Atari makes a bid to re-enter the console wars.
Unlike me around time for my birthday, everything old is new again. It’s not 1982, but Atari is launching a home console.
“We’re back in the hardware business,” said Atari CEO Fred Chesnais during an interview with GameBeats. Not much has been revealed about the new console, but we do know it will be based on PC technology. A name for the new console hasn’t been released, but it might be hinted at by the site used to announce it, AtariBox.
Founded in 1971 by Nolan Bushnell and Ted Dabney, Atari has always been at the forefront of the gaming industry. They created the arcade smash PONG, and were pioneers in the home console field with their Atari Video Computer System/VCS (aka the Atari 2600) in 1982. The company later went into the computer business with their development of the Atari ST series of computers in 1985. Atari then went into handheld gaming with the Atari Lynx in 1989, and in 1993 they released the Atari Jaguar home console – the first 64-bit video game console, when the competing consoles were the 16-bit Sega Genesis and Super Nintendo Entertainment System.
Atari has had its share of successes and failures over the years. For instance, it almost single-handedly caused the video game crash of 1983. The company eventually filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2013, at which point it was purchased by Chesnais. These days, the company has found success in the area of mobile gaming. However, with the move to launch another console, Chesnais is betting that lightning will strike twice and history will be repeated.
As an original gamer from the 2600 era, I hope that this gamble works…and that the joysticks won’t be the stiff one-button non-ergonomic monstrosities that we used to play with. I’ll still be old, but I’ll be feeling like a kid again.
How many of you out there remember the Atari 2600, the Lynx, or the Atari Jaguar? Are you excited for a new Atari console? Let us know in the comments!