The Intellivision Amico saga rumbles on, and there's still no sign of a solid release date for the Wii-like console.
In fact, the latest email update from Intellivision CEO Phil Adam to those who backed the console via crowdfunding appears to suggest that the company isn't any closer to a release and that it anticipates 'limited numbers' of machines when that day eventually comes. The worse news is that Intellivision is licensing some of its Amico exclusive titles for release on other platforms.
In the email, Adam firstly addresses a bug in the Amico which has been discovered and resolved:
One of the primary goals for the small pilot run was to uncover any issues in the production pipeline before starting a larger production run. Fortunately, we did catch one significant problem. Diagnosing this issue and implementing a solution was a significant effort and caused a delay. The symptoms pointed to a bug in the controller firmware, but that was not the case. The problem was an order-of-operations issue when provisioning the console on the production line with its unique identifiers and security keys. The error manifested on the next reboot in a way that looked like a controller bug. With that resolved, the path is clear to finish the pilot run in the next few weeks.
He then moves onto the topic of licencing Amico games to other companies, starting with Dynablaster and Brainduel:
We signed a licensing deal with BBG Entertainment GmbH, the details of which will be announced later. Here is a quote from Stephan Berendsen, Managing Director: "We are very pleased to have licensed four Amico games and the original game versions from Intellivision. For the past three years we have been working with Intellivision on the development of our games DYNABLASTER and BRAINDUEL for Amico. We are excited about Amico and hope that customers will be as well. We are looking forward to offering the four licensed Amico games and original Intellivision versions on other platforms soon.”
We have another partnership deal that will ensure that 2 of our most anticipated IPs will be available across multiple platforms as well as Amico. The details of that relationship will be announced at a later time. The target for these IPs is simultaneously (or later) with the Amico release.
Why allow the release of Amico exclusives on rival systems when you're desperately trying to carve out a niche in the market for this console? Well, Adam says it's all about 'getting the word out' to a larger audience, as the number of Amico units will be 'limited' to begin with:
Given that we will have a limited number of Amico units initially, these partnerships will get the games into more hands who have been waiting to play while helping get the word out to a larger audience.
He adds that the primary aim for his company at this stage is making sure the system is 'stable' before starting mass production – which hints that the Amico release is as far as away as it's ever been:
As stated above, we are doing everything we can to make sure that we have a stable system before starting production. That is a key milestone in moving forward.
2022 has been a tough year for Intellivision. The Amico's release was already long overdue by the time outspoken CEO Tommy Tallarico stepped down at the start of the year, with Phil Adam replacing him. Soon afterwards came an admission from the company that the console might never actually release, followed by another crowdfunding campaign which was cancelled before it had the chance to run its course.
Then came the news that Intellivision was getting rid of staff to ensure it could remain in operation, followed by the news that the company's lavish offices were now up for sale. However, the co-founder of Stainless Games, which has worked on more than one Amico title, told us that Intellivision is still dead-set on releasing the Amico – although he added that production on other Amico titles at his studio had been stopped so Stainless could assess the console's chances of a retail release.