The first generation of video game consoles consisted of three machines: the Atari 2600, the Mattel Intellivision, and eventually the Colecovision, which due to its late arrival was not able to grab quite as big a userbase before the Video Game Crash Of ’83. Produced by the Connecticut Leather Company (CoLeCo for short), the Colecovision was most notable for bringing the first home console port of Donkey Kong to consumers.
Now what’s this….in the age of loud, powerhouse AAA shooters, a new Coleco console? Yes, it’s the Coleco Chameleon, a deliberately retro machine that promises to take gaming back to basics.
The COLECO Chameleon aims to bring [classic] experiences back to the modern age by creating a platform that treats video games as more than just software and eliminates some of the biggest frustrations with modern day gaming:
Durable, long-lasting physical cartridges. As long as you have the cartridge, you have the game!
High-quality boxes, instruction manuals, and other supplemental materials that make each title a collector’s item worthy of a space on your shelf.
No lengthy system updates: just plug in your cartridge and start playing!
These are things I miss about gaming, sure enough. But might this approach be TOO retro to gain critical mainstream attention?
Coleco says the Chameleon can play any classic 8-bit or 16-bit cartridge…they are fuzzy with the details on this, but we’re presuming it works the same way the Retron console does by uploading the ROM from the cart and running it on an emulator. Coleco is also promising new games in the classic retro style, that will come on cartridges. The console runs on the Android OS.
Take note that the original Coleco corporation no longer exists; it went bankrupt following the rollout of the Coleco ADAM, their attempt at an 80’s home computer that bombed (it’s what Gil was trying to sell to Springfield Elementary in that Simpsons episode). This release is from a smaller company, Retro Video Game Systems, that bought the use of the Coleco name.
Just announced this week, the Chameleon is scheduled to start appearing in stores later next year, and will make its first public appearance at the 2016 New York Toy Fair.