The First Look At The Ataribox, Atari’s New Console

The First Look At The Ataribox, Atari’s New Console
Image: Atari

Gamers have been wondering what Atari was thinking when they announced they were making a new console. Finally, we’re starting to see what was on their mind.

Atari showed off the exterior of their box and discussed some of the principles around its design in a newsletter published online. There wasn’t any mention of specific specs or what kinds of games the Ataribox would play, although the newsletter did mention that there would be two editions – a black/red version and a wood version – and the console would come with an SD card slot, HDMI output and four USB ports. The images also show an ethernet port at the back, and what looks like a headphone jack/line out.

Image: Atari

Damn it looks nice.

But perhaps the most interesting aspect of the newsletter, however, is this line:

As you can guess, those ports suggest modern internal specs. It also means that while we will be delivering classic gaming content, we will also be delivering current gaming content.

The post went on to suggest that “there are a lot of milestones, challenges and decision points in front of us in the months ahead”, perhaps indicating that the console won’t be ready for release in 2017. But as we find out more, we’ll keep you posted.

The full newsletter is as follows:

Image: Atari

Our objective is to create a new product that stays true to our heritage while appealing to both old and new fans of Atari.

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.

As you can guess, those ports suggest modern internal specs. It also means that while we will be delivering classic gaming content, we will also be delivering current gaming content.

We know you are hungry for more details; on specs, games, features, pricing, timing etc. We’re not teasing you intentionally; we want to get this right, so we’ve opted to share things step by step as we bring Ataribox to life, and to listen closely to Atari community feedback as we do so. There are a lot of milestones, challenges and decision points in front of us in the months ahead. We’ll be giving you lots more information and status updates as we progress, and we are thrilled to have you along for the ride!

Hope you like where we are taking this, we’ll be in touch soon.

The Ataribox Project team.


    • Nothing screams “we’re not even trying to compete with Sony & MS” like an SD card slot.

    • Microsoft is “competing”? Since when? Best they ever did was 3rd place behind Sony’s worst console and they’re currently getting smashed to pieces by Sony and Nintendo. It’s never happening lol. I’d love it for Atari to step in after Xbox finally withers and dies. Gen is almost over and they haven’t even cracked 30 mill yet, while ps4 continues to do a mill a month avg lmao.

      • Microsoft is not being smashed to pieces (quite actually), and they reached 2nd place during Sony’s worst console, losing only to the Wii (but then again, with all the Wii’s gimmicks, no one really had a chance). Besides the point, Sony is dying because their other branches are dying as competitors quality is rising. Nintendo lucked out with the Switch, so they’ll be around for quite a while longer. As for Microsoft, their computers and their Windows OS gives them not only experience, but money (firepower) to take on both Nintendo and Sony, no matter how hard you think they are failing. Go check the facts, then come back and we’ll see if Microsoft is still being smashed to pieces. (Also, I like my consoles by American companies, not foreign. (Yes, I am aware that the console parts are manufactured in China, but at least the idea of the Xbox was conceived in America. Better than all foreign.))

        • Nintendo lucked out with the Switch

          How did they luck out? People have disposable income and Zelda was an above-okay game? People are mostly buying the console cos fanboy or want portability, not for the competitiveness of Switch in the current gaming market.

        • You sound like Sean Spicer. You should check your alternative facts Sean. At the end of the last generation the PS3 had a strong run and basically eroded the “2nd place” Microsoft had down to pretty much a dead heat. Sony is dying? They must be the CNN of video games. Can’t wait to see a gif of Phil Spencer body slamming Vince McMahon (Sony) at Wrestlemania.

  • I would would buy it to fit in with my Blade Runner collection!
    That’s about it though.

  • Non-stackable design. Thanks Atari, it’s like you learned nothing from the major console makers this past decade.

      • They don’t need to have made consoles themselves for ages to see what others have done though. I don’t make consoles, but I can see why the major players all made their consoles stackable. It’s foolish to enter a market without basic research on what else is in that market and why.

        • Hmm I tried stacking my 360’s and all it did was make them run too hot for comfort

          • Maybe I had a later generation 360, but I never had any heat issues with it, even in summer. I had it stacked on top of a bluray/sound system box and beneath a PS2, from memory.

    • Um, who in their right mind stacks their consoles on top of each other? That’s just asking for overheating problems (I had disc eject issues on my PS4 attributed to heat until I switched to an open, well-ventilated shelving system.)

      Not really a deal-breaker at all IMO, and the design looks really nice because of it.

      • Stacking media equipment is really common, most equipment is designed for it. Companies learned more than a decade ago that they’re not the only piece of equipment under people’s televisions and designed their hardware to route exhaust to the sides and rear.

        The PS4’s eject issue wasn’t heat related, it was static electricity triggering the capacitive eject button. Removing the rubber foot and tightening the eject screw helped, but ultimately it was a firmware update from Sony that fixed the problem.

        • Are you sure that there was not a heat-related factor involved in the issue at all? Because multiple sources reported that as being a major cause due to the heat-sensitive button and in my own experience it definitely seemed to be the case as well. I had the issue frequently when it was in an enclosed shelf with minimal venting and you could feel scorching ambient heat around the console as a result, and since moving to an open rack system I have never had the issue again.

          • I’m not 100% because Sony never gave a full explanation. People thought it was heat causing the rubber foot to expand and put pressure on the hypersensitive eject button, but apparently removing the foot (and also tightening the eject screw) just helped dissipate the static.

            I wonder if putting the console in an open rack did the same for you? I mean, it could have been heat for you but I remember reading a year or two ago that it was a red herring.

        • Which equipment vents to the side/rear? Apart from some slimline disc players? Everything else has vents on the top and/or is passive.

          • Going from memory here, some might be off:

            Exhaust to the rear: PS2, PS3, PS3 Slim, PS4, X360, XB1X, Wii, Wii U
            Exhaust to the side: PS2 Slim, PS4 Slim, XB1S
            Exhaust to the top: XB1

            For home theatre equipment there are too many to go through, but the majority vent exhaust to the rear. Anything designed with a rack cabinet in mind always vents to the rear, also.

            (edited to update the XB1X vents to the rear, was uncertain before but found some more details breakout photos)

  • i know its an optical illusion but that first photo looks so messed up.

    give me something i really want.. an updated amiga with all the games 😀

    • Hopefully its only a matter of time before we see an Amiga Classic. Shudder to think what some of those games would look like on todays TV’s (Amiga reso was typically 320×200…), but I’d still be lining up to own one.

      • if an atari ST gets released first i will burn down every shop that has one.. not that i am an amiga owner who still holds a grudge or anything

        • Let ST owners have their false memories. Those of us that were Amiga know the ST was worse…

          Not sure if I’d get a Retro ST or not, I never had any real exposure to them outside of Amiga owners trash talking em. So no game memories to drive the nostalgia kicks. I probably would, I have the disposable income to do it.

          Its probably the only major console I haven’t owned or played really.

    • oh man i forgot about the old school joysticks.. where ergonomics didnt exist and it had one button haha

      on the upside you could actually repair them yourself 😀

  • Loving the classic woodgrain look I’m actually tempted to buy it now

  • Want aside, that thing is sexy as fuck. Why the hell dont PS and MS make consoles that great??

      • yes actually, there probably is a copyright/IP law protecting them if other companies try to release a gaming console using a similar name.

  • I think it’s a great thing if they are planning to fit into the sparse console market, all there are in high end competition in sony microsoft and nintendo and nintendo had struggled up until the switch sold out, but atari coming back sounds like we may just if lucky enough another contender for the console market and if they rock the world of sales figures could it not shock the rest of the console brands from yesteryear eg.sega to then try and get into the console market again, it’s like I think the amiga they tried to sell a extortionately expensive i7 pc in a amiga form with it’s software being modern with mild tradition in place, but these makers could see a field of component level parts in this ataribox being more appealing cost wise to the masses and they may be able to still build new and run old titles on that, it’s like the switch could it be a tegra chipset in this ataribox maybe if it catches on with those types of systems things would maybe get more competative in the console market, I personaly hate the state of the console market today it’s pretty generic and been there seen that played it all before got the t-shirt sh@t so come on atari make it big time rock the big boy brands and get bnack on top.

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