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

The forthcoming Atari VCS got a mixed reception from players, who are wary of a nostalgic cash-grab but hopeful for something more versatile and capable than Nintendo's one-shot classics consoles. A great sign: not only has it received spec bumps to 8GB of RAM and a decent GPU, but owners can install Linux. You probably won't want to, but it's proof of the system's general-purpose performance and open-ness.

In the spirit of being open, Atari wants the VCS platform to give developers all the freedom they need to be creative. Your solution to a problem doesn’t have to make sense to me, it just has to make sense to you. We’ll support you as much as we can to make sure your solution works. One thing you’ll never hear from us is “Why do you want to do that?”

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The VCS hardware will be powered by an AMD Bristol Ridge family APU with Radeon R7 graphics and is now going to get 8 gigabytes of unified memory. This is a huge upgrade from what was originally specified and unlike other consoles it’s all available, we won’t reserve 25% of hardware resources for system use.

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.

If you do just want a one-shot classics console and can't wait, though, Atari Flashback Gold [Amazon] comes in under $70 and has 120 games, two controllers and the Look.

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