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The Linux-powered Ataribox pre-order launch has been 'officially paused'

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*sniff* do you smell that? It has a certain fishy aroma to it. The Ataribox [Official Site] IndieGoGo launch is now 'officially paused'.

It was only a few days ago, that we reported about the Ataribox pre-order campaign date and it has been delayed already. It's not surprising, since they had given out so few details about the unit that it became more than a little concerning. It's even more concerning now that it's suddenly 'paused' before it even began.

Here's what the official update sent to my inbox said:

The countdown to the Ataribox launch on IndieGoGo has been officially paused. Because of one key element on our checklist, it is taking more time to create the platform and ecosystem the Atari community deserves. Building Ataribox is incredibly important to us and we will do whatever it takes to be sure it is worth the wait.

An updated launch plan is underway and more detailed information will be available soon. 

We will be keeping you, our community, informed every step of the way. Thank you again for your support of Ataribox. 

It will be very surprising if it ever appears again. A shame though, it could have been an interesting unit. We will keep you informed if we hear anything else, especially if this 'updated launch plan' actually materialises.

I don't mean to be too negative, as the possibilities are exciting to a tech and Linux enthusiast like myself. The problem is how everything is still so secret. We know hardly anything about the device, apart from the few details they've let trickle out.

If it does actually come out, I will be quite pleased and I will likely grab one to play with and review. I hope it's just a case of letting the entire project bake a little longer, to get more games ready and to polish the user experience. Delays aren't always a bad thing, so we will just have to wait and see.

If any Atari reps read this, get in touch.

Article updated after publishing with more thoughts.

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26 comments
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mirv 14 December 2017 at 2:54 pm UTC
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I like how on their press page is a quote from GOL: "Hard not to get excited about the possibilities".
They just wanted to make it easier not to get excited.

Seriously though, this kind of "pause" is most definitely not a good sign, especially with only a hand-wavy reason given.
Mohandevir 14 December 2017 at 3:03 pm UTC
"It will be very surprising if it ever appears again."

You have obviously much more experience about this kind of stuff than I do, but I'm curious to know why you think we will never hear about it again?
Eike 14 December 2017 at 3:03 pm UTC
I wouldn't paint that too black.

(While I'm not exited about the device. I expect it to be cheap hardware able to run, what it is made for: Very old games.)
Lakorta 14 December 2017 at 3:14 pm UTC
The title is slightly misleading. It's the launch countdown that was paused, not the project itself.
Psychojau 14 December 2017 at 3:17 pm UTC
Maybe they just want some more time to finish cute a gnome extension ? Or worse, they have a driver problem (AMD...) ? Or they just want a stronger hardware to play modern games. We don't know anything about the chip / board they are building on... *sob* Let's wait :-(
liamdawe 14 December 2017 at 3:32 pm UTC
mirvI like how on their press page is a quote from GOL: "Hard not to get excited about the possibilities".
They just wanted to make it easier not to get excited.

Seriously though, this kind of "pause" is most definitely not a good sign, especially with only a hand-wavy reason given.
We....got recognised? Oh my. They might regret linking to us a bit now though...

Mohandevir"It will be very surprising if it ever appears again."

You have obviously much more experience about this kind of stuff than I do, but I'm curious to know why you think we will never hear about it again?
It has happened before with plenty of other devices, not necessarily Linux-specific though. I've seen very similar things happen over and over again.

LakortaThe title is slightly misleading. It's the launch countdown that was paused, not the project itself.
Correct, I've adjusted the title to ensure it's clear. Wasn't my intention to mislead of course
PlutonMaster 14 December 2017 at 3:37 pm UTC
I wait the reviews about this device.
I have Raspberry Pi with Retropie including all Atari games in it.
Mohandevir 14 December 2017 at 3:38 pm UTC
liamdawe
Mohandevir"It will be very surprising if it ever appears again."

You have obviously much more experience about this kind of stuff than I do, but I'm curious to know why you think we will never hear about it again?
It has happened before with plenty of other devices, not necessarily Linux-specific though. I've seen very similar things happen over and over again.

I was hoping for a last minute & new brilliant idea that forced them to reconsider... You are breaking my illusions Liam!

Thanks for the input.
slaapliedje 14 December 2017 at 4:49 pm UTC
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For what it's worth, the one guy over on AtariAge who said he was working with the AtariBox people said that he is no longer working with them and that it had something to do with some accessory they couldn't get working.

Not sure that is actually worth anything. He also said he'd be working on the Gameband instead. Which has been delayed over and over again, something about trying to get a water resistant rating and the USB-C port not fitting the design well enough.
Mountain Man 14 December 2017 at 4:51 pm UTC
My guess is they ran out of money, and opening it up for pre-orders was their last-gasp effort to raise some capital to finish the project.
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