PS5 and Xbox Series X? Forget it, there's a NEW Atari VCS console in town…

PlayStation 5 and Xbox will have to compete against an Atari VCS that is both a retro console AND a gaming PC. And just LOOK at that joystick!

PS5 Xbox Series X Atari
(Image credit: Atari)

The PS5 launches now in a mere matter of weeks, with the next-gen gaming console hitting store shelves in November, 2020. However, as much as everyone loves PS5 and Xbox Series X, nothing trumps nostalgia in 2020. Atari – set up by Nolan Bushnell in the 1970s, and now owned by a Chinese conglomerate – is tapping into the world's hunger for gaming and nostalgia with a new version of its legendary Atari VCS that is both a retro console and a gaming PC. Of sorts.

The new Atari VCS is also launching this November alongside the PS5, and unlike the PS5 it comes with access to more than 100 games built in. Although admittedly, they are some rather elderly games.  

Unlike the original Atari VCS, though, which went first on sale in 1977, the new Atari VCS comes with a raft of new tech to make it 2020-ready including an AMD Ryzen CPU, AMD Radeon GPU and 8GB of RAM (expandable, too) that can pump the games out in 4K HDR.

The Atari VCS also comes with a USB 3.0, HDMI and Ethernet port, for wired connections, as well as WiFi and Bluetooth for wireless connectivity.

The Atari VCS' improvements over the original console also include the addition of an Atari Modern Controller, which differs to the also on offer Atari Classic Joystick in supplying a modern Xbox controller-shaped pad to game with.

Interestingly, though, the Atari VCS differs from a standard games console in the fact that it offers a dedicated PC Mode. This means that you can install a secondary operating system like Windows on a bootable external USB and use the VCS as a home computer, too.

PS5 Atari VCS

(Image credit: Atari)

In terms of operating system for the games console, the Atari VCS uses a Linux OS and comes pre-installed with "tons of classic Atari retro games" as well as "current titles from a range of studios".

In addition, the Atari VCS also has a custom storefront that allows users to download additional video games and applications, including video streaming apps, music players and web browsers.

The Atari VCS is available for pre-order now for $389.99 directly from Atari, and can be picked up in three different colorways, including Black Walnut, Onyx Black and Carbon Gold.

Robert Jones

Rob has been writing about computing, gaming, mobile, home entertainment technology, toys (specifically Lego and board games), smart home and more for over 15 years. As the editor of PC Gamer, and former Deputy Editor for, you can find Rob's work in magazines, bookazines and online, as well as on podcasts and videos, too. Outside of his work Rob is passionate about motorbikes, skiing/snowboarding and team sports, with football and cricket his two favourites.