Atari CEO, Fred Chesnais, admitted that Atari is working on a new video game console. This confirms the rumors that emerged after the appearance of a new teaser about the new console last week.
This new console is called “Ataribox” and it might bring a new and more sophisticated way to play the old popular games. Apparently, the company has been working on this new product for years.
Atari is back in the business with this new console
Last week, a web page –that is not associated officially with Atari– published a 21-second video that showed the appearance of the new console with the logo of Atari. It ended saying “Coming soon, ” and it invited people to enter an email address to “Be the first to know.” Many wondered if this was fake or it is was actually a real thing since nobody makes a game console with wood-grain siding anymore.
However, to clear things up a little bit, Atari CEO Chesnais said at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), that rumors were true. Atari has decided to return to the video games business after filing for bankruptcy protection in 2013. Now the company seems to be profitable. It just licensed its Atari name for the upcoming Blade Runner 2049 movie too.
“We’re back in the hardware business,” he said.
However, Chesnais was reticent on giving details about the console. He said it is based on PC technology. As well, he made clear that they are still working on the final design of the console. He also said they will later give a date for the release, but apparently, it has “years in the making.”
There is a lot of skepticism about the upcoming Ataribox
The last console was the Jaguar console released in 1993, and it was an unfortunate effort. Right now there is no way to say if the upcoming “Ataribox” will put up with today’s super technological and modern gaming consoles. It is expected that this new Atari console will include the classic games; however, will it include these games exclusively? Or it will have other new options? Will it offer the chance to developers to come up with original games? Possibly, it will attempt to be a combination of retro games with a modern design and features.
Some say Atari is just building its very own version of Nintendo’s popular NES Classic Edition that came out to be very popular and was well received even though this mini-retro console had only 30 games and its controllers were wired with short cables. It provided an easy and modern way of playing old games such as the Legend of Zelda in HD and Super Mario Bros. Nintendo stopped producing the console, which cost $60 but it was such a success that people still pay more that $200 to have it. Maybe, that is the current aim of Atari. However, as the company has claimed they have been working on this project for a lot of years, so maybe the project even started before Nintendo’s NES Classic Edition
Will Atari’s new console be capable of competing with today’s best consoles?
It seems like a retro console is the most likely thing Atari could offer now. If this is what the Ataribox is all about, the company should keep prices down and offer all the games Atari has. However, the announcement of Atari’s CEO – though a little vague – lead to think about something else. The new Atari console will use “PC technology” therefore, it will be in capacity and power that what retro console would need. Perhaps, Atari has years working and analyzing a way to launch a product that can compete with Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony’s best products on the video game market.
If this is Atari’s goal, it might be a suicidal mission. The console market is really full of competitive products such as Nintendo’s Switch, PlayStation’s PS4 Pro and PS4 Slim, or Microsoft’s Xbox One and its Xbox One X. The strongest companies in this business are already planning the release of better products too. For example, Microsoft recently invested $100 million in the development of the Xbox One’s controller.
Therefore, the main companies in the business have been very active in the last years. Atari, on the other hand, is just recovering from a period of bankruptcy, so it is not strong enough to create sophisticated platforms and games. It hasn’t produced a console in about more than two decades, and even then it didn’t receive the best feedbacks. Right now, this company just can’t compete with the others. Some have predicted that the “Ataribox” will be just another failure for the company. However, nothing is 100 percent sure at the moment, so maybe it would be pertinent just to wait to know what exactly Atari has up their sleeves.