The Return of Intellivision

Yesterday, I received a very strange press release from… Intellivision?

It was a complete Obi Wan Kenobi moment.

“That’s a name I’ve not heard in a long time… a long time…”

My childhood memories of the system were of George Plimpton TV ads and blistered thumbs. I wasn’t fond of their D-Pad.

The controller aside, compared side by side with the competition of the era, Intellivision had better graphics, better sound, and in many ways a better library of games.

Okay, not as large of a library as the Atari 2600, but higher quality of games on the average.

It appears Tommy Tallarico, of Video Games Live fame, is partnering with some of the original development team from Intellivision to launch a new system.

Here’s what we know, direct from Mr. Tallarico in a live Q&A session broadcast earlier today.

  • The system will support WiFi connections (this was repeated a lot)
  • SD memory cards will be supported
  • Free library of 60-80 of the original Intellivision games
  • 7 updated versions of Intellivision original games at launch
  • 30-60 new titles at launch
  • The console will be aimed squarely at casual gamers, with an emphasis on social experiences
  • The Disk Shaped pad will be the default controller, but other controllers will be available
  • There will be no Netflix or other streaming services
  • Intellivision wants to make development for the platform easy and inexpensive
  • Homebrew programmers will be welcome
  • No platform support for microtransactions or DLC
  • Games will be priced $2.99 – $6.99 with no physical media, digital download only
  • There is a possibility of original cartridges being supported by a separate USB accessory
  • Price has not been decided yet, but will be “Way under $200”
  • The system will include 2 controllers
  • “Intellivision will NOT be crowdfunded!”
  • Games for the system will be family friendly
  • Did we mention family friendly?

Details are scant, and at the moment it seems Tallarico and company have a vision and some goals, and apparently the funding to make it happen. More information is promised in early October.

The overall impression that I’m left with is Intellivision really wants to revive the original system with online support and an emphasis on simple, easy, social gaming, and always family friendly.

If the price is right, that might not be a bad thing.

More information, as we get it.