GDC 2018: Atari Introduces New Atari VCS Home Console

The retro-throwback console previously known as the Ataribox now has an all-new name.

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This year's Game Developers Conference has held plenty of interesting news for game fans keen on the more technical side of the industry, but Atari has revealed something that should be appealing to game fans in general. The company has been working on a new set-top box that's been informally referred to as the Ataribox, but the console now has an official name: the Atari VCS, a clear callback to the original Atari 2600 Video Computer System.

According to a press release, Atari intends for the Atari VCS to launch "a new era in interactive home entertainment" in a way that "honors [the] company's innovative video game roots." In essence, it seems the Atari VCS will be a bit like Nintendo's recently-launched NES Classic and Super NES Classic consoles, where the device will be pre-loaded with a number of classic Atari games. Unlike those miniature consoles, however, the Atari VCS is being marketed as a console capable of playing reasonably modern PC games thanks to its AMD processor, Radeon-based graphics, and Linux-based operating system.

"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 Michael Arzt, Atari COO of Connected Devices in a press release. “We hope that Atari’s fans appreciate our extreme attention to detail and are as excited about the Atari VCS as we are.”

Atari fans who have been following the console's development closely will recall that the Ataribox was supposed to go on preorder in December of last year; however, Atari would eventually delay opening sales in order to put some finishing touches on the platform in general. Speaking in a press release, Arzt said the team was determined to "get everything completely right," which is as good as a reason as any for a brief delay.

From what we can tell so far, the Atari VCS should be available to order sometime later this year. Atari is hoping to get an official preorder date revealed later in April, though the team hasn't given any firm word on when the console will release, or even if it's expected to release this year. The one thing we do know is that it will be priced competitively, as Atari has previously revealed that they expect the Atari VCS to cost between $250 and $300. Fans can keep up with the latest Atari VCS news by following the official Atari VCS account over on Twitter.

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