Ataribox Will Ship Next Year, Costs $US249 To $US299

Ataribox Will Ship Next Year, Costs $US249 To $US299

Image: Ataribox

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.

Images: Atari

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.


    • Any reason why you think that or should i just see your comment as meaningless ? Provide something to the conversation, Don’t have a knee jerk reaction like a kid, Example “I think the Atari box is trash Because …” , I look forward to reading your reasoning behind your comment.

        • Beetle makes a good point here.

          If you feel that it is trash, explain why. There would be some people who would be keen to know the differing opinions on this front. Hell, you might provide some insight that other people may share.

  • This thing is totally a steam machine. it’s going to stream from Steam on your PC, it’s running Linux to keep costs down, and it’s going to also have an in built store for its own proprietary games. I had some thoughts a while back that if someone wanted to jump into the console business, the best thing they could do was figure out how t make a good steambox with a good interface – maybe Atari can pull it off.

    I’m keen, weirdly enough. Never used an Atari before, so got no love for the brand, but it’ll be cool to see it succeed. No doubt it’ll be niche as if it does find an audience, but still.

    • I love my Ouya. Really I do. It’s a great emulator machine for anything pre N64.
      Ataribox might just be a better Emubox??

    • The Ouya may have tanked but I still have mine and I don’t regret it.

      What went wrong was the promise never materialised into a norm and it just never got any exclusive games of its own.

      Even when one rules out the emulator aspect of the Ouya, the games on the store itself was just quick ports from the phone version.

  • Linux isn’t a completely crazy choice. SteamOS is built on Linux as well, although it’s rarely used these days.
    Okay, first up I am not a Linux fan-boy, not by a very long country mile. But I’m really not sure this statement is valid. Linux is still very widely used especially in anything that is low spec to high spec (Amazon AWS strongly promotes their Linux servers). Linux is stable and comes in
    dozens (hundreds?) of distro’s. Google Android O/S is based on Linux. Linux comes with a lot less commercial baggage compared to Windows (licencing, virus, patching etc blah). Linux has a huge grass roots hacking community behind it. etc….

      • Exactly – and the author is right, SteamOS hasn’t gained much (any?) traction because Linux is still bad for games compared with Windows.

        Not that it’ll matter, because this box will do two things: stream from a Windows PC, and play proprietary games where the platform is irrelevant.

  • When they say legacy atari titles, do they mean from the 2600 era? I can’t really imagine that much love for those games. I was born in 1980 and I remember when my cousin got one. They’re very, very old with very little gameplay. Even for the time, when we had nothing else to play, we thought it sucked pretty spectacularly.

    • Yeah curious about this too. No one wants to play archaic Atari games from the 80s they are barely playable.
      I still don’t really understand the point of this machine. Doesn’t seem to offer anything different or exciting.
      Beautiful design of the thing aside.

      • We need more info about it’s capabilities first. If it really is a steam box that can match it with the PS4 pro then I think they’re in with a chance. The legacy stuff would just be a bonus. But I’m just guessing. There’s not enough real info out yet.

        • It won’t be – not at this price. It’ll play cheap Indies or be a glorified Steam Link. It won’t even come close to a PS4 Pro.

          • If they really wanted to they could surprise everyone if they’re happy to sell them at parity or a slight loss though.

            But I guess we’ll see.

            Thanks for the reply man!

    • Yea little bit hard to get frothing at the mouth without at least a couple mentions of games they’re wanting to throw in…

  • There’s nothing surprising about Linux or BSD getting used in a console. A modern desktop OS is estimated to cost $1 billion USD to develop. It makes sense to take the existing work that’s been done on Linux/BSD and repurpose it in a project. Remember a modern console is expected to multitask, background download, switch applications, network and of course have a web browser. It’d be prohibitively expensive to develop all of that from scratch now. Hence why the big developers all use Linux/BSD or Windows based kernels.

    • Times change! 😉

      As far as Mesa goes, AMD provides the superior experience on Linux. They’ve invested heavily in their open source drivers and it’s paying off with great performance.

  • Would not have expected this to happen. An Atari console? in 2017?

    I see the Atari logo every now and then on t-shirts and such. People love the old stuff, good for them, not fading away.

    They’re bringing back the wood grain look too. *Gold star sticker*

  • I hope they add a bit extra to the old Atari games, like online leader boards or achievements. Just a little something to inject a bit of life into them.

Show more comments

Log in to comment on this story!