Flashback: Coleco & the Era of Game Cartridges

The original ColecoVision console (left) and the forthcoming Coleco Chameleon.

If you lived through (and survived) the decade of hair bands (aka the Eighties), you probably remember videogame stalwarts Atari, Nintendo, and Coleco and may have spent countless hours playing now-classic games like Donkey Kong and Pac-Man.

Recalling those early days, Retro VGS demonstrated the Coleco Chameleon console at New York’s Toy Fair, which ended yesterday, and announced that it is launching a Kickstarter campaign on Friday, February 26 to fund the product, which will be initially offered for $135.

From the Toyland blog:

The brand new video game console, Coleco Chameleon, made its public debut at the New York Toy Fair this weekend. Although the system spent most of the convention behind a glass enclosure, it easily ran through short demoes of old classic games and new retro-style games created by indie developers.’

The Coleco Chameleon—which was announced late last year—promises to take a stand against the proliferate downloadable content (DLC) racket by shipping non-upgradeable cartridge games just like systems from the 1980s and 1990s…

For the uninitiated, the Coleco Chameleon was originally announced under the name Retro VGS in early 2015 after the creators acquired the originally tooling kit from the legendary 1990s gaming system, the Atari Jaguar. The Retro VGS project was later cancelled due to crowdfunding issues and complications that occurred while building the initial prototype. Oddly enough, the short delay actually helped Retro VGS in the long run. Following its failed IndieGoGo campaign, the team was able close a licensing deal with the classic 1980s gaming company Coleco, which is best known for popularizing games like Donkey Kong and Pac-Man. Now, with the Coleco brand and the Atari Jaguar console casting, Retro VGS has built something that truly lives up to its retro roots—and they expect a lot of people to buy one.

The Coleco Chameleon will sell newly made cartridges for old classic games, many of which were never released in the United Sates, in addition to producing cartridges for brand new games created by indie developers...

The system will also include 4 USB slots in the front of the machine, which lets people plug in their own USB controllers to play games. Players can also use a USB slot to plug in a keyboard—something you still can’t do on most modern systems. There’s also an official Coleco Chameleon controller that ships with every console…

The Coleco Chameleon comes out of the box with a bunch of different video outputs including HDMI, RCA, and 9-pin Mini-DIN. That means you can basically plug this system into any popular television—whether it was built decades ago or came off the rack this year.

Read Toyland’s full report here.

For more information on the Coleco Chameleon, visit RetroVGS.com.

Warrior24_7's picture

How are Atari, Nintendo, and Chucky Cheese connected?

gunhed's picture

I still remember as a kid going into the city on a saturday to buy this on it's first day of sale at 9am (stores open at 9am in Australia). True arcade quality at home ! It was the longest train ride home ever. Still have the console with a few dozen games although a connection other than RF may do wonders for the on screen graphics.