We've been following the progress of the Intellivision Amico for some time now, and it's certainly shaping up to be an interesting venture; with names like Dave Perry and Tommy Tallarico involved – as well as the allure of that classic Intellivision branding – we can't help but wish the project the best of luck. And the fact that former Nintendo staffers Perrin Kaplan, Beth Llewelyn and Scott Tsumura are on-board only increases that.
Aimed at families who want accessible games at a low cost (software will be priced between $2.99 and $7.99, while the console itself is expected to retail for between $149 and $179), the Amico has our attention – even more so when you consider it's going to be the only place you can play the upcoming Earthworm Jim sequel. However, having watched a 'sizzle' reel of 23 different Amico games, we can't help but feel a little bit nervous about the console's chances of finding the audience it needs to become a success.
While some of the titles shown are marked as still being early in development, many of them look like they've stepped right out of the iOS App Store form a decade ago. There are some interesting concepts which use the Amico's unique controllers and the ability to record audio, but on the whole, we're looking at gameplay designs from the '80s and '90s which have been 'tarted up' with some pretty underwhelming 3D visuals.
Given that each game is looking to sell for a super-low price, the budget feel of these titles is perhaps understandable – but for this model to work, the Amico is going to have to sell millions to make it attractive to quality developers who can afford to sell their titles at a low cost. It works on smartphones and consoles like the Switch because there are already millions of potential buyers out there – the Amico isn't going to benefit from that kind of audience, at least not in the short-term.
Still, if you're still willing to give this system a shot then pre-orders for the VIP edition of the machine – which starts at $249 – open on March 21st, with the Amico expected to launch on 10th October 2020. Whether or not the recent coronavirus outbreak will impact that remains to be seen, of course.
Tommy Tallarico, Intellivision CEO and Amico creator, had this to say about the announcement of the VIP edition:
Our supporters worldwide shared our excitement when we made our first 2,600 Founders Edition units available, and we received an overwhelming demand for another opportunity to participate after we sold out. Given the potential impact on manufacturing due to COVID-19, we understand it may be difficult to find entertainment products later this year and we want to give our most loyal followers an invitation to own their very own Amico.
Will you be dropping some cash on this console? Let us know with a comment.