What is the Ataribox & Can Atari make a comeback despite its history?
Atari teased that they were working on a new console apparently called the Ataribox but not much else was said. Many speculated how it would be able to compete with Sony and Microsoft while others thought it would be something akin to the NES CLassic from Nintendo. None of those seems quite likely though.
The history of Atari is a long and convoluted one. But to summarize it down the company has had various deaths over the years, from the first one in the video game crash, to the second one after the crash and it was divided up and sold as parts. So for many years we had Atari which was run by a French company called Infogrames that only used the name they had acquired from Hasbro Interactive while the heart of Atari couldn’t be called Atari but was still releasing games under different names including Midway West. And a bankruptcy not too long ago.
Could it really be a retro console like the NES Classic? That is highly unlikely since Atari is the one who started this trend with the Atari Flashbacks which have had almost yearly releases since 2004, in fact the 9th version of such systems had already been announced and is coming out later this year.
So that’s definitely not what they were talking about. Something like it would be the only option unless they partnered with someone which I believe is what they’ve done. We saw how the RetroVGX licensed the name of Coleco Chameleon and was going to release their console (using the Atari Jaguar molds) until Coleco pulled out after a lot of shady things with the project.
Now Atari decided to focus on their mobile, casino, and Internet of Things offerings since the last bankruptcy and for the most part they’ve done very well. Before that they pretty much only relied on licensing which made up up to 90% of their revenue. But they don’t really have the capital to really go against the deep pockets of Microsoft and Sony nor release a console at a loss that can match the X-Box One and Playstation 4. They cannot compete in today’s market as they are now no matter who their partner may be. Even with the money someone like Apple would not be interested.
So why is it happening? Atari has a bunch of IP to work with and the huge nostalgia factor that people keep relating the game with video games. I believe we’ll see a device that can harken back to the old days with its wooden texture that won’t be android based like the Ouya but will be in similar power and cost as something like the Fire TV.
In fact I believe their partner may very well be Amazon since they’re definitely interested in getting into gaming and have been trying for a while. They’re not a company that gives up easily as we’ve seen over the years. I believe it’ll be cheap compared to the more premium consoles but won’t be a budget device either. It has the potential to shake up the market if it’s doing something new.
I’m really excited at what this could possibly be, since I don’t think this brand is being revived the way it is without a big push or product that brings something new to the table. It will be awesome to see the controllers they could come up with this time, sorry Nintendo please BTFO the king of odd input devices.