The Edge: We Take A Closer Look At The Atari VCS - Atari Edge



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Saturday, December 7, 2019

The Edge: We Take A Closer Look At The Atari VCS

In a recent announcement, Atari has confirmed that the official commercial release date of the Atari VCS will be in March 2020, while the original backers should receive their units between now and the public release. Currently the Atari VCS can be preordered at Walmart, GameStop, and on the Atari VCS website. The VCS, Atari's latest gaming console and streaming device has some differences that separate it from other consoles on the market, and in this article, we are going to take a closer look at the features that could make this console a success once it hits the market.

The Atari VCS will have new games, classic games, triple A games, indie games, and home brew games available, as well as the Linux based Atari Operating System pre-loaded with Atari Vault, which includes over 100 classic Atari games. Also available for download will be original and additional classic games, as well as cloud streaming of games. One of the exciting features of the cloud streaming service is the availability of modern updates and esports versions of classic Atari hits.

The streaming partnership with AntStream will be available at launch, and will have a 30 day free trial, with additional subscription options starting at $9.99 a month, and as little as $7.99 a month. The enhanced Atari Edition exclusive AntStream service will only be available to the Atari VCS, and will bring an existing library of 2,000 officially licensed retro gaming classics to the VCS at launch. The Atari VCS edition is the largest collection of streaming Atari games available on demand in original and enhanced formats, and will be included in the Atari VCS dashboard at launch. We can't wait to review the updated and enhanced versions of the included Atari classics for Atari Edge readers. We have already began to compile a list of classic hits that we would like to revisit on the Atari VCS.

One of the biggest recent changes for gamer's wanting to know more about what third party games will be available is that the Atari VCS will be compatible with the Unity Game Engine. This is great news for game development and gamer's alike, as the Unity Engine is the leading game development platform with partners such as Microsoft, Apple, Google, Sony, Nintendo, and Steam to name a few. With Walt Disney Animation Studios, Pixar, Blizzard Entertainment, and StudioMDHR, creators of the award winning game Cuphead, among others using the Unity Game Engine for development, as well as proactive support that Atari and Unity has worked out, there should be a clear path for porting existing games to the Atari VCS platform, bringing top rated third party games to Atari's new console. Atari's commitment to Unity compatibility will run across the VCS ecosystem as the Atari VCS User Interface and the Atari VCS Store will also be developed using Unity.

Mobile games are now a large part of the gaming industry. Atari has planned for bridging the gap between mobile and console gaming by making available games with VCS and mobile cross-play. Along with gaming, the Atari VCS App Store will also include entertainment apps, communication apps, and productivity apps.

Atari plans to have new and classic games, in-game items, TV and movies, music, online services, subscriptions, streaming, cloud storage, and smart home integration available on the Atari VCS. Peripherals and licensed accessories including joysticks, game controllers, speakers, headphones, and devices will also be available for the system, as well as licensed merchandise, apparel, collectibles, etc. for Atari VCS fans.