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.