Coming as a surprise to pretty much everyone, two of the primary players in the very first video game console war have both announced their intention to release a brand new console to market in the coming months. Atari Interactive plans to release their new Atari VCS to market in 2019, and have carefully shared limited bits of information with the gaming public. Intellivision Entertainment also recently came out of the woodwork to announce that they also plan to release a new Intellivision console to market, but details so far are scarce, and a release date is unknown. Given the relative maturity of the market, I thought I’d take a look at where these companies came from, and why they think now might be the right time to join in the festivities. I’ll also look at whether or not either is likely to be successful…
Given our small population and relative isolation compared to many other Western countries, being Australian has its frustrations at times. We lag behind when it comes to Internet speeds, our pricing is driven northwards by the effect of the “Australia Tax”, and we often find ourselves late to the party in terms of innovation and product release (although it must be said that we do tend to be a testing ground for software releases, as going live in Australia isn’t likely to crush servers).
Being a collector in Australia is also impacted by these issues – on the one hand, we have limited access to items as there are fewer people selling them, but more importantly, given we are now an interconnected world, buying online can come with extremely painful shipping charges. This means that something that would ordinarily cost $50-100 locally could fetch upwards of $150-200 when buying from overseas.
So what are our options here? Are we really just out of luck? In this post, I’ve summarised all the options available to the modern collector (well, all the options I could think of, at least).