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Atari Finally Admits the VCS is a Worthless Pile of Crap

It was seen a long time coming and frankly after it arrived, I think I joined the masses in forgetting about it almost entirely. The whole thing has been one of the biggest flops in years, or at least, it would have been a bigger flop if there had been as much hype as they hoped for.

Atari VCS looked like it would be a fantastic mini console, a trip down memory lane that could have been a huge hit. It certainly has the style and the heritage to do this. However, they overreached, the price went up, it suffered from feature creep and the hardware was lacklustre. In the end, you needed to spend way too much money for an underpowered bit of kit.

Here’s the official blurb for it

“The Atari VCS™ delivers a universe of games, apps, streaming entertainment and built-in Chrome to your TV or monitor in glorious HD. Access thousands of games, endless entertainment and unmatched flexibility. Unlock a customizable multimedia PC for unmatched freedom and versatility. With everything from retro to indie to modern AAA gaming, there’s something for every gamer.” – Atari

Unfortunately, with its AMD Raven Ridge 2 APU and 8GB DDR4 RAM it was pretty hopeless compared to existing rivals such as the Nvidia Shield TV. It was also trying to do too much that existing hardware already did better, rather than focus on the core gaming experience it should have. Alas, Ataris has cancelled all of its existing VCS manufacturing contracts. So when the current stock that’s gathering dust is gone, there won’t be any more to take its place. They’ve even put a 20% discount on the hardware to shift the stock. However, I still attest that you need a nasty bump on the head to consider buying one.

Atari’s sales of the VCS dropped from €2.3 million last year, to a pitiful €0.2 million this year. Atari is now looking at launching games on their existing IPs (not a bad idea) and some talk of NFTs like that’s what we want? Oh Atari, why do you do these things?

I will say though, the VCS looked fantastic.

Peter Donnell

As a child still in my 30's (but not for long), I spend my day combining my love of music and movies with a life-long passion for gaming, from arcade classics and retro consoles to the latest high-end PC and console games. So it's no wonder I write about tech and test the latest hardware while I enjoy my hobbies!

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