Atari VCS Available For Preorder Now

The Atari VCS with joystick and controller

The Atari VCS with joystick and controller

It has had its share of delays and revisions, but the Atari VCS is a popular nostalgia machine.

Atari issued a press release on Tuesday to announce that after many trials and tribulations it finally has a release date for the official launch of its Atari VCS retro gaming console, along with a release date for those who backed the project during its early days, as well as information about the first key retail partnerships that will have the console ready for pre-order starting today. Each retailer offers both the 400 and 800 versions of the console (with 4GB and 8GB of upgradeable ram, respectively), classic joysticks, and modern controllers, as well as a bundle of the 800 with one of each controller. The classic Atari-style joystick and more modern gamepad will cost $49 and $59.

While the original is remembered for its wood grain and toggle switches, all-black was a look for the Atari 2600 VCS, too, often referred to as the "Vader", invoking the Star Wars villain.

There are also good news for early backers who pre-order the Atari VCS gaming console past year during the Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign, as Atari said that they will receive the device as soon as this December. GameStop is only selling the all-black model, while Walmart is offering an exclusive version with a Kevlar Gold front panel. While other "classic" systems are sold for relatively low amounts of cash, Atari is expecting punters to cough up as much as $389.99 for this new system.

Despite raising a shedload of cash via crowdfunding, the team behind the Atari VCS (which is Atari in name but little else) seemed to lurch from one blunder to another; at last year's E3, for example, the company's senior staff didn't seem to know what was going inside the console.