In an announcement that came completely out of left field, Atari has made it public that they’re coming back to the hardware business. They’re preparing something called the Ataribox. They’ve provided no further comments or information. We can only guess as to what the Ataribox will actually be. Perhaps they’re jumping onto Nintendo’s NES Classic bandwagon.
If were being completely honest, Atari hasn’t been doing too good in the past couple of years. Most of their properties are in the hands of various different companies that haven’t really been treating the IP’s with much respect (see: Alone in the Dark: Illumination). As for their hardware efforts, the last thing they made was the Atari Jaguar, whose short life span ran from 1993 to 1996. The Jaguar was infamously awful and didn’t stand a chance against the other consoles of the time.
All in all, Atari has never managed to reach its heyday of the late seventies and early eighties. Even then, their policies helped cause the crash of the gaming industry all those years ago. Nobody expected them to make a comeback, especially not in the hardware department. To everybody’s surprise, we were all wrong. Atari is making a comeback to the hardware industry with the Ataribox. Fred Chesnais, Atari CEO, dropped the bombshell in an interview with GamesBeat. They released a first-look video, which you can check out below, which claims that the product has been “years in the making”.
The video shows us next to nothing, and the Ataribox website offers even less. At this point, it’s anybody’s guess what the Ataribox will end up being. For now, most people are expecting it to be Atari’s answer to the NES Classic. They’re probably counting on nostalgia and curiosity to sell their games to newer generations of gamers. After all, those games are an important piece of history. If it does turn out to be an actual brand new system, however, the situation might become a whole lot more interesting.