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Blue Sky Rangers Meet the Fans, Introduce New Products at Classic Gaming Expo
Moving for the first time from Las Vegas to the Silicon Valley, the annual Classic Gaming Expo once again brought together the fans of early arcade, video and computer games with the pioneers who created them. Although tempted to still head for the weekend to Las Vegas, the Intellivision alumni finally decided on joining the Expo in San Jose.
Held at the San Jose Convention Center the weekend of August 21 and 22, visitors were treated to an expanded interactive game museum, seminars by gaming celebrities (featured speaker: Apple cofounder Steve Wozniak), dozens of booths selling collectible consoles and games, an auction of rarities, and live bands playing videogame-themed music.
In the Intellivision booth, guests could play and purchase the PlayStation 2, Xbox, PC, and Mac versions of Intellivision Lives!, the PC/Mac collection Intellivision Rocks, and the Intellivision 25 direct-to-tv unit. A listening station was available for guests to hear cuts from Intellivision in Hi-Fi, our music CD. To enhance the musical experience, the listening station included a disco ball and fog machine.
Introduced at the Expo was the GameCube version of Intellivision Lives! It was almost a no-show; the developers at Realtime Associates were still frantically debugging a prototype the day before the Expo. The working prototype arrived at the convention center via FedEx Saturday morning. This brought back memories for the Intellivision programmers, who recall all-night marathons to get games patched together for the biannual Consumer Electronics Shows in the early 1980s.
A number of GameCube owners stopped by to try out the prototype, excited that Intellivision Lives! was finally arriving for the system. The Intellivision crew was excited, too. "We received what was sort of borderline hate mail a year ago when Intellivision Lives! came out for PS2 and Xbox," said Intellivision President Keith Robinson. "A lot of GameCube owners felt left out. But Crave Entertainment, the publisher, was just unsure of the market demand. That they saw the performance of the PS2 and Xbox versions and came back to do GameCube is, I think, a testament to the popularity of Intellivision on today's consoles. A new generation is discovering how much fun these games are, and I'm glad we can extend that now to the GameCube players!"
Intellivision Lives! for GameCube will be available in stores and on our web site before Christmas.
Also introduced at the Expo was the Intellivision Arcade Machine. The high-quality arcade cabinet is decorated with artwork from classic Intellivision game boxes. The arcade is built around a PC, so most PC-based emulation programs can be used. It comes pre-loaded with Intellivision Lives! and Intellivision Rocks, and you can add your home and arcade favorites! Each machine is custom assembled by well-known arcade manufacturer Hanaho Inc. E-mail us for pricing and scheduling information. This is the ultimate for the serious Intellivision fan!
There was big news about the Intellivision 25 and Intellivision 10 direct-to-TV units: Eric Levin, spokesperson for manufacturer/distributor Techno Source, announced at the Expo that their Intellivision line had topped 1,000,000 units sold.
Further, Levin announced that the Intellivision 25 and Intellivision 10 units had been awarded the National Parenting Center 2004 Seal of Approval.
The Intellivision gang had a great time meeting the fans and collectors who stopped by the booth. There was a moment of excitement Sunday afternoon. About an hour before the show was scheduled to close, an alarm sounded in the convention center, followed by a recording that a fire had been reported and everyone should proceed to the exits.
While everyone filed out, the Intellivision crew stayed put. They suspected it was a false alarm, as there had been a false alarm in the connected hotel earlier that day. Indeed, it was a false alarm and a few minutes later the crowds were let back onto the Expo floor. The Intellivision crew was ready: they had "FIRE SALE" signs posted with special deals on most items. Thanks to the fog machine, a haze hung over the booth. The crew promised everyone that there was "only slight smoke damage..."
The crew took advantage of the situation so quickly that some in attendance half-jokingly voiced their suspicions that Intellivision had set off the alarm. Nope, it's just those classic video game reflexes.
Order Intellivision products online here >
(At left is the new "Still Blocky After All These Years" Intellivision sports jersey -- grey with mid-length navy blue sleeves)