Look who’s back in the game.
Atari was one of the progenitors of the modern game console paradigm, but in the last decade or so, they’ve been through some… trying times, to say the least. No new consoles, spotty game choices; it’s been rough for this gaming grandpa. But all of those hardships may have just been training for their next stab at mainstream gaming.
The Atari VCS was announced back in June of 2017, and has been through a few delays since then. A rocky lead-up, as we’ve come to expect, but now they’ve got an ally in their corner: Antstream Arcade. Antstream is a subscription service that gives users access to a large library of legacy game software. For Atari’s part, they’ve given Antstream the rights to their entire back catalog of arcade and home console games. Atari’s old fare may not be very fancy, but what they lack in quality they make up for in quantity, numbering over 300 strong. All of these games can be played through an Antstream subscription through the Atari VCS. Additionally, you can play any other game on the VCS that Antstream has the rights to, which includes entries from the Nintendo 64, Sega Genesis, Neo Geo, and more (which sounds like a massive copyright nightmare waiting to happen, but we’ll see).
VCS access to Antstream will run you $10 a month or $96 for a year. In addition to the games themselves, there will also be global leaderboards and daily game challenges. All games can be played with either the classic Atari joystick or the full controller (though whether they’ll be optimized is another story).
The VCS is currently available for preorder on Atari’s site for $389.99, and is planned to release some time early next year.