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Coleco officially terminates the Coleco Chameleon project after shady rumors

by Joey Davidson | March 9, 2016March 9, 2016 6:00 am PDT

Coleco has listened to the concerns from fans of classic gaming, and they’ve decided to cease their relationship with Retro VGS and pull out of the creation of the Coleco Chameleon.

Let’s back up a second here.

Retro VGS announced the Coleco Chameleon a while back. This modern take on classic cartridge-based gaming was set to play all sorts of wonderful old games, and it was going to do that after running a Kickstarter campaign. Then the New York Toy Fair rolled around, and folks saw the clear plastic version of the Coleco Chameleon’s prototype. Retro VGS faked it, basically, and later they jammed an old PCI card into the clear shell to fool consumers.

The internet went into detective mode, and it collectively pushed this potential sham to the forefront of conversation. Coleco acknowledged this officially on Facebook earlier this month. Read this wall of text, it’s actually really great.

Chameleon Product: We are thankful to have a large group of passionate engineers and retro game enthusiasts who follow Coleco and other product lines. It has come to our attention that the community has certain concerns over the prototypes involving the Retro VGS model. 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 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. Time extensions and results will be posted here.

Right, so Coleco stepped up and did the right thing here. They heard the concerns of their fans, and then they announced that they were going to inspect the console for themselves before making a decision.

Well, this new announcement seems to indicate that Coleco did not like what they found.

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. 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.

It sounds like Retro VGS didn’t make good on that seven-day deadline set up by Coleco. That certainly corroborates the rumors that Retro VGS was faking things, but this update from Coleco doesn’t exactly paint their former partner company as the absolute villain. Instead, Coleco takes the high road once more and indicates an “amicable” separation.

I’m not sure I buy that, but I absolutely applaud Coleco for their vigilance here.

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Joey Davidson

Joey Davidson leads the gaming department here on TechnoBuffalo. He's been covering games online for more than 10 years, and he's a lover of all...

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