Atari announced today that they will be providing a massive OS update to the Atari VCS with a number of new features. The primary focus of this update is to respond to a lot of requests and issues reported to the group by players, so the biggest addition is quality of life improvements that will help bolster the console in several ways. This new free update, which you can download right now, adds other features you might enjoy such as online leaderboards, public "Friends" profiles, dashboard notifications (which you can turn off and on), expanded support for game developers to help make their titles more compatible with the console, and several other features we have listed from the devs below.
- Leaderboards: Track and compare scores across your favorite Atari titles with new online leaderboards! See how you stack up against the rest of the VCS community or simply use your rank to brag. The first titles to benefit from the Leaderboard feature are Atari's Recharged series (Black Widow, Asteroids, Breakout), with more to come in the future. The Atari VCS now supports daily, weekly, and monthly leaderboards across regions and globally.
- Public "Friends" Profiles: Enhancements to the friends system, including expanded public profiles, that make it easier to discover and connect with other players.
- DIY Developer Private Beta: With this update, every VCS can be turned into a dev kit. This change makes it easier for developers to create content for the Atari VCS, creates a pathway for homebrew developers to create games and apps for themselves, and eventually share that content with other VCS users. (Atari will work with a small group of independent developers to gather feedback before rolling it out to the full community.)
- Stella/Atari 2600 Integration: The popular Atari 2600 emulator system, Stella, is now fully integrated with the Atari VCS operating system. The integration of Stella makes bringing classic and new third-party Atari 2600 titles to the VCS Storefront easy; VCS owners can expect 2600 titles to join the expanded collection of retro titles.
- And More: Dashboard notifications, USB camera support, and new Customer Support Tools.