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Atari VCS launches in stores June 15

Retail debut finally set for long-in-the-works PC-based hardware

The Atari VCS system will soon complete its long journey to launch, as Atari yesterday announced a June 15 retail release for the hardware.

The VCS was originally announced in June of 2017, shortly after the NES Classic sparked a wave of interest in retro gaming hardware.

At the time, the project was called the Ataribox and billed as "years in the making" and "coming soon."

A 2017 crowdfunding Indiegogo campaign for the project was delayed to the summer of 2018. The campaign's stated March 2019 release was pushed to late 2019 so the specs could be improved.

But before the system could launch, the chief architect on the project resigned, saying Atari hadn't paid him for more than six months.

Atari reassured people that it was "deep in the final stages of pre-production" on the VCS in November of 2019, with a planned March 2020 release window. But by the time March rolled around, Atari was just putting its first dev kits together and warning that the just-declared COVID-19 pandemic could push the system's arrival back even further.

Atari began shipping the VCS units to Indiegogo backers last December, saying it would ship to retailers in the first quarter of this year.

The Atari VCS will be $300 for the base edition, or $400 for an All-In edition that comes with two controllers. Both versions come with the Atari VCS Vault Vol. 1 collection of 100 of the company's older games from the arcades and the Atari 2600.

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Brendan Sinclair avatar
Brendan Sinclair: Brendan joined in 2012. Based in Toronto, Ontario, he was previously senior news editor at GameSpot.
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