Saturday, October 23rd, 2021

Intellivision Amico takes a unique approach to physical media and digital ownership

Image: Intellivision friends

Intellivision Amiko is a game console focused on “family-friendly” content (age limit under 10 years old), reminiscent of the Wii and Wii U concepts, and is a rather interesting new system heading to the market. However, it also has problems. There were online issues, controversies over the people involved in the project, and multiple delays to the hardware. In a summer interview you can read here, we addressed quite a few of these issues.

Currently, the system does not have a fixed release date after multiple delays, but it does have a boxed set of limited collectors. For saleYes, it’s pretty weird to sell a bundle of games before the hardware hits the market. Limited to 50,000 units, there are a total of eight games, divided into two volumes: an all-in-one bundle for $ 149.99 or four games for $ 79.99. The games are, in a sense, maximizing at $ 20 each, but the inflexibility of the bundles indicates that they are targeted only to enthusiasts and collectors.

Quite interesting is the details of how the physical media in the system works. It has long been common knowledge that Amico supports RFID (Radio Frequency Identification). This is a commonly used technology for tracking and monitoring goods. Game cards (designed to look like the original Intellivision media) do not act as physical media such as discs and cartridges. Instead, when you scan on your system, it will be downloaded and linked to your system.

In a very modern approach, scanning a card will result in an NFT (Non-Fungible Token) on the system and the digital copy will be managed on the blockchain. Like cryptocurrencies and NFT sales you’re definitely reading, you can probably “own” that digital copy and transfer it. Therefore, in theory, a game card can be used on multiple systems, and the card transfers ownership to the system in which it is used. The advantage quoted is that it’s easier to navigate downloads through this card than the digital purchases you would normally make at an e-shop, PSN, or Xbox store.

It’s very 2021. But it makes us think about some interesting topics about download games and the limitations they have. Some games only need to be downloaded, but of course, once you’re done, you can’t lend or offer them to friends or family as you would with a cartridge. Downloading in stores like e-shops is actually a license, basically a license. lease It’s a game, so it’s always a sticking point. The Amico solution is an interesting view of the idea of ​​owning a “download” of the game, even if it’s a long way to see this kind of approach at the mainstream level of Nintendo, Sony, or Microsoft.

It should also be mentioned that NFTs and blockchain technologies have a variety of criticisms and concerns, from environmental impacts to lack of general oversight and regulation. Products that fully incorporate that technology face similar problems.

Still, if Amico is something, it’s a little IndividualDespite the problematic route to the market.