The fun is back – pre-orders start for new Atari VCS console |

The fun is back – pre-orders start for new Atari VCS console

Brian C. Rittmeyer
Walmart and GameStop are taking pre-orders for the new Atari VCS, set for delievery in early 2020.
The Atari VCS can be controlled with a classic styled joystick, or a modern gamepad. Both are Bluetooth wireless and rechargeable.

Have you played Atari today?

Odds are, probably not. But as early as March, the answer could be yes.

Atari, which popularized home video gaming with its legendary cartridge-based Video Computer System, or 2600, is launching a new, retro-styled Atari VCS that the company says will play classic and modern games.

“After so many months of working on defining and refining the products, and after the strong initial support of our thousands of original Indiegogo backers, we are excited to finally and officially announce our product launch configurations, first key retail partnerships and the launch of the online presale that will put the VCS into the hands of America’s gamers,” Atari CEO Frédéric Chesnais said in a statement.

Pre-orders can be made with Atari directly and with Walmart and GameStop. It will be available in three different styles — a wood grain finish hearkening back to the original design is available only from Atari; an all-black version, called “Onyx,” can be ordered from Atari and GameStop; Walmart will offer it in “Kevlar Gold.”

While the original is remembered for its wood grain and toggle switches, all-black was a look for the Atari 2600 VCS, too, often referred to as the “Vader,” invoking the Star Wars villain.

There are two models, the Atari VCS 400 and the Atari VCS 800. Like the Atari 400 and 800 computers, the names refer to the amount of memory, measured now in gigabytes instead of kilobytes, with the 400 having 4 gigabytes of ram and the 800, 8 gigabytes.

Pricing starts at $250 for the Atari VCS 400 Onyx and tops out at $390 for one of the three Atari VCS 800 “all-in” system bundles, which includes an updated version of the classic joystick and a modern controller.

Atari raised more than $3 million for the project through a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo. The campaign has ended.

Systems that were ordered on Indiegogo will be delivered in late 2019, according to Atari.

Brian C. Rittmeyer is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Brian at 724-226-4701, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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