Oh the Ataribox. Atari's first run at a home console since the failure that was the Jaguar. I liked the Jaguar, I've even played a few games on it. I also have a few minutes of Dragon's Lair on Jag CD under my belt from when I was a kid. I remember thinking it was a powerful system but there were hardly any games for it and the controller was just enormous feeling in my hands. Of course now I play the Wii U and the Switch, so maybe that controller wasn't so big. Ultimately though, only 60 some odd games were released for the Jaguar (something like 11 for Jag CD) before it was completely abandoned and Atari left the home console market. Ultimately Atari was bought by Hasbro and that seemed to be the end of a once powerful gaming giant. That is, until Thursday the 14th!
Atari has finally announced the preorder date for the long awaited Ataribox! Most people don't know that the Ataribox is coming and even those who do know that it exists don't know what it really is. A pretty poor start for Atari, but really if you look through their history you can write a college level marketing course in things not to do. It should come as no surprise that Atari hasn't figured out how to fire up a hype train yet, but that doesn't mean the Ataribox is going to be a bad product. Perhaps the Ataribox will be the next big thing everyone needs, because really I don't know anyone who doesn't want Atari to be successful again.
The Ataribox has a planned price tag of between $249 - $299 and you can start preordering it on Dec. 14. Now don't go rushing to your local Toys R Us or anything to submit your preorder, you're going to need to preoder it from indiegogo. Yes, the once powerhouse of the gaming world is crowd funding their resurgence.
So what is Ataribox: As you can see from the image above it is a thin box with a vintage wood trim. You can also get a more modern black and red one. There is an SD card slot, HDMI output and four USB ports. There is also a headphone jack alongside an ethernet cable port. Atari has said that it runs a Linux OS and is powered by an AMD processor and a Radeon graphics card.
From their website Atari says that the Ataribox will allow you to "Connect, Game, Stream like never before," going on to say there will be retro games, new indie titles and an open Linux OS. This screams to me that they will support modern wireless controllers and possibly even keyboards. In one of the images that was put out, it appears to show someone playing the Ataribox while holding an Xbox controller. The only official controller image so far has been for their joystick, which is very cool but it just won't get the job done for modern gaming and entertainment.
indiegogo Thursday morning however to see if they have something solid for us, and my credit card will be at the ready just in case.