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I haven't owned a game console in 30 years, but I want the Ataribox

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When Atari announced it was jumping back into the game-console arena, those old enough to remember the 8-bit glory days of the Atari 2600 — like myself — perked up, briefly lighting up whatever part of the brain responsible for feelings of nostalgia.

If last month’s announcement clicked on a standard 60-watt retro bulb, today’s reveal of the first images of the Ataribox console just lit up the nostalgic equivalent of the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree in the minds of ’80s kids everywhere.

Atari sent the photos to those who signed up for updates on the Ataribox site. Clearly inspired by the Atari 2600, the design is a beautiful modern reboot of that console. It retains the woodgrain front (although there will be an alternate all-black version), the non-boxy design that slopes upward in back, and the horizontal lines that… help for cooling? House the speakers? Something. You almost want to start hunting for Difficulty A/B switches somewhere in the back.

You won’t find ’em, though: The back is the only part of the Ataribox that gives away what decade it was designed in. There are USB ports for controllers and other gear, an SD card slot, an HDMI output for connecting to a TV, an Ethernet jack, and of course a power socket. No need for separate TV/Game adapters anymore — that is, assuming you’re not connecting to your…

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