The latest Atari VCS production news and some behind-the-scenes surprises from the team working from home.
The Atari VCS team is proud to say that we are getting a tremendous amount of work done during the ongoing quarantine and are about to enter the home stretch on the project. The first ~500 Atari VCS production units will now exit the factory by mid-June, after a slight delay caused by rejected plastic parts that required re-fabrication. Now, with the completion of this run comes even more exciting news: thanks to much diligence and creativity, the procurement teams have made significant progress in their efforts to close the gaps on the outstanding parts and materials. All of this comes as Atari VCS hits the 2 year anniversary of its launch on Indiegogo.
The team has searched all over the planet to find or replace the parts and materials needed to start and complete the full production run of Atari VCS units for its 11,597 patient Indiegogo backers. Based on the latest information available, the team cautiously estimates that all parts and materials will be on hand in time for these additional units to be in production this summer. No specific dates are yet available, but Atari will of course inform backers as soon as there are additional details.
In the meantime, like so many others, the Atari VCS team has been working from home since early-March. This complicated things at first, when almost two dozen Atari VCS pre-production units became stranded in a New York City office. Many of these Atari machines were units that had been earmarked for a variety of hands-on fan and press showcases at live events all spring and summer. Starting with the D-Cave event in NYC, the Atari VCS team was going to hit the road, with stops planned around numerous events including SXSW in Austin; E3 in Los Angeles; San Diego Comic Con; PAX West in Seattle, and others. In addition, there were countless business meetings around the country scheduled to include live Atari VCS demos as well, not to mention the need to send some of these units out to our test groups and partners.
Only very recently were we able to safely send one team member into an eerily-quiet midtown New York City for a “rescue mission” to reclaim these stranded units. Once this happened, we were able to distribute many of them to a preselected roster of internal and VIP testers we call the Atari VCS @Home Group A. This group is made up of people who have deliberately kept from having too much first-hand exposure to the Atari VCS and its accessories. The people involved range from core to casual gamers and cover a wide demographic range. They were given a number of tasks to complete, from unboxing and setup — to buying and playing games and apps. Their feedback is being collected via surveys and Q&A sessions and the results will impact the experience that Atari VCS @Home Group B has in the next round that will be starting very soon.
Overall, the feedback has been very positive and instructive, with members of the @Home Group A sampling an assortment of classic Atari and 3rd party games, the Antstream App, and streaming services like Netflix and Disney+ in Atari Mode. Other adventurous group-members have connected their USB keyboards and tested out the unique Atari PC Mode (formerly known as “PC Sandbox Mode”) by booting up Windows and playing some of their favorite PC games on their big-screen TV’s.
One of our most-ambitious team members is taking full advantage of the current work-from-home situation and has been making a number of videos with his Atari VCS that fully illustrate its capabilities and provides a window into what the @Home Group is seeing. We think Atari VCS fans will enjoy the following self-explanatory videos:
Please note: Some PC Mode gameplay was filmed using Atari VCS units that have been upgraded with additional RAM and storage.
We hope those videos, and the action shown in them, make backers and fans as excited as it does the team and testers. Please also note that everything shown here is for demonstration purposes only and nothing appearing in these videos should be taken as official announcements or promises of any specific content in the Atari VCS store. Atari will provide full details on the VCS game and app lineup at a later date.
We look forward to sharing more very soon, as well as getting back to work in our offices and studios.
Stay safe and stay healthy!
— The Atari VCS Team