Like the NES Classic and SNES Classic, the Ataribox takes inspiration from its predecessors — in this case, the Atari 2600. But while the Nintendo consoles are largely exact [design] replicas of their respective counterparts (after being hit with a shrink ray, of course), the Ataribox melds retro touches with a modern flavor. For example, you will be able to order an Ataribox with a wooden front panel, and the ribbed lines along the top of the casing definitely recalls the original.
Atari is also looking to make the Ataribox a bit more user-friendly and expandable than its Nintendo rivals through the addition of an SD card slot and four USB ports (in addition the requisite HDMI port).
You won’t be surprised to learn that the Ataribox will be available with a number of classic games to let you bask in the early days of console gaming where we sat on the carpet in front of tiny tube TVs (with rabbit ears on the back, of course). However, Atari will also be providing what is being billed as “current content” to the console as well. So, we can expect to see brand new licensed games for the console, although it's hard to say, given just its size to go on, what sort of horsepower is lurking under the Ataribox's hood...
“We know you are hungry for more details; on specs, games, pricing, timing,” said Atari in a statement sent to us via email. “We’re not teasing you intentionally; we want to get this right, so we’ve opted to share things step by step as we bring this to life, and to listen closely to the Atari community feedback as we do so.”
Unfortunately, there are no further details on pricing or availability, but we do know that the Ataribox can be had in the classic black/wood finish or in a more modern black/red color scheme.