Atari announces the Ataribox
The latest nostalgia-inducing console is built on Linux.
After the success of Nintendo’s NES mini and SNES mini compact consoles, which emulate classic games in micro cases designed like the larger originals, Atari has revealed it’s releasing the Ataribox ( www.ataribox.com).
This compact machine will come with a number of classic Atari games preinstalled, but unlike Nintendo’s offerings, the Ataribox will run on desktop components, as well as a form of Linux that should make tinkering with the box easier.
The Ataribox will be available in two models – one with a classic wood grain front, and another that’s black and red – and will include an HDMI output, four USB ports and an Ethernet cable port. It’s also planned to support SD cards, which could make it straightforward to bring games, media and other content to your Ataribox.
Inside the box there’ll be an AMD-customised processor with Radeon Graphics technology, and according to Atari this will bring a full PC experience to the TV, including the ability to stream shows and movies, access Linux applications, browse the web and stream music.
If Atari is successful we could see a popular, and open, Linux box designed for streaming in many people’s homes, which could give a real boost to Linux’s perception amongst gamers. There are some caveats, however. Atari has been a bit vague around a launch date but, so far, it looks like the company is targeting spring 2018. It’ll also be crowdfunding the Ataribox via Indiegogo, so there’s still a chance that it’ll never become a reality.
It’s also worth noting that the company called Atari has very little to do with the original Atari, inc company expect for owning rights to its games and intellectual property. This incarnation of Atari hasn’t looked after its legacy that well, releasing a stream of modern updates to Atari games that were met with critical derision. Let’s hope it takes more care with the Ataribox.
The Ataribox presses all the right nostalgia buttons. Let’s hope it meets its potential.