May 29, 2018 at 10:52 pm #23155
This is unexpected. [LINK]
Tommy Tallarico grew up with the joy of playing the Intellivision video game console, a machine from Mattel that gave Atari a run for its money in the early 1980s. Now he has acquired the rights to the console and its original games, and he plans to relaunch Intellivision as a retro brand.
A wave of nostalgia has hit gamers, with Nintendo and Atari taking advantage with launches, both recent and pending, of older game consoles. Now they’ll have a new competitor with Intellivision Entertainment, Tallarico said in an exclusive interview with GamesBeat.
Tallarico is a veteran video game developer and musician who heads Video Games Live, a concert company that travels the world and plays orchestral music from video games before live audiences. He purchased a stake in Intellivision Productions from the estate of former owner and founder Keith Robinson, who passed away in 2017.
Tallarico has relaunched the Irvine, California-based company as Intellivision Entertainment, and he is serving as president alongside some of the original Intellivision team members.
Originally released in 1980, the Intellivision console and its successors sold millions of units over three decades. The new Intellivision system (name TBA) will carry on the company tradition of “firsts” with its new concept, design and approach to gaming, Tallarico said.
“I see a huge gaping hole in the market now with families in the home,” said Tallarico. “We will be focused. We will not try to compete with Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo. That would be insane, and we would need $1 billion.”
Details of the new console will be released on October 1, and you can subscribe to updates at their website. Tallarico said the team is developing a new controller as well. But he said the console will not match the capabilities of modern consoles and it won’t be expensive. At launch, Tallarico said there will be 10 games ready, and he said the machine will run an emulator to play all the old games.
“We are in the middle,” he said. “We won’t run Netflix. We are not trying to do 3D.”
The system will connect to Wi-Fi and it will have a store that will allow you to download games onto an SD memory card.
Wary of over promising (like, ahem, Atari with its new console), Tallarico said he won’t give a target date for the launch of the hardware yet.
Tallarico has been making games for 30 years, and he credits Intellivision for getting him into the business.
“I’d play it with mom and dad and brother,” Tallarico said. “We could all understand it. We didn’t have to read a manual or play 50 hours to finish a game.”
Original Intellivision team members will also play important roles in the creation, development, software and design of the new platform. Intellivision Entertainment chairman Steve Roney and Intellivision Entertainment vice president of technology Bill Fisher have been involved with Intellivision since 1981.
Both Roney and Fisher were programmers and designers for some of the first home video games to ever have voice/speech (Space Spartans and B-17 Bomber). Other Intellivision members include original Game Design & Development Group Leader David Warhol, known for designing and producing over 25 Intellivision titles as well as designing, programming and composing for the first home console video game to ever have wall-to-wall continuous music (Thunder Castle).
Intellivision veteran and vice president Emily Reichbach Rosenthal will lead the licensing division, and longtime Intellivision contractor, tech guru, and historian Paul Nurminen is the vice president of product development.
This sounds cool. It would be great if someone could, like, go in halfsies with me on the rights to the Odyssey2/Videopac IP. I’ve got $12 on me…anyone?June 2, 2018 at 5:38 am #23171
Well, at least Tallarico isn’t some oddball, shifty guy who’s trying to pull a Coleco Chameleon on us. I’ll always see him as the goofball from the old G4 TV show. And I’m glad to know that something’s happening with the Intellivision again, but sad that it took the death of Keith Robinson to spur it on.
The issue is that if they create new hardware it’ll make it more difficult for developers to make games for it and turning off a lot of studios, but if they use off-the-shelf components and installed with a free OS (like Android) it’ll just turn into another Ouya. The Ouya wasn’t a bad machine, it just didn’t get any real support. And considering a lot of companies have made Android-based set-top boxes/consoles that have all pretty much failed, it shows there’s no market for that kind of thing. I hope they come up with something more interesting.
I wonder how much the rights to the Videopac/Odyssey2 really are? Maybe you should email Philips and inquire. Just for the proverbial sh!ts and giggles.June 4, 2018 at 2:34 am #23175
I wonder how much the rights to the Videopac/Odyssey2 really are? Maybe you should email Philips and inquire. Just for the proverbial sh!ts and giggles.
I got a burger and a drink last night, might be out of my price range now.
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