One of the key people in bringing Microsoft’s original Xbox console to market in 2001 will be joining Intellivision in its effort to launch an all-new console, the Amico. J Allard — who previously served as corporate vice president and chief technology officer for the Entertainment and Devices Division at Microsoft — is joining Intellivision Entertainment and will act as the firm’s Global Managing Director, per a company press release.
In his statement regarding the move, Allard expressed a deep appreciation for Intellivision’s history and touted the Amico’s aim to bring gamers of all ages together.
“Amico’s vision speaks to me, not just because I grew up with Intellivision, but because I grew up playing with my family and friends. Playing together is a timeless concept that I feel the video game industry has largely forgotten. The Intellivision team is deeply committed to bringing back shared fun and affordable gaming for everyone.”
Allard, who most recently served as CEO of Project 529, a firm that builds software for cyclists and law enforcement, spent the better part of two decades with Microsoft from 1991 to 2010. During that time, he helped oversee the launch of multiple consoles and gaming platforms. In addition to co-founding the original Xbox Project, Allard was involved with the launch of the Xbox 360, Xbox Live, and Xbox Live Arcade.
In response to the Allard announcement, current Xbox head Phil Spencer praised the move and the Amico team as a whole via Twitter.
— Phil Spencer (@XboxP3) May 14, 2020
First conceptualized in 2018, the Intellivision Amico is currently slated for release in October 2020. Per Gamesindustry.biz, the console has already garnered more than 10,000 pre-orders. The console will be powered by an eight-core, 1.8 GHz CPU and will have 2 GB of RAM with 16 GB of flash memory, in addition to USB and SD-card storage, per the console’s website — IntellivisionAmico.com.
The site also confirms Allard’s assertion that the Amico aims to be both affordable and accessible for all. The system will come with six pre-loaded games, and additional games will range from just $2.99 to $9.99 in price. Furthermore, games won’t feature heavy use of bad language, graphic violence, blood, or sexual content; every game on Amico is said to be rated E for Everyone or E10+. Amico is currently set to retail for around $249, according to Intellivision.
The original Intellivision console was released by Mattel in 1979.
Elsewhere in new gaming console news, Sony’s PlayStation 5 could make waves if rumors of a new method for allowing players to try out games before buying them prove true. As reported by The Inquisitr, a noted leaker has said that every game on the PlayStation store may be previewed for free via streaming play without having to download a demo.