May 30, 2018 // 11:35 a.m.
Intellivision, a name which will be immediately familiar to gamers of a certain vintage, is back with a brand-new console - details surrounding which are, unfortunately, thin on the ground.
Launched in 1979 and not formally discontinued until 1990, Mattel Electronics' Intellivision was one of the original cartridge-based video game consoles. Released in the UK in 1981 for £199 - the equivalent of £725.17 in today's money - the Intellivision fought Atari's 2600 head-to-head, both as a first-party device and under licensed rebrands including Tandy, Bandai, and Sears. Total sales globally would number in the millions, but the video games market crash of 1983 and increased competition from home computers - including the Sinclair ZX Spectrum, launched in 1983 for just £175 with 48KB of RAM or £125 with 16KB - would spell disaster for Mattel's electronics arm.
Now, though, the Intellivision is due a reboot, riding the wave of nostalgia triggered by the release of devices including the Nintendo NES and SNES Classic Minis, TheC64 Mini, and the ZX Spectrum Next - and Tommy Tallarico, creator of the Video Games Live concert series and newly-named president of Intellivision Entertainment, is in charge.
'I grew up playing Intellivision with my parents and younger brother, claims Tallarico. 'It was always my favourite system because the games were cutting edge, yet fun and simple to play so our entire family could enjoy them together. I find those important elements to generally be lacking from our industry with the current modern gaming consoles. Our goal is to change that by focusing on bringing all age groups and levels of gamers and non-gamers together while introducing new generations of people to the legacy success of the Intellivision brand.'
Details around the new Intellivision are, as yet, scarce: Its name, specifications, and appearance have yet to be confirmed, though Tallarico has stated the console will include a redesigned controller and built-in Wi-Fi making it capable of downloading games from a store and storing them on an SD card, and that it will be at the cheaper end of the market - suggesting it will be something closer to a beefed-up emulation box like Nintendo's Classic Mini family than the more powerful Atari VCS, crowdfunding for which is due to open later today.
Intellivision Entertainment has launched a dedicated website for the device, which it promises to unveil fully on October 1st.
Intellivision image courtesy of Evan-Amos, CC BY-SA 3.0.