Ataribox Creator Explains How the Console Will Succeed

Discussion in 'HardForum Tech News' started by Megalith, Oct 22, 2017.

  1. Megalith

    Megalith 24-bit/48kHz Staff Member

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    Speaking with former Microsoft Executive Ed Fries in a recent interview transcribed by VentureBeat, creator and general manager Feargal Mac Conuladh explained why the Ataribox will succeed, unlike Valve’s Steam Machines, which have “so resoundingly failed.” Atari announced a few weeks ago that its specifications will be comparable to a mid-range PC; the console will also run on Linux rather than Android like the Ouya did.

    Steam, Valve, an amazing company, but I think—when you give away too much of the experience, just write a standard and let multiple other companies build boxes, you get into trouble there. We want to be super open, but we also want to deliver an integrated experience for the customers that buy our box. They can plug it in, switch it on, and be playing one harmonious experience. The thing with Steam was you had so many people building the boxes at different prices and structures. It’s cumbersome to do that in a unified way.
     
  2. Kdawg

    Kdawg Gawd

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    i see Fail
     
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  3. Ocellaris

    Ocellaris Ginger @le, an alcoholic's best friend.

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    Well he is right on the reason Steam Machines failed, they were just PCs and not even similar in specs.

    Though this little Ataribox won’t be powerful enough to play new games people care about so it will die.
     
  4. Maxx

    Maxx [H]ard|Gawd

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    Good article/interview.

    I'm interested in the product. If they can make something like the NVIDIA SHIELD TV - a product I own and love - with more openness, I think it could be a fun machine.
     
  5. steakman1971

    steakman1971 2[H]4U

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    I wish them luck but don't think they have a chance to make it. As someone that used to own a 2600, I really don't want to play any of the games again. Instead, I'd rather play the original arcade game roms the 2600 struggled to replicate. (MAME does a good job of this!).
     
  6. Exavior

    Exavior [H]ardForum Junkie

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    The fact that they are trying to compare the system to a Steambox shows that they are not fully understanding something. I also like how they try to pretend that Donkey Kong and pac man haven't existed in any game since the days of Atari. Both are still in games today, that is why kids know about the game characters.
     
  7. jpmeaney

    jpmeaney n00b

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    The bottom line is that if they don't have an exclusive killer app (game) that drives the sales of the Atari box, they will fail. They have to provide solid answers to two questions: "why should I buy this over the Xbone or PS4?" or "why should I buy this with and Xbone or PS4?" That right there is the only reason I own consoles at all......exclusives.
     
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  8. Chimpee

    Chimpee [H]ard|Gawd

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    Feel like this is gonna fail for the get go since they need crowdfunding to get this product on the market for a rumor price of $250 to $300
     
  9. westrock2000

    westrock2000 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Of all the gaming companies on the market today, Atari should remember why the industry collapsed the first time.
     
  10. DPI

    DPI Nitpick Police

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    Except this isn't Atari the company. This is just some goofball that bought the right to use the name. Just like how the new Commodore crap isn't actually Commodore.

    Anyhoo, this doesn't bode well:

    Fries: You have a history of doing crowdfunding. In fact you have one project out there, Gameband, and people haven’t gotten their Gamebands yet.


    Mac: No, they haven’t, but they will.
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2017
  11. velusip

    velusip [H]ard|Gawd

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    And right after that:

    "Not one single complaint when we said, "look we're 3/4 months -- it's going to be December." They're all, like, fine and supporting..."

    Is there a variant for the term "stockholm syndrome" when it applies to an investment and someone has your money? Because that's what crowdfundings "fine and supporting" means. :D
     
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  12. BulletDust

    BulletDust [H]ardness Supreme

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    The thing that really irks me when people claim that 'the Steam Box failed' is how do they know it failed? The only people that can in any way accurately claim that the Steam Box failed is Steam themselves, and there's no way they're going to admit to that.

    People 'assume' that the Steam Box failed due to sales figures, but anyone can download SteamOS and make a Steam Box, in fact I can assure you that there's literally no way I would buy a retail Steam Box when I can make my own. So without actual usage figures from Steam themselves, of which there are none (no, SteamOS is not included in Linux usage statistics), there's no way anyone can outright claim that SteamOS failed.

    Even Steam usage statistics are downright useless without actual Steam user numbers. They're at best a comparative tool, and a fairly useless one at that.

    At best we can claim that SteamOS 'exists', and that's the extent of it.
     
  13. BulletDust

    BulletDust [H]ardness Supreme

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    Ohhh 'hisss'!....

    Those 'Commodore' days are long gone, since the founder died.

    However the Amiga name and machines based on old PPC development hardware and half finished operating systems still bring shame to an otherwise legendary name.
     
  14. Dekoth-E-

    Dekoth-E- [H]ardness Supreme

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    As a gamer of that generation, I can't think of a single Atari game I want to play again. Personally I believe that about sums up the chances of the Atari box.
     
  15. Ehren8879

    Ehren8879 [H]ardness Supreme

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    There's a fail moon on the rise!
     
  16. velusip

    velusip [H]ard|Gawd

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    Saying Steam Machines failed suggests Valve was trying to compete with consoles, but clearly that wasn't the case. Consoles are convenient, low cost devices with exclusive, AAA content. Valve focused on expanding convenience and supporting AAA developers with performance on low cost PC hardware, which reaped benefits in a growing MacOS and Linux market. They showed no interest in platform exclusivity. The remaining open source platform development paid for itself via MacOS and Linux sales. And of course the Steam Machine "consoles" were built and sold by third party assemblers with a price tag to cover risk and brand licensing. It's risk free business all the way down. Oh and both the Steam Link and the Steam Controller are successes. They clearly didn't make any attempt at disrupting the console market, just snubbed it and Microsoft all while profiting.

    I wonder if this "Atari" team has any clever ideas like that.
     
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  17. raz-0

    raz-0 [H]ardness Supreme

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    too long didn't watch.

    Unless someone said that they were measuring success by each machine contributing a specific number of watts to the heat death of the universe, I suspect they are wrong about succeeding.
     
  18. Ur_Mom

    Ur_Mom I'm Not Serious

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    So, it's going to compete with the Steam Box style of console?

    I was interested, but now I just want to see the thing. I have much less interest the more this goes on.
     
  19. viscountalpha

    viscountalpha 2[H]4U

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    I'll play some of the arcade stuff but that's it. I'm nostalgic and I enjoy those games.
     
  20. Exavior

    Exavior [H]ardForum Junkie

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    As a gamer of that generation I still have a working 2600 with a lot of games. Never once in 20 years have I felt the need to power that thing up.
     
  21. Dekoth-E-

    Dekoth-E- [H]ardness Supreme

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    Same, which is why I made that comment. It is the only console I have that hasn't been powered up in decades.
     
  22. DPI

    DPI Nitpick Police

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    Snipped. I don't look back on Steam Machines and believe they really were trying, or they would've made it happen and poured money into a single, fixed spec firstparty box - and said to hell with all the coattail riders that were trying to do their own wacky steamboxes with pricepoints up to 3k+.

    The marketing message for Steam Machines was schizofrenic.
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2017
  23. TwistedAegis

    TwistedAegis [H]ardForum Junkie

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    In short, Valve half-assed something to make another buck, not really caring about the end result for gamers. Not sure why they get such a pass as being a pro-customer company.
     
  24. Stoly

    Stoly [H]ardness Supreme

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    If Valve failed to bring Linux Gaming to the masses, no one will.
     
  25. BulletDust

    BulletDust [H]ardness Supreme

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    SteamOS does not = Linux in it's entirety. There's nothing at all to suggest that gaming under Linux has failed, in fact Valve have been more successful on that front than anyone - Quite surprising for a company that shifts focus as fast as Google.

    I still love gaming on my C64, if I had a 2600 I'd fire it up.
     
  26. Exavior

    Exavior [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Some companies can do no wrong and others can do no right. Even when both are doing the same thing.
     
  27. Spaceninja

    Spaceninja [H]ard|Gawd

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    DId he explain who sold him the crack he has obviously been smoking? Seriously though, who is going to buy this? You can already buy these things at Walmart and Office Depot for $30-$40. I don't see them flying off the shelf like the NES and SNES mini's. Are they going to include their entire library of Jaguar games? The only game I can name is Tempest 2000. A friend of mine got one of those with I think all the games on clearance at a Babbages aeons ago. We laughed so hard at those down right horrible games until our sides hurt.
     
  28. BulletDust

    BulletDust [H]ardness Supreme

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    The biggest problem is that you can set up emulation for very little outlay, making devices such as the Ataribox redundant. The mini NES was done right though and that seemed to be a success.
     
  29. funkydmunky

    funkydmunky 2[H]4U

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    Atari 2600/5200/7800 meh. Except for a few 2600 games (Kaboom!) I couldn't really care, as the majority were just arcade ports or me-to clones. If they get into the PC side especially if they have a store it could get better. 400/800(XL)(XE) 520/1040ST(E) lots of cool stuff. And then the Lynx and Jaguar consoles have a few games. Then there is arcade.
    That could be quite fun if it isn't too limited.
     
  30. funkydmunky

    funkydmunky 2[H]4U

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    I think if they had a variety of Steam Machine levels with a performance rating system. Games in the Steam Store would have a level rating so you would know if it met your Steam Specs. If you did any upgrades you would just run Stream Bench and it would update your ratings.
     
  31. jevans64

    jevans64 Gawd

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    If I want to play games that look like Minecraft, I'll play Minecraft. No desire to re-live the days of blocky game graphics.
     
  32. BulletDust

    BulletDust [H]ardness Supreme

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    Actually, retro devices are making quite a comeback. Modern gameplay is 'pretty', but that's about where it ends and quite a number of retro titles can be very enjoyable to kick back and relax to.

    The original hardware sells for a fortune now.
     
  33. funkydmunky

    funkydmunky 2[H]4U

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    Minecraft sucks! Many old games kick ass. Don't show your infatuation with shinny objects ;)
     
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  34. Spaceninja

    Spaceninja [H]ard|Gawd

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    Part of the problem with new games is they are all First Person Shooters. How many times can you play CoD, Doom and so on? Back in the late 80's and early 90's we had lots of different titles, genres and developers. People my age range (35-45) want to go back and play the games that didn't really tell you much of what to do, you had hints and so forth but there was no hand holding like most of the newer titles. Some games did it, but it was done in a way that you learned the mechanics of the game while you played without a popup giving you lecture about it.

    Not to say all of the new games are crap. I think there are plenty of interesting new ones out there, and some get a push, but they are few and far between.
     
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  35. velusip

    velusip [H]ard|Gawd

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    Making bucks is the goal. It just so happens that you get those bucks from customers. I'm certain their efforts were not half-assed. Their goal was to contribute to open video pipeline tech, drivers, and the Vulkan API so that games perform better on low and mid range hardware, opening up more sales opportunities. We are starting to see the results now in new games that run on trash laptops. Even new consoles; Nintendo's new Switch hardware is entirely Vulkan compatible.

    Anyway, my point was that Valve doesn't give a shit about platform if they can push more softare to more people. So will Ataribox be yet another feeble platform, or do something different?
     
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  36. Gawain The Blind

    Gawain The Blind n00b

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    Ouya, I totally see this working.
     
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  37. BulletDust

    BulletDust [H]ardness Supreme

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    Lol!
     
  38. BulletDust

    BulletDust [H]ardness Supreme

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    It would literally be suicidal and poor business sense for Valve to place all of their eggs in one basket. Well said.
     
  39. ChadD

    ChadD [H]ardness Supreme

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    Steam machines where a massive success. Valve achieved their main goal. MS is did not lock down their platform. Vulcan is growing. DX12 is dead.

    Yes we all know Gabe sounded like a loon going on about MS trying to cut them out. Or was he?... we have no idea what plans MS had that got stalled out thanks in at least part to Valve pumping development time and money into proper cross platform techs.

    Linux gaming yes sure its still a ways behind... still its come a long way in a few short years. There is also a solid road map for the future. Every major game engine is now fully cross platform.

    The gaming industry made a massive mistake years ago when developers started using DX. Thankfully Sony ensured developers didn't completely lock themselves down to MS APIs. They would have been far better off sticking with opengl and helping push its development more directly. Valve and their Linux/Steam machine play helped push some key software pieces back that way. Its going to pay off for ALL gamers over the next few years.
     
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  40. Archaea

    Archaea [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Maze craze

    River run

    Pitfall

    Combat


    (With my kids for 10 minutes to show them what we played growing up)
     
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