“Strike while the iron’s hot” they always say; Atari is taking advantage of press coverage around E3 and gaming this week to do just that, announcing today that their long-await Atari VCS console is now available for preorder at exclusive retailers GameStop and Walmart.
Starting at an MSRP of $249.99, the successfully-funded Indiegogo console can be ordered in a number of configurations, including bundles, at price points all the way up to $389.99. Bundles include 2 controllers, one a classic model inspired by the Atari 2600 joystick of old, and another, a sort of Xbox-style modern controller. Beyond that, your guess is as good as ours what the “bundle” gets you as neither Walmart or GameStop list any particularly compelling additions.
According to Atari’s official press release:
“Atari made a commitment to its fans to make the new VCS the best and most versatile game and home entertainment platform it can be, with a wide array of options. After so many months of working on defining and refining the products, and after the strong initial support of our thousands of original Indiegogo backers, we are excited to finally and officially announce our product launch configurations, first key retail partnerships and the launch of the online presale that will put the VCS into the hands of America’s gamers.”
Atari claims to have 12,000 backers via Indiegogo, with just south of $4 million in revenue from the console to date. While the VCS certainly represents a curiosity for retro gaming fans, the dramatically higher price tag compared to other “classic” consoles is a head-scratcher, particularly with such vague bundle benefits as its “Sandbox mode,” whatever that is.
Time will tell if retro gamers new or old will be willing to fork out nearly $400 for what looks to be a novelty system, though Atari could surprise everyone given they own the rights to half the old school 80s video game titles out there.