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New VCS "Retail Launch" Thread! [COMBINED]

justclaws

Combined different retail threads, to avoid confusing duplicate/conflicting information later.

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2 minutes ago, zzip said:

Bestbuy says will be available at my store in 9 days.   There is no normal rollout anymore I guess, as weird as this is, it's still less weird than trying to buy a PS5!

I mean, Microsoft this weekend was like, "Ok, so you'll never actually be able to buy an Xbox this year, so here's a mini fridge instead..."

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On 6/14/2021 at 4:31 AM, Classic Pac said:

I know this owner of a small used game store and they told me it's like Atari does not want the VCS to be sold retail. 

 

Here in Canada, it is not uncommon for vendors to purchase products only sold in the United States at retail and then resell them here at their own retail establishments (at a very significant markup, of course). I have seen this with everything from video games to shampoo to candy. There are no import restrictions (on small quantities); it is just that some American manufacturers are unwilling to supply the Canadian market. (Personally, I once crossed the border with some 10-12 cases of Sierra Mist soda, and there were no questions asked.) 

 

Conceivably, then, the game store owner could order a VCS (or two or three) online and then resell them in his store. Obviously it would be much more expensive than just buying it online directly, but some segments of the market still prefer to shop retail. Being the only vendor in the area with a VCS in stock would also presumably bring some attention (and foot-traffic).  

 

Once Atari has sold the unit to a customer, there is nothing that they can legally do to prevent its resale. 

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I ordered mine on the Best Buy site this morning. I noticed the controllers are a fairly hot commodity. They appear to be sold out everywhere.

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3 hours ago, justclaws said:

Yes, apparently they went very quickly, presumably a lot to existing owners,
and to those people who said they'd never want a console, just a controller.

image.thumb.png.89f46a315fe098ca48abcad6e96973f5.png

Count me as one of those people that just want the controllers.  I have no use for the VCS as a device.  Calling it the VCS is wrong to begin with.  Curt (RIP) built the ultimate Atari VCS with help from myself & Marty.  Flashback 2 will play any 2600 game I want since I took advantage of the cart port traces Curt so smartly included on the circuit board & yes, I still use mine, on occasion, to this day.

 

I can see a use for these controllers for Windows or with a RPi....particularly the classic controller.  I ordered one of each from my local Microcenter and I did get the pickup confirmation that they are ready.  I will be curious to see if they are any good.

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Seems like - today - at least you could theoretically get to a Micro Center and buy a VCS. Probably unlikely to be able to do the same with a PS5 anywhere. 

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Sony and Microsoft mainly have problems on the demand side. They've both shipped millions of consoles during the past seven months, but any retailers who get stock sell out pretty much instantly, and pre-orders have been so oversold that nobody's taking any more of them because they'll need to wait for their next allocation in order to fulfill the ones they've already got.

 

I'd note that Microsoft finally appear to have caught up with the Series S, which a few retailers near me are stocking, so there's at least one next-generation console you can buy as a walk-in.

 

Nintendo had some problems last year, but appear to have caught up now, even managing to ramp up production by around 50% in spite of the chip shortage, and they're also widely available as walk-ins.

 

Conversely, Atari's problem is clearly one of supply. They've taken six months to get a retail launch together that seems to amount to just a few hundred units. I'd suspect that they're far more concerned about flooding whatever limited market they have than keeping up with the demand.

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2 hours ago, toiletunes said:

Have all of the preorder backer units shipped?

I am of the belief that yes, all backer units had been shipped a few months ago. Atari was still doing post-backer preorders up until mid-May that I am aware of. 

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16 hours ago, Matt_B said:

Sony and Microsoft mainly have problems on the demand side. They've both shipped millions of consoles during the past seven months, but any retailers who get stock sell out pretty much instantly, and pre-orders have been so oversold that nobody's taking any more of them because they'll need to wait for their next allocation in order to fulfill the ones they've already got.

I'm also sure that Sony & Microsoft are high priorities for AMD when deciding which orders to fill also.   Atari doesn't have that kind of clout.

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The scarcity of the PS5/Xbox is indeed one of demand (and scalping, unfortunately). In terms of raw units they have sent out a bit less than they wanted, but still more than during previous console launches. Atari is almost certainly one of getting product from the factory. 

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On 6/15/2021 at 9:51 AM, The Historian said:

Available in 

Chicago, IL
Cambridge, MA

Rockville, MD

Maddison Heights, MI

St. Louis Park, MN

Brentwood, MO

North Jersey, NJ

Westbury, NY

Flushing, NY

Yonkers, NY

Columbus, OH

Mayfield Heights, OH

Sharonville, OH

St Davids, PA

Houston, TX

Fairfax, VA

Most have 10 in stock a few only 9. Good luck. 

https://www.microcenter.com/product/627563/atari-vcs-800-black-walnut-full-bundle

Looking at the stock now, New Yorkers are not impressed with the VCS, but Ohioans seem to like it.

I do not think Fairfax actually got any in, I think that was Dallas you were looking at.

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On 6/15/2021 at 10:40 AM, jeremiahjt said:

The Best Buy in Lubbock is supposed to have them in stock on Saturday. The automated system said there was a nearby store with them in stock, but when I queried the system about it it came back with the Midland store will have them in stock next Thursday, the 24th.

Still no availability at the Best Buy in Lubbock, so I called and they said they cannot give an exact date of when it would be available.

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Purchased VCS Black Walnut bundle and two additional controlers (classic and modern) in store at MicroCenter.  There are 25 MicoCenters and it appears each store obtained 10 consoles.  Present in store stock is 180 meaning they probably have sold 70 systems.  I must be in a rare group of people who have actually made an in store purchase of VCS and spare controllers.  

 

Intrigued by the indigogo campaign but not willing to pay $$ when IGG terms of service did not require Atari to actually deliver the product.  Saw the pre orders at Walmart, Gamestop and Atari.  But again did not want to pay for something that may or may not be delivered, even though refund should be possible.  Saw MicroCenter had in stock and thought it was finally time to get what will probably be the last Atari named system.

 

Initial physical impression is so-so.  Controllers seem inexpensive.  Not sure how durable the classic stick will be.  Console is ok materials with an inexpensive power supply.  

 

Before powering up I added more RAM.  Not the easiest to do.  Also got an M2-SATA ssd.  But could not install it as the board had an M2-NVME connector.  (Picture of connector attached) Put it all back together ok.

 

Powered on and initial impression is meh.  Controller seemed to take a while to pair.  At one point I accidently turned off the contoller.  Turned it back on and while the controller flashed to re-pair, the VCS did not necognize it.  Atari OS really has very little content.  The Atari Vault has very few games in it.  I have no interest in Ant Stream Arcade.    Do not plan on streaming through the device as we have 4k Roku Ultras on each TV.   Other than the games in the store, not sure what else can be done in Atari OS mode.

 

Would appreciate any tips on adding another OS.  I've read all the topics on this in AtariAge but still not sure how to do it.  Would like to access Steam and not sure if it should be done throught Windows or Linux.  

 

Intriguing "system" but a not so great first impression.

 

 

image_2021-06-20_215139.png

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Easy to install Linux, grab one you want (to make things easier just use one that supports Secure boot, like Fedora, Debian, Ubuntu, OpenSuSE).  Put it onto a USB stick and just tell it to install on the m2-SATA. 

You'll need to hit the Escape key on a keyboard to get to the boot menu.  Steam works fine under Linux.  I haven't installed Windows on mine because, well I hate Windows :P

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On 6/15/2021 at 10:11 AM, Mockduck said:

Well, it's basically sort of happened! :)

 

As of today you can order a VCS from Best Buy, Micro Center, and AtariVCS.com. July 2nd for Gamestop. 

 

That said, it's a bit of an odd rollout, maybe not that surprising for 2021. Best Buy.com online order only for local pickup, no delivery available. Micro Center the same. Gamestop running behind? 

 

IGN said there'd be free Speakerhats when ordering from Best Buy or Gamestop, which was a wonderfully dumb thing that had me willing to pick up a 2nd VCS to give to my brother for our birthday. Except no free Speakerhats to be found!

 

Also, no controllers to be found separate. If they ever existed for online order today, it must have been instantly sold out. My thinking is they weren't actually available to order, but we'll see if someone reports getting one. 

 

 

I got one of each extra controller when they offered a while back to the backers.  But yeah my guess is they just got sold out.

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7 hours ago, rayik said:

Purchased VCS Black Walnut bundle and two additional controlers (classic and modern) in store at MicroCenter.  There are 25 MicoCenters and it appears each store obtained 10 consoles.  Present in store stock is 180 meaning they probably have sold 70 systems.  I must be in a rare group of people who have actually made an in store purchase of VCS and spare controllers.  

 

Intrigued by the indigogo campaign but not willing to pay $$ when IGG terms of service did not require Atari to actually deliver the product.  Saw the pre orders at Walmart, Gamestop and Atari.  But again did not want to pay for something that may or may not be delivered, even though refund should be possible.  Saw MicroCenter had in stock and thought it was finally time to get what will probably be the last Atari named system.

 

Initial physical impression is so-so.  Controllers seem inexpensive.  Not sure how durable the classic stick will be.  Console is ok materials with an inexpensive power supply.  

 

Before powering up I added more RAM.  Not the easiest to do.  Also got an M2-SATA ssd.  But could not install it as the board had an M2-NVME connector.  (Picture of connector attached) Put it all back together ok.

 

Powered on and initial impression is meh.  Controller seemed to take a while to pair.  At one point I accidently turned off the contoller.  Turned it back on and while the controller flashed to re-pair, the VCS did not necognize it.  Atari OS really has very little content.  The Atari Vault has very few games in it.  I have no interest in Ant Stream Arcade.    Do not plan on streaming through the device as we have 4k Roku Ultras on each TV.   Other than the games in the store, not sure what else can be done in Atari OS mode.

 

Would appreciate any tips on adding another OS.  I've read all the topics on this in AtariAge but still not sure how to do it.  Would like to access Steam and not sure if it should be done throught Windows or Linux.  

 

Intriguing "system" but a not so great first impression.

I hope these tips might help you. For the best replies, best to put any questions into the relevant threads.

The VCS has a SATA connector, not NVME, so maybe try that again. NVME definitely doesn't fit, despite your first observation.

The Atari Vault definitely has 100 games in it, and the $5 VCS Vault II has another 50. You might have been looking only at arcade games in VCS Vault.

The VCS store has 21 games in it at present, which isn't bad for a launch line-up, but yes, it's never going to match the variety of the big 3 which already have thousands.

There are plenty of reviews in this forum and on YouTube for the games which are out, and the rate will likely pick-up quite a bit over the year.

One common problem with pairing is people hold the Atari button on the controller, instead of tapping it.

If just tapped, it usually take about 3 seconds to connect. If you hold it, it goes into first-time pairing mode, or turns off.

There are threads about installing Windows or Linux. Once you install your O/S of choice, there is nothing special about installing Steam on the VCS. It's like on any PC.

I hope that above tips help you past your first impression obstacles. I've had a VCS since 2nd January, and it continues to evolve, happily.

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Despite not being too thrilled with it, thanks a lot actually for sharing your story. Good to know - someone - at least can walk in and buy one. :) I agree that currently, bluetooth pairing issues are probably the VCS' biggest negative. That said, it is for me only a negative I am reading, not experiencing. All three of my controllers are pairing and working just fine across my living room. 

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Amazing that buying a game console in a store is a big deal these days. 

 

The only OEM that seems to be able to keep things in stock locally is Nintendo; and the Odd PS4 (but NO PS5's.)  Oh well, good for them.  

 

The BT pairing is no longer and issue for me, just put your controller somewhat close to the console and it will pair quickly upon start up. 

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It looks like every single Micro Center now has the Atari VCS in stock.  Although a few stores are getting low.  A couple only have 3 and another 4.

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16 hours ago, justclaws said:

The VCS has a SATA connector, not NVME, so maybe try that again. NVME definitely doesn't fit, despite your first observation.
 

Thank you.  I was thrown off by the connector having one slot similar to an M.2-NVME and the M.2-SATA ssd having two slots.  M.2-SATA plugs in and works fine.

 

16 hours ago, justclaws said:

One common problem with pairing is people hold the Atari button on the controller, instead of tapping it.

If just tapped, it usually take about 3 seconds to connect. If you hold it, it goes into first-time pairing mode, or turns off.
 

 

Thank you again.  Tap works just great.  I did not realize holding down the Atari button entered initial pairing mode.   Pairs very quickly with just a tap. 

 

16 hours ago, justclaws said:

There are threads about installing Windows or Linux. Once you install your O/S of choice, there is nothing special about installing Steam on the VCS. It's like on any PC.

 

 

Installing Win10 on the  internal M.2 ssd is proving to be a challenge.  Can not disable secure boot in the bios.  Guess I will have to use an external usb drive if there is no work around it.  Only workaround I saw to install was to use another pc to install onto M2.ssd, take out and install in VCS and then everytime turning on VCS go into bios and select boot device.  No desire to do that.  Would appreciate if anyone who knows how to install Windows to internal M.2 shares that info. 

 

 

16 hours ago, justclaws said:

The Atari Vault definitely has 100 games in it, and the $5 VCS Vault II has another 50. You might have been looking only at arcade games in VCS Vault.

 

 

You are right!  100 games.  On my first trip into the Vault there were only 18 or so games (Arcade and 2600).  Must have downloaded them since.  Surprised they are not pre-installed on the internal eMMC. 

Edited by rayik
fix spelling
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Hi Rayik,

I'm very happy that I was able to help you with those questions/answers! 🙂
The VCS Vault is there in-full, but the usual problem is the default is it defaults to showing only arcade games.

The other games are there, but you need to switch "mode" to them. You're not the first to find that confusing. 😕
 

I very much recommend Atari Vault II, also, it's got some great games in there too.

For the Windows 10 install, the problem is not the VCS BIOS, but Windows 10 itself. It will not update the
secure-boot when there are other secure-boot partitions. The secure-boot can be disabled in the BIOS (see

the BIOS thread, and I can also send you screenshot of the option if required) but I do prefer USB 3.1 SSD.
The useful thread here about boot-loader is also good, to select start-up options.

Cheers, Richard / JustClaws.

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18 hours ago, jeremiahjt said:

It looks like every single Micro Center now has the Atari VCS in stock.  Although a few stores are getting low.  A couple only have 3 and another 4.

 

its happening.gif

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On 6/20/2021 at 9:54 PM, rayik said:

Purchased VCS Black Walnut bundle and two additional controlers (classic and modern) in store at MicroCenter.  There are 25 MicoCenters and it appears each store obtained 10 consoles.  Present in store stock is 180 meaning they probably have sold 70 systems.  I must be in a rare group of people who have actually made an in store purchase of VCS and spare controllers. 

Out of curiosity, did they have a demo unit set up, or are they strictly box-only sales?

 

We don't have Micro Center stores around here, but I'll be in your neck of the woods this weekend.  If there are any still in stock (they're showing 8 at the DFW store as of today), I may swing by and see what they look like in the flash.

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