Gaming History 101

Know Your Roots

Posts Tagged ‘chameleon

Wrapping up the Coleco Chameleon and My Eventual Anger

with 2 comments


The story is basically finished, the seemingly adaptable Coleco Chameleon, known formerly as the Retro VGS, is no more.  We’ve already covered the topic quite a bit here, so I’ll just briefly mention that you can read about the history and my opinions of the console here, Jam and I took the concepts of the console and historically dissected them in a podcast here, and as of a press release yesterday on Engadget Coleco has pulled its name from the console.  The reason this is the end of the road for the console has really little to do with Coleco pulling its name and rather why the company chose to do so.

As allegations were being thrown out left and right that the 2016 Toy Fair console showed off was nothing more than an SNES Jr. in an Atari Jaguar shell and the later revealed prototype model was proven to be a PCI capture card in a Jaguar shell, Coleco rightfully wanted proof that this device prototype actually existed.  Not only did Coleco want to know, but Kickstarter flat out requires that you have a working prototype before you can post on the fundraising site these days.  Coleco was fair in asking Retro VGS, the company behind the hardware, to present it a working prototype – as the company had previously contested they had – in order to keep the Coleco name.  Yesterday marked the one week deadline and Coleco pulled the name because it still had yet to see a working prototype.  That is the smoking gun.  Not that it matters, but Atari has also followed-up to announce that they never had an agreement with Kennedy, Retro VGS, or the Chameleon to ever put any Atari games on the console either (source is in the same Engadget article above).

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Fred Rojas

March 9, 2016 at 11:00 am

Podcast: Introducing the Homer!

with 2 comments


The Coleco Chameleon has had a long, hard journey.  Starting out as the Retro VGS and a failed IndieGoGo, the company eventually repurposed and rebranded the console as the Coleco Chameleon (yes, that Coleco).  In this episode Fred and Jam get into what the Chameleon is, why it’s controversial, and why its Kickstarter was delayed.  The majority of the show is then spent talking about what the Chameleon is attempting to do and how viable that is in today’s gamespace.

Download this episode (right click and save)

Subscribe: RSS iTunes Google Podbean

Written by Fred Rojas

March 2, 2016 at 11:00 am

Posted in podcast

Tagged with , ,

Let’s Talk About the Coleco Chameleon

leave a comment »


This past weekend at the Toy Fair 2016, Coleco (yes the Connecticut Leather Company that was also responsible for the ColecoVision in 1982) announced the Coleco Chameleon.  If that shell in the top image looks familiar it’s for several reasons.  You may have noticed it’s a re-purposed Atari Jaguar shell, which the manufacturer has legally acquired.  You may also seem to remember something that looks like it in the past, which is the Retro VGS console that is the exact same item.  Basically the Coleco Chameleon is a failed project from late last year that has been brought back to life in a re-branding attempt that coincides with a Chicago-based firm, River West Brands, to bring back the Coleco name.  While the retro gamer in me likes the heart behind it – and trust me, having met and spoken with Retro VGS president Mike Kennedy, his love is legit – the Coleco Chameleon is a merging of nostalgic minds who won’t let go of the past in conjunction with money-hungry corporations looking to make a quick buck off people like us.  I haven’t seen anyone cover the actual grassroots concept of the the idea behind the Retro VGS/Coleco Chameleon with any degree of actual fact checking, true helpful information, or even a hint as to what this could be.  Even my beloved CNET let me down with this lackluster hype piece from earlier this week (and it’s from my favorite writer, Jeff Bakalar, whom I loved pre-Beastcast).  Let’s take a good long look at the Coleco Chameleon, it’s trek to this point, and determine if there’s any reason you should care that on February 26 the Kickstarter gives you the opportunity at one.   (NOTE: There is an 02/22/2016 update to this article that appears at the bottom.)

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Fred Rojas

February 18, 2016 at 4:55 pm