Atari Reveals the Final Design of the New VCS Console

Posted on April 1, 2019 by Paul Thurrott in Games with 8 Comments

Atari just delayed the release of the new VCS, but it also has some good news for fans: Here’s 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,” a new post to the Atari VCS blog explains. “The 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.”

When it was originally announced in mid-2017, the Atari VCS—then called Ataribox—featured a ribbon design that harkened back to the design of the original Atari Video Computer System. That design, frankly, was more than a bit busy. But it was also difficult to manufacture, Atari says, thanks to its 16 discrete layers and a total of 18 different pieces. So the new design is simplified from a manufacturing perspective—it’s just two big pieces now, top and bottom—but still manages to look even more like the original.

The new Atari VCS, final design

“The team ultimately determined that the VCS should ‘float’ above the base surface, just like the original Atari 2600,” the post continues. This allowed them to also bring two USB ports to the front, enabling easier connectivity with joysticks and other peripherals. Atari also removed the SD card reader, which is redundant since the few users who will need it can connect to SD card readers via USB.

The original Atari VCS

Atari also changed the red-color light behind the device’s classic “Fuji” logo to white, which is more consistent with its other lights (and is likely less expensive). “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,” the company explains.

Finally, the updated design retains the wood fascia insert for the Collector’s Edition and black insert for the Onyx model.

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