Tommy Tallarico, best known for his work on various AAA video game soundtracks, Electric Playground, and 'Video Games Live', took some time out of his extremely busy schedule to spend the day discussing what makes his upcoming Intellivision 'Amico' console so special.
Back when we first heard of this device, I was skeptical. To be honest, the flood of shovelware consoles and mini classics had begun taking their toll on my patience with gaming. It seemingly became more 'how much money can we squeeze out of gamers wallets' and less about 'how much fun can we squeeze out of this game'. Pair that with vaporware consoles and crowdfunding mishaps, the Intellivision Amico was caught in the crossfire, and it deserves a far better fate.
The Intellivision Amico is a... unique little fighter of a machine. Some might even call this the underdog story of this generation's video game console wars. While it certainly doesn't plan on standing toe-to-toe with the likes of the powerful Microsoft's Xbox or Sony's Playstation family of consoles, it does however, present a different angle to the industry's landscape. One that focuses more on bringing the family back together in the living room, reliving times of yesteryear, with a new twist. Updated, fully reimagined old school titles that offer tons of variety and entertainment for gamers of all ages and skill levels.
That's one thing Tommy kept repeating throughout the day that stuck with me. We aim to bring the family back together. While other console manufacturers are swept up in the arms race of who can graphically outperform the other, creating incredibly deep storylines and complex controls, Tommy's aim is to remind gamers why they fell in love with the hobby to begin with: The FUN of the gaming, enjoyed together with family and friends.
While I'm not allowed to go into detail on some of what Intellivision is working on behind the scenes right now, what I can say is: what was shown off to me privately is special. Different. Unique. Tommy showed me the internal workings of the controller, what I personally consider to be the de facto selling point for the system. Tons of insane technology that's never been done before packed into the palm of your gaming hand. Is it gimmicky? Maybe a bit, but no more than the original Nintendo Wii. Most will remember that being the console purchased by a large portion of the population not considered typical 'gamers'. They were parents, grandparents, general public who saw value in the simple accessibility to gameplay experiences. Wii Sports, the included game on Wii, single handedly made a non-gamer become a gamer, if only for one single game.
Nintendo has drifted away from that market in recent years and left a gaping hole. One that Intellivision aims to fill. Tommy's passion and drive to ensure this underdog of a console has the best chance for success is second to no one.
This is his baby. His love. His life dream realized.
Tommy sees a future where the Intellivision Amico accomplishes exactly what it sets out to do. Recapture the casual gamer, the non gamers, the families, the fun. Will it also have games for hardcore gamers? Of course, but that's not the main purpose or audience, and that's precisely where the confusion enters the picture from haters.
It is not for you, when viewed from the perspective of a gamer.
It is for you, when you remember everyone plays video games with family & friends.
Parties, gatherings, family game nights, events, I can see this thing absolutely everywhere. The price point will be set anywhere from $150-$180, all games under $10, no games rated higher than an E10+, and incredibly deep parental controls. This console is made to cover the basics of everything required for a fun evening of gaming. Challenging battles with intuitive checks and balances to ensure even the less talented player can compete.
The realization of where this thing fits in a crowded market will ultimately come when that smile shows up on your face 10/10/2020.
Check out my full thoughts on the Intellivision Amico with my first impressions video linked above.
Best of luck to you Tommy. You have made yourself yet another fan for life.