Coleco – Back With a New Vision

Coleco – Back With a New Vision

Coleco Chameleon, borrowing from the past to bring the all new retro.

So the New York Toy Fair was last week and whilst there are many things that got more attention the one that will get all those nerdy hearts a flutter is the unveiling of Retro VGS and Coleco’s new console the “Coleco Chameleon”.

You may not be aware but Retro VGS had a failed Indiegogo campaign for this very console back towards the end of 2015 with an overly ambitious, almost Dr Evil-esque, campaign goal of just shy of…….. 2 million dollars! Suffice to say they came nowhere close to this total and it seemed that this cartridge based nod to the simple times of gaming would never be a reality.

Retro VGS / Coleco Chameleon

Enter Coleco.

Now, they may not be the most well known in terms of gaming history having withdrawn from the video game market altogether by 1985, but they are teaming up with Retro VGS to offer this cartridge based console with a mix of classic and new games from indie developers. The idea behind this is partly in response to the flood of DLC based games with the aim being to give a complete game from the offset that won’t require patches or updates each time you want to play it. Sounds beautiful doesn’t it?! In an age where more people are downloading games and not buying physical copies any new consoles could be less likely to appeal to collectors so the Chameleon could be a perfectly timed combination of riding the nostalgia wave but mixing it with new and exciting titles. Imagine having Super Meat Boy or Fez on an actual cartridge to add to your collection; it’d certainly look better than an empty shelf because you decided to download all your games.

There will only be a few release titles so that gamers can acquaint themselves with the system and these will more than likely be the same ones listed on the Indiegogo campaign but it is hoped that more game developers will sign up to create content for the Chameleon. It certainly does seem that this could offer developers something more for their own Kickstarter campaigns if they can offer physical copies of the cartridges as rewards for backing.

The Chameleon is going to have a number of video outputs to suit old and new televisions and 4 USB ports so players can use their own controllers and keyboards. The console will also be opened up on the Kickstarter page to give all the tech heads a look inside at what makes the system tick.

As for the campaign it is due to start on February 26th this year and it’s been confirmed that the first reward will be $135 (or £94ish to us Brits) and that will include one black Coleco Chameleon system, one Coleco Chameleon USB controller, HDMI cable, AC Adapter and the pack-in game which has yet to be announced. There’s only 1500 of the first reward so be sure to get in quick once that campaign starts!

Coleco Chameleon

Stuart Latarche

About the author | Stuart Latarche

Gamer and console collector with a real love for retro, mainly anything 8 and 16 bit. Stu is also a nerdcore hiphop and chiptune fan. Follow Stu on Twitter: @2ButtonHero

3 Comment responses

  1. Avatar
    February 20, 2016

    Not convinced at all! Apart from the fact that apparently the demo unit shown at the New York toy fair was basically a SNES Jnr circuit board inside a Jaguar shell, why should we go back to cartridges.

    No game is perfect upon release. You can’t guarantee a game will be 100% glitch free at launch. So what happens when there’s a game breaking bug on a cartridge release? Recall all the units and upgrade them all?

    Plus the console will miss out on DLC. Imagine a game is released on PS4, PC and Chameleon. After release the author creates new DLC and releases it for PS4 and PC via download. Sorry Chameleon, your cartridge based, you don’t get the free update. Worse still, oh go buy the new cartridge with the new updated version.

    I can’t see how this can work at all.


  2. Avatar
    February 19, 2016

    Interesting, I wonder how they are going to make it compatible with all the different types of usb controllers / mice / keyboards etc


    • Avatar
      February 19, 2016

      From what I’ve heard the controller that comes with it is essentially a 3rd party Wii Pro Controller but in terms of using your own ones I’ve not seen/heard how they’ll be made compatible. Could well be explained when they post the kickstarter campaign as it will have an opened up console to show the inner workings of it.


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