While Nintendo has been the lasting name for video games consoles we grew up playing, there are plenty of us old enough to remember when Atari was the brand to beat in the console wars.
The company has certainly struggled in recent years, but thanks to the popularity of all things nostalgic, it looks like they're aiming to make a comeback. At E3 back in June, Atari teased their new "Ataribox," which would be their first console since the Atari Jaguar came off the market in 1996. The problem was their teaser video was almost too vague, leaving everyone confused about what the Ataribox was, and whether it was even real.
Just over a month later, they're finally starting to release more details about what the Ataribox is supposed to be. In a nutshell, Atari wants to make their own version of Nintendo's NES and SNES Classic Minis, but hopefully without the mistakes/frustration seen in the wake of the NES Classic Mini's release.
In their announcement email, Atari says that “our objective is to create something new, that stays true to our heritage, while appealing to both old and new fans of Atari.” The Ataribox will be available in two different versions. The one in the above image is an obvious throwback to the Atari 2600, complete with faux-wood paneling on the front. The second version goes for a more modern aesthetic where the wood is replaced by an almost blindingly bright red.
For more details about the Ataribox, and some of the games we might see on it, check out the next page
While Atari has been vague about which games will be included on the Ataribox, their announcement has made it sound like it will be a mix of retro games and some of Atari's more current game properties. This is one major difference between Atari and Nintendo, as the NES and SNES minis were focused (obviously) on just the games from those specific consoles, rather than a range of old and new games.
Atari has been pretty vague about the Ataribox's specs, but they have released some basic info. The console will feature an HDMI port, SD card support (expandable memory, maybe?) and 4 USB ports. As far as the internal hardware goes, Atari has said absolutely nothing.
At least Atari seems to understand that their audience might be a little frustrated by the seeming lack of information about their latest project. In their announcement they state, "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 this to life, and to listen closely to the Atari community feedback as we do so."
There's not much for Atari fans to do now but wait for a full announcement that includes hardware details, which games will be included, price, and release date, which hopefully will appear sooner rather than later. We'll keep posting updates as Atari reveals more. In the meantime, we can start guessing which Atari games might make a comeback for the Ataribox. Here are some of our picks, first up, some of the old school games we hope to see.
This 1979 game is an absolute classic.
This game was so fun, but so, so stressful.
Another beloved classic that's an absolute must-have for the Ataribox.
There's no way they could possibly exclude everyone's favorite dot-eater.
Let's be real, you can't have Pac-Man and not include Ms. Pac-Man!
This was the game that started it all, there's no way it won't be included!
It was so easy to just zone out while playing this.
This game seemed so impossibly hard when I was a kid.
If this isn't included than why even bother?
It's definitely time for this cute little guy to make a comeback!
E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial
OK maybe not this one.
This one was an arcade classic!
This was one of my absolute favorite games growing up.
Here are some of their newer games that could also make the cut
Ubisoft bought the rights to the series off Atari, but maybe some of the original games will make an appearance.
This game is a must for any RPG fans.
Honestly if this doesn't make the cut, is the Ataribox even worth buying?