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Atari bets on crypto and setting out to dominate the videogame industry’s crypto market

LISTEN TO ARTICLE Atari VCS Source: Atari

As Microsoft Corp. and Sony Corp. prepare to launch their new video-game consoles, another legendary player, Atari, is readying its first new hardware in more than 20 years. The Atari VCS will come with a twist -- a way for gamers to spend a cryptocurrency while they play.

First teased several years ago and expected to ship in November, the Atari VCS is being called a mini-console or a gaming computer. The product will offer access to more than 100 Atari arcade games and home classics, like Pong, plus new titles. It will have internet connectivity and let consumers buy products using Atari Tokens, which will go on sale in late October.

“We have a brand, we have a following -- we think we are going to get some attention in any case,” said Chief Executive Officer Frederic Chesnais, adding that his competition is more the iPhone than an Xbox or PlayStation. “After that the product has to be good.”

On Oct. 29, Bitcoin.com Exchange will start selling $1 million worth of Atari Tokens for 25 cents apiece to retail investors outside of the U.S. The tokens will be used for in-game purchases and for partner games, as well as eventually in the broader gaming ecosystem if Atari’s effort to create a standard currency for the industry bears fruit. The company is also working on a gaming stablecoin, which won’t be as volatile as most tokens. But it isn’t close to launch, said Chesnais, who led Atari out of its 2013 bankruptcy.

The push is part of Chesnais’s seven-year effort to revitalize Atari SA, making it more modern and relevant. While Atari’s pred...

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