Atari is delaying the release of the new VCS, but provided information about the final design of the retro video game console.
"One of the best-received aspects of the Atari VCS is probably its amazing retro-futurist design, inspired by the original Atari 2600 Video Computer System. Now that we have finalized our upgrade to the new AMD Ryzen chipset, the Atari VCS team is excited to unveil a number of other changes and improvements," Atari said in a blog post.
Atari trumpeted not just a new design, but also a unique layered construction technique for the VCS housing when the device was initially announced. Atari says that the specific design approach was taken through a engineering analysis and fabrication process, and the company's team was forced to balance the original design intent against a number of practical considerations. "The design engineering team elected to pivot away from the original and very-unique ribbed-sandwich construction for the Atari VCS system box while still maintaining the applauded original design," the company said.
The newly-updated 2019 Atari VCS construction method retains every curve and rib of our original design, but simplifies the case components to four primary pieces: a top housing, a bottom housing, and front & back panels.
"These new assembly plans will bring the Atari VCS hardware to life later this year, preserving the original design intent while streamlining the manufacturing process and assembly time," it added.
Differences from the original Atari VCS design that’s been shared previously, are obvious, since the construction has been completely overhauled, and that unit dimensions have changed slightly through the engineering process.
Visually speaking, the most notable aspect of the updated design is a revised silhouette that now elevates the VCS main body to create more of a “floating effect,” while also delivering some other improvements.
Atari has added a small riser under the body, adding more visually-references the classic Atari 2600 design.
A new “floating” body concept enabled the moving of two of the four USB 3.0 ports to the front of the VCS.
The rearranging of the USB 3.0 ports made another thing apparent: The SD card port was redundant. The decision to exclude the SD card port is in alignment with most modern consoles, which have 3 or 4 USB ports and should be sufficient for everyone’s storage needs.
Until now, all renders and pre-production models of the Atari VCS Onyx Edition have shown the “Fuji” logo illuminated in red, and others showed the front panel lit with four small horizontal LEDs. The original motivation for the red Fuji logo on VCS Onyx was cosmetic. Now, all Atari logos across all Atari VCS models will be illuminated in white light. This also extends to the Atari logos on new joysticks and controllers (much more coming on those devices in a future update).
The white Fuji indicator light will be used for a number of core Atari VCS communication messages about power, accessory pairing, internet connectivity, etc., which will be delivered via different patterns of blinking, pulsing and flashing, similar to the behaviors of other modern consoles.
Last but not least, here are the new (approximate) Atari VCS product dimensions:
- Width: 12.3"
- Depth: 5.9"
- Height: 2.0"