A few months ago, a small company called RetroVGS announced they had acquired the Coleco name and were using it to introduce a brand-new, cartridge-based, 2-D retro console into the consumer market, the Coleco Chameleon. It actually uses the same shell as the ill-fated Atari Jaguar because RetroVGS bought the rights to that as well (though why, I have no idea).
Now we’re hearing the project may not be as far along as the company has been claiming, if it even exists. The Coleco Chameleon was demonstrated publicly at Toy Fair New York last month. Pictures were uploaded, and video game archivist and historian Frank Cifaldi smelled something suspicious about them. Comparing pictures, he accused the prototype Chameleon of running off the guts of an SNES Jr (the revised version of the Super NES Nintendo briefly sold in 1997).
In response, RetroVGS released a photo of a Chameleon with a clear shell so everyone could see the circuit board and chipset inside. And Frank pointed out that there was an old DVR capture card that looked exactly the same as the board in there. RetroVGS then removed the picture almost immediately. Busted!
In the aftermath of the scandal, team member David Giltinan has resigned from the company, wishing to distance himself from anything that happens after this. Coleco Holdings, which is licensing the Coleco brand to RetroVGS, has announced “If there is merit to the concerns, then we have no choice but to abandon the project.”
Plans for a Kickstarter for the Coleco Chameleon have also now been abandoned.