CultureJam: Is Atari VCS a RetroBox or a FutureBox?

Too obscure? Probably. Deal with it.

Like the legendary phoenix, Atari rises from the ashes of wherever the hell its been for the last few decades to give us the VCS, which may or may not be awesome. The writers disagreed on this. So it’s a CultureJam.

Brian – The Once and Future Thing

I’m an old man, kids, but back in my day the console landscape was very different. It wasn’t Sony and Microsoft on top, but Sega and Atari were the rulers of the roost in the retro ring.

Right? A different time…

Point is, those two names were once as synonymous with gaming as PlayStation and Xbox are today. 20 years ago, PlayStation took the world by storm. 10 years ago, the Xbox 360 orchestrated a coup and took the throne.

This Ataribox may well fail, and be remembered as nothing more than another nostalgia machine, if it’s even remembered at all. But you know what? I might be old, but I’m desperately idealistic.  This just might be a repeat of 1996, when plucky little Sony showed off a remarkable grey box that blew everyone else out of the proverbial water.

I haven’t even mentioned that its retro-chic appearance is truly beautiful in all its 1976-esque glory. I mean seriously, have you seen the thing? And c’mon, Asteroids was and is a fantastic game, and I want it in VR or whatever.

No, I’m not saying the VCS will definitely be the comeback of the A-team. But I wouldn’t discount them just yet. 

Now, if you thought I was an old fogey, just wait till you get a load of Ben.


Ben – Once Upon a Time

“It is so much more than a retro-box”; that’s what Atari said when they revealed that the Ataribox was going to be called the Atari VCS.

When they revealed the specs, they said it was “literally a PC for your TV”.

With its AMD x86 processor capable of delivering 4K at 60fps, the above statements may very well be true, but I’m still calling BS. Let’s just call the Atari VCS for what it is, a whimsical trip down memory lane that will be nothing more than another retrobox, except this one will let you watch Netflix and download a bunch of other apps that your actual REAL gaming console (Xbox One X or PS4 Pro, hell Xbox One or PS4) can already do. The difference is that those consoles aren’t releasing, and I quote, “Classic IP from Atari’s portfolio of more than 200 games and franchises”.


Whether you’re on the Xbox or PlayStation side of the fence, or even off in Nintendo’s magic jungle gym, I think all fanboys can all agree on one thing: each of those consoles has delivered some fantastic games. New games that aren’t just more nostalgia that makes us older gamers remember gaming with semi-perms, mullets, hypercolour t-shirts and big shoulder pads, which is inevitably all the Atari VCS will do.

Atari has been incredibly cagey on the details for the Atari VCS. We’ve been given a few specs and a price point for pre-order, and we also know that it is capable of running 4K at 60fps. But all we really know is that, when it comes to games, it is set to have more than 200 classic games. I can finally play Frogger and Asteroids in 4K.


Seriously people, it’s an overpriced retrobox that will end up collecting dust a couple months after you buy it when you realise no developer in their right mind is going to bring their massive AAA E3 announcements to the platform. Save your money and use it to the buy the games to play on the platform of your choice that you already know and love.

Do you agree? Disagree? Think Ben is wrong and probably smells? Think Brian is wrong and should go back to Irish dancing? Let us know!

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1 Comment

  1. IwakuraLain says

    Who needs triple a bullshit formulaic garbage?

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