Gaming

RETRO VGS resurrected as the Coleco Chameleon [UPDATED]

[UPDATE] Engadget reports that the Coleco Chameleon has picked up the rights to the Atari 2600 library, adding another 300 possible games to run on the platform.

Retro console... take two.

Retro console… take two.

The bones of the failed RETRO VGS console were resurrected with fervor this week at the New York Toy Fair with revised hardware, new branding and more importantly what appears to be a working system.

Announced late last year, the Coleco Chameleon is a serious rethink of the original console that addresses the biggest obstacle the RETRO VGS faced in the eyes of gamers; that it was being priced way too high and in case of some limited edition items approaching an Xbox One or PlayStation 4. With an aim now to get its price to sub $200US (with intent to be closer to $150) it will hopefully reignite the spark that died out so quickly in October last year.

Looking at the press photos, it’s already clear on the console’s ex-Jaguar casing that there’s been sacrifices with the Atari style 9-pin connectors at the front being dropped in favour of four USB plugs.

The rear of the unit is a similar story with the expansion port gone and the remaining connectors for audio/video more neatly spaced apart. What has been dropped from the innards has not been revealed yet but indications are much has changed with the team aiming for a simpler product.

There is a bigger intent this time to bring in the retro gaming audience with the announcement of “multicart” titles for classic platforms such as the ColecoVision and Intellivision that will also include USB versions of their respective controllers. Game bundles are being discussed for the console’s Kickstarter that will focus on genres (beat-em-up, platform, RPG) that will hopefully appeal to the market they are aiming at. Future capabilities are still being discussed (such as cartridge adapters) but not at the detriment of meeting the base goals of the console.

There’s a great article here from Ars Technica that goes into detail about the past dramas and the changes made by RETRO VGS founders Mike Kennedy and Steve Woita to get the project back on track.

A Kickstarter with hopefully a much more humble goal amount is scheduled to begin on the 26th of February. Announcements on the team’s Facebook page are already detailing the rewards on offer for backers with $135US being the entry point for early bird (first 1500) backers.

There’s already feedback on the interwebs suggesting the demo hardware was not indicative of the final specs, even going so far as suggesting it was actually a SNES Mini running, but more information will present itself once the Kickstarter goes live.

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