Coleco Backs Away From The Chameleon

Coleco Backs Away From The Chameleon

RetroVGS continues to crash after significant setbacks in its retro console project.

Coleco Holdings has announced that it is no longer involved with RetroVGS' Chameleon console. The split is amicable, due to the latter company not having what it needed to continue working on the project. RetroVGS has deleted its Facebook page and its website became unavailable following the Coleco update.

"Retro VGS has decided that the work that they have created is not sufficient to demonstrate at this time," said Coleco on its Facebook page. "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."

What was promised.

RetroVGS demoed the planned Coleco Chameleon at Toy Fair in February, showing off Super Nintendo emulation on the system. Eagle-eyed retro fans noted that the system seemed to be a slim model Super Nintendo (Model SNS-101) crammed into a Jaguar shell. The latter was already known, as RetroVGS said the unused Atari Jaguar shells would be used for every system as a cost-cutting measure, but the former was far from what RetroVGS had promised.

When the company showed updated pictures of the console after Toy Fair, that picture allegedly showed an old PCI capture card inside the Jaguar shell. After fans pointed that out, RetroVGS removed those pictures. Last week, Coleco Holdings asked RetroVGS for a working prototype within seven days to continue its involvement in the project.

"It has come to our attention that the community has certain concerns over the prototypes involving the Retro VGS model," said Coleco in another Facebook post. "The team at Retro remains confident that their product is developed to the extent as describe; however, in order to confirm or debase these concerns, Coleco has demanded to inspect the prototype units within a seven day time frame. At which time, independent engineers will review their findings and determine if those units are up to our standards."

"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."

Obviously, the prototype review did not go well.

What was delivered.

Following Coleco's statement last week, Retro Magazine also lost managing editor David Giltinan, who said he did not want to be associated with the Coleco Chameleon situation any longer.

"After 3 long years, it's sad for me to say that I have officially stepped down from RETRO Magazine. It's not a big shocker to admit that everything going on with the Coleco Chameleon is a major reason why I have to separate myself from everything associated with it," Giltinan wrote in a LinkedIn post.

"I apologize for any ignorance on my part for not fully following through with my desire for the truth when speaking about the console. Instead I allowed myself to become a vessel for misinformation, and for that I am again sorry. Issue 11 of the magazine will be the last of my contributions."

The Coleco Chameleon seems to have been a big dream that turned into a horrible nightmare for everyone involved.

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Mike Williams

Reviews Editor

M.H. Williams is new to the journalism game, but he's been a gamer since the NES first graced American shores. Third-person action-adventure games are his personal poison: Uncharted, Infamous, and Assassin's Creed just to name a few. If you see him around a convention, he's not hard to spot: Black guy, glasses, and a tie.

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