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The Linux-powered Atari VCS has gone through some design changes

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The Atari VCS team put out a new blog post and it goes over some changes to the design and it still looks pretty great.

Now that they've already announced a delay and upgrade to AMD Ryzen, the Atari VCS team is once again talking about the design of the unit and how they've overhauled the construction method to make it more streamlined.

It's worth noting, they're currently only showing renders of what it now looks like. As the pre-production models are on their way to their engineering team, which they say they will share actual photos when they have them.

Anyway, they say this refreshed design is "production-ready" and it's supposed to look a little closer to the classic Atari 2600:

What's happened? Essentially, they've raised it up a little and this has allowed them to move two of the USB ports to the front of the machine, to make connecting things up a lot easier (hooray). So it now only has two on the back, for things you connect/disconnect less often which does make a bit more sense. They've also removed the SD Card slot which they said was "redundant".

Another minor change is the front light, which across all models is now going to be in white and the same on the new joysticks and controllers to make it consistent.

As for the construction of the unit itself, it's no longer using their original (and pretty ridiculous) 16-layer ribbed sandwich which wasn't very practical and pretty wasteful. So now it's going with a much more standard approach consisting of four primary pieces: a top housing, a bottom housing plus front and back panels:

So not only does it save time, money and manufacturing waste, it should also be much easier to take the unit apart if you wish to tinker with the innards.

Liking what I'm seeing and hearing about it at this stage, but as always it's worth remaining sceptical until they actually ship. To be fair though what they're trying to do is no easy task, especially since they're doing it in public and a lot of this we wouldn't usually be seeing and hearing about.

See their full post here.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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13 comments
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MayeulC 2 April 2019 at 10:06 am UTC
Mmm, this could actually make a decent home server/game console/htpc combo, I guess?

I doubt there will be enough expansion (pcie) or sata ports to make it a highly useful server, though, but I might justify buying one with this argument. On the other hand, I never used any Atari console, so it's not like I have some nostalgia drive. I'll just wait and see.

Edit: why not make the front light RGB, though? It would be better to convey more messages, prettier (the user can customize it), and hopefully able to be turned off (not everyone like a white light in the face, esp. in a dark room in front of a screen, so red or off could be better options here).


Last edited by MayeulC at 2 April 2019 at 10:16 am UTC
Eike 2 April 2019 at 10:28 am UTC
The Linux-powered Atari VCS is not changing design, core hardware or peripherials anymore and instead will be on the shelves next week. - Nobody, ever
tmtvl 2 April 2019 at 1:21 pm UTC
EikeThe Linux-powered Atari VCS is not changing design, core hardware or peripherials anymore and instead will be on the shelves next week. - Nobody, ever

Hey, you'll regret those words when it's finally released... in 2600.

See also: Star Citizen, Bannerlord.
M@GOid 2 April 2019 at 1:31 pm UTC
I'm still disappointed over their CPU choice. Like I said many months ago, indie games are a lot heavier than you think. Obviously some of that is developer's fault, but not always. They should have choose at last a quad-core CPU with HT. When the ports they will eventually get fail to hit a stable 60 fps, will be too late to justify to their consumers why a PC with off the shelf parts at similar price, have better performance on the same games.


Last edited by M@GOid at 2 April 2019 at 1:32 pm UTC
const 2 April 2019 at 6:39 pm UTC
Best case scenario for us would be a bigger brand releasing a linux based console with very similar hardware to stadia servers. And I'd prefer AMD, Sega and Valve to Atari any time.
Thinking about it: Imagine a console that is actually similar to Stadia servers. Want an upgrade? Put a second one on the network and let them work as a cluster

Edited: Referred to Stadia as Strada


Last edited by const at 3 April 2019 at 7:41 am UTC
CFWhitman 2 April 2019 at 9:07 pm UTC
At this point it has become a fun speculation piece, but I am skeptical about any hardware actually being released, even if their intentions are perfectly sincere.
inlinuxdude 2 April 2019 at 9:59 pm UTC
tmtvl
EikeThe Linux-powered Atari VCS is not changing design, core hardware or peripherials anymore and instead will be on the shelves next week. - Nobody, ever

Hey, you'll regret those words when it's finally released... in 2600.



2600.... I see what you did there.... at least they're not waiting until 5200, amirite?
vector 2 April 2019 at 10:09 pm UTC
Okay Internet, you've won me over. I will henceforth refer to it as Strada.
slaapliedje 3 April 2019 at 3:05 pm UTC
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inlinuxdude
tmtvl
EikeThe Linux-powered Atari VCS is not changing design, core hardware or peripherials anymore and instead will be on the shelves next week. - Nobody, ever

Hey, you'll regret those words when it's finally released... in 2600.



2600.... I see what you did there.... at least they're not waiting until 5200, amirite?

REPORT JUST IN: You'll have to wait until 5200!
Then the controllers will be non-centering.
CFWhitman 7 April 2019 at 12:35 am UTC
slaapliedje
Guest
inlinuxdude
tmtvl
EikeThe Linux-powered Atari VCS is not changing design, core hardware or peripherials anymore and instead will be on the shelves next week. - Nobody, ever

Hey, you'll regret those words when it's finally released... in 2600.



2600.... I see what you did there.... at least they're not waiting until 5200, amirite?

REPORT JUST IN: You'll have to wait until 5200!
Then the controllers will be non-centering.

Were the controllers perpetually non-centering? I had always thought that they must be like the PC joysticks from back then, with a switch to change between being centering or non-centering. However, I never actually saw a 5200 in person, only in advertisements. Our next system after the 2600 was the NES.
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