Questions asked about legitimacy of Coleco Chameleon retro console

Ben Parfitt
Questions asked about legitimacy of Coleco Chameleon retro console

A retro console recently demoed at the New York Toy Fair could be little more than a hoax, it is being alleged.

Nintendo Life reports that development of the Coleco Chameleon, itself a rebranded version of failed Kickstarter The Retro VGS, has been put on hold following a string of mishaps that have led some to conclude that the hardware itself does not currently exist.

The machine advertises itself as an all-in-one retro gaming solution that is compatible with several older platforms, using an FPGA chip than can successfully emulate a large number of machines.

Eagle-eyed internetters spotted that the demo machine on display at New York very much appeared to actually be a SNES Jr machine crammed into a Chameleon shell. And that shell, in fact, is based off the old Atari Jaguar.

The Chameleon's proposed Kickstarter, which was due to begin on February 26th, was then delayed, supposedly to allow for extra development.

To try and quell fears, the developers showed off a new image that clearly demonstrated there was no SNES hidden on the inside. However, it was not long before the internet spotted that what was inside was in fact nothing more than a PCI capture card.

As a result the whole project has now been suspended pending investigation.

We are thankful to have a large group of passionate engineers and retro game enthusiasts who follow Coleco and other product lines,” Colecovision said. 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.”

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