Two months ago we started hearing about the possibility of Atari releasing a new console. Very few details were released at this time and we had been asked to wait for more. Finally, an email was released yesterday to those interested about the Ataribox and this is what we have learned.
The Ataribox system will sport a custom AMD SoC (System on a Chip) and will run a flavor of the Linux operating system. Atari is claiming that the Ataribox will not only be a gaming device but will offer a “full PC experience for the TV”. They plan on releasing “modern games” and a large selection of Atari classics. The one aspect of this console that I liked to hear is how it will be an Open platform. This most likely means that we will see software such as emulators and media streamer front ends like Kodi and PLEX added by the community.
“Atari will have to get some serious third-party support to gain any traction in the current market.”
One thing that we have to consider is that this “Atari” is not the same company that Nolan Bushnell founded in 1972. That Atari was Atari Inc. which became Atari Corporation in 1984 and later sold to the French Company, Infogrames Entertainment in 2008. Infogrames Entertainment eventually transitioned to Atari SA. This is the company that holds the licenses to Atari and their back catalog of titles.
The Ataribox will be made available via Indiegogo this fall with plans to start shipping in Spring of 2018. However, at a $250 -$299 price-point, I am concerned that the Atari brand will not drum up enough interest for this console to be more than another “also run” (read: Ouya). If you look specifically at the sub $300.00 competition, Atari is up against the Xbox One S, the Nintendo Switch and the over 60 Million unit selling Playstation 4. Atari will have to get some serious third-party support to gain any traction in the current market. Taking into consideration that Nintendo has spent a couple of console generations to gain this kind of support, I have my doubts that Atari has much of a chance. But we will have to wait for the Indiegogo to gauge the amount of support the gaming community is willing to give to this new Atari and its first console. Keep checking back with NerdLifeTX for further updates on this project.
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