In June of last year, Atari announced it would be returning to the world of video game hardware with the release of the Ataribox. Today at GDC, Atari unveiled the official moniker of their upcoming video game console: Atari VCS.
Video game enthusiasts will note that the Atari VCS shares its name with the original Atari console later known as the Atari 2600. Atari is definitely tapping into their nostalgic history with the Atari VCS, and their new console doesn’t just share a name with the Atari 2600.
The VCS takes many design cues from the 2600. The logo and the external shell of the console have that early 80s feel, and the black plastic louvers and wood grain front panel make the VCS unmistakably Atari.
Multiple controllers were revealed for the Atari VCS as well. There will be a classic joystick, which is an updating of the Atari 2600 controller. It appears to be wireless, and while the design is heavily influenced by the classic controller, it has a more rounded, refined look.
The modern controller, on the other hand, looks like an Xbox One controller with an Atari twist. This controller seems to be wireless, and, looks replicate the modern layout we’re used to with the Xbox One, PS4, and Switch. It’s not without its callbacks to the 2600 though, as the right joystick is a bright red which matches the fire button of the classic joystick.
The pre-order date for the Atari VCS should be announced sometime this week. It seems like you’ll be able to reserve the console sometime in April, though a release date hasn’t been hinted at.
The exact specs for the Atari VCS are anyone’s guess. We also don’t have a list of launch games, or capabilities for it. I’ll buy one just because I’m a sucker for nostalgia, but hopefully, Atari has the substance to go with the style of their new console.