A New Intellivision Games Console is Coming … in 2020?

Posted on October 22, 2018 by Paul Thurrott in Games with 15 Comments

Intellivision Entertainment announced yesterday that it will ship a new video game console called Amico. But it won’t debut until late 2020—two full years from now—and it isn’t designed for original Intellivision titles.

“Most every game being made for the home consoles these days is created with only the hardcore gamer in mind,” Intellivision president Tommy Tallarico said. “We see a world where everyone is interested in playing at home and with friends, but this isn’t currently possible because the barrier to entry is nearly impossible for a non-gamer due to the complexity of the controllers, intricacy of gameplay, expense of the hardware and software and steep learning curve with an unbalanced fun factor for the beginner.”

Mattel’s Intellivision was first introduced in 1979 as a rival to the original Atari Video Computer System, or VCS, which was later renamed to the 2600. Like a later entry from Coleco, it offered superior graphics and sound, and curiously complicated controllers with number pads, a directional disc, and multiple buttons. And while many of the games were direct rip-offs of Atari classics, some were truly inspired originals, including Utopia, Advanced Dungeons and Dragons, Shark! Shark!, B-17 Bomber, and many others.

Too, Intellivision users could choose from a variety of innovative peripherals, including a voice adapter, an Atari 2600 adapter, a music keyboard, and even a computer. But when the video game industry crashed, Mattel dropped Intellivision, and the brand essentially disappeared (though later attempts to resuscitate it, like INTV, saw limited success).

Given the new era of video game nostalgia, it’s perhaps not surprising that Intellivision Entertainment is trying again. But the Amico is not designed to play Intellivision classics from the 1980’s. Instead, it is a new console that is aimed squarely at families and the violence-adverse. All of the games the firm plans are family friendly and rated “E for Everyone.” This will include some “built-in reimagined Intellivision Classics,” the company says.

Given how far out this thing is, I won’t make any predictions about its viability. But as a major contributor to the Intellivision community back in the mid-1990’s—the original Intellivision was my first video game console—I am indeed curious.


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Comments (15)

15 responses to “A New Intellivision Games Console is Coming … in 2020?”

  1. ErichK

    Ah, memories of playing my friend's Intellivision during 6th grade summer vacation. I got good at Astrosmash, but he always beat my butt at that baseball sim.

  2. epsjrno

    Never had an original Intellivision. Had an Atari 2600 and a Commodore 64 (along with a TI 99/4a and an Unisonic Tournament 2000). If this kind of thing takes off, I hope it causes more energy and resources to be invested into the nostalgia market to bring back the old games done right.

  3. Skandalous

    Nothing to show with a two-year ETA? Do. Not. Hold. Your. Breath.

  4. waethorn


    It's a *WIX* page!!

    Seriously. Don't put money into this. Funding these kinds of ventures is a fool's errand. There are better ways to spend your money.

  5. Daekar

    Better be cheaper than whatever Nintendo is offering then, otherwise they're screwed.

  6. jimchamplin

    In the words of Montgomery Scott, “They CAN’T be serious!”

  7. Jorge Garcia

    It's a noble attempt by devoted video game purists to recapture some of the "family fun" that you used to be able to get from the earlier, much simpler video game consoles. I kind of commend the spirit of it, but I do have serious doubts about there being enough of a market for it, though. And if it ONLY relies on new game development, it is doomed.

  8. Travis

    I would likely buy this if it releases. Intellivision was my first console and I would love to play these games again: Lock n Chase, Burgertime, Pitfall Harry, Baseball, Triple Action, Night Stalker, Royal Dealer, Hearts, Happy Trails, Tron Deadly Discs and Utopia.

  9. ChrisKal

    This has some real industry vets behind it, so I can't count it out just yet... But it seems like a solution in search of a problem. Still, there's at least a couple of neat ideas here.

  10. prjman

    I hated Intellivision. Worst controllers ever!

  11. skane2600

    I imagine they'll avoid using a 10-bit instruction set like the original Intellivision.

    This seems to be aiming at a market well covered by the Nintendo Wii. I doubt that they can make it cheap enough to get many people to buy it and as others have pointed out, they're unlikely to attract developers.

  12. Darren.Jones

    Isn't that basically what Nintendo did with the Wii?