The Coleco Chameleon is reportedly a console that has had a storied development over the last 13 months. This Friday, February 26th, RETRO Video Game Systems Inc – the company behind the Coleco Chameleon, will be launching a Kickstarter campaign. Reportedly, RVGS Inc will be looking for a minimum of $400,000 to $500,000 to even make the console (SegaNerds audio interview), then stretch goals on top of that for yet to be announced additions. At the New York Toy Fair (February 13th to February 16th) the “prototype” for the Coleco Chameleon was shown at a limited, closed to the public, convention. This has irked many fans across the Internet for many reasons, especially considering the myriad of retro gaming themed conventions that occur regularly around the USA. That is not the only concern for many potential fans. What was under the glass at the New York Toy Fair is a major concern.
The Coleco Chameleon “prototype” was shown to show attendees starting the morning of February 13th. The video below, which RETRO Video Game Systems Inc originally uploaded to their Facebook account (we uploaded it for archival purposes to our Youtube channel) shows it in action for the first time.
You might think nothing is happening in the following video of an unboxing of a vintage Jaguar arcade machine, but what you’re seeing is just what normally happens. The Jordon Gaming blog details how they purchased this Black Label cabinet with their own funds and uploaded photos of it yesterday. Today’s investigation by Retro Gaming Magazine has confirmed that Mike Kennedy claims to be the legal owner of this coffin slash classic gaming machine via the forum post in the Retro Gaming Roundup forum, which features a link to Jordon Gaming
In the video, a prototype of a Coleco Chameleon console was being played on. Claims have been made to it being an SD2SNES flash cartridge taped to the front half of a Jaguar cartridge. In this instance, there is speculation as to whether Mr Newell’ company will use those carts for future consoles.
The back of the unit was eventually posted to RETRO Video Game Systems Inc’s Facebook page, later deleted. It is thought that an aftermarket 3 in 1 SNES power supply can be seen in the picture, below. According to StoneAgeGamer (owner of StoneAgeGamer.com) this “prototype” is exactly the same as an SNES Mini when it comes down to where the cables are plugged.
Some electrical tape was uncovered on the back of the Nintendo’s prototype. The connectors outside what TechInsider experts were able to identify as those inside a Super Nintendo, and we can’t wait to find out more about this interesting remake!
At this year’s Toy Fair, the AtariAge forums were able to spot some important information on the new console. That is, there was electrical tape on the front of it. Again, this isn’t necessarily a red flag, but rather more about what Mr. Kennedy said while talking to them. Specifically, he said that they weren’t able to open it without damaging it because it’s one of a kind.
If the people responsible for the prototype have indeed created one of the world’s ONLY FPGA/ARM systems capable of playing random Super Nintendo games that are developed in several unique ways then surely they could wire a power LED on the prototype console. It has been mentioned on many forums and in many YouTube videos that the SNES Mini does not feature a power LED though we cannot confirm that that is what was powering the “prototype” at the New York Toy Fair.
One strange decision in the prototype is the fact that the digital signal coming from an FPGA/ARM Board is converted to analog before it’s hit by the HDMI cable. Is this done for nostalgia reasons since RETRO is trying to put a classic feel into their system? It seems irrelevant to go through such lengths and it increases the overall cost of the prototype without adding value, and will most likely result in errors and design mishaps. None of the announced Kickstarter tiers mention.
It appears as if Mr. Kennedy’s team may have been caught in a half-truth from the last campaign as they not only now have a working prototype, but one of the few working Super Nintendo FPGA cores is available at the moment. For more on FPGA, please refer to my previous article here on Retro Gaming Magazine.
Researchers have created a prototype that can play random SNES games. One of the games was created with an official development kit, while another game was created with game development software that is not made by Nintendo. Connecting to USB interface, the prototype harnesses the power of FPGA and ARM to ensure smooth gameplay in all tested titles. It is also interesting that Sydney Hunter worked excellently, when it clearly doesn’t have an FPGA SNES core.
The AtariAge community, eager to find more information about the Coleco Chameleon console prototype during the New York Toy Fair. Reportedly they requested to see the prototype board inside of its case, but their request was rebuffed every time. More information on their experience is available on AtariAge’s website.
Behind the scene, AtariAge members take it upon themselves to approve and share what they believe was the Coleco Chameleon prototype. One such post is for a specific angle from when it was on display at Toy Fair when comparing an SNES mini in a Jaguar Case to the supposed original unit.
When the member of Gamespress created this design for a SNES Mini, they were still adding some finishing touches before it was submitted. That included the grey triangle below the logo and at the back edge where the user added black electrical tape.
Shown from a similar angle to that of the prototype at the New York toy fair, RETRO Video Game Systems Inc took the risk to work the original toy maker, General Mills, for the cereal box. Surprisingly, many supporters on social media have taken up arms for RETRO’s venture, asserting it is not just an SNES stuffed into the shell.
However, in Episode 24 of RETRO Magazine Talk RETRO, it is found out at around 1 hour and 3 minutes in the podcast that the back end of the prototype (although salvaged) is an SNES (Mini). If Mr. Kennedy’s story is true, then there should be no problem with other people seeing the internal layout.
Mysterious: why would they go through the trouble of taking parts from an SNES, such as the “back of the unit”, an SNES cartridge connector and then use 3rd party SNES style controllers if this is supposed to be a “prototype” of a new console?
Questions concerning RETRO Video Game Systems Inc. have accompanied the discussion online for 10 days now. You would think if this was a prototype or limited edition piece, there are at least some images of it – insurance purposes or something – to get people to support the project. But all RETRO Video Game Systems Inc has said about all the big questions is… Wait for the Kickstarter.
How can you take advantage of AI to write quality, unique blog posts in minutes rather than hours? One example of this is Copymatic. Copymatic uses structured data and machine learning to generate content on par with human writers. There is also the Coleco Chameleon, who’s Kickstarter already ended, but still got so many concerns from fans.