Some were skeptical about whether or not there would be an audience for the Atari VCS, but the gaming console has done phenomenally well via crowdfunding in its first day. Preorders went live for the all-in-one entertainment system yesterday, and it managed to raise over $2 million in its first 24 hours. The system is on sale for $199, while a Collector's Edition model can be purchased for $299. Both variants are expected to release in summer 2019.
Described by the company as a "retro-inspired" console, the Atari VCS looks like the classic Atari 2600 console but with modern capabilities. Not only will it come packed with over 100 classic Atari games that can be played with a nostalgic one-button joystick, but the device will also house modern games. On top of that, Atari is planning on making the device an entertainment system first and foremost, and will support all types of streaming services as well as cross-chat with Discord, among other features.
At the time of writing, the total amount raised for the Atari VCS currently sits at $2,207,928. That number is made all the more impressive when consumers consider that the initial goal for preorders was merely $100,000. In total, it's over a 2,000% increase over what the classic gaming company was hoping to crowdsource for their first real console since 1993's Atari Jaguar.
Atari has seen some tough times in the past two decades as they've struggled to adapt to the modern gaming scene, so it's great to see the company finding a successful niche for itself within the gaming space. It's unlikely that the Atari VCS will rival the Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, or Xbox One with regards to player base and stream of triple-A content, but Atari really isn't trying to do that. Instead, the company is attempting to branch out a new position in the gaming space that caters to a premium nostalgia, while also setting the stage for a more open platform for modern consumers. As they've clearly found something that works, as the first numbers show.
This is a strong first step for Atari, but it is in fact just a first step. Now that they've successfully funded the Atari VCS, it's on them to deliver a strong console come summer of next year. It's important that they make good on all of their promises, as this good will could help carry the company to another era of prosperity in the years to come. Everything is lined up in their favor, so now they just have to successfully execute.