A few years ago a startup called Wonder announced plans to release a gaming smartphone that worked a lot like a Nintendo Switch. While you could use the device as a standalone smartphone, you could also attach controllers for mobile gaming sessions or connect it to a dock for gaming at home.

That phone never saw the light of day. And it probably never will. But the WonderOS platform that was supposed to power the phone will live on.

Atari has announced it’s acquired the assets of Wonder and plans to incorporate the company’s technology into its upcoming Atari VCS game console.

WonderOS is based on Android, while the Atari VCS was originally expected to ship with a Linux-based operating system. I have no idea if this deal means that Atari will change the underlying operating system or if the company has other plans for Wonder’s intellectual property.

While it would seem rather late in the game to make such a major change, the Atari VCS project has experienced some speedbumps along the way, and the console is already expected to support game streaming as well as native games. So maybe an OS change isn’t out of the question.

Anyway, here’s what Atari has to say about the acquisition:

As Atari continues to grow its mobile game business, and re-enter the home hardware market with the new Atari VCS, the WonderOS and mobile IP will make an important contribution in the coming years as the company drives to make mobile gaming and content streaming persistent and pervasive for consumers.


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4 replies on “Atari acquires Wonder, developer of the Android-based WonderOS gaming platform”

  1. Ohmygod. If you have such an identity crysis that you don’t even know what platform your gameconsole will rund how do you expect to sell it? I mean we started at a ‘Steam machine in a sexy retro box’, but turns out SteamOS is dead. We went to linux, after all a lot of games nowdays support linux. And now to Android. Basically an OUYA. You can play Candy Crush and RAIDSHADOWLEGENDS!!!4!, except probably most Android games won’t even run, since, you know, no touchscreen. It saddens me they tarnish the Atari name with this.

    1. Well, for what it’s worth, they’d have to be insane to change up the OS when the thing is supposed to launch in March (assuming no further delays).
      Maybe they just plan on launching…something else later on.
      It’s not like things in the world today aren’t bad, but not everything about everything has to be pumped up to maximum levels of suckage.
      Unless you know something I don’t.

      1. They should’ve just started off with AndroidOS and some MediaTek (Cortex A73) chipset from the beginning. Then they could’ve built an App to play all their Atari games.

        And if they encounter an issue, they could’ve cheated by copying open-source/emulation. And since the overall cost would be insignificant, if/when it flopped, they could’ve sold them at great discount and still turned a profit. Not to mention, they could’ve later introduced their App to the Play Store and have further revenue from there. It’s not like Atari games are demanding anyway…. they’re not Sega/Nintendo/Sony/MS.

    2. There are plenty of games on Android that don’t require a touchscreen. I own an Nvidia Shield, I can attest to that.

      I’m still not sure where they’re going with this thing, though. I gotta think it’s too late in the R&D cycle to completely change OS’s… right?

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