News – COLECO Returns with the COLECO Chameleon

Well I certainly didn’t see this one coming. The company we knew as COLECO may have closed it’s doors back in 1988, but the name and its memories live on. However, not satisfied with that alone, COLECO is looking to make its video game comeback by returning to these happy memories of the past. Not only that, but this revival may also spark a second chance for another team attempting to return to the cartridge days of gaming.

You may remember earlier in the year we reported on both the announcement, and the subsequent failure of the IndiGoGo campaign for the Retro VGS. Modelled on the 64-bit Atari Jaguar, the Retro VGS planned to create a brand new cartridge based retro platform. A console that was both modern but made in the spirit of the past, and one that would offer brand new cartridge based games.

A versatile new video game system that serves as a modern day take on the classic game console.

Retro VGS
The COLECO Chameleon in its original guise, the Retro VGS.

Unfortunately, the Retro VGS’ IndieGoGo campaign didn’t really go as originally planned, with Retro Video Game Systems cancelling the project after only 10 days when it seemed highly unlikely they would hit their original goal. However, at the closure of the IndieGoGo campaign, Retro Video Game Systems’ Mike Kennedy vowed that this wasn’t the last we’d seen of the Retro VGS, and that the console would return.

Few though could have foreseen that it would be as the fittingly named COLECO Chameleon. Nevertheless, whilst the name and branding may be different, the console itself is actually planned to be the same. In fact, COLECO are just as on board with the console’s aim of returning gamers to the classic days of gaming, just as much as Retro VGS are.

COLECO Chameon
The newly announced COLECO Chameleon.

This was reiterated in a statement by Mike Kennedy taken from the press release announcing the COLECO Chameleon:

The COLECO Chameleon is a love-letter to all the classic cartridge based gaming systems that came before it.  We love the fact it will succeed COLECO’s successful Telstar and Colecovision product lines and we are working hard to live up to the standards set by the “original” COLCEO that many of us grew up with.  COLECO Chameleon will take gamers and their families back to a simpler time where games were all about nothing but great gameplay and fun factor.

Beyond this, the press release went on to further reassure everyone that the vision for the console was still exactly the same. In fact, not only did the press release cement the console’s aim of supporting brand new 8, 16, and 32-bit cartridges, it also went on to reconfirm the pledge that Mike Kennedy had made at the close of the failed IndieGoGo campaign. One in which he stated that the console will faithfully support and play classic cartridges from the past.

ColecoVision
The fondly remembered ColecoVision, Coleco’s last home console.

Atari, COLECO and something that hopes to be both retro and new at the same time, all live on through the COLECO Chameleon. The press release has stated that the system aims to be released sometime this year, and a demonstration of the console will be shown at the New York Toy Fair next month. Let’s hope that thanks to this new partnership with the classic brand COLECO, we finally get to see this promised cartridge-based console for the 21st Century. Whilst so many are looking forward for inspiration, it’s nice to see that Retro VGS, COLECO, and many others, are also taking inspiration from gaming’s past when looking towards the future.

Simon Aubrey Drake

A lifelong gamer with a fanatical love of all things Nintendo and Japan. So much so that I've written a thesis on one and lived in the other. Currently on a quest to catch every last Pokémon. Follow me on twitter via @DudeXChill or @RingsandCoins.

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