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Tommy Tallarico

Intellivision Amico - Tommy Tallarico introduction + Q&A

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Can't remember if this article was posted over here yet... but just in case... I wanted to make sure folks saw this...

 

The 1st paragraph really sums it up.  Yet childless hardcores will continue to tell me how wrong I am and there is no market for Amico.   :)

" The number one at-home activity for Millennial parents and their kids is video gaming, according to Fullscreen. Data from the social media research company’s 2019 Generational Report: Next Gen Families found these parents spend an average of 8.5 hours a week gaming, and 50% of them say their child uses a video game system regularly."


http://kidscreen.com/2020/01/16/gaming-is-most-popular-at-home-activity-for-families/
 

 

 

 

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44 minutes ago, IntelliMission said:

Hey Tommy, I have a bunch of questions so I better write them now that you're over here.

 

- It looks like things are looking pretty good... Did you expected this when you started the project? Are you also surprised about how big this is turning out to be and the huge expectation you are creating?

 

- It's a good time to be a video game fan. As you said on the video, it's surprising that nobody came out with the idea of the Amico before, so it's great that this console will be real in only 8 months. The console will be interesting and fun for both casual/non gamers and some hardcore retro gamers like us, and I think that's cool too, to be able to bring together people that's normally so far away from each other physically and mentally. Oh yeah, the question! I believe, once people play or buy the machine, they will like it, but I have some concerns about the Amico selling like hot cakes among casual/non gamers just like the Wii did for the following 3 reasons: 1) The Intellivision brand is not as popular as Nintendo, especially outside the USA (I wonder how many of the 4 million Intellivision plug and play systems were sold on international markets 15 years ago), 2) Intellivision Cornhole is not Wii Sports and 3) The Amico has many games, the reimagined retro ones, that are perceived as difficult even if they are remade to be ultra easy for some people with the karma engine. How are you planning to overcome these 3 aspects to become the true Wii 2.0? (Perhaps the issue of the brand could be corrected if Disney bought Intellivision)

 

- As you know, there are many ways to review a video game. 30 years ago, Spanish magazines reviewed many games, especially graphic adventures, speaking solely of the story, leaving graphics, gameplay and other key factors to a small paragraph at the end. And one of the things to evaluate, scoring the same as the graphics or the gameplay, was "originality". Many retro fans have complained about this, with purists arguing that "originality is overrated" and "video games are not movies, the story is not important". Fortunately, Amico games won't try to be movies, but can you tell us more about the system you're using to curate the games? Do you take graphics, sound, gameplay, originality into account?

 

- On the Super Mario themepark trailer, Nintendo only shown people within the 18-24 age group. Even Pat & Ian were shocked about that. Of course, the main reason why that commercial doesn't work is that they show things that you can't do on the park, assuming it will be Disneyworld-like and not based on virtual reality, but the age of the visitors in the commercial is interesting. What do you think about this? Is this another proof that Nintendo has abandoned the casual market? No children and parents in a themepark... wow!

 

1.  Yes I expected it would go well (or else I wouldn't have even started it).  :)    I don't think we are even close to seeing how huge the expectations are yet.  By the fall... I want everyone in the world talking about it.  I'd say at this point (with zero marketing or advertising) we have hit one half of one percent of the people we will be.  

 

2.  It's a new machine and experience.  It won't matter that the name Intellivision isn't as popular as the name Nintendo.  In 1985, the name Nintendo wasn't as popular as the name Intellivision.   :)

A full game like Cornhole is going to be just as good (I think better) an experience as a simple tech demo like Wii Sports in which 2 of the 4 games were barely playable (fighting & baseball).  Wii Bowling was the real star of Wii Sports... and Cornhole is quickly becoming a bigger (and cooler) sport.  The last Cornhole championships on ESPN had millions more viewers than W
imbledon and MLB Baseball.  Currently, more people watch and play Cornhole than bowling.  And... we have bowling as well on launch.

 

Not every game is going to be for every person.  Some of the arcade games like PONG & Frogger are going to be easy and played by all ages.  Others like Night Stalker... not as much.  But even things like Moon Patrol (which is a more difficult 1 player experience) will have ways for which non-gamers can join in as well.  "Mom... I'm going to steer and jump... you just hit the screen or side buttons or disc to shoot stuff".  The other super important thing to remember is that we haven't shown ANY of our casual games (which are the majority).  If I did... then people would really dismiss the machine as just a "mobile" device.

 

3.  The system I'm using to curate is me and the awesome team of folks I continue to surround myself with at the office.  I have the final word on everything.  Yes... we take EVERYTHING into account and try to make them all as great as possible.

 

4.  Yes.  Absolutely.  They have their audience (just watch ANY of their Switch commercials) and we will have ours.  There is some cross-over... but they are very different market segments.

 

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52 minutes ago, mr_me said:

Obviously it's glorious.  But is the touchpad divided into four zones? ... swipe action? ... button-disc action? ... swing motion? ... voice command?

 

Don't want to spoil the surprise... and there are a few different ways to play it.  But one way I can't talk about right now because of pending patents.

 

 

52 minutes ago, mr_me said:

 

Is it your intention that an end user license to a game allows that game to only be played on one machine at a time?  E.g. controller portability

 

Correct.  One at a time.

 

 

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Hey Tommy, not Amico related but... What can you tell us about your comic book collection you mentioned in the video? My favorite era is the late silver age/early modern age (the 80s), DC Comics in particular. Do you have any treasures from that time?

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3 hours ago, Tommy Tallarico said:


It sure would!  Which is why we're not doing that.  :)

 

Note:  Microsoft, Sony & Nintendo do that.  Yet another thing we have worked out in a super cool and unique way.

Ever try inputting one of the 30 character codes with your PlayStation or Switch controller? 

And people say our controller sucks?  We have a HUGE advantage over the top 3 when it comes to controller functionality to do certain things... AND... remember.... RFID!  (who needs typing or entering input at all!)

 

😎

😍

I think he was referring to not downloading game content off the web?

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1 hour ago, Tommy Tallarico said:

Wii Bowling was the real star of Wii Sports

I actually liked Wii Bowling very much and I didn't ask around, but I'm wondering if Wii Tennis was not more popular in France, since bowling is clearly not as big here as it is in the States...

 

From what I've seen so far, Amico seems to target the US first, which is probably the way to go anyway. I also think it can do well in Germany because even though they mostly play on PC there, they like family friendly stuff (really strong censorship). UK tends to behave like the US, but I think Amico will be harder to sell in France. It's the European country where Nintendo is the most popular, and also (it's probably related) where Japanese culture is the most popular (second market for mangas after Japan). And it also seems to me that French gamers don't care very much about pre-NES systems such as Intellivision - or even Atari 2600. 😕

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Yeah, this is why I suggested Tommy to create a game with all the regional variants of cornhole. Also, launch games usually change from Japan to USA to Europe in other consoles, so perhaps the Amico could do sometyhing like this and choose the most popular sports. Tip: remove baseball in Spain.

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10 minutes ago, Battlefish said:

I think he was referring to not downloading game content off the web?

Agreed.

 

I won't buy games in the retail stores if I need to download them from the internet later.

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5 hours ago, Tommy Tallarico said:

Folks are always saying that no one will remember Intellivision and the brand name means nothing, etc.  We disagree... and our research with folks 35 and older tells a very different story.  Practically EVERYONE knows the name and brand Intellivision (35+) and although they may not have had one (remember folks... they were SUPER expensive at the time!!)... chances are... they played one at a friends house, a relative had one, etc.
 

"Wait?  Did I just hear that right honey... you are thinking about buying a video game console?!?!?  And you think you might want to play games with me?  HELL YEAH!!!  COUNT ME IN!!!"

Totally unscientific but I mentioned before I got flagged down in a restaurant for my Intellivision hoodie and then my chiropractor mentioned it as soon as I walked in, that he had a Collecovision as a kid but added he doesn’t play games anymore after they got so complex. I have only worn that hoodie in public like 3 or 4 times.

 

I am glad you are including two controllers because I can see Dad walking in and Mom saying she got Junior a new game console - dad looks over at the TV and says “is that Moon Patrol?, it sure looks like Moon Patrol - move over Junior daddy wants to play”.

Edited by GrudgeQ
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I agree about the brand but 35 is too young.  You'd have to have been at least five or six years old in 1982, so well into your 40s today.  It's true that very few families had one, I thought we must have been rich when we got ours.  Lots of kids wanted one or had an intellivision vs atari opinion.  And almost every kid played arcade games.  Videogames started to disappear around 1983 so you have to be able to remember 1982.  As far as those direct-to-tv controllers, I never saw one in the store and didn't know about them.  Thinking about it some more, there's also the younger siblings that might have inherited an intellivision, so a much smaller percentage of people in their late 30s might be counted.

Edited by mr_me
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36 minutes ago, mr_me said:

I agree about the brand but 35 is too young.  You'd have to have been at least five or six years old in 1982, so well into your 40s today.  It's true that very few families had one, I thought we must have been rich when we got ours.  Lots of kids wanted one or had an intellivision vs atari opinion.  And almost every kid played arcade games.  Videogames started to disappear around 1983 so you have to be able to remember 1982.  As far as those direct-to-tv controllers, I never saw one in the store and didn't know about them.

While I am 40, our family didn't move to the "next gen" NES until probably 1988 (and we were late to the Intellivision, too, owning an Intellivision II). So, it is possible that someone 35 to still have come of age on the Intellivision.

Edited by squirrelgotdead
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They made about 700k+ intellivision ii.  There were about 85M households in the US in 1984.  That's less than 1% but more importantly television advertising disappeared in 1983/84 and it disappeared from many stores.  For sure some in their late 30s get counted.  But I think the odds of someone in their mid 40s to mid 50s recognising the brand is much higher.

Edited by mr_me
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8 minutes ago, squirrelgotdead said:

While I am 40, our family didn't move to the "next gen" NES until probably 1988 (and we were late to the Intellivision, too, owning an Intellivision II). So, it is possible that someone 35 to still have come of age on the Intellivision.

 

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)

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Still there were less than 3M intellivisions total in the US and about 90M households in 1987 so the percentage of kids that got to play them is still small.  Nobody is saying nobody.

Edited by mr_me
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5 hours ago, IntelliMission said:

Hey Tommy, not Amico related but... What can you tell us about your comic book collection you mentioned in the video? My favorite era is the late silver age/early modern age (the 80s), DC Comics in particular. Do you have any treasures from that time?


I'm mostly a Silver Age Marvel guy.  I'm known as having the most complete and finest Spider-Man collection in the world.  Every Spidey comic and series and cross-over from the beginning until about 10 years ago.  About 40 years worth.  All in NM or VF condition (including ASM #1 & Amazing Fantasy #15).  I also have a complete run of Daredevil, Star Wars, Tomb Raider, Danger Girl and Fathom/Aspen.

A lot of my ex's would cosplay as Gwen Stacey, Black Cat or Mary Jane.  :D


I have a room in my house dedicated just to my collection.

la-ca-cm-0614-video-games-music-pg-007.thumb.jpg.ea5bc007a153c8b9ea5fd2db4c725aa3.jpg

 

spideyfriends.jpg.1cf0900f79117c2c38adbf412a29f5de.jpgspideygirls.jpg.c424be661b6a560348e7abc3c861c597.jpggwen.jpg.481515ae58397ff403532aff83b062a1.jpgIM000007.thumb.jpg.e435a3a0460d78a29ba5ddc3bbde5953.jpgspidey.jpg.9d287fecd0af4c1b39412eca3777753c.jpgtommyspidey.thumb.jpg.5ff750c8d73e29fc8d34c95748422d4c.jpgtallarico03.thumb.jpg.225147de22fc52975b815fb407d6d1a8.jpgtallarico02.thumb.jpg.c07926a7c93f84e03a264f3c029f8b54.jpgstanlee-videogameslive-1.thumb.jpg.eb6e1ea1c01a0b35ffe9f85bfbdb8640.jpg443726066_stanlee.thumb.jpg.6e466709bf36f8bf976afed2bad22424.jpg872619791_StanTommy.thumb.jpg.cda8793020153ca7dab1cb0b450bffd2.jpg

 

 

 

 

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5 hours ago, roots.genoa said:

I actually liked Wii Bowling very much and I didn't ask around, but I'm wondering if Wii Tennis was not more popular in France, since bowling is clearly not as big here as it is in the States...

 

From what I've seen so far, Amico seems to target the US first, which is probably the way to go anyway. I also think it can do well in Germany because even though they mostly play on PC there, they like family friendly stuff (really strong censorship). UK tends to behave like the US, but I think Amico will be harder to sell in France. It's the European country where Nintendo is the most popular, and also (it's probably related) where Japanese culture is the most popular (second market for mangas after Japan). And it also seems to me that French gamers don't care very much about pre-NES systems such as Intellivision - or even Atari 2600. 😕


Yes.  Our initial focus is U.S./Canada/Mexico, UK/Germany, Middle East, potential China and potentially Australia.

 

 

 

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5 hours ago, IntelliMission said:

Yeah, this is why I suggested Tommy to create a game with all the regional variants of cornhole. Also, launch games usually change from Japan to USA to Europe in other consoles, so perhaps the Amico could do sometyhing like this and choose the most popular sports. Tip: remove baseball in Spain.


All games will be available in all countries.  We wouldn't remove a game because it may not be popular in a certain country.  It would probably not sell... but no reason to remove it from people seeing it or potentially getting interested in it.

 

 

 

Edited by Tommy Tallarico
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4 hours ago, Serguei2 said:

Agreed.

 

I won't buy games in the retail stores if I need to download them from the internet later.


I bet you will when you see what we're doing.

 

:)

 

 

Edited by Tommy Tallarico
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2 hours ago, mr_me said:

I agree about the brand but 35 is too young.  You'd have to have been at least five or six years old in 1982, so well into your 40s today.  It's true that very few families had one, I thought we must have been rich when we got ours.  Lots of kids wanted one or had an intellivision vs atari opinion.  And almost every kid played arcade games.  Videogames started to disappear around 1983 so you have to be able to remember 1982.  As far as those direct-to-tv controllers, I never saw one in the store and didn't know about them.  Thinking about it some more, there's also the younger siblings that might have inherited an intellivision, so a much smaller percentage of people in their late 30s might be counted.


I think you're forgetting about accounting for older brothers, dad's, hand-me-downs, etc.

For example... my wife just turned 34 and she had 3 older brothers and her dad loved video games. 
 

She was born in 1985 (well after Intellivision was on the decline) and her favorite game growing up was Shark! Shark!
She later got a GameBoy and was/is a huge Pokemon fan.

Her Intellivision was a "hand me down" system when her brothers got a Sega Genesis.  And they would still play with her in the early 90's.  I've heard countless stories of folks telling me the same thing. 

As we all remember... things were a LOT different back then.  Most homes kept their systems a lot longer and there would typically only be 1 per hardware cycle.  Not like today where homes will have mulitple systems hooked up.  Plus mobile/tablets, plus PC games, etc.

 

 

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1 hour ago, mr_me said:

They made about 700k+ intellivision ii.  There were about 85M households in the US in 1984.  That's less than 1% but more importantly television advertising disappeared in 1983/84 and it disappeared from many stores.  For sure some in their late 30s get counted.  But I think the odds of someone in their mid 40s to mid 50s recognising the brand is much higher.


Agreed that is much higher in the 40's & 50's.  But lots of folks in their mid/late 30's know it as well.  Again... if for no other reason than their older siblings, uncles, or dad's had one and still hooked up somewhere.

 

 

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1 hour ago, RetroAdvisoryBoard said:

 

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)


Yeah.  Agreed.

 

I remember when I first moved to California in 1990 I would see Intellivision's & carts at local swap meets and in the newspapers all the time.  I know this because I bought one out of the newspaper from an older woman whose son was all grown up and it was just collecting dust sitting under her TV (still hooked up).  That was probably around 1992.

 

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56 minutes ago, mr_me said:

Still there were less than 3M intellivisions total in the US and about 90M households in 1987 so the percentage of kids that got to play them is still small.  Nobody is saying nobody.


I'm not sure you can exactly correlate systems to household's though.  Because of the expense... all my friends would come over my house and play for hours and hours (especially on the weekends).  So they were exposed and knew the brand.  But in regards to the late 80's/early 90's.  Systems would get passed along multiple times.  So although 3M Intellivision may have been sold in the U.S.... those 3 million may have been handed down to 2 or 3 different households.  For example... my uncle bought one... then he passed it to his son (my cousin) when he moved out.  He then gave it to my other cousin who lived a few cities away.  1 console = 3 households over about a 10 - 12 year period.  We were talking about this a few years ago and the final cousin said he sold it in a yard sale with all the games for like $40.  So add a 4th household to that number.  :)

 

 

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6 hours ago, Tommy Tallarico said:

Agreed that is much higher in the 40's & 50's.  But lots of folks in their mid/late 30's know it as well.  Again... if for no other reason than their older siblings, uncles, or dad's had one and still hooked up somewhere.

Another factor that I think is relevant is that the Intellivision continued to enjoy first-party support much longer than most of its contemporaries.  INTV Corp. kept the Intellivision going years after the Mattel era, selling new hardware and publishing new games until about 1990.  Intellivision games could still be found in retail stores in my area at that time, which is pretty remarkable in itself for a game system from 1979.  Then there were the various products by Intellivision Productions, from the "Intellivision Lives!" and "Intellivision Rocks!" collections to the plug-and-play TV games, and even the Intellivision Flashback, which further extended and popularized the Intellivision brand from the late 1990s into the 2010s.  The plug-and-plays in particular sold millions of unitsmore than the number of original Intellivision consoles, in all their iterations—and they picked up endorsements along the way from publications like Parents Magazine and Grandparents Magazine.  With such an impressively long and active "afterlife," the Intellivision brand never really went "cold," so it's not surprising that it still has name recognition even among people too young to have experienced the original system during the Mattel era.

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Our local Toys 'R Us still had Intellivision games in the early 90's. I happened to be there once with a childhood friend (who still had their Intellivision hooked up in the family game room, but hadn't played it in years) when he spied Chip Shot: Super Pro Golf. Even though it was only a few bucks (want to say it was something like $5.90-$6.90, remember their crazy closeout prices?), he was home from college and dead broke. Still, he bought it and when we got back to his place, immediately popped it into the system and we played Intellivision for some time that day.   :)

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