A little over 40 years ago, the Atari 2600 was released and became the ancestor of all home console gaming with huge games like Centipede, Asteroids, Breakout, and Missile Command. Today, Atari has released details of a new console they’re developing called the Ataribox, a hybrid retro, and PC-gaming console.
VentureBeat is reporting the Ataribox will have an AMD processor with Radeon graphics and run Linux. The console is expected to cost between $250 and $300 and release in Spring of 2018. The hardware will come pre-loaded with classic Atari games but will have the capacity to run some PC games. Atari has also stated the console will have streaming, customization options, web-browsing, and media playing.
At the reported price point, the Ataribox would be about the same price as current generation consoles but would lack the game catalog or user base as the Switch, Xbox One or PS4. Functionally, Atari’s console has a similar selling proposition to devices like the Ouya, the Steam Box, or Nintendo’s NES and SNES mini consoles, while projected to cost well over double the MSRP of similar hardware.
Like Ouya, the Ataribox will be relying on a crowdfunding platform before their projected launch next year. The new console will be using Indiegogo to reach customers for their initial sales.
While details are still light, the Ataribox’s designer and general manager Feargal Mac have a lofty vision for the TV-connected gaming console. In an interview with VentureBeat Mac talked about the upcoming system.
“Ataribox is an open system, and while our user interface will be easy to use, people will also be free to access and customize the underlying OS. We wanted to create a killer TV product where people can game, stream and browse with as much freedom as possible, including accessing pre-owned games from other content providers.”
Currently, the Ataribox website has no listed games, features, or partnered developers.
Jeremy is an ex-video game developer that has written for The Escapist. He spends all his free time reading comics, watching every movie that comes out, and playing all the video games.