The Atari VCS, Atari’s take on the latest version of the console wars — the mini-console wars — is finally up for pre-order, and it will cost players anywhere from $249 to $389.99.
The cost depends on the model. There’s the Atari VCS 400, which has 4GB of RAM ($249), the VCS 800, which has 8GB of RAM ($279), and an All-In Bundle that comes with peripheral accessories and the VCS 800 ($389). All versions are expected to ship in early 2020.
Those who have followed the system’s progress will no doubt realize this is a bit later than the original pre-order announcement promised and also a lot more expensive.
The price point may seem a bit steep, but there’s a reason for that. Along with the 100+ classic Atari games like Centipede and Asteroids, the Atari VCS will be adding new games as time goes on.
It also has a host of modern and interactive features. These range from 4K support and an AMD Ryzen graphics card to a feature that lets users create their own TV apps and games to share with others and the wider Atari community; that wider Atari community is something the company hopes to create and sustain with the VCS connectivity options. The VCS will also let users stream web-based videos and games.
Despite the announcement that pre-orders are open, they aren’t all open.
The only pre-order option on the Atari website right now is for the All-In Bundle, which includes the VCS 800 console, Classic Atari Joystick, and Atari Modern Controller. The Joystick retails separately for $49.99, and the Modern Controller goes for $59.99.
Atari said it would provide more details throughout the rest of the year, though it certainly seems as if Atari is one step ahead of its old rival Intellivision in the mini-console wars.