The new Atari VCS has been on retail sale across the US for barely a month and the reception has been mixed. Initially, stocks sold out fast but more stock does appear to have arrived, and the VCS can be bought from Best Buy, GameStop and Micro Center.
You can also, of course, pick up a VCS direct from Atari, with free shipping within the US. Prices are $299 for the system by itself or $399 for the “all-in” bundle which includes both a classic and modern controller.
The VCS has had a rough ride, check out issue 32 of Atari User for our review of the system, but it has finally made it to retail – and a big hands off to Atari for pulling it off.
A lot of people will be put off by the price. At $400 the price is steep, make no bones about it. Atari doesn’t have the funding to do a Sony or a Microsoft and sell the hardware at a loss. Atari needs each and every VCS to be a profitable sale. What we have then is a somewhat expensive (when compared to a Sony or Microsoft machine) console that is aimed at Atari enthusiasts and retro gaming fans alike, and which has managed to benefit somewhat from a shortage of current gen consoles.
If you are looking for a genuine piece of new hardware from Atari – we’ve not seen that in decades, then this could be the console for you. If you want a casual gaming machine in your living room plus something that can run as a PC then, again, this is something you should take a look at.
If you are looking for the latest AAA titles then walk on, the Atari VCS isn’t going to be for you. IGN have given the console 5/10 in a recent review and branded it “mediocre”. The price is the biggest negative surrounding the VCS – if you can live with the price then it is an interesting machine.
Remember, check out issue 32 of Atari User for our full hands-on review.