If you thought Atari’s new console, the Ataribox, would exist simply to rehash old classics, you can put those worries to rest. An interview with venturebeat revealed the company plans to position it as a legitimate gaming console, though perhaps one less powerful than the Xbox One and PS4.
VentureBeat interviewed Ataribox creator Feargal Mac, and reports the device will be priced around $250 to $300, putting it on par with the current generation of consoles. It will run on Linux with a TV-friendly interface and use a custom AMD processor with Radeon graphics. The device will be able to run PC games and apps, browse the web and play music.
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According to VentureBeat, “the machine will run the kind of games that a mid-range PC can do today, but it won’t run Triple-A games that require high-end PC performance.” That’s a little confusing, considering plenty of mid-range PCs can run Triple-A titles as long as the settings are kept reasonably low. In any case, it sounds like it will be closer to the PS4 and Xbox One in power than the PS4 Pro or the One X.
At first glance, the Ataribox seems highly reminiscent of Valve’s Steam Machines, which were meant to be relatively affordable PC/Console hybrids. Like Steam Machines, the Ataribox will run a Linux-based OS and feature mid-range components. Unfortunately, Steam Machines weren’t exactly super successful, though the Ataribox is at least aiming for a lower price point and has nostalgia to back it up.
The company is aiming for fall Indiegogo campaign and a Spring 2018 launch. Only time will tell if the Ataribox is more than just a nostalgia cash grab.