Atari ends VCS production as sales numbers drop drastically
When Atari published Atari VCS, they hoped for a breakthrough in the video game industry, but the results were disappointing. To summarize, the Atari’s appearance, as well as its hardware, both show its age. It has now been widely reported that Atari will no longer manufacture Atari VCS 800a video game console that draws inspiration from the company’s iconic past.
Atari reported in its latest earnings report that sales of VCS consoles and cartridges fell “from €2.3 million to €0.2 millionprimarily as a result of cartridge activity and underperformance from VCS”, a significant decrease from the first half of the year.
IN 2017Atari unveiled its updated video game console, the Atari VCS (aka Atari box). Despite raising above 3 million dollars on Indiegogo i June 2018the project’s delivery date was pushed back to December 2020. After several iterations on hardware and software, the final product emulated the look of one Atari 2600 while actually running a modified version of the Debian Linux on a AMD Raven Ridge APU.
Atari VCS™ brings a universe of games, apps, streaming entertainment and built-in Chrome to your TV or monitor in glorious HD. Access thousands of games, endless entertainment and unparalleled flexibility. Unlock a customizable multimedia PC for unparalleled freedom and versatility. With everything from retro to indie to modern AAA games, there’s something for every gamer.”
Even though Atari VCS 800 started shipping to early backers just two years ago, it seems to have already died a quick death. According to Atari’s latest financial results, “the suspension of direct hardware manufacturing relationships, particularly with respect to the Atari VCS, for which a new commercial strategy has been implemented from the end of calendar year 2022.”
The report also suggests that Atari will implement “a new commercial strategy for VCS” and launch “a complementary hardware strategy via partnerships and under licensing agreements,” so it’s not like they’re completely abandoning hardware. This means that we may eventually see joysticks, controllers and other add-ons for the VCS made by companies other than Sony and Nintendo.
Alternatively, Atari may sell licenses to other companies to use the Atari brand on their own game consoles. In the meantime, they intend to continue releasing new “premium games” using Atari’s IP, as well as monetizing this IP through “new NFT initiatives” and other blockchain-related projects.