Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 28th Sep 2017 10:16 UTC

Ars Technica:

The spec sheet, as announced, is still pretty vague, but Atari has confirmed a few notable things, starting with a price point between $250 and $300. In exchange for costing roughly as much as a Nintendo Switch, Xbox One S, or PlayStation 4, the Ataribox will come packed with an "AMD customized processor with Radeon graphics technology." Additionally, this will not be an Android system. Instead, the Ataribox will run Linux "with a customized, easy-to-use user interface."

Open, hackable Linux-based consoles don't exactly have a great track record, so colour me skeptical.

Wouldn't be the first time my skepticism turns out to be spot-on. I don't think the Ataribox is the next Commodore USA, but I'm afraid its fate will be the same, regardless.

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Most people don't have the original systems, and emulation is non-trivial to do legally in most places in the world.

As far as gaming on Linux, it's largely poor execution by big companies combined with people worshiping DirectX as the holy grail of game development. For almost everything in my Steam library that runs on Linux, I'd rather play it on Linux, I get better performance on most titles, and significantly better input device behavior on all of them (regardless of what input device).

Use of Linux for this is also helping keep the price down. If you cut out the the cost of software development for the XB1 and adjust for a reasonable percentage of cost from branding, you get about the same price as Atari is looking at. Similar, but not quite as striking for the PS4 (they use a heavily customized FreeBSD base, and obviously didn't put much thought into certain aspects).

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