Which is better, the Xbox One or PS4?  Despite the unanswered questions, conflicting reports, and inability to purchase or preorder either of them, the answer is quite obvious.  So obvious if you even have to ask you don't deserve to know.  But just as I was ready to declare a victor in the shortest console war in the history of interactive entertainment my phone rang.  It was my old friend Nolan Bushnell.  Me and Nole (as I call him) go way back, but I could tell from his voice this call was pure business.  Serious business.  Video game business.

Atari founder Nolan Bushnell

  Nole invited me to Atari, Inc. Headquarters located in a secret location somewhere between the Grossman's Bargain Outlet and Trader's Mart in Spring City, Utah.  Normally I'm happy to make the 2,300 mile drive from Massachusetts to just hang with the seventy year old man and soak in his hottub, smoking stuff out of pipes.  But there was no time; as soon as my feet hit the dirt floor of his office one of the most harrowing interviews of my non-existent game journalism career was already taking place. 

  The following is the complete conversation, edited only where the leaky roof caused my notepad to become illegible:

AbsoluteDeicide:  So, no hottub?

Nolan Bushnell:  What?!  No!  No time.  You know why you're here.

AD:  Not really. You said you had some interesting Atari news to share.  The last I heard the company was filing for bankruptcy.

NB:  Rumors.  The intranet's full of 'em.  Why would we be short on money after publishing a critical and commercial success like Dungeons and Dragons: Daggerdale?  We're using the profits from that game to take back the console space that's ours by right!

AD:  You're not seriously thinking about entering the console manufacturing business again, are you?  I figured Atari would be in eternal debt giving refunds for Daggerdale.

NB:  Ha! Close, but not quite.  We paid off the Daggerdale lawsuits weeks ago, and someone recently bought the game by accident.  We've taken those funds and for the past two days our top engineers have been working on the ultimate next generation device that will leave the competitions' heads bludgeoned and leaking. 

Surely the entire gaming community has been concocting theories and trying to hack that latest fuzzy image that's gone viral.  Well, the wait is over.

AD:   I actually have no idea what you're talking about.

NB:  Always the joker.  Here...

  *Nole shoos away a rat and hands me a piece of paper previously hidden beneath the mammoth beast.  Papyrus?  Lab results inconclusive.

 The only known photo of the new Atari console

NB:  Introducing... the Atari 2600 B.C.! 

AD:  The Atari 2600 B.C., huh?  You're really trying to capitalize on your success in the eighties with that name.

NB: Of course!  Retro is in!  Have you seen the Xbox One?  The last time I saw something that boxy everyone thought the Star Wars movies couldn't get any worse than Jedi.  And speaking of Star Wars, Sony's going about their naming conventions all wrong.  PS4?  Everyone knows after the original trilogy it's all downhill.  Star Wars, Die Hard, Lord of the Rings... Sony's doomed themselves out of the gate. 

AD:  Interesting theory.  What can you tell me about the hardware?

NB:  It's certainly hard, I'll tell you that.

AD:  Sony is using GDDR5 RAM with the PS4, which can move larger volumes of data than Microsoft's DDR3 RAM, but I understand it's slower.  How much RAM and of what type is the Atari 2600 B.C. going to use?

NB:  We're employing a state-of-the-art, completely flexible system where how much ramming power the console is capable of delivering is determined by the physical strength of the user.  Also, the more the gamer interacts with the console the greater his or her physical strength becomes.  So it's a sustainable, energy efficient system that is conceptually limitless.  It's rocket science stuff, really!

AD:  What about cloud processing?

NB: While certain properties of the console may change depending on the climate- it could become cold or slippery for example- it's been designed from the ground up to work in all weather conditions, rain or shine.

AD:  Motion control?

NB:  Yeah, you can wave it around or throw it if you want, I guess.

AD:  Are you aiming for a more open platform to encourage independent developers to self publish games like Sony seems to be doing with the PS4, or are you going for a more controlled environment like Microsoft?

NB:  I'll start by saying that while the system may be tough to crack [snickers], developing entertainment for it is as simple as a cave drawing... I have a prototype I can show you, but no photographs!

  *It was too dark in the office to take pictures even if I wanted to, but I was able to make a rough drawing from memory.  I'm not sure if Nole wants this information leaked, so don't tell him:

 Game or peripheral?  Only time will tell.


AD:  Let's take a step back for a moment and talk about what the core philosophy is for the Atari 2600 B.C. and how this new system fits in the current and upcoming market.

NB:  Through extensive research that mostly consisted of my grandson trolling internet game forums, our top behavioural scientists came to the now obvious conclusion that not only are self-described "hardcore gamers" turned off by new technology, they're downright frightened by it!  And do you blame them?  Did you see the Xbox One reveal?

AD:  Sure.  I watched it online.

NB:  But you weren't there, were you?

AD:  No.

NB:  I was!  Don't believe the lies they streamed into the ignorant public's fancy smartphones and iPads, the real presentation was much more insiduous than even the most paranoid internet conspiracy theorist could imagine.  I saw how that monstosity really works.  Here, share this with the world.  They need to know the truth!

   *Nole reaches into a pile of leaves and pulls out a canister of 8MM film.  Here is the footage.  It has been restored to the best of my abilities.

AD:  Wow, scary stuff.

NB:  I know, right?  That's okay, though.  Once people see our system at E3 noone will want that garbage anyway.

AD:  The Atari 2600 B.C.  is going to be at E3?

NB: Of course.  You know the parking lot where they're showcasing the Ouya?  We'll have a booth the next town over.

Now I'm going to kindly ask you to leave the premises.  That's all the information I'm comfortable sharing at this time.  You'll have to get the full scoop with everyone else at E3, but I'll leave you with this... it's going to "rock".

  *Although I still had many feigned interest, unanswered questions about the system, Nole just continued to laugh manically and do air quotes for the next hour or so.  As the chilling sound echoed through the stone cave walls of Atari Headquarters, I couldn't help but think this upcoming generation of hardware may have gotten a little more interesting.