Something new is headed to the Atari VCS, and this time it has nothing to do with hardware. These things are all about the games, in and that regard, the Atari VCS will offer a subscription service that will give retro gamers access to thousands of titles from various platforms through a partnership with Antstream Arcade.
"Antstream Arcade is a perfect partner for Atari and its fans," said Atari CEO Frédéric Chesnais. "Anstream’s offering lets players instantly access a vast library of games, including many Atari titles that have not been available for streaming before now. This partnership further cements the Atari VCS as a highly versatile entertainment platform and multimedia streaming device, built to embrace the best of classic and modern gaming."
Every Atari VCS console will ship with a free copy of Atari Vault, giving players access to over 100 classic games. The subscription service adds a whole bunch more that are curated across several arcade, home console, and handheld platforms, including the Sega Genesis, NES and Nintendo 64, Commodore 64, NeoGeo, and more.
"When Atari VCS users log in or subscribe to the Antstream service using their Atari VCS, it will immediately unlock an exclusive and enhanced version of the Antstream app engineered specifically for the Atari VCS. The Atari VCS Edition of the app will house the largest collection of Atari games available anywhere and ready for immediate play," Atari says.
The enhanced collection will only be available to Atari VCS owners—the same games will not be offered on other Antstream platforms without an Atari VCS account. it also features a global leaderboard.
Players will be able to trial the service for 30 days at no cost. After that, it runs $9.99 per month, or users can pay $95.88 for a yearly subscription (works out to $7.99 per month).
Barring any further delays, the Atari VCS is scheduled to ship in March 2020.