Whilst many modern gamers might bemoan the fact that they have too much choice in this day and age when it comes to their gaming platform of choice, the reality is that we actually have it a lot easier than our 80s counterparts. Back in the days when Atari was the big name on the block and the NES was little more than a twinkle in the eyes of its creators, gaming wasn't as simple as choosing Xbox, Playstation, Nintendo or PC. First you had to choose console or computer, then you had to wade through the various iterations of said consoles and computers, many of which were built by third-party companies. Mercifully, stricter licensing laws means that today, if we want to go the console route, our choices are pretty binary, but Atari is looking to throw a spanner in the works with their comeback console. Or at least I think they are, because honestly, I don't actually know what it is yet, and I'm not 100% sure Atari is either.
The mysterious Ataribox is being billed by the vintage games company as a new console based on PC technology and, if the teaser trailer above is anything to go by, it bares more than a passing resemblance to the iconic Atari 2600 with its wood panelling and grooved surfaces. Atari CEO Fred Chesnais won't be drawn on exactly what the console will be, but my money is on a retro platform akin to the supremely popular Nintendo Classic Mini, which was released last year and sold out almost instantly. The video does stress, however, that the product has been “years in the making,” which leads me to believe it could be something more ambitious than a simple clone console or emulation machine. Chesnais also said that the system's design is still not finalised and that more information about the console will be shared at a later date. Atari's last home console was the Atari Jaguar, which released in 1993. Honestly, it's all speculation at this point, but I will say that I'm already more hyped for this thing than the Xbox One X.
The Original Atari 2600
Benjamin Hiorns is a freelance writer and musician from Kidderminster in the UK.