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Things are going downhill for the Atari VCS as Rob Wyatt quits

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It's now confirmed that Rob Wyatt, someone who Atari made a big thing over joining them has quit citing non payment of invoices for at least six months.

As confirmed by The Register who spoke to Wyatt, things have not been going well. Not only has Wyatt completely left the project, it sounds like Atari don't exactly know what they're doing. Originally, Atari said it would have their own Linux-based OS with an easy to use UI and their own store. According to sources The Register spoke to who've had direct contact with the VCS project, that might no longer happen. Sounds like it's turning into a regular Linux box now.

No game developers have signed up to make original games, which is something I expected after their first announcement about actual games years after the IndieGoGo crowdfunding campaign was a retro streaming service. On top of that, they've not been able to pull in the big game engines like Unreal or Unity too.

Remember Atari also said they would fully support streaming services? Apparently that's not even happening either. Instead, you will be running services like Netflix or Amazon through a special build of a Chromium-powered browser. The whole Register article is worth a read, as it's really something.

Meanwhile, Atari have also put out their own update post on the same day likely trying to bury this bad news. It doesn't actually give us anything new, in fact it basically confirms have Atari don't really have anything to show. They explained that the pre-production Atari VCS units can run both Windows and Linux and that's about it right now.

The VCS team do claim they will be able to show their own UI, store frameworks and apps and more actually on a VCS unit to "a select group of press and partners" later this "fall". They also said they're still looking at a retail launch in "spring 2020".

I will be seriously amazed if they actually hit that goal. I still want them to, for everyone that backed them and to have a nice tidy Linux-powered box available like this would be pretty sweet. Let's see what happens but it's really not sounding good.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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30 comments
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KohlyKohl 8 October 2019 at 12:26 pm UTC
This is why I will never back anything before a final product has been released.
crt0mega 8 October 2019 at 12:36 pm UTC
Sad news. The Atari VCS was a pretty promising project, especially since they went for a Ryzen-based APU instead of that old 'dozer-thing. Maybe things will go better when the boxes finally hit the market but that's just a faint hope.


Last edited by crt0mega on 8 October 2019 at 12:36 pm UTC
Eike 8 October 2019 at 12:52 pm UTC
QuoteThey explained that the pre-production Atari VCS units can run both Windows and Linux and that's about it right now.

So they've built a little PC that can run Windows and Linux?!? They're just wild and crazy...!

Seriously (and unfortunately):
It's dead.

It's all too obvious, but if you didn't do it yet,
don't let them talk you into preordering this box.

RIP, Atari.

I didn't actually own one of your great products decades ago,
but I still like your name and logo.
Mohandevir 8 October 2019 at 12:53 pm UTC
Final nail in the coffin... It seems they ticked all the wrong boxes from day one, every step of the way; every news we get from them is overshadowed by doubts (and in some cases, really serious ones). Nothing clearly and indisputably positive comes from that group. As much as I would have liked them to succeed, I'm affraid they are going to fail miserably.

Let them prove me wrong, but with this last bit of news, there is no hype left in me. The hardware was a cool idea though.


Last edited by Mohandevir on 8 October 2019 at 2:45 pm UTC
14 8 October 2019 at 1:20 pm UTC
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KohlyKohlThis is why I will never back anything before a final product has been released.
If it was a true investment model, like you earn a share of profits for X amount of time after release, would you feel the same? The typical crowd sourcing we see today for video games is a strange charity. I have done it, but it's still strange.
sa666666 8 October 2019 at 1:36 pm UTC
I suspected they were full of crap after they made an announcement that they would be working on a new 2600 emulator, from scratch. I speak as the Stella (Atari 2600 emulator) maintainer for almost 15 years now, and involved with it for almost 20 years. It is a huge undertaking to say they will develop something like this from scratch, and they obviously have no idea how to estimate the amount of work involved in such a project. Not a surprise, really, since they seem to have underestimated everything else with that project too.
thoughtfulhippo 8 October 2019 at 1:54 pm UTC
This is a shame, but sadly unsurprising news. I doesn't even sound like they have the hardware finalised. Even without the software, and streaming services, if they could deliver a tidy little Linux box with the Atari logo on then backers would probably be (reasonably) happy. It's not going to be that difficult to install whatever emulator you want on it.

I've backed several Kickstarter campaigns (latest is Everspace 2), all of which have delivered or are still expected to. When I back a campaign, it is with no expectation that it will deliver either on time, at all, or what I wanted.
macintux 8 October 2019 at 2:26 pm UTC
thoughtfulhippoThis is a shame, but sadly unsurprising news. I doesn't even sound like they have the hardware finalised. Even without the software, and streaming services, if they could deliver a tidy little Linux box with the Atari logo on then backers would probably be (reasonably) happy. It's not going to be that difficult to install whatever emulator you want on it.

I've backed several Kickstarter campaigns (latest is Everspace 2), all of which have delivered or are still expected to. When I back a campaign, it is with no expectation that it will deliver either on time, at all, or what I wanted.

Not trying to sound rude or anything, but, why do you keep giving them your money? All it does is encourage bad behavior and poorly planned out ideas like the Atari VCS.
Kimyrielle 8 October 2019 at 2:50 pm UTC
The only people I feel more sorry for than than the one who backed this project, are the ones who washed hundreds of dollars down the drain to buy starships for a certain space game that will arrive not before the end of their life-expectancy...
drlamb 8 October 2019 at 2:52 pm UTC
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If this ever comes out and goes on sale before the rumored ryzen-based "NUC-like" devices I might grab a couple to build a Kubernetes cluster.


Last edited by drlamb on 8 October 2019 at 2:53 pm UTC
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