Atari to release new gaming console that runs Linux

Mike Turcotte-McCusker
Oct 1, 2017
Updated • Oct 1, 2017

Atari has recently announces that they are coming back into the console market, and are releasing a console dubbed the “AtariBox” and the kicker is; it runs Linux!

On Sept. 26, Atari released a new photo of the Ataribox, made of real wood, and I must say that it looks absolutely gorgeous! A video of the device can be found on the Ataribox homepage.

Spec wise, the Ataribox is going to be running some form of custom AMD processor with Radeon graphics, which was a little bit of a surprise to me given that Intel typically has been dominating the market when it comes to gaming as of late.

Atari has stated that they want to bring a full PC experience, to console users on their TV’s, so it’s safe to at least speculate that the Ataribox will be built more like a PC than a console in terms of it’s specs, and with that being said, I would anticipate that their Linux distribution will likely also be fully featured, allowing far more customization and usage than say, SteamOS, which is essentially just Steam running in “Big Picture” mode on an Ubuntu base.

What will it play?

So far it seems that it will play the old Atari classics, but it’s been said that it will not run AAA game titles, but instead focus more on classics, and Mid-Range PC games, according to an interview with VentureBeat. ((

What will it cost?

The estimated cost of the console will run around the $250-$300 mark, although I wouldn’t be surprised if that price actually dropped once the console was closer to launch, in order to try and take the market by storm.

When is the launch?

Allegedly, the console is set to launch in spring of 2018, however, until we are a bit closer to that date I would personally take that with a grain of salt, as many launches in the past have been pushed back for other technologies, and while we can hope that it launches on time, only time will tell.

A look to the future

Atari were the kings of the console gaming world at one point in time, and while they didn’t last in the hardware market over the last twenty years or so, the fact that they are coming back out of left field like this is both surprising and exciting. I know that I personally will be watching this development closely, and I am extremely excited to hear that the machine will be running Linux, and intentionally trying to give users a PC experience. I wonder just how well their system will let users experience a Linux based OS. Perhaps this could be another major push for the GNU/Linux world, into the limelight? Maybe this will help bring more focus and attention on our beloved OS, and help more and more people who think that running GNU/Linux is only for the uber hackers in basements with 14 screens all running terminals? Time will tell.

What are your thoughts on this new move by Atari? How about on the fact it will run Linux? Let us know your thoughts!

Atari to release new gaming console that runs Linux
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Atari to release new gaming console that runs Linux
Atari has recently announces that they are coming back into the console market, and are releasing a console dubbed the “AtariBox” and the kicker is; it runs Linux!
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  1. pd said on October 2, 2017 at 3:15 am

    Intel dominating the gaming market? You do realize both Xbox and PlayStation run custom AMD internals, don’t you? On desktop it’s AMD vs nVidia and AMD RyZen is embarassing Intel for price/performance. Nobody would go near an Intel graphics chip for gaming.

    1. Mike Turcotte said on October 2, 2017 at 5:23 pm

      Was more meant for CPU’s, as while AMD’s latest offerings are a better bang for buck, it’s still safe to say Intel is dominating the CPU marker for gaming rigs.

  2. Anonymous said on October 1, 2017 at 7:42 pm

    Nostalgia trips are usually with emulators nowadays..
    Nice wooden linux box.

  3. Joe K. said on October 1, 2017 at 7:04 pm

    While it is interesting that it will run on Linux, I don’t see this being anything more than an incredibly niche device. The price pretty much guarantees it. The Xbox One S will likely drop below $200 once the X is released and we get to the Black Friday/Holiday season. Plus, the PS4 Slim will also see a price drop as well. I know that they might be attracting different audiences, but I wonder how big of an audience there is for a $200-300 nostalgic device.

  4. Bastard said on October 1, 2017 at 6:26 pm

    Console? No, thanks.

  5. Robert said on October 1, 2017 at 5:58 pm

    I want one. Those 8 bit games were fun to play. It’ll be interesting to see what else they will bring to the table. If SpaceX is ready to use Linux powered computers in space than I think so is Atari ready to use Linux for the gaming experience.

  6. Paul(us) said on October 1, 2017 at 3:47 pm

    Even back in the “Good old days!” Atari always came with have backed ideas who or looked nice or were even also softly prized. But then came the understanding that it was a bad buy!
    So I am waiting to give any advice till I have from all sides multi recommendations to even suggest somebody or myself of buying an Atari.
    There are so many great options right now even the Ubuntu hardware is much more advisable to play games on

  7. Flyer said on October 1, 2017 at 11:14 am

    It reminds good old times with Atari games and 8 bits computers :)

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