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Ataribox: all we need to know about Atari’s quip console

The Atari name still carries a lot of cachet with video diversion fans, given a company’s purpose in formulating a home console marketplace – yet a final square of new hardware, 1993’s Jaguar, was a large flop. 

Since then, a Atari code has altered hands mixed times, emerged from bankruptcy, and been used to marketplace amicable games and online gambling.

It’s been a severe integrate of decades for Atari, that’s to be sure. 

But that could all change with a company’s new, crowd-sourced console: a Ataribox. While sum are still scarce, a Ataribox represents Atari’s carefree quip in a console world, earnest both entrance to strange Atari games and new experiences, pairing a classical with a modern. 

The complement has nonetheless to be entirely minute and while we’re vehement about a probability of a a new console means of personification Atari’s biggest hits like RollerCoaster Tycoon, Driver and NeverWinter Nights, a fact that so tiny is famous about a console is worrying. Atari has nonetheless to betray a operative antecedent to a open and, to make matters worse, announced that it would open pre-orders adult on Dec 14 … usually to check a pre-order routine due to “development problems”. Yikes.

So will this be Atari’s answer to a NES Classic, or should we pattern another Ouya-esque microconsole explosve that falls good brief of expectations? We can’t contend for certain during this point, yet here’s all we know so far…

[Latest update: Atari has behind pre-orders for a new console and has expelled this matter to meddlesome parties – “The countdown to a Ataribox launch on Indiegogo has been strictly  paused. Because of one pivotal component on a checklist, it is holding some-more  time to emanate a height and ecosystem a Atari  community deserves. Building Ataribox is impossibly vicious to us and  we will do whatever it takes to be certain it is value a wait.”]

Cut to a chase

  • What is it? A new Atari console that plays aged games and new ones too.
  • How many will it cost? Estimates are between $250-300
  • When does it come out? Spring 2018 is Atari’s target

What’s an Ataribox?

Atari initial teased a Ataribox behind in Jun with a pretty lightweight website and a brief YouTube clip, and afterwards finally spilled a beans behind during E3. Atari CEO Fred Chesnais, who bought a association following a 2013 bankruptcy, told VentureBeat: “We’re behind in a hardware business.” The essay also claimed a device would be “based on PC technology”.

It wasn’t until Jul that we got a improved clarity of what to pattern when an email blast to fans who subscribed to Atari’s newsletter answered some questions: The Ataribox will be accessible in dual models – one with a classical timber pellet front, and another that’s black and red – with a really slim, streamlined cultured that looks a bit like a wire box or streaming set-top box. Both versions share a same, well-spoken altogether design, with ribbed lines and a lifted back.

Based on a photos we can see that a Ataribox will have several complicated ports in a back, including an HDMI output, 4 USB ports, and an Ethernet wire pier for connected internet access. It’s also designed to support SD cards, that could make it easy to move games, media, and other calm to your Ataribox, or maybe assistance means a homebrew community. Or maybe it’ll only yield expandable storage so users can buy as many or as tiny as they need, rather than Atari make-up a box itself with it.

“Our design is to emanate a new product that stays loyal to a birthright while appealing to both aged and new fans of Atari,” review a email. 

Inside a box you’ll see an AMD customized processor with Radeon Graphics record absolute adequate to run games like Minecraft and lightweight indie titles only as good as a other consoles can. It will also be means to run normal Atari games – yet it won’t take many horsepower to run them.

According to a press recover sent out in late September, all this hardware will assistance a console move a full PC knowledge to a TV, including a ability to tide shows and movies, entrance applications (the console runs on a season of Linux), log-on to amicable networks, crop a web and tide music.

As distant as what a controller looks like – whether it’ll be an Atari 2600 gamepad or something a bit some-more … complicated – we’ll only have to wait and see. 

Which games will it play?

Well, that’s a large question. After all, what good is another console if it doesn’t have good games to play on it? That was one of a many apparent problems with a Atari Jaguar, yet that was some-more than dual decades ago in a totally opposite epoch for gaming, not to discuss on notoriously formidable hardware that was formidable to rise for.

Atari says that a Ataribox will run classical games – digitally, that is, either they’re built-in or downloadable (or both) –which creates a ton of sense. After all, a NES Classic was a large hit, offered out each time it strike stores and withdrawal a lot of fans unfortunate and wanting when Nintendo opted to stop producing a box.  The arriving SNES Classic seems like it’ll be another smash, given how unfit it has been to secure a pre-order for a 16-bit reversion device.

Atari owns a rights to some-more than 200 opposite video diversion properties, including Pong, Missile Command, Asteroids, and Centipede. For a improved spirit during what to pattern from a company, only check out a Atari’s Greatest Hits app for iOS and Android: it offers 100 classical Atari 2600 games that we can buy in tiny bundles, or we can transparent a whole library for $10.

If a Ataribox is patterned some-more like a Ouya microconsole, afterwards it could offer as a height for new and initial calm of all kinds, generally from indie developers.

Obviously, Atari isn’t going to recover a tradition square of hardware, sell a $10 container of games for it, and call it a day. That because a association has also teased “current content” for a Ataribox. Will that meant appearances by other, some-more complicated Atari franchises like Rollercoaster Tycoon, Test Drive, and Ghostbusters? That could meant ports of Atari games we’ve seen on mobile platforms and other consoles over a final integrate decades, or even ported PC games.

Maybe! But it could also meant code new content. 

If a Ataribox is patterned some-more like a Ouya microconsole, afterwards it could offer as a height for new and initial calm of all kinds, generally from indie developers. That would seem to make a lot of sense, generally if a device ends adult being powered by a low-end PC processor, or maybe even Android with a mobile chip in a brew (despite a “PC technology” suggestion). But for now, it’s all only speculation. We know zero for certain.

When will a Ataribox come out?

Atari has been a bit deceptive around this subject but, so far, it looks like a association is targeting Spring 2018, depending on how good a console’s Indiegogo goes.

“We know we are inspired for some-more details; on specs, games, features, pricing, timing etc,” review a company’s Jul 2017 email to subscribers. “We’re not teasing we intentionally; we wish to get this right, so we’ve opted to share things step by step as we move Ataribox to life, and to listen closely to Atari village feedback as we do so.” 

But we do know one vicious detail: a Ataribox will be crowdfunded. Atari doesn’t seem to be utterly as flush with money it was behind in a early excellence days, and a Ataribox is a outrageous risk and will need plenty investment. 

This is apparently a bit of a double-edged sword: If a box gets all a appropriation it needs within a matter of days – it’ll be transparent that Atari has a intensity success on their hands. If they don’t, well, it could be an early genocide for a neat idea.

It wouldn’t make clarity to crowdfund a device that’s already done and prepared to strike retail. Also, a email pronounced there were still decisions to be done “in a months ahead.”

But hopefully we will see it in 2018, then, or beyond. However, even if a console creates a approach to a mass prolongation stage, crowdfunded consoles haven’t had a good run so distant in terms of longevity: a Ouya finished adult being a ephemeral materialisation that yielded severe launch hardware and few essential games we couldn’t play elsewhere. Meanwhile, a PlayJam GameStick landed with a sigh and a Coleco Chameleon flamed out before it was even built.

But if Atari can successfully trade on a classical brand, broach an authentic old-school 2600 experience, and offer adequate constrained complicated calm to clear a price, afterwards maybe a Ataribox can attain where other microconsoles have failed. As with many of a tough sum here, we’ll only have to wait and see – and we’ll keep we updated.

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