Coleco the 80s competitor to Atari, for Americ’a video game love is BACK and in a big way. Coleco held its first Coleo Expo in Edison New Jersey this past weekend. Coleco Expo was fun for all ages, as it had lots of retrogames, toys , cosplay , virtual reality and more!!!… Coleco did a good job at putting this convention together, as it brought many great memories of Colecovision and other great games from the 80’s and 90’s back to life. We are looking forward to going back to Coleco Expo in 2018. Here are some pictures and videos from the event.
Ataribox, the first home console Atari has developed in over 20 years. Right now there is a lot about the Ataribox that we don’t know. We don’t know exactly what’s inside, or how powerful the console will be, but Atari did state that it would have modern hardware and play current games.
It will also play classic Atari games, of course, which means that we could be looking at an evolution of the NES Classic idea. This could end up being a home console packed with retro goodies, and an operating system that allows you to purchase or play more modern Atari games. We would be perfectly fine with that, and there are a ton of games we’d love to see on the Ataribox at launch.
Assuming that Atari plans on loading this thing up with retro and current games to entice retro gamers at launch, we figured we’d mention the all-time classics that have to show up on the console out of the gate. These are the games that have the power to give the Ataribox that NES Classic level of hype and appeal; let’s just hope they make enough to go around!
Atari, famous for the 2600 console, has made a Bluetooth-connected hat with integrated speakers. The company thinks this is the future of wearables…
There are some interesting ways to get wearable speakers (anyone remember the cat ear headphones?) but Atari, the video game company, knows where the future really lies.
It’s a hat. A hat with speakers in. Called, naturally, Speakerhat.
The hat has “high-fidelity stereo speakers and microphone that can connect instantly to any Bluetooth-enabled device.” So rather than listen to headphones as you go about your day-to-day activities, you can have music blasted into your face.
Or multiple people’s faces – Atari’s “Social Synchronous Broadcast technology” lets multiple Speakerhat users simultaneously listen to the same song. But you can’t buy a Speakerhat to find out – right now, you can only sign up for a chance to be a beta tester. 10 will be chosen.
The reason for this new innovation? It’s part of a limited edition tie-in to Blade Runner 2049. The Speakerhat is a a joint project between Atari, Audioware and collectibles manufacturer NECA.
More after the break
The practicality of the hat, however, raises a number of questions: if you take a call on your phone while it’s playing to the hat, won’t your phone call be heard by everyone? Why are the speakers in front of your face when your ears are on the side? And is this really what 2049 will look like?
During E3 2017, Atari posted an interesting 21-second teaser called AtariBox. In short visual stabs, it shows what appears to be a redesigned Atari 2600 console. Atari CEO Fred Chesnais confirmed that the AtariBox was indeed real, and that the company was back in the hardware business.
Naturally, that generated a lot of buzz. But before you get too excited at Atari’s possible return to the console wars, you should consider where the company is now, where it plans to go, and what Fred Chesnais has publicly stated since he rescued the company from bankruptcy protection in 2013. What you’ll find is that a full-fledged console likely isn’t on the Atari menu.
Atari, the software company
Today, Atari makes its money as a game publisher. It serves up games for Android and iOS such as RollerCoaster Tycoon Touch, Atari Vault, Centipede: Origins, and many more. The company also provides an “online arcade” where fans can play Flash-based versions of Centipede, Lunar Lander, Missile Command, Pong, Yars’ Revenge, and more, within a web browser.
Atari also serves up older console and PC games such as Ghostbusters: Sanctum of Slime, Blood, and the RollerCoaster Tycoon series. Atari is even rebooting its popular franchises, publishing reimagined versions of Asteroids, Yars’ Revenge, and Haunted House.
Classic games optimized by Atari for a game-optimized smartwatch doesn’t seem far-fetched at all.
Atari does make money from games, and it even generates cash with lucrative licensing of its brand to Hollywood. Yet that doesn’t mean Atari is able to make the huge investment required to compete with Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo. Sony and Microsoft often lose money with each console sold, and make up for that loss through software sales. Based on Atari’s current software portfolio, it doesn’t appear to have the cash to do that.
Chesnais said, in 2015, that the company has no plans to build a new console. Instead, Chesnais indicated his interest in producing an Atari-branded smartwatch capable of playing games. That’s totally feasible, as smartwatches on the market today can play clones of Asteroids, Galaxia, Brick Breaker, and Pong. Classic games optimized by Atari for a game-optimized smartwatch doesn’t seem far-fetched at all.
What would a new Atari look like?
What, then, is the AtariBox? In 2014, Chesnais said that Atari was contemplating a replica of the Atari 2600. The comment seemingly points to a device like what Nintendo produced during the 2016 holiday season — the NES Classic Edition console. It’s a miniature version of Nintendo’s very first home console packed with 30 games, HDMI connectivity, and the ability to save progress.
The NES Classic Edition had classic games you can’t purchase to play on other hardware, however. That’s not the case for Atari, which has frequently made its classics available on various platforms, so if the company is indeed taking that route, it will need something to get gamers excited. One possibility is an AtariBox that plays not just Atari 2600 games, but also made for the 5200, 7800, and Jaguar consoles — and maybe even the Atari Lynx handheld system, too.
Chesnais’ said in an interview that AtariBox will rely on PC technology, which is what started the excitement. That’s a very vague description, and could be a play on words to generate buzz. Both Microsoft and Sony ditched proprietary processors in their latest consoles, and went with AMD-based processor and graphics technology used in PCs for the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 consoles.
To some degree, Nintendo’s Switch console is based on PC technology, too. Unlike the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, the Switch is based on a variant of a mobile all-in-one “Tegra” chip designed by PC graphics card provider Nvidia. It contains processor cores based on the ARM mobile CPU architecture, which mainly powers smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices. But Nvidia’s chip also includes graphics cores based on Nvidia’s “Maxwell” design for PC-based graphics cards. In a sense, then, it could be called “PC technology.”
If Atari chose to rely on Nvidia’s Tegra mobile chip, then the AtariBox could be a themed, Atari-branded variant of the Shield TV set-top-box. But right now, Atari’s Android-based portfolio on Google Play is limited to six games including Atari Greatest Hits, Centipede Origins, and RollerCoaster Tycoon Classic. A lot of work might be involved on porting the games to Android-compatible versions. And an Android TV-based console feels unlikely given how the highly-anticipated Ouya’s success panned out.
Another unlikely route for Atari is a branded PC. The video teased by Atari hints at 2600-like surfaces that could be applied to a console-shaped PC like Dell’s Alienware Alpha, which has a starting price of $550. The AtariBox could even be a themed, branded miniature PC from Zotac or Gigabyte. After all, the company does license out its brand. We don’t think that’d be a great idea, however. Even Valve Software’s own highly-popular Steam brand had difficulty selling PC gaming machines under the company’s Steam Machine initiative. Atari wouldn’t stand a chance.
If the AtariBox isn’t an Xbox One competitor, an Android-based set-top-box, or a branded desktop PC, what is it? Our best guess is a device capable of PC-based software emulation.
PC technology, retro fun
Right now, all signs seemingly point to an Atari 2600 revamp with digital output, internal storage, and pre-installed Atari 2600 games. But if the AtariBox isn’t a straight-up copycat of Nintendo’s NES Classic Edition and SNES Classic Edition consoles, we could be looking at a device capable of playing the company’s PC games along with its limited Android library through emulation. The software would presumably be sold and maintained through a built-in Atari Play marketplace.
Right now, all signs seemingly point to an Atari 2600 revamp with digital output.
But that PC-based design would also mean the device would need to rely on a version of the free, open-source Linux operating system to keep the overall console cost down. However, based on what’s available through Steam right now, only a dozen Atari-published titles are compatible with the Linux platform.
What about input? If the AtariBox is indeed a remake of the 2600 model, expect identical joysticks connecting through a USB port instead of the previous 9-pin input. Of course, Atari could opt to throw in standard gamepads instead, but that would break the retro feel. Having full USB ports would mean gamers could purchase third-party controllers that can be used both on the AtariBox and PCs.
Despite all the recent buzz, Chesnais said Atari was still working on the design, so we may not see what Atari is up to for quite a while… if at all. Until then, we can only speculate that the AtariBox is a small Atari 2600 clone with updated components. Frankly, the fact so many of potential AtariBox ideas lead to a dead end, makes us think the concept isn’t as promising as it seems – until we learn more details, at least.
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.
I loved this game Kaboom for the Atari 2600 from the 80’s. Kaboom was a fun game as you had to capture all the bombs the mad bomber was throwing at you before the blew up and went Kaboom. It was just a fun and stupid game but as a kid I loved it. Here are some videos about Kaboom :
As Friday will be known as RETRO FRIDAYS here on Superfanworld, we will start off with some of my Atari Memories. One of the first video game that I ever played from Atari had to be Superman. I was a big fan of The Superman movies in the late 70’s and early 80’s and everything Superman. Along came Atari and their Superman video game, this was one of the most cheesiest games EVER. The whole game play consisted of YOU as Superman flying all over Metropolis and looking for some bad guys, scooping them up and flying to the jail where you would just drop them off. There was no strategy with this game, as you just had to fly around the same building over and over and over again. Atari didn’t put too much thought into this game, as they probably just tried to make a quick buck of the popular Christopher Reeve movie. Here are some videos about the legendarily bad game.