Gamer's Thumb

Atari is back; and yes, you're still in 2017

In Gamer's Thumb

JR Ortega

By JR Ortega
Aug. 5, 2017 at 9:29 p.m.


This news comes a bit belated, so excuse me for not writing about this scoop two months ago.

Although, if you didn't keep up with E3 news, you may have missed it, so I take it back - this may be news to you.

At E3 back in June, Atari announced in a less than half-minute teaser trailer that it would be releasing a new console.

If you hadn't heard this news, right now you're likely cocking your head to the side with a confused expression on your face.

That was me, too. 

If you were born in the late '90s, you may not know much about Atari's consoles, but you've likely heard of the name.

The last big Atari console to hit the shelves was in 1993, and that was the Atari Jaguar. For a couple of years, Atari continued building on this console, until it ultimately died out.

I actually owned one, but I don't remember much about it. It wasn't soon after Atari Jaguar that PlayStation hit the market; and, well, now we're here in 2017, where PlayStation, Xbox and Nintendo dominate the industry.

There was, of course, the Atari 2600, which is the released in September 1977. That's before my time, but I know the system really made a name for itself in a barely developing gaming industry.

After Jaguar, the Atari Flashback was released in the early 2000s, and that was more of a plug-and-play system in which you could play old games.

But now we're here, almost 20 years later, fully thinking the days of a console being released by this once household gaming system are far gone.

It's strange to even think about, considering the vast leaps we've made in gaming software, but it's happening nonetheless.

So here is what we know about the new Atari console. Called Ataribox, the system rides the fine line of looking retro while also looking oddly futuristic, with its signature wood-style design and ribbed casing.

The company released a newsletter last month providing us with more details on the system. Thanks to Polygon for sharing the newsletter. 

The details are interesting, although vague.

For instance, the system will have an HDMI port, four USB ports and SD card support. The company also clearly states the system will provide classic gaming content as well as "current gaming content."

Current gaming content? It's hard to imagine in today's world how Atari could compete in terms of graphics. Honestly though, until we see more, anything is possible.

Reviving old systems isn't new. Nintendo has already done this with the NES Classic and SNES Classic console releases. Those games, however, don't play new current gaming content.

We'll just have to wait to hear more.



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