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Intellivision Amico - Tommy Tallarico introduction + Q&A

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8 hours ago, m-crew said:

Why would people have these , Its not like anyone there has anything invested in this venture. Also all those concerns have been addressed countless times over and over by the CEO of IE with hard data, facts , focus groups ext....... Even getting info on  private company information that usually doesnt occur in any new venture.  Everything you have mentioned here really is IE's and the Investors concerns. Not people that may or may not like or buy the Amigo.  So I'm sure peoples opinions vary on what's really going on in that other thread. And which people will get pushed away? 5 or 6 posting/or reading that thread? Just asking don't know who you are referring to.  

I'm sorry, but there's lots of uncertainty to go around with this system, both for Tommy and for the people who buy into it. When we're talking about spending hundreds of dollars on a system that may or may not sell as well as Tommy hopes, it becomes my worry. Maybe that's not a lot of money to some of you, but it is for me. I could buy an Xbox or Playstation this year (yes, I know they're double or triple the cost and I couldn't afford that but that's not my point here), and at least I'd be certain the system will be supported 2, 4, 7 years down the road. Xbox isn't going anywhere, and neither is Playstation. There will be support, there will be lots of games, and I don't have to worry that the Xbox or Playstation will go out of production in a year or two due to lack of sales. The Amico is a brand new system. We've seen lots of systems come and go in the past few years. All have claimed big things. You can never tell how the public will take to something, whether it be a song, a movie, or a video game system. People might flip over this and it may become a huge hit this Christmas. Or people might avoid it because it's too different. We won't know until it's in stores.

 

Now clearly this thread is full of some of Amico's biggest supporters, so of course any doubts like this will just be dismissed. But to say there aren't risks for those who buy into this system is silly. I could spend $250 on this system in October and another $100-$200 worth of games in the next year just to read one day that due to slipping sales they are shutting down. I truly hope that doesn't happen. But only time will tell.

 

I wish Tommy the best with this system. I'm very excited about it myself. But I'm being realistic as a consumer who doesn't have a ton of disposable income. Yes, I'll be buying one of these this year hopefully (my other half seems to be on-board so far). But I'm definitely a bit worried that the public won't take to it the way we're hoping they do. And I'd say without having played any of the games or even touched the controller yet, I'd say it's certainly a chance all of us are taking. We know how an Xbox controller or Playstation controller feels. We're hearing lots of hype about this controller which is of course expected, and it seems very intriguing, but none of us know if we will like it or get used to it until we have tried it ourselves. It may be a great controller but some of us just might not be able to adjust to it. If you've got lots of disposable income, sure, why not drop $300 on it and see how it works out? No big deal. But for some of us, $300 is a bit scary to spend on an unknown system.

 

This is what I meant by worries or concerns. I feel they are valid.

 

 

 

 

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25 minutes ago, fiudr said:

I'm sorry, but there's lots of uncertainty to go around with this system, both for Tommy and for the people who buy into it. When we're talking about spending hundreds of dollars on a system that may or may not sell as well as Tommy hopes, it becomes my worry. Maybe that's not a lot of money to some of you, but it is for me. I could buy an Xbox or Playstation this year (yes, I know they're double or triple the cost and I couldn't afford that but that's not my point here), and at least I'd be certain the system will be supported 2, 4, 7 years down the road. Xbox isn't going anywhere, and neither is Playstation. There will be support, there will be lots of games, and I don't have to worry that the Xbox or Playstation will go out of production in a year or two due to lack of sales. The Amico is a brand new system. We've seen lots of systems come and go in the past few years. All have claimed big things. You can never tell how the public will take to something, whether it be a song, a movie, or a video game system. People might flip over this and it may become a huge hit this Christmas. Or people might avoid it because it's too different. We won't know until it's in stores.

 

Now clearly this thread is full of some of Amico's biggest supporters, so of course any doubts like this will just be dismissed. But to say there aren't risks for those who buy into this system is silly. I could spend $250 on this system in October and another $100-$200 worth of games in the next year just to read one day that due to slipping sales they are shutting down. I truly hope that doesn't happen. But only time will tell.

 

I wish Tommy the best with this system. I'm very excited about it myself. But I'm being realistic as a consumer who doesn't have a ton of disposable income. Yes, I'll be buying one of these this year hopefully (my other half seems to be on-board so far). But I'm definitely a bit worried that the public won't take to it the way we're hoping they do. And I'd say without having played any of the games or even touched the controller yet, I'd say it's certainly a chance all of us are taking. We know how an Xbox controller or Playstation controller feels. We're hearing lots of hype about this controller which is of course expected, and it seems very intriguing, but none of us know if we will like it or get used to it until we have tried it ourselves. It may be a great controller but some of us just might not be able to adjust to it. If you've got lots of disposable income, sure, why not drop $300 on it and see how it works out? No big deal. But for some of us, $300 is a bit scary to spend on an unknown system.

 

This is what I meant by worries or concerns. I feel they are valid.

 

 

 

 

Those are Valid concerns to have I think but those concerns will be able to be answered before or at launch, I realize some of this is up in the air with the virus over in China right now but assuming that is felt with by April and production stays on track, the concerns about the controller at least you can answer your self by playing with the system before you buy it.  And as far as people buying the system that will come down to marketing and fun games given the experience this team has with over 600 years in game industry and a marketing team that includes the some major people who did the marketing launch for Nintendo systems from SNES - Wii and DS although it may not assure success it does give me reasons to lean more toward the system being a successful system that will be supported  

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As I read through the thread, people mention the current gaming market and the time/effort factor required to play many modern games on the latest consoles.  It comes up directly and indirectly, but it's a recurring theme, and one of the reasons I think the Amico is going to succeed.  If you go back fifteen years, the age group commonly thought of as 'millennials' were primarily playing against each other in the same room, and having a similar social/gaming experience as people 20 years before with the first generation consoles.  Not until the PS3 era were typical gamers able to stay home and play each other online. 

 

Games got bigger and more complex on these consoles, so casual/social gamers moved to phone-based games and...the Wii.  The Wii was almost a throwback system graphically, but motion controllers captivated casual gamers and non-gamers alike.  Phone games got better, but it's still only one person, one screen.  The market essentially split, and 15 years later there is a Wii-sized hole, and the Amico is going to fill it.  

 

People in their 30's remember playing together in one room nostalgically, and many of them have young kids now.  They don't have time for complex games like they did in their 20's.  They don't have the energy for motion-controller games-see the previous posts about Wii Tennis!  They have parents and friends in their 40's, 50's, and 60's who played the original Atari, Intellivision, Coleco, or arcade games, or were at least familiar with them. 

 

The Amico is going to be the system they can play with the kids, after the kids go to bed, with friends, with family, or for fun alone.   The Amico will be the only system that hits these demographics and doesn't intimidate any of them, everyone is familiar with a console and a controller is approachable in a way a PC/keyboard or phones are not.  The relatively low price to features ratio is great also, if you can have 2 Amicos in the house for the price of 1 PS5?  Good deal.

 

So who's left out, demographically?   People in their late teens, twentysomethings, people in their 30's in 40's who have time and desire for complex games (no kids, etc.), often male.  Anyone surprised this is EXACTLY the demographic that's been the most critical of the Amico, and least able to understand it's purpose?  

Edited by supahwally
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45 minutes ago, fiudr said:

I'm sorry, but there's lots of uncertainty to go around with this system, both for Tommy and for the people who buy into it. When we're talking about spending hundreds of dollars on a system that may or may not sell as well as Tommy hopes, it becomes my worry. Maybe that's not a lot of money to some of you, but it is for me. I could buy an Xbox or Playstation this year (yes, I know they're double or triple the cost and I couldn't afford that but that's not my point here), and at least I'd be certain the system will be supported 2, 4, 7 years down the road. Xbox isn't going anywhere, and neither is Playstation. There will be support, there will be lots of games, and I don't have to worry that the Xbox or Playstation will go out of production in a year or two due to lack of sales. The Amico is a brand new system. We've seen lots of systems come and go in the past few years. All have claimed big things. You can never tell how the public will take to something, whether it be a song, a movie, or a video game system. People might flip over this and it may become a huge hit this Christmas. Or people might avoid it because it's too different. We won't know until it's in stores.

 

Now clearly this thread is full of some of Amico's biggest supporters, so of course any doubts like this will just be dismissed. But to say there aren't risks for those who buy into this system is silly. I could spend $250 on this system in October and another $100-$200 worth of games in the next year just to read one day that due to slipping sales they are shutting down. I truly hope that doesn't happen. But only time will tell.

 

I wish Tommy the best with this system. I'm very excited about it myself. But I'm being realistic as a consumer who doesn't have a ton of disposable income. Yes, I'll be buying one of these this year hopefully (my other half seems to be on-board so far). But I'm definitely a bit worried that the public won't take to it the way we're hoping they do. And I'd say without having played any of the games or even touched the controller yet, I'd say it's certainly a chance all of us are taking. We know how an Xbox controller or Playstation controller feels. We're hearing lots of hype about this controller which is of course expected, and it seems very intriguing, but none of us know if we will like it or get used to it until we have tried it ourselves. It may be a great controller but some of us just might not be able to adjust to it. If you've got lots of disposable income, sure, why not drop $300 on it and see how it works out? No big deal. But for some of us, $300 is a bit scary to spend on an unknown system.

 

This is what I meant by worries or concerns. I feel they are valid.

 

 

 

 

Thank You for expressing your concerns, which for you are valid. But I agree with Alpha82 and supahwally responses to you. I really hope that one day all your concerns disappear and you are enjoy playing the Amico with family and friends.. Cheers 

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8 hours ago, RREDDWARFF said:

Anyhow, I just watched a video of Tron Deadly Discs (or something like that). Wow, that game looks amazing for its time. I'm sure the licensing would be rough, but man, if I could dream of one game to be remade for the Amico.

You will be glad to know Tron Deadly Discs is on the list of reimagined games to be done:

https://www.intellivisionamico.com/press-releases/press-release-october-22nd-2018

Edited by atarifan88
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4 hours ago, fiudr said:

I'm sorry, but there's lots of uncertainty to go around with this system, both for Tommy and for the people who buy into it. When we're talking about spending hundreds of dollars on a system that may or may not sell as well as Tommy hopes, it becomes my worry. Maybe that's not a lot of money to some of you, but it is for me. I could buy an Xbox or Playstation this year (yes, I know they're double or triple the cost and I couldn't afford that but that's not my point here), and at least I'd be certain the system will be supported 2, 4, 7 years down the road. Xbox isn't going anywhere, and neither is Playstation. There will be support, there will be lots of games, and I don't have to worry that the Xbox or Playstation will go out of production in a year or two due to lack of sales. The Amico is a brand new system. We've seen lots of systems come and go in the past few years. All have claimed big things. You can never tell how the public will take to something, whether it be a song, a movie, or a video game system. People might flip over this and it may become a huge hit this Christmas. Or people might avoid it because it's too different. We won't know until it's in stores.

 

Now clearly this thread is full of some of Amico's biggest supporters, so of course any doubts like this will just be dismissed. But to say there aren't risks for those who buy into this system is silly. I could spend $250 on this system in October and another $100-$200 worth of games in the next year just to read one day that due to slipping sales they are shutting down. I truly hope that doesn't happen. But only time will tell.

 

I wish Tommy the best with this system. I'm very excited about it myself. But I'm being realistic as a consumer who doesn't have a ton of disposable income. Yes, I'll be buying one of these this year hopefully (my other half seems to be on-board so far). But I'm definitely a bit worried that the public won't take to it the way we're hoping they do. And I'd say without having played any of the games or even touched the controller yet, I'd say it's certainly a chance all of us are taking. We know how an Xbox controller or Playstation controller feels. We're hearing lots of hype about this controller which is of course expected, and it seems very intriguing, but none of us know if we will like it or get used to it until we have tried it ourselves. It may be a great controller but some of us just might not be able to adjust to it. If you've got lots of disposable income, sure, why not drop $300 on it and see how it works out? No big deal. But for some of us, $300 is a bit scary to spend on an unknown system.

 

This is what I meant by worries or concerns. I feel they are valid.

 

 

 

 

As with any new system you have to start somewhere.  PS & XBOX had the same issue when they started out.  I have confidence that the Amico will be successful because of the area of gaming they are targeting and the fact that it's way more affordable than the competitors systems.

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The potential commercial failure of the Amico would be more of a serious concern if we didn't know the people behind it.

 

I think a great game library of more than 100 curated games is our of the question. The console will be worth the price.

 

If this was another console, I would add something along the lines of "and if it fails, I'm sure there will be dozens of great multiplayer homebrew games", but... not for this one. I suspect they will support the machine 10 years later no matter what, just like it happened with the original Intellivision. (By the way, I just noticed Stadia will be the first console where we know for sure there won't be any homebrew games... ouch :( )

 

Meanwhile, in other new console news...

 

- 2 weeks to March and Atari is silent

 

- Stadia releases 5 new exclusive games and they are quite unimpressive

 

- The first 2000 units of the Spanish portable console that's actually a 700$ portable PC, Smach Z, are about to be sent to selected partners

 

- Panic doesn't know the definitive release date of the promising Playdate: when they feel they're ready, they will let everyone know

Edited by IntelliMission
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Another thing to keep in mind is that they don't have to sell that many Amico's and games to be sustainable.  The budgets are modest.

Edited by mr_me
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6 hours ago, m-crew said:

This is what I meant by worries or concerns. I feel they are valid.

of course they are valid. Any new product has a trend of consumer purchasing, first comes the innovators/early adapters, it may just be that you just arent comfortable being an innovator/early adapter since there is a little risk involved. So you always can sit and wait til spring 2021 and see how things are going.  To be honest Tommy hasnt sold me on this product, its the team he has behind him. To many it may just look like a bunch of old dudes, but to me I recognize them for who they are, its really a whos who of  all star game devs.  These guys were responsible back in the day of putting out some of the best games in the world. These guys wouldnt be wasting their time on a half ass product.

 

https://www.interaction-design.org/literature/article/understanding-early-adopters-and-customer-adoption-patterns

 

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6 hours ago, fiudr said:

I'm sorry, but there's lots of uncertainty to go around with this system, both for Tommy and for the people who buy into it. When we're talking about spending hundreds of dollars on a system that may or may not sell as well as Tommy hopes, it becomes my worry. Maybe that's not a lot of money to some of you, but it is for me. I could buy an Xbox or Playstation this year (yes, I know they're double or triple the cost and I couldn't afford that but that's not my point here), and at least I'd be certain the system will be supported 2, 4, 7 years down the road. Xbox isn't going anywhere, and neither is Playstation. There will be support, there will be lots of games, and I don't have to worry that the Xbox or Playstation will go out of production in a year or two due to lack of sales. The Amico is a brand new system. We've seen lots of systems come and go in the past few years. All have claimed big things. You can never tell how the public will take to something, whether it be a song, a movie, or a video game system. People might flip over this and it may become a huge hit this Christmas. Or people might avoid it because it's too different. We won't know until it's in stores.

 

Now clearly this thread is full of some of Amico's biggest supporters, so of course any doubts like this will just be dismissed. But to say there aren't risks for those who buy into this system is silly. I could spend $250 on this system in October and another $100-$200 worth of games in the next year just to read one day that due to slipping sales they are shutting down. I truly hope that doesn't happen. But only time will tell.

 

I wish Tommy the best with this system. I'm very excited about it myself. But I'm being realistic as a consumer who doesn't have a ton of disposable income. Yes, I'll be buying one of these this year hopefully (my other half seems to be on-board so far). But I'm definitely a bit worried that the public won't take to it the way we're hoping they do. And I'd say without having played any of the games or even touched the controller yet, I'd say it's certainly a chance all of us are taking. We know how an Xbox controller or Playstation controller feels. We're hearing lots of hype about this controller which is of course expected, and it seems very intriguing, but none of us know if we will like it or get used to it until we have tried it ourselves. It may be a great controller but some of us just might not be able to adjust to it. If you've got lots of disposable income, sure, why not drop $300 on it and see how it works out? No big deal. But for some of us, $300 is a bit scary to spend on an unknown system.

 

This is what I meant by worries or concerns. I feel they are valid.

 

 

 

 

I found this all very much valid concerns and thoughtful.  This thread may have some of Amico's biggest supporters, but we're a bit practical as well, following so many of the points and criticisms helps shore up some confidence on certain aspects, and follow-up on things most concerning/still outstanding.  

 

Not having the established staying power of Microsoft, Sony or Nintendo is a good point, and one on its surface I'd take a "wait and see approach", if not for the nature of the project itself.  If they were competing with a system that was going for that market, trying to appeal to Sony or Microsoft or Nintendo purchasers, it'd be a little more concerning.  The system isn't a resource sink for Intellivision and investors, they're going after more rote, well-established processors and components you'd expect in a bargain PC build.  It certainly limits capabilities and cool toys in the system itself that would produce a more costly machine, that would make Activision or EA or Bethesda devote a team to putting on popular franchises.  But that's not the play here.  And ho-hum bargain PC components mean nothing to me as a consumer for Will I/Won't I buy the thing, but it's really important in that the R&D costs and production costs were really suppressed in this project.  Not absent, Tommy's super excited to reveal all the cool bells and whistles, but it means, innovation is well managed and limited to what mattered most.  Game play and experience over power and performance.  And that means the system has a really low threshold to meet profitability in producing number of units.  Realistically, somewhere under 200,000 units sold equals success.  Any more equals runaway bonanza, half that number would force some adjustment to marketing, pricing, or model.  And the game development budget is laughable by AAA studio standards, but if the finger to the wind was right, there's a real market for games that are waaaaay better quality than most mobile, but far less involved and flashy, expensive than AAA.  Somewhere is that indie sweetspot, and Intellivision is idea-mining small studios to find good concepts that fit and funding them upfront.  It's brilliant if you need to put out unique, clever games that stand apart and give gamers reason to give you a second look, and it's certainly necessary if your premise is that usual game design on consoles isn't very focused on broad appeal.  And if you sell any more than 100,000 units, that fund-small-developers-as-second-party-devs approach is sustainable for years.  The goalpost is reachable with just the faintest luke-warm response from casuals.  Hell, they're 2.6% of the way there ;-)  That $220 or $230 investment in a platform.. is on better foundation than any other examples in recent history.  By a mile.

 

As to failed consoles to serve as wary warnings, Ouya was playing with large amounts of loaned capital, in financial distress long before launching, at a time when Steam was transitioning from something like 5% of PC gaming to 30% of PC gaming.  Ouya was announced just a couple years after iPad launched, when mobile gaming suddenly exploded from several hundred mediocre games to several thousands to take advantage of the iPad and popular new smartphones with their glass surface touchscreens.  And what was Ouya's premise?  Bring gaming to the players, making games open dev and free to play.  What did Steam do the year it launched?  It opened its Steam shop to hundreds and hundreds of new developers, suddenly a flood of new, cheap games were in their store.  And mobile?   Exploded with free-to-play and cheap $.99 - $2.99 games that pulled the rug out from under them.  So we saw Ouya hurriedly launch, with almost no exclusive games or rationale to speak of, and we saw it crash and burn pretty hard.  True believers tried to keep it afloat, but ultimately, what was the rationale to build and sell a unique game on a platform where its few most talked-about best-sellers sold in the 5,000 to sub-20,000 unit range?  It was unsustainable.  And Ouya didn't have games to develop itself.  Its CEO didn't know the name of their leading games when pressed.  There was no Plan B - put the thing out and hope devs build killer apps for it - refresh that sales update page every 10 minutes because if the news isn't good any day now, you're all screwed.  Ultimately Razr bought them out as a lifeline for years of add'l support, but they had no plans to add games or sell more systems.  It was just a platform to acquire.

 

We don't have many other examples of a console that launched in the last twenty years and failed.  The N-Gage launched in 2003 and had some good games for the system, but its premise was a phone and handheld gaming device in one.  It was clunky as a phone, and awkward as a handheld.  They redesigned, but its reputation was torpedoed.  If you wanted a handheld, the GameBoy Advance was cheap, the Nintendo DS and PSP were new and had great range of libraries for the same money or less.  And if you wanted a Nokia phone, they weren't expensive at the time.  There wasn't quite the need for mobile gaming and text/call device in one unit at that time.. there would be six years later with smartphones, but the form changed quite a lot.  The startup Tiger Telematics (not the same as Tiger Electronics) gave us the ill-conceived Gizmondo - a cheap handheld alternative with a dozen games, before going belly-up.  Even more obscure was the DigiBlast - a handheld aimed at young children to compete with V-Tech and Leapfrog.  I don't even think it made it out of Europe.  And Mattel quietly, timidly dipped its toes back into gaming with the Hyperscan, utilizing RFID to sync to separately purchased game cards for in-game experiences.  It was cheap at $70, with games at $20 and card packs at $5 I think.. but it wasn't well marketed, Mattel didn't seem to pour too much into it - only 5 games were ever released.   Then we can go all the way back to early 2000 with the failed Nuon, which wasn't a gaming system so much as a specialized chip that could be used in DVD players to alternate between DVD functions and a gaming function.  It was only offered in a couple brand's alternate model DVD-players and they made eight poorly made games for the thing.

 

That's it.  That's the trainwreck of failed-to-thrive consoles over the last 22 years.  I'm excluding things like the Wii U and Dreamcast or the Neo Geo Pocket Color or N64DD.. projects with massive funding behind them but weren't commercially profitable for the companies pouring hundreds of millions into them.  And still, good products that lasted years with libraries and support for many years afterward.  But I think our modern sensibilities is we've had this graveyard of failed consoles - when really, there's been a handful of squawks in the past 20 years.  But largely, few big players have tried a new system, and nobody among those I named were focused on the games.  Mattel had a few licenses and were focused on how to sell accessory card packs to integrate with basic games - they wanted to capitalize on the popularity of Digimon and Yu-Gi-Oh card games.  Those cards had no identity.  Ouya wanted to build a system for small developers to have a home.  Steam and mobile opened the door to them a year before they could launch.  Nokia was forward thinking in how to combine your phone and handheld, but it was designed by an amorphous blob lacking opposable thumbs, and the market didn't have a compelling reason to play games on it when the thing was clunky and cumbersome as a phone.  Nuon never found adoption among DVD player manufacturers, and DigiBlast, Gizmondo were no more differentiated than the cheap Chinese handheld systems we see today at CVS.. they sat beside those and Jakks Pacific, AtGames plug-n-play systems looking for an audience that would tolerate cheap generic games on a cheap plastic handheld.  Everything else we gamers lump Amico with - the Retro VGS-turned-Coleco Chameleon, the faked Dreamcast 2, the never-out-of-the-gate Project Seedi, the bad taste from "AtariBox".. various console "announcements" and scams get pulled into the conversation with a system that has been pretty transparent, with dozens of employees on the payroll and a hundred and fifty developers working on projects.  There's definitely a difference.  And there's of course some possibility we're fed a false sense of security by Tommy.  But the developers he and Intellivision have revealed - they have social media pages.  They're not throwing up red flags.  They Intellivision advisors and team with video game reputations on the line - they're not putting public distance between their work with Intellivision and past projects on Castlevania and Metal Gear, or Tetris or launching the Wii, GameCube, Game Boy Advance, N64, Super Nintendo, DS or 3DS.  There are a hundred more players who could throw out red flags, but aren't.  That means something is working here, it's on track.  Or Tommy has them locked in the basement.  Send help, or pizza. 

 

I know I kind of went on a tangent, I think the comparisons to previous consoles is a good reminder to all of what Intellivision is doing right.  It may of course fail, but if I had to place money on the thing (and it's the kind of thing I wish was more accessible to placing money on, because it hits an absolute market void where demand clearly should exist based on every conceivable survey, but no product exists to meet the demand) - I'd bet on it being the dark horse success later this year.  Games are everything and that's their focus.  The machine is just the platform, the controllers the nearest tie-in to versatile gaming experiences, and strikingly similar form and function to smartphones that we largely already have - removing a hurdle for casuals.  Will we like the controllers?  Maybe.  I am enamored with the things, but maybe they just won't feel right.  I like that they err toward innovation.  Who says a crosspad is the only way to move in 2D, or a thumbstick is the pinnacle of controller design?  I like the variety and moving the design forward.

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29 minutes ago, RetroAdvisoryBoard said:

I found this all very much valid concerns and thoughtful.  This thread may have some of Amico's biggest supporters, but we're a bit practical as well, following so many of the points and criticisms helps shore up some confidence on certain aspects, and follow-up on things most concerning/still outstanding.  

 

Not having the established staying power of Microsoft, Sony or Nintendo is a good point, and one on its surface I'd take a "wait and see approach", if not for the nature of the project itself.  If they were competing with a system that was going for that market, trying to appeal to Sony or Microsoft or Nintendo purchasers, it'd be a little more concerning.  The system isn't a resource sink for Intellivision and investors, they're going after more rote, well-established processors and components you'd expect in a bargain PC build.  It certainly limits capabilities and cool toys in the system itself that would produce a more costly machine, that would make Activision or EA or Bethesda devote a team to putting on popular franchises.  But that's not the play here.  And ho-hum bargain PC components mean nothing to me as a consumer for Will I/Won't I buy the thing, but it's really important in that the R&D costs and production costs were really suppressed in this project.  Not absent, Tommy's super excited to reveal all the cool bells and whistles, but it means, innovation is well managed and limited to what mattered most.  Game play and experience over power and performance.  And that means the system has a really low threshold to meet profitability in producing number of units.  Realistically, somewhere under 200,000 units sold equals success.  Any more equals runaway bonanza, half that number would force some adjustment to marketing, pricing, or model.  And the game development budget is laughable by AAA studio standards, but if the finger to the wind was right, there's a real market for games that are waaaaay better quality than most mobile, but far less involved and flashy, expensive than AAA.  Somewhere is that indie sweetspot, and Intellivision is idea-mining small studios to find good concepts that fit and funding them upfront.  It's brilliant if you need to put out unique, clever games that stand apart and give gamers reason to give you a second look, and it's certainly necessary if your premise is that usual game design on consoles isn't very focused on broad appeal.  And if you sell any more than 100,000 units, that fund-small-developers-as-second-party-devs approach is sustainable for years.  The goalpost is reachable with just the faintest luke-warm response from casuals.  Hell, they're 2.6% of the way there ;-)  That $220 or $230 investment in a platform.. is on better foundation than any other examples in recent history.  By a mile.

 

As to failed consoles to serve as wary warnings, Ouya was playing with large amounts of loaned capital, in financial distress long before launching, at a time when Steam was transitioning from something like 5% of PC gaming to 30% of PC gaming.  Ouya was announced just a couple years after iPad launched, when mobile gaming suddenly exploded from several hundred mediocre games to several thousands to take advantage of the iPad and popular new smartphones with their glass surface touchscreens.  And what was Ouya's premise?  Bring gaming to the players, making games open dev and free to play.  What did Steam do the year it launched?  It opened its Steam shop to hundreds and hundreds of new developers, suddenly a flood of new, cheap games were in their store.  And mobile?   Exploded with free-to-play and cheap $.99 - $2.99 games that pulled the rug out from under them.  So we saw Ouya hurriedly launch, with almost no exclusive games or rationale to speak of, and we saw it crash and burn pretty hard.  True believers tried to keep it afloat, but ultimately, what was the rationale to build and sell a unique game on a platform where its few most talked-about best-sellers sold in the 5,000 to sub-20,000 unit range?  It was unsustainable.  And Ouya didn't have games to develop itself.  Its CEO didn't know the name of their leading games when pressed.  There was no Plan B - put the thing out and hope devs build killer apps for it - refresh that sales update page every 10 minutes because if the news isn't good any day now, you're all screwed.  Ultimately Razr bought them out as a lifeline for years of add'l support, but they had no plans to add games or sell more systems.  It was just a platform to acquire.

 

We don't have many other examples of a console that launched in the last twenty years and failed.  The N-Gage launched in 2003 and had some good games for the system, but its premise was a phone and handheld gaming device in one.  It was clunky as a phone, and awkward as a handheld.  They redesigned, but its reputation was torpedoed.  If you wanted a handheld, the GameBoy Advance was cheap, the Nintendo DS and PSP were new and had great range of libraries for the same money or less.  And if you wanted a Nokia phone, they weren't expensive at the time.  There wasn't quite the need for mobile gaming and text/call device in one unit at that time.. there would be six years later with smartphones, but the form changed quite a lot.  The startup Tiger Telematics (not the same as Tiger Electronics) gave us the ill-conceived Gizmondo - a cheap handheld alternative with a dozen games, before going belly-up.  Even more obscure was the DigiBlast - a handheld aimed at young children to compete with V-Tech and Leapfrog.  I don't even think it made it out of Europe.  And Mattel quietly, timidly dipped its toes back into gaming with the Hyperscan, utilizing RFID to sync to separately purchased game cards for in-game experiences.  It was cheap at $70, with games at $20 and card packs at $5 I think.. but it wasn't well marketed, Mattel didn't seem to pour too much into it - only 5 games were ever released.   Then we can go all the way back to early 2000 with the failed Nuon, which wasn't a gaming system so much as a specialized chip that could be used in DVD players to alternate between DVD functions and a gaming function.  It was only offered in a couple brand's alternate model DVD-players and they made eight poorly made games for the thing.

 

That's it.  That's the trainwreck of failed-to-thrive consoles over the last 22 years.  I'm excluding things like the Wii U and Dreamcast or the Neo Geo Pocket Color or N64DD.. projects with massive funding behind them but weren't commercially profitable for the companies pouring hundreds of millions into them.  And still, good products that lasted years with libraries and support for many years afterward.  But I think our modern sensibilities is we've had this graveyard of failed consoles - when really, there's been a handful of squawks in the past 20 years.  But largely, few big players have tried a new system, and nobody among those I named were focused on the games.  Mattel had a few licenses and were focused on how to sell accessory card packs to integrate with basic games - they wanted to capitalize on the popularity of Digimon and Yu-Gi-Oh card games.  Those cards had no identity.  Ouya wanted to build a system for small developers to have a home.  Steam and mobile opened the door to them a year before they could launch.  Nokia was forward thinking in how to combine your phone and handheld, but it was designed by an amorphous blob lacking opposable thumbs, and the market didn't have a compelling reason to play games on it when the thing was clunky and cumbersome as a phone.  Nuon never found adoption among DVD player manufacturers, and DigiBlast, Gizmondo were no more differentiated than the cheap Chinese handheld systems we see today at CVS.. they sat beside those and Jakks Pacific, AtGames plug-n-play systems looking for an audience that would tolerate cheap generic games on a cheap plastic handheld.  Everything else we gamers lump Amico with - the Retro VGS-turned-Coleco Chameleon, the faked Dreamcast 2, the never-out-of-the-gate Project Seedi, the bad taste from "AtariBox".. various console "announcements" and scams get pulled into the conversation with a system that has been pretty transparent, with dozens of employees on the payroll and a hundred and fifty developers working on projects.  There's definitely a difference.  And there's of course some possibility we're fed a false sense of security by Tommy.  But the developers he and Intellivision have revealed - they have social media pages.  They're not throwing up red flags.  They Intellivision advisors and team with video game reputations on the line - they're not putting public distance between their work with Intellivision and past projects on Castlevania and Metal Gear, or Tetris or launching the Wii, GameCube, Game Boy Advance, N64, Super Nintendo, DS or 3DS.  There are a hundred more players who could throw out red flags, but aren't.  That means something is working here, it's on track.  Or Tommy has them locked in the basement.  Send help, or pizza. 

 

I know I kind of went on a tangent, I think the comparisons to previous consoles is a good reminder to all of what Intellivision is doing right.  It may of course fail, but if I had to place money on the thing (and it's the kind of thing I wish was more accessible to placing money on, because it hits an absolute market void where demand clearly should exist based on every conceivable survey, but no product exists to meet the demand) - I'd bet on it being the dark horse success later this year.  Games are everything and that's their focus.  The machine is just the platform, the controllers the nearest tie-in to versatile gaming experiences, and strikingly similar form and function to smartphones that we largely already have - removing a hurdle for casuals.  Will we like the controllers?  Maybe.  I am enamored with the things, but maybe they just won't feel right.  I like that they err toward innovation.  Who says a crosspad is the only way to move in 2D, or a thumbstick is the pinnacle of controller design?  I like the variety and moving the design forward.

Don't forget the Xavix! Not exactly successful, but the console was curious enough with its few games and cheap enough it managed to limp along selling them from 2004-2013.

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20 hours ago, fiudr said:

As somebody who follows the other thread, it's not the hate-filled train wreck some would have you believe. I post on both threads, and that thread is mostly just lots of questions and speculation. Nothing really aggressive and I see very little hate there.

 

You may think your statement is true (I can understand why you think that)... but it's not.

 

You aren't seeing all the negative stuff and the banned folks crap that the mods have had to clean up.

 

So just know and understand that what you're stating doesn't reflect the reality of the situation.

 

Thanks.

 

 

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Had an amazing time at the D.I.C.E. conference in Vegas this week!  Lots of super exciting deals that we will be announcing at some point.

 

So many top people in the industry were high fiving and paying compliments to me and the team for the incredible success and amount of positive buzz we've been generating in the development community.

 

Had a working controller with me and everyone was freaking out about how cool it was and the kind of response it had.  Again... these are the biggest and greatest game designers, producers, programmers, business folks in the industry.  These are folks who would tell me their concerns. 

 

Great week overall on many different levels.  Totally exhausted... but will recharge my batteries on the plane today to start the long weekend. Lots to catch up on.

 

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18 hours ago, AtariSociety said:

Just curious... since @Tommy Tallarico mentioned that the issues over in China with the virus is affecting everyone, including Intellivision too, for when Amico will ship... my question is... with the 1st showing of Amico at E3, will this possibly mean we will not see Amico at E3 then?  Or, is there enough in place already for a handful of Amico to be made in time so we can still see it in all it's glory come E3.

 

TJ

 

So far, everything is still on track for E3.

 

Not sure how many machines we'll have... but as of now, we still plan on displaying to the public on the floor.

 

Sony isnt there, Microsoft is off site... so we'll be the only new machine displaying officially at E3.  :)

 

 

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13 hours ago, RREDDWARFF said:

Unfortunately, I did not grow up with an Intellivision in my house when I was a kid. My cousins had one, and so did some kid who lived down the street from me.

 

Anyhow, I just watched a video of Tron Deadly Discs (or something like that). Wow, that game looks amazing for its time. I'm sure the licensing would be rough, but man, if I could dream of one game to be remade for the Amico.

 

In the works!!

 

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9 hours ago, fiudr said:

I'm sorry, but there's lots of uncertainty to go around with this system, both for Tommy and for the people who buy into it. When we're talking about spending hundreds of dollars on a system that may or may not sell as well as Tommy hopes, it becomes my worry. Maybe that's not a lot of money to some of you, but it is for me. I could buy an Xbox or Playstation this year (yes, I know they're double or triple the cost and I couldn't afford that but that's not my point here), and at least I'd be certain the system will be supported 2, 4, 7 years down the road. Xbox isn't going anywhere, and neither is Playstation. There will be support, there will be lots of games, and I don't have to worry that the Xbox or Playstation will go out of production in a year or two due to lack of sales. The Amico is a brand new system. We've seen lots of systems come and go in the past few years. All have claimed big things. You can never tell how the public will take to something, whether it be a song, a movie, or a video game system. People might flip over this and it may become a huge hit this Christmas. Or people might avoid it because it's too different. We won't know until it's in stores.

 

Now clearly this thread is full of some of Amico's biggest supporters, so of course any doubts like this will just be dismissed. But to say there aren't risks for those who buy into this system is silly. I could spend $250 on this system in October and another $100-$200 worth of games in the next year just to read one day that due to slipping sales they are shutting down. I truly hope that doesn't happen. But only time will tell.

 

I wish Tommy the best with this system. I'm very excited about it myself. But I'm being realistic as a consumer who doesn't have a ton of disposable income. Yes, I'll be buying one of these this year hopefully (my other half seems to be on-board so far). But I'm definitely a bit worried that the public won't take to it the way we're hoping they do. And I'd say without having played any of the games or even touched the controller yet, I'd say it's certainly a chance all of us are taking. We know how an Xbox controller or Playstation controller feels. We're hearing lots of hype about this controller which is of course expected, and it seems very intriguing, but none of us know if we will like it or get used to it until we have tried it ourselves. It may be a great controller but some of us just might not be able to adjust to it. If you've got lots of disposable income, sure, why not drop $300 on it and see how it works out? No big deal. But for some of us, $300 is a bit scary to spend on an unknown system.

 

This is what I meant by worries or concerns. I feel they are valid.

 

 

 

 

 

All valid concerns.  You definitely shouldn't pre-order the console.  And if you're afraid of the system failing and shutting down... you should definitely wait a year or two before purchasing.

 

That would be my advice.  What are your thoughts?

 

I appreciate that you want the system to succeed... but if you are fearful of its failure... then just wait.  Sounds reasonable to me.

 

 

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9 hours ago, supahwally said:

 

So who's left out, demographically?   People in their late teens, twentysomethings, people in their 30's in 40's who have time and desire for complex games (no kids, etc.), often male.  Anyone surprised this is EXACTLY the demographic that's been the most critical of the Amico, and least able to understand it's purpose?  

 

 

Love this observation!  So true!!!

 

We've showed the system to HUNDREDS of moms, kids, retired folks, non-gamers, etc. and in EVERY instance they were super excited about the console and didn't mind at a $249 or below price point when the games are only $9.99 or less and are safe for kids and up to 8 players and all games co-op.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Mockduck said:

The amount of money I'd be willing to spend on a modern version of Tron: Deadly Discs is embarassing. 

 

Don't worry!  Only $9.99!  Although I may feel sorry for you if you want to try and collect all the different limited editions of the physical media.  :D

 

 

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Hi Tommy, I apologize if this has been covered before, but what was the first moment when someone said to someone 'we should do this' and plans began in earnest for the Amico? If you were part of that discussion (or the one starting it), can you describe just how crazy exciting it was when you realized this could actually work? 

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1 hour ago, Tommy Tallarico said:

 

So far, everything is still on track for E3.

 

Not sure how many machines we'll have... but as of now, we still plan on displaying to the public on the floor.

 

Sony isnt there, Microsoft is off site... so we'll be the only new machine displaying officially at E3.  :)

 

This is really exciting and means a lot of people on the floor are going to be gravitating to Intellivision's booth. It's cool to think about the thousands of people who will be experiencing Amico and talking about it and making videos about E3 with the Amico in it.

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10 hours ago, fiudr said:

I'm sorry, but there's lots of uncertainty to go around with this system, both for Tommy and for the people who buy into it. When we're talking about spending hundreds of dollars on a system that may or may not sell as well as Tommy hopes, it becomes my worry. Maybe that's not a lot of money to some of you, but it is for me. I could buy an Xbox or Playstation this year (yes, I know they're double or triple the cost and I couldn't afford that but that's not my point here), and at least I'd be certain the system will be supported 2, 4, 7 years down the road. Xbox isn't going anywhere, and neither is Playstation. There will be support, there will be lots of games, and I don't have to worry that the Xbox or Playstation will go out of production in a year or two due to lack of sales. The Amico is a brand new system. We've seen lots of systems come and go in the past few years. All have claimed big things. You can never tell how the public will take to something, whether it be a song, a movie, or a video game system. People might flip over this and it may become a huge hit this Christmas. Or people might avoid it because it's too different. We won't know until it's in stores.

 

Now clearly this thread is full of some of Amico's biggest supporters, so of course any doubts like this will just be dismissed. But to say there aren't risks for those who buy into this system is silly. I could spend $250 on this system in October and another $100-$200 worth of games in the next year just to read one day that due to slipping sales they are shutting down. I truly hope that doesn't happen. But only time will tell.

 

I wish Tommy the best with this system. I'm very excited about it myself. But I'm being realistic as a consumer who doesn't have a ton of disposable income. Yes, I'll be buying one of these this year hopefully (my other half seems to be on-board so far). But I'm definitely a bit worried that the public won't take to it the way we're hoping they do. And I'd say without having played any of the games or even touched the controller yet, I'd say it's certainly a chance all of us are taking. We know how an Xbox controller or Playstation controller feels. We're hearing lots of hype about this controller which is of course expected, and it seems very intriguing, but none of us know if we will like it or get used to it until we have tried it ourselves. It may be a great controller but some of us just might not be able to adjust to it. If you've got lots of disposable income, sure, why not drop $300 on it and see how it works out? No big deal. But for some of us, $300 is a bit scary to spend on an unknown system.

 

This is what I meant by worries or concerns. I feel they are valid.

 

 

 

 

what risk? even if nothing else comes out after the 5 pack in games i would be happy..i would have 5 cool games and a collectors item..if your going to fret that much over spending $200 then i don't think you should  be buying a video game console and maybe should spend the money elsewhere 

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i don't get so many people on youtube and twitter sweating over if the Amico will sell or not if this is a good idea or the people that say "who's going to buy this??" 

some people act like they have stock in the company and if it doesn't sell your going to be on the street

let Tommy worry about that stuff and just enjoy the exciting ride 

Edited by ASalvaro
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10 hours ago, fiudr said:

I'm sorry, but there's lots of uncertainty to go around with this system, both for Tommy and for the people who buy into it. When we're talking about spending hundreds of dollars on a system that may or may not sell as well as Tommy hopes, it becomes my worry. Maybe that's not a lot of money to some of you, but it is for me. I could buy an Xbox or Playstation this year (yes, I know they're double or triple the cost and I couldn't afford that but that's not my point here), and at least I'd be certain the system will be supported 2, 4, 7 years down the road. Xbox isn't going anywhere, and neither is Playstation. There will be support, there will be lots of games, and I don't have to worry that the Xbox or Playstation will go out of production in a year or two due to lack of sales. The Amico is a brand new system. We've seen lots of systems come and go in the past few years. All have claimed big things. You can never tell how the public will take to something, whether it be a song, a movie, or a video game system. People might flip over this and it may become a huge hit this Christmas. Or people might avoid it because it's too different. We won't know until it's in stores.

 

Now clearly this thread is full of some of Amico's biggest supporters, so of course any doubts like this will just be dismissed. But to say there aren't risks for those who buy into this system is silly. I could spend $250 on this system in October and another $100-$200 worth of games in the next year just to read one day that due to slipping sales they are shutting down. I truly hope that doesn't happen. But only time will tell.

 

I wish Tommy the best with this system. I'm very excited about it myself. But I'm being realistic as a consumer who doesn't have a ton of disposable income. Yes, I'll be buying one of these this year hopefully (my other half seems to be on-board so far). But I'm definitely a bit worried that the public won't take to it the way we're hoping they do. And I'd say without having played any of the games or even touched the controller yet, I'd say it's certainly a chance all of us are taking. We know how an Xbox controller or Playstation controller feels. We're hearing lots of hype about this controller which is of course expected, and it seems very intriguing, but none of us know if we will like it or get used to it until we have tried it ourselves. It may be a great controller but some of us just might not be able to adjust to it. If you've got lots of disposable income, sure, why not drop $300 on it and see how it works out? No big deal. But for some of us, $300 is a bit scary to spend on an unknown system.

 

This is what I meant by worries or concerns. I feel they are valid.

I have many of the same concerns that you do. Thank you for expressing them so well thought out and respectfully

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Now would be a good time to remember what concern is versus what we should define as "concern trolling."

 

Actual concern comes when you are invested in something - as in literally. You've either spent your money, your time, and your effort as a form of investment.

 

"Concern trolling" is when you have spent nothing - all the time you use is your own free time and of your own free will, and you have expended zero effort, but still say you're concerned. While this is great - and bringing up valid criticism can be helpful, it's not going to be that helpful in this case. You're just playing devil's advocate because you have too much time. Which is what we see a ton of in the "independent" thread, and a lot of the stuff that's been deleted and removed by mods was this form of concern trolling and argumentative analysis just to be argumentative. No end goal.

 

Fiudr, your post is great, but it's borderline man... Some of these comments... " It may be a great controller but some of us just might not be able to adjust to it." are wholly unnecessary.

 

If some of us aren't able to adjust to it, that's not anything anyone can help. We may also all lose our hands by the time it launches - is that a valid concern to you? How will we adjust without hands?

 

"I could spend $250 on this system in October and another $100-$200 worth of games in the next year just to read one day that due to slipping sales they are shutting down. I truly hope that doesn't happen. But only time will tell."

 

So... No one should spend any money at all then? Which would guarantee it's failure and low market adoption rate...? That's called a self-fulfilling prophecy. We all hope the console sells but the only way it sells is people buy it. Not worry it may not sell and it shuts down... That's just self-defeating and not worth the concern. 

 

If a whole lot of early adopters didn't buy PS4 or Xbox One they would have shut down too. Those systems barely launched with games. This is the kind of stuff that drags down the independent thread, and while your concerns are warranted and well written compared to a lot in that thread... It's still not helpful ultimately. 

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