Earlier this month, Atari released a cryptic video on its website, showing off sleek visuals of new hardware with a wood-grain design. The video doesn’t show much, but it teased that Atari is returning to the console market. Now, in an exclusive interview with VentureBeat, CEO Fred Chesnais confirms Atari is making a console comeback.
Atari’s last console to release was the Atari Jaguar in 1993. Although the company played a big part in making video game history, it is barely present today in the industry. Chesnais told VentureBeat that, “We’re back in the hardware business.”
Details are slim, but Chesnais confirmed that the upcoming console, codenamed the Ataribox, is PC-based and that the design of the hardware is not yet finalized. He says more information will come at a later date. For more on Atari, read our feature where we speak to Pitfall creator David Crane.
Atari played a huge role in video game history, but I’m skeptical about whether this comeback will succeed. Entering the console market successfully is a difficult feat, especially for a company that hasn’t been in that business for decades. The Ouya tried and failed, but Atari at least has the recognizable brand name. Atari filed for bankruptcy back in 2013, and came out of it soon after, newly focusing on social casino games. It’s unclear just how powerful this upcoming console is, and what kind of library it will have, but it sounds like we’ll find out more down the road.