Atari is, without question, a pivotal company in history of the video game industry. Although they aren’t as popular as they once were, the company is still active. Atari has new plug-and-play consoles slated for release this year, and the company supports contemporary digital platforms, but their next project, the Ataribox, seems to be more ambitious. Here’s what we know about it so far.
Atari’s remained silent regarding their upcoming endeavor. Specifically, as we saw at E3, one of the Ataribox’s designs is intended to mesh modern aesthetics with the retro, wood-esque design of the original Atari 2600. The alternate model will bear a glass panel on the front with red and black hues decorating it. Both will contain USB inputs, an HDMI port and an SD card reader.
Now, new details have emerged. A customized AMD processor with Radeon graphics and a Linux operating system will power the machine, and you’ll be able to perform traditional features such as streaming, playing music and on social media.
Current plans place the Ataribox’s release sometime late 2018, assuming it gets successfully funded. An Indiegogo campaign will launch this season, with more details concerning Atari’s prospective comeback forthcoming. Fans who contribute to the cause will be granted pricing benefits and other goodies, though more details will come later. Currently, the retail price is expected to be between $250 and $300. (Personally, I feel like that price range may deter potential buyers, but I’ll wait for more information before passing that judgment.)
Unfortunately, Atari still wasn’t prepared to discuss what games we can expect, so we’ll have to wait a bit longer for that revelation. While Atari certainly has a venerable back catalog with classics such as Pong, Centipede and Asteroids, that’s not to ignore their modern titles, like Pridefest. Atari is still an active publisher, continuing to support properties like Alone in the Dark and RollerCoaster Tycoon, so the potential for a rich roster of games on the Ataribox exists.
It’s yet to be seen if this will elevate Atari back to the forefront of the industry, but new hardware from Atari is certainly worth keeping an eye on. Given how Nintendo has enjoyed success with their flagship retro replica, Atari certainly hopes to capture that market.