Atari VCS delayed, gets more power

The Atari VCS video game console. The Atari VCS video game console. ATARI

Atari's upcoming Atari VCS console now won't come out until the end of 2019, but when it does it'll pack much more power.

"We hope you all appreciate the reasons why we decided to make this upgrade and why, when given an opportunity to improve the product in exchange for a new delivery date, we chose to upgrade," says Atari via email.  "Working together with project partners and stakeholders, we took the time to fully-mature this important decision before making it public.  The team is listening to your comments and questions and are confident that this change positively reflects many of our fans’ and backers’ feedback."

When it was originally announced, the Atari VCS was to be powered by AMD's "Bristol Ridge" chipset family.  Now, the console will be powered by a 14nm AMD processor that features the high-performance Radeon Vega graphics architecture and a pair of “Zen” CPU cores.  Atari says the new processor choice includes built-in Ethernet, native 4K video with modern HDCP, and a secure frame buffer that fully-supports DRM video such as Netflix, HBO, and so on.

"This upgrade will translate to better overall performance in a cooler and quieter box — all with minimal impact to our manufacturing processes.," says Atari in a self-published article on Medium.  "While additional specifications about the new AMD processor will be announced closer to launch, be assured that the new AMD Ryzen processor is a much better fit for this project in multiple ways and will further enable the Atari VCS to deliver on its promise to be a unique and highly flexible platform for creators."

Because of the CPU change, Atari says they need extra time to change some hardware and software changes to take advantage of the new AMC processor technology.  The company says gamers can now expect the console to come out near the end of 2019.

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