Atari Releases VCS Q&A With COO Michael Arzt - Atari Edge



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Thursday, November 28, 2019

Atari Releases VCS Q&A With COO Michael Arzt

Since the initial announcement of the Atari VCS, there has been much excitement, anticipation, and skepticism surrounding Atari's new game console. It appears that some might take slow press releases to mean there is no further development, while others stand strong in their belief that the new Atari VCS will be an amazing unit.

For anyone interested in learning more details about the launch of the Atari VCS, the Atari VCS Team released a Q&A with Atari COO Michael Arzt just after getting back from extended trips to China, where they worked with their manufacturing partners on final details of the console. In the Q&A, they discuss hardware, software, the Atari VCS graphical user interface, launch dates, and partners, among other topics.

With many wondering if the unit will ever get released, Atari has confirmed that their target release date to the public is March 2020, and backers will still receive there units prior to the general public. Michael Arzt explained that the Atari VCS Team felt it extremely important to make sure the hardware and software developed for the unit were of the highest quality prior to releasing to backers or the general public. The change to the all new AMD Ryzen was part of the decision making process when it came to providing the highest quality product as possible.

During the interview, Michael Arzt also shared some initial photos of the first Atari VCS pre-production units. He also explained that the company and manufacturing partners are getting close to mass production.

Another rumor that had been traveling around the internet recently was that Atari was going to be releasing the VCS without the Atari UI and storefront, rather, the units would be shipped with the sandbox mode only, making it a small PC only. According the this latest Q&A, any rumors of the type are not true. The Atari VCS will be shipped to both backers and the general public with a fully functioning Atari UI as well as the planned storefront. This customer UI is being developed in Unity, and is superior to the UI that was on display for reporters during E3.

Though he could not talk in detail, Michael Arzt did state that there are several large design studios lined up for launch titles.

     "Building a complex product like the Atari VCS from scratch takes time and care, and with any gaming and video platform, content in particular involves extensive discussions and cooperation with third-party partners. As tempting as it might be, we can’t comment publicly on confidential partnerships and licensing discussions while they are in progress. As you can imagine, we are talking about some large brands that have rigorous confidentiality guidelines."

This is great news for fans interested in knowing what type of games to expect at launch. Atari had already recently announced the partnership with Antstream to release an Atari Exclusive monthly streaming service for retro games, and the latest news from this Q&A let's fans know that there will be some large brands developing games for the Atari VCS. Michael Arzt also confirmed that the Atari VCS will have original games, native apps, and a browser experience, but did not confirm if any games will be Atari VCS exclusives.

As we mentioned in a previous article, with game streaming subscription products like Google Stadia, Apple Arcade, etc. the gaming market appears to be moving in that direction. Mobile gaming is a huge business as well, bringing a lot of excitement to the launch of the Atari VCS, and continuing the legacy of the already world known iconic brand.

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