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The Linux-powered games console the Ataribox has become the Atari VCS

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Atari has announced that the unreleased Ataribox has been rebranded as the Atari VCS [Official Site] and they say they will reveal the date for pre-orders next month. Their wording has been interesting, as they say the "pre-order date to be announced in April.", not that it actually will begin in April. They're still being all very coy about it all.

Originally, the Atari VCS under the name of the Ataribox was due to have pre-orders start towards the end of last year in December. This was then delayed, as Atari stated something about it missing a "key element on our checklist". We still have no idea what this was, as they're not yet saying.

Here's the latest shots they've sent around, it sure does look like something I wouldn't mind owning:

The gamepad is also looking really rather slick. Sometimes it's simplicity that creates beauty, I'm not saying it's the best looking gamepad out there, but you have to admit it does look pretty nice. Looks like a good size too, like it might actually fit in my hands properly…

I hope it does genuinely turn into something interesting, as an open Linux-powered games console with backing from someone to see it through could be a good boost for Linux gaming overall. What actually happens remains to be seen, will it be a force to be reckoned with or will it see another delay? Who knows, but we shall keep you informed.

We still know too little details about it—sure they've given some hardware specifications and they said it will remain based on Linux, with access to the underlying system free of restraints, but the key fact here is that they haven't shown it actually working in any form at all. That's what worries me the most after all this time. On top of that, their official site is using quotes with no source that seem pretty made up from randomly picked names.

What do you think?

Still amusing they listed us on their press page.

18 Likes, Who?
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tonR 20 March 2018 at 7:32 am UTC
GuestOther than button layout it looks exactly like a Wii U pro controller, which is pretty much perfection.
Personally, I can't wait for that classic joystick!

This will be a day 1 purchase for me.

Al3sIt's virtually a rebranded Xbox 360 gamepad. Ergonomics are fine.

Well, I'm grew up in PS1 / PS2 era where anything than Dual Shock was look abnormal. Even my current gamepad is Chinese Knock-off Dual shock controller.

p/s: Never had console. Only played on friend or relatives' console. Playstation (1,2,3) is only console I played in my entire life because well, it is and still popular in Asia.

Last edited by tonR at 20 March 2018 at 7:34 am UTC
1xok 20 March 2018 at 9:26 am UTC
I think it would have been difficult to develop and update an AMD-based Linux system with a kernel older than 4.15 for such a small company.

I'm skeptical. They didn't present a concept. Working closely with Valve would certainly be helpful, but I do not have the impression that there is a connection. On its own it becomes very difficult to impossible for Atari.

But they have beautifully rendered pictures.

Last edited by 1xok at 20 March 2018 at 9:32 am UTC
razing32 20 March 2018 at 10:17 am UTC
I'm on a wait and see mentality on this one.
If they bring something good I may eventually get it.
If not I can point and laugh.
slaapliedje 20 March 2018 at 10:29 am UTC
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The thing is, depending on the potential power of this thing, it's actually something that I think is sorely needed, and I tried arguing that fact in the AtariAge thread.

By that I mean I want a little miniature computer that has enough power sitting under my TV that is silent but will play my Steam Library. I do have the Link, but it's not quite powerful enough.
RafiLinux 20 March 2018 at 12:43 pm UTC
A part me is hoping that Atari taps into Pico8 and make it the default 'game'/'editor' to really bring that retro feel to it and also tap into creators.
Ray54 20 March 2018 at 1:28 pm UTC
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Assuming that this system will use an AMD Ryzen R3 2200G APU or similar, does anybody know if it is currently possible to make a stable Steam gaming system using the new Ryzen APUs? I have searched the web, but cannot find a definitive answer. If not, then is a new kernel or new driver release expected to fix the problems in time for (I guess) a summer release of the Atari box?
tuubi 20 March 2018 at 1:31 pm UTC
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kneekooAnd there's the fact that they didn't put up a (marketing) fight to attract people like me, who never touched an Amiga system before.
If you'd mixed up Amiga and Atari back in the 16bit A500/ST days, you'd have had both camps coming after you with torches and pitchforks. ;)

It was a bit like the console wars, but more... beige. And smaller in scale, confined mostly to European nerd circles I think.
wvstolzing 20 March 2018 at 2:17 pm UTC
kneekooAnd there's the fact that they didn't put up a (marketing) fight to attract people like me, who never touched an Amiga system before.
If you'd mixed up Amiga and Atari back in the 16bit A500/ST days, you'd have had both camps coming after you with torches and pitchforks. ;)

I'd fear a personal 'Jack Attack' from Mr. Tramiel himself.
emphy 20 March 2018 at 2:18 pm UTC
As usual, given the recent history of infogrames, still not going to touch any 'atari' product with a ten-foot pole.
NeptNutz 20 March 2018 at 3:16 pm UTC
LeopardKey element = Exclusive games to Atari VCS
To me, Atari + Key Element = PADDLES

On the other side of my brain blob, methinks that if GPU prices continue as they are, this thing could become an unexpected runaway hit!
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