The Atari brand means many things to many people, but above all else it remains a hardware brand.
That’s according to new CEO Frederic Chesnais who told VentureBeat that while a successor to the Atari 2600 may not be on the cards the company does occupy a special position in the market.
“It’s more than a software brand … it’s a hardware brand,” he said. “I don’t want to say it’s a hardware brand first and foremost, but it is also a hardware brand.
“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’.
“[Atari] is a generational brand. Yes. 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.
“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. 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 … I think you would. That’s what I mean by a lifestyle brand. So it’s more than just gaming. It goes beyond. …”
Not that the 2600 is forgotten, of course.
“We have a replica of the initial Atari 2600,” Chesnais added. “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.”