Atari has just revealed via a mailchimp newsletter than they intend to release their new retro-looking console, Ataribox, for 300$ in early 2018 (late spring). You may be wondering why we are even covering this? Well, big surprise, this will run Linux:
Ataribox will be powered by an AMD customized processor, with Radeon Graphics technology. It’ll run Linux, with a customized, easy-to-use user interface. This approach means that as well as being a great gaming device, Ataribox is also a full PC experience for the TV, bringing you streaming, applications, social, browsing, music, and more.
So it will be cheap, come up with an AMD APU (meaning not too powerful) and at this kind of price point we should not expect tons of storage by default.
They do mention that you should be able to access games you have bought through other channels, which clearly sounds like GOG, Steam and the like.
Linux lets us be more open; you can access & customise the OS, & you can access games you’ve bought from other content platforms (if compatible with the OS and HW).
As you can see from the pictures the design is pretty sleek and pleasing if you like the aesthetics of the 70s. At least this console will not look like all the other ugly boxes out there.
They are about the launch an indiegogo campaign (to raise funding I guess) so I am not entirely sure whether or not they will go ahead with the production in case the campaign does not meet their expectations. We will have to wait to know more.
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Will Atari-in-name-only sell more units of the Ataribox than Tommo sold of the Neo Geo X? I doubt it, although the Ataribox has a decent chance of surpassing the sales of the Commodore 64x, if the former comes to fruition. I also don’t believe it will surpass Atari Flashback sales.
What nostalgia-pandering licensed crud is next, PC Engine NG? Another Coleco-in-name-only console?