Atari presented a long development update for the Atari VCS console earlier this week, the same day that Register reported that the project was experiencing significant difficulties. A source with knowledge of the project reportedly described it as a "shit show", and the console is reportedly designed to be more of a Linux PC than a dedicated game console.
Atari & # 39; s post tried to reassure supporters that the project is continuing as planned. In the midst of many photographs of the console's PCBs and chassis, the company claimed that the molds for the console's plastic housing are "largely complete", that its controls and joysticks are "almost ready for mass production", and that it expects to host practical console events. later this fall.
The Register's report but painted a completely different picture of the console's development. To begin with, the console's chief architect, Rob Wyatt, has quit the project, claiming that his design consultancy has not been paid for over six months. Wyatt's Tin Giant consultancy was hired to develop the console's hardware and software shortly before the console's $ 3 million IndieGoGo campaign ended last June.
The report goes on to say that the so-called "console" will actually work. more like a computer in a custom chassis and will run on a standard Linux distribution after Atari's managers refused to approve the development of a custom operating system. It will reportedly not contain an app store, another common feature of most consoles. Atari's posts seem to partially agree with this assessment and mention what it calls the machine's "custom Atari operating system." Even Atari admits that the machine works "more like a computer than a fully functional gaming system at the moment."
The console also reportedly suffers from a variety of other software problems. The register argues that console controls may not work consistently across games, as you would expect a console controller to do, and that the promised streaming apps will actually consist of web apps accessed through a modified browser. The report says that the console, which will retail for prices starting at $ 250 in the United States, is really just a Steam Machine, a Linux PC designed for gaming.
Surprisingly, Atari did not agree with many of the claims made during the Registry Report . "Atari wants to inform you that some of your questions indicate that you have information that is incorrect and / or outdated," a statement to Register from Atari's PR company read, "In addition, some aspects of the Atari VCS project have obviously leaked to you in violation of existing confidentiality agreements, and Atari therefore reserves its rights in this regard. ”
We have contacted Atari to inquire when campaign supporters, as well as customers who have ordered the console from GameStop and Walmart can expect to get their consoles, and we will update this paragraph with its response. In the meantime, it is well worth reading the Register's report in its entirety for a complete catalog of the problems that the console is reportedly facing.