Atari VCS Team Heads to CES as Production Enters Next Phase
From holiday break, straight to CES 2020!
The Atari VCS team is excited to be in Las Vegas this week at CES 2020 for meetings with partners, retailers, distributors and others at the world’s largest and best-known industry event.
Our engineers have done an incredible job preparing a fleet of Atari VCS units for CES so that the team can demonstrate key features.
At CES 2020, Atari is hosting invite-only, hands-on demonstrations of the Atari VCS dashboard GUI (Graphical User Interface), Atari Vault, Antstream Arcade, and Sandbox PC Mode, which will include accessing everything from a Windows desktop to Steam games to streaming apps. Atari VCS appearance models will be on hand to show everyone how the finished Atari VCS hardware will look.
We will also have Atari Modern Controllers and Classic Joysticks, plus some keyboard and mouse setups to showcase the flexibility and many peripherals options that the Atari VCS provides.
In addition to all of the above, we are implementing what the team has whimsically dubbed “Project Easter Egg.” There will be Atari VCS units on display in some key partner locations at CES with one special surprise. For example, as fans would expect, PowerA will have one on hand. However, the team has also done something special at CES by hiding the ultimate Atari VCS Easter Egg somewhere in plain sight.
In order to fully-demonstrate the awesome upgradeability of the Atari VCS, the engineering team has completely rebuilt its transparent test dummy — last seen on static display at E3 in June 2019 — into the ultimate incarnation of the system. The team took the transparent Atari VCS housing originally used for tolerance testing, and stripped out the dummy PCB board, replacing it with a fully operational one. But we didn’t stop there; instead, the team built a true “hot rod” Atari VCS by installing 32 GB of RAM and a 256 GB internal SSD. We have elected to place this special “Atari VCS 3200 Crystal Ghost” into the hands of one of our key strategic partners for display at the “Adventure” we know as CES. It’s out there…let’s see who discovers it! Keep an eye on Atari social channels.
Our CES onsite team is planning to share photos and videos live from CES to the Atari social media team, so keep an eye on the Atari, Atari VCS and Atari Life channels this week for fresh content straight from Las Vegas.
Numerous improvements to Atari VCS products and manufacturing processes.
While our US and EU teams took time to enjoy the holidays with friends and family, they also remained in close contact with our manufacturing partners in China. The Atari VCS engineers and factory teams are in the later testing and validation phases of production and are returning to China this month to oversee ongoing production efforts.
There have been several significant outcomes that have led to subtle and beneficial improvements to the Atari VCS products. As we explained a few weeks ago, extensive testing is a standard and incredibly important step on the path to launching any successful consumer electronics device. We always strive to prioritize quality above all else, and made sure to make the most of the testing process by being as thorough and exacting as possible.
Our engineers have now delivered streamlined and simplified electronics via a more refined PCB (Printed Circuit Board) that improves almost every aspect of both the device and its manufacturing process. Other improvements included a beneficial reduction of physical parts, such as redundant resistors and capacitors on the boards, accompanied by optimized routing of circuit pathways.
The team has also gone through experimentation with the system’s thermal cooling behaviors by testing varying fan settings combined with different materials such as copper, aluminum, and other alloys to optimize temperature results. In addition to improved plastic parts assembly and tolerances, there has been a significant amount of testing done around the rear intake and exhaust vents, with a close attention paid to how airflow and assembly are impacted by different kinds of mesh materials, especially in light of adjustments to the thermal systems.
Regarding accessories, the Atari VCS Modern Controller is working well and the Power A team is optimizing the rotating “paddle” function on the Classic Joystick.
In the end, we are confident in our product and the many talented people and partners responsible for delivering it. The Atari VCS team remains committed to quality; we believe that the Atari VCS will give fans and their families unique and different paths to explore gaming and entertainment, and opportunities to create, play, and interact with their TV in new ways.
All the best for a great 2020! Stay tuned for our next update from the factory.
— The Atari VCS Team