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June 2019 Retro Gaming Article


June 13, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Atari had a suite at E3 to preview the Atari VCS for press, retailers, and content partners

Rear panel of the Atari VCS
If folks have seen the VCS in action, they're being awfully quiet about it. Who saw it working at E3?
Atari has been posting to Instagram about the private meetings, at E3, showing off the upcoming VCS video game console. Atari is creeping right up to the edge of saying they were demoing a VCS at E3, but don't quite say it. Last year they displayed a non-functional console design at the GDC conference. This feels similar, although they have a better looking model console.

If they were actually showing off a working console, why not say so? Their inability to give us a good look at a working model makes it seem as though they are way behind on development. If that's not the case, couldn't they confirm this. Wouldn't they want to reassure backers, investors and resellers? They are a strange company.

Today's Atari

Most Atari fans tend to come from it's inception when it was a remarkable company full of innovation. Bushnell left after the Atari 2600 era. For the last two decades, Atari has largely existed as a brand owned by various holding companies. They ceased being a "gaming" company long ago. Nostalgia fuels a desire to hope Atari is still a great company. It is not.

The brand will forever be remembered as a company instrumental to the development of the gaming industry we love today, but modern-day Atari is simply leveraging the iconic IPs they own to generate revenue. It stuns me that they have generated $4 million for the new VCS development and have yet to show a working prototype or games made by third party developers. I wish them well, but have my doubts based on their actions.

Atari VCS What does this caption mean? Was this controller hooked up to a functional VCS?
Atari VCS They posted this movie file to IG. The E3 logo rotates atop a still image. Why doesn't the movie show a short clip of a game in progress?

A video created by C|Net has been making the rounds as a proof of concept asset. I've had a few people send it to me as though it was definitive proof Atari has a working prototype. People are dumb. Only at one point in the video does it show a person manipulating the classic joystick in a game of Missile Command. The actions by the "player" are not in step with the movements on the screen. That tells me everything I need to know.

Six months from launch.. no working prototype. Yeah, I'll just dash down to my local GameStop for an Atari VCS pre-order.

Link to the C|Net video if the embed code isn't working below.


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