Atari is a generation dividing brand. Well known by gamers of a certain vintage, the name probably fails to register with the Xbox generation. However, Atari remains one of the most fascinating stories in gaming lore, and it is about to enter a new chapter. CEO Fred Chesnais told GamesBeat that the company is working on a new console.
Chesnais has confirmed the company is “back in the hardware business”. Of course, Atari is not a name of today, but rather one from the distant gaming patch. The New York company was one of the trail blazers of the video game industry and was also among the hardest hit when that industry crashed in the early 1980s.
Since then, Atari has been synonymous with false dawns. Since its halcyon days, gaming has changed and modern consoles are extremely advanced.
For example, if Atari was to enter the market with a HD console, it would have to compete with Microsoft's recently launched Xbox One X and Sony's PS4 range. Luckily, the company understands it is unlikely to make a dent at the high-end.
Instead, Atari is looking to cash in on the retro kick that has descended on gaming in recent years. Gamers want to play old titles, whether to evoke memories of the good old days, or simply to see what games were like back in the day.
Atari is arguably as well placed as any to capitalize on such a booming retro market. The company, after-all, is the de facto retro brand. Over the last week, the company has been teasing its Ataribox, a new product that drew speculation it was fake.
However, it seems the Ataribox is the real deal and a new video says there is a “brand new Atari product years in the making.”
At the moment, the company is not expanding on the details, but did say it is based on PC hardware.
Interestingly, Microsoft has been moving closer to PC with Xbox One X. The console comes with native 4K capabilities and liquid cooling, which are both firsts for the console market, but are widely available on PC.