In July 2017, Atari announced that there is a brand new product in production called the Ataribox. This is great news for gamers seeking nostalgia and wanting to relive the games of their childhood, as it is expected to feature numerous seminal titles upon its release. Thus far, there have been no official comments from the company on release dates, pricing, game content, or full specs but some information has been given that could give fans plenty of ammunition to speculate on what could be offered.
Source: Ataribox via Facebook
Atari have stated that the upcoming console will be a brand new product and said that “our objective is to create something new that stays true to our heritage while appealing to both old and new fans of Atari.” It is inspired by the classic wood found on the Atari 2600 but has been given a modern twist. There are also numerous up-to-date additions, such as the inclusion of USB and HDMI ports. It appears that the company may attempt to deliver the retro games of old to a modern audience using the best graphic engines available.
There would certainly be a market for this, as a number of old games have been re-released in recent times to excellent reception. It seems as though modern players just can’t get enough of those nostalgic elements and playing the games that kick-started the massive $22 billion industry we know today. One example of this is the return of Crash Bandicoot. Granted, the game was first released in 1996 for PlayStation, and is nowhere near as old as the original Atari games. But it has shown that releasing remastered versions of games that are over twenty years old can be fruitful. Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy has been immensely successful so far, enjoying the biggest single-platform launch of the year.
Nintendo also raked it in last year with the redistribution of its Nintendo Entertainment System. The consoles that were originally released in 1985 flew off the shelves and outdid the company’s expectations massively. The console came with 30 built-in classic games and Nintendo sold 2.3 million units. This will have come as encouragement to Atari and could be one of the factors that inspired the company to follow suit.
Another thing that will lead Atari to believe that its product can come out to a similar reception to Nintendo is the fact that some of the old titles are already being used by iGaming developers for modern audiences. Space Invaders has remained enduringly popular since its original release in 1978, and its latest incarnation is an online slot game developed by Playtech. The game, which uses features from the original is available to play at a multitude of online casinos including William Hill, where there are two welcome bonuses on offer worth over £275. It stands to reason that Space Invaders will be one of the main games to return with the Ataribox but what else could follow?
There just has to be an Asteroids offering, that’s for sure. The game, which involved destroying asteroids and flying saucers, was one of the most famous titles in the golden age of arcade games and helped to sell over 70,000 arcade cabinets. This game has also remained popular and can still be played in the form of a mobile app. Many older gamers would also love to see the return of Atari 2600 classics such as Missile Command, Pitfall, Super Breakout, Adventure, Combat, and Q*Bert. The list goes on. After Nintendo’s release of its old console with 30 old games loaded up, it seems fair to assume that Atari could go the same way with its release. This would certainly go down well with older gamers but might not suit modern audiences so well.
If Atari wants the Ataribox to be a console worthy of challenging PlayStation and Xbox, the game developers should perhaps go for a combination of remastered games of old, along with more up-to-date epics that appeal to the younger generation. With open world adventures now featuring plenty of side games within the game, there is plenty of scopes to include Atari classics in almost anything.