This morning we gave you your first look at Atari's new console, the Ataribox. This is a sleek modern console with classic inspiration, and we think we have a good idea about which games will be included in this handsome little box. Everyone was incredibly excited to hear about the Ataribox, but if a recent report from Eurogamer is to be believed, it sounds like we'll have to fork over the money early on for this console. Yeah, you guessed it: Atari may be starting a crowd funding campaign soon for this thing.
According to the report, Atari published the following note to its French investors regarding the Ataribox: "To limit risk taking, this product will initially be launched within the framework of a crowdfunding campaign." Assuming this note is legitimate, I think it's safe to assume that a Kickstarter or Fig page is imminent.
Predictably, fans have reacted to this news rather poorly. The sentiment is that Atari pulled the ol' bait and switch, getting us excited about a prospective new console, drumming up a bunch of hype, and then asking for our money first before the console is actually even produced. We totally get that, but we're trying to stay open minded.
Best Case Scenario
This might not be such a bad thing. The way we see it, a crowdfunding campaign could be just the thing to get this project off the ground and put higher quality guts inside of the Ataribox. If Atari is approaching investors wanting to put some nice components inside this new console, they may be overly cautious about the cost involved.
If you go straight to the fans, however, and they voice their opinions saying, "Yes, this is the kind of console we want," then that approval and excitement is coming straight from your primary investors. If Atari and Kickstarter funders can get on the same page, then this could end up being a win-win for Atari and for fans. Instead of being totally disappointed with the specs and features, why not check out the funding page and stretch goals, and voice your opinion with your wallet. That'll make them listen.
Worst Cast Scenario
We've heard all of the crowdfunding horror stories... Sometimes promises are made and then not kept. Sometimes games or products get stuck in development hell and take several years to actually come to fruition. Sometimes when you get the final product in your hands, it's just not anything close to what you imagined it would be. Asking for your money first is a ballsy move, and Atari is going to have to prove that it's worth your trust. Hopefully no one gets burned.
Does the fact that this could be a crowdfunding venture diminish your excitement at all?