It’s Official: Atari Is Making Its Own Gaming Console

It’s Official: Atari Is Making Its Own Gaming Console

Of all the things I expected out of E3 2017, Atari announcing a new console was last on the list. Heck, it wasn’t even on the list, more scratched in chalk on the tip of my shoe. But it is happening — CEO Fred Chesnais confirmed with VentureBeat’s Dean Takahashi the company’s plans to get “back [into] the hardware business”.

No, we’re not talking about Atari’s own “NES Classic”, but an entirely new device that will sit alongside the Switch, PS4 and Xbox One Xbox One S Xbox One X.

For now, all we know is that it’s called the “Ataribox” and will come with “PC technology”, going from VentureBeat’s interview with Chesnais:

“We’re back in the hardware business,” he said.

Chesnais declined to describe a lot of details about the console. But he said it is based on PC technology. He said Atari is still working on the design and will reveal it at a later date.

Other than that, we have the teaser clip above that show… exactly nothing. I guess it’s speculation time folks!

Atari CEO confirms the company is working on a new game console [VentureBeat]


  • I don’t know if I should celebrate or worry.

    I know this is not the same Atari that tanked the industry in 1983, but what experience does this current iteration have?

    • Lots!

      After the 1983 fiasco, they never really recoverd.. but my mates and I all had Atari Lynx’s with link up multiplayer. Four player Gauntlet was a blast.

      There was also the Atari Jaguar, and the Atari PC’s (7200? I think).

      They were still innovative, but didn’t quite manage to break out again like they did with the 2600.

      Put me in the “interested, but I hope it’s not an Atari smart-watch/bracelet/fitness tracker thing again” like their last device announcement.

  • Unless its a classic platform bundle, can they not? We aren’t in the 80s anymore, market fracturing is bad enough between two main competitors, let alone if a third tried to push its way in (I am super skeptical about whether it even could). We live in an age where the internet has basically resulted in us being more connected to each other than ever, but the flip side is that with two competitors that have no cross platform connecting, dying communities are at even more of a loss due to the platform fracturing.

    So feel free to not.

    Oh actually, a nice mid tier pc to console streaming platform that is open source would be cool, do that.

    • and keep in mind that this atari is just a branch of infogrames, so they wont even have the decades of relationships that sony, microsoft or nintendo have with various third party devs. I mean, they could probably get ports of games that are already on numerous platforms, but I seriously doubt that they have any power beyond the semi-disinterested great-grandparents who vaguely remember the name atari that decide to buy one for their grandchildren (an actual interested relative would ask for information about what the relative wants and write that information down).

      TL:DR the only thing they have going for them are people who don’t realise that modern atari has zero relation to classic atari beyond having payed money for the trademark.

      • I don’t think Nintendo are competing with Sony and Microsoft perse, as much as they have their own demographics that they do quite well with.

    • “market fracturing is bad enough between two main competitors, let alone if a third tried to push its way in (I am super skeptical about whether it even could).”

      I count three at the moment? Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo.

    • To be fair, the Ouya had a lot of promising ideas. The hardware maybe limiting but at the end of the game its the games that make the console and not its hardware.

      But I’m not dense, post launch games to really push the Ouya never materialised.

      There were some good gems in there, I kid you not, but after launch the library just never improved. If anything, it got worse with being nothing more than a collection of ports from mobiles and emulators, the latter of which became obsolete the moment the Raspberry Pi 2 came out.

      I personally have no regrets getting one but it is still sad to see the dream basically die on launch.

      • That’s what I meant though, Some great things did come out of the Ouya (and it is a great little machine itself) but it wasn’t exactly a commercial success and it’s lifespan wasn’t very long. I just don’t see a new Atari console doing any better than that in the best case, worst case it’ll just be a complete disaster.

  • Just…Why?
    It’s not like they have name recognition anymore, anyone under 25 won’t know them and i would wager thats a large amount of the market.
    Do they have the rights to any games they could make exclusive? They wont be able to get any game developers to be exclusive to them otherwise the game will sell 3 copies.
    I doubt they will be able to beat the hardware specs of sony or MS or be cheaper at comparable specs due to volume of production the other two have.
    So i see literally zero reason that this will work. Though obviously they must think they can make some money or they wouldn’t do it so im at least interested to see if they have secret weapon that would give them any reason whatsoever to be chosen over the competition

    • Every console started somewhere. The Playstation 1 didn’t have the current Playstation brand behind it when it launched and look how well that did.

      • The PS1 had the Sony name behind it which isn’t small, whereas atari is just nothing now (comparatively).
        Also the playstation 1 was a next gen console compared to what was available. So it wasn’t going up against the two ecosystems of a 30 million and 60 million population of its competitors, but this atari will be. Thats assuming its not ‘next gen’ because i think its highly unlikely it will be near even the PS4 pro let alone scorpio (just because of how much that hardware costs to develop).
        I mean obviously they all start somewhere but you can say that about any new thing, but not all will succeed like the playstation did. do you have any ideas or reasons why this could work other than just saying it could because someone else has done it?

      • Playstation was a game changer though. It was a quantum leap beyond what we had at the time. That helps. A lot!

  • Hahaha oh boy. Current trends already has us converging towards PC gaming; of the current generation consoles, only PS4 is considered to be doing well sales wise, while Nintendo has the most extensive library of games has games not found anywhere else (and if current Switch trends continue, will probably print money by year’s end). Stark contrast to the last generation of PS3 and 360 where both consoles were attractive. As someone with a gaming PC, it makes very little sense for me to get anything other than a Switch and Atari wants to now jump back into the game with a PC based platform? Good luck.

    • These days, cartridges are getting better than optical media, in actual price, price in terms of moving parts for the reader, and more storage space.

      • Are you sure about that? An Ultra-HD Blu-Ray disc can hold up to 100 GB, and probably costs about a dollar or so to manufacture. While you can get memory cards with that capacity, they are nowhere near as cheap to manufacture. It would end up costing a noticeable portion of the sale price of a game.

        I agree that the controller chip for a memory card reader will be significantly cheaper than an optical disc drive, but you’re not going to have to buy many games for the total cost to shift in favour of the optical media.

        Unless you’ve got the space constraints of hand helds, optical discs probably still have some life (for as long as any physical distribution media has a life).

    • Exactly! I don’t see how this could be bad for anyone. If it sucks, we can laugh at it and spend our money on something else. More consoles is a good thing.

  • Not hard to imagine them hitting the market with lower specs, a higher price, and no launch exclusives. This is idiot executives and the Peter Principle in play.

  • I can still remember the Atari 2600. I’ll watch with interest as a PC based consol interests me.

  • Coming with “PC” technology?

    So either we are getting a ready-to-play-PC marketed as a console or another AMD-based console. My money would be on a ready-to-play-PC marketed as a console as the margins on consoles are scarce as it is.

      • Same here.

        On the other hand, if it really is a genuine new console platform then I would be fascinated to see the market research they did that makes them think there is actually a market out there for it.

  • Great another subpar console that showcases the best pc had to offer 7 years ago. Another subpar console to make half ass ports for. Another subpar console holding back real game innovation.

    • What even is “real game innovation”? Is it just everybody playing things with a mouse and keyboard instead of new and unique input methods?

      • Who knows what real game innovation is. All I know is it’s not the same bullshit iteration of a game that worked well once so churn it out a thousand times over until it stops becoming profitable.

        All I am saying is by adding another console with 5 year old technology in it, we will never see the innovation from the industry.

        Also I hardly think new input methods is exclusive to consoles or pc alone. Keyboard and mouse may not be your cup of tea but controllers are just as bland.

        • The pc was getting it’s backside kicked by the Amiga prior to the rise of cd rom, A console can do 2x time what a comparable pc can do, Moving data through IO bridges takes time, Having 8GB DDR5 4 all memory reduces that transfer latency in consoles, Your graphics card is still running through a PCIe bridge, Consoles are 5 year old technology you say? Come on dude, “John i invented 3d fking graphics Carmack” sang praises of the xbox 360, He knows more about technology than you do. I play on pc & ps4.

  • …but an entirely new device that will sit alongside the Ouya, NVidia Shield, Apple TV, Vita TV, and Razer Forge TV.TFTFY.

    • The dig at the Xbox is because all the different versions sound the same. Honestly, try saying “S” and “X”. They’re very similar.

  • this just in, it plays all console games… has a rom… and is also backwards compatible as its open source

    go atari!

  • Atari would be crazy to try to compete with Sony and Microsoft head on.
    Atari would also be crazy to try to compete with what Nintendo’s doing.


    They are either crazy, or…they have identified a potential gap in the market they think they can fill.

    I’m still not sure which it is.

    • Everyone else is talking like more competition in the console market is bad, It’s not, Look at Microsoft & Sony now releasing a new console what every two years? Microsoft tried the whole always online thing & tried to change the way we played games to suit themselves, They failed because Sony went another way, Having Atari is like having a another safeguard for the way we like gaming, o Always online drm free etc. Yes Godspeed Atari. I am senseing alot of fanboyism in these comments & not much real discussion .

  • But he said it is based on PC technology

    Arent all consoles based on PC technology? Consoles are essentially PC’s with a custom OS.

  • I’m pretty curious too see what comes out especially in regards to its PC oriented design. I wonder if it will be something like a steam box

  • I have to admit I still think of “Atari” as “loser” from back in the day, because I was a Commodore 64 kid 😉

    But I wish them well. I can well recall how Nintendo were dead and buried on the home console market not too long ago (i.e. between the Gamecube and the Wii). Atari SA is the result of a lot of corporate takeovers and they probably have a larger IP library and asset base than most think.

    (To be perfectly honest, I’m still a bit puzzled how the home console market even exists).

  • They are looking at a price off $299.00. I’m a huge Atari fan and have every Atari console made however I will have to pass on that price!

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