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Retro Atari Box Gets a New Name

But will it have any game? Pre-order details for ‘Atari VCS’ expected next month

We’re still waiting for final pricing and shipping date information, but a new device inspired by the Atari 2600 gaming console from days of yore has a new name – the Atari VCS – and a retro-style logo to go with it.

The new and somewhat delayed product, previously referred to as the “Ataribox,” will look a little bit like its ancient predecessor and feature a classic version of the Atari joystick and a more modern one (a prototype of that fancier controller is pictured) that includes an array of buttons and directional sticks akin to those one might find in a controller for a current-gen console.

Atari’s retro box and accessories were shown at the recent Game Developers Conference in San Francisco. PCWorld likened Atari’s preview of its coming Linux-powered device to a “nostalgic mini-PC shrouded in faux wood and mystery,” with reporter Hayden Dingman coming away skeptical as to how real this coming entrant is at this juncture:

We’ve asked for more specifics on pricing and product shipment plans, but Atari announced last year that the new device would sell for at least $249 and include a classic game catalog (it claims to own and/or manage a portfolio of more than 200 games and franchises, including Asteroids, Centipede, Missile Command, and Pong) along with access to streaming apps, web browsing and some social media hooks. At the time, Atari said it received more than 90,000 registrations.

“Every person at Atari and every partner involved with the new platform is just as fanatical about the brand and its heritage as our biggest fans are,” Michael Arzt, Atari’s COO of Connected Devices, said in a statement. “With the Atari VCS name, we know how important it is to get everything completely right and that’s why we briefly paused an imminent launch late last year. It was a difficult decision with the countdown underway, but we weren’t willing to go forward with even one thing out of alignment. We hope that Atari’s fans appreciate our extreme attention to detail and are as excited about the Atari VCS as we are.”