It’s possible that younger generations of gamers have completely forgotten the name “Atari,” but in the 70s and early 80s, it was the company to beat. A true pioneer of gaming, Atari was at the forefront of the arcade cabinet scene and produced some of the earliest home consoles on the market. The company is also responsible for hits such as Pong, Centipede, Missile Command, Breakout, Asteroids, and Gauntlet. Needless to say, Atari’s output as both a hardware and software manufacturer remains very influential.
Well, it seems like Atari CEO Fred Chesnais wants to make the former gaming giant a big part of the conversation again. Speaking with GamesBeat, he confirmed that the company is developing a brand new console.
“We’re back in the hardware business,” he told GamesBeat. He didn’t go into many more details about the console beyond that. In fact, we don’t know much more besides the fact that it will apparently run on “PC technology.” Chesnais said that Atari is still working on the design and will reveal the console at a later date.
Atari also dropped a trailer for the new console, which teases the return of the wood paneling that was a trademark of the old machines. Again, the wood paneling isn’t confirmed either. Check out the trailer below:
While it’s unlikely that the Ataribox will be anywhere near as powerful as the expensive Xbox and PlayStation consoles currently on the market, it could definitely do well in the retro console sector. Last year, the NES Classic Edition set the gaming world on fire, selling out almost instantly upon release. While Atari’s properties aren’t as popular as, say, Super Mario Bros., the Mini NES proved that there’s still a loyal fanbase of older gamers willing to shell out $60 or more for the classics.
The possibility of an Atari console equal to at least the Nintendo Switch in terms of power is very exciting, though. A fourth console option would be a major shake up for the industry, which has only had three consoles on the market at one time since Sega bowed out of the hardware business with the seriously underrated Dreamcast. Could the Ataribox be a true gamechanger?
To reiterate, it’s highly improbable that Atari, a company that’s nowhere near as big as it once was, could compete with giants like Microsoft and Sony. Still, an Atari retro console is a long time coming.
More on the Ataribox as we learn it!