Atari threatens to hit fourth VCS transport deadline, offers photos of packing containers as proof of product supply • The Register

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Atari could lastly hit certainly one of its deadlines – its fourth – over its retro VCS video games console, three years after the venture was launched.

Having blown previous deadlines on December 2017, July 2019, and March 2020, Atari this week posted a collection of images of packing containers on its Indiegogo fundraising page, Twitter profile, and Medium weblog, that it mentioned present “a lot of the Indiegogo manufacturing run is already properly on its means,” touring by ship from China to Chicago.

“Introduced right here for the primary time, are meeting line pictures of the particular Atari VCS 800 Collector’s Version models, and different scenes from the manufacturing unit earlier this month, together with pallets of Atari VCS models prepped and able to ship to the US for distribution,” the biz mentioned in its update.

It’s uncommon for a corporation to put up photos of its product being boxed as proof it exists, although in Atari’s case the transfer was essential given persistent delays within the console, mixed with lengthy intervals wherein the corporate has failed to speak with prospects.

Issues that it could the truth is by no means ship have been compounded again in October final yr when its chief architect, Rob Wyatt, quit the project claiming he hadn’t been paid for six months. Wyatt remains to be chasing the $261,720 he says he’s owed, and sued Atari in April.

After Atari CEO Fred Chesnais claimed that “he lacked entry to Atari’s workplaces and was consumed by different urgent issues” to elucidate why the corporate had not responded to the lawsuit, the corporate then postpone a scheduling listening to with a decide 4 instances earlier than lastly assembly for the primary time on September 17. Wyatt is assured he’ll finally win his case.

Doubt

Atari’s photos of pallet packing containers have left some observers skeptical. Again in June, Atari posted a picture of what it claimed was “the very first pallet of 96 Atari VCS 800 Onyx manufacturing consoles [that] has simply been delivered to our US staff.”

Regardless of promising that the gear, and 404 different models of that particular model of the console that had been pre-paid for, would quickly be delivered to prospects, there isn’t any proof as we enter October that anybody has acquired their {hardware}, so far as we are able to inform.

Not simply its VCS console that is MIA, Atari is a no-show in court docket, too: Reborn biz ignores {hardware} architect’s lawsuit over unpaid wages

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This time, Atari claims that it has produced and shipped “a lot” of the 6,000 orders for the “Collector’s Version” of the console, with one manufacturing unit image exhibiting a sticker on a console that indicated it was no 1,688 of a “restricted version” of 6,000.

There may be additional cause to doubt the corporate’s claims. As an example, Atari apologized in 2019 for exhibiting what it claimed was footage of a sport working on the machine after the title’s developer mentioned it had by no means created a model for the VCS.

In Could this yr, it claimed “certainly one of our most-ambitious staff members” had created “plenty of movies along with his Atari VCS that totally illustrate its capabilities,” and shared mentioned movies, which appeared to indicate him taking part in video games on the console. However of these six YouTube movies, showcased on Atari’s own blog, 4 of them have since been eliminated. One among them confirmed the sport Name of Responsibility: Warfare Zone being performed on an Atari VCS.

Curiously, the identical video appeared elsewhere on YouTube with a telling description: it famous the footage confirmed “the Atari VCS taking part in CoD Warzone with upgraded parts to make it work.” Oh no.

One other challenge

That caveat about “upgraded parts to make it work” is essential to understanding that even when Atari does come good on its promise to supply and ship consoles that have been paid for a number of years in the past, it could nonetheless have a legion of offended followers to cope with.

Many throughout the gaming neighborhood suppose that the Atari VCS, particularly with its $400 price ticket, is woefully under-powered, and that it won’t be able to run many present video games. One influential YouTuber with a couple of million followers, YongYea, has called the Atari VCS project a “catastrophe” and a “crap fest,” and reckoned the Atari console’s GPU floating-point math efficiency – mentioned to be 0.46 teraflops – is only a quarter of that of 2013’s PlayStation four GPU.

Compared, the PlayStation 5, which can launch in November for $499 – the identical time as most VCS house owners could lastly pay money for their machines – can handle 10.28 teraflops of GPU quantity crunching, and the following Xbox, which can even launch this yr, has 12 teraflops. This assumes the identical floating-point precision is utilized in every of those measurements, although we expect you get the general level.

With out enough graphics efficiency, state-of-the-art video games are merely unplayable. The VCS is powered by an AMD Ryzen Embedded R1606G system-on-chip, for what it is value.

In brief, even when Atari does lastly come good on its guarantees and delivers its VCS console to prospects, they’re more likely to discover it’s only able to taking part in outdated video games regardless of the corporate advertising it as a contemporary “PC/console hybrid.” The Atari VCS is out there to buy online for $399 with “assured supply earlier than December 24.” ®

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