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The creators of the ColecoVision are back with a new cartridge-based console

The creators of the ColecoVision are back with a new cartridge-based console


1986 technology in a 2016 device

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Coleco was behind some of the earliest attempts to bring video games to your living room, with mildly successful consoles like the ColecoVision in 1982. Like many game companies at the time, Coleco went bankrupt in the late '80s. However, it was reformed in 2005, and now it's announcing its first new console in decades: the Coleco Chameleon, a modern machine that will play games stored on plastic cartridges.

Coleco Chameleon

The company is teaming up with Retro Video Game Systems to produce the machine, which it plans to launch sometime next year. Coleco says that the console will "accurately play compilations of favorite games from the past" as well as "play brand-new games in the 8, 16, and 32-bit styles." No specific games have been announced, and it's unclear if the console will be backwards compatible with older Coleco titles.

The console's defining quality is its reversion to game cartridges, a technology that hasn't been in a major console since the Nintendo 64. "All game cartridges will include high quality, plastic clamshell cases with illustrated instruction manuals and game developer liner notes," the company says.

The Chameloen appears to be a rebranded version of the Retro VGS, a similar console concept that attempted to raise nearly $2 million on Indiegogo this year, but ended the campaign with just over $80,000. The Retro VGS was also going to use game cartridges, and wouldn't require an internet connection or software updates, unlike modern machines. According to Retro Gamer, the new Coleco version will also attempt a crowdfunding campaign, this time on Kickstarter, though it's unclear how much the campaign will aim to raise.

As of now our only glimpse at the new hardware comes in the form of product renders, but Coleco will be showing off the console for the first time at the New York Toy Fair in February.