Coleco aims for a return to the console market with the cartridge-based Chameleon

By midian182 ยท 13 replies
Dec 18, 2015
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  1. Gamers of a certain age may be familiar with the name Coleco. The American firm started out as the Connecticut Leather Company in 1932 and went on to make some of the earliest video game consoles: The Telstar series of consoles from the late seventies, and the ColecoVision from the eighties. Now, the company is making a return to gaming with the Coleco Chameleon, a retro-style console that will use cartridges.

    Coleco was declared bankrupt in 1988; partly because of the video game crash of 1983, and also due to the public’s waning fondness for Coleco’s once successful Cabbage Patch Kids dolls. It reformed in 2005, and one year later released the Coleco Sonic, a handheld console with 20 built-in games.

    Coleco’s been pretty quiet since the Sonic, but it has just announced a partnership with Retro Video Game Systems to produce the Chameleon, which it plans to launch next year. Coleco says the console will "accurately play compilations of favorite games from the past" as well as "play brand-new games in the 8, 16, and 32-bit styles."

    The big draw for nostalgia fans is the prospect of returning to game cartridges. "All game cartridges will include high quality, plastic clamshell cases with illustrated instruction manuals and game developer liner notes," the company says.

    Retro VGS launched a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo earlier this year in an attempt to raise $2 million for a similar retro console. It ultimately raised just over $80,000, but the project attracted the attention of Coleco. According to Retro Gamer, the new machine is a redesigned and rebranded version of the original, and will be moving to a Kickstarter campaign at some point, though we don’t know what the funding target will be this time.

    Mike Kennedy, the founder of Retro VGS and the man behind retro games auction website GameGravel, called the Chameleon “a love-letter to all the classic cartridge based gaming systems that came before it." He says the console will transport players to "a simpler time where games were all about great gameplay and fun."

    Coleco will be showing off the console for the first time at the New York Toy Fair in February.

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  2. Mandark

    Mandark TS Booster Posts: 76   +22

    I don't think this is going to go so well, if you know what I mean...
  3. Halcyonnn

    Halcyonnn TS Rookie

    This thing looks an awful lot like the Atari Jaguar.
  4. ....or I could just load an emulator on my pc to play on the great oldies. I guess some could do the exact same thing on their phones.
  5. Joe Seijo

    Joe Seijo TS Rookie Posts: 21   +6

    I always wanted a Colecovision. The good ole days. God I miss the 70's and 80's. Two awesome decades to be a kid!!!
    Duckeenie likes this.
  6. Soupmanson

    Soupmanson TS Rookie

    Yeah, at first glance, that looks just like an Atari Jaguar.........
  7. robb213

    robb213 TS Maniac Posts: 330   +100

    Never even knew they released something in '05.

    I was thinking I may pay attention to this if by some miracle a GoldenEye64 remake/repro would happen, but I seriously doubt that.
  8. Squid Surprise

    Squid Surprise TS Evangelist Posts: 1,579   +719

    Just pickup a Nintendo 64 and get some games.... Way cheaper.... Or go PS1, Sega, etc.... Why do we need a NEW obsolete gaming system?!?
  9. Timonius

    Timonius TS Evangelist Posts: 647   +58

    I must have been in a coma these past few months. April 1st already?
  10. thelatestmodel

    thelatestmodel TS Booster Posts: 119   +44

    I wish them the best of luck. It's been a very messy journey up to this point and I'm still not sure if their approach is the right one, but I'll watch the release with interest.
  11. Thrackerzod

    Thrackerzod TS Enthusiast Posts: 40   +30

    Those Jaguar molds do get around don't they? I remember years ago some company was using them to make dental equipment.
  12. Emexrulsier

    Emexrulsier TS Evangelist Posts: 574   +72

    It could be they are working together on the project?. In the 80s I had a Coleco vision that connected to an Atari 2600 module. Not sure if Atari authorised the devise but it allowed you to play 2600 games on the coleco.
  13. Tom Gilling

    Tom Gilling TS Rookie

    That really is the Atari Jaguar.
  14. DAOWAce

    DAOWAce TS Booster Posts: 268   +39

    And here goes another niche collectors item for people who grew up with them.. I'm interested, but not interested in paying out the nose for it.

    I doubt it will see much success otherwise; the world's gone digital for a reason.

    FWIW, I still have my ColecoVision.

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