New Details Confirmed Over Atari’s New Console – The Ataribox
Mike Sanders / 4 years ago
Atari really is making a new console
Atari is a brand that suffered heavily in the 1990’s. When Atari’s initial struggles began, they ended up being purchased by Jack Tramiel. Under his “leadership”, the company was bled dry over 10 years to eventually become a shell of its former self.
The last official console release for Atari was the 64-bit Jaguar in 1993. Now, at the time this seemed very impressive, given that the best we had was 16 bit Sega or Nintendo. Even the PlayStation One, which came a year later was only 32 bit. So why the Jaguar wasn’t a success is a mystery to some, but I can sum it up easily in 3 points.
- The console was overpriced.
- Developing for it was notoriously tricky (on a Dreamcast level of difficulty).
- It simply wasn’t very good.
I should add, that despite the 64-bit tag, even that wasn’t true. It was 2 x 32-bit processors working awkwardly together.
Anyway, the Jaguar failed and with it went Atari. Outside of retro collections, the last that was seen of Atari was the repurposing of Jaguar consoles for dentist X-rays. No, I’m not kidding.
Therefore when a new Atari console was announced, older gamers simply couldn’t believe it.
Many thought that this was just Atari’s marketing team spewing a bit of hyperbole over the Classic consoles, which you can check out here.
So, history lesson aside, this new console marks a return of one of the biggest names in home computing.
So, what do we know so far about the Ataribox?
- The console is called the Ataribox. So far so good right?
- The console will be sold with 2 designs. A modern high gloss black, black and red or a retro wood-paneled style.
- The console will run on a Linux based operating system.
- An AMD custom chip is being designed for it.
- With SD card and USB inputs, it is expected that the Ataribox will hold some form of backwards compatibility.
- Unconfirmed reports expect that new games will be produced for it. It should be noted that no AAA developer has mentioned it yet.
- A release in Spring 2018 is expected (hopefully).
- It will be priced at $300
Of all that, although the price does seem high, to me it is a little encouraging. For a $300 price tag this might mean that Atari is treating this as a very serious gaming console. While they have a lot to do to put off the naysayers, I think this console may be specifically designed to target fans of gaming old and young.
The retro gaming options will allow parents to ensure the old 2600 or even ST classics, while their kids can play brand new shiny HD games.
Dare I say, I think Atari might be on to a good idea here if that’s the case.