As we get ready to talk about nothing but the SNES Classic for the next couple of weeks, Atari quietly disclosed some new details about its own console: the Ataribox. Chief among the new details is its price, which could run anywhere between $250 to $300.
In a new report by VentureBeat, Ataribox creator Feargal Mac said that the Ataribox will soon begin a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo this fall, with a planned spring 2018 launch. According to the report, the Ataribox will run Linux and have a custom AMD processor and Radeon graphics, and a custom UI for TVs.
Apparently, in addition to playing classic Atari games, the Ataribox can play non-Atari PC games like Minecraft or other PC games, but not Triple-A games with high-end graphics. The Ataribox can also stream, run apps, browse the web, and play music, making the system much more of a general entertainment console than a throwback retro system like the NES or SNES Classic from Nintendo.
The Indiegogo campaign will apparently factor in fan feedback, especially for things like content, colors, special editions, and design. However, key parts of the Ataribox's design will remain like the throwback, faux wood that evokes the design of the original Atari.
"It's a very flexible product, and you won't need to spend more money if you don't want to," said Mac about the Ataribox. "With the Ataribox, we wanted to create an open system, a killer product where people can game, stream and browse with as much freedom as possible," said Atari CEO Fred Chesnais in a statement.
It's interesting to see the Ataribox be set up as an actual console rather than a retro novelty, but time will tell if this is Atari's reemergence in the tech and console space, or if this ends up as another Ouya.