Yet another new Atari VCS update...

Discussion in 'HardForum Tech News' started by MixManSC, Jun 11, 2019 at 2:19 PM.

  1. MixManSC

    MixManSC ║▌║█║▌│║▌║▌█ Staff Member

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    Atari VCS Update: Atari Announces the Next Exciting Chapter!

    The Atari VCS team is pleased to make some exciting announcements at the dawn of the 2019 Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3).

    The Atari VCS campaign on Indiegogo has officially come to a close and the Atari VCS Official Online Pre-Sale has now begun! Shop now for Atari VCS systems and accessories in the USA at GameStop.com, Walmart.com and of course, the relaunched AtariVCS.com.

    New models and configurations can now be viewed and ordered for products that will start shipping in March 2020. Additional retailers and international markets will be announced.

    Please read all about it, including Atari’s E3 plans and much more, in today’s official press release below:

    Link to official press release.

    Thanks for all your support. Much more information to come!

    — The Atari VCS Team

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  2. MixManSC

    MixManSC ║▌║█║▌│║▌║▌█ Staff Member

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    A few nice bits of info can be gleaned from the press release etc. They will be offering a basic version which only has 4GB of ram instead of 8GB. What is important is that is states "upgradeable" which means mostly likely a SODIMM slot. That also means in my opinion that it might very well be possible to upgrade even further to 16GB or 32GB. They also show a "Sandbox" mode where you can boot the console into another operating system (not included) and they show Windows 10. That implies to me that either Windows 10 has all of the needed drivers or we will at least be able to get drivers.

    Yes I know the hardcore "gamers" are still not going to like it much as it is not the most powerful latest and greatest console ever made and a custom PC can be built that will likely be faster. I personally do not think that user is who this is being built for. Many just want to plug it in and go. The built in software will work fine, allow for tons of games, video streaming, etc and with them allowing a sandbox mode to boot other OS's it really opens it up to run whatever you want on it within the limits of what the hardware can do.
     
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  3. Krazy925

    Krazy925 2[H]4U

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    It sounds impressive but expensive when users really just want a cheap “classic” box.

    Still predict this thing to pull a PS Classic in a higher price range.
     
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  4. Dr. Righteous

    Dr. Righteous 2[H]4U

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    Thought this was kinda cool till I saw the price tag. YIKES.
    Can build a budget Ryzen 5 2400G budget gaming rig for about the same price.
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2019 at 3:24 PM
  5. jardows

    jardows [H]ard|Gawd

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    Build your own box using a STX or thin-ITX motherboard, AMD 220G CPU, and 8GB Ram, with storage, case and power delivery. Throw in a LEGAL bundle of licensed games. Then come back and tell us how overpriced this is.

    I see this product for what it actually is - a pretty neat pre-built compact PC with some extras. Looking at it that way, the price is very reasonable.
     
  6. RanceJustice

    RanceJustice [H]ardness Supreme

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    I think the key is to look at it not just as "classic" gaming box, but as a relatively modern and upgrade-ready HTPC. It has a Linux based OS and is promised not to be locked down, so that alone is great from the start. I'm sure someone will find a way to get Steam running on it (perhaps as a Steam Link endpoint too). It looks like a great little HTPC for playing both the curated stuff, but a well supported - and linux compatible - general set of features. Media stuff like Kodi / Plex / Emby / Jellyfin, or just native VLC. Various applications for streaming content and full browsers. Modern games from Steam (especially any with native Linux and likely Proton) , older titles, indies, tons of emulators etc.. there's a lot it looks to be capable of doing! If you look at some of those "console mini classic" $99 boxes, and the $99-150 "ARM TV boxes" etc... all of them are less open, powerful, and widely accessible compared to the hardware offered here. Once they stop being supported for whatever chipset, or you can't find an app for something you're generally out of luck. Not so if this is a "full" Linux box with x64 compatibility.

    Looking at it as an equivalent for a cheap single purpose media thing it will seem too expensive, but given its openness and better class of hardware it seems like an all-in-one HTPC with reasonably modern hardware. In that light, I wonder if it will be a better value.
     
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  7. dgz

    dgz [H]ardness Supreme

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    You do realize those are old Atari games, right? I refuse people would actually play those. Not until there's evidence.
     
  8. jardows

    jardows [H]ard|Gawd

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    Yes, I realize they are old Atari games, but everything I have seen and read indicates that they are not exclusively Atari 2600 games. i.e. that some of their newer IP will be included. If these games are the primary reason someone is wanting to buy this, then I question their sanity. I see the games as a nice bonus to an otherwise decently spec'd and decently priced compact PC. Again, to legally buy the games would add considerable cost to the final build. Even if they are all 2600 games which usually cost $1 used (some cost more), that's at least $100 more.
     
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  9. MixManSC

    MixManSC ║▌║█║▌│║▌║▌█ Staff Member

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    Well - being near 50 years old I had a 2600 when they were the hottest newest thing. I do look forward to playing some of the horribly bad old games for old times sake. :woot: But some of the newer (relatively speaking) Atari games from the arcade days I also grew up in like Tempest, Centipede, Galaga, etc are also still enjoyable for many of us elderly types. Bonus that I'm somewhat nerdy and come from a long IT career so yeah I'll also be upgrading it, dual booting it, using Amazon Prime and other streaming services, etc. And yeah, Pong at 4K on my 4K LG OLED TV will be totally wicked. :ROFLMAO:
     
  10. dgz

    dgz [H]ardness Supreme

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    I get you. My dyslexia prevented me from getting my point across. I am not saying it's a bad purchase. Let's look at the specs

    Not terribly bad for a what is supposedly a semi-open platform. A bit of modern 60 fps magic could do wonders for some of those old games.
     
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  11. MixManSC

    MixManSC ║▌║█║▌│║▌║▌█ Staff Member

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    I really wish they would include some sort of internal storage connection. Preferably an M.2 NVMe slot.
     
  12. odditory

    odditory [H]ardness Supreme

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    NVMe to play Pong?
     
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  13. MixManSC

    MixManSC ║▌║█║▌│║▌║▌█ Staff Member

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    Can you just imagine how fast it would load!! :D
     
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  14. Burticus

    Burticus 2[H]4U

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    Nah. Wonder how long it will take to get to $29.. the PSX classic didn't take that long. And it's better as a homebrew emulator than what it was released for.
     
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  15. Red Falcon

    Red Falcon [H]ardForum Junkie

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    The [H]ardest way to play Pong.
    Those 8-bit games aren't going to load themselves! :D
     
  16. odditory

    odditory [H]ardness Supreme

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    I hate how you make me agree with you.

    If I can't load Pitfall at 3400MB/s, I'm afraid I just can't be bothered.

    220px-Pitfall!_Coverart.png
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2019 at 8:53 PM
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  17. Krenum

    Krenum [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Have had a lot of fun with the PS classic as an emulation machine. Was disappointed that it couldn't play Arcade versions Killer Instinct 1 & 2 very well though :( Seems to be powerful enough, maybe in time....
     
  18. lostin3d

    lostin3d [H]ard|Gawd

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    Before I had my 1st computer(used Atari 400) I had a Atari VCS(before it became 2600). It too was used and got a deal from a friend of my dad and it came with a half dozen or games, two controllers and two paddles. Over a couple of years I bought many games using money from a paper delivery route. Don't know how many people remember but back then there were some games you could get to boot into hidden levels or dev modes either by inserting the cartridges at specific intervals or holding switches when turning on.

    It was a different and magical time in it's own right. Activision was king. They always had a way of bringing the best graphics out of that system. I paid a little more for them but also knew their games would rock. It was always fun going to Sears or Kmart to see what they had in stock.
     
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  19. jardows

    jardows [H]ard|Gawd

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    I had been looking for the specs on the storage, and missed it, but your post had it included. I'm not thrilled about 32GB emmc, wish they had a bit more or a proper SSD

    That would make this a great deal, but unfortunately it appears that extra storage is going to be limited to USB 3.0 speeds.

    I still think its a decent price for what you get. What I couldn't find is pricing on the 400 model, which is the one with 4GB of RAM. I know the big OEM's charge a bundle to get the higher RAM capacity devices, and you save money by purchasing the lower option and upgrading the RAM yourself.

    I wonder if this would be capable of running Dolphin? That'd make it a sweet gaming box.
     
  20. Dr. Righteous

    Dr. Righteous 2[H]4U

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    Meh. This is mainly the reason my last console was a Sega Genesis. The games were way to expensive. I liked RPG type games; you got hours of play and that was the way to get your moneys worth. But the last game I purchased cost $60 bux and it was absolute crap(Super Hydlide). And man that was lot of money back then (would be shelling out $120 bux today). I really felt seriously ripped off. Purchased my first PC in 1991. Not touched a console since.
     
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  21. MixManSC

    MixManSC ║▌║█║▌│║▌║▌█ Staff Member

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    There is still some specs subject to change prior to final production of course. Pricing might as well... hard telling for sure. I do also now see that the 8GB models also clearly state "upgradeable" as well which would indicate that the ram can be further upgraded. Probably to at least 16GB but I'd guess 32GB might also be possible.

    All retail SKU's show a March 2020 availability date. They state that early supporters units will ship in December.

    GAMESTOP SKUs
    800 Onyx All In (Retail Exclusive)
    8GB RAM (upgradeable) Bundle
    $389.99

    800 Onyx Base
    8GB RAM (upgradeable)
    $279.99

    400 Onyx Base
    4GB RAM (upgradeable)
    $249.99

    Classic Joystick
    $49.99

    Modern Controller
    $59.99



    WALMART SKUs
    800 Kevlar Gold All In (Exclusive)
    8GB RAM (upgradeable) Bundle
    $389.99

    800 Onyx Base
    8GB RAM (upgradeable)
    $279.99

    400 Onyx Base
    4GB RAM (upgradeable)
    $249.99

    Classic Joystick
    $49.99

    Modern Controller
    $59.99


    ATARI SKUs
    800 Black Walnut All In (Exclusive)
    8GB RAM (upgradeable) Bundle
    $389.99

    800 Onyx All In
    8GB RAM (upgradeable) Bundle
    $389.99
     
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  22. Snowdog

    Snowdog [H]ardForum Junkie

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    I might agree if they were using a full Raven Ridge chip, but from the last time the were still revealing actual specs, this is one of the extremely cut down 2 core RR parts with more than half the GPU disabled as well.

    A 2200G would be twice as powerful as what is in the VCS. I am not core crazy, but I won't buy a dual core anything anymore.
     
  23. jardows

    jardows [H]ard|Gawd

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    I specifically left off the last zero, but forgot the E in the name. It may be the 200GE or the 220GE they're using, but I believe it is one of those, or something similar. I haven't been able to find the exact CPU model being used, but it won't be a slacker, especially for the price.

    Now, since people seem to not want to do the work themselves, here's a price list coming from NewEgg
    Asrock Deskmini A300 - $149.99
    Athlon 220GE - $69.99
    8GB DDR-2400 (2x4) - $44.99
    Team 128 GB SATA M.2 SSD - $21.87
    Total before shipping/Tax: $286.84

    Now throw in the time to assemble and properly configure your Linux distribution to serve as a game platform and a media center, it is easy to see how this is a reasonable offering. Plus the case for the VCS is much more aesthetically pleasing than the boring square box of the DeskMini or any other similarly sized offerings.

    As I and other have mentioned before, storage is the weak area on the Atari VCS. It it had an internal M.2 slot to upgrade storage internally, I would have no hesitation (pending funds availability) buying one once they are shipping.
     
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  24. Snowdog

    Snowdog [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Yes, but who would build this when for $30 more you can have the 2200G. That was my point.

    Dual core is OVER.
     
  25. jardows

    jardows [H]ard|Gawd

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    My point is that for what you are getting, the price is reasonable. Plus, it is a pre-built system, so taking into account the normal pre-built markup for extreme compact systems, the price is really good. I understand this product is not for everyone, but it certainly can fit a market.
     
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  26. Snowdog

    Snowdog [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Pre-building something unwanted, doesn't make it wanted.
     
  27. jardows

    jardows [H]ard|Gawd

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    Plenty of things being built I don't want. As I've said, this product isn't for everyone. Neither is the $3000 gaming PC. All I am saying is that it is a reasonable price for what you are getting. Plenty of mini-pc's being sold for similar or higher prices that won't be as powerful as this. No need to hate.
     
  28. MixManSC

    MixManSC ║▌║█║▌│║▌║▌█ Staff Member

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  29. ZodaEX

    ZodaEX 2[H]4U

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    No it's not. The price is a rip off for what you're getting.
     
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  30. toast0

    toast0 Gawd

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    My Atari 2600 would always be done loading before the CRT warmed up. Same with the pac man cocktail I just got; it's got a self test and everything, but you can't see it on first boot. :)
     
  31. LightsOut41

    LightsOut41 Limp Gawd

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  32. Snowdog

    Snowdog [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Reminds me of Ouya, with it's choice of super low end HW.
     
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  33. seanreisk

    seanreisk Gawd

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    Speaking of throwbacks, that wood-grain and beveling in the product image reminds me of 3D modeling classes from the 90's.

    26 hours on a 486DX/33, and we have ... REFLECTIONS!

    "Yeah, you only got an 'A' because you had a spare computer to do your render on."
     
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  34. Red Falcon

    Red Falcon [H]ardForum Junkie

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    cad-20130626-6a124.x83863.png
     
  35. Red Falcon

    Red Falcon [H]ardForum Junkie

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    To be fair, this console is aesthetically pleasing, and is pretty slick overall.
    For an HTPC and casual gaming system (emulation), this isn't too bad.

    For an actual build, though, as the others have said, there are better options for around the same price.
    I do like the form factor, though, and the low-heat and TDP is also very attractive, so while at a higher cost, there are a few good use-case scenarios - those just don't involve everyone, though. ;)
     
  36. Snowdog

    Snowdog [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Are you talking about VCS or Ouya? ;)
     
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  37. jardows

    jardows [H]ard|Gawd

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    Explain please. I have offered the prices for similarly spec'd systems, that do not have an OS installed or configured. What do you have to offer to demonstrate that the pricing is off?

    Except the Ouya is an Android-based ARM system, this is a Linux based x86 system, that is technically capable of running any PC software. This could be a pretty neat conversation piece as you run it as your office computer, which runs Windows, Office, then everything else is run from the network. Cheaper than most sub-compact office computers too.
     
  38. Snowdog

    Snowdog [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Well if you want to waste your money on a stunt to start an office conversation, ok. I have no idea why you would want to do that though.

    IMO it's too crippled to be interesting. If they had gone for the 2200G, then they would have had something of interest.

    But at best, this has a 240G, with a dual core ryzen, locked to a lower clock speed, and Vega 3 graphics. That only 3 cores of the 11 activated...

    Basically half the CPU cores are deactivated, and 3/4 of the GPU is deactivated, out of what is already considered a low end $99 APU.
     
  39. MixManSC

    MixManSC ║▌║█║▌│║▌║▌█ Staff Member

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    Before it even became available for pre-order on the WalMart, GameStop, and Atarivcs.com site over 11,000 people have already spent money on it just on the Indiegogo so I'm not too sure that is a valid statement....

    As I and other have mentioned, it is certainly not for everyone. Most hardcore gamers and hardcore DIY PC builders are not going to be interested because the latest and greatest consoles are more powerful with higher end more capable graphics and PC's can be scratch built with comparable specs for close to the same money. This is not being designed to run the latest high end 3D games at 60FPS at 4K resolution. There are already high end consoles and PC's for that.

    Of course those will all need to either pay for or pirate any and all games that will come with the Atari, will also need to install your OS from scratch, configure drivers, updates, etc, etc. The way Atari is building it and with their custom Linux build it will come with a highly polished functional GUI, highly engineered system with a very low TDP, ready to use additional services and functions, etc.

    I think many are failing to understand that there is a vast market of individuals and families who want to just plug it in and it works. Not build it from scratch, the vast majority have never seen a Linux command prompt in their life and have zero interest in that. They want to plug it in, go through a setup wizard to configure it to their networking and TV resolution and be able to play some basic included games, launch Youtube, browse the web, load and run their preferred streaming TV service, etc.
     
  40. Snowdog

    Snowdog [H]ardForum Junkie

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    This feels so much like an Ouya retread, with the same arguments trotted out. Ouya raised 8.5 Million dollars on Kickstarter and it still flopped hard.



    I think you are failing to realize that the Vast market you are talking about, buys PS4 and XB1 basic models for under $300, and doesn't going looking for lower powered oddities that almost no one has heard for more money.

    There is no vast market for this low powered curiosity.
     
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