Not everyone would remember the Intellivision but during the reign of the Atari 2600 they (plus the Colecovision) offered viable alternatives for gamers wanting something more. They may have lost that war but the company continued to survive with titles such as the Intellivision Lives compilations that appeared on multiple formats.
It looks like now they’re looking to get back into the hardware game again with the Amico; a machine that evokes some characteristics of the original system (the funky controllers especially) but is combining it with modern conveniences such as WiFi and wireless charging and a market focus that may help it to stand apart.
The way the machine is being pushed as a family friendly console makes me think back to how Nintendo used to position themselves that way. Having some notable people from that very company now being behind the Amico is a pretty strong message that they have the right people to actually make it work. The focus on all games being rated for all age groups could be an easy sell for parents wanting to share the console experience with their little ones.
The pricing model that’s been chosen may go a long way towards appealing to a different market too as they are being priced more in line with mobile games. Combined with a digital storefront it’ll help in bringing in a lot of impulse buys. The pricing is fair too considering that initially many of the games are remakes and it looks like the system will have exclusive versions of not only the Intellivision back catalogue but also games from Atari and Imagic which gives them plenty of classic IPs to leverage. Seeing Miner 2049er, Moon Patrol, Lode Runner and R-Type given a fresh coat of paint already has me curious.
One thing I’m unsure about is the release date of October 10 2020. Even though the market they are targeting may differ to the other platforms (Microsoft and Sony at least) those companies are expected to have incoming hardware around that time which may be a major distraction. I think if it were aiming for 2019 it could be an entirely different matter but they obviously still have a lot more work to do. Hopefully this time next year we’ll be seeing actual prototype hardware and those neat new controllers in action.
Is it going to work? Hard to tell until we begin to see it in action but with the gaming market always expanding there is potential for products like this to find their own little corner of the market to make their own.