Atari has recently announces that they are coming back into the console market, and are releasing a console dubbed the “AtariBox” and the kicker is; it runs Linux!
On Sept. 26, Atari released a new photo of the Ataribox, made of real wood, and I must say that it looks absolutely gorgeous! A video of the device can be found on the Ataribox homepage.
Spec wise, the Ataribox is going to be running some form of custom AMD processor with Radeon graphics, which was a little bit of a surprise to me given that Intel typically has been dominating the market when it comes to gaming as of late.
Atari has stated that they want to bring a full PC experience, to console users on their TV’s, so it’s safe to at least speculate that the Ataribox will be built more like a PC than a console in terms of it’s specs, and with that being said, I would anticipate that their Linux distribution will likely also be fully featured, allowing far more customization and usage than say, SteamOS, which is essentially just Steam running in “Big Picture” mode on an Ubuntu base.
What will it play?
So far it seems that it will play the old Atari classics, but it’s been said that it will not run AAA game titles, but instead focus more on classics, and Mid-Range PC games, according to an interview with VentureBeat. ((https://venturebeat.com/2017/09/25/ataribox-runs-linux-on-amd-chip-and-will-cost-at-least-249/))
What will it cost?
The estimated cost of the console will run around the $250-$300 mark, although I wouldn’t be surprised if that price actually dropped once the console was closer to launch, in order to try and take the market by storm.
When is the launch?
Allegedly, the console is set to launch in spring of 2018, however, until we are a bit closer to that date I would personally take that with a grain of salt, as many launches in the past have been pushed back for other technologies, and while we can hope that it launches on time, only time will tell.
A look to the future
Atari were the kings of the console gaming world at one point in time, and while they didn’t last in the hardware market over the last twenty years or so, the fact that they are coming back out of left field like this is both surprising and exciting. I know that I personally will be watching this development closely, and I am extremely excited to hear that the machine will be running Linux, and intentionally trying to give users a PC experience. I wonder just how well their system will let users experience a Linux based OS. Perhaps this could be another major push for the GNU/Linux world, into the limelight? Maybe this will help bring more focus and attention on our beloved OS, and help more and more people who think that running GNU/Linux is only for the uber hackers in basements with 14 screens all running terminals? Time will tell.
What are your thoughts on this new move by Atari? How about on the fact it will run Linux? Let us know your thoughts!
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