The Intellivision Amico is a brand new console inspired by the Mattel Intellivision of the 1980's. It hopes to bring families back together.
The Value Proposition
The Amico does not promise to be the most technologically advanced piece of hardware out there.
What it does promise is a fun casual experience for friends or family.
It is a system you can play with your kids, your spouse, with mom and dad and with grandma or grandpa.
It is also a system you can play with your friends, teammates or fraternity brothers and sorority sisters.
Right out of the box, you get two full controllers. six pack-in games and the ability to host up to eight mobile devices as controllers.
Five of the six games have been revealed and they are Skiing, Astrosmash, Shark! Shark!, Cornhole, and Farkle.
The games will initially cost no more than $9.99 and will include games that fall into several categories - retro re-imagined, original new games sports, sports and recreation, casual board/dice/card and kids and edutainment.
For the price of a mere $249, this is value-for-money.
As a bonus, you can also register your birthday on the machine and get a free game everytime your birthday hits. Given a 5-10 year lifepan of the console that is an easy 5-10 free games. This is an additional $50-$100 worth of value right there.
The Razor and Blade Analogy
Gilette has become a billion dollar company on the back of the razor and blade business model. Make a little on the razors but make a fortune on the blades.
This same model is true for the gaming industry where the console makers sell them at a small margin or at a loss and make a fortune on the games.
Intellivision aims to create a more balanced approach. It plans to make some money on the consoles and charge a very affordable amount on the games. This low price of $9.99 and below will encourage more game purchases as each game is just the price of a hamburger. or two.
This is a fairer approach than baiting you with a cheap console but price gouging you on accessories, game costs, on-line services and in-game purchases.
Is the Intellivision Amico Expensive?
A lot of critics will point to the $249 price point and immediately dismiss the system as an overpriced console.
Let us use this analogy lets say that the average hamburger is $5, fries is $2, softdrink is $2 and sundae is $1 so $10 all in all. Think of the Nintendo Switch Lite as the hamburger with no fries, drink and desert and sells for $6. The Intellivision Amico on the other hand has a hamburger, fries, drink and desert for only $8. Sure, dollar-wise the Amico is higher but value-wise, it is a better value.
With the Intellivision Amico, you get two full controllers and six pack-in games. You also get a free game every year during your birthday. The Nintendo Switch is $299 with no games or additional controllers. The Switch Lite is $199 with no games or additional controller either. So if you look value-wise, you are getting more bang for your buck with the Amico.
The Latest and Greatest
Some people are obsessed with having the latest and greatest whether it be the latest Iphone or the the latest television set.
However, throughout the history of video game consoles, "underpowered" machines have outsold their more technologically advanced counterparts. It is not only the machine that is important but the games as well.
Consider that the 8-Bit Nintendo Entertainment System sold 61.91 million units versus the 30.75 million for the 16-Bit Sega Genesis. The Game & Watch looking Nintendo Gameboy sold 118.69 million units while the 8-Bit colored Sega Game Gear sold a measly 11 million units. The Wii sold 101.63 million units versus the more advanced Playstation 3 which sold 87.41 million units.
So as you can see, gaming is more about people having fun and not about having the most technologically superior machine.
The Amico is not as powerful as the ninth generation consoles but that is not what it aims to be. It aims to provide simple, affordable family entertainment. At half the price of the ninth generation consoles, you have everything you need to have fun with up to eight people right out of the box.
The Amico might be the Nintendo Wii of 2021.
Is the Amico for You?
While the Intellivision Amico aims to be accessible to everybody, it is not for everybody.
The Amico was created for the casual gamer who prioritizes having a fun experience over how frame rate, terabytes and teraflops. Sure games like Assassin's Creed or The Witcher are movie quality and cinematic in nature, but such games are too complex for the casual gamer. Games such as these also cost too much to make leading in expensive game costs and in-game purchases and advertisements in order for companies to recoup said costs and make a profit.
If you are a hardcore gamer looking for complexity, blood and guts, violence and sexual content, then the Amico is not for you as it is a simple machine with simple family-friendly games.
If you are a casual gamer, then the Amico may be up your alley as it is very easy to use and the games are very cheap.
If you are a retro gamer looking to play re-imagined versions of your childhood favorites then the Amico is for you too.
If you are a parent who wants to play with their kids or the relatives, this is the perfect machine for you too.
© 2020 Jan Michael Ong