back to article Atari would love to ship its VCS console but – would ya believe it – there's yet another delay. This time, it's the coronavirus's fault

Long-suffering Atari lovers will have to wait even longer for their over-priced, under-powered retro console, the intellectual-property shell company that owns the Atari brand, warned on Tuesday. This time it isn’t because there is a new AMD chip, or because the accessories aren’t ready, or its chief architect has quit …

  1. Richard Crossley
    Big Brother

    I've no idea how you do it.

    Every time I travel to China (fairly frequently until the middle of 2019), I try and read El Reg and it succeeds. Other far less critical organs fail to reach those behind the Great Firewall. Loving the 100 CNY note!

  2. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "an unquestioning hype-led bunch of donkeys in the tech media"

    In a tycoon game, that would be the trap in which the unwary player gets caught, leading to the doom of that profile.

    In real life, you just do like in games, you reset the box, create a new player profile and start over. Except that, in real life, you're playing with actual people's money, not with a virtual predetermined sum.

    But you'd only realize that if you actually played games when you were young. The management of Atari today has obviously not done that, they've only played MBA games, which are far more theoretical and where "people" are as nebulous a concept as "product".

  3. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge


    so what else is news on this piece of vapourware?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Atari hotels, where you go and play games."

      Bed bugs?

      1. ThomH Silver badge

        Re: "Atari hotels, where you go and play games."

        Shower, without the price.

  4. Christopher Reeve's Horse

    Oh how I used to love Atari...

    Until I eventually realised that the brand has never been able to live up to the nostalgia associated with it. It's now just a paid for label that increasingly shit companies are using in turn, each wringing another drop of blood out of it. Come back Nolan and your Age of Aquarius! Time Warner ruined it initially by not foreseeing the original VCS would become obsolete, Jack Tramiel gave it a reasonably good shot in the ST era, and really, ever since the ill fated Jaguar it's been rather a torrid affair.

    I'd be all up for a buying an amazing new Atari device, but this isn't it. What the 'new' VCS ought to be is a nostalgia machine, similar to the mini SNES and Megadrives recently seen. With simple modern hardware you could easily emulate all the various history of Atari machines and back catalogues of popular games - and maybe even as a major differentiator, include creativity software too. A pocket sized Atari ST with a MIDI sequencer anyone?

    1. defiler

      Re: Oh how I used to love Atari...

      Hey, it's not the Jaguar's fault it was a 64-bit console in a 16-bit world...

      Okay, I'm going.

      1. Mike 16 Silver badge

        Re: Oh how I used to love Atari...

        Jaguar was only sorta 64 bit, and others were selling "sorta 32 bit" devices at the time. Tom and Jerry (The Jag custom chips) were buggier than a cheap hotel (under any brand name). But one could do some cool stuff, if willing to endure VCS levels of development pain. I was, and then I wasn't.

    2. MyffyW Silver badge

      Re: Oh how I used to love Atari...

      "A pocket sized Atari ST with a MIDI sequencer anyone" sounds awesome...

      And then I remembered I have a Raspberry Pi and only lethargy stops me from creating something wonderful.

      1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: Oh how I used to love Atari...

        A pocket sized Atari ST with a MIDI sequencer anyone

        Most of the prog gigs I go to the keyboard player seems to have Macbook Air (or similar) hooked up to their synths..

        1. ThomH Silver badge

          Re: Oh how I used to love Atari...

          Whether rightly or not — don’t ask me, I’ve no idea — Apples have a reputation for being reliably low-latency audio sources. Not low like an Atari ST, but better than elsewhere.

          1. IGotOut Silver badge

            Re: Oh how I used to love Atari...

            But can you drop an IPad down a flight of concrete stairs and know it will still work.

            You could with a ST. I know speaking from experience.....twice!

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hotel gameplay

    Renting a room by the hour to play games in seems a great idea. When I get to reception will I be able to say that it's for a prostitute rather than admitting to playing Atari games?

  6. macjules Silver badge

    VCS Console?

    Can you clone it?

  7. IGotOut Silver badge


    There are dozens of mini VCS, NES, MEGADRIVE and many more makes of Raspberry pi cases out there.

    Heck you can even get full size 3D printable files if you so desire.

    Then just run an emulator and off you go.

  8. Dan 55 Silver badge

    Here's Atari's top secret business model

    1. Suing anyone they can think of.

    2. Not paying developers who make a version of your own games.

    3. Selling off rights to their back catalogue once in a while.

    4. A Google News alert which used to monitor the world's press for excuses.

    Did I miss anything?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Here's Atari's top secret business model

      "Did I miss anything?"


      5. have only 5-10 (I think it is only 5 today) employees to be distributed the comfortable revenue of all 4 previous activities

      6. have no-one to build/develop anything

  9. MarkElmes

    Bit of a cheap dig!

    1. Sgt_Oddball Silver badge


      Atari prefer much more expensive digs.

      And in a desert...

      Alien icon for obvious reasons...

  10. HildyJ Silver badge

    The new Y2K

    Coronavirus has become the new one size fits all excuse for delays and price increases, just as Y2K was so many years ago (was there, did that, and, yes, it sucks being old).

    1. Jedit

      "Coronavirus has become the new one size fits all excuse for delays"

      It's not just an excuse, though. I'm waiting on several Kickstarter board game projects that are being manufactured in China, all from companies I trust, and they pretty much simultaneously updated to say the same thing: Chinese New Year celebrations extended slightly this year, then the coronavirus showed up, so they're delayed a bit.

  11. redpawn Silver badge

    Still have a 2600

    Modded to output vid. I pull it out every couple of years and marvel at how many hours I spent playing Space Invaders and other games including chess when it came out and I was young. By the way Atari Chess cheated every so often by dropping a piece on the board which wasn't there before the screen blanking. It needed the resources for drawing the screen for calculating. The the horizontal and vertical refresh had to be sent by the processor so each program loop had to take up the right number of clock cycles so it could send the signal to move the electron beam to the next line while running in 2-16K of ROM cartridge and 128 Bytes of RAM if memory serves right. I think it is time to upgrade to rpi4.

    1. ThomH Silver badge

      Re: Still have a 2600

      Pedantically, horizontal sync is automatic; only vertical sync is programmatic. But you have to cycle count anyway if you want to be able to do things like place sprites because they’re not located by telling the TIA e.g. “place at x=27”, they’re located by telling the TIA “reset their circular counter so that from now on they appear at wherever the raster is now”. At least for coarse placement. You can ask for adjustments on the clocking if their counters during horizontal blank in order to shunt them a small amount left or right.

      Trivia fact: those blank lines you see intruding into the left edge of the display in many VCS lines are where the machine has extended the border because the programmer requested a sprite shift; making the border slightly longer gives enough time to do that.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Now do "Intellivision Amico"

    At first glance, the "new Intellivision" seems to be doing things much better than Atari, but a closer look at frontman Tommy Tallarico's unhinged rants on AtariAge suggests a similar sad story. Does he really have the backing he claims to have? If so, why the stunt of a "founders edition" to show investors the power of his persuasion?

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

  13. IGotOut Silver badge

    I'm still waiting....

    to lose my money on a Vectrex reboot that never appears.

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