Atari Is Back: Everything We Know About Ataribox

Following the roaring success of the NES Classic and SNES Classic, it's no surprise that Atari wants to get on board the nostalgia train with a mini console of its own. That's the Ataribox, which the company announced on July 17 via a newsletter, and may be on sale soon.

Credit: Atari

(Image credit: Atari)

There's not a ton of official detail yet, we're still waiting on release date, price and a list of games. But we do know what the hardware will look like, and we've heard rumor of a pre-order date as well.

There will be two versions of the hardware: one in black and red and one in black and a wood finish (a throwback to the Atari systems of old). Unlike Nintendo's mini console, though, it will have a wide selection of ports: HDMI, four USB ports and an SD card slot. These suggest the possibility of loading new games onto the unit (or downloading games from an app store like Google Play). I'm personally a fan of the wood version, which is both classy and delightfully retro.

MORE: Where to Buy the SNES Classic Edition

Credit: Atari

(Image credit: Atari)

According to a report from CNET, an email from Atari alerted customers to the pre-orders for the Ataribox will begin on December 14. No official price has been revealed as of this moment, but it may be sold in different configuations, with pricing ranging between $249 and $299.

"As you can guess, those ports suggest modern internal specs," it says in the July newsletter. "It also means that while we will be delivering classic gaming content, we will also be delivering current gaming content." It's unclear if this means Atari is making new games and will try to compete, somehow, with modern consoles.

Otherwise, Atari is keeping its cards close to the vest. It refers to the "coming months," a wide potential window that could go as far as next year.

So should you be getting your money together to pre-order? Well, you can't yet, and it's hard to recommend a console based solely on looks alone. We'll update you with more information as we get it.

Andrew E. Freedman

Andrew E. Freedman is an editor at Tom's Hardware focusing on laptops, desktops and gaming as well as keeping up with the latest news. He holds a M.S. in Journalism (Digital Media) from Columbia University. A lover of all things gaming and tech, his previous work has shown up in Kotaku, PCMag, Complex, Tom's Guide and Laptop Mag among others.