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Atari are launching a new gaming system, the 'Ataribox' and it runs Linux

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Another Linux-based gaming system is coming, this time from Atari. The Ataribox [Official Site] will run on an AMD processor and it sounds quite interesting.

It will use an AMD customized processor, with Radeon Graphics technology. This likely means a proper CPU for a desktop and not an ARM chip like found in other devices. It runs Linux, but they will be customizing the interface as it's mainly aimed at using it like a console on a TV. Even so, they say it will give a "full PC experience for the TV". You will also apparently get full access to the underlying Linux system, so there might possibly be a proper Linux desktop included to achieve this.

It sounds like it's going to remain quite open too, as they say you will be able to access games purchased from other "content platforms" as long as it's Linux-compatible. So, it sounds like installing Steam will be possible for example.

It will come pre-loaded with classic Atari games too and even some current titles from a range of different studios. It will be interesting to see if these current titles are games already on Linux, or games they will get ported. If they are new ports, I hope they continue to be open with them and not do some kind of exclusive "Ataribox store" deal. They say we will learn more about the titles soon, so I will keep you updated.

It will launch on Indiegogo soon, they say "this fall". It might seem strange for a bigger company to go to crowdfunding, but they say this is because they want the community to be part of the launch. Honestly though, it's mainly so there's less risk involved for them, but it's also a good way for them to gauge real interest in it.

As for the proper launch, that will be in "late Spring 2018" with a price between $249-$299. That depends on what edition and configuration is purchased.

The wood edition, pictured above, is made with real wood. Now that I would love to sit next to my TV! That's a real unit, not a render.

This is something that could help push Linux gaming further. Especially if it really will be as open as they claim, it could help Linux gain even more support from developers. I don't want to overstate how well it will help though, since it's not going to be massively powerful. Even so, it's hard not to get excited about the possibilities here. Another big name pushing Linux gaming can only be a good thing for us.

While Valve's Steam Machines didn't do as much as some people hoped, it did open up Linux a lot more to game developers and we've now got thousands of games on Linux as a result of Steam coming to Linux and later the SteamOS announcement. Perhaps this small kick from Atari will help continue progress, but who knows.

What do you think to this? Exciting or not? I will likely grab one, the price seems good and it sounds like a fun platform. It also looks pretty awesome!

Update: For those curious if it's really real (there's been a few comments about it across our various social groups). Here's the press email, also the official Atari Twitter account even linked to it, as did the official Atari Facebook. On top of that, it seems the AMD CEO is excited by it.

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117 comments
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Liam Dawe 26 September 2017 at 12:42 pm UTC
MohandevirIf it is Zen AMD APU based, chances are that it will be more powerfull than the actual Nintendo Switch and will probably play in the same league. If Atari gets back into the publishing game again for futur titles, this is the Linux box I've been waiting for. Mine! Mine! Mine!

More informations:
http://www.omgubuntu.co.uk/2017/09/atari-ataribox-runs-linux

"While there are no firm specs revealed (as of writing) beyond the use of a ‘customised’ AMD CPU and Radeon graphics, we do know that the machine will be sold in a range of 'memory configurations'."

Looking forward to these 'memory configurations'.
I hate to nitpick, but we have the exact same info in the article, especially since we are the source of OMG's news for this ;)
Mohandevir 26 September 2017 at 12:45 pm UTC
liamdawe
MohandevirIf it is Zen AMD APU based, chances are that it will be more powerfull than the actual Nintendo Switch and will probably play in the same league. If Atari gets back into the publishing game again for futur titles, this is the Linux box I've been waiting for. Mine! Mine! Mine!

More informations:
http://www.omgubuntu.co.uk/2017/09/atari-ataribox-runs-linux

"While there are no firm specs revealed (as of writing) beyond the use of a ‘customised’ AMD CPU and Radeon graphics, we do know that the machine will be sold in a range of 'memory configurations'."

Looking forward to these 'memory configurations'.
I hate to nitpick, but we have the exact same info in the article, especially since we are the source of OMG's news for this ;)

Oups! Sorry! Lol!
Nice to know! Already knew you are the best, Liam! ;)


Last edited by Mohandevir at 26 September 2017 at 12:46 pm UTC
ismaelbonato@gmail.com 26 September 2017 at 12:56 pm UTC
It's awesome. I Would like to see Pitfalls, frostbite and test drive unlimited.

It would be awesome if Atari create a new store on Linux too.
Areso 26 September 2017 at 1:12 pm UTC
MohandevirIf it is Zen AMD APU based, chances are that it will be more powerfull than the actual Nintendo Switch and will probably play in the same league. If Atari gets back into the publishing game again for futur titles, this is the Linux box I've been waiting for. Mine! Mine! Mine!

More informations:
http://www.omgubuntu.co.uk/2017/09/atari-ataribox-runs-linux

"While there are no firm specs revealed (as of writing) beyond the use of a ‘customised’ AMD CPU and Radeon graphics, we do know that the machine will be sold in a range of 'memory configurations'."

Looking forward to these 'memory configurations'.
Well, I guess there are possible eMMC (SSD) config 16 or 32GB, just like nVidia shield only for retro games and indies, then, I think, there are will be 500 GB model, and for hardcore gamers there are will be 1TB or more.
Grimfist 26 September 2017 at 1:17 pm UTC
Oh boy, exciting news for sure. If this thing gets a blueray drive I am all in! Heck, even without optical drive, I am sold here.
CFWhitman 26 September 2017 at 1:53 pm UTC
There's a fair chance I'd be interested in this. The way it looks it could replace the Raspberry Pi in my living room for streaming movies from my server through Kodi and retro-gaming, as well as adding the possibilities of working for Netflix (at 720p anyway) and newly released games. I just have to make sure I keep the interface user friendly enough for all the members of my household to continue to be able to use it.
Marky 26 September 2017 at 2:18 pm UTC
Wow, this has pretty cool potential.
Here's hoping they stick to keeping it fairly open and nail the interface.
Shmerl 26 September 2017 at 2:25 pm UTC
Nice. We need more push for preinstalled Linux. I just hope they'll make UI open, unlike SteamOS.


Last edited by Shmerl at 26 September 2017 at 2:26 pm UTC
ahjolinna 26 September 2017 at 2:29 pm UTC
who cares, modern Atari is just awful shell of the old Atari, somehow people have forgot that Atari went bankrupt and Infogrames Entertainment bought it, so this new/modern Atari has nothing to do with the old one...nothing..accept the brand.

JimSterling made a good video (~2 years ago) about their (new) games quality: View video on youtube.com
also it seems this "modern Atari" is way more interestered about "political correct games" instead of making good games (like Ubisoft, EA and Activision)..at least that's how I interpreted this.


Last edited by ahjolinna at 26 September 2017 at 2:47 pm UTC
Comandante Ñoñardo 26 September 2017 at 3:52 pm UTC
An Atari console without cartridges?
pass..
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