The RETRO VGS system was announced awhile back, and it would be the first true cartridge based home console in nearly twenty years (since the N64, and not including handle systems). It started off with a big buzz but suddenly when the Indiegogo campaign was lauched, it turned into a drama-fest in the gaming community, with people complaining about the high price tag ($400+) and no working prototype among the biggest complaints. These were all legitimate concerns of course, and to add fuel to the fire many reviewers were sharing their negative thoughts, which in turn made the situation turn bad to ugly. In the end the RETRO VGS died a quick death, and the Indiegogo campaign wasn’t funded. This as it would turn out would only be the beginning for the system.
The team at RETRO VGS however didn’t give up. They took the constructive feedback they received and have worked hard on addressing the concerns. One thing they recently did was partner up with River West Brands who owns the Coleco trademark and tradename, and have rebranded the system as the “Coleco Chameleon”. The name “chameleon” is suppose to represent the ever changing and adaptability that the system has. This would be Coleco’s first home console in over 30 years, with the last being the ColecoVision/Adam computer line of systems in the early 1980’s.
My team and I at CollectorVision Games are involved with porting some of our games over to the Coleco Chameleon, and we’ll have several game titles available at launch. If all goes well with the system, I’m sure we’ll even release some exclusive titles for the Coleco Chameleon too. We are not involved in any of the development or decision making behind the changes made to the system, but we are in the loop with what is going on behind the scenes. I’m not at liberty to say much to be honest, but I can tell you that the concerns that were once towards the RETRO VGS are now addressed. The Coleco Chameleon will be SIGNIFICANTLY less expensive, and there will be a working prototype available soon with games playing on the actual hardware. In fact several of our games at CollectorVision Games are already running on the system!
They will be launching a Kickstarter campaign sometime early next year with a final fundraising goal also significantly less than what they were asking before. It costs a lot of money producing something like this, and they still need financial help in order to see the system come to be.
Having seen the backlash that the RETRO VGS took when it was first announced was hard, particularly for the team involved with the RETRO VGS. Being connected to it myself through CollectorVision Games was also a bit discouraging, but I give credit to the team for not giving up. The guys have a vision of releasing a new cartridge based home console that can play 8bit, 16bit and 32bit games all at an affordable price. The Coleco Chameleon isn’t supposed to compete with modern games, but rather provide entertainment for those gamers who want to go back to the original roots of gaming, and not have to worry about updates, DLC etc.
I’m sure any of the guys on the RETRO VGS team would be first to tell you that there were mistakes made when they had first announced the RETRO VGS. They also didn’t handle things as well as they should have; and I know they regret doing some things for sure. In the end though they took it as a learning experience and have applied the constructive criticism towards an even better system. It’s impossible to please everyone out there, and I’m sure even the Coleco Chameleon will have some haters. At the end of the day though, it’s about providing a product that caters towards the majority, and I for one am excited to be a part of gaming history with the Coleco Chameleon.
To keep in the loop with the Coleco Chameleon, follow them on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/RETROVGS/