It seems that the Ataribox is in fact coming and a newsletter from Atari provides further details on the system. First, it will be powered by a customized AMD processor with Radeon graphics technology. It will run a Linux OS with a customized UI that provides easy access to games, streaming services, web browsing, and more. Also, the Ataribox will come pre-loaded with many classic Atari games.
The Ataribox is expected to run between $249 and $299 depending on the configuration you choose and launch sometime in Spring of 2018. And yes, wood paneling is still an option. The team behind the Ataribox will be launching a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo later this year to support the initial launch.
You can find the official newsletter from the team here : Ataribox Team Newsletter
The Ataribox is certainly becoming more interesting. While we always assumed it would run classic Atari games and have some form of modern hardware, it will be really impressive if it offers a suite of applications and streaming capability with a modern OS. The largest question at that point becomes, what other games will it have the capability to run. Will players be able to treat it as a PC that is plug and play on their TVs? What controllers will the system use (if any)? Will it work with KB/Mouse out of the gate? There’s still many unanswered questions but we are certainly intrigued. We’ll keep you posted as we learn more.