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Ex-Xbox exec J Allard joins Intellivision to help launch new Amico console

The new device is expected to launch in October

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an Xbox avatar wearing an Intellivision T-shirt Image: Microsoft via Polygon
Charlie Hall is Polygon’s tabletop editor. In 10-plus years as a journalist & photographer, he has covered simulation, strategy, and spacefaring games, as well as public policy.

Former Microsoft executive and Xbox co-founder J Allard has signed on with Intellivision Entertainment to serve as global managing director, the company announced Thursday. Allard will help shepherd Intellivision through the launch of its new console, the Amico, which is scheduled for October.

“We are thrilled to add such an amazing industry legend to our team,” said Intellivision CEO Tommy Tallarico in a news release. “J’s experience, like-minded vision and leadership in the technology and video game industries as a visionary, product designer, and gamer will further strengthen the executive leadership team and innovation legacy at Intellivision.”

black-and-white photo of J Allard wearing a plaid shirt over a black T-shirt and a Santa Cruz Bicycles baseball cap
J Allard, the new global managing director of Intellivision.
Photo: Intellivision Entertainment

Intellivision announced the Amico in 2018. Design goals include a slim, modern look with small, phonelike wireless controllers. Each will feature the classic disk input, as well as side-mounted buttons, just like the original Intellivision console, which debuted in 1979. Games will be platform-exclusive, and will include classics as well as new titles — such as the next entry in the Earthworm Jim franchise.

Allard co-founded the Xbox group in 1998, and helped launch Microsoft’s first gaming console in 2001. He grew the Xbox business line by focusing on Xbox Live, helping Microsoft become a true competitor of Sony and Nintendo, which had previously dominated the home console space. Allard left Microsoft in 2010.

“Amico’s vision speaks to me, not just because I grew up with Intellivision, but because I grew up playing with my family and friends,” said Allard. “Playing together is a timeless concept that I feel the video game industry has largely forgotten. The Intellivision team is deeply committed to bringing back shared fun and affordable gaming for everyone.”

The Amico is currently up for pre-order on Fig, the hybrid crowdfunding platform. The campaign, which went live in April, is offering $100 refundable deposits toward the consoles, which start at $249. So far, backers have made 12,788 deposits and contributed more than $96,000 in investment, for a total of nearly $1.37 million in combined funding.

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