Atari to begin shipping restyled version of classic game console in June

Atari’s VCS console has suffered several production delays over the last two years, leaving many of its 11,597 Indiegogo backers wondering when they’ll actually get to use it.

The good news is that up to 500 of these very patient folks are set to receive the restyled version of the classic console by mid-June. That’s June 2020, just to be clear.

The $390 device, which promises to be more than just a simple retro game console, caused much excitement when the idea was first unveiled in 2017. But it has taken far longer than expected to come to fruition.

Home stretch

In an update announced over the weekend, Atari insisted it’s “about to enter the home stretch” of a project that for many customers may have started to feel like a marathon.

The company said the most recent delay had been caused by “rejected plastic parts that required re-fabrication.” Likening its response to a very difficult global treasure hunt, Atari said its team had “searched all over the planet to find or replace the parts and materials needed to start and complete the full production run of Atari VCS units.”

This means the 11,095 or so backers who don’t receive the Atari VCS console in mid-June could get it later in the summer, though the company describes this time frame rather ominously as a “cautious estimate.” Anyone else who has pre-ordered the device via Atari’s website may have to wait even longer.

Final testing

Atari said that in recent weeks it sent out a number of production units for testers ranging from “core to casual gamers [who] cover a wide demographic range” to see how the VCS experience went down.

“Overall, the feedback has been very positive and instructive, with [testers] sampling an assortment of classic Atari and third-party games, the Antstream App [a subscription-based game streaming service], and streaming services like Netflix and Disney+ in Atari Mode,” the company said. “Other adventurous group members have connected their USB keyboards and tested out the unique Atari PC Mode (formerly known as ‘PC Sandbox Mode’) by booting up Windows and playing some of their favorite PC games on their big-screen TVs.”

With the first units set to ship in the coming weeks, let’s hope this really is the beginning of the end of the long wait for the Atari VCS.

To find out more about the console, check out Digital Trends’ piece explaining all you need to know.

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