Frederic Chesnais is the new CEO of Atari and he's either got huge ambition or a massive sense of humour because he's said that Atari's future is in hardware.
First let's let Mr Chesnais make a sensible point regarding the sheer problem of disentagingly the Atari ownership question, or problem. Over the years the company behind the iconic 2600 console (and the less iconic ST home computer) has been bought, sold, marketed and re-marketed. Right now, it's probably bet known simply as a company that sells its logo to t-shirt makers. Mr C' says, "“Yeah … that is one of the challenges we face in the next five years and we need to reposition the brand … gear it more for the future.”
But what of the hardware angle?
"“It’s more than a software brand … it’s a hardware brand. 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.”
A new console from Atari?!!
“I’m not talking about a new console," he says. So, what then? "...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.’”