ATARI HAS CONFIRMED that it is delaying its long-awaited VCS console, again.
The Atari VCS launched on Indiegogo and was originally set to arrive in spring 2018, but the company has announced that it will now arrive at the butt-end of 2019 (and that projection is just for the US and Canada).
It's not all bad news though because when it does arrive, it will get a serious upgrade to its AMD Ryzen chip - though Atari is yet to disclose which one, save that it'll be 14nm with Vega graphics architecture and two Zen CPU cores.
The idea here is sound. Atari doesn't want the VCS to be yet another retro console, and by maxing out the hardware and equipping it with a Linux-based operating system, it will able to play modern games, support 4K video playback and moreover, support DRM, which will let it run streaming services.
Nevertheless, the response from backers has been understandably mixed, leading some to question if the company is ever going to deliver.
Explaining the delay, Atari said: "This upgrade will translate to better overall performance in a cooler and quieter box — all with minimal impact to our manufacturing processes.
"While additional specifications about the new AMD processor will be announced closer to launch, be assured that the new AMD Ryzen processor is a much better fit for this project in multiple ways and will further enable the Atari VCS to deliver on its promise to be a unique and highly flexible platform for creators."
The danger here (and we've seen it before) is that if you keep delaying to upgrade your parts because your other delays have made them obsolete, you get caught in a never-ending cycle of non-delivery.
The proof of the pudding, however, will be not only if Atari (eventually) delivers, but the amount of optimised content that's available to the platform at launch. If we get to December and are offered Netflix and a bunch of 2600 games, then there's going to be some seriously annoyed backers. μ
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