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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Linux? Ugh. Puh. Bleh. Bad choice.
by aliver on Thu 28th Sep 2017 21:11 UTC
Member since:

Linux has proven to be a terrible choice for devices like this. Fatally so, in almost every case. As a retro gamer and collector I won't touch anything that smells like a hacked up x86 Linux board with custom firmware and a crappy emulator. Folks, emulators are free. It had better have an custom chipset or at least an FPGA. Otherwise, go back to the drawing board. Why do I care about a SNES/NES classic ? I still own the real one! Give me something new, different, interesting. A recycled Emustation / Lakka box is a HUGE turn off and a total fail in my personal book. Linux is soooo unsexy at this post-systemd point in time. It's proven to be a pretty nasty failure for gamers, to, ie.. "All hat and no cattle. "

Reply Score: 5

Kochise Member since:

Personal choice, but you don't necessarily own all the official IPs with an emulator, what the Ataribox 'offers' you. Deals with the x86 based board with crappy firmware, let's wait and see.

But all together, Atari has proven to be a constant failure, rotten with management inadequatibility, with a few couples of very punctual exceptions that have indeed marked history (ST most notably).

Hence, given the past record of previous Atari leadership and current one, I wouldn't quite much trust this new fancy toy currently built out of thin air, with 3D cgi and dubious specs.

I may be wrong, but Amiga had more future (Gateway, Escom, ...) than Atari had (Jts, ...) and delivered much more up to date software than revamped old fashioned IPS for the X and/or Y generations.

Reply Parent Score: 3

ahferroin7 Member since:

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).

Reply Parent Score: 0

bassbeast Member since:

Except the odds are it won't be legal in the west so will be no different than any cheap Android box from China except for the price.

I mean do you think Sony is gonna license them the BIOS for the PS1? That whomever owns Commodore and Amiga is gonna license their properties? The only thing we know if that they have an Atari license but that frankly don't mean squat as even on the 2600 the biggest titles were made by Activision, Namco, and Nintendo and its EXTREMELY doubtful they would license their IPs at a price this company could possibly afford!

There is a reason why you don't see western companies selling emulation boxes, which with the number of no longer sold/supported systems and how cheaply you can get decent APUs these days would be a no brainer, its because its a legal minefield where the best properties are owned by multiple companies all of which want insane amounts of money for their IP. Just look at the flashback consoles like the Coleco Flashback where the majority of hit games for the system isn't included, why? Nintendo won't license their IP, nor will Parker Bros, and good luck finding out who even owns the IP for all those now defunct companies like Xonox and Imagic!

Reply Parent Score: 2

Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:

Linux is soooo unsexy at this post-systemd point in time. It's proven to be a pretty nasty failure for gamers, to, ie.. "All hat and no cattle. "

How bizarre. Kernel .. sex drive .. init system ..failing ..gamers.. hat.. cattle.

Well, Frozen potato, New Zealand, RiscOS influenza to you too.

Reply Parent Score: 4