…this could be something which is very, very good… or… very, very bad…

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Just received my First Look email from AtariBox, I have concerns…

Wood Edition

Glass Edition

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

It is definitely reminiscent of the old Atari consoles, but realistically, for that to be a selling point surely the target demographic will, like me, have to be in the 40s.

The ribbed design, whilst nostalgic, as an adult (term used in it’s loosest of senses) I see as nothing more than a dust trap. In my childhood these things would never have bothered me, in the same way that my son cares very little if there is some dust in the grooves of his XBox. As a parent now though, I do care!

"[…] indicator lights that glow through the material, and an array of new ports (HDMI, 4xUSB, SD).

As you can guess, those ports suggest modern internal specs."

HDMI and USB portsI really do not believe suggest modern, not anymore. These are things that people just expect and I don’t really feel that these are strong selling points. Also, because there are 4 USB ports on the front, whilst it is not mentioned, I have a horrible feeling that these will be for up to 4 controllers to plug in. Do people really want cables dangling out of the front of their consoles? Would this not distract from the wood/glass fascia that was sold to be above?

“It also means that while we will be delivering classic gaming content, we will also be delivering current gaming content.”

uhh… classic gaming content? This is something I was wondering about recently. How will Atari realistically compete with Sony’s PS4 and Microsoft’s XBox One, or respective newer models at the time of roll out. These guys have big stakes in the market. They have established consoles, brands, support, and customer bases, to try and poach enough loyal-to customers Atari will need to pull something pretty big out of the bag and what I am seeing so far really doesn’t appear to be it.

I can walk into any gadget shop on my local high street and find an old style joystick which will come with 20 original Atari games and plug directly into the tv for about £15. I can play PacMan for free via Google!

Class gaming could be fun, but I really don’t think any kids from the current generation are likely to be wowed by Lunar Lander or Missile Command. All of the classics that were good have already been remade so many times, if Atari remakes them for the launch of this console then they are no longer classic.

The only way I can see for Atari to compete here would be to literally give away all of the classic games, for free, with the console in the first instance. This may appeal to people of my generation. Additionally, the console would need to be released in stores in packages that include more modern games, hopefully, appealing to the younger generation.

Price could be a significant factor, I suppose if Atari could come in way under the cost of the existing consoles, but it is still lacking something. I would not be sold on the fact this console has some USB ports.

Could this console support existing controllers from other consoles, meaning as a consumer I wouldn’t need to purchase additional accessories? That would be appealing, but then they would lose a slice of the accessories market.

It will be interesting to see how the development and launch of the AtariBox continues, so far, for myself, it is lacking a lot of wow factor, something as a child was included by default because it was back in the day of the first home computers - that was the wow factor back then.

The glowing Atari logo on the front of the console, hopefully a touch sensitive power button, is the only thing I find attractive about this model yet - and that is a real shame.

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