The Atari VCS release date has finally been announced after years of uncertainty. The Atari VCS console will launch on June 15, 2021 for $299.99 without controllers (but it is compatible with other inputs some players may already have). The wireless joystick and controller will each be $60 while a bundle of both controllers and the system will be $400. The console itself will be available for purchase at Micro Center (a store chain with 25 locations across the United States), GameStop, Best Buy, and the Atari VCS website.
Users who buy the system at Best Buy or GameStop will get an Atari Speakerhat, which is exactly what it sounds like: a fitted cap with some speakers on the underside of the brim. Those who get it on the Atari website and Micro Center will get a free copy of Missile Command: Recharged. In addition to media streaming apps, every Atari VCS will come with a free copy of the Atari VCS Vault, which unlocks access to 100 games from the arcade and Atari 2600, as well as the Antstream Arcade, a streaming platform for retro titles. The Antstream Arcade is also available on PC and mobile devices. Atari said it is also “actively courting multiple game publishers and indie developers and expects to keep adding more new and retro game content to the Atari VCS platform in the coming months.”
However, this isn’t the first time people have gotten their hands on the system. Those who backed the Atari VCS on IndieGogo started getting their units in December 2020. The overall sentiment has not been positive as many have been unimpressed with the feature set at a price point that rivals modern consoles like the Nintendo Switch or the Xbox Series S.
Regardless, COO of Atari VCS and Connected Devices Michael Arzt expressed his excitement around the platform’s official launch and future.
“The day that many eager Atari fans have been waiting for is almost here,” said Arzt. “The Atari VCS has been well-received by our early adopter community, and we are thrilled that more people will have the opportunity to enjoy everything that the platform has to offer today, and as we roll out more and more new content and features in the future.”