The coronavirus continues to cut a swathe across the globe, affecting multiple industries and gaming companies. It's looking like the latest casualty of the virus might be the Atari VCS. The upcoming retro console could be delayed as a result of the instability brought on by COVID-19. It was originally intended to ship this month.
Speaking to TechRaptor, Atari said the factory manufacturing the VCS in China is open, but some key suppliers "remain affected" by the coronavirus. In essence, this means that the factory putting the consoles together is open, but many of the suppliers for the VCS' constituent parts are not operational. As a result, the company has no manufacturing updates to share, including a potential release date or ship date for backers. Atari says it's "monitoring the uncertain situation" in China and that backers will still receive their VCS consoles before retailers or pre-orders.
While this may not sound like cause for alarm, this is the same situation Atari was in back on February 10th, when the VCS factory originally re-opened. The company said back then that many of its suppliers had been affected by the coronavirus and that it would take that week to "assess and better understand" the wider situation. It doesn't sound like they've been able to make much progress in the intervening weeks. As such, it's fairly safe to assume that the Atari VCS will miss its intended ship date of March 2020.
The Atari VCS has already had something of a troubled production history. Back in October last year, industry veteran Rob Wyatt quit the project, citing six months of nonpayment. The console has also already been delayed several times, not least in March 2019 (ostensibly to add more power) and once again in November that same year. Seems like the next few months are going to be a tricky time for Atari VCS backers.
When - or if - the Atari VCS does eventually land, it's promising to be a mixture of NES Classic-style retro console and modern streaming device. It'll use a custom streaming service powered by AMD Ryzen and Radeon to deliver a combination of new games and classic Atari titles. You can check out more info about the console here.
Did you back the Atari VCS on Indiegogo? Are you disappointed with the numerous delays? Let us know in the comments below!