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posted by martyb on Wednesday September 27 2017, @02:55PM   Printer-friendly
from the more-than-a-game-[machine] dept.

Atari will crowdfund an "Ataribox" console this fall, but it can do much more than play old Atari games:

Atari released more details about its Ataribox game console today, disclosing for the first time that the machine will run Linux on an Advanced Micro Devices processor and cost $250 to $300.

In an exclusive interview last week with GamesBeat, Ataribox creator and general manager Feargal Mac (short for Mac Conuladh) said Atari will begin a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo this fall and launch the Ataribox in the spring of 2018. The Ataribox will launch with a large back catalog of the publisher's classic games. The idea is to create a box that makes people feel nostalgic about the past, but it's also capable of running the independent games they want to play today, like Minecraft or Terraria.

The new box will have an AMD custom processor with Radeon graphics. It will run the Linux operating system, with a user interface it's customizing for TVs. Mac said that the machine will run PC games, but it will also be capable of doing streaming, running apps, browsing the web, and playing music. As far as games go, 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.

[...] "People are used to the flexibility of a PC, but most connected TV devices have closed systems and content stores," he said. "We wanted to create a killer TV product where people can game, stream and browse with as much freedom as possible, including accessing pre-owned games from other content providers."

So it's a PC that comes preloaded with Pong, Asteroids, and presumably E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. Who needs this?

Also at PCWorld, BGR, Gizmodo, and Techpowerup.

It seems whoever owns the Atari name [takyon: Atari, SA] is going to cash in with a new Linux and AMD based "console". I guess Hollywood is not the only one that can drag up old properties and wring the blood from them. Might make a decent Steambox, I suppose. Also, wouldn't be complete without crowdfunding!

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  • (Score: 3, Informative) by arslan on Thursday September 28 2017, @03:04AM (1 child)

    by arslan (3462) on Thursday September 28 2017, @03:04AM (#574187)

    Eh? Unless I'm reading it wrong, #1 doesn't apply since it is Atari that is running this initiative so they don't actually have to buy their own IP?

    Also, it makes sense give they're mostly (or is it exclusively?) a software company nowadays and this is a good strategy to get back into hardware without plunking a big chunk of capex up-front, so low risk. The open platform is to spice the bait?

    I would think the future of gaming is digital delivery, ownership, community & marketplace. Any software company that has their own delivery platform is better off than being at the mercy of another company's platform...

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 28 2017, @03:24AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 28 2017, @03:24AM (#574191)

    The biggest claim is that it is a "custom" SoC. Probably barely modified from off the shelf components, maybe they asked for a specific RAM chip to be soldered on. They already own and have been whoring out the Atari name and back catalog (as you stated), and the crowdfunding thing is mostly marketing want to build up hype for the product. The most interesting part is claiming that it will allow users to customize the Linux install, note that they said customize and not modify. That could be anything from changing to launcher like Android to being an Ubuntu install with no UEFI lock.