Here’s something you probably expected: the Ataribox, a machine designed to play modern and retro games, will ship next year. But what you probably didn’t expect is that it’s running on … Linux.
In an email newsletter, Atari confirmed that the Ataribox would be powered by “an AMD customised processor” using “Radeon Graphics technology”. It’s not scheduled to ship until autumn next year – the email says spring 2018, although it’s coming from the other side of the world, so autumn for Australians.
The company added that the box will cost between $US249 to $US299, depending on special editions (like the wood version) and memory configurations. They didn’t specify if memory was referring to internal storage, RAM, both, or something else.
One of the most interesting elements is that the retro box will run on Linux, rather than Windows:
It’ll run Linux, with a customised, easy-to-use user interface. This approach means that as well as being a great gaming device, Ataribox is also a full PC experience for the TV, bringing you streaming, applications, social, browsing, music, and more.
Linux isn’t a completely crazy choice. SteamOS is built on Linux as well, although it’s rarely used these days. But for something that acts as a time machine while playing a select range of modern titles (as not everything supports Linux), there’s a lot that can be done with Linux.
Atari also confirmed that the Ataribox would ship with “tons of classic Atari retro games pre-loaded [and] current titles from a range of studios”, adding that they would announce newer titles “very soon”.
There’s also some new shots of the box.
Atari also confirmed that they will launch a crowdfunding campaign through Indiegogo. Here’s the details on that:
We’re launching Ataribox on Indiegogo this autumn (read: pretty soon). To reiterate why: we want you, the Atari community, to be part of this launch. We want you to have early access, grab special editions (& pricing) and to have you as active partners in the rollout of Ataribox. We want you to be part of the story.
More news is due out in the next few weeks, and we’ll keep you posted when we know more.