Classic Retro Video Game Blog

8 Bit Central - Retro Gaming Blog

July 2017 Retro Gaming Article


July 17, 2017 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

This Ataribox “tease” seems more of an admission they may not have a working prototype

Rendered images of the Ataribox
A proper tease can start with rendered images, but must soon move on to photos of the device and screenshots of games or UI.

Update: Crowd Funding?

Eurogamer reports the Ataribox may be crowd funded to limit risks for Atari's holding company!
"To limit risk taking, this product will initially be launched within the framework of a crowd-funding campaign," the note reads.
Could this be a crowd-funded product (aka: Kickstarter or similar site)? This detail has been absent from Atari's announcements. I see little evidence they have a proof-of-concept or prototype and even ATARI isn't confident enough to release the Ataribox without crowd funding. Combine that with past "Atari" products from the last few years and it paints a fairly dismal picture for those assuming this will reboot Atari's console fame.



Atari's brand has been in the possession of a holding companies for years. In the last few years the brand has been licensed for a variety of projects and products. All seem to have been executed by third party companies, which made a recent (early June) Atari announcement quite intriguing. They announced a new game console - the Ataribox. They touted it was "years in the making" and would support retro and modern games.

This brought widespread interest across the web, but quickly died-down as no new info appeared on their Ataribox website. Today they sent out an email to those who subscribed. It contained some rendered images and another round of vague info with no real specs.

At this time, I'd have to say we won't see the Ataribox for sale for another year. I wonder if they shouldn't have begun the tease at next year's E3 2018. I'm guessing they are teasing again with rendered images because they don't have a prototype console to photograph. Further supporting this is the lack of game info - not even a screen shot. The controller? Another mystery.

When they say is will cater to retro and modern games... will it play Asteroids and Railroad Tycoon? We live in a world of information and recently, a plethora of fake news. I wish Atari would release more info or at least tell us what phase of development the Ataribox is in currently. Their dearth of info suggests the project is in it's infancy. They wouldn't want to tip their hand too much, but their info makes me want a Retron 77.

I am excited to get more info, but the slow trickle doesn't satisfy me when I compare it to some of the former "Atari" products recently released. I'd like some justification to become legitimately excited for this. If it's just another download box or wanting to topple the Xbox empire, then I can quietly leave it alone. But if there's a chance that a cool Atari console could come to market, I'd like to know a bit more about it all! :)

Rendered images of the Ataribox In the information age, one can't tease too much without upping the ante. With this round of rendered images, one has to wonder if they have a prototype yet.
Rendered images of the Ataribox I'd like to have seen some controller pictures and more info about potential games. With this info lacking, it's hard to know how soon the Ataribox is slated for retail release.

I Really Do Love Atari... no really

I love Atari as much as the next person. At age twelve I used all my powers of persuasion to get my Mom to take me to a local appliance store that, among the washers, dryers, and refrigerators, carried Atari's home gaming console, The Atari 2600. That day changed my world and converted our family TV from an idiot-box to an interactive experience.

So, I do love "that" Atari, but fully realize it no longer exists. Gone are the days of Nolan Bushnell's crazy inventive ideas. Atari today is a holding company that bought the brand and it's iconic IPs. They've licensed the Atari brand for a bunch of projects, none of which made much impact.

Rendered images of the Ataribox The Atari email sent to Ataribox list subscribers On July 17
Thanks again for signing up to learn more about the Ataribox project!

We've been blown away by the feedback since the teaser release, and today, we're excited to share an exclusive first look at the Ataribox design with you.

Our objective is to create a new product that stays true to our heritage while appealing to both old and new fans of Atari.

Inspired by classic Atari design elements (such as the iconic use of wood, ribbed lines, and raised back); we are creating a smooth design, with ribs that flow seamlessly all around the body of the product, a front panel that can be either wood or glass, a front facing logo, indicator lights that glow through the material, and an array of new ports (HDMI, 4xUSB, SD). We intend to release two editions: a wood edition, and a black/red edition.

As you can guess, those ports suggest modern internal specs. It also means that while we will be delivering classic gaming content, we will also be delivering current gaming content.

We know you are hungry for more details; on specs, games, features, pricing, timing etc. We're not teasing you intentionally; we want to get this right, so we've opted to share things step by step as we bring Ataribox to life, and to listen closely to Atari community feedback as we do so. There are a lot of milestones, challenges and decision points in front of us in the months ahead. We'll be giving you lots more information and status updates as we progress, and we are thrilled to have you along for the ride!

Hope you like where we are taking this, we'll be in touch soon.

The Ataribox Project team.

PS: Please let us know what you think via our social channels; and also please like, follow, subscribe, and share as much as possible!

« Return to the main Retro Gaming Blog 2017



Printed: