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.