THE ATARIBOX, the long-awaited official revival of the seminal Atari 2600 games console, is now officially called the Atari VCS.
VentureBeat reports that the device, the first Atari-made console for 25 years which will play both Atari 2600 and PC games (but it's no powerhouse so don't get your hopes up), will be officially announced for pre-sale next month - though that doesn't translate into an actual release date at the moment.
We were supposed to be getting pre-orders started before Christmas, but Atari decided that it was better to put stuff on hold until much nearer the time, lest it delay delivery after people had money down.
It said it wanted to "to create the platform and ecosystem the Atari community deserves."
The hype is big, but in truth, the detail is scant. We know that it has an AMD processor. We know it'll run some sort of Linux based operating system. We know it'll be able to go online in some way. And we know it'll be between $250-$300 - except there may be an early-bird discount too.
And that's about it. We don't know what games are preinstalled, if you'll be able to buy more, how well PC games will play and if it'll block ones that don't have a hope of running right (for $300, don't expect 100fps).
Sure enough, the Ataribox website confirms the VCS name and is even showing off the latest version of the prototype, complete with "classic" joystick and a more modern controller at GDC - the gamers' convention taking place in San Francisco this week.
"Every person at Atari and every partner involved with the new platform is just as fanatical about the brand and its heritage as our biggest fans are," said Atari Connected Devices chief operating officer Michael Arzt.
"With the Atari VCS name, we know how important it is to get everything completely right, and that's why we briefly paused an imminent launch late last year. It was a difficult decision with the countdown underway, but we weren't willing to go forward with even one thing out of alignment.
"We hope that despite the delay, Atari's fans appreciate our extreme attention to detail and are as excited about the Atari VCS as we are." µ
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