Retro Coleco Console Terminated [UPDATE: BIG NEWS]

"The work that they have created is not sufficient to demonstrate at this time..."

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[UPDATE] Colecovision itself issued a statement on the matter today, confirming that the Coleco Chameleon project is no more.

"The update that you were all anxiously awaiting: Retro VGS has decided that the work that they have created is not sufficient to demonstrate at this time," it explained. "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 original story, which sums up the major events leading up to this, is available below.

A Kickstarter campaign for the Coleco Chameleon, a cartridge-based console announced last year, was supposed to launch on February 26. That never happened, and now developer Retro Game Systems has confirmed it's pushing the launch of the Kickstarter campaign out to "make it even better." That's just one piece of the story, however. It's also been claimed that Retro--which is working on the device alongside the company that owns the Colecovision rights--showed off a prototype unit at the New York Toy Fair recently that was actually only a SNES inside a Jaguar game shell with a capture kit.

COLECO Chameleon - Early Launch Titles

The COLECO Chameleon is a soon-to-launch video game system that plays both classic and new retro inspired video-games on long lasting, durable cartridges.

Posted by Retro Video Game Systems, Inc. on Friday, 29 January 2016

As discovered by AtariAge forum members (via games writer Frank Cifaldi) an image gallery for the Chameleon posted on Retro's Facebook page included a picture that showed the system's insides--and instead of anything new, it was the board for a PCI capture card. This photo has since been removed.

In its own post, Retro said there has been a "whirlwind of interest, speculation, and curiosity regarding the insides of the Chameleon."

The company said it is "delighted" by this discussion and plans to share official pictures in the time ahead. For now, the system remains a prototype, but Retro said it's working to make it into a "production-ready product."

Also in its message, Retro said said "major retailers" (none of which were named) who saw the Chameleon prototype at the Toy Fair "expressed real interest in carrying the product." Additionally, Retro said "major game companies (again, none were named) expressed interest in making games for the system.

"Our team's overriding goal has always been to deliver the best possible system and experience for gamers," it said. "If there's ever anything we can do to enhance the product, we believe the extra time is worth it. Therefore, we have decided to delay the pre-sell, i.e. Kickstarter, campaign in order to finalize our prototype and work with developers on having the best possible content. This delay will not affect our overall launch date for the Coleco Chameleon."

Despite it still being only a prototype, Retro said the system remains on track to arrive this holiday season.

Just today, Colecovision itself issued a statement on the matter. It said it is aware of "certain concerns" people have over Retro's prototypes. As a result, the company said it is asking Retro to submit its prototype unit to Colecovision in the next seven days so that the company can inspect it to make a final determination.

"Independent engineers will review their findings and determine if those units are up to our standards," the company said. "We will report some or all of those findings to the community so as long as they do not interfere with proprietary information. We remain hopeful that the community's concerns are merely speculations, but if there is merit to the concerns, then we have no choice but to abandon the project rather than release a sub-par product. During this time, we ask that the community allow us time to complete these inspections. Time extensions will only be granted if requested by the independent engineer."

"It is important that we respect the folks who are working on the project before we jump to conclusions. They should have an opportunity to defend their work."

The upcoming Kickstarter campaign for Chameleon, should it come to bear, will be the second crowdfunding effort from Retro for the device in recent years. The first campaign on Indiegogo asked for $1.95 million, but fell well short of that mark, raising just $80,000.

The rebranded Chameleon version of the system plays cartridge games, making it the first console in about two decades to do that. It also uses the original manufacturing molds for the Atari Jaguar, which the company acquired the rights to in 2015.

In a statement, Retro president Mike Kennedy said the console "is a love-letter to all the classic cartridge based gaming systems that came before it."

"It will take gamers and their families back to a simpler time where games were all about great gameplay and fun factor," he added. The original ColecoVision console was released in 1982.

GameSpot has followed up with Retro in an attempt to get more details.

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