Categories: News

Atari VCS Boss says “No News is Good News’ – He’s Wrong!

When the Atari VCS was initially announced, it seems to be an exciting new product from a brand that had more than a little love and certainly a lot of recognition. Everything since that point, however, has largely turned the upcoming ‘console‘ (if it can so be called) into a dumpster fire of increasing alarm. Put simply, if I was one of the original crowdfunding backers of this, I’d have been looking for the exit doors well over a year ago.

In a report via Eurogamer, however, the boss of the Atari VCS has (finally!) spoken about the upcoming release of the product. His comments, however, are probably not going to give those involved with it any encouragement.

Atari VCS Boss Finally Speaks

One of the biggest criticisms of the Atari VCS project is the fact that updates have been few and far between. Something that is rarely a good sign in any crowdfunded project. In a Q&A session, however, Atari VCS boss Michael Artz has probably not done much to bring people back on board.

“We understand that all of our stakeholders would like to know where things stand every day. And want immediate answers to their individual posts and messages. I respectfully ask them to please understand that, as a public company, we must follow specific protocols that are in place.

In addition, because we also must always consider the needs and wishes of our various partners, we do not always have full control over the pace or timing of our communications. We aim to make periodic updates to our community with complete transparency. If there was one thing I’d want people to always know, it’s that ‘no news is good news’ where the Atari VCS is concerned!”

Let me put this amazingly bluntly. In regards to the ‘no news is good news’ comment he is 100% wrong. It is, quite frankly, an insulting or (at best) amazingly ignorant position to take!

Systems MAY Be Being Produced

As part of the interview, Michael Artz released an image. In it, he claimed to show that Atari VCS consoles were coming fresh off the assembly line. In this regard, however, the project has a very shady history which we’ll get onto shortly.

To say that ‘no news is good news’, however, is a huge error when it comes to crowdfunded projects. In my experience, no news generally means that the whole project is, at best, going badly and at worse, about to go tits up!

PCB Shenanigans!

So, getting back to the PCB business. Earlier this year they revealed an image that they claimed was the official prototype PCB for the Atari VCS. That seems to be good news, right? Well, not if you dig into the details. A user who scrutinized the image found that the board was created by a company that specialized in ‘overnight’ PCB designs. In other words, it was 99% likely to just be a generic board. One that Atari VCS had commissioned to have various ‘fake’ chips (and their logo) placed upon to look legitimate.

Put simply, if the board above is anything close to the one that actually ends up in the Atari VCS console, I’ll eat my journalistic hat!

What Do We Think?

The Atari VCS project has pretty much been a colossal mess ever since it completed its $2.3m in crowdfunding. There are, quite frankly, just too many question marks over this system. Here’s just the tip of the iceberg of my concerns:

  • It has been delayed at least 3 times now
  • The team has never been entirely clear as to what the system will represent. Over its history, they’ve claimed it will be a retro system, a hybrid type of PC, a streaming platform, and/or a system capable of competing with the next-gen releases from Sony and Microsoft
  • There has been very little in terms of news and, even then, practically none of it has been encouraging

The Atari VCS is (supposedly) set to release in March 2020. At this point, however, I could only recommend avoiding it at all costs. This just has disaster written all over it.

What do you think? – Let us know in the comments!

Mike Sanders

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