Originally revealed during E3 2017, we're finally getting our first good look at the upcoming Ataribox, the first brand new console from the folks at Atari to grace living rooms in several decades.
About a month ago, Atari CEO Fred Chesnais confirmed that the company was indeed working on a brand new console. He had little to say about what he was calling the "Ataribox" at the time, other than the fact that it was being built. Around that time, we also got to clap our peepers on a brief trailer that, along with the Atari logo, showed off close-up views of a piece of hardware sporting the same logo and some sweet, sweet wood paneling.
This week, Atari has pulled back the curtain a bit further, sending out an email with some extra details on the Ataribox; which is, apparently, the machine's actual name. While there are only a few bits of information pertaining to what the box actually does, at least we finally got a good look at the hardware.
The announcement states that the design was inspired by classic Atari machines, and we think it actually looks pretty snazzy. When the Ataribox launches, it'll come in two flavors, including wood paneling and a more modern black and red design. We're not here to tell you how to live your life, but only one of those options is the correct one and it rhymes with "smood smaneling." While we really like the design, we've come to learn over the years that ribs on top of a piece of hardware traditionally lead to dusting nightmares. Still, we'll forfeit a little extra care time for that throwback to the Atari 2600.
As for the hardware, we know that there will be indicator lights that shine through the front plating, four USB ports, a slot for an SD card and HDMI output. The announcement goes on to tout "modern internal specs," that will support both classic games and "current gaming content." Since there is no disc slot, we're guessing Atari isn't aiming to support games like Red Dead Redemption 2 or Destiny 2, but we don't want to rule anything out until they've delivered final word.
It seems more likely that the Ataribox will boast classic Atari games, as well as modern offerings that would be at home on networks like Xbox Live or the Nintendo eShop. Speaking of Nintendo, we're inclined to believe that the Ataribox will be similar to their NES/SNES Classic Mini consoles. We figure they could put the entire Atari 2600 library on that bad boy and not even take up a gigabyte of space. We like classic gaming as much as anyone, but we're not sure there's an audience out there willing to buy those 40-year-old games piecemeal. Then again, maybe they'll sell them in themed bundles.
At this point, though, all we can do is speculate. Without information on a price, launch date or library available, at least we now know what the Ataribox will look like.