Intellivision lives again?

Hailing frequencies open… Forums Phosphor Dot Fossils Console Gaming Intellivision lives again?

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  • #23155
    Earl
    Keymaster
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    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?


    #23171
    Steve W
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    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.

    #23175
    Earl
    Keymaster
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    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.


    #27216
    Earl
    Keymaster
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    Man, hadn’t updated this in a long time.

    In March 2020, just right as the pandemic thing was beginning but before things got a bit desperate, I put my $100 deposit down for an Intellivision Amico and, for the most part, forgot about it. It was fully refundable, but I considered the money spent and thought no further of it.

    This morning I requested a refund of that deposit. Now, practical real world reasons: my vehicle is out of service again and I need to correct that ASAP.

    Are there other reasons? Oh yeah. You might have caught wind of this happening earlier this week. [LINK]

    Video game composer and creator of the upcoming Intellivision Amico console Tommy Tallarico had a minor meltdown on Twitter today in response to an article reporting on leaked specs of the system. In a series of deleted Tweets, Tallarico accused the author of the article of violating copyright law, threatening both him and the publication that published the article with legal action.

    Since it was announced in 2018, the Intellivision Amico has garnered a generally lukewarm response from the gaming community. The new addition to the extremely competitive console market has positioned itself as a family-friendly system centered around local multiplayer gaming; most of the games showcased in the system’s marketing appear to support up to four players at a time and seem to consist of simple, straightforward gameplay. This is an intentional marketing choice, as the Amico is being targeted to a more casual gaming audience. Tallarico has been upfront about the system’s relatively low capabilities, claiming that the appeal of the Amico will be its role in social settings, not flashy graphics or revolutionary technology.

    While it is clear that the Amico is significantly less powerful than leading home consoles, the specifics of the hardware’s limitations were not clear until a breakdown was published on the tech news site Ars Technica. In the article, writer Sam Machkovek pulls from leaked Intellivision documents outlining the technology going into the Amico and its Wii U-like controllers, reporting that the Amico’s hardware is comparable to that of low-end Android smartphones. In a short burst of public anger, Tallarico took to Twitter with threats of legal action against Machkovek and Ars Technica, claiming that they violated copyright law by disseminating confidential information.

    So…here’s the thing. No joke, I do need my car up and running as soon as humanly possible. But that outburst made it really easy for me to single out my Amico pre-order as the first thing to cancel and claw my money back from. There’s a lot of other stuff flying around about Tallarico, accusations about his political leanings and so forth, but that’s not it and I have no way of verifying any of that.

    At a fundamental level, I pledged a hundred bucks to help a plucky video game company with its roots in old-school gaming rise from the ashes and make something new. The promise of updated versions of classic Intellivision games like Night Stalker and Astrosmash was too much to resist. But I wasn’t pledging a hundred bucks so they could throw a hissy fit and sue people just for reporting on the technology behind it.

    Amico, if it ever comes out because, yeah, the multiple release date delays are starting to carry a whiff of Coleco Chameleon karma, can be picked up later once things stabilize for me financially (if indeed that ever happens). But right now, I need the C-note, I need my vehicle to be drive-able again, and I’m just not comfortable with the public tantrum, whether he’s backpedaled/apologized or not.


    #27221
    ZLoth
    Moderator
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    Hmmmmm, but was there a NDA violation? I take it that there wasn’t.


    “All parts should go together without forcing. You must remember that the parts you are reassembling were disassembled by you. Therefore, if you can’t get them together again, there must be a reason. By all means, do not use a hammer.” —IBM Manual, 1925

    #27222
    Earl
    Keymaster
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    From everything I’ve gathered, no NDA violation, just a badly secured dev portal. So Tommy hasn’t got a leg to stand on, and someone telling him so is probably what started the backpedaling.


    #27228
    ZLoth
    Moderator
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    Translation: Open mouse, insert foot, bite really really hard.


    “All parts should go together without forcing. You must remember that the parts you are reassembling were disassembled by you. Therefore, if you can’t get them together again, there must be a reason. By all means, do not use a hammer.” —IBM Manual, 1925

    #27274
    Earl
    Keymaster
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    And…another release date delay, this time without announcing a new time frame.

    I’m starting to think it’s a good thing I got my money out from under this thing when I did. It’ll be a lot harder to do if a bunch of people start demanding refunds all at once.

    I’m having to try very hard at this point not to pick up the faint scent of the Coleco Chameleon (a scam so infamous it now has its own Wikipedia page).


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