Atari VCS Still Phantom-ware After “early summer update” Email

Back in the summer of 2017 the reanimated corpse of Atari announced it was going to be releasing the Atari VCS. Back then, only a concept design was revealed. At this point, that 2017 announcement might as well been in the 1975! After various attempts to revamp the original design and dubious attempts to show “gameplay” the VCS is as far away from reality as it’s ever been.

Today, to my surprise I received another meaningless update from Atari that promises nothing and does not provide any insight into what the heck backers will be receiving. I personally did not back this project, but did sign up to receive updates. As always, please remember when you back a project on indiegogo, kickstarter or various other crowdfunding platform you are NOT an investor and have no rights. It isn’t even a pre-order. That being said, it’s the project’s duty to fulfill it’s promise, but nothing is guaranteed. At this point, this project seems like something being targeted to boomers, but with the technology complexity that only a younger audience will appreciate. Boomers want to play Combat, Space Invaders, Pitfall and the like. A product playing of the Nostalgia of the 2600, which was popular in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s has no reason to appeal to both generations. Here is the email backer’s received today:

Hello Backers!

We can’t believe it’s already mid-July! With a very successful E3 behind us, followed by the long Independence Day holiday weekend, the Atari VCS team remains hard at work on the steady march toward our first batch of systems and peripherals.

We thought now would be a good time to check in and give you a sense of what’s happening this summer with the Atari VCS project. If you’re curious, read all about the team’s E3 experiences and get a few hints at the future in our latest Atari VCS developer blog.

At E3, we made the announcement to end product purchases via our Indiegogo page and kick off the Atari VCS Official Online Presale, happening now at, and This shift to retailer e-commerce channels has been in the works for quite some time and represents an important milestone for the Atari VCS. From the start, the Atari VCS project has always been about reigniting and expanding the Atari community with new and exciting steps forward, and the best is yet to come!

Link to the latest Atari VCS project blog at

You can find all the previous Atari VCS developer blog posts here.

Another quick reminder to please complete your BackerKit surveys, there are still more than 300 backers who need to do this. Check your spam filter for the address you used on Indiegogo if you have not seen the emails from BackerKit or go to and request a survey. The survey and your backer profile is the best way to ensure that you will get all the right products sent to the right place at the right time.

Thanks again to every backer for your ongoing support!

— The Atari VCS Team

I hate to say it, but these classic 2600 games are far superior in memory rather than in reality. A system that has listed for $389.99 on it’s own website seems like an awful financial decision compared to what else exists in a very competitive video game market. Time will tell if this makes it’s now projected 2020 release date.

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By: Dennis Burkett

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