Coleco Chameleon Prototype Controversy

It’s getting harder (if not impossible) to believe the viability of this new gaming console. Here's a quick breakdown of this systems history and current Controversy.

2015 Retro VGS:
This system was being advertised as a New cartridge based retro console. Much hype and promises behind the design and a grandiose two million dollar fundraising goal.  Potential Investors wanted to a see a working prototype but it did not exist. The Indiegogo campaign flopped by raising $81,158, far below its ambitious $1,950,000 goal.

2016 Toy Fair:
Coleco licensed their name to RetroVGS.  The system was renamed to Coleco Chameleon and started a new ad campaign. An actual working prototype was to be shown at the Toy Fair NY. Spectators were concerned why the creators used a Super Nintendo controller to play games on the Coleco Chameleon. More questions were raised on the amount of black electrical tape on the console. According to the AtariAge forum, the prototype was nothing more than the motherboard of a SNES model SNS-101 inside an Atari Jaguar case.

Pictures comparing the SNES motherboard (inside a Atari Jaguar shell) to the official picture of the Coleco Chameleon proved it was possible. Notice the electrical tape covering the protruding SNES motherboard. It's also worth noting that the Toy Fair "prototype" only played SNES games. Pictures also arose of the prototype using SNES power adapters and the Nintendo style multiout cable.  hmmmmmm.

Kickstarter Fundraiser:
A new fundraiser was planned for February 26th.  Kickstarter has strict guidelines and they require working prototypes for fundraisers. Much controversy was stirring over the Coleco Chameleon. Suddenly the kickstarter plans were scraped.

Response from RetroVGS:
 "We have decided to delay the pre-sell, i.e. Kickstarter, campaign in order to finalize our prototype and work with developers on having the best possible content,” said Retro VGS in the post. “We’ll keep you posted on any major news on our Facebook page and will let you know when we launch a pre-sell program leading up to the Christmas season."

Latest Prototype Controversy:
RetroVGS posted a series of new images to Facebook showing a new prototype in a clear case. Eventually members of the forum discovered that the new prototype was another fake. The motherboard visible in the clear case was actually a HICAP50B CCTV capture card.  RetroVGS has quickly removed the top-down image of the prototype from their Facebook page. It was too little too late. Comparison of the prototype and the HICAP50B capture card began circulating the internet.

Response from Coleco Company:
Coleco Holdings issued a statement today via its Facebook page,

"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."

Updates will be added to the Timeline as they unfold:


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