The rumors are true. Atari is working on a new game console — and not a retro one either.
A mysterious website ataribox.com popped up the other day, sparking many questions. Some even thought the trailer, above, was a hoax.
Speaking with GamesBeat at E3 2017, Atari CEO Fred Chesnais confirmed the company is “back in the hardware business” and building a new console to prove it. Yeah. Okay.
It’d be one thing if Atari was making a retro console to jump on the bandwagon with the successful NES Classic Edition. But, according to some rumors, they’re building a modern piece of hardware “not related to any vintage technology.” In fact, Chesnais claims the console is “based on PC technology,” whatever that means.
Atari is trying to enter into a game with three powerful and well-established players: Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft. All three of these companies have been consistently producing successful hardware and software for the past couple decades, building up loyal fan bases and becoming household names.
Atari, however, has not released any hardware in 20 years. When you think “Atari” you think “retro” and and “antiquated” — as well as “wood?” and “really???” — not “modern” and “powerful” like other gaming industry giants.
Sure, Atari was a big deal in the 80’s, but they’ve barely done anything in this decade beyond some casino games.
Maybe I’m being too skeptical, but it’s hard to be optimistic about a retro company trying to make a comeback in a market that tech powerhouses like Amazon and Apple haven’t even tried to join. Regardless, Atari seems confident they have a good piece of hardware in the works, so I’ll try to take the official console reveal with an open mind.
Strap in, Atari. You’re playing with the big boys now.