Late ‘70s and early ‘80s culture is experiencing a big resurgence, and it’s not just all of the old cartoons being made into movies. Donald Trump is also once again more relevant than he has any right to be, America is in a weird place with Russia, and now Atari has decided that it’s good time to start making video game consoles again. If “time is a flat circle” were a thing from 30 years ago, it would basically be a perfect time to reference that thing about time being a flat circle.
Earlier this month, a mysterious teaser popped up on the internet pointing toward something called The Ataribox, and Atari CEO Fred Chesnais confirmed to GamesBeat at last week’s E3 event in Los Angeles that his company is indeed making something. He wouldn’t say what this Ataribox was, but he did admit that his company is “back in the hardware business.” The safe assumption is that Atari is making something akin to Nintendo’s wildly popular and bizarrely short-lived NES Classic Edition, but that doesn’t really seem like something that would justify all of this secrecy.
After all, kids in 2017 don’t really give a shit about old Atari games, and even the adults who were really into that stuff a million years ago probably have better things to do these days. Granted, it would make even less sense for Atari to come from out of nowhere and announce a full-blown, wood-paneled competitor to the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, so it’s tough to say what’s really happening here.
The GamesBeat piece also dips into Atari’s recent history, noting that Chesnais bought the company after it filed for bankruptcy protection a few years ago. Since then, he’s been using the Atari name for mobile games and that Blade Runner sequel—which is another thing from the ‘80s that’s now coming back. Whatever’s going on here, you can sign up for more information at the Ataribox website.