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It’s 2021 and I don’t play it on Xbox, PlayStation or Nintendo Switch, instead I play Atari.

This isn’t the older Atari 2600, the previous wardrobe dust collector, or the simulators I found online. It’s the freshest home video game console: Atari VCS.

After spending a while playing the Atari VCS, it was easy to get stuck with the nostalgic feeling popping up in my “Asteroids” or “Missile Command” cartridges. However, the VCS offers many modern touches, such as the wireless, rechargeable controller. Fire and Wi-Fi support for downloadable games.

The Atari VCS is available for pre-order for $ 399.99 and includes a modern wireless console controller and the classic wireless joystick.

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The VCS design is inspired by earlier Atari consoles, including the 2600 and the Atari 7800 Gone as an analog switch to reset or start a game, or choose whether you’re playing on a color TV or black and white, you have two USB ports. On the front for charging the controller, an HDMI port for your TV, additional ports for USB and Ethernet, and a power button.

The classic controller was transformed in the 21st century as well, now there is a second button on the back of the controller, next to the standard red button that Atari fans remember. Old school spatula with a dial It also features LED lighting and rumble technology, so the controller will vibrate while you play.

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If you want to use something more modern, the VCS also includes the standard controllers you’ll find in video game consoles today. It feels lighter and is mostly just as comfortable as a PlayStation or Xbox.Biggest knock: You have to manually shut down the VCS to shut it down. There is currently no option to do this with a controller like you can on PlayStation or Xbox.

As for the Atari VCS game, it is clear in an arcade style with its collections. The device comes with many classic Atari titles such as “Asteroids” “Centipede” “Missile Command” “Millipede” and “Pong”, but there are other interesting games to download, including the space arcade shooter. Called “GunTech”

Here’s where the Atari VCS is interesting: You can also download other apps, such as Netflix, Disney +, or YouTube, and the console is available in PC mode, so owners can install their own operating system and use the device as a “mini. PC “.

The big concern that jumps out is whether this console might feel too specific. Its libraries are very tilted towards older arcade games. Of course, there is a nostalgia here as well. Is that enough to spend the same amount of money as the VCS you put out for your PlayStation or Xbox? That’s the big question Atari will face when the VCS launches this spring.

Follow Brett Molina on Twitter: @ brettmolina23.

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