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Up close with the Atari VCS (formerly Ataribox)

The 80's are coming to a console near you.

Sean Buckley
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1 of 11 James Martin

This is the Atari VCS

It started life as the Ataribox -- but now the classic game company's new console has its final name: The Atari VCS.

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Retro modernism

The name "Atari VCS" isn't the only thing it borrows from the Atari 2600 -- this new console uses the same wood-grain look on the front, highlighted by grooved, matte black plastic.

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Classic controls

The throwback machine even features an updated version of the classic Atari joystick!

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Just like it used to be

It's a new design, but it still feels like an Atari joystick -- with stiff, limited movement. Fortunately, this version is a little bit better than the original. What an improvement decades make.

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Bonus lights!

The new joystick has directional LED lights that activate in whatever direction you tilt it! Atari says the final version will feature amber lights as a throwback to the classic controller design.

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It has modern controls, too

If you're looking for more advanced controls, you can have them -- the Atari VCS will have a modern gamepad, too.

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It's pretty comfortable

This standard layout is pretty comfortable. Too bad this is just a design prototype -- it doesn't actually work yet.

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Atari VCS Controllers

It's good to have options.

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Just a prototype

Unfortunately, the console we saw is just a prototype. Atari wasn't able to show us any games running on the console -- but did promise it would have a large assortment of new, indie, classic and reimagined games available when it does launch.

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Lots of Ports

The Atari VCS is a fully fledged Linux PC, too -- so there are lots of ports in the back for mouse, keyboard and other peripherals.

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Atari VCS

The plus side, is this means you'll be able to install any Linux app you want -- including Steam, which will instantly expand the console's library.

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