Atari plans to launch game console that looks a bit like a classic Atari device, but which features the guts of a Linux computer in 2018. It’s called the Ataribox; it’s expected to sell for $300 or less; and now the company has announced that pre-orders will begin on December 14th.
Update: The company is delaying the launch of its Indiegogo campaign “because one of the key elements on our checklist, it is taking more time to create the platform and ecosystem the Atari community deserves.”
While the company has shared a bunch of pictures of the upcoming device, details about the hardware have been pretty light. It’s expected to come with a bunch of classic Atari games pre-installed, and it’ll be able to run some PC games as well. It’s basically a Linux computer with the guts of a mid-range PC.
It’s expected to feature an AMD processor with Radeon graphics, come with a game controller featuring classic Atari Joystick-like design, and come in several different memory and storage configurations. Users will also be able to opt for an all-black model or one with wood paneling to resemble a classic Atari console.
The Ataribox will ship with games including Adventure, Asteroids, Breakout, Missile Command, and Yar’s Revenge. It also supports media streaming services including Netflix, Hulu, and HBO Go.
This really feels like a more expensive OUYA. It’s attempting to cash in on the Atari name (which lets be honest doesn’t have the appeal that it did 20 years ago) and they haven’t even said why someone would want to spend $300 on this. For the same price you can buy a Switch!
Please don’t get fooled by this, at the moment it’s just going to be a slightly overpriced PC, running some Linux distro. You’d likely be better off finding an old alienware steambox for less.
It spells “me too” from the re-hashed NES mini collectibles.
Time and time, I see that a good Gaming PC* hooked up to a TV is the best solution for the living room.
Want proper Netflix, Youtube, Streaming options?
Want proper media playback from a large Hard-drive storage?
Or high-quality console like games?
Or just no-compromise systems emulation?
Or a want to play Mobile Apps on the TV?
The only barrier is the unoptimised UI, but even that can be resolved with a little bit of homework and tinkering. The best part is, it can provide one of the best experiences, and save you money from buying a PS4 Pro, Apple TV, BluRay Player, and a SNES mini collectable.
*NCase m1, Ryzen r3-1200, 16GB-2800, GTX 1060, 1TB MX300, 4TB HDD, BR drive
*Silverstone RVz02, Ryzen r7-1700, 32GB-3200, GTX 1070Ti, 1TB EVO, 4TB HDD, BR drive
Who is this appealing to? The 50+ crowd with just enough technical knowledge?
I think Atari missed the boat on finding a demographic interested in this. 1997 would have been a better year to sell this. Anyone who grew up with an Atari is too old to have a decent customer base now (no offense).
The Atari company releasing this computer bears zero resemblance to the Atari that made the old Atari computers and consoles. That company went bust 20+ years ago. I know because I owned shares in it! Since then, the Atari name and logo has passed through a bunch of different owners who have tried to cash in on the memory of the old company. Obviously as a marketing ploy it still works a little since the name odds still well known enough to get some coverages I. the tech press.
I wonder who’s the target audience as well. I don’t think there’s much nostalgia for the “Atari” brand nowadays. The name seems to be mostly just “recognized” by techies/gamers but I don’t see there being much more than just name recognition. Certainly not enough to justify a $300 console purchase.
Maybe there’ll be some people who’d pay $300 for a retro looking Linux PC. Who knows, maybe you’d be allowed to install another Linux distro or even Windows.
Still no information on internal hardware specifications.
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