Atari's console will be going with AMD and Radeon technology for their upcoming console and the device will be priced somewhere around the £250 mark. Crowdfunding will start in spring 2018.
Atari are like a few companies before them trying to fill some imaginary void in the console market, targeting players who like hooking up their PCs to their TVs this time around.
“People are used to the flexibility of a PC, but most connected TV devices have closed systems and content stores. Ataribox is an open system, and while our user interface will be easy to use, people will also be free to access and customize the underlying OS. We’ve chosen to launch Ataribox with Indiegogo given their focus on delivering technology products, and their strong international presence in over 200 countries, allowing us to reach and involve as many Atari fans around the world as possible", project lead Feargal Mac told Venture Beat in an interview.
Atari may think they have the brand power to see this one through, and are definitely trying to provide some sort of alternative to the big three of the moment while undercutting them in the pricing department, but I can tell you right away that most publishers won't like the idea of an open system for a variety of reasons. Just kidding, it's actually just money and control.
Another funny thing is that Atari are planning to completely bastardise the initial concept and idea of cowdfunding and then leave it in a pool of confusion and bodily fluids. Going through Indiegogo reeks of risk aversion. First because all Atari have got at the moment are some plans and prototypes with some investors shaking their head at trying to compete with Nintendo, Sony or Microsoft, and second because an Atari product belongs on a crowdfunding platform as much as its board of directors belongs in a homeless shelter.
It is highly likely that the Indiegogo aspect of things has less to do with delivering technology products, and a lot more to with Atari trying to prove that there is a market for their console at all. Maybe they should go talk to Julie Uhrman and ask her how things went for the Ouya, if they can find the pile of money under which she has been hiding from the public ever since that cheap lump of underpowered phone parts and plastic posing as a console bombed.
The creatively named Ataribox will be using AMD and Radeon technology and run on some version of Linux, so Atari are assembling quite a team of underdogs for their stab at the console market. All of this was likely inspired by the recent success of Nintendo's retro mini-consoles, and the question of Atari managing to replicate Nintendo's results will be answered in due time. If the whole thing doesn't already crash and burn in the crowdfunding phase that is.