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article imageAtari's 'Ataribox' will be a mini retro console with modern games

By James Walker     Jul 17, 2017 in Technology
Atari has revealed the first details of its upcoming Ataribox console. The miniature device has a retro design that's clearly intended to replicate the success of Nintendo's Mini NES. It will be capable of running new and classic games on modern hardware.
Atari first announced the Ataribox last month, revealing its first attempt at building a console in 20 years. Today, the company provided some information about the device in an email to its existing customers, later shared unofficially on Reddit. Atari said it is trying to create a product "that stays true to our heritage" while also broadening the Atari brand to modern-day gaming customers.
The company confirmed the design hinted at in the teaser video. Like the Atari consoles of old, the Ataribox will include a wood fascia with ribbed lines. Optionally, the wood can be replaced with glass for a more contemporary look. In either case, the front indicator lights glow "through" the material.
Around the back, you'll find a selection of modern ports. Atari confirmed the presence of four USB ports, an SD card slot and an HDMI port for video output. The company stopped short of detailing the console's internals but said it would have "modern internal specs" capable of running "current gaming content."
There's still a lot of unknowns around the Ataribox but now fans have a little more information to work with. In the past year, miniaturised retro versions of past consoles have skyrocketed in popularity. The unprecedented global demand for the Nintendo Mini NES indicates the time is right for Atari to re-emerge with a new device that runs its old games.
Beyond the nostalgia element, the Ataribox also has wider ambitions. The combination of classic and modern design elements with the ability to run new games suggests it could become a participant in the console wars in its own right. Like much of the Ataribox's details, specifics around its goals and capabilities remain unknown though.
Atari is staying quiet on which games will be supported and whether developers will be able to create new content. The company acknowledged that fans are "hungry" for information but said it will continue to reveal details slowly because it wants "to get this right." It's the first time the reinvented Atari has embarked on a hardware project and it needs to ensure it can deliver.
"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 Ataribox to life, and to listen closely to Atari community feedback as we do so," said Atari. "We'll be giving you lots more information and status updates as we progress, and we are thrilled to have you along for the ride!"
Atari's yet to announce details on pricing, availability and timing. It's clear the company won't be discussing the launch until much more of the console's design and capabilities can be finalised. It has confirmed that two versions will be offered though, the classic wood look and a black and red design.
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