Atari CEO hints at new hardware from the company – and pitches some crazy ideas

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Atari, best known for “the 1980s”, is not only still going, but it has a new CEO – Frederic Chesnais. And he’s hinting that the company are considering releasing new hardware, but it isn’t what you think it might be.

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No – Atari are not about to jump back into the console race for the first time since about 1983, so Microsoft and Sony can sleep soundly at night, but in an interview with Venturebeat Chesnais spoke of wanting more Atari-branded hardware:

“I don’t want to say it’s a hardware brand first and foremost, but it is also a hardware brand. So we are carefully looking at … you know … we have a replica of the initial Atari 2600, but that is also something that we want to carefully announce in the course of the next few years, which is that with new licensing with the right partners we build the brand not only in the software space but also in the hardware space.”

So that’s some standard CEO guff… but then he uses the phrase “gamified watch”. Umm…

“I’m not talking about a new console … but, like, a watch. A gamified watch. It’s not what we are going to do, but think about [something like] that.” Chesnais explains this imaginary concept, “Like a new type of watch is something we ‘could do.’ A watch, branded, where you don’t have an ‘ordinary watch.'”

“To give you another idea of something we could do, you have a jacket. We have a plug-in so you can power your iPhone or Android. You had a solar chip on your shoulder so that you power … so that you never run out of batteries”

Gosh. Well, as he says, not either of these things… but something like them. We’ve no idea what he’s talking about either.

So whilst we watch this space, it might be a good time to watch this relevant classic Mitchell & Webb sketch.

James O’Malley

2 comments

  • Of course, Atari isn’t really “still going” as suggested. The present Atari is related to the original only by name since their bankruptcy and liquidation in the 90’s when the name was purchased by a small disk drive manufacturer and since has changed hands several times.

  • Of course, Atari isn't really “still going” as suggested. The present Atari is related to the original only by name since their bankruptcy and liquidation in the 90's when the name was purchased by a small disk drive manufacturer and since has changed hands several times.

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