The Ataribox, the mysterious console unveiled by Atari at this year's E3, is already ringing alarm bells after the company revealed more details about the upcoming device.
Atari is looking to cash in on the retro console craze that was started last year by Nintendo with the NES Classic Edition, but it is unclear if the company would be able to do that from what we've learned about the Ataribox.
The Ataribox: Here's What We Know About It
The Ataribox announcement at this year's E3 was one of the event's biggest surprises, as the last console that the company released was the Atari Jaguar in 1993.
Early information about the mysterious console included that it will not be a simple emulation device, as it will feature PC technology. More Ataribox details released in July revealed that the console will have several USB ports, an SD card slot, and an HDMI slot, with two models that both feature designs inspired by the Atari 2600.
Atari has now revealed more information about the Ataribox, claiming that the console will be powered by a custom AMD processor with Radeon graphics technology and will run on a Linux operating system. This meant that, in addition to playing video games, the Ataribox is capable of providing a full PC experience for the TV like a set-top box, with functions such as content streaming, launching applications, and browsing the internet. Atari also confirmed that there will be a significant number of classic Atari games pre-loaded on the Ataribox, as well as new games that will be unveiled soon.
The price range of the Ataribox will be between $249 and $299, depending on the edition and memory configuration. Atari said that it will also soon launch an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign for the console this fall, with a target shipping date of late spring 2018.
Will Anybody Buy The Ataribox?
The presence of a Linux operating system in the Ataribox is an intriguing feature, as users will be able to access and customize the console, which is not allowed for other set-top boxes.
However, the price tag of up to $299 could be the deal breaker for most gamers who were looking to purchase the Ataribox. At such a price, the console will compete not with Nintendo's retro consoles, but with current-generation consoles such as the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. From what we know of the device, there is very little reason to purchase the Ataribox, especially as emulators such as the Atari Flashback 8 Gold can be purchased for $79.99 if gamers simply want to relive the classic Atari experience.
There could be more details revealed in the future that might better justify the $299 price tag of the Ataribox, but as it stands right now, the console will be a hard sell for Atari.