Atari Promises 'Classic Gaming Content' For Retro Ataribox

The new console will be similar to the NES Classic in its ability to play older games, and will sport a wood finish akin to the Atari 2600.

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Atari has been teasing a new game console since before E3, but the project has been light on details. But an email to fans from the Ataribox team gives a little bit more insight into what's coming, including a few images.

"Our objective is to create a new product that stays true to our heritage while appealing to both old and new fans of Atari," the email said. "Inspired by classic Atari design elements (such as the iconic use of wood, ribbed lines, and raised back); we are creating a smooth design, with ribs that flow seamlessly all around the body of the product, a front panel that can be either wood or glass, a front facing logo, indicator lights that glow through the material, and an array of new ports (HDMI, 4xUSB, SD). We intend to release two editions: a wood edition, and a black/red edition."

It touched on the ports adding a modernization to the guts of the new unit, adding that the console will offer "classic gaming content" alongside "current" content. . It sounds like the NES Classic coming from Nintendo, although the email did not explain whether that meant new games or remasters of older ones from the Atari library

Atari is still being coy with the actual specs, the games, the pricing and a release date. OK, it's being coy with everything else, but it is promising to share things one step at a time because it wants "to get this right" for fans. It said it has plenty of milestones to hit in the months ahead, and promises status updates as things progress.

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  • reply
    July 17, 2017 9:20 AM

    John Keefer posted a new article, Atari Promises 'Classic Gaming Content' For Retro Ataribox

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      July 17, 2017 10:42 AM

      It would be awesome if this thing had remakes of all their classic games but with voxelized graphics ala Nex Machina. I'd love to play updated versions of Jungle Hunt and River Raid. There were some games on that console that would still hold up today gameplay-wise.

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        July 17, 2017 11:39 AM

        IDK. I've tried to go back several times. All of those games are basically single mechanic explorations. Most wouldn't be considered "games" by today's standards. I also don't see them fully re-imaging all of those games, or even just a few, to approach modern game mechanics.

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          July 17, 2017 1:04 PM

          I agree that they won't do that, and that most of the games don't have enough depth for modern gamers, but there are plenty that hold up for me at least.

          Pitfall
          Space Invaders
          Centipede
          Jungle Hunt
          River Raid
          Asteroids
          Frogger
          Defender
          E.T. (Just kidding)

          The licensing would be an issue though, as a lot of their better games were third party.

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            July 17, 2017 2:08 PM

            There was a remake of Pitfall for the Sega Genesis and it was pretty damn cool. I have it on emulator and will bust it out from time to time.

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              July 17, 2017 2:14 PM

              If we're just talking 2600, there were like a dozen games that are robust enough to still be fun. Pitfall and its sequel are on that list. Adventure might be, and several of the 2-4 player multiplayer games like Warlords or Combat are definitely still fun with friends, even if they are super simple.

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      July 17, 2017 11:44 AM

      This isn't very encouraging. It's starting to feel very much like another pure nostalgia play. The world certainly doesn't need another licenced Atari emulator. For the NES, that was one thing because we hadn't ever had one an official one. But, Atari? We've had collections of their games on just about every platform.

      The size of the box makes me think it'll be underpowered compared to Xbox and PS. So, it won't target the hardcore crowd. Casual gaming? Which means hardware-wise it'll compete vs the Switch. Eh, I don't think there's that much room in the market; unless the can hit a price of $99. That just tells me the hardware would be junk. $150, and it might have a Maxwell chip in it. Anything more than that will price itself out of the casual space.

      Otherwise, how can you pack PS4 (min) spec in a box that size? Maybe I'm wrong, but it just doesn't feel like a design geared for the same market.

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      July 17, 2017 12:56 PM

      I do like the look of the box, I'll give them that.

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        July 17, 2017 1:57 PM

        Me too. I think I'll pick one up and swap out the guts with a Retropie

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      July 17, 2017 1:30 PM

      I'm expecting this to be yet another Android-based thing.

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        July 17, 2017 1:32 PM

        I'm sure that's exactly what it is.

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          July 17, 2017 1:33 PM

          But for what it's worth that's no indication of quality; the Retron 5 was basically a customized android box and its a sound concept, even if their implementation left something to be desired. It's faults had nothing to do with it being on Android.

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            July 17, 2017 1:43 PM

            I don't deny that. There's just a lot of similar products out there, yet something like an Nvidia Shield would probably be the most flexible. I'm interested in seeing what this ultimately turns out to be.

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      July 17, 2017 2:12 PM

      As far as I'm concerned,the only real thing that Atari NEEDS to be concerned with for this console is for EVERY SINGLE game to run at 60 fps. I don't care if it's 1080p or 4K,it HAS to run every game at a locked 60 fps. That alone will differentiate it from it's competition.

      Second,and obviously,they have to have the games that generate interest. Microsoft will learn this the hard way when the X comes out and it doesn't have any games that anyone really gives a shit about.

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        July 17, 2017 2:16 PM

        I seriously doubt they're aiming to compete in the market you think they are.

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        July 17, 2017 2:45 PM

        Most likely this will be an offically liscenced android box that hooks up to modern televisions. They'll prob have some sort of push to re-release (possibly remake?) their classic games.

        Android would give them a bigger back catalog along with whatever new shit comes along. I wouldnt be suprised if they released some 1st party remakes or something.

        I, in no way, see Atari even attempting to compete with todays AAA console market.

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          July 17, 2017 5:00 PM

          My money is on big plastic and woodgrain panel box and when you open it up there's a Raspberry Pi Zero with a bunch of glue and wires.

          It also doubles as a security appliance.

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      July 17, 2017 2:47 PM

      If you can't believe an an Atari promise, who can you believe?

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      July 17, 2017 4:08 PM

      Paddle. Controllers.

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        July 17, 2017 4:18 PM

        Mother fucking warlords

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        July 17, 2017 4:20 PM

        Dude, no fucking joke. Tempest with an actual wheel, *drooooool*

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          July 17, 2017 6:34 PM

          Sperging a bit here..

          The paddles had a stop, the driving controllers did not.

          For Tempest, you would want the driving controllers.

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            July 17, 2017 7:21 PM

            Not spergin' at all. Free spin would be way better. A heavy, free-spinning wheel would be ideal. Imagine if they made an Xbox elite version of the paddle with just such a thing.