Ataribox: Groundbreaking Console or Jaguar 2: The Revenge?

Ataribox Editorial 1

I did not own an Atari when they came out. In fact, I’ve never owned one. But I played most of the classic games that really made it the titan of the industry that it was in the 80s. My first console was the Nintendo Entertainment System, the year it came out. That was a miracle, in and of itself. And there were so many versions of the Atari! Some of these were the 2600 [and 2600 JR.], Atari 5200, and the Atari 7800. Each version [to me at least] seems to be a little less fascinating than the last. Then came the Atari Lynx, meant to do battle with the Nintendo Gameboy, and the Lynx was actually a portable 16-bit console. But it had a very poor lifespan for batteries, didn’t really look all that great, and was horrifically expensive. I only knew one person who had one as a young man. A bold decision was to create the Atari Jaguar, next. It was the first 64 bit console, though I’ve heard talk it was only occasionally 64 bits and used some kind of glitch or manipulation to achieve that. It was critically panned, terribly expensive, and the games … Oh, the games. The only one that I can recall was even remotely playable was Aliens vs. Predator, and it was special because you could also play as a Space Marine. Overall, Atari hasn’t had such a great track record since the late 70s/early 80s.

Ataribox Editorial 2

However, the Atari CEO, Fred Chesnais has declared that the current buzz is not a hoax. The Ataribox is real, and it’s coming. It’s going to be a console based off of the latest PC technology. Reminds me of the Ouya and the Steam Machine, which kind of fills me with worry for a few reasons. The Jaguar was not so great at all. There hasn’t really been a memorable “PC console” as of yet. But this is still Atari, so I’m not willing to count them out. He said “We are back in the hardware business” but I still don’t know what this means! Are they going to be vying to get current AAA titles on their console? Will it be an NES classic? I’ve heard it’s going to be wood-grain like their classic consoles were. Is that true? Will there just be remakes of classic Atari games like Pac-Man, Destroyer, Combat? Will we finally get Sword Quest: Air? Will the tournament come back? I have so many questions, but no answers! I’m cautiously optimistic though. I’m not willing to throw my weight behind it, but I do want to see what’s going down with the Ataribox.

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