Atari, the once iconic console-game maker has been out of the game for over 20 years. At E3 2017, however, the company teased a brand new, wood-encased console and little else. Now, we have some more information on the console and the kind of hardware we can expect.
According to a report in VentureBeat, the console is will launch in “Spring 2018” — around March — and will be priced in the $250 to $300 range. The same report adds that the console will be powered by AMD, as confirmed by a tweet from AMD CEO Dr Lisa Su.
We don’t have any details about the processor yet, and the report only states that we’re looking at a custom AMD CPU and Radeon GPU.
The report adds that Atari intends to crowdfund the console via an Indiegogo campaign, which will be kicked off soon. Apparently, the console will be more like a Linux-powered PC than a dedicated games console like a PS4. It will launch with a back catalogue of some of Atari’s classic titles, however. Since it’s running Linux, any Linux-supported game should be able to run on the console. Atari tells VentureBeat that the system will be an “open platform”. A custom UI will be overlaid on the Linux OS to make the device more TV and controller friendly.
In an interview with GamesBeat, Atari’s Feargal Mac, creator of the Ataribox, revealed that the inspiration for the device was the kids he saw connecting their laptops to a TV so they could play Minecraft. This console will offer similar functionality, but with a better UI.
It’s too early yet to speculate on Atari’s ultimate goal in releasing the platform, but it’s clear that Atari is cashing in on nostalgia. After all, Nintendo, with its NES Classic Edition consoles, has proven that there’s a market for said nostalgia.
— Lisa Su (@LisaSu) September 26, 2017