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Ataribox will be a gaming PC for the living room

More than just a retro-collection, the console aims to succeed where the Steam Machine failed

Capitalising on the wave of nostalgia sweeping the gaming world, Atari has released more details about its forthcoming console.

The Ataribox takes a similar approach to the SNES-mini with its retro design and catalogue of pre-installed arcade classics. The thing that sets the Ataribox apart, however, is not only the higher price point of $249-$299, but the hardware specs which include an AMD processor and Radeon Graphics.

Feargal Mac, Ataribox general manager said: "People are used to the flexibility of a PC, but most connected TV devices have closed systems and content stores. Ataribox is an open system, and while our user interface will be easy to use, people will also be free to access and customize the underlying OS."

The console will run a Linux OS, in theory making compatible with Steam, and pack enough processing power to run modern games. Unfortunately, a gaming PC for the living room invites only invites comparison to the ill-fated Steam Machine which failed to really capture the market in any meaningful way.

But the Ataribox may be able to carve out a niche as it attempts to combine an expensive nostalgic throwback with affordable gaming PC. The real difficulty will be getting the message through to consumers though as on the surface it looks a lot like a $250 Missile Command machine.

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Latest comments (2)

Murray Lorden Game Designer & Developer, MUZBOZ3 years ago
I'm keen to see how this thing turns out. Hearing that it's Linux, and a bit more versatile, definitely makes me more interested.

[Could do with a spelling and grammar check, there, especially the second to last paragraph.] :D
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Jeff Kleist Writer, Marketing, Licensing 3 years ago
If Atari has made a legal MAME Machine with a fairly priced collection of mass quantities of ROMs, it’s a potential winner. They have to remember that they’re competing with free though, and so $4.99 is probably the sweet spot for most games. If they signed up Konami, Capcom, Sega, Midway etc, and made sure licenses on the IP based stuff like Turtles, X-Men, Simpsons etc were paid up, it could really be something.

Here’s another thing, online play, mandatory. Just thought I’d toss that in there.
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