Atari has begun teasing a new product called the Ataribox, but right now, the company is being so vague that we have next to no idea what it is.
A website for the Ataribox first surfaced on Friday, holding a short teaser video that describes the device as, “a brand new Atari product years in the making.” It shows a device styled after the company’s retro consoles, with fake woodgrain and slatted black plastic on top. And that’s it.
The website for the Ataribox is so bare-bones that it almost looks fake. Official Atari channels don’t link to it at all, and the site appears to have been made with the free website builder Wix.
“Atari isn’t just slapping its name on the box”
But a representative for Atari confirmed to The Verge that the Ataribox is real. However, an announcement isn’t planned just yet, so it sounds like the product won’t be unveiled at E3 this week, despite the timing of this teaser video.
There’s a ton of reason to be skeptical of anything Atari. The company is far from its glory days and, at this point, mostly just republishes classic titles like Rollercoaster Tycoon. Atari also licenses its name out for other companies to slap on their products, which is why an Atari-branded smart dog collar was announced last year.
For the Ataribox, we’re told that Atari itself is involved in its creation. It sounds like a partner is also working on the device in some way, but the partnership is said to involve more than just licensing the Atari name.
That makes the product sound a bit more intriguing, even if it’s still hard to imagine an exciting Atari device in 2017. It’s possible we could be looking at a new mini console — like the NES Classic — that plays retro games, but Atari partners already publish a bunch of these. So if this is something new, it’s not clear what Atari has in mind. Either way, Atari has a tough road ahead to make the Ataribox stand out.