The maker of the new Atari console says it will be closer to a mid-range gaming PC than a retro emulator.
The first publicity shots of the Ataribox revealed only that it was in the style of the wooden-look Atari 2600, leading many to assume it was simply the latest in a line of retro machines playing old games. Indeed, many of these already exist for the 2600 taking the form of the familiar joystick.
Now Atari’s Feargal Mac Conuladh, the creator of the Ataribox, has said that while it will support retro gaming, it will also run modern PC games. It’ll be Linux-based with an AMD processor and Radeon graphics. As well as gaming it will support web browsing, music playback and streaming.
The target price is $250-300, which clearly puts it well outside the price range for impulse purchases and novelty Christmas gifts. Instead the target market is more people looking for an easy way to play both retro and modern PC games on a TV screen without having to hook up a computer, with the Atari retro style more of a way to grab attention than a key selling point.
Mac also says the Ataribox will be an open system allowing for customization and that the goal is that owners will be able to import games from other services.
Atari plans to launch the console via an Indiegogo campaign rather than go straight to a full manufacturing and retail chain launch.