CNET First Look
Our first look at the Ataribox: The Atari VCSThis throwback console hides a Linux PC inside -- plus loads of classic games.
[MUSIC] For months, we've been hearing about a new game console from a company synonymous with a retro gaming. Until now, we've known it as the Atari box. But now it has a new name. This is the Atari VCS. That stands for video computer system, a name that calls back to the original name for the Atari 2600. The name isn't the only thing this console borrows from the original either. It also features the same mat black and wood veneer design mandate as the original gaming machine, as well as a controller that feels just like the stiff 2600 joystick you remember. Though it has been updated with some fancy LED lights, it will also have a modern dual stick game pad too. Atari wasn't ready to show us what we'll actually be playing with these controllers, but promised that the new VCS will have plenty to play. Including brand new games and Indy games. As well as a 100 or more classic Atari games like, Asteroids, Centipede, Breakout, Adventure and Pong. And even new reimagined versions of those Atari classics. Like the already announced Tempest 4000. But the Atari VCS is still, as the name implies, also a computer system. Outside of that console interface, it still runs Linux. And the company says it's planning to give users access to kind of Sandbox mode that lets them access to Linux desktop. That means in theory, you'll be able to install anything you want on it, including the Linux version of Steam and its library of Linux compatible PC game. How those game might run though, is still kinda up in the air. Atari says the VCS will have an all in one desktop processor from AMD, and it previously was looking at a CPU based on Bristol Rich, but it hasn't locked down the machine's final specifications yet, that could still change. Either way, Atari says it's still targeting a $250 to $300 price range. But hopes it will still be able to keep the console affordable. As for when you'll actually be able to buy it, they aren't ready to say for sure if it will ship this year or next year. Instead, Atari says it's too important to just get the console right. It will ship when it's ready. [MUSIC] [BLANK_AUDIO]