Atari made a massive announcement. This is the Ataribox, their first proper console since the Jaguar in 1993. Is this just another rework of a retro console like Nintendo has done, or will this compete with the best from Sony and Microsoft (and Nintendo once again)?
To say that details are sparse is not an exaggeration. Basically, we don’t know exactly what games it will play, what the internals will be, or how much it’s supposed to cost. Here’s what we do know:
The Ataribox will come in two editions. One will be a mash-up between modern and retro, with a woodgrain front. The other will be strictly modern, with glass gracing the face of the console. Either way, Atari have hit it out of the park with the design. I just hope the materials are premium enough to deliver on this promising look.
Atari is saying HDMI and 4 USB ports will be onboard, as well as an SD card slot. This implies that it will indeed be able to do some relatively modern things. In their official announcement, the company said:
As you can guess, those ports suggest modern internal specs. It also means that while we will be delivering classic gaming content, we will also be delivering current gaming content.
The question really is if Atari will try to put out a next-gen console that can do both Defender and also crazy 4K at 60fps. Or, will this be like the Nintendo Wii was – a relatively affordable device that focused on fun rather than hardcore gaming? With mobile games being as good as they are today, it would be easier for Atari to put together a machine that competed with the Nvidia Shield.
Whatever the case may be, Atari themselves are still figuring it out.
We know you are hungry for more details; on specs, games, features, pricing, timing etc. We’re not teasing you intentionally; we want to get this right, so we’ve opted to share things step by step as we bring Ataribox to life, and to listen closely to Atari community feedback as we do so. There are a lot of milestones, challenges and decision points in front of us in the months ahead. We’ll be giving you lots more information and status updates as we progress, and we are thrilled to have you along for the ride!
To me, it seems like they are starting with an abstract idea, and announcing a beautiful console before any of it is actually ready. A lot can be said for teasing fans and consumers. I mean, they certainly have this nerd’s attention. I just don’t want this Ataribox to fizzle out before it materializes on my shelf. After all, it is so damn gorgeous.
Are you geeks excited for the Ataribox? Do you think this will make it to production, and should it be hardcore or casual? Sound off in the comments!