You can install linux on the new Atari VCS, which will have more powerful specs than originally planned

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to be fair you can install linux on practically anything these days

I’ve got a $10 postage-stamp sized wifi router that runs linux (google zsun)

I wonder what the most bizarre thing is that has ever run linux

bet slashdot knows - maybe BB needs a linux tag?

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I have to wonder what the point of introducing a machine that isn’t x64 (as in x86, as in PC, as in IBM compatible) would be anyway.

Wait, I know - ARM architecture for low power consumption, silent running and tiny form factor.

It’s an x86. The interview indicates they’re using AMD’s Bristol ridge APUs. Those are full on off the shelf 64 bit x86 processors with an on chip gpu.

They’re based off the older excavator archetecture. But they have the newer Polaris gpu architecture in there. And are compatible with AMD’s current chip set. And again its an off the shelf product. Not the semi custom stuff the big consoles use.

So there would seem to be no reason you couldn’t install even windows.

It’s not the strongest processor, though amds integrated graphics are the best in the market. 8gb is a little low without the optimizations that come with consoles custom stuff. For very new triple a games. Essentially a slightly newer version of what’s in the current gen consoles. Or a slightly out of date or budget but still functional gaming PC.

I sort of thought this thing would be bs, but every time they update on hardware details it sounds a little less like vaporware. Still not sure if I get the point. It’ll be hard for them to get people to develop for a custom os without customized hardware you lose some of that “close to the metal” optimization that make the consoles worth while. Linux doesn’t neccisarily have the deep catalog of extent games that windows does.

Sounds very much like steam machines, which failed.


My friend Dmitry got Linux going on an 8-bit microcontroller by emulating a different CPU on it. It takes 2 hours to boot, so it’s one of those projects that doesn’t serve much practical use and more of a challenge to see what is possible.


It’s looking more and more like an entry-level game PC in a really nice box for which you’re paying a premium for a really nice box.

I mean it might not be stretching things too far to say, really, that it’s a nice box that also happens to have a computer inside it running some flavor of Linux by default.

It never really sounded like vaporware to me, once they actually said what it was - it’s always seemed exactly like a Steam machine (with a little bit of Ouya), but less useful, and in an overpriced case. They keep calling it a console, presumably because it makes the system specs sound better, but it’s not (and thus doesn’t have the performance advantages of a console’s custom OS). It’s a low-powered Linux box that’s presumably not different enough from standard Linux that apps can’t run on it (unless they require more power). They’re obviously trying to make it easy to develop for it, but, still, as you say, look at what happened with the Steam machines (or Ouya)…

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If you will excuse my cynicism, I’ll beleive it when I can order one and get it in ~1 week instead of giving them a quantity of money and maybe, maybe getting one and not having the company walk away with my money. (How many projects have we all seen on Kickstarter and indiegogo and other crowdsourcing sites that raised a giant amount of money and then failed to deliver… anything except heartbreak?)

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Well when it was announced there was almost nothing but a product render a rough price. And comparisons to the nes classic and Atari’s ancient back catalog. The idea of an insanely expensive retro mini console. Essentially an even more over priced version of those little $30 mall toys with dig dug onthem than Nintendo had out out. From a company that spent the last 20 years ripping off investors and doing questionable things with increasingly questionable ip. Just sounded like I scam.

Now it looks like a genuine product. And I understand what kind of product it is. But I don’t know why.

Those specs are adequate. But they’re the specs of the non-updated versions of the Co soles. Albiet with potentially stronger gpu, And newer versions of the parts. Or a half decade or older budget gaming PC. Or an even older also ran non budget PC.

I don’t think they said they’re using a no custom OS. They said you can install Linux if you want. I didn’t catch anything about what OS they’re shipping with. But without the hardware customizations your only halfway to console land. And PC alreadyvhas APIs that allow more direct access to hardware to get console style software benefits.

So even that. Who is this even for? What is it even for? Atari isn’t the number one retailer of video games like Valve. It’s not a HTPC, so they clearly aren’t using windows. The existing os with the biggest install base and deepest catalog on gaming. It’s not really looking like an actual competitive console. The specs aren’t the driving factor.

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It’s looking more and more like an entry-level game PC in a really nice box. And they say I’m hard to shop for.

I was gonna say “So it’s just an entry-level gaming PC in a shiny Atari-branded box?” Apparently I’m a glass-half-empty guy on this subject.

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I guess the first real information I read about it hinted that it would just be a Linux box, once it became obvious it was really happening (what I had seen before were some vague renders that didn’t even rise to the level of vaporware).

This is simply a Linux box. They describe it as running “a heavily modified linux kernel called the AtariOS.” But they also say to would-be developers, “If you have an application in mind you can start today, make sure it runs on Linux at HD resolution using standard runtime libraries, the changes from this to the AtariOS will be minimal and mostly related to application startup and application packaging.” So when they say you can install Linux on it, they mean you can install a different flavor of Linux on it, which isn’t particularly radical.

Reading between the lines, it seems like they want to be both Ouya and Valve (in that they’re setting up a storefront through which to sell games). Which… yeah, good luck to them. I see this going the way of Ouya, at best. A small number of ultra-low-budget indie games might be made with this in mind, then it’ll sink. I suspect most Linux developers won’t even bother trying to make sure their existing games run on this. Steam boxes didn’t work, and I don’t see how not having Valve’s extensive library will help what is essentially just a low-end Steam box succeed. I think they’re hoping people will see “Atari,” be overcome with nostalgia over the design and ignore everything else.

That’s literally what it is, so you’re a “glass-accurately-described” kind of guy.

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that would make much more sense.

So its a literally a steam box with out the benefit of steam?

There’s a lot of that double talk. Its a PC and its open and its a console and its totally not a pc. Its heavily modified Linux. But its so not modified you don’t have to do anything special to get your games on there.

Starting to sound scammy again.

ETA: This is essentially what baffles me here. This is the same as half a dozen failed products. Without whatever essential thing or idea made sensible people think those things could potentially be a success.


Yep! It sounds like they might be trying to center everything around their store, with a kind of Apple-like closed experience (so you do have to build for their specific flavor of Linux to make that work right, but if you already have working Linux apps, it’s not a huge leap), but it’s not clear to me how far they’re going with that, and whether it could run 3rd party software without installing a different version of Linux.
It does sound scammy - I really think they’re hoping no one looks at what it actually is too carefully and just projects what they’d like it to be onto it. (Like Ouya.) And keep that up until they can get enough sales that they’ve made a profit, I guess. It seems delusional. Maybe they’re so delusional they think they can parlay box sales into a successful game storefront as well. I’m not sure where the delusion leaves off and the scam takes over.

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Meh. I’ll keep my Heavy Sixer.

I have two products that started on kick starter.

The Misen chef knife. They were already shipping prototypes/samples to reviewers to generate buzz and had their manufacturing and shipping figured out by the time they even posted the page. Were raising funds for a first batch and QC using pre-orders.

The other was the Anova. A side project from the 2nd largest name in industrial immersion circulators. Using pre-orders to prove to the rest of the company there was a market for home units.

The 1st had already done the work. And the product was coming one way or another.

The 2nd was from a company with a long track record in similar devices.

And that would seem to be the trick. Neither one of them was a company that only exists on paper pushing a product at earliest conception with vague details.

Kickstarters got other issues. The Anova I figured I’d wait till the early kinks were worked out. I only backed the knife through kickstarter. A delay due to increased demand was announced very early and a clear new time line for delivery was announced. After that there was a couple months delay due to customs and packaging issues. IIRC it was within two months of the stated delivery date. Everyone knew what was going on. Before the original due date hit (as in the non updated one we knew they weren’t going to hit) backers began feaking out. Accusing the company of ripping people off. Being overly late. Not being communicative. The closer you got to release the more that ratcheted up. People threatening law suits. Demands for massive changes to the product to suit backers who tossed in more money. A lot of "I’m lawyer. And I’m filing a class action law suit. " I mean these guys were confirmably in China posting pictures of the QC line. And posting GPS coordinates for the container ship.

After shipment it got even worse. With routine consistency issues you’d expect out of a first run product thrown about as proof the product was a ripoff. People who backed late enraged they didn’t get their product first. Every even mildly negative review tossed around. Posting personal information about the founders. It was a pretty nasty environment.

I wouldn’t be interested in using kickstarter again. And at this point I’m definitely looking side eyed at any seeming legit company willing to do so. It very much seemed like the whole “community” there is actively rooting for, And seeking to cause, failure.

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