Atari VCS’ COO did a mass Q&A where he answered a ton of questions about the upcoming VCS console, once planned for late Spring/early Summer 2019 to now March 2020.
First, it was acknowledged that the VCS has a new boost in power which is the main reason for the delay. It also allows for services like Google Stadia to function perfectly as expected:
The first and most impactful improvement was the switch to the new AMD Ryzen™ Embedded R1000 SoC in order to support 4K 60fps HDR content. The all-new Ryzen APU is also faster, cooler, and more efficient, allowing the VCS to benefit from a simpler and more effective power architecture and thermal solution. The new processor includes built-in Ethernet, Native 4K video with modern HDCP, and a secure frame buffer that fully-supports DRM video. This upgrade will translate to better overall performance in a cooler and quieter machine.
When we made the decision to upgrade to the new AMD Ryzen™ Embedded R1000 SoC, we did so primarily because it enables the VCS to fully-support 4K 60fps HDR content from the ever-growing list of new streaming services. The Atari VCS is designed to be able to embrace any compatible game streaming platform, like Stadia and others still to come down the road.Michael Arzt, Atari VCS COO
Next, the VCS will have exclusive content, alongside native apps and “browser” experiences. Plus there will be a place to access 1000s of retro titles only on VCS:
The Atari VCS will be a gateway to a mix of original games and native apps. The primary way to access games and services will be through the proprietary Atari VCS interface and app store. If a service is not available as an app on our platform at launch, it can still be accessed through the internet browser. Content will include classic, new, and indie games from both Atari and third-party developers, along with entertainment apps for streaming video content, including TV shows and movies.
In addition, the exclusive Atari VCS Edition of the Antstream Arcade app will give Atari VCS users immediate access to a library of more than a thousand licensed retro games.Michael Arzt, Atari VCS COO
The Atari VCS launches in March 2020. It’ll feature it’s own custom UI and controllers from joysticks to gamepads.