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.
Categories: Gaming, News, Technology
This is potentially cool, but I’m skeptical as to whether it will go anywhere, just as I am with whatever that Atari thing ends up being; these microconsoles tend to disappear without trace after a month or two because there just doesn’t really seem to be much of a market for them, unfortunately. Hell, even Sony couldn’t push the PlayStation TV, and that had access to both the PSP and Vita’s badass libraries!
If they’re trying to go for the “cheap, impulse purchase” games market, iOS and Android already have that pretty much sewn up between them, and the flop that was the Ouya demonstrated that people aren’t really interested in playing mobile games on a TV. If they’re taking aim at the retro market, those who are really interested in the Intellivision are more likely to try and get hold of an original system and cartridges or emulate.
I’d like to be wrong! It’d be cool to see some classic brands come back, and Intellivision is not a platform I’m overly familiar with outside the excellent Intellivision Lives! compilation on PS2. And its song. Oh, the song.
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With the Atari VCS looking to be almost double the price I think it might find itself being compared to better machines but on the other hand if the Amico cuts costs through low build quality (like the cheaper Ouya did) it’s good intentions will sink too. I honestly don’t know what will work if any but it’d be great to see someone new (or old in this case!) bring out something that catches on with people. 🙂
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