Atari can't seem to catch a break when it comes to bringing the launch of its latest console to fruition. The Atari VCS has suffered repeated delays, mostly due to hardware reworks and it seems it has been pushed back once again. However, the latest delay as reported by Atari is the fault of the recent Coronavirus outbreak sweeping the world.

This time, its nature's fault

After two years of delays and reworks, the Atari VCS had received an official launch period, scheduled for March 2020. Its IndieGoGo backers would finally be rewarded for their patience.

Unfortunately, production for the console's latest version has been halted in China due to the nation's current emergency.

The 2019 novel Coronavirus is a new respiratory-type strain that originated in China. The problem is the country is also where Atari and several other tech companies happen to outsource their manufacturing.

The first half of January was a busy period for Atari. Following a successful demo of the Atari VCS at CES 2020 last month, the Atari headed off to China to begin manufacturing the latest dev kits for the console. After a two week period, the team supervised a successful "pre-production run" of new Atari VCS dev-kit units.

The team then head off for some R&R following the successful test run and distribution of those dev-kits to developers around the world.

However, disaster struck in the form of the Coronavirus outbreak, prompting the Chinese manufacturers to close their factory until production can resume February 10. Atari issued an update detailing their progress with the manufacturing including the sudden halt as a result of the coronavirus situation.

"We are in close contact with our teams in China, and when the factory reopens, they will gauge the impact that the Coronavirus may or may not have on the next few weeks of production.

In the meantime, we send our Chinese factory team and all affected partners best wishes for a safe and speedy end to this situation."

The Atari VCS woes

Formally announced as the Ataribox back in June 2017, The Atari VCS is meant to be both a modern take and a throwback to the Atari consoles of yesteryears. Unlike most consoles on the market, however, Atari relied heavily on crowdfunding to bring the concept to life.

Unfortunately, the console's launch has been repeatedly pushed back mostly due to hardware revisions.

The Atari VCS is supposedly a 'PC for the living room' but requires modern components and features to stand with the rest of the gaming hardware already on the market. The latest specs shared by the company outline an AMD Zen-based system capable of 4K graphics, HDR and frame rates up to 60fps. The console comes in two flavors: a classic wood grain model that includes a retro joystick and a sleek, modern-looking black model with the new controller.