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Intellivision Lives: Tommy Tallarico Will Relaunch 1980s Console (venturebeat.com) 115

craters writes: A wave of nostalgia has hit gamers, with Nintendo and Atari taking advantage with launches, both recent and pending, of older game consoles. Now they'll have a new competitor with Intellivision Entertainment. Originally released in 1980, the Intellivision console and its successors sold millions of units over three decades. The new Intellivision system (name TBA) will carry on the company tradition of "firsts" with its new concept, design and approach to gaming. The original Intellivision system generated many "firsts" in the video game industry including the first 16-bit gaming machine, the first gaming console to offer digital distribution, the first to bring speech/voice to games, the first to license professional sports leagues and organizations and the first to be a dedicated game console and home computer.
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Intellivision Lives: Tommy Tallarico Will Relaunch 1980s Console

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  • I have no comment. I just remember that was one of the available titles

  • I am sick of all this Nostalgia stuff.
    To go back to remember the good old days, where things were better. They seemed better because you didn't need to work for a living, the pressures of life wern't that hard, and probably didn't have your hormones kick in to make your lives feel weird.

    During this time an Atari or Intellivision was amazing, and so cool in the eyes of a kid. Today it would be an unreliable box, with crappy graphics, and sub-par games that you wouldn't want to play for free on your phone.

    • by youngone ( 975102 ) on Tuesday May 29, 2018 @04:35PM (#56695376)

      I am sick of all this Nostalgia stuff.

      I don't get it either. Those most likely to want something like this are probably exactly the same people who are quite capable of setting up one of the many emulators available, then downloading any number of very good ROMs to get their BurgerTime fix.

      The last time I tried it on one of the many Raspberry Pis I have lying about it took an hour or so and we had a nice afternoon fooling about.

      Certainly not something I would spend any money on though.

      • by jwhyche ( 6192 )

        I am sick of all this Nostalgia stuff.

        I go through a nostalgia phase about every two years for something. I find that keeping a good stock of emulators on hand usually cures that. Last one was a few weeks ago after watching Ready, Player One. I was over come with a strange desire to play Adventure on the 2600. I fired it up on a emulator less than 5 minutes later my nostalgia was cured.

        • by Quirkz ( 1206400 )

          Yep, same here. I find with Atari games, I probably only play each individual game once, and I'm done. On a nostalgic binge I might play a few dozen, for an hour or two total, but beyond that there's no joy in it.

          NES games--well, actually, it's about the same. They're longer, but after playing through once, I'm not going to want to do it again for another year or two. Save states are a nice perk, making it a bit easier to work your way all the way through the game without the running out of lives nonsense.

          • by jwhyche ( 6192 )

            I did note something interesting while playing Adventure. That is probably why I played the games for five minutes.

            After a few minutes of play I noted how my brain translated the muscle memory from, almost 40 years ago, to a different control system. I've not play Adventure in 4 decades, and then it was with a joystick. I played it through with keyboard arrow keys this time. After a few minutes of game play my brain translated the old joystick muscle memory to fit the arrow keys. I was gliding throu

      • by kackle ( 910159 )
        A) Downloading ROMs is illegal and arguably unethical.

        B) Money I got, time I don't.
        • I have no ethical problem downloading and playing a 30 year old ROM. It's not like I have the option of paying for any of these old games.
          It is known as abandonware and I could not care less if it is illegal. br. I am very glad you have more money than time Mr. 1%. Personally I get pleasure from messing about with technology, it used to be a common feature of Slashdot users, but I guess things have changed.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Well see, you miss the point... For those of us *WITH* nostolgia, those games are still fun and old technology is still cool.

    • by YuppieScum ( 1096 ) on Tuesday May 29, 2018 @04:44PM (#56695446) Journal
      Yeah, nostalgia's not as good as it used to be...
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      During this time an Atari or Intellivision was amazing, and so cool in the eyes of a kid. Today it would be an unreliable box, with crappy graphics, and sub-par games that you wouldn't want to play for free on your phone. But as a kid one year would seem like forever, so you would had endless fun on this device until it broke down.

      You know, for those of us who never developed the preternatural fast twitch reflexes for modern games, and probably those people who have kids .. these games represent just simple

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I can see the reasoning behind the NES and SNES Classics: appeal to the folks who played them when they were kids and are, today, probably around 30; old enough to appreciate the nostalgia, young enough to have the cash and interest in plugging in yet another console.

      The kids who would have enjoyed the Intellivision (and Atari) during its hey-day would be in their late-40s/early-50s by now, though: old enough to remember how fun they were when there was nothing better, but old enough to not be stupid enough

      • by Quirkz ( 1206400 )

        Atari's fandom probably goes down to the low 40's, or even late 30's, for the kids that grew up with one in the house or picked up one for cheap as the market collapsed.

        But yes, there's rarely more than few minutes of staying power to any game from that era. I suppose you could milk some two-player games for a bit, if you're both drunk and/or evenly matched.

    • sign... good times. good times.
    • Remember the good old days when nostalgia was better, like The Wonder Years.

    • Um, most of your post tells us why people like nostalgia. Light reminiscing with an old friend & beer is more fun, console or not, imo.
    • by Xest ( 935314 )

      I downloaded the original Quake again the other day, sorry but it's still more playable than any modern FPS. It plays faster, the audio and effects are more enjoyable, the physics more pleasing.

      The fact is, some old stuff really is simply just better. This is why Minecraft did well - because it showed you don't need amazing super-HD graphics if you have great gameplay with pleasing effects and sounds. As such, if you have an old game that got that right, it doesn't matter that the graphics aren't amazing, b

  • by realmolo ( 574068 ) on Tuesday May 29, 2018 @04:30PM (#56695338)

    I know where he is coming from. Wouldn't it be cool to have a cheap, 2D-focused console that had all kinds of old-school games for it?

    Yes, it would. But who is going to buy it? EVERY console can play those games. Every phone can play those games.

    Even if it sells for $30, there is no "killer app" for such a thing, and there never will be, because any game that would run on this thing will run on EVERYTHING else, and "everything else" is a much bigger market. So why bother making it for this system at all?

    But like I said, it's a neat idea, and I wish we lived in a world where something like this could work. But it wont'.

    • by DontBeAMoran ( 4843879 ) on Tuesday May 29, 2018 @04:57PM (#56695524)

      That's also why Nintendo's retro consoles did not sell at all.

      Oh wait.

      • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

        Proper controllers, no need to visit dodgy ROM download sites, everything just works... It's no wonder they are selling well.

        Everyone is getting in on it now. Sega has some, lots of Chinese manufacturers make them... I read that SNK might do another Neo Geo too. Atari has something coming out, there is a ZX Spectrum box...

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Yes, it would. But who is going to buy it? EVERY console can play those games. Every phone can play those games.

      I don't have a smart phone, because I don't want one.

      I don't have a modern console because absolutely none of the online features appeal to me, and I don't trust the companies who make them with an internet connection. Because they'll spy on you, monetize you, and strip out features as they see fit.

      I know people who have children, who would be far happier to give them something like the $60 NES C [businessinsider.com]

    • My kids just bought an N64 and a bunch of controllers and games off eBay to replace the one that their mom insisted they "donate" to a poor family 8 or 9 years ago. Basically, the games now cost as much or more than they did when new.

  • As long as it's not another Raspberry Pi in a retro case. If I wanted to run an emulator I'll download one for free and run it on my PC. Retro projects done right can be a source of joy and wonder. However, so many of them seem to want the cache' of retro's feel without being more than a skin-deep plastic case. FPGAs are welcome, though, as long as they keep some backwards compatibility. Anyone who thinks that is "emulation" needs to study how FPGAs work (ie.. by simulating the original components). Most of
    • I recently picked up an FPGA-based SNES clone. I haven't regretted it.

      I don't think it has any value as an archival medium, since it still relies on the original cartridges and once the company that makes goes away, so does their FPGA code. (Probably. They could open source it, but who knows.) For that, we have projects like bsnes/higan. (Technically an emulator, but a cycle-accurate emulator that is fully open source.)

  • by Anonymous Coward

    If I recall correctly, the original could not produce the "sp" sound. It always announced the startup of Space Spartans as "Ace Artans"

    • The new device will be infinitely better, featuring the latest Yanny/Laurel and Brainstorm/Green Needle technologies ;)

    • I had the Intellivision 2 with the voice module, but Space Spartans was the one game it simply wouldn't play. Tried three or four different cartridges but had the same black screen of death with each. That was okay, though, because the voices on B-17 Bomber more than made up for it.
    • IT WON'T BE EEE ZEE.

    • I had the "B-17 Bomber" cartridge back in the day. The voice synthesis could most certainly produce the "s" in "Seventeen".

      It might have just been a glitch in Space Spartans.

  • by Rick Schumann ( 4662797 ) on Tuesday May 29, 2018 @04:47PM (#56695458) Journal
    Unlike someone else who commented [slashdot.org] I don't think 'nostalgia' is such a bad thing. Why? Because it seems that 'games' aren't so much about 'games' anymore, they're about how much money they can leech out of your wallet. [slashdot.org] I'm sure many more people than anyone realizes just wants to play a simple, non-online, non-massive-multiplayer game for fun, not make a second career out of it because it's so involved and complex; newer isn't always better, and even if newer is better it doesn't mean older and simpler things all have to be thrown in the trash and forgotten, they still have value. So you get these 'classic' game packages, no cartridges required, and unlike the old hardware it just works. Plug it into your TV and play it, no huge investment of time or money required, don't need to tie up your phone or computer with it, etc.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      I'm sure many more people than anyone realizes just wants to play a simple, non-online, non-massive-multiplayer game for fun, not make a second career out of it because it's so involved and complex...

      <raises hand>
      Even if I cared for online gaming -- I don't -- I'm far enough in the sticks that I don't have the bandwidth to accommodate it. And as OP highlights, I have zero interest in committing a huge chunk of my life to gaming. Non-connected, single-player casual gaming holds some appeal. Optional LA

    • by Ranbot ( 2648297 )

      ...I don't think 'nostalgia' is such a bad thing. Why? Because it seems that 'games' aren't so much about 'games' anymore, they're about how much money they can leech out of your wallet..... So you get these 'classic' game packages, no cartridges required, and unlike the old hardware it just works. Plug it into your TV and play it, no huge investment of time or money required, don't need to tie up your phone or computer with it, etc.

      First, I agree that nostalgia is not necessarily a bad thing. I have indulged in my nostalgia at times... no shame. However, with all due respect I think you have some cognitive dissonance here. You say new games are "about how much money they can leech out of your wallet," but you support buying a 'classic' game package [i.e. a new product] because it doesn't tie up your phone or computer, which are products you already invested money in. These are both leeching money from consumers, just in different way

  • What made the Intellivision unique was the numpad controller with slide-in plastic overlays. Hard to reproduce that in an emulator

    As a kid I spent more hours on my Intellivision with the voice box than my PS3 and PS4 combined.

    B-E-E-E S-E-V-E-N-T-E-E-E-E-E-N B-O-M-M-M-B-B-B-B-B-E-R-R-R-R.....

    • Unless, since it's going to be a custom console, they'll be able to use the dirt-cheap TFT LCDs with touchscreens and built-in memory.

      So you start a game and its overlay appears on the controllers. Since the touch areas are always fixed squares in a 3x4 grid the only hard part is displaying the overlays when the game loads.

    • I just read that in the original voice. Thanks.
    • by dissy ( 172727 )

      What made the Intellivision unique was the numpad controller with slide-in plastic overlays. Hard to reproduce that in an emulator
      As a kid I spent more hours on my Intellivision with the voice box than my PS3 and PS4 combined.

      Actually raphnet has an adapter to use Intellivision controllers with a PC via USB, was $20 I think.
      It of course mapped the keypad part to HID events, and there are places to get and print off the overlays. The only hard to source part might be an actual controller if you don't have a system still hanging around.

      If you'd like the hard DIY version, the DB9 matrix pinout they used its out there to read the controllers directly

      I'd even go so far to say the intellivision controllers were the most innovative at

      • And without the finger-destroying side buttons.

      • by narcc ( 412956 )

        It's not that easy even if you have one. Those controllers were hard-wired. It might not be a big deal to you or me, but it's not a project the average person is going to want to take on.

        It would be better if something like this came with its own reproduction controller.

  • The original console was a clunky, difficult machine that required you to press buttons on controllers covered by templates that you got with the game. It was annoying. The games were pretty awesome but the platform just never really worked.
    • Disagree, the controller was fantastic except for the side buttons. Those fuckers hurt. The shape was awkward, but manageable for my hands at the time. A new ergonomic controller would be great. Replacing the old main buttons with something more tactile would be good.

      A disc pad on the left and a crackberry-esque set of buttons on the right, triggers to replace side buttons, now we're talking

      • I'm glad I'm not the only one who hated those side buttons.

        As for your idea, that'd be an interesting controller setup and probably a lot more usable than the original ones.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      The original console was a clunky, difficult machine that required you to press buttons on controllers covered by templates that you got with the game

      Ohhh ... that video game ... a controller somewhere between a telephone, the original pong, and a video editing suite.

      I had been trying to remember which one it was.

      But, you know, it's probably not any worse than destroying between your thumb and forefinger with the Atari controller on that ... Olympic game? Whatever the hell it was, you had to rapidly oscill

  • by VicVegas ( 990077 ) on Tuesday May 29, 2018 @05:18PM (#56695662) Homepage
    Magnavox Odyssey 2 came out in 1978 and offered computer programming modules, wiping out the Intellivision claim of "first to be a dedicated game console and home computer."
    • by kackle ( 910159 )

      Magnavox Odyssey 2 came out in 1978 and offered computer programming modules, wiping out the Intellivision claim of "first to be a dedicated game console and home computer."

      Which may be the reason I'm sitting here as a firmware engineer today.

      Also, I can't find the exact dates with a quick Googling, but the O2's voice module supposedly came out in 1982 as well.

  • So now a whole new generation will know the pain that comes from mashing that disc (especially on Lock-n-Chase). -Better yet, a new after market opportunity for the peel-&-stick joystick to avoid the pain. Jump those alligators kids!
    • Oh man... Lock-n-Chase. Memories.

      Here's some more memories:
      - Astrosmash
      - Night Stalker
      - Dungeons & Dragons
      - Sub Hunt
      - Bump'n Jump

  • My very first video game at home.

    By the time my parents got me an NES I had nearly every game for the Intellivision II. The games were fantastic, but those controllers were pretty woof.

  • one of these [amazon.com]
    • It's really shitty quality. I've bought 2, one for the old man and grand kiddies, another for me. The overlays are legit, but the buttons are poor quality and can trigger a reset or other unintended action. I'm guessing the traces are too close together or some other kind of bleed over during button presses. It also doesn't hook well to modern tvs, having ancient resolution that tvs just cant play. The games themselves are solid, exactly as I remembered. The old man and I re-ignited a 40 year old Armor Batt

  • by NormalVisual ( 565491 ) on Tuesday May 29, 2018 @05:55PM (#56695846)

    Bring back the Vectrex. Mine still works just fine (as does my 2600), and there was *nothing* like it in the home gaming scene, before or since. It'd be horribly expensive to produce now, but I think the vector graphics would interest some folks that find the 2600, Intellivision, etc. rather pedestrian, particularly if they could offer higher resolution and a color CRT with games that could take advantage of it.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      color CRT

      I don't know of anyone who makes CRT tubes in bulk anymore, anywhere in the world.
      The electron guns are insanely expensive to make, the special glass is insanely expensive to make and mold, winding and troubleshooting each flyback was essentially art not to mention a ton of other problems.
      You'd be looking at $1000+ EACH TUBE if you could find anyone who still has the equipment.

      • I did say it would be expensive, but CRTs are still readily available from a number of manufacturers. Also, vector scan displays don't have a flyback transformer.

  • b-52 bomber!

  • by argStyopa ( 232550 ) on Tuesday May 29, 2018 @08:55PM (#56696554) Journal

    ...I'll just tell you now that Intellivision SUCKED.

    I never had any of the game systems - Atari, Colecovision, Intellivision, etc but played them incessantly at friends houses.

    And NOBODY wanted to go over any play Kelly's intellivision. Nobody. The controllers sucked so bad.

    • Note to mods: this is "informative", not "funny".

      All the claims about being the first everything are a bit suspect, too. I'm pretty sure the TI-994a beat them to voice in video games.

  • Will I be able to play "B-17 BALLLLLMER" again?

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