Atari had revealed its newest console and people are still surprised by it. How would they not and the former gaming consoles pioneer was absent for tens of years from the forefront of the industry? What started as a teaser at E3 2017 is now known as the Ataribox, and despite seeing some prototype shots of the console itself we’re still in the unknown regarding its hardware and games.
A recent VentureBeat interview made things a little bit clearer, as Ataribox creator Feargal Mac sat down to talk about how Atari is “back in the hardware business” after a long absence with the Ataribox project. As we previously knew, the console will be pitched for crowdfunding and it looks like the Indiegogo campaign will be launching later this fall with plans to release the device itself Spring 2018.
Atari’s newest console is going to be using Linux as its operating system, with custom AMD hardware under the hood. Mac said that using Linux serves the purpose of Ataribox which is to provide total freedom to users, something that’s better utilized with this popular open-source environment.
“People are used to the flexibility of a PC, but most connected TV devices have closed systems and content stores,” Mac said. “We wanted to create a killer TV product where people can game, stream and browse with as much freedom as possible, including accessing pre-owned games from other content providers.”
In addition to providing freedom in multi-tasking, Ataribox’s OS will apparently be customizable as well despite boosting some smooth and easy to use interfaces. A lot of what was said reminds us of Steam Machines, the TV consoles that were supposed to replicate PC gaming experience in the living room.
Price point might be one of Ataribox’s strengths, as it’s aiming towards $250-$300 putting it below what you’d pay for a normal PS4 or Xbox One. However, we still need to know more about the kind of content to expect. We already know it will have Atari’s greatest classics pre-loaded, so the question remains if this is going to end up like every other Steam Machine running PC games or would it have some sort of exclusive content on top.
We will find more about the project when it launches on Indiegogo later this fall.