Just last week it was announced that the Ataribox would be available for pre-order today, however if you were hoping to purchase one, you will have to wait a bit longer. Atari has just announced that preorders for their upcoming highly anticipated console are delayed, as development is taking longer than expected. Based on the Ataribox's price, Atari's specific mention of its compatibility with mid-range level PC games, and no mention of old Atari games, it seems that Atari is trying to position the Ataribox as a brand-new console competing in the market against Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One X, but nothing has been officially confirmed by the company.
The Ataribox was announced in June and in September Atari announced that the console would be available first to those who helped crowdfund the project. The move was set to offer up special edition consoles and other incentives to get fans to preorder the new console, Atari's first in quite some time. The Ataribox has been described as playing PC games on your television, but it appears that it will not be able to run some of the newer AAA games and will only be able to play older PC games which is a giant red flag for a system that costs around $300.
It isn't clear which part of the developmental stage that the Ataribox has hit a snag on, but it must be pretty significant to halt preorders that were initially announced last week. The countdown to the Indiegogo crowd sourcing site has been put on hold because Atari needs more time to develop the "platform and ecosystem." Atari released a statement regarding the preorder pause and had this to say.
"The countdown to the Ataribox launch on Indiegogo has been officially paused. Because of one key element on our checklist, it is taking more time to create the platform and ecosystem the Atari community deserves. Building Ataribox is incredibly important to us and we will do whatever it takes to be sure it is worth the wait."
Many fans are disappointed, but hopefully Atari is looking for a way to make the new console compatible with the brand-new PC games, which would certainly add to the allure. Atari is attempting to capitalize on the retro gaming craze, as Nintendo has done with its NES Classic and SNES Classic consoles. However, the Ataribox will also run "hot new indie" games on a Linux platform as well as PC gaming classics. It does not bode well for the new console that it has already gotten delayed and follows the decision to crowd fund, which makes it seem like the plans were never really all of the stable to begin with.
Whenever it launches, the Ataribox will be available in two models: one with a classic wood grain front, and another with a red and black color scheme. The Ataribox will have modern connectivity options, including HDMI output, an Ethernet port, and four USB ports. It will also have an SD card slot. But it is not looking too good for the new console at this time. One can see it getting another delay and then possibly canceled all together, but we'll just have to wait and see. You can read more about the delay of the Ataribox via Endgadget.