hardware design, etc), though I don't know when that photo was taken, or if it's an initial development kit, or one of the re-spins. The askpcb logo at the bottom left suggests it's a prototype board for initial debug though.

I mean, sure, best of luck to them, or any of their motivated employees. It _could_ all come together in the end. I'm just not convinced.
WildCoder 30 September 2019 at 4:46 pm UTC
It sounds to me that you'll be able to stream the games from AntStream, not that they will run natively on the box.
They could also partner with Stadia and get a few AAA games in 4K at launch too while they're grappling to get games.
In the meantime as a dev I contacted them as soon as it was announced to port my games onto it natively and I still have to get more than a generic thank you for contacting us email
sarmad 30 September 2019 at 7:53 pm UTC
Why would anyone stream retro games when emulators already exists and run perfectly and don't need more than a low level CPU to run them at full performance? I don't get it.
tmtvl 1 October 2019 at 2:21 am UTC
sarmadWhy would anyone stream retro games when emulators already exists and run perfectly and don't need more than a low level CPU to run them at full performance? I don't get it.

Because getting the old games to use with the emulators can be really expensive. Especially pre-CD era games.
TheRiddick 1 October 2019 at 6:12 am UTC
Well having a simple raspberry PI to stream basic 60fps 1080p content might be possible, I suspect you'd need allot more power for 4k at 60fps!

Hopefully this streaming option is there to compliment native ran games and not as the main option for gaming.
Mohandevir 1 October 2019 at 12:38 pm UTC
TheRiddickWell having a simple raspberry PI to stream basic 60fps 1080p content might be possible, I suspect you'd need allot more power for 4k at 60fps!

Just for the record:
https://www.engadget.com/2019/06/24/raspberry-pi-4-model-b/
https://www.raspberrypi.org/products/raspberry-pi-4-model-b/

It already does 4K.
  Go to:
While you're here, please consider supporting GamingOnLinux on Patreon, Liberapay or Paypal. We have no adverts, no paywalls, no timed exclusive articles. Just good, fresh content. Without your continued support, we simply could not continue!

You can find even more ways to support us on this dedicated page any time. If you already are, thank you!

You need to Register and Login to comment, submit articles and more.


Or login with...

Livestreams & Videos
Community Livestreams
  • SunLust, UV, PistolStarts, Controller, Final map, Pleb
  • Date:
See more!
Popular this week
View by Category
Contact
Latest Comments
Latest Forum Posts