My Thoughts on the Ataribox/Atari VCS/Linux Box – What makes the Ataribox so intriguing?

Is it because I’m a fan of retro gaming and the Atari brand is almost the definition of retro?

Is it because I love an underdog and would love to see the brand make some form of comeback in the home console arena?

Is it because they have been teasing us with a new console since the middle of last year and still we barely know anything? Drip feeding pre-rendered images that went from a couple of rectangles one fluoro-orange and one wood-grain.. to a pretty nice design based off the original Atari 2600 (But not really) in both fluoro-orange and wood-grain? To a countdown to their crowdfunding which was delayed (potentially stopped altogether). To what we have now which is the Atari VCS and an ongoing butt load of speculation….. that seems to be culminating in an actual product.

Okay I can see the similarities.. But how cool would it be if it looked exactly like the 2600?

Here is an article that has a conversation between Dean Takahashi from Venture Beat and the AtariVCS team. Here we learn alot about why the delay in crowdfunding occurred and how they’re moving forward. I’m not going to quote anything that was said, because I encourage anyone interested to read the article I linked to. However lets just say it certainly sounds like Atari know what they’re getting into and know it’s not an easy task. Not only is it an entire console, but it has to compete in a console gaming space, between three competitors that have been the main competitors in the space for almost two decades and Nintendo and PlayStation even longer.

Which could be a good thing, I’m sure there are some that are sick of the same three companies dukeing it out year after year. Some people just like to see alternatives. Personally I think there is room for an alternative in the console gaming space, provided it has it’s own spin on things with some exclusives and features the other consoles don’t have. Which I speculate is the back catalog of Atari games, however it sounds like they are working to bring some new games to the console. Whether they are exclusive or not is unknown.

So should we even care about Atari VCS? 

Well you don’t have to care about anything if you don’t want to, and I certainly don’t think I ‘should’ care, but if the Atari has ever been a brand you’ve enjoyed in your life, it sounds like there is going to be something for you on here (Even though it’s just Infogrames who bought Hasbro Interactive who bought Atari from JTS who merged with Jack Tramiel’s Atari Corporation who bought Atari after the Video Games Crash of 1983.. I’m allowed to reference Wikipedia because this isn’t university). Anyway.. I think anyone who’s ever been interested in Atari should keep one eye on what’s happening because it’s starting to gain some momentum at this point with plans to release pre-orders in April.

It will be curious to see what happens with Atari VCS, as there’s still so many unanswered questions. What are the exact specs? (here are some approximate specs) What exclusives will it have? What will it come with out of the box? When will it release?

Speculation is fun and I personally enjoy the journey between announcement and release of things, so I look forward to seeing what news comes next from Atari. Will it be good news like the start of pre-orders? or will it be another delay? I’m quietly confident that in light of recent events the ball is rolling in the right direction. However I think it will take longer than we think to reach a release.

So if I was to speculate, because I said speculation is fun, it might be mid-next year release, say E3 2019? Maybe it will compete with the PS5 or Xbox Two? Where by compete I mean release around the same time.. I don’t know about compete at a hardware level. But we’ll see!

Featured Image: Some of my Atari Collection, personally I like the look of the far less successful Atari 7800 more.

Post Images: Top – Credit to Atari | Bottom – Usage allowed under CCO Creative Commons License and available via Pixabay.


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