Ataribox preorders will go live on December 14 along with a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo. The company first talked about the Ataribox in June during the E3, and then unveiled it in July, showing the Atari 2600-inspired PC in a wood-like finish and another one in a modern sleek black and red look.
Ataribox preorders – what to expect
Ataribox is powered by a custom AMD processor, and would run on Linux, enabling players to play both classic Atari games and mid-tier PC games. The price range would be somewhere between $250 and $300.
In an email sent to interested customers, Atari said, “We at Atari are thrilled to introduce you to our first new gaming hardware in over 20 years. Welcome to Ataribox. Pre-orders will officially open on December 14th, 2017.”
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Further, the company stated that its community is its backbone, and thus, it is offering supporters a chance to get the Ataribox first at exclusive discounts. Atari suggested to community members to keep track of their inbox for more information.
Atari has given a modern look to the console, but did not let go of the vintage touch of 2600. The joystick for the new console looks similar to the 2600, but the aesthetics are stylish. The joystick comes with a single button similar to the original Atari 2600. A “reload” and “home” button is also visible on the control pad.
Feargal Mac, Ataribox General Manager, stated that PCs are more flexible, while major connected TV devices have closed systems and content stores. However, Ataribox has an open system with an easy to use interface, and still, it allows users to “customize the underlying OS,” said Mac.
Though the company is launching a crowdfunding campaign, it is still unclear if it would choose the traditional retail model or would go with the crowdfunding way only. Explaining why they chose Indiegogo, Mac said the platform is more concerned with delivering technology products and has a strong foothold in over 200 countries. This would help Atari reach the Atari fans from around the world.
Lack of info on titles
Ataribox would come with the catalog of classic games and “current titles from a range of studios,” the company said. However, beyond this, Atari has not disclosed anything on the game titles.
According to Pocket-lint, Fred Chesnais, Atari’s chief executive officer, said, “With Ataribox, we wanted to create an open system, a killer product where people can game, stream and browse with as much freedom as possible. Atari games and content will be available as well as games and content from other providers.”
However, Atari has not revealed the specific games for the console. Nostalgia often plays well with the hard-core fans, like it did for the NES and SNES classic. However, how well the strategy by Atari of keeping the titles secret will play out, is not known. According to VentureBeat, the console would support all kinds of games that a mid-range PC can run, but it won’t support Triple-A games that need high-end PC performance.
Ataribox is set for release sometime in the spring of 2018. More concrete information on the console is expected to be available later this week, when the Ataribox preorders start.