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  1. Am at a conference all week so had to skim through the last several pages.. lots of reveals, lots of exciting news! But wanted to ask if anyone caught the [confirmation?] about the special edition console model? Apparently pink isn't just Steven Tyler's favorite color.. Intellivision has a special edition to reveal in four months. Exciting. I think it goes a long way to saying "our system is for everyone." Before having two daughters, and when they were not yet walking or during pregnancy, I did everything I could to be as gender neutral, embracing every color I could, buying some fun boys' shirts, because Buy Buy Baby and Babies R Us (Babies WeR Us?) seemed to endorse only pink outfits are fit for the girls' section. But my three year old loves pink. She gravitates to pink things, it's so culturally associated in everything that little girls instinctively associate with it as something for them, or something they're akin to. Not every little girl, my anecdote doesn't hold true for all - but we all look around, we see how much children's animation and toys, clothing, marketing is "pink". And now it's embraced as empowering and positive. Mostly, not on 4Chan mind you, but, in other mediums. And Intellivision is the only console out there offering a color scheme little girls might want to have as their own. Brava Intellivision.
  2. We're all excited about Intellivision being a share of the overall market and designing games and hardware again. But let's not set expectations to unachievable places right off the bat. Michael Pachter discussed sales predictions for Holiday 2020 for the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5... 1 to 1.5 million units over November and December, up to 2 million at the very most. Intellivision is going to want to sell enough units to be a smashing success. But not stretch too thin early in production and cause retailers to balk at large reorders and increased manufacturing. A steady, consistent manufacturing run can save the company tens of millions in production costs in the long run, and make so much more in met demand. But an inconsistent manufacturing run where supply noticeably exceeds demand can sink them within the year. There is no rebound from that. The smartest move here is to, again, approach this like Nintendo does with its products. Undershoot your production. Amico needs to be a talked about, hard-to-find product with some shortage of availability. You don't want thirty Amico consoles sitting on shelves in December and January. You want 5. Maybe 8. You want people to see it's a product and has shelf-space, but you want to see sales and see that there aren't infinite amounts. A product shortage not meeting demand, for a short period, will be great for Intellivision. Think of the Wii. Think of the Switch. Everybody was talking about the fun, innovative must-have system, and they were hard to find that first launch and first holiday season. Even the Wii had shortages its second year. Same with the NES Classic. Undershooting just drove demand, drove that social media base craving and talking about and sharing, and sales rocketed even after supply more-or-less met demand. Realistically, if Microsoft is playing it safe this holiday with around 750,000-1,000,000 consoles, and Sony reads its market right and produces around 1.5 million, with plans to move to about 1m and 1.5m per month, respectively (12m - 18m per year), then Intellivision really should be looking closer to 100,000-250,000 units globally that first holiday season. Closer to 100,000-125,000 may be more prudent, but their summer/fall pre-orders (not next week's FE) will tell retailers a lot more about how many they think they can move in early 2021 if it's high demand. Retailers will place their orders this spring for holiday, but E3 and summer marketing are going to help gauge how early they can ramp up production and how much they can plan for the later quarters of 2021. And 150,000 units over the holiday is still going to be the surprise success story of the season (even if this is a conservative number, I think it could do much better.. could also just need more hands-on and time to incubate, maybe it's even a little aggressive.. we just don't know). But Intellivision emerging out of nowhere to post 20-25% of the expected sales of Microsoft in their big release year? That's more than a foot in the door, that's a statement of intent. We don't want them to overshoot the mark. Too much of an undershoot, leaving demand unmet, leaves too much money on the table. No pressure on Intellivision, but the fate of the universe is on them marketing right and getting those numbers right and getting those games to stand out and pull people. No pressure, just don't disappoint us. Don't. Disappoint. 😶
  3. I think the VCS/Amico comparisons/impact pretty much ends with our community - I can't see the cross-over damage to the general public. The general public didn't crowd-fund the VCS. The general public doesn't know it's a thing. Casual buyers won't know (or care) about the roller coaster mistakes and red flags of some obscure three year project. The end products are so completely aimed at different audiences and doing different things, the VCS may not even be visible on a store shelf or highlighted on a retailer website. The VCS and Amico proposed within a year of each other and launching the same year may get a mention in some future entertainment news piece but even then, we're consuming our news and entertainment in such a segmented manner now, I doubt those pieces get much exposure anyway. I really don't think it hurts anybody from a consumer perspective. It DOES probably affect potential investors and retail buyers if some poorly planned system launches and is an abject failure generating zero interest, because THEY'RE looking for the most relevant market examples that line up with what the next console maker is trying to do. Even if very different goals, very different methods and markets, that's just extra work for that future system. It surely was a hill for Intellivision to surpass in shaking off the Ouya's thud, even though approach, market, research, development, software and business plans are completely different. It's a hurdle to get past anyone burned or with superficial awareness of this market.
  4. Nothing new shown. But Michael was a little more clear about expectations. They're obviously really banking on enthusiasm generating enough sales for this as a nostalgic dip into classic games.. I don't know if that number looks closer to 30,000 sales or 150,000 sales - but some number of online purchases will see this, see enough polish and the Atari vault, Antstream, hundreds of games, promising itself to be a unique platform for future games.. some number of shoppers with disposable income will pick it up. I think that number is in the tens of thousands, but I don't know what sort of market research they've done. While there's been plenty of devices doing multiple things Atari is promoting here, it hasn't been quite done in this combination with Atari's branding. What's the value of that? We'll see. I thought the interviewer pitched softball questions, but, that's OK. That gets to Atari's talking points. Ideally the consumer gets more info from this video, but that's not how these pieces work. Things I like: Present the modern controller as fairly standard. If this is an enthusiast/modder system, if that's a tenet, then - it is pretty universal and won't scare off any small devs. Showcased the class joystick. It's simple, but they added upgrades where they could. We know Atari's small - but I think they did a decent homage to the classic CX joystick. The light-up ring is nice polish. The gloss dish, the button on the side for attention to better ergonomics, showing off the twist as a solution to paddle-type games (not ideal, but we can work with it) Talking up their partner Antstream in having 200 games available by launch. Packages some value Clarifying that Atari post 2013 had to turn around after running itself into the ground. I think their narrative IS scrappy, squarely focused small player finding their feet. Mentioned the games division. Putting themselves apart from a "console" and clarifying that they're a computer interfaced through your TV. That will help the audience understand what they're getting. Still on path for March release. Sounds like March 31st-ish is way more likely than March 5th-ish. But March. Stressed that this is Atari getting its foot in the door. Acknowledging they can't bank everything on this, but it's an important step. Flashbacks and licensing deals are not their vision of Atari (doubly good). At their core, they see themselves as a hardware company. Good. The Nintendo comment I thought was handled OK actually. Should've been outright dismissed, it isn't in the cards, the reporter seemed a little under-informed (they tend not to be experts, they're just told which person their media site secured an interview with, so no knock to the reporter) - but he then tried to clarify what Atari is (without kicking themselves) and give the generic "yeah we'd love to work with them". Honestly, who wouldn't? Things I didn't like: Still no unique games. Couldn't they have laid out two or three games their own games division had in plan over the next few years? They can't commit to this? Dependent on hobbyists and devs coming to them. They can't wait for devs to want to fall in love with their classic controller and want to make games for it. Where's the legwork? Who've they been talking to? Why haven't they been talking to small developer studios and pitching ideas or *receiving ideas*? No mention of what an Atari OS does differently or why it's a selling point to the consumer Stop talking about kickstarting and what you put out on Indiegogo. Put out the system proposed (with all its modifications and stripped down current iteration). But no need to keep referencing that somewhat defensively "we've always said, since that Indiegogo campaign, that this was an open platform".. you're now 8-10 weeks from shipping. This is a product now. Thank the funders who supported you. But don't artificially minimize your relevance by only talking about that campaign. We should assume other investors and additional funding is at play. At some point this should have transitioned from kickstarted campaign to full-on product development and company initiative. Still calling it a box. It's not a cablebox. Boxes to stream sound a little dated now - we've moved on to Chromecasts, Amazon Fire Cubes, Firesticks, Roku Plus and Ultra and Express, NVIDEA Shields, Apple TV, Android TV... if the centerpiece of what this is, is its interface with the tv, call it your Atari entertainment platform. Call it the Atari TV Mate, the Atari digital media all-in-one.. something that conveys what it could be, better than the vague and somewhat dated "box", which was conceptual in it's earliest reveal. Hopeful this finds a large enough audience not to sour retailers and any audience appetite for Atari moving forward. I'd be super excited to pay some sort of premium for a system that had an exclusive Crystal Castles - build and share levels, see other players' best runs in ghost mode. I've commented a couple times about how Atari is missing the opportunity to exclusively redesign its classic titles, but that would be pivotable for the audience excited for this. I'd love to see SOME developers or homebrew scene putting a little bit of resources toward getting unique games on this. But it is at the end of the day a hobbyist toy on one end, a high end streaming device that doesn't appear optimized for how people are used to navigating these streaming services, and a pc that you can build and operate on your tv (not sure how much need/appeal this gets).
  5. One other factor in judging the potential market on this, and this is just within the retro gaming community - which couldn't be more than a couple million out there (hard to gauge overall, there is no Grand Poomba of retro collecting that most of us would follow to get an idea of size, and even then, what percentage just collect and avoid social media?), is that among collectors and vintage game players, a lot of us will go after systems we never owned. So while some people may say, "Atari had 10 times the market impact that Intellivision had, it'll naturally have 10 times the sales".. no, not quite. TurboGrafx-16 had a minuscule footprint in North America, and market demand for these systems is very high. Likewise for the Sega Master System, which was a tenth of the marketshare that Nintendo held in the late 80s in North America, yet those games have spiked in price over the last few years. A lot of collectors will move on to adjacent systems. For NES players, that means dipping into the Master System and TurboGrafx, the 7800. For Atari fans who've combed over the VCS library 6,000 times, it means they're looking at the games being put out on ColecoVision, Intellivision, Odyssey2 and maybe the TI-99 or Vectrex. A lot of non-collectors, just people who enjoy games, will venture into a system they never owned out of curiousity. Maybe they thought Intellivision sucked as a 12 year old. As a 46 year old, maybe they're a little more well-rounded, less in the do-or-die console wars mentality. Or maybe they wanted all the systems but their parents didn't take out a second mortgage to entertain their gaming ambitions. Either way, adult players broaden their collections. So it strikes me as not being able to see past one's own nose when an avid game collector says, "there's no market for this, Intellivision only sold 3 million, Atari wasted them and look how paltry the VCS Indiegogo funding pre-orders were?!?"... really? Says you, collector of all systems? You're so unique in branching out past the two systems you had as a kid???
  6. Agree. We're revisionists if we think nobody under 35 has any affinity for the brand or recognition. First, it assumes we only played Atari/Intellivision/ColecoVision from 1977-1983. These systems stuck around long after the fact. Dreamcast hasn't been a thing for 19 years outside of Japan, yet it has much higher name recognition among late teen and twenty-somethings than it otherwise ought to. Because there is an after-market. Because there are flea markets and thrift stores and used games and people who cycle through systems. Not everyone is a collector. Most will sell a system. A large percentage of people familiar with any system will have purchased their system used. So while we presume anyone after 1983 must have lived in an Intellivision-less world, it's the wrong assumption. It's completely dismissive of economically less well-off families who do not buy new consoles. Mine almost never did, we bought used. We played hand-me-downs. My first system was a Magnavox Odyssey that I played 4-5 times a week for years... flimsy plastic overlays on our tv, collecting my mandatory shock to put them on and take them off.. and I was born well after 1972. By this logic, I had no right knowing or any familiarity with the Odyssey. Same with Intellivision. I would've been too young to remember Intellivision commercials (I do recall some Atari and the era of those commercials, but George Plimpton and my childhood have no memorable overlap). But, again, after the Intellivision sell-off to INTV, and after it began to disappear from store shelves, I still played it second-hand when visiting my mom's cousins, who mostly kept the thing put away since the VCR and some other unit was connected to the tv, but they'd break it out to play some games with me. There are a large demographic who grew up adjacent to the era, who would've played those games afterward (Nintendo wouldn't really start to saturate the North American market until late 1988 - we DID play video games in the interim - just, older systems). And that is even before you account for younger siblings who inherited or played those systems, too young to have really enjoyed them in 81-83, but still accessible in the late 80s or even early 90s as they began showing up at garage sales and were time wasters, not so out of date to be unplayable (still pre 16-bit era, excepting the Turbografx that no one had, or the Genesis that wouldn't make much of a sales dent until Sonic was the pack-in around 92)
  7. If only there was somebody compiling all this and making time-stamps for reference.. Here ya go, timestamps of all newly leaked info, any reveals, a couple points included that have been alluded to in the forum/reddit, but I am pretty sure this is the first time on video: 5:53 Astrosmash's visuals need to be iconic, under development by members of the Earthworm Jim team 20:52 (on disc positions inputs) the disc is pressure-sensitive, the amount of pressure can also determine speed (pressing harder goes faster) 27:09 Console shell, back reveal (HDMI, USB x 2, SD slots, power) - different layout from previous renders 29:31 $200+ price point is confirmed (features have pushed this above the $149-$179 window). $220-$230 mentioned, but $249.99 is dismissed 51:51 Tommy hints at working with video game composer Spencer Nilson on the new [Ecco] successor 56:14 For shelf collectors, box art (whatever physical medium they use) won't all be the same - some will have similar theme, others will be unique, but media will not be like boxes on a shelf 58:02 Two Imagic games in development are far enough in progress to be "up and running right now" 58:11 Demon Attack coming in a second wave, next-tier To Do list of games 59:09 Console has 16 GB internal memory (reads as 40-50 games), plus SD slot for additional storage 1:00:07 How RFID will share keys to share games (via a confirmation and download direct to second machine) 1:00:53 Alludes to one of the pack-ins beyond Skiing (and Snafu/Snafooooooo).. one of the host's mentions from first hour is a pack-in 1:01:28 Some pack-ins will use motion control, others won't, one is a twitch-type game. One is more geared toward core gaming, but was an original Intellivision title that Tommy's mom played (Night Stalker?) 1:04:58 Four limited edition models beyond Glacier White/Obsidian Black standard ~$225 models. We've only seen three (GTO, Galactic Purple, Vintage Woodgrain). A fourth will be limited to one retailer, targeted to girls (Inty's looking pretty in pink. You heard it here) 1:05:58 Limited Edition Amico consoles ~$279.99 1:06:36 The 10 second clip why Atari execs are a little jumpy when in the same room as Intellivision peeps. A little too much glee on that final twist.. 🤐 1:07:08 Founder's Edition: 2600 woodgrain units, signed & numbered on the back, 3D lenticular poster of the running man with entire team signing the back, Amico founder's pin, founder's patch, console arrives a couple days earlier than launch, a metal golden ticket controller RFID card for a $50 gift certificate, a physical version of the Earthworm Jim soundtrack. 1:09:20 Founder's Edition launches about a week from 1/16/2020 1:11:57 Mike Mika, Digital Eclipse team is working on 5 games for the Amico 1:12:42 90% of Amico games are built on Unity. Mike Mika's team are using their custom-built game engine for their games 1:14:14 Amico will not support Unreal Engine 1:22:37 Douglas Adams, author of Hitchhikers Guide to the Universe will have a hidden Easter egg in the Amico 1:22:48 Amico features numerous hidden Easter eggs 1:23:20 Tommy elaborates of the Reward/High Score/Leaderboard system, time & space leaderboard system, and how it'll include one-of-a-kind trophies, printable certificates/badges. May not make launch. 1:27:29 Atari licensed 12 games to Intellivision 1:29:05 In works with Disney on Tron, not secured yet 1:29:23 Disney, Nickelodeon, Sesame Street, Hasbro, Mattel all following/interested in the product (licensing tie-ins?) 1:31:45 Intellivision working with about 50 developers globally. 1:33:42 Reviewing Skiing, reveals what your playing field looks like in-game, and a cinematic zoom-in giving you an overview of the course. Also, Skiing features 8 players taking turns, or a 4 player SkiCross manic race to the bottom. Controller touchscreen will have a ski badge drop in place. Button control is one button to jump, disc to swerve. 1:36:23 Intellivision has scrapped five games of the original 22 they had to show at June 2019 E3. Post E3 feedback, they retained 17 of those games. Further development needed for others or just weren't cutting it. 1:36:58 You can hold the controller upside down Colecovision style - lanyard fits the opposite end so that when held for motion controls, the Colecovision hold is the standard motion-control assumed hold (grasp the touchscreen, they want your thumb on the disc or side buttons for action while swinging/waving/bowling/throwing/twisting/bopping/whatevering) 1:37:57 Cornbag. It's going to be cornbag. 🤣 (Going to suggest the name officially have a subheader.. if going with Cornhole, maybe a subheader "Bean Bag Toss".. games sold to retailers use bean bag toss, under 35 crowd have taken to cornhole, because they're ruining everything) 🙂 1:38:28 Amico Club app was just updated on Thursday, go check out the changes 1:41:03 No surround-sound or Atmos capabilities. No 3D sound, but the speakers on the controller will be integrated for unique sound experiences 1:45:04 The footage game design from Snafu/Snafoo from E3 has been significantly updated 1:45:34 Forced Feedback will not be toggled on/off 1:46:46 Production begins first week of April 1:47:26 Zombies Ate My Neighbors not on Amico's radar 1:47:58 Q*Bert and other Sony properties (different division from Sony Entertainment/PlayStation Sony) in talks with Intellivision to get these properties on the Amico. Sony Pictures owns/licenses Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. Licensing talks 1:49:27 Lemmings is owned by Sony, Tommy likes multi-player Lemmings 1:51:39 Atlantis not ready for launch. Baseball will have multiple versions. One version of Baseball will be ready for launch, another version is closer to Spring Training (MLB Baseball?). Bowling ready on launch, the develper working on it created the most popular version of all time. Archon in development but not on launch. BurgerTime may make launch, uncertain. 2:07:47 Imagic's Beauty and the Beast confirmed 2:07:52 Lock 'N Chase is on Intellivision's list to obtain the rights, not secured yet. Owned by G Mode (owners of BurgerTime) 2:08:24 Oregon Trail is not in development, not in talks at this time 2:23:31 Tommy elaborates on how the concept came to fruition, discusses Intellivision coming in, his pitch, etc. 2:34:47 George Plimpton may have a subtle place (Easter egg?) in the modern marketing of the system 2:40:09 Tommy's thoughts on the VCS, what he thinks it should go after to succeed, includes insight on where Ouya lost software focus 2:51:50 They'd like to talk to Castle Crashers, has a great concept, would be a great fit as a unique exclusive version 3:02:58 Tommy wants a true couch-coop version of Roblox on the Amico 3:08:07 No fighting games right now - they're button mashers, mostly violent. (Amico isn't looking at button mashers). Funny fighting games like Clayfighters could be an option. Wouldn't be first round to reach everybody. 3:10:17 General Meow and Assassin Kitty was shelved/delayed. Won't be on launch. 3:10:56 Great relationship with Warner Bros, they love the Amico, their response to Intellivision was "Whatever you want, you can have". They own Marble Madness, Tommy going to look into it 3:16:13 Sea Battle and Football are on the list, won't be there at launch. Won't have a football game at launch, they're aiming for Playoffs (early Jan 2021). 3:16:48 AD&D is going to be there, almost certain on launch. All the old call-backs are included 3:18:49 Running man appears as a crossover in other Amico games 3:20:22 Intellivision has half the old Interplay team and half the old Virgin teams among their devs 3:22:44 Met with 1Up guys at CES, working on the mini Intellivision with 1Up - Tommy is in if they make the Intellivision the vintage woodgrain tv accessory, Atari get's the clunker. Maybe a Watchman.. 3:25:05 1Up project is Intellivision's last Flashback dip. Their original games will be sold as packs. A sports pack would include 10 games for $5. 3:25:58 Intellivision talking to Tecmo 3:28:24 8 player Missile Command will feature two teams on opposing sides of the screen. Screenshots from trailer we've seen is 4 player Missile Command 3:29:24 Space Hawk? Bill Fisher did it, so maybe something down the line, but Tommy notes Space Hawk is basically similar gameplay to Asteroids. Maybe it'll be an Easter egg? 3:30:01 Hot Wheels Criss-Cross Crash-inspired game is an original title, can't release name/tie-in just yet, but it is getting really great feedback from playtesting 3:30:21 Armor Battle play mechanics discussed.. every tank for him/herself. Then the chopper arrives and threatens to nuke/pick-off everybody. Gameplay shifts from competitive to sudden co-op, defend against the common threat. Chopper defeated, ceasefire is out the door as it's an all-out melee again 3:31:48 Circus-themed game is not Circus Atari, it is an original IP with gameplay akin to Angry Birds, launching clowns (and others?) at a Circus theme. 3:32:13 Back Talk Party (full title is obscured but I'm going with Party), the game with two DJs is the sleeper hit. Tommy thinks it will be THE game people are talking about next Christmas. 3:33:05 General Meow and Assassin Kitty is more turn-based than a fighting game. 3:33:23 Ecco successor.. is not Fathom. No one is talking about how there are four dolphins in the screenshot. 4-player Ecco successor 3:35:38 MotoRace USA will not be available on launch 3:35:46 Miner 2049er may make launch 3:35:55 Tropical Angel will not be available on launch 3:35:58 BurgerTime for sure on launch 3:36:06 Moon Patrol for sure on launch 3:36:08 R-Type potentially on launch 3:36:16 10-Yard Fight potentially on launch, a few football games (10-Yard Fight, potential Tecmo Bowl/Super Bowl, Intellivision Football) 3:36:36 Lode Runner probably on launch 3:36:53 Kung-Fu Master will not be available on launch 3:37:00 Archon will not be available on launch 3:37:08 Toe Jam and Earl is potentially on launch, done by the same team as Back in the Groove. Touchscreen integration, multi-player, humor focused, new music, levels 3:38:10 Spelunker probably not on launch Good info in between, but that's your relevant new stuff.
  8. Schools. Hospitals. Assisted Living homes. Daycares and Aftercare programs. Community Centers and Rec Halls. Libraries. YMCAs. Churches, synagogues, and mosques. Build a community-focused machine and it's pretty apparent how well it fits in different communal settings. Edutainment, edutainment Tommy tells us. That won't go over well with local communities looking to make smart purchase decisions for children, for families, or purse-holders making funding decisions about how to spend Medicaid and Medicare dollars on things that enhance "community integration" and "socialization". Not at all. And a Karma engine/game design principle to assist players and level the playing field, making accessibility, inclusiveness and shared experiences paramount? There are so many angles and narratives to this system and how it could find success.
  9. Really good point. Designing the games to the hardware/inputs available makes for enjoyable play experiences. Cramming circular ports into a square system just won't work. Nobody thinks about that when Tommy says "the games we're putting on our system CAN'T be played on other systems".. even I forget, all the game design and control decisions have a particular controller and its features in mind.
  10. Solution: when the controller is held vertically in a game (game design prefers or user prefers), the dev can deactivate those lower buttons based on how s/he thinks you'll hold it. Or, the dev can also program the controller to override inputs from the buttons nearest the disc when the gyroscope detects the positioning of the controller, if it's an issue during playtesting. I like the shift to buttons on either end as it benefits game development with horizontal holds in consideration. The two buttons on either side assumed a hold like your phone, and index/middle finger used in tandem for input. With one button on either side, it allows index finger and thumb - playing the controller more like an Atari 7800 or Colecovision, rather than the original Intellivision. But I think most people will have better command of index/thumb combo than index/middle finger (I imagine comfortable if you play an instrument as the finger placement emulates it, but less natural if don't).
  11. That's why I went with a focus on the controllers for my first Amico content.. seems like it's the universal panned "OMG! Can you even play Bejeweled on that?!?!" response, again, and again (and again). So, submitted to the court, for your review; A fun exercise in hypocrisy (and a peek at what's in the works) Please, Exhibit A: The Amico's controllers' most-ardent defenders discuss their personal favorite controllers. Sorry, for the Canadians here, Tommy is driving to your town to deliver that "u" for proper spelling. Favourite. God save the Queen. And Cmart. Not in that order. Don't have time to watch? No worries. There were big shout-outs to the Sega Genesis 6 button, the second variant of the Sega Saturn controller, and the NES Max. That's right. The Sega Genesis 6-button controller. And a quick runner up in the Sega Saturn v.2 controller. Both attached. Now you might ask yourself, "But Retro Advisory Board, that was an AMAZING controller". Yes. Yes they both were. And both feature d-pad sensors underlaying a disc. A beautiful, round, sexy circular disc. Not a rotating disc, she has her limits, just a stationary disc that rocks in any of eight directions. Albeit with a beveled, slightly elevated as you near the edge (like the Amico's disc, elevating as you reach the edge) cross-pad to help you differentiate thumb placement, which gives you a little tactile guidance between "Up" and "Upper Right" or "Upper Left". But, it's a "d-pad on a disc" nonetheless, as Ian recently pointed out how much he hates when telling us how god-awful this Amico controller is going to be, based purely on critique of its design (you need only review 1:33 - 3:39, the rest is other nits picked). What is the difference between the Intellivision disc and Sega's d-pad? Intellivision has 64 points of programmable inputs.. it can be a simple Up/Down/Left/Right layout by laying an "X" over that disc in the development process of a game. Four quadrants, shifted 45 degrees. Do you think you could kinda figure that out in playing a game? Is your thumb going to constantly drift from Up to Upper Left or the Left designated area? Maybe. I doubt it'll be a recurring issue. Little kids with little thumbs can manage without their thumbs slipping between the main cross pattern. They're not incompetent dregs hilariously throwing themselves off cliffs in any platformer. They're pretty friggin' good actually, with those tiny freaky thumbs. And then there was Pat's favorite, most stand-out of any controller he's ever played, the one that came to mind, got a shout-out, put on a pedestal for its great design. What controller is that, you ask? Could it... could it be... a Nintendo controller that went all the way with the disc as a d-pad concept and put a rotating disc centerpiece in its controller? Yes, that controller. The NES Max. And Pat waxes on about how it allowed you to do things with a disc in games that were just so much harder to do with a d-pad (or a joystick) - the ease of shifting direction, left and right, like you have in Hockey, in Track & Field.. any game where you have to shift direction with precision. It's almost like that whole "Disc is Incompatible with Gaming!" argument is totally contrived. Now, I ask you to go back to that second video, one more time. Sorry.. there's an important second point. Buttons. Indented buttons. It's going to make you scream, beg somebody to put you out of your misery because the Amico has indented buttons. I know, it makes my thumbs want to slice off their tips just as a preventative measure to avoid the suffering. But... look at those controllers I just cited. Look at those beautiful, sleek, indented buttons! That's right. The A, B, and C buttons on both the Genesis and the Saturn controller. The A and B button on the NES Max. In fact many, many controllers featured indented, concave buttons. It's kinda standard. On the Nintendo, on the TurboGrafx-16/PC Engine, the Super Nintendo, the Genesis, the Colecovision had 'em, lots of systems had them. Nobody is complaining about how that made games unplayable. But, we make the exception for the Amico, because its disc draws distinction, and anything that stands out as somewhat different is easy to dismiss. The disc on the Amico will be just fine. Better than fine. Looked like it had great rotation/responsiveness and clicking just watching the controller update video. And because that rotating disc introduces fluid controller motion we had with trackballs and spinners, extra gameplay versatility. It incorporates the ease of shifting direction and precision a disc brings. All of the motion of a toggle stick but more precision, because the looping direction is always left or right, you never slip. And it all sits atop a completely programmable 64 sector d-pad that can operate in tandem with the rotating dial or independently of it. Your thumbs found their way about disc-based designs in the past. They will do just fine with this one. We've all got to feel it, but it looks like the shape and feel and contours and small cues in feedback as it moves.. is all there, all things a team worked on till they knew they had something great. Pat and Ian just went from "original Intellivision controller disc was bad" to "this is a disc, it's also going to be bad" - a natural progression, but without ever thinking about how discs worked on other controllers, how it could be non-problematic if designed well. If other younger male core-audience gamers are dismissive of a controller, triggering PTSD flashbacks of foreplay gone awry and the pressure to master small circular motions, well, only so much world you can change in a day. But that doesn't mean the controller is bad. Maybe you just gotta up your game. 😏 Thank you. Motion to dismiss and throw this out.
  12. Some of my best friends are imaginary! 😂 Most.. but, it's probably pill time so they have to go now. Just hoping to illustrate how plain Jane games (not to knock Battleship, but, we know it so well) can be turned on its head, or revitalized with new concepts, the difference a novel input device can make. Think I missed my mark. His battleship lives to fight another day I guess.
  13. If I were her/him, I'd be strongly advocating Atari hold its licenses close to home as well. Their mini PC/box/system doesn't have much from the lay viewer that says, "I've gotta have this!". Sleekly shaped. But still lacking any original software. If they were to do a completely new from-the-ground-up Centipede, Asteroids, Crystal Castles, Adventure, BattleZone, Missile Command, Breakout, Tank, Star Raiders, Warlords, Lunar Lander, Canyon Bomber, Fire Truck, Avalanche, Night Driver... even not incorporating new play mechanics and controller screen information like Amico is, we'd all (almost all) be excited to buy a new Intellivision Amico AND a new Atari VCS. It's such obvious allure for the system. But Atari has limped to this point with the system, they're making much-needed revenue in licensing these properties to an able care-taker, who may actually kickback interest in some of these properties, helping Atari S.A. keep afloat even if the VCS flounders.
  14. Ooh, presuming “it’s all the same”... I want to turn your attention to something: The Lion King is a retelling of Hamlet. Same plot devices, same story arch, same themes. A.I. Artificial Intelligence is a post-modern retelling of Pinocchio. The quintessential WWII film, The Guns of Navaronne is a new setting but a rehashing of The Seven Samuraii. The clever 80s comedy Trading Places? Simply a mash-up of The Prince and the Pauper with Pygmalion. Game of Thrones was one long interpretive retelling of The War of the Roses, and The Warriors a punk era retelling of a BC era take of Greek Warriors overcoming hardships and deception on their way home. Taking an original concept, adjusting the possibilities, adding flavor, adjusting the setting, simply spiking the punch, that is the essence of creativity. Here’s a freebie for Tommy to call up friends at Hasbro, see if they don’t have a partner in an incredibly unique game. You think you’ve played Battleship, right? You know, that game with the folding dual screens and the little pegs, and little plastic ships? Add players. Suddenly you add an element of strategy, We can form alliances to pick off players. You can add intrigue. The blue player sent me a cue on my controller that he wants to attack green.. he has a price, I need to hand over a Cruiser.. should I deceive my allies and switch sides? You have new gameplay mechanics, *because* you’re not limited to what everyone can see happening on the tv screen (all controllers can display private information), but all players can see the play field, can see the attacks on each other happening, can visualize the alliances and treachery unfolding. You can toggle your touchscreen view between up to eight players potential ship locations.. see quickly how each player is doing. Because the game can track hits on each ship, you can introduce a play mechanic - move ships during turns. Maybe a hit ship can only move so much. Maybe an unhit ship has wide open freedom... more maneuverability, more strategy to evolve as the game progresses. Nobody can cheat - a hit is a hit, and the game doesn’t devolve to sweeping the board looking for enemy ships. Think that’s all? How about deploying reconnaissance to help find a ship? But deploying that airplane lets that player know where it departed from... suddenly, like the classic PC game, Walter Bright’s Empire: Wargame of the Century, you have a sense of where the enemy is based on the encounter. Not only that, but you maybe take a turn to lay naval mines and give up moving your large ships.. that player moving their ships out of harms way hits a mine for damage.. Battleship is getting more dynamic. Maybe players have a riskier option to send a ship to port for repairs.. they can’t fire with that ship, there are only two or three directions to sneak a ship away from the conflict to port - an adversary could maybe aim at that strait or toward the port escape path and hit a lame duck ship. Or waste a shot and the player knows who fired at them and generally from where... payback, ees a beech, man. maybe you have limited repair ships, maybe you can achieve objectives by spending a turn or two as a convoy instead of spreading your assets. What sort of advantage do submarines bring to this game? Depth charges and torpedoes? Can you deplete a carrier based air squadron? Maybe having already played Battleship supposes it's the same game experience to be had here. But.... damn if Intellivision couldn't apply a simple, turn based guessing game of naval-themed Go Fish into a moving, real-time, dynamic game of alliances and treachery. And I think if Intellivision talks to Hasbro, says, “hear us out..” I think they get excited. I think they start thinking of how to sell their own game to match enthusiasm, how to incorporate new multiplayer versions. I think Tommy can say, “let’s work together, we’ll throw in a free download code for every proof of purchase/online registration of a Hasbro game you include, and we’ll polish and rework these six titles in ways NOBODY saw coming.” It may not be your cup of tea, which is totally fair. But I think reworked games are going to be a very important reason why this thing becomes a success: take what you know already has appeal, has something fundamentally sound add the critical switch, see what floats and what doesn’t. Rinse and repeat.
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