Atari Reveals Upcoming Ataribox Console's Design

Here's something we never expected to write: Atari has revealed more information about its upcoming Ataribox console. That's right. "Atari," "upcoming," and "console" were all used in the same sentence. But don't worry, you haven't accidentally slipped into an alternate timeline or something. You're just witnessing one of the granddaddies of video gaming attempt to make a comeback with its first console since the '80s.

Atari teased the Ataribox earlier this year with a short YouTube video. Now the company has offered a more detailed look at the console's design, and if you're at all familiar with the Atari consoles of yesteryear, the Ataribox will look awfully familiar. It sports the red Atari logo, a bunch of ribs, and optional wood or glass panels. Atari said it plans to offer two versions of the console--a "wood edition" and a black-and-red edition.

The Ataribox is clearly meant to play on people's nostalgia, and that philosophy extends to the console's games, too. Atari said that it plans to offer "classic gaming content" and "current gaming content" with the Ataribox. The company didn't offer any details about what "current gaming content" means, though. Is the Ataribox supposed to compete with other consoles, like the PlayStation 4, or will it focus on mobile games like Ouya did?

We don't know. Atari hasn't responded to a request for comment, and it said in an email newsletter that it's not intentionally withholding information:

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!

That passage suggests that Atari might not even know what the finished Ataribox will look like. Aside from the images shared in the newsletter, the only other information we have about the Ataribox is that it has one HDMI port, one SD slot, and four USB ports. This suggests that the Ataribox will support up to four controllers, and the presence of the SD slot suggests that Atari could be trying to keep down production costs by offering minimal on-device storage.

We expect to learn more about the Ataribox as development on the console continues.

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33 comments
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  • bloodroses
    Interesting. The design actually looks pretty good as it borrows from both the past and present. Let's see if Atari has learned from past mistakes. They could become a contender again if they succeed with a good game lineup and design.
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  • dudmont
    If Atari wants this to succeed, it will have to on it's own merits. It's audience of nostalgics isn't that big anymore, as many gamers are far too young to have been around for pong or pitfall. Even someone of advanced enough age as me, is still too young to really have much remembrance of Ataris from yesteryear.
    I wish them well, but I'm a bit skeptical.
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  • bloodroses
    Anonymous said:
    If Atari wants this to succeed, it will have to on it's own merits. It's audience of nostalgics isn't that big anymore, as many gamers are far too young to have been around for pong or pitfall. Even someone of advanced enough age as me, is still too young to really have much remembrance of Ataris from yesteryear.
    I wish them well, but I'm a bit skeptical.


    A good start by them at least on the retro front will be to actually have the arcade roms of their popular games and not the horrid 2600 ports. But yeah, for them to exceed outside a tiny niche (like the nes classic), they will need to have some strong first party titles.
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