Mysterious ‘Ataribox’ console finally gets a name and pre-order window

Atari’s new entry into the console market now has an official name: The Atari VCS. The device was originally teased as the “Ataribox” last year during the E3 gaming convention: A new Linux-based system providing all your favorite Atari classics along with games from independent developers. Visually, it’s a throwback to the Atari 2600 console, only with a sleeker, modern look and updated hardware. Atari calls it a “gaming and entertainment platform.” 

The “VCS” in the official name stands for Video Computer System, the same name given to the Atari 2600 model prior to the launch of the Atari 5200 console in March 1982. Once the newer model hit store shelves, Atari renamed the VCS to the Atari 2600 to better differentiate it in a hardware sense from the newer, more powerful “5200” model. 

With the Atari VCS, the company is looking to change the living room experience much like the Atari 2600 console did more than 40 years ago. According to Michael Arzt, Atari Chief Operating Officer of Connected Devices, that is why the company went silent and didn’t release the device in 2017: The team wanted to get everything completely right so it’s just a transformative to your TV experience as was the beloved Atari 2600. 

“It was a difficult decision with the countdown underway, but we weren’t willing to go forward with even one thing out of alignment, ” Arzt said. “We hope that Atari’s fans appreciate our extreme attention to detail and are as excited about the Atari VCS as we are.” 

Atari will sell the console in two versions: One styled with the classic wood grain, and one with a more modern black and red theme. Inside, the console will rely on a custom AMD processor (APU) with Radeon graphics capable of handling Linux-based games. Atari’s intent is to bring a “full PC experience for the TV.” 

But the Atari VCS will be more than just a game-playing device. Like all current consoles on the market, it can also serve as a streaming device supported by your favorite apps and a highly streamed interface to make console navigation a breeze. Gamers can manage the console’s content using a modern Atari VCS gamepad, or the console’s throwback joystick controller. 

“People are used to the flexibility of a PC, but most connected TV devices have closed systems and content stores. Ataribox is an open system, and while our user interface will be easy to use, people will also be free to access and customize the underlying OS,” Ataribox General Manager Feargal Mac said in a statement. 

At launch, gamers will see a “large” catalog of Atari classic games along with current titles from “a range of studios.” But Atari VCS owners will also be able to access their Linux games purchased on other distribution platforms and run those games if they’re compatible with the console’s hardware.  

Atari will provide more information about Atari VCS pre-orders sometime in April. Until then, the console and its Classic Joystick and Modern Controller prototypes will be on display this week during the Game Developers Conference.


Here’s all the news from the Google Stadia GDC presentation

Google announced its new game streaming service Stadia during GDC 2019. Here is all the news from the event, including news on YouTube streaming and quickly accessing your favorite new games.

These are the must-have games that every Xbox One owner needs

More than four years into its life span, Microsoft's latest console is finally coming into its own. From Cuphead to Halo 5, the best Xbox One games offer something for players of every type.

Have an issue with your 3DS? We can help you fix it with these common solutions

The Nintendo 3DS has seen its fair share of issues since it launched in 2011, including poor battery life and fragile Circle Pads. Here are some of the most common, as well as the steps you can take to solve them.

From Combat Evolved to Guardians, here are the Halo games ranked best to worst

The Xbox and PC series Halo began in 2001, and 11 different games have released since then. These are the Halo games ranked from best to worst, including spinoff titles and expansions.

Is Google launching a game-streaming service? Watch our GDC livestream to see

Google is presenting its 2019 GDC keynote on March 19. Here is how you can tune in to watch the event, as well as what could be shown during the presentation. Google's Project Stream service could be on the agenda.

The Unevn One is a portable desk that brings PC gaming on the road

Bringing a gaming PC outside your usual setup can be a challenge, but the Unevn One is the first all-in-one, portable gaming desk complete with a computer chassis and integrated monitor mount.

Angry Birds AR: Isle of Pigs brings 3D demolition into your living room

Angry Birds is releasing its next entry in the spring of 2019 - with a new spin. Bringing 3D environments and destruction, Angry Birds AR: Isle of Pigs uses augmented reality to add a new dimension to a classic series.

How to get the most out of agent builds and specializations in The Division 2

The Division 2 has an intricate loot system to let you fine tune your agent to fit your play style. In our builds and specializations guide, we'll walk you through all of the stats you should pay attention to when tinkering with gear.

Transport your Nintendo Switch in style with these nifty cases

The Nintendo Switch, which boasts both wired and handheld modes, needs a good case to ensure it doesn't get beat up while you're on the go. We scoured through dozens of Switch cases to bring you the best ones.

Here's how you can control your PS4 right from your phone

Sony built the PlayStation 4 with smartphone and mobile integration in mind. Take a look at our guide for connecting your smartphone or tablet to a PS4, so you can get the most out of the system while on the go.

Here's our guide on how to progress through The Division 2 endgame

Your mission as an agent doesn't end after taking out the three main factions in The Division 2. The endgame brings the Black Tusks, a dangerous new faction, to D.C. Our endgame guide will help you on your quest for the best loot.

Blackout to go? Call of Duty: Mobile is coming this summer

Activision and Tencent have partnered to create Call of Duty: Mobile, a free-to-play version of the popular shooter franchise that will be available on iOS and Android devices this summer.

Google’s Stadia lets you stream big-time games from nearly any device

At GDC 2019, Google unveiled Stadia, a game streaming service that lets you play games on PC, tablets, smartphones, and TVs. Stadia looks to open up gaming to everyone, removing the need to buy additional hardware.
Product Review

4K and 144Hz? Yup, the Acer Predator XB3 will max out your gaming PC

The Predator XB3 isn’t for the faint of heart. But if you have a system that can push over 100 frames per second in 4K screen resolution, this monster of a monitor might be the perfect match for your overpowered gaming rig.