Atari an­nounces the Atari­box

The lat­est nostal­gia-in­duc­ing con­sole is built on Linux.

Linux Format - - NEWSDESK -

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.

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