Here’s a look at Atari’s mysterious new console

4 min read


During E3 this year, Atari announced that it would be returning to the hardware business, with a brand new console. People have been scratching their chins wondering just what one of the oldest names in video gaming was up to – and they’ve finally released a little more information. But only a little.

Their new Ataribox sure is a sexy little machine. It’ll be available in two versions: A retro-styled one black ribbing and wood panelling, and a black and red unit. Unfortunately, there’s no real information on the specifications of the system, or what sort of games it’ll be running. The expectation was that it would be used for retro gaming, and it will be. It will, however, also be used for something more modern.


The console comes equipped with an SD card slot, HDMI output, four USB ports, an Ethernet port and what looks like a 3.5mm headphone jack. Here’s what Atari says of those ports in their news blast:

As you can guess, those ports suggest modern internal specs. It also means that while we will be delivering classic gaming content, we will also be delivering current gaming content.

It doesn’t look like it’ll be up to the task of playing the latest and greatest in PC or console games, so it may be looking to fill the space left by the Ouya – and become a set-top indie games machine. Maybe it’ll finally be the perfect Android console. If the price is right, that might not be a disaster. It won’t be out for a while yet, as Atari says that it needs to nail down a few details to get the system right.

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Our objective is to create a new product that stays true to our heritage while appealing to both old and new fans of Atari.

Inspired by classic Atari design elements (such as the iconic use of wood, ribbed lines, and raised back); we are creating a smooth design, with ribs that flow seamlessly all around the body of the product, a front panel that can be either wood or glass, a front facing logo, indicator lights that glow through the material, and an array of new ports (HDMI, 4xUSB, SD). We intend to release two editions: a wood edition, and a black/red edition.

As you can guess, those ports suggest modern internal specs. It also means that while we will be delivering classic gaming content, we will also be delivering current gaming content.

We know you are hungry for more details; on specs, games, features, pricing, timing etc. We’re not teasing you intentionally; we want to get this right, so we’ve opted to share things step by step as we bring Ataribox to life, and to listen closely to Atari community feedback as we do so. There are a lot of milestones, challenges and decision points in front of us in the months ahead. We’ll be giving you lots more information and status updates as we progress, and we are thrilled to have you along for the ride!

Hope you like where we are taking this, we’ll be in touch soon.

The Ataribox Project team.

Last Updated: July 18, 2017

Geoffrey Tim

Editor. I’m old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time – they were capable of being masterpieces. I’m here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

  • I don’t know hey. I feel there isn’t enough market for a Android based game station. For more “fun gaming” that isn’t as serious as PC or Console gaming (Or at least more family friendly is perhaps a better explanation) we have Nintendo.

    Mobile phones are also pretty much strong enough for gaming on so why would you buy a console to play Android games on when you already own your phone you are paying R700 a month for on the smallest voice package you could take to get the phone?

    To use as a set-top box? There are cheaper options to get Android on your TV too.

    I am not sure this will work

    • Indeed, Atari is a big name for retro collectors. Seeing it go down this path is not nice.

      • It’s the whole retro thing at the moment. Although something like this feels like it’s been planned for a while, but regardless, the timing is a little off, they aren’t the first and they are aiming for a middle ground that I don’t believe exists.

        Phones can already attach to TVs. You can load android based apps on a TV through mini-PC’s etc. Retro games are already a thing with the SNES Mini and and and. Just a little bit too late I believe

        • Well there’s no confirmation that it’ll be android based – that’s largely conjecture on my part.

          • Aha. It would help if I read properly. Ok, I retract everything. For now.

          • the chance is big it’s just going to be a name brand Ouya.

  • MonsterCheddar

    Nice. Very nice.

  • MonsterCheddar

    SAXY SAXY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • MonsterCheddar

    SAXY SAXY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Johann

    Love the “original” Atari console look, but I do not know if it would be able to compete against the already well established names.

    If they could bring out a console that could rival PS and Xbox that would be impressive, but we all know that would never happen.

  • very sexy

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