Entering the console market seems to be extremely difficult. Virtually every company that has tried to launch a home console without Playstation, Xbox, or Nintendo in its name faces its fair share of hardships. Now Atari is set to return to the console market with the upcoming Atari VCS, which is something of a retro console/modern gaming PC hybrid. Though its development has encountered some requisite difficulties, a recent interview with Chief Operating Officer Michael Arzt has shed some light onto the production process, including a first look at some photos of the console being built on an assembly line in a factory in China.
Given that the interview with Arzt was posted by Atari and not a third party, it understandably presents the development of the console in a purely positive light. That said, Arzt addresses some of the concerns about the console at the forefront of the discussion among those anticipating its imminent release.
Recently, Atari let its crowdfunding campaign backers know that their early availability of the console would be pushed back from December 2019 to March 2020. Arzt cites an upgrade in the processor as reason for the delay. They will now use the latest edition of the AMD Ryzen processor, a decision made in tandem with the company's marketing team and AMD.
While new photos show do VCS units being mass produced, the console must still undergo a significant testing process. This ensures that the hardware, including two kinds of controllers that come packaged with the console and what's within each console unit itself, work as intended. Then, once development of the proprietary software that is used to access many of the games and apps being created for the system has concluded, the console will be ready to ship.
Though specific details are somewhat vague, it sounds like the Atari VCS will be able to do a lot. It can play classic Atari games and new releases (both those already existing and games made exclusively for the system) and will support video streaming. There are other kinds of native apps planned for the system too, the specifics of which have yet to be revealed. With all of that said, a further delay in production would be a pretty bad look for the console, so with fingers firmly crossed, expect it to be available early next year.