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Coleco Chameleon .... hardware speculations?


phoenixdownita

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I believe that while there IS a collector's market, the player's market is immensely larger. And it is the player's market that makes or breaks a system. A system that plays well should collect well.

But that's the thing. These two consoles were pulling all the cheap tricks to make them a "collectible instant classic" for no good reason.

 

Did they assume collectors are all idiots willing to impulse buy a $350+ piece of vaporhardware? Who knows for sure, but the behavior pattern and half-assed approach to many things suggests it was the case.

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... well they promised 32bit level games ... not sure the Nt Mini qualifies .... not that it matters now, then or in the near future imho :D

true... but one exists now and one never left the cardboard PCB stage. Actually I'm dubious if they ever could've pulled off 32 bit stuff. At least not in an FPGA, they could've done it by porting existing emulators though.

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Whereas you could write a custom core that corresponded to your own video game console design and load a cartridge whose only similarity to the NES is the connector it uses. Your hypothetical video game console could be designed to maximize the power of the FPGA without having to make the compromises that Nintendo, Sega and Atari had to make 30 years ago. You and Analogue are the real deal, you put out a high quality electronic product. The most tangible product Mike Kennedy ever manufactured was a second rate magazine.

Edited by Great Hierophant
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I'm quite sure they could NOT have delivered.

Never say never. Five years from now, it just might be feasible to run 32-bit systems, ie a GBA core on an FPGA. Keeping in the integer scaling tradition, GBA 240x160 should scale flawlessly 3x3 to 720x480p. Unfortunately the aspect ratio would leave a bit to be desired, 3x2 native (square pixel) being in between the 4x3 and 16x9 ratios on HDTVs.

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I shouldn't be surprised that it happened here, but I haven't thought about Mister Donut (mentioned in that law blog link) in a very long time, perhaps since COLECO was around. My hometown Mister Donut is now a Dunkin' Donuts, which is more than can be said for COLECO.

 

I just looked up what became of the Mister Donut that was in the Giant Eagle shopping center near my old college campus. It's called Donut Connection now.

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Never say never. Five years from now, it just might be feasible to run 32-bit systems, ie a GBA core on an FPGA. Keeping in the integer scaling tradition, GBA 240x160 should scale flawlessly 3x3 to 720x480p. Unfortunately the aspect ratio would leave a bit to be desired, 3x2 native (square pixel) being in between the 4x3 and 16x9 ratios on HDTVs.

I hope so but my remark was about "them" as in the RVGS/CC-gang (once kevtris left, was he ever in? really?).

I'm quite sure they could NOT have delivered. As they proved to be incompetent on so many levels and so many times.

 

You could have given them a perfectly working lawn-mower and a perfectly flat meadow to mow to test it on and they would have driven off path, broken the mower, pretend it was a helicopter, attempt to sell it as a car and while doing so ruin the meadow so that so even maps would have had to put a TOXIC WASTE sign on that location!

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I shouldn't be surprised that it happened here, but I haven't thought about Mister Donut (mentioned in that law blog link) in a very long time, perhaps since COLECO was around. My hometown Mister Donut is now a Dunkin' Donuts, which is more than can be said for COLECO.

I just looked up what became of the Mister Donut that was in the Giant Eagle shopping center near my old college campus. It's called Donut Connection now.

Mister Donut, you say?

9fb92c114c72aae0d31e943d5f9f5850.jpg

 

Some people are just born with "holes" in their brain! :rolling:

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I hope so but my remark was about "them" as in the RVGS/CC-gang (once kevtris left, even he ever was in even).

I'm quite sure they could NOT have delivered. As they proved to be incompetent on so many levels and so many times.

 

You could have given them a perfectly working lawn-mover and a perfectly flat meadow to mow to test in on and they would have driven off path, broken the mower, pretend it was a helicopter, attempt to sell it as a car and while doing so ruining the meadow so that so even the maps had to put a TOXIC sign!

 

Oh no doubt. I said it before that IF "they" had somehow gotten that thing funded the console would never have seen the light of day. Some of the GameGavel shareholders (Socal's company that the molds were purchased under and the dev work up until 30 days before the Indigogo started) had a turn key lawsuit over those assets being transfered ready to fire. When that case was finally over, whatever was left would be left to a project that had no real prototype/design. At that point IF they got a board developed to stuff in the case the China fabs would have eaten them alive and nothing would have been delivered.

 

In a funny twist, I STILL own some of GameGavel and got my annual tax documents, you know as a "Small minority shareholder for a small amount of money who doesn't matter and a partner who isn't really a partner because GameGavel partners aren't really partners" per Socal. It may have cost me a few bucks but not my job/house/friends/etc. like it did him, so moving forward LOL!!

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got my flyer in, its nice and crisp, came with a little folder thing to which was a post card for The Coleco Retro Gaming and Collectible Convention

 

ok so I offered 10 bucks and it was free shipping, so 10 bucks maybe a bit expensive for a multifold flyer, but again, I made my own cham and the giggle factor of the flyer while the system is on display is worth it to me

 

thinking ill set it up on a shelf with a black table cloth and a accrylic box with the flyer behind .. hooked up of course

 

once the novelty of that wears thin, I will sell it

Edited by Osgeld
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No joke...I had a dream where MK was trying to gather funds by panhandling outside of my workplace for his next console. Wish I remembered more such as my reaction.

 

For some reason I can totally picture that haha!...Anyhow, Best post I've read all day...

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And he's holding a cardboard sign that reads "for hopes and dreams" with a ratty moth-eaten hat in front of him.

 

He was giving a speech in that dream to a few that were standing around, but beyond that, I can't remember more. Should have written things down once I woke up. That is generally the case with dreams.... you remember more right away, but it fades quickly.

 

Not sure why I would have drempt it in the first place. I have been under stress with other things. Maybe my brain decided I needed some comic relief :-D

Edited by cybercylon
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An outspoken retrospective of Coleco old and new, with nothing held back. http://nerdlypleasures.blogspot.com/2017/03/old-coleco-or-new-coleco-nostalgia-or.html

 

 

While part of that retrospective is right on the money (Especially some of the second half)...It is very negative in many ways. I can tell there's no rose colored glasses, but there's also no nostalgia, or maybe it just seems like something a millennial wrote that wasn't there when the Colecovision hit. If Colecovision was so "Generic" then why was it one of the Best consoles of its time? Only someone who wasn't there would make the mistake that the Famicom came in in '83 and wiped the floor with Coleco...Maybe in Japan, but even in America most people I know in practical experience didn't get an NES until '87 or '88...I've met a few people who claimed to have one in '85 or '86. "Liars" is the term I would use for these people. (Not all, Mind you, just the few people I've met who were clearly lying about it or regurgitating "facts" they read on the internet trying to act like they were there on day one...)

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While part of that retrospective is right on the money (Especially some of the second half)...It is very negative in many ways. I can tell there's no rose colored glasses, but there's also no nostalgia, or maybe it just seems like something a millennial wrote that wasn't there when the Colecovision hit. If Colecovision was so "Generic" then why was it one of the Best consoles of its time? Only someone who wasn't there would make the mistake that the Famicom came in in '83 and wiped the floor with Coleco...Maybe in Japan, but even in America most people I know in practical experience didn't get an NES until '87 or '88...I've met a few people who claimed to have one in '85 or '86. "Liars" is the term I would use for these people. (Not all, Mind you, just the few people I've met who were clearly lying about it or regurgitating "facts" they read on the internet trying to act like they were there on day one...)

They lost me on considering the Intellivision its rival when its main rival was the Atari 5200 in the third gen sense because that is how they would have been viewed if the crash didn't happen and their other rival was the Atari 2600 through backwards compatibility, making a full 2600 clone, and producing games for the 2600. Atari's piece of the pie was what everyone was after. They also lost me on the narrow focus of the library of mostly arcade ports, ports from other consoles and home computers from top third parties of the day like Activision and Imagic, etc. That "narrow focus" was the focus of gaming then and with backwards compatibility for the 2600 all those games were kind of part of its library too since it could play them all. This narrow focus stuff compared to Intellivision seems something like if someone said,"The PS4 doesn't offer as many unique and exclusive games as Nintendo systems do, therefore, it has the narrow focus of getting pretty much everything else." And,"...the Coleco is the most generic console ever made in the 20th Century. It is constructed entirely from off-the-shelf parts..." How do they think COLECO got away with cloning the Atari 2600? Because of off-the-shelf parts. And what about the Pong console generation before? Off-the-shelf parts consoles everywhere. The Colecovision and Atari 5200 had specs similar to 3 year old computers? How is that different from modern consoles?

 

I'm just... lost... The only consoles of this new wave of consoles after the late 70's second gen consoles worth looking at were the Colecovision, Atari 5200, and Vectrex. If you were looking for a new console that you could hook up to your TV then the Vectrex was out. If you wanted your new console to have Atari 2600 backwards compatibility then it could have either been the Atari 5200(if you got the right one or sent in yours to be modified) or the Colecovision. If you didn't want to have to deal with the Atari 5200 issues like analog controllers and other issues with the controllers, switch box that confuses people, identical games to the Atari 8-bits, etc. then you get a Colecovision. At the time when the crash happening wasn't yet fully a reality it was clear that the Colecovision was likely to win the console war. That is why Atari was ready to abandon the 5200 almost right away and started working on the 7800. But this person makes it sound like COLECO would have trouble competing with Mattel's console from 1979.

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While part of that retrospective is right on the money (Especially some of the second half)...It is very negative in many ways. I can tell there's no rose colored glasses, but there's also no nostalgia, or maybe it just seems like something a millennial wrote that wasn't there when the Colecovision hit. If Colecovision was so "Generic" then why was it one of the Best consoles of its time?

I think the author meant "generic" in the technical sense, as CV used common off the shelf chips that were identical to those used in several other systems. Obviously the software distinguishes it.

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I think the author meant "generic" in the technical sense, as CV used common off the shelf chips that were identical to those used in several other systems. Obviously the software distinguishes it.

 

I understood what the author was saying, and it is hard not to write from a "modern day" perspective...But it leads to...I guess I'd say "false equivalencies". For people who were there at the time, the console market (which I believe could be argued was an extension of the "arcade" market) was Not the same as the home computer market, granted there was some overlap. And the international market, though prevalent now due to the internet, and ebay etc., was not a major factor back then. I remember clearly how big a deal the Colecovision was when it came out. I don't think the vast majority of console buyers were looking for a better experience or more accurate arcade ports by buying home computers, though some did...And as far as Famicoms, etc. and the idea that Nintendo was going to swoop in and save the home video game market After the Crash...Well those of us who bought Colecovisions did not Expect a Crash in the first place, and back then, Very few people imported anything. I highly doubt back then that most of us even knew whether or not a Japanese game system would work on an American TV set. And the amount of people here in the U.S. who knew about Famicoms or SG-1000s in the early '80s would be pretty small (Like equal to the amount of Electronic Games Subscribers with Eidetic memories)...It's not that it's, overall, a poorly written article or anything, and God knows I've seen worse...But acting like Coleco of the past had the same negative qualities and connotations as the Coleco of the present, or looking at it globally and comparing a widely available (and popular in its day) console to a home computer or a console from overseas, would be a modern day viewpoint filled with false equivalencies...If the person writing the article went back to buy a console from the store shelves in 1982...His viewpoint would be different...And his impression of "Old Coleco" would likely be a whole lot more positive.

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I suppose so...but if you want want to read about Coleco back in the day, there are the contemporary magazines online offering that perspective. I like hearing that the hardware was off the shelf and not so special, which is something that never would have occurred to me as a not particularly technical tween kid at the time.

 

I see what you mean, though. It would be like deriding the Nintendo Switch as just another mobile device because it has a touch screen and an Nvidia Tegra.

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I do see what you're saying. I guess the thing struck me as though the author is saying, "Calm down! Don't get too excited. It's just off the shelf parts and there's better ways out there to play the games." I wouldn't want my 14 year old self to have been told that. (Please forgive my time traveling tenses here).

 

And while I'm not arguing the facts themselves...That "Been there, Done that" way of presenting it is slightly negative if not a bit condescending...For the record I know I shouldn't hold an internet article to a "print" article standard...Maybe I'll drop it down to a Retro article standard (joke). Actually I can remember some magazines back in the day that actually struck me the same way. There were, on occasion, articles talking about games as though everyone was already sick of them, when in actuality some of said games never even made it to market. I very clearly remember one article about VR on the Jaguar. It started off by talking about an arcade conversion and acting as though nobody even plays that game anymore. The problem with that was that nobody I knew had even seen that game (yet)...And although the author was convinced that Atari Jaguar VR was already "yesterdays' news", It had never even been a product of tomorrow...It must be quite a luxury, I thought, to be so bored of something already that the rest of us won't even get the chance to play...

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I guess the thing struck me as though the author is saying, "Calm down! Don't get too excited. It's just off the shelf parts and there's better ways out there to play the games."

I got the same interpretation. As another example,"Additionally, many of the Coleco's arcade ports also have other good ports on the Coleco's home console and home computer competitors of the day." That makes it sound like Coleco is just receiving the same ports that everyone else is but a lot of that is because of Coleco because to help pay for the licenses to put the games on the ColecoVision THEY also had them ported to competitors' systems. It is like how Atari had AtariSoft for porting games to other systems that they had licences for.

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