Updated, 5/31/2018, 9:25am PT: The Atari VCS pre-orders got so much attention that it took down Indiegogo's website for a brief period. So far the campaign has raised more than $2 million in 24 hours. Time will tell how much money Atari can make before the month-long campaign ends.
Original article, 5/30/2018, 7:05am PT:
Atari opened pre-orders for its Atari VCS console on Indiegogo, and the response has been overwhelming, to put it mildly. The company has already raised more than $332,000 at time of writing--it originally hoped to raise $100,000--and the campaign still has a month to go.
The last Atari console was released in the '80s, so when Atari revealed last year that it was working on new hardware, it came as a bit of a shock. (And no, we aren't referring to the ridiculous "Speakerhats.") The console was originally known as the Ataribox when it was announced in July 2017 with little more than a few renders, basic specs, and a promise to be more than a nostalgia trip.
Atari took the Ataribox to GDC 2018 and renamed it the Atari Video Computer System (VCS). The company also refuted the idea that the Ataribox is a console, opting instead to describe it as a computer that runs a Linux-based operating system and can play games. Some of those games will be Atari classics, and the company plans to "reimagine" several of those titles, but it will also support Linux-compatible PC games.
Besides games, Atari said the Atari VCS will also support "streaming media and a universe of web-powered entertainment," though it didn't get into specifics. That doesn't come as much of a surprise--considering that all PCs and most consoles support video streaming and "web-powered entertainment," it would've been weirder if Atari's in-between don't-call-it-a-console didn't embrace modern forms of entertainment.
The Atari VCS will be accompanied by the Atari Classic Joystick and Atari Modern Controller. Two variants of the console are available: an all-black "Onyx" edition and a "Collector's Edition" boasting wood paneling that hearkens back to the company's early hardware. Prices range from $29 for the Atari Classic Joystick to $339 for the Collector's Edition console, Atari Classic Joystick, and Atari Modern Controller.
Atari has cut the price of the Onyx console from $299 to $199 until 12pm ET on June 4, and it will sell the Collector's Edition console and bundles until 12pm ET on June 11. The company plans to start delivering the Atari VCS and its accessories to consumers in July 2019. That's just an estimate, though, and hardware is often delayed. But hey, Atari fans have already waited decades for a new console. What's another year?