Forthcoming Ataribox renamed "Atari VCS"


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/03/21/forthcoming-ataribox-renamed.html


#2

Wikipedia needs to lock this down with, at the very least, a neutral disambiguation page. VCS is the original name of the original console, and they should not be allowed to step on that.


#3

VCS


#4

do people know how bad these games really were? I mean…they were terrible.

except for Raiders of the Lost Ark…I really liked that one.


#5

I am all for all of those things, but holy crap. $300 or so for a retro woodgrain box is a lotta dough for sexy nostalgia.


#6

Especially since Nintendo is leveraging nostalgia at or below that price point. Plus they have an actual track record and aren’t currently selling branded speakerhats.


#7

That’s the difference between developing quality content that builds on 30+ years of nostalgia and basically just selling stuff that stirs memories of the brand you own. My fear is that Atari isn’t really going to give much of a crap what’s inside the box, hoping that its design and woodgrain will attract 40-somethings with dough to buy it, stick it in their living room, and show off their sexy retro tech.


#8

Wow, I had no idea. If it has a meaty GPU, that’ll be OK. But it won’t, will it?


#9

A really expensive paperweight.


#10

FWIW, I recently bought a Sega Genesis console with 81 games built in and 2 controllers for <$30.

Why do they think this is worth so much?


#11

Can you download new games or stream video on your retro Sega system? That’s what they’re claiming the Atari will do. (Still over priced though)


#12

Ah ok, I missed that. No, I can’t. Thanks.

I’m a tad too young to be nostalgic for Atari, in any case. And I have emulators and ROMs for other games on SNES, NES, and Sega.


#13

And I have emulators and ROMs for other games on SNES, NES, and Sega.

As you should. Carry on!


#14

Wait… what? Why are you talking about me? How did you know that’s what I was going to do?


#15

My hope is that:

A) It comes with tons of games already, as well as 5200 and 7800 games, and maybe Lynx and Jaguar games (where appropriate)
B) Steam, so you can basically use it as a Steam Box, and / or GOG on it.

They said it would be “open” Linux, which means we’ll be able to install things… so I’m hoping it does become something legitimately useful… maybe even encourage compatible development through social media using open-source standards… (as I suspect). It’s all about how it’s proposed, but I do hope they put some real effort into it.


#16

Especially when we look at most of games Atari itself published (and has rights to) - they were even bad for the time. But in general, the tech was so crude, gameplay was incredibly limited. There’s a reason why there was a crash in the industry. Even modern versions, hoping to cash in on nostalgia, have radically different, more complex games using the familiar names.

Based on announcements, it seems like some sort of locked-down, Atari-themed version of a Steam box, which they’re hoping, against hope, developers will make games for. Which didn’t work out so well for Steam, and they had a huge user base to build on.

It’s going to be a very low-end Linux PC with a very expensive case. I’d be very, very surprised if it even had a graphics card.

Let’s face it, though - a good portion of the retail price will be going towards the case itself (and licensing the name). Which means it’s going to be a really low-powered PC. (I mean, they’re aware no one is going to want it for playing AAA games and no one is going to develop them for it.) So it’s not going to be of much use for anything else. Spending the same amount for an off-the-shelf PC would be infinitely more useful.


#17

Sure …but you could do that on any computer right now, so why does this even need to exist?

The Register has an amusingly sassy take on how there’s nothing in the Atari Box.
The Register’s take


#18

I mean, I could put an Olds 455 Big Block with 430 horsepower into a Chevrolet Chevette for $1000 bucks, but I’d much rather put it into a 1973 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme.


#19

OK … I guess the “old car” analogy works here …

So if the shell is important, and you’re willing to do the work yourself, you could put a Pi or Odroid board into an Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme model kit, load up some emulators and play Atari ROMs (and a few GOG games if you’re crafty) all day long.

Remember that many of the best games on 2600/5200/7800/Lynx/Jaguar were licensed from third parties. All “Atari” has is Adventure, Combat, Missile Command, Asteroids, and the other stuff they’ve been putting out in multiple form factors for decades.


#20

Stop being logical!

Hahah, I know what you’re saying. But… it’s a new Atari game system!!! Atari is going to come back and be like Microsoft or Amazon one day!