Atari’s almost brutally hipster new console.

It’s pretty weird. Atari wants to turn your TV into a computer monitor:

Atari’s newest console is a modern take on the popular late 1970s console, the Atari 2600. Ataribox claims it will bring a “full PC experience for the TV,” and deliver home-focused features such as video streaming, social media, web browsing and music.

It’s gonna run Linux and cost up to three hundred bucks.  Oh, and you can support it early via Indegogo (the console comes out next year). This is causing some head-scratching, let me tell you.  What’s the point?

Unless the lack of the point is the point.  Look, I honestly try not to make fun of hipsters — after all, they generally don’t get in my face about stuff, I’m not harmed by their habits, and I used to be in my twenties, too — but if one of them was going to buy a video game console it’d look a heck of a lot like the Ataribox. I mean, it’s got it all; retro name, weird interface, not cheap but not full-fledged Cult of Jobs, either, unlikely to be highly popular… this pushes a lot of their buttons.

Just saying.

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  • nicklevi86 says:

    “Smart” TV streaming is where the market is going, especially with the cord cutting trend. Roku and Amazon FireStick are experimenting with games, but Atari has the… branding(?) to make that share of the Smart TV market work. It’s also not $5-700 like the consoles trying to be over-glorified PCs anyway.

    OTOH, My brother already plays Minecraft on his TV from his RasberyPi….

    • acat says:

      Cable TV has been under pressure to dump bundling in favor of ala carte for years if not decades.
      Speaking for the cat household, we want a couple channels in addition to local affiliates. Cable companies insist that we take a boatload of trash channels we literally *never* watch to get AMC (Walking Dead, Preacher) and HGTV (House Hunters) and The Weather Channel ..
      Since cable companies have ignored what customers want, they shouldn’t be surprised that people are coming up with alternatives …
      If the Atari gizmo does streaming and DVR, and includes some retro games, then .. the price looks a little “first adopter” / “hipster” …
      The other thing to consider is .. Steve Jobs remains dead. The last time Apple was without its’ Jobs-visionary, they were weeks from bankruptcy when Jobs returned .. and today they’re making exactly the same errors.
      This’ll open up a very nice “alternative OS for cultists/hipsters” ecological niche ..

  • junior says:

    I’ll just note here that the Atari logo features prominently in the trailer for the new Blade Runner movie, which releases next week. I’d originally thought that was just a reference to the original (which had an Atari logo in the background of a shot). But maybe there was some actual product placement involved?

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