Coleco has announced that it is walking away from the Chameleon console project after reports surfaced that the prototype shown off at the recent New York Toy Fair had a SNES Jr. inside it.
The Chameleon was supposed to usher in a new era of cartridge-based gaming, and was billed as being able to emulate pretty much every retro console from the past few decades. The team behind it originally tried to crowdfund the system as the Retro VGS, but failed to generate the cash required.
Coleco's involvement was intended to give the console a more recognisable brand name, and a fresh crowdfunding drive was expected this year - but accusations of fakery resulted in Coleco insisting that the Retro VGS team produce a working system for them to inspect. That clearly hasn't happened.
Here's Coleco's official statement on the matter, posted on its Facebook page:
Retro VGS has decided that the work that they have created is not sufficient to demonstrate at this time. Consequently, we can no longer proceed with the project and the Chameleon project will be terminated. This separation is amicable. We wish them luck in the future. We thank the gaming community for their continued support, input, vigilance and trust.
The news follows the departure of David Giltinan from the project, a key figure who insisted that Retro VGS never intended to deceive, but decided last week that he could no longer be associated with the console or the company behind it.
Mark Thomann, the owner of the Coleco brand and president of River West Brands, has also been quoted as saying that Coleco will produce a new console at some point, but obviously not with the Retro VGS team:
Our intention is genuine to come out with something unique under the Coleco brand. If that's not happening with this group, we'll be doing it with someone else. Sometimes when you have something like this happen, maybe there's a group out there that can do it, and help us introduce a better product.
Any partner we do business with has to be 100 percent transparent. If that's not the case, we're not going to go forward with any partnership, license or otherwise. A lot of this is new information to me. But we have great relationships with other companies, and we will produce new products for Coleco fans.
We've approach the Retro VGS team for comment and will update this post if we hear back.