I discovered the Amico a few years ago on some dude's twit about Earthworm Jim 3 coming out exclusively for it.
I was like 'wat the hell is this and why controllers look like phones'. I thought it was a whim project by Tommy Tallarico, who had an Intellivision as a kid. The guy realized that smartphones have like 10 times the number of players consoles have, and tried to make a Wii 2.0 with nostalgic elements with a controller that looks both like an Intellivision controller and a smartphone.
But then I did some more research and found out that the machine could be interesting for all these groups:
- Old millennials like me who either miss offline multiplayer or want to play Earthworm Jim 3
- 50 year old guys who had an Intellivision as kids (the console features several Intellivision games reimagined)
- Families with small children who don't trust or can't understand parental controls in current consoles (Amico will have zero violence and sexual content)
- Elders who are afraid of videogames but see the console as accessible
- Anyone who wants to play video games with other people but are turned off by 12 button controllers
It's definitely not another Ouya. These are some of the differences with your regular failed console:
- Game design has 10 commandments
all games must have offline multiplayer, be rated E or E10, be easily playable without instructions, be balanced so that non gamers can beat gamers (competitive games include an optional karma system to help the worse players for that), be a 7/10 on their own quality scale, cost less than $10, use the special functions in the controllers, have a 2D control (their research show non gamers don't like 3D controls), have no DLC, and be Amico exclusive (or "special Amico version" with multiplayer added).
- The team has over 600 years of combined experience and includes Dave Perry
or one of the women behind the success of the Wii
- The controller has a touch screen a 64 direction digital disc an motion controls, and it's virtually indestructible
. And the console has multi-color lights for extra ambience.
- They already have 15K preordered units by individual guys and 100K by stores, with exclusive editions of the console coming to GameStop or Walmart. The console will be shown in kiosks and boxes will be placed visible on the shelves folowing their arrangements.
- There will be 5 main game types: casual games, new IPs, board/card games, reimagined classics and educational.
- A new game will appear every 15 days and receive promotion from Intellivision Entertainment. They want to take the "few games, but good" approach of the N64 (not saying this is a good idea) to avoid eStores full of thousands of games impossible to curate.
- The console includes 2 controllers, but you can use up to 6 smartphones as controllers number 3-8 via a free app.
Some of the games look boring and it seems that Tommy can't stop talking (apparently he sleeps 4 hours and is hyperactive), but as a gamer since 1989, this is the first time I find a console interesting since the PS2 was announced. Sony and Microsoft are releasing FPS after FPS and games that try (and fail) to be movies, while Nintendo is basically releasing Zelda 37 and Mario Applied To Something so that your typical autistic 30 something buys their console again, so I think we should respect the Amico... And lets' not forget that Pat Contri hates the Amico and is obsessed with it to the point of anger and frustration at its mere existence, so at the very least it will be interesting to see this machine sell 100K-1M (they only need around 100K to break even) and watch Pat and Ian suffer (Pat predicted 5K units sold).