Before the fall of the North American Video Game market in 1983, there really was no company more important than Atari. The Atari 2600 was dominant, and Atari was seemingly invisible. However, thanks to a myriad of issues, including a wave of poor quality software and a loss of publishing control, the American market crashed, and with it went Atari’s dominant position.
Not only did this eventually result in the closure of Atari after a range of failed consoles, but it also saw the Atari brand broken up and sold off. Nowadays the Atari brand survives as Atari, SA, formed via a merger of Infogrames and similar Atari subsidies. However, it seems as though the spirit of the past lives on, as at E3 2017, CEO Fred Chesnais confirmed to Gamesbeat that Atari are working on a brand new console, doing so via a simple statement:.
We’re back in the hardware business
That’s right, around 24 years after the Atari Jaguar launched, Atari is seemingly re-entering the console market with the Ataribox. What’s more, if rumours are to be believed, this console will squarely be focused on retro games, much like the recent NES Classic Mini. Aside from this confirmation though, the only other information Chesnais’ would confirm is that the console will be based on PC technology, and that they would reveal design and specification information at a later date.
Nevertheless, Chesnais’ who saved the company in 2013 following a bankruptcy application, believes that this could finally be Atari’s big revival. Whether Atari can actually regain some of the popularity it held in the late 70s and early 80s is yet to be seen, but Atari will certainly have retro gaming fans excited with this announcement. Now all we have to do is find out just what the Ataribox actually is.
P.S. Can the next console announcement please be that Sega is also returning to the console market? Thanks.