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November 2019 Retro Gaming Article


November 28, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Even on Thanksgiving, Atari manages to deliver frustration and disappointment with more VCS delays

Atari VCS test consoles
Crowd funding backers eager for a Christmas delivery are told it will be a few more weeks.
I woke up on Thanksgiving Day to an email from Atari regarding the latest (and very anticipated) delay in shipping their Atari VCS game console. After years of delays, Atari chose Thanksgiving to tell us about the next delays in shipping their console.

Indiegogo backers were promised a December shipping date, causing many to have thoughts of delivery by Christmas. That would have been very cool to have it shipped for the holidays. Many of us who are nostalgic for the Atari VCS have childhood memories of getting new game consoles for Christmas. No such luck in 2019. Atari claims the delay will be several more weeks.

Atari's COO tried to put a positive spin on more dismal news.
Atari COO Michael Arzt, is featured in a largely uninformative interview explaining why Atari is again unable to stick to their deadlines. An image of Atari VCS consoles was provided and captioned as being "fresh off the assembly line and on their way to the extensive testing processes." It's November 28 and Atari is seemingly saying they are beginning testing on test units to later be mass-produced! This sounds like they are still way behind schedule.

As manufacturing and testing go, problems are fairly common and tweaks will need to be made. When Atari later says they are on-schedule for a march 2020 retail release and only weeks behind on delivering to crowd funding backers... they are proposing a very aggressive timeline. I don't believe any of their "launch dates" and it makes it seem like the backers who collectively paid $3 million to this project are now little more than beta testers.

Atari likes to claim all the delays are resulting in a better end-product, but when Atari delays for years, clearly they don't know how to bring products to market. They offer minimal non-news as a pacifier to their lack of results. Everyone who backed this train-wreck should be pressing Atari to be honest about their delivery/shipping plans.

Atari VCS test consoles As I always say, I've loved Atari since the 70s, but Their track record over the last several years has been abysmal. I'm in the mix for one of their modern classic joysticks ($30), but I don't anticipate ever getting it. That's the Atari way these days.


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