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June 2019 Retro Gaming Article


June 11, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

The crowd-funded Atari VCS 800 console is available for pre-order at GameStop & WalMart

Atari VCS 800 console
The Atari VCS release date is December 2019 for Indiegogo backers and March 2020 for everyone else.
Atari has again tried to boost interest in their upcoming VCS console at E3. Announcing pre-orders have opened with partners, GameStop and WalMart. I continue to be surprised they can be so close to launch and still have no evidence of a working prototype. Their announcements are accompanied by more rendered images. Scarce video footage shows games from Atari Vault which has been available for years and serves as the built-in retro games for the VCS console.

Proof-of-concept is usually the first step in building confidence in your product. When investors can see your product in action, they are more likely to believe in and invest in your mission's success. Oddly, Indiegogo backers funded the VCS to $3 million without any solid evidence that Atari could deliver. All they had to go on was the abandoned Atari Game Watch project that disappeared with no product or refund for backers.

I opted for their $30 classic joystick on Indiegogo, so I have interest in their success. But perpetuating sales of a product that lacks any proof-of-concept is truly strange. It makes me wonder if people's nostalgic memories have corrupted their good sense or if they don't know that Atari is nothing more than a vintage brand owned by a modern holding company. I hope Atari can pull this off (that's my nostalgia talking) but they are terrible communicators and don't give any reassurances they can bring hardware to market.

There's also a software aspect to this. It's easy for them to put the Atari Vault games on the device, but what else can we expect? Are developers working on games? Is there an online store? What does the Atari VCS connect to for downloading/buying games? Atari has given no answers, but has opened up pre-orders with major retailers. That doesn't make any sense.

Atari VCS preorder Atari VCS pre-order at GameStop for the Onyx Black console.
Atari VCS preorder Atari VCS pre-order at Wal Mart for the Kevlar Gold console.

Atari VCS Retail SKUs and Configurations

Retailer SKUs for the Atari VCS
Atari VCS 800  Kevlar Gold console Atari VCS 800 Kevlar Gold console

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