Atari revealed this Tuesday that its upcoming Ataribox console will be based on Linux OS and that it will be powered by a customized AMD chip. The retro gaming company also said the new Ataribox will cost anywhere between $249 and $299 when it launches during the spring of 2018.
The retro revival console will be made by Atari and crowdfunded by fans through Indiegogo. The campaign is set to start this fall and wrap up before the end of the year to give the company time to make it and meet its spring deadline next year.
Atari seeks to capitalize the sudden popularity of retro games and consoles in a portable yet readymade format that allows nostalgic players experience the fun of their youth. However, the New York-based firm is going all in and packing streaming, internet searching, and music playing to the feature of its latest machine.
What will the Ataribox be capable of?
Inspired by the design of the iconic Atari 2600, the new Ataribox will be capable not only of playing the classics, but also compete with other consoles in the market by offering streaming, social applications, music, and browsing, according to the company.
Being based on an open environment like Linux, the Ataribox won’t be tied solely to proprietary experiences. It will also be able to run games from other platforms, namely PC games, thanks to its customized chip provided by AMD.
It is estimated that the processor won’t be all that powerful, giving the Ataribox just enough power to run standard desktop versions of some games that are not too demanding. Anything heavy on graphics and complex on gameplay probably won’t fly on the upcoming box.
— atari (@atari) September 26, 2017
Some people don’t like the Ataribox’s price range
Atari has yet to release more details about the hybrid Ataribox, but even without a full spec sheet out in the wild, some people are already saying the starting price might be too much for a console of its kind. $249 is the same price of some Xbox One S configurations and bundles, and $299 is the realm of PS4 and Nintendo Switch costs.
Skeptic gamers and enthusiasts question the cost-effectiveness of the Ataribox, since it wants to offer the best of both the retro and the modern world but hasn’t proved yet its ability to deliver on that second promise. The Indiegogo campaign might launch next month with a yet unknown goal.
Depending on the configuration and design, the Ataribox will be cheaper or pricier. Tech purists also suggest the price of the console makes no sense judging by the AMD chip it will pack, particularly if it won’t let the box run next-gen games at 4K and such. We will have to wait for Atari to shed more light on the issue soon.