Atari has released a statement about the production of the VCS, as well as their future plans concerning hardware.
As stated in our Half-Year 2022/2023 Results, we have restructured our hardware enterprise and put the groundwork for a fresh commercial approach.
As a result of the reorganization, we ended our partnership with the initial supplier of the Atari VCS, but we are still managing inventory and fulfilling new orders.
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Dedicated to the VCS Platform
Atari is still devoted to the VCS platform, providing more assistance for game makers and continually introducing new games in the store.
Hardware plays an integral role in Atari’s legacy and will remain a key part of its future plans.
Through licensed contracts, several hardware and software projects are being developed that will widen the VCS universe and create more practicality for users.
Atari VCS Retro Gaming Console
The Atari VCS retro gaming console is likely to face more struggle in the near future, and not that it didn’t already have its own challenges.
Initially, we were quite interested when the VCS was announced, but its troubled and contentious development diminished our enthusiasm for it.
After all those years of delays that made the hardware not cutting-edge when it was released, nobody felt much enthusiasm for the VCS during its review last year and it appears that we were not alone in feeling underwhelmed.
After Atari Stopped Its Manufacturing Contracts, the Future of the Atari VCS Is in Doubt
Future for VCS
Atari’s half-year earnings report for fiscal 2022/2023 paints a bleak future for the VCS. Total revenue was reported at $4.65 million, which is 27 percent lower than it was in the previous year.
Most significantly, hardware revenue drastically declined from $2.44 million to only $212,466 year-over-year, and Atari pinpoints this on “reduced cartridge activity” and the VCS’ poor performance. Essentially, consumers seem to be no longer interested in the console.
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Atari is restructuring its hardware business, and this includes halting its partnerships with manufacturers for the VCS console.
Atari did not state any steps to get new contracts for VCS production, so it’s safe to say that it looks like the console is at its end.
New Commercial Strategy
In the future, Atari has devised a commercial plan that involves creating “new hardware supportive to the Atari VCS through alliances under licensing agreements.”
This doesn’t appear to be a redesigned or upgraded VCS console, but rather some new accessories for it.
Despite the fact that the VCS hasn’t seen a large consumer response, the company still produces both a Classic Joystick and Modern Controller for it.
It is puzzling that they would allocate resources to this project when there isn’t much apparent demand.
As Atari’s strategy for its hardware is still uncertain, the company is focusing on other avenues of generating revenue in the upcoming year. The brand is planning to collaborate with “well-known and respected international brands” through licensing and will move forward with selling Atari X NFTs and creating a new token.
However, blockchain ventures have a lot of uncertainty and volatility in blockchain ventures, which could be risky for a company currently operating in the negative.
The Atari VCS 800 All-in bundle is still available at retailers like Best Buy, priced at $399(opens in new tab). However, the cheapest place to find an Atari VCS is directly from the company ;
You can grab the All-in bundle for just $239, direct from Atari’s storefront. Previous retail partners like GameStop and Amazon no longer appear to have the console in stock.
Those looking for their retro Atari fix on a console that’s had a bit more success might want to consider Atari 50: The Anniversary Celebration on the Switch.
Now if only Nintendo would offer up a version of its console with a woodgrain finish and some orange buttons.
What are your thoughts on this? Tell us in the comments section below.