back to article So about that Atari reboot console... you might want to sit down. It's going to be late, OK?

Sure enough, with the annual Games Developers Conference upon us, the outfit behind the nostalgia-baiting Atari VCS has recommended backers don't hold their breath waiting for the thing to arrive. The project still appears to be in the hardware design phase and it's been decided that the machine will now be powered by a "14nm …

  1. Neil 32

    Still going better...

    Than the Vega+ :-/

    1. Oh Matron!

      Re: Still going better...

      Too soon....


    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Still going better...

      Too soon to tell, may end up in the same place. (I.e. nothing shipped, no money left).

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Still going better...

      I'm convinced my Vega+ will be here any day now...

      1. BebopWeBop

        Re: Still going better...

        It reminds me of comments made about Windows NT in HP and the lack of drivers for all sorts of widely used devices. 'HP is convinced that NT is the OS of the future, and it want to make sure it stays there'

      2. ThomH

        Re: Still going better...

        And one day we'll make it to Florida, AC. I just need to get over this terrible cough I seem to be suffering.

  2. John 104


    Why all the processing power? You can run this on almost nothing. and 4K? Seriously? These games were designed to run on shit 720x480 tube TVs. If anything, 4K will make them look worse.

    1. Steve Todd

      Re: WTF

      Agreed. You have more than enough horsepower in a Raspberry Pi to handle emulation of the VCS (in fact pretty much any games console up to the PlayStation 2 can be handled by a Pi 3 B+)

    2. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      I concur

      They could slap a Pentium in there and have more than enough oomph.

      This is shaping up to be Yet Another Fiasco. All the ingredients are there : nostalgia, vague assurances and a lot of affection, but no hard data, no actual promises, no plan or schedule and, most important, no explanation on how the catalog is going to be ported to the new hardware. It's just "hey, we're redoing the Atari ! Yay !! And you're going to pay for it ! Yay !!".

      They could also add "You're going to pay for executive bonuses before any product is even built ! Yay !!"

      Another dud in the making.

    3. ThomH

      Re: WTF

      Because it's an amorphous project vaguely intending to do a bunch of buzzwordy things — primarily it's a regular computer with the Linux kernel and enough other modules to provide a proprietary Atari storefront with heavy sandboxing all round, plus some sort of hypervisor so that you can boot a full Linux instead. Oh, and they've also chucked in some 2600 titles under emulation because it comes in a nice 2600-style case.

      I would hope that most of those who have gambled $320 on the thing just want the nice case. It doesn't take a genius to project the future of the Atari store.

      All this information I gleamed from a blog post I just found, which suddenly deviates into the recent health travails of the main system architect. You know, just like a real company's blog post definitely would.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: WTF

        @ThomH; "Because it's an amorphous project vaguely intending to do a bunch of buzzwordy things"

        The reason it's so amorphous is that it has no reason to exist- it's an exercise in exploiting nostalgia, and the buzzwords are merely an aid to rationalising the purchase for would-be customers.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: WTF

      @John 104; "Why all the processing power? You can run this on almost nothing."

      Exactly what I've said before. The selling point is supposedly the VCS games, but the original console was so basic (by modern standards) that it's been possible to emulate it for 20-30 years and nowdays it should be possible to do that on anything with more processing power than a potato.

      But take that selling point away, and take away the use of the Atari name (and the pretence that the current IP holders are the same "Atari" that made the VCS) and the associated cliched tropes- wood grain et al- and you have a generic, pointless console with no reason to exist and which no-one would care about.

      The whole thing is an utter contrivance that has more to do with exploiting nostalgia for Atari and the original VCS (and the willingness of the press to go along with this) than the reality of what it is.

      And the endless mining and reselling of Atari's late 70s/early 80s glory days for nostalgic purposes has been utterly done to death now anyway. It's been happening in earnest for over twenty years, since Jack Tramiel shut down Atari Corp. and sole the name and IP to Hasbro. How many times can people be resold the same childhood games they've been sold a hundred times already before they get sick of it?

      Buyers, I'm sure, will rationalise buying into the nostalgia by kidding themselves that it's a powerful device with the potential to do more than emulate a crude approximation of Pacman. However, it's bleeding obvious that even if "Atari" has the resources to actually get the thing manufactured- and many have questioned that- it sure as hell doesn't have the commercial power and influence to stand the remotest chance of competing as a proper console, i.e. against the XBox One and PS4 as a "proper" games console, regardless of its power. As I said, take away the Atari name and games, and no-one would care in the first place.

      People will buy these, play the games they could already have emulated on their phone or PC anyway for a short while, then mess about with the other stuff to convince themselves they've not just wasted several hundred quid.

      They'll be gathering dust within weeks.

      1. imanidiot Silver badge

        Re: WTF

        To be fair, if it's running a standard AMD Ryzen, it can probably run any normal PC game. Whether that'd work well with the on-board graphics of the Ryzen is a different matter though. Yes, it can do 4k. The framerate when doing anything graphics intense at that resolution will probably *leave something to be desired*.

    5. Steve K

      Re: WTF

      720x480? Probably a third of that.....

    6. tcmonkey

      Re: WTF

      Agreed. I could emulate the 2600 on a *microcontroller*! What on earth are they playing at?

      1. Phil Kingston

        Re: WTF

        >What on earth are they playing at?

        Bait and switch

    7. osmarks

      Re: WTF

      It has to be powerful so they can 4K internet of things with the cloud using a serverless blockchain network.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: WTF

        All in an ecosystem synergy that ray-tracing graphics gaming efficiently.

        (Needed a bit more buzzwords)

        1. David 132 Silver badge
          Thumb Down

          Re: WTF

          What, no AI or Kubernetes in the mix?

          Pffft, not interested.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: WTF

            No because the NEXT model has dedicated 64-bit Advanced AI+ technology with continuous Machine Learning using state-of-the art high efficiency Kubernetes. It's for market segmentation to better serve demographics. You need to think at least 3 steps ahead. The third model has Virtual Auguemented Reality, which should be enough

    8. RAMChYLD

      Re: WTF

      Well, I blame those unsatisfied nutters who were complaining that the CPU and GPU architecture being 8 years old, not fast enough for their shiny Steam games, etc. Look it up, posts by those naysayers (along with those blatantly wanting the console to fail) appear in the comments whenever this console is mentioned all the time.

    9. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: WTF

      "If anything, 4K will make them look worse."

      A lot of the older games used the inherent characteristics of the ropey gfx outputs and the analogue TV displays to hide artefacts and/or create artefacts/effects which simply don't work on a modern LCD panel. You have to use a lot of extra CPU power to emulate the "faults".

  3. Stevie


    Oh dear ...

  4. Ashentaine

    Even if this does come out at some point, the disaster that was the Playstation Classic has pretty much killed the market for the plug and play retrobox.

    And even if that weren't the case, it'll likely not have the key feature that made the Nintendo offerings popular to the non-technical market; a carefully selected collection of fondly remembered games, presented in a way that completely insulates the user from the emulator and makes it feel like the old console.

  5. DiViDeD

    Confused of Sydney

    I bought an Atari 2600 'fun mini' plastic console around 5 years ago at Coles (an aussie supermarket) for something like $20. It came replete with 2 controllers and a choice of A/V or HDMI connection to your television, as well as what seemed to be 100s of shitty games I remembered from the old days. Mine didn't come with the old Atari faux woodgrain, but I could always add it with a bit of Fablon if I cared that much. It gave the partner's grandkids almost a full day of slightly condescending fun before being consigned to the loft.

    I was just wondering what these KickStarter punters are expecting to get for their extra $309?

  6. Pangasinan Philippines

    Is it just me?

    I loved playing Manic Miner on the Spectrum in the 80's and my sons played Sonic the hedgehog on Sega in the 90's.

    Looking at the graphics of PS4 and similar, the backgrounds are full of unwanted detail and detract from the playability of the game.

    1. Anonymous South African Coward Bronze badge

      Re: Is it just me?

      ManicMiner Forever!!!

  7. Jedit Silver badge

    "the company kicked off an Indiegogo campaign"

    When are people going to learn that Indiegogo is used for all these magic nostalgia projects because the creator is using Flexible Funding to take the money and run?

    Even if this one isn't FF, Indiegogo still have much lower standards for pursuit of failure - which is a feat to say the least. Never, ever back a tech project on IGG.

  8. Anonymous Coward

    Anybody up for starting a TRS-80 project on IndieGoGo?

    When we got enough backers, we can simply lift anchor and run with the loot....

    But seriously, this smells more and more like the unfortunate Vega+ project...

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      "When we got enough backers, we can simply lift anchor and run with the loot...."

      Coincidently, one of the "101 things to do with a dead TRS-80" was to use a model III as a boat anchor! (or any of the models in the similarly sized/shaped/weighted case design)

  9. Lee D Silver badge

    Wouldn't touch IndieGoGo since their response to the Vega+ stuff.

    Can't blame them for the project failure itself, but their handling of it was, and remains, atrocious despite preaching to the press how they were going to handle it all and sue everybody. Literally, the project page for the Vega thing is still full of daily updates of people demanding refunds hundreds and hundreds of times over for years, hundreds saying that their tickets with IndieGoGo were just closed (long before there was actually any legal court cases, bankruptcy proceedings etc.), and they just don't say a word.

    Sorry, but whatever the product is... get it off IndieGoGo. Because most of us - especially vintage console retro enthusiasts - wouldn't touch them with a bargepole.

    P.S. Oh, look, another vintage retro console remake thing that doesn't deliver...

  10. chucklepie

    This isn't really Atari, it's just a shell of a company who bought the name.

  11. Big_Boomer Silver badge

    More money than sense

    So, you spaffed your money on yet another rehash of ancient games (that were mostly crap even when they were new) that you with your rose tinted specs have elevated to near mythical status? Well, if that is the case can I interest you in a Commodore Pet replica on which you will be able to run Lander, Space, Artillery, and even Time Trek. It will cost a mere £2000 and we will require less than half of that to reserve your machine for you. It will be based on the Intel Bullshitium processor and the Lyinx operating system and all you have to do to reserve your copy is to send £999.99 to

    Or, you could just download an emulator and run them on any old piece of kit ( :D

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon