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Intellivision Amico reboot delayed to next year

COVID-19 pandemic blamed; April 2021 window set

Three variants of the Amico console, including white, black, and wood grain. Image: Intellivision Entertainment
Owen S. Good is a longtime veteran of video games writing, well known for his coverage of sports and racing games.

The Intellivision Amico, a reboot of the 1980s console meant to appeal to families and casual audiences with modern games, will be delayed to an April 2021 launch. It was originally given an October 2020 launch window.

Intellivision chief executive Tommy Tallarico announced the delay in a broadcast Wednesday afternoon to fans and backers of the crowd-funded console. Tallarico attributed the delay to the production challenges imposed by the global COVID-19 pandemic, despite Intellivision’s best efforts to hit their promised launch date. This is the project’s first delay.

To get the unit on shelves in October, Tallarico said, would have required compromising on features and amenities he and the designers think are critical to the Intellivision Amico. “Our [launch] date is going to be determined by specific quality criteria that the team has defined, and not a day before,” Tallarico said.

He hopes to put a “founder’s edition” of the Amico in early backers’ hands on April 3, 2021 (“That’s four-three-two-one, launch” Tallarico said, punning on the date format.)

Tallarico announced plans for the Intellivision Amico in October 2018, pegging it for an Oct. 10, 2020 launch at the time. The project was offered on the Fig hybrid crowdfunding platform, and it has drawn a combined $5.5 million in backing and pre-orders from Fig and other sources. In May, J Allard, the Xbox co-founder, said he was joining Intellivision Entertainment as global managing director, to help bring the console to market.

Intellivision’s Fig site is taking $100 deposits for both versions of its console, at $249 and $279. The Amico will come with several titles bundled in, with others available from an online marketplace for between $2.99 and $9.99.

The remainder of Tallarico’s hour-long event on Wednesday showcased the games that are expected to launch with the Intellivision Amico next year. Notably, the Amico will have titles licensed by Major League Baseball (harkening to the original Intellivision’s Major League Baseball, the first licensed sports video game), Sesame Street, and the estate of Evel Knievel. The Intellivision Amico will also see a Hot Wheels-licensed game, which reunites Intellivision with the console’s original manufacturer, Mattel.

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