Remember the Retro VGS? It was a console that looked a lot like the Atari Jaguar and aimed to bring back the glory days of cartridge-based gaming. However, its crowdfunding campaign faltered and the project was effectively put on ice - although the team of industry veterans behind it vowed to find a way of bringing the concept to market.
It looks like they've found it, and with an unexpected partner. Coleco - which stands for "Connecticut Leather Company" - was founded in 1932 and became a serious player in the games industry with the launch of its 1980s console, the Colecovision. The system was more powerful than its rival, the Atari 2600, but it launched just as the games industry was about to crash. The company would cease operations in 1988, but in 2005 River West Brands re-introduced the name with licensed versions of the Sega Master System and Game Gear.
While the Coleco of today is little more than a brand name, it still carries some weight - and clearly has the cash to support such a venture.
Here's the official press release:
Video-game industry pioneer COLECO re-enters the market, partnering with Retro Video Game Systems, Inc., to introduce a new, modern-day video-game system called the COLECO Chameleon.
COLECO 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.
Chris Cardillo, a partner in COLECO said, "Mark [Thomann] and I are excited to work hand-in-hand with Retro Video Game Systems, Inc. in the launch of the COLECO Chameleon. It's ironic that a new 'retro' video-game system would actually revolutionize and revitalize the COLECO brand."
And, for the first time in nearly 20 years, the COLECO Chameleon will once again play brand new games on long-lasting, durable cartridges that can be played, traded, and collected for a lifetime. And all game cartridges will include high quality, plastic clamshell cases with illustrated instruction manuals and game developer liner notes.
Retro Video Game Systems, Inc. President Mike Kennedy adds, "The COLECO Chameleon is a love-letter to all the classic cartridge based gaming systems that came before it and we love the fact it will succeed COLECO's successful Telstar and Colecovision product lines. It will take gamers and their families back to a simpler time where games were all about great gameplay and fun factor."
The COLECO Chameleon will launch in early 2016 and will also be demonstrated at Toy Fair New York 2016, February 13-16.