Atari has announced that their upcoming gaming console, once known as the Ataribox has been officially named the Atari VCS (an abbreviation of Video Console System).

It's back to the '80s

Both the Official name and logo are throwbacks to the Atari 2600 console from the 1980s. As detailed in its initial announcement, the Atari VCS is meant to be a console that provides both retro gaming and modern gaming experiences as evident by two available SKUs, one featuring a woodgrain exterior akin to classic Atari consoles and the other featuring a sleek plastic exterior akin to modern consoles.

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This was made even more evident when Atari revealed two new controllers in their latest press release. The first was designed around the classic Atari joystick. The other controller seems more akin to modern tastes whereas its design draws inspiration from an Xbox 360 controller complete with A, B, X and Y buttons.

Although no performance specs have been revealed yet, earlier specs revealed that the Atari VCS will feature a modern AMD branded APU chip and Linux as its operating system. Hence, we can now expect modern titles to be playable on the console.

Pre-orders coming soon

Atari also revealed that pre-orders for the Atari VCS will become available in April as the company is gearing towards a 2018 release. Although no confirmation on the retail price has been given yet, analysts place it somewhere between $250 and $300 according to what they gleaned from the aforementioned specs.

A rocky road

The Atari VCS has had a rough ride on its way here. Announced last year, the console was meant to become available during that period, but the company delayed the project due to growing concerns over quality.

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They went as far as canceling its Indigogo crowdfunding campaign. The Atari VCS has also been met with concerns from both analysts and gamers over its aforementioned specs that place its performance close to a mid-range gaming PC.

This doesn't bode well for a console with supposedly modern capabilities given that the market is already dominated by more powerful machines like the Xbox One and PS4. However, Atari seems confident, according to Michael Arzt, the chief operating officer of Atari Connected Devices.

“Every person at Atari and every partner involved with the new platform is just as fanatical about the brand and its heritage as our biggest fans are,” claimed Arzt in a statement.