Atari’s Fred Chesnais discusses the Atari VCS and the future of gaming

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Atari, the iconic video game company that revolutionized the industry in the 1970s, is making a comeback with its latest console, the Atari VCS. In an exclusive interview with VentureBeat, Fred Chesnais, CEO of Atari, shares his insights on the development of the Atari VCS and his vision for the future of gaming. This article delves into the key highlights of the interview, shedding light on Atari’s plans for the console, its unique features, and the challenges they faced during its development.

The birth of the Atari VCS

Chesnais begins by discussing the inspiration behind the Atari VCS. He explains that Atari wanted to create a console that would bridge the gap between retro gaming and modern technology. The VCS aims to capture the nostalgia of classic Atari games while also offering a platform for new and innovative gaming experiences. Chesnais emphasizes that the VCS is not just a retro console but a versatile entertainment system that can be used for streaming, browsing, and even as a PC.

Features and capabilities

The interview then delves into the unique features and capabilities of the Atari VCS. Chesnais highlights that the console runs on a custom Linux-based operating system, allowing users to access a wide range of games from different eras. The VCS also supports 4K HDR content, providing stunning visuals for modern games. Additionally, it offers a unique hybrid gaming experience by allowing users to switch between a classic joystick and a modern controller. Chesnais believes that this flexibility will appeal to both retro gaming enthusiasts and modern gamers alike.

Challenges faced during development

Developing a new console comes with its fair share of challenges, and Chesnais discusses some of the hurdles Atari faced during the development of the VCS. One of the main challenges was striking a balance between nostalgia and innovation. Atari wanted to create a console that would evoke memories of their classic games while also offering something new and exciting. Chesnais explains that finding the right balance required extensive market research and feedback from the gaming community. Another challenge was ensuring compatibility with a wide range of games. Atari worked closely with developers to optimize their games for the VCS, ensuring a seamless gaming experience for users.

The future of gaming

In the final section of the interview, Chesnais shares his vision for the future of gaming. He believes that cloud gaming will play a significant role in the industry, allowing players to access games on any device without the need for powerful hardware. Chesnais also emphasizes the importance of community and social interaction in gaming. He envisions a future where players can connect and collaborate seamlessly, blurring the lines between single-player and multiplayer experiences. Chesnais concludes by expressing his excitement for the future of Atari and the gaming industry as a whole.


The interview with Fred Chesnais provides valuable insights into Atari’s latest venture, the Atari VCS, and their vision for the future of gaming. The console’s unique features, versatility, and commitment to both retro and modern gaming make it an intriguing addition to the gaming market. Despite facing challenges during development, Atari has managed to create a console that captures the essence of their iconic brand while embracing technological advancements. With their focus on cloud gaming and community-driven experiences, Atari aims to shape the future of gaming in exciting and innovative ways.