Author Topic: New Intellivision console - they have a pencil drawing and everything!  (Read 489 times)

lemmywinks (OP)

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This might sound familiar:
https://www.polygon.com/2018/10/22/18008970/intellivision-amico-console-announcement-release-date-price


Apparently some bright sparks want to sell you (well, you'll most likely be funding it...) another one of those retro revival consoles that nobody asked for which will make games great again, or something.

They don't even have a realistic render or even a Jaguar shell.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xokUnn1lBGA
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jbanes

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Re: New Intellivision console - they have a pencil drawing and everything!
« Reply #1 on: October 29, 2018, 04:49:48 pm »
Apparently some bright sparks want to sell you (well, you'll most likely be funding it...) another one of those retro revival consoles that nobody asked for which will make games great again, or something.

They're not selling it. Or crowd funding it. They're doing an old-fashioned "pre-announce and then release" strategy. Almost forgot what those looked like. :p

Also, there are a number of us who wanted more Intellivision stuff for some time. No one asked Atari for whatever they're creating.

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They don't even have a realistic render or even a Jaguar shell.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xokUnn1lBGA

That's because they're not trying to bilk people out of money. The controllers are being designed by Andre LaMothe of "Tricks of the Game Programming Gurus" fame. The marketing is being handled by Perrin Kaplan of the Nintendo Wii fame. And the CEO-ship is handled by Tommy Tallarico, one of the most famous video game musicians of all time. (He was the first one to ever ship an album of video game music.)

Tommy was good friends with Keith Robinson, one of the most stand-up guys in the industry. They were working together on the Amico project before he passed.

If you listen to interviews with Tommy, you can tell he's very passionate about this project. Maybe a little too passionate at times. ;)

But from everything they're saying and the way they're approaching this, they don't deserve nearly as much criticism as the Atari Box or the weird Colecovision-in-a-Jaguar projects. This one seems to be on the up and up. And if it doesn't work out, they're not asking any of us for money. So it will be sad, but the loss will be contained to the investors.

Personally, I think they've learned from the mistakes of the past. For example, the Ouya was a good attempt. But they learned WAY too late that a steady stream of console exclusives are a necessity to launching a new platform. Amico has learned that lesson along with a ton of lessons from the Wii. Looks like a solid effort to revive an under-served portion of the market.

lemmywinks (OP)

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Re: New Intellivision console - they have a pencil drawing and everything!
« Reply #2 on: October 29, 2018, 07:29:39 pm »
I'm aware who Tommy Tallarico is, unfortunately this counts for absolutely nothing as I'm sure we also remember Mike Kennedy being a respected and well-liked member of the retro community - he was also passionate about his project, maybe a little too passionate at times..... Keiji Inafune was loved by Megaman fans and we know what happened there, a name is just a name and past achievements mean nothing.

What strikes me as odd about this one is that they literally have nothing to show, they have a wonky looking drawing and have made an announcement, like the Coleco Chameleon they're doing everything ass backwards - they have this dream of creating an ecosystem based on ancient video games and it just won't happen. Nobody wants to buy a frickin' $150+ console to play basic games on. Yet here we are with announcements about how much games will cost, how people will interact with it, how it will fill this huge fictitious gap in the market. This all sounds eerily familiar....

And then there's the misleading (and just plain false) PGS-style claims used to demonstrate a need for their console:
?Most every game being made for the home consoles these days is created with only the hardcore gamer in mind? - no they aren't, why would any honest person in the industry say that?
"We see a world where everyone is interested in playing at home and with friends, but this isn?t currently possible" - this is already happening and has been for decades.
"barrier to entry is nearly impossible for a non-gamer due to the complexity of the controllers" - children learn to use a normal controller very quickly, theirs has a rotating disc, a gyroscope and a touchscreen...

Literally everything he says is complete BS and instantly sets alarm bells ringing. Look at that games list, just stuff you can get elsewhere for pennies or unlicensed knock-offs and their prices start at $2.99.
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jbanes

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Re: New Intellivision console - they have a pencil drawing and everything!
« Reply #3 on: October 29, 2018, 11:38:16 pm »
I'm aware who Tommy Tallarico is, unfortunately this counts for absolutely nothing as I'm sure we also remember Mike Kennedy being a respected and well-liked member of the retro community - he was also passionate about his project, maybe a little too passionate at times..... Keiji Inafune was loved by Megaman fans and we know what happened there, a name is just a name and past achievements mean nothing.

You could be right. This could be the wrong way to approach this. It could all go sideways really quickly. The key thing for me is that it?s a group of industry veterans that all believe in the ideas rather than just one guy who?s ideas got away from him.

The key thing for me is that they?re not asking for money. At least not from the consumer. They?re most likely announcing now because they?re seeking like-minded investors and developers.

In terms of Inafune, I don?t think he?s a good example. He did deliver something that wasn?t a scam. While it was highly disappointing, it shows just how hard it is to accomplish this stuff.

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What strikes me as odd about this one is that they literally have nothing to show, they have a wonky looking drawing and have made an announcement, like the Coleco Chameleon they're doing everything ass backwards
I can?t completely agree with that. While I understand what you mean about it just being a drawing, the details of the drawing give me a lot of hope. Sticking with a modernized Intellivision design for the controllers took some serious balls. As one might expect, it was the first thing everyone criticized. Yet the design also shows that they understood why the Intellivision worked and refuse to compromise on that vision. Can?t guarantee it will work, but they have my respect.

Compare that to Atari Box. The joystick is little more than a gimmick meant to trigger nastolgia. The Amico doesn?t even manage that!

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they have this dream of creating an ecosystem based on ancient video games and it just won't happen.

Maybe not. I hope they do though. I got my first Intellivision in 2007 and couldn?t believe just how much the industry had forgotten its inventions. There really were some incredible ideas on the system that haven?t been brought forward by a more action-oriented market. In that respect I get where Tommy is coming from when he talks about family games and how we need anotherWii Bowling.

Nintendo thought it was all about the accessories. I used to joke that the Wii was the console of a thousand accessories. But I think the real lightening in the bottle was making such an widely appealing and immediately accessible experience.

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Nobody wants to buy a frickin' $150+ console to play basic games on. Yet here we are with announcements about how much games will cost, how people will interact with it, how it will fill this huge fictitious gap in the market. This all sounds eerily familiar....

*checks site url*

...

Ummm....  ???

 ;D


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And then there's the misleading (and just plain false) PGS-style claims used to demonstrate a need for their console:
?Most every game being made for the home consoles these days is created with only the hardcore gamer in mind? - no they aren't, why would any honest person in the industry say that?

Yeah, I cringed when he said that. I wrote a whole Quora post on just how messed up the usage of ?hardcore? has become with the word ?core?. As in ?core market?. I understood what he was trying to say (i.e. we never quite picked up that full Wii market again), but he didn?t quite get his message across.


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"We see a world where everyone is interested in playing at home and with friends, but this isn?t currently possible" - this is already happening and has been for decades.
"barrier to entry is nearly impossible for a non-gamer due to the complexity of the controllers" - children learn to use a normal controller very quickly, theirs has a rotating disc, a gyroscope and a touchscreen...

I agree this statement didn?t come across very well. In fact, I vehemently disagree with the statement itself. If anything, I think the introduction of cell phones have made modern game systems more approachable for all ages. I just don?t see the older generation struggle like they used to. And kids are getting skills in interacting with computing devices at ridiculously young ages.

Where I do agree is that there is a large market that was interested in the Wii that have zero interest in the PS4 or XBone. Heck, I proudly count myself among them. It?s way more fun to hack an RS-97 to play old retro games than it is to sit in front of a modern game console.

I also play a lot of modern tabletop games as well. I?ve found that the social aspect of gaming when I was younger (e.g. Street Fighter matches, Golden Eye, Mario Party, etc.) has been lost in today?s online games. Tabletop games have evolved into more sophisticated ?thinking? games that challenge the video game generation while retaining that face-to-face time we really need.

If the Amico brings that back to video games, I?m all for it! Especially if they can figure out the magic that made the Intellivision system such a good family device. (I don?t care what else they make. I?d buy it just for 2 player Shark! Shark!)

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Literally everything he says is complete BS and instantly sets alarm bells ringing. Look at that games list, just stuff you can get elsewhere for pennies or unlicensed knock-offs and their prices start at $2.99.

In fairness, he did address the game price point pretty directly in the interview. He said that the system would launch with $2.99 - $7.99 games, though he expected very few $2.99 games overall. He also said that post-launch he expects games to stabilize at the $15 - $20 range. Which is not unreasonable.

Again, I don?t disagree that red flags exist. And his over enthusiasm almost turns me off. But when I really look at the at the details, I find a depth that simple doesn?t exist for the Atari Box or that Coleco-guar-thing. Doesn?t guarantee success or that I won?t feel stupid for having supported them when this all goes horribly wrong. But I do feel that they have a real plan that the others don?t. That?s why I compare it to the Ouya. The Ouya was not a scam. But they did misjudge some aspects of the market which eventually did them in. Maybe Amico learns all the right lessons and succeeds? We?ll see!

gameblabla

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Re: New Intellivision console - they have a pencil drawing and everything!
« Reply #4 on: October 29, 2018, 11:45:39 pm »
Little to inexistant third-party support, with a complete focus on "child-friendly" retro games ?
Might as well provide your console with baby spoons & diapers : surely that will make your console child friendly !
Or you could team up with Vtech, they love to deal with crying babies.

Also, what lemmywinks said, only prerenders, which are not even promising in the slightest.
There is absolutely no point in having a console like this.

jbanes

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Re: New Intellivision console - they have a pencil drawing and everything!
« Reply #5 on: October 30, 2018, 12:09:27 am »
Little to inexistant third-party support, with a complete focus on "child-friendly" retro games ?
Might as well provide your console with baby spoons & diapers : surely that will make your console child friendly !
Or you could team up with Vtech, they love to deal with crying babies.

I do believe they've been emphasizing "family-friendly", not "child-friendly". Not quite the same thing. :)

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Also, what lemmywinks said, only prerenders, which are not even promising in the slightest.
There is absolutely no point in having a console like this.

If you say so. I think the controller design is very promising. Which is about all we can get out of the pre-renders (or even a "real" shell) since a console can look like just about anything.

But then again, I'm a huge fan of the Intellivision. My argument is that I see real knowledge of the Intellivision in what they're doing. Unlike the so-called "Atari".

To each their own, however. I very much doubt I'm going to convince anyone who's already made up their mind. Could be the next Wii, or it could be the next Ouya. Only time will tell. :)

lemmywinks (OP)

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Re: New Intellivision console - they have a pencil drawing and everything!
« Reply #6 on: October 31, 2018, 03:55:34 pm »
All valid points and I guess this will be a wait and see thing, I think a lot of us on here may be a little tired of seeing small companies dragging up zombified brands in an attempt to bring back gaming's golden era, this in and of itself is nonsensical because different age groups have wildly varying ideas about what that era was - it's the one they happened to grow up with after all. This gives us the real audience for this thing which isn't the "gaming for the whole family" scenario they envisage. The demographic this is aimed at is 35+ year olds, those who grew up with 2D and will buy this for their children as a present (instead of the Fortnite V-Bucks that they actually wanted) to introduce them to their idea of "proper" games which their kids won't care about after 5 minutes. Whether this is intentional or not (or even realised by the team, I don't think it is) this is who would actually be prepared to stump up $150+ for this in 2019/20.

Still, we've seen with the Atari thing that there is a small audience prepared to spend silly amounts on low end tech based on the mere promise of a retro revival. Honestly I think after that starts going sour (I think it will have an incredibly short lifespan) backers will still have a neat looking media PC to install Windows on and sit under the TV. The Intellivision thing - who knows.
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lemmywinks (OP)

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Re: New Intellivision console - they have a pencil drawing and everything!
« Reply #7 on: October 31, 2018, 09:47:13 pm »
In terms of Inafune, I don?t think he?s a good example. He did deliver something that wasn?t a scam. While it was highly disappointing, it shows just how hard it is to accomplish this stuff.

I actually think Inafune is a pinpoint comparison to a lot of these retro graverobbers, particularly the ones that use crowdfunding. Inafune was never making a game, Megaman or otherwise, he was using his name and reputation to generate hype and the intention was always to farm the actual development out to an external studio. Inafune's actual company was just there to fart out ideas which were someone else's responsibility to make a reality and he couldn't even control that. It's not that he couldn't accomplish what the Kickstarter pitch claimed he was going to do, it's that in terms of game development and project management he never intended to try. He was a middleman, a salesperson.

Compare that to a small group of individuals who acquire the rights to use a long dead video game brand (maybe even a Jaguar shell!), it's all about bluffing your way to perceived credibility until you can collect the money and then pay an external company to develop hardware for you. This is the pattern they all follow, it's having an idea and delegating the work, maybe the Amico team are different but their announcement and general outlook on the current state of the games industry sounds awfully familiar.

Here's another problem for them - we have games like Cuphead, Ori and the Blind Forest and Dust an Elysian Tail on current systems so that's the sort of standard they need if they're marketing it as a super powerful 2D console, one which apparently beats out current gen on sprite based games. I sincerely hope the team behind the Amico have got studios working to produce the slew of high quality exclusive 2D titles that their system will need to last longer than a year and have the financial clout to support said studios while they make huge losses (tiny install base = low sales). They mention supporting small developers in their announcement but it will obviously take much more than that.

Given how wary their target audience will be when the Ataribox thing starts heading south I think they need to show us something tangible, in fact it wouldn't be a bad idea regardless.
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