We just came out of E3, a solid week of video game related news from the front line of the console wars. Between Nintento’s various systems, Microsoft’s Xboxes and Sony’s Playstations, there’s more than enough video games out there for everyone, but is there any room left in the market for one more, ahem, player? Well one old name in the video game business certainly hopes there is. Once upon a time, if you wanted to play video games at home, you had only the one choice in the matter, but in today’s environment of choice, are gamers still going to want an Atari?
Well, the man that currently runs Atari certainly thinks so. While talking to VentureBeat, Atari CEO Fred Chesnais said that his company is about to release the Ataribox (or “Atari Box”) the company’s first new console nearly 25 years. “We’re back in the hardware business,” said Chesnais. They’ve even released an announcement video…
There’s no word yet on when the Ataribox will be released, but it is really big news for a company that had seemed to leave console gaming behind with the days of plaid and overalls as the height of fashion. The Jaguar, the first 64-bit home gaming system, was a massive failure, but Atari had sold 30 million copies of its signature 2600 system in its lifetime, a massive achievement matched only the disastrous, almost Biblical, video game bust in 1983.
Since the turn of the century, Atari has been focused on software, turning its classic games into iOS and Android apps for smart phones. They’ve also licensed themselves for the upcoming Blade Runner 2049, and there was a popular documentary about Atari’s rise and fall called Atari: Game Over. Maybe that success has given them ideas that Atari can reclaim the top spot in gaming again, and even though there’s a much bigger climb this time, Atari’s come back too many times to ever be counted out.
Obviously, we’ll have more news about the Ataribox as it becomes available.