So here’s an end-of-year surprise for you all: the Coleco Chameleon will be launching in 2016, heralding the brand’s return to console hardware production 30 years after discontinuing its ColecoVision and Adam hardware.
The Coleco Chameleon is the new name for the Retro VGS, a hardware project which failed to raise sufficient backing during its crowdfunding campaign earlier this year. According to the latest press release, the Chameleon “is a versatile new video-game system that serves as a modern day take on the classic game console and will accurately play classic games from the past. The COLECO Chameleon also has the ability play brand-new games in the 8-, 16- and 32-bit styles, a growing and popular genre in today’s game scape.”
This tallies with the previous goal of the format, which was to make retro-styled new games available on cartridges. During the previous crowdfunding campaign, there had been talk that the machine would be able to run classic games via adapters – the press release seems to suggest that this option is still on the table. As before, the machine will feature no networking options or mass storage, so as to avoid the patching culture and loose ownership of games on modern consoles. Likewise, it will still utilise the Atari Jaguar’s outer shell.
With Coleco’s backing secured, the machine now known as the Chameleon seems to be headed towards a second crowdfunding attempt – this time via Kickstarter, rather than Indiegogo. A public showing is scheduled for the New York Toy Fair in February 2016, with a launch to follow in “early 2016” – though naturally, that’s contingent on the success of the crowdfunding campaign. We’ll bring you more news as we get it.