More Power is Coming to the Atari VCS

The Atari VCS is getting an APU upgrade.

Atari announces AMD Ryzen upgrade to VCS, March 2019

For many months, the hardware engineering team behind the Atari VCS has remained heads-down in the system architecture phase, working closely with our hardware and software partners to deliver the best possible user experience. We have now made the decision, in partnership with the team at AMD, to further enhance our VCS system architecture.

The Atari VCS will now be powered by a 14nm AMD processor featuring high-performance Radeon Vega graphics architecture and two “Zen” CPU cores. This new processor replaces the model from the “Bristol Ridge” family that had been in the plan since originally selected for the Atari VCS back in 2017. AMD’s all-new Ryzen embedded chip will be faster, cooler, and more efficient, allowing the VCS to benefit from a simpler and more effective power architecture and thermal solution. The new processor includes built-in Ethernet, Native 4K video with modern HDCP, and a secure frame buffer that fully-supports DRM video (Netflix, HBO, etc.).

This upgrade will translate to better overall performance in a cooler and quieter box — all with minimal impact to our manufacturing processes. While additional specifications about the new AMD processor will be announced closer to launch, be assured that the new AMD Ryzen processor is a much better fit for this project in multiple ways and will further enable the Atari VCS to deliver on its promise to be a unique and highly flexible platform for creators.

Atari cannot thank our great partners at AMD enough for bringing forward this exciting new — and thus-far unannounced — product for us to utilize in the VCS.

The North American schedule is now targeting end of 2019 for delivery. With this decision to upgrade, and the resulting modifications to the system architecture and software that are needed, the VCS team now projects a new delivery window for the Atari VCS at the end of 2019 for Indiegogo backers.

Atari has an incredible community of backers and fans and the Atari VCS team is committed to delivering the best possible finished product and experience into our customer’s hands. The Atari VCS represents a huge part of Atari’s future and we refuse to compromise that opportunity with an inferior product experience.

The Atari VCS team will continue to keep backers and fans posted on major developments and will publish an updated project schedule as soon as we finalize it with the factory and all stakeholders. More generally, we look forward to sharing a variety of other Atari VCS updates over the next few months, such as news about design architecture, distribution partnerships, peripherals and accessory updates, game and media partnerships and other content, VCS user experience, on-screen dashboard and storefront, service offerings, and of course, more specifics about the new AMD APU and its impact.

As always, thanks for your ongoing support. Until next time!

The Atari VCS Team