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Atari VCS currently in later testing and validation phases

Atari's new console is entering the late stages of validation and testing

By: Derek Strickland from 1 week, 6 days ago

Steady progress is being made on Atari VCS testing and it should meet its set March 2020 launch for Indiegogo backers.


Atari's new PC-like VCS console might be an iffy proposition in a landscape dominated by the PS4, Xbox One, and Switch, but the project isn't swirling development hell. After multiple delays, Atari now says the Ryzen-powered is in the late stages of testing and validation.

"The Atari VCS engineers and factory teams are in the later testing and validation phases of production and are returning to China this month to oversee ongoing production efforts," reads a recent update.

The engineering team has made some breakthrough improvements on thermal design, namely with the chassis, fan array, and cooling pipe solution. This is extremely important for any console-like system that can be under load for hours at a time--especially one touted as playing Steam games.

The $250 Atari VCS is essentially a lower-powered Steam Machine that can play Steam games, stream music, games, and shows from various services, and play old-school retro games from Atari's golden age. It's kind of an all-in one multimedia device that can also connect to your phone and external devices.

The VCS also acts like a PC with a special Sandbox mode that lets you run Windows programs, complete with mouse and keyboard support. It also supports the nifty Anstream retro game streaming service for access to thousands of classic titles.

Just don't expect high-end performance. The Atari VCS sports a dual-core Ryzen R1606G processor clocked at 2.6GHz with integrated Vega graphics, combined with 8GB DDR4 RAM (which is actually expandable).

The Atari VCS is due out in March 2020 and will launch first to Indiegogo backers.

Atari VCS Specifications

  • Specification* Measurement
  • Unit Dimensions 14.5" x 5.3" x 1.6"
  • Unit Weight 3 lbs.
  • Materials Plastic, Metal, Wood
  • Operating System Linux OS based on Ubuntu (Linux Kernel 4.10)
  • Compatible Systems Linux
  • Power Low TDP architecture - Less Heat & Noise
  • Connections HDMI 2.0, 2.4/5GHz Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0, Gigabit Ethernet, 4xUSB 3.0
  • External Inputs Classic Joystick, Modern Controller, Microphone
  • Storage 32GB eMMC, external HD, SD card
  • Memory 32GB eMMC
  • CPU 2-Core Ryzen CPU (Ryzen R1606G)
  • GPU Vega graphics (Ryzen R1606G)
  • HDCP Integration HDCP 2.2
  • Second Screen (Screencasting) Yes
  • Cloud Storage Yes. Additional Service Offering
  • Required Internet Connection Not for classic gaming but required to access all features
  • Cross Game Chat Skype, Discord, etc.
  • Voice Commands 4-front facing mic array
  • Subscription Needed? No. Includes cloud and other services.
  • Live Streaming Yes with
  • Mouse & Keyboard Support Yes

Classic Joystick Specs

  • Features Spec (US)
  • center joystick Yes
  • trigger button Yes
  • reactive LED ring Yes
  • Wireless Bluetooth
  • Battery Rechargeable
  • Approx. Weight 16 oz.
  • PC, Android Compatible Yes
  • Approx. Dimensions 4 x 4 x 4 inches
  • USB play/charge cable 4 foot
  • Headset Port No

Modern Controller Specs

  • Features Spec (US)
  • L/R joysticks Yes
  • L/R Triggers Yes
  • L/R Shoulder buttons Yes
  • Home/menu buttons Yes
  • D-Pad Yes
  • 4 function buttons Yes
  • Ergonomic grip Yes
  • Wireless Bluetooth
  • Battery Rechargeable
  • LED charge indicator Yes
  • Approx. Weight 16 oz.
  • PC, Android Compatible Yes
  • Approx. Dimensions 6 x 4.5 x 2 inches
  • USB play/charge cable 4 foot
  • Headset Port TBD

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