Rob Wyatt, the architect behind the Atari VCS retro console - renamed from the Ataribox previous year - has revealed to The Register that he has left the project as of last Friday, saying that he Atari "haven't paid invoices going back over six months" to his consultancy. With Wyatt and his team's departure from the project, the future of the Atari VCS is on rockier ground than ever.
With a big name behind it and the always effective element of nostalgia, the Atari VCS was able to easily gather enough funds for its stab at a console that isn't exactly just an Atari remake.
Atari has lost the architect for its Atari VCS console.
According to The Register, Rob Wyatt, a founding member of the team behind the Xbox, has resigned as architect of the Atari VCS project. Tin Giant was contracted to help design and build the Atari VCS.
Atari reportedly only received a prototype motherboard in September, the report states.
Atari has also published a Medium post to update fans about the VCS, along with photos of the device's custom thermal solution, PCB board and case.
The resignation of Wyatt is the latest in a line of problems that the VCS has faced since its initial "Ataribox" announcement back in the summer of 2017. We're just a few months short of the release date, so it won't be long until we know if Atari delivered on its promises of a retro console that "is meant to be your machine". Instead, the Atari VCS would take inspiration from the Atari 2600, but still, run modern games. The Atari VCS would still play classic games thanks to access to something called the Atari Vault, which comes pre-loaded with 100 games. The Atari VCS plastic parts are almost complete, but this is an ongoing process and the photos don't do justice to the result, looking a lot more plastic than they will turn out to be.
Atari said the tooling for the VCS' plastic components are "largely full" and that gaming equipment vendor Power has "the superior new Atari Basic Joysticks and Atari Fashionable Controllers almost prepared for mass manufacturing". "Along the way, he has also lent his expertise to many AAA video games and high-end movie special effects", Atari stated in a press release announcing its hiring of Wyatt. "We remain confident in the Atari VCS as the entire team works diligently to bring forth its vision according to plan, and we will continue to communicate accordingly over the coming weeks and months, including hands-on presentations to key media and partners planned for later this fall".
Matt Kim is a reporter for IGN.