Atari done headlines currently when it announced a initial genuine sum about a Ataribox, a initial home console in over dual decades. The console will run on a Linux PC platform, come stocked with a mid-grade tradition AMD processor and cost, trust it or not, between $250 and $300 (around £185 and £220, AU$300 and AU$380) – usually as many as a mint Xbox One S or a PS4 Slim.
The idea, Atari settled in a press release, is to emanate a console that goes over gaming. Not usually will it play aged games, though it will play new games, too, as good as tide shows and movies, entrance applications, record onto amicable networks, crop a web and tide music.
It’s a bizarre instruction for a company, and even foreigner deliberation that companies like Ouya and Valve have attempted this in a past 5 years and weren’t met with many success.
And while we know a reason to a stupidity here – Atari wants to emanate a complicated console that will have all a customizability of a PC though still contest with a PS4 and Xbox One – we can’t assistance though feel that Atari is chasing dual rabbits and firm to locate neither.
To locate a rabbid … er, rabbit
I’ll apologize for a truisms forward of time, though honestly, I’m not certain there’s a improved approach to explain since this is such a bad thought than referencing normal wisdom.
There’s an aged observant that goes, “If we follow dual rabbits, both will escape.” Some consider a observant is Russian in origin, others consider it could be from Confucius. It doesn’t unequivocally matter who came adult with it. The thought is undying and transcends cultures: If we try to do dual things simultaneously, it’s really expected that you’ll destroy during both.
An Atari console that will play some aged Atari games and some newer indie games, on tip of charity an open-source handling complement for people who like tweaking consoles, is clearly perplexing to constraint 3 opposite audiences with a same product – a product that could cost some-more than possibly a Xbox One or a PS4.
Sure, there’s no mistreat in adding facilities that raise a product, though pier on mixed facilities in an try to duplicate something that’s operative good elsewhere obfuscates a purpose of a product. In short, rambling pattern will positively penetrate a product.
If this were a singular and novel thought that no association had ever attempted before, I’d be behind it 100% – as a futurist we see a need to try new product spaces. But this is, in so many ways, roughly matching to what Valve illusory 4 years ago with a Steam Machine program, radically a multitude of low-end PCs that could live in a vital room.
In box you’ve lost what they were, Steam Machines were console-sized PCs. They could play many games during middle or low specs, and even authorised we to tide games locally from your high-powered gaming PC in a other room.
They offering streaming services and web browsers, applications and a song actor – heck, Valve even grown a possess season of Linux called steamOS to tie a self-evident room together.
While a formula of Valve’s examination weren’t all bad (I mean, a Steam Controller is still indeed a neat peripheral), these products weren’t drifting off shelves. In fact, of all a manufacturers who primarily sealed adult to be partial of a program, usually one or dual have returned to make a supplement to their initial device in a final few years.
Steam Machines weren’t a disaster … though they’re not accurately a kind of products Atari should be fervent to replicate 4 years after a association like Valve attempted it and didn’t succeed.
A bird in a palm is value dual in a Bush(nell)
The china backing to a conditions is that a console’s usually removing into growth now. Atari has nonetheless to launch a IndieGoGo crowdfunding debate for a Ataribox, and we’re during slightest 6 months divided from a hardware’s Spring 2018 launch window.
It’s a china backing since there’s still time for Atari to figure a Ataribox into something gamers wish – not a counterpart of a Steam Machine, not an Ouya 2.0, though a console that’s hyper-focused on obliging one set of gamers, not conquering a whole kingdom.
Because, look, if Atari doesn’t do that, a Ataribox is cursed to fail.
The irony in all this is that it’s entrance from Atari, a association that, 20 years ago, was all too happy to duplicate what Nintendo and Sony were doing.
Remember a Atari Lynx, a complement that attempted to out-Gameboy a Gameboy? Remember how definitely awful a Atari Jaguar CD fared opposite a strange PlayStation and SEGA Saturn? What creates Atari consider a Ataribox is going to transport any differently this time around?
I’m not observant that Atari has to duplicate any existent console. I’m not observant that Atari needs to do anything radically different, either. But look, Atari, if you’re going to get behind into a hardware diversion after all this time, we substantially shouldn’t do a accurate thing Valve did dual years ago with a combined reward of aged Atari games. That’s not going to pierce consoles.
So what can Atari do to make this heart of a good thought a success?
Drop a specs, condense a price, find some partners, chaperon in a new epoch of permitted 8-bit games and give gamers a collection to make it. You can positively have a height crowded of new, overwhelming games alongside all a arcade classics if we aren’t fearful to give gamers (the people who should be your primary customers) a collection they need to make games for themselves.
Target gamers. Not media enthusiasts, Linux users, Xbox/PS4 fans or anyone else. Because one gamer in a hand, Atari, is value dual in a bush.