Atari CEO ponders bringing the company back to the hardware market

Atari 2600

This won’t necessarily mean a new Atari console however.

Atari a former giant of retro gaming may be making a move back into the hardware market as they plan their rise from the ashes after filing for bankruptcy last year. A three year plan has been put in place with court approval and speaking to Gamesbeat Atari CEO Frederic Chesnais paints an optimistic future for Atari, "Today, we have a company that is out of bankruptcy, and we are ten people working under the studio-production model," said Chesnais. "We pay attention to three things: the IP, the production, and the distribution."

Chesnais also discussed the possibility of Atari once again making their own hardware although he’s quick to state this won’t be in the shape of a console, “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. Like a new type of watch is something we 'could do.' A watch, branded, where you don't have an 'ordinary' watch.”

Quite rightly Atari would be looking to build on their own previous ubiquitous street-cred as Chesnais points out about Atari, "It's a generational brand. It's a lifestyle brand. You could never do that with a brand like THQ. I mean, back in the heydays, THQ was never a lifestyle brand.”

Along with Nintendo and Sega, Atari as a brand would be able to tap into its previous standing with 20/30 somethings that were into Atari back in the day although at present just what hardware Atari will make is pure moot.

Chesnais also floated the idea of smart Atari clothing,”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,” he said. “Things like this. Would you buy an Atari watch? Would you buy an Atari Jacket that you could plug and repower your iPhone or whatever device you are using? I think you would.”

While it’s good to hear that Atari are making a comeback what do you think about their ideas to bring branded lifestyle tech? Do you think they should stick to gaming or even resurrect their console business?



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