Ever since its conception in the early 1970’s, Atari went through numerous changes in management, ownership, and corporate strategy, and as the generations went by the “Atari” brand meant different things for different people. For some, Atari is a hardware developer and the grandfather of arcade video games and home consoles, while for others, the company might be solely known as a video game publisher. Needless to say, throughout the decades Atari went through numerous changes in personality, and surprisingly enough, today the company announced its newfound passion for the growing Internet of Things market.
Today, Atari and SIGFOX announced their global partnership to develop Atari-branded Internet of Things (IoT) devices. The news comes as quite a surprise considering the fact that Atari’s last hardware to hit the shelves was the Atari Jaguar home console, released in 1993, which failed to impress and contributed to the company’s downfall in the gaming scene. Nevertheless, more than two decades after Atari stopped manufacturing hardware, the company is now apparently ready to become a part of the IoT segment with a series of brand new and upcoming products. Unfortunately, neither Atari nor SIGFOX was able to discuss the business strategy in greater detail, but the press release states that the initial product line will target product categories such as lifestyle, safety, home, and pets. Atari’s CEO, Fred Chesnais, said in the press release that “by partnering together and using SIGFOX’s dedicated IoT connectivity, we are going to create amazing products with our brand”.
SIGFOX is a French startup IoT company whose networks currently operate in 18 countries. SIGFOX’s network accommodates over 7 million devices, and Atari’s new IoT products will be backed by the French company’s infrastructure. “Our network bridges the virtual and physical worlds simply, reliably and inexpensively, and this collaboration will launch a new dimension for gaming” said SIGFOX CEO Ludovic Le Moan, which could mean that at least some of Atari’s upcoming IoT products will be relevant to gamers and the gaming industry. In any case, the new product line will enter development by the end of the year, and the official press release states that “more details will be shared soon”.