Originally expected in Spring 2019, then the end of 2019, then sometime in 2020… 500 backers may actually receive their Atari VCS units this month.
As a rule of thumb, don’t back modern versions of retro games consoles on crowd-funding platforms. Several times in the last few years we’ve seen supporters left disappointed and out of pocket as developers fail to deliver.
There must have been similar fears for those that paid between $200 and $400 to pre-order the Atari VCS – depending on how early they jumped on-board – as deadlines have come and gone. But finally Atari have announced that they are “about to enter the home stretch” of the project. Take that with a pinch of salt, perhaps?
What seems to be true is that Atari are now readying to ship 500 units to a lucky, but very small percentage of backers by mid-June this year. Great news for the chosen few and perhaps encouraging for the remaining 11,097 backers still waiting to get their hands on the VCS.
Atari have given a “cautious estimate” that remaining units could ship later in the summer. Don’t hold your breath.
Atari first announced plans for a new console in mid 2017. Originally called ‘Ataribox‘, the chance to pre-order their PC-based home media unit was itself delayed in December of the same year. Pre-sales for the newly named ‘Atari VCS’ eventually began at the very end of May 2018 with a revised delivery date estimated for Spring 2019.
More than a year later and some of the project’s well publicised set-backs have been concerning. Most significantly was the departure of project architect,Rob Wyatt in October 2019. Wyatt resigned amidst claims that Atari owed his design company for invoices dating back six months.
Most recently updates from Atari have highlighted supply chain problems (caused by the Covid-19 pandemic) and rejected plastic components as contributing factors to continued delays.
We wait with keen interest to see if units will be delivered this month and what the first reactions to the Atari VCS will be.