The lovechild of a leather company and a soldering iron
Published by SegaSlayer33
It’s 1982. Atari is king. Their VCS (2600) has a crippling market majority over the competition. They have every arcade license worth licensing, every top programmer, and their name synonymous with video games. However, a small leather company called Coleco is going to pull a Sega 8 years before Sega, and shake up the status quo.
Release date: 1982 (America)
System Type: Video game console
Number of bits: 16
Sales figures: 6 million worldwide (as of December 31st 2001)
The ColecoVision is a video game console, released in 1982. It was published by Coleco, which was founded in 1932 as a leather company (in fact, Coleco means COnnecticut LEather COmpany). The system is famous for its expansion models, bulky controllers and for being the little system that just couldn't do it. Learn about the system that nearly started a console dynasty that could still be controlling video games to this day.
The Atari VCS had been on shelves for nearly 6 years by now. However, several other systems, some of which were 16 bit (!) were falling by the wayside. This was mostly due to the fact that Atari had a total stranglehold on the arcade ports. If any game was successful at the arcade, before you knew it, Atari had a game pak with its name on it. This meant that a lot of other systems, such as the Intellivision, which were effectively next-generation consoles, never really took off because they didn’t have any really good killer apps. And people were far less likely to upgrade if all the good games are only being released on the old consoles.
Ad campaigns like this showed how superior the ColecoVision was to the aging 2600
It wasn't just other companies who were suffering from 2600 dominance. The Atari 5200, which was released in 1982 suffered from the same problems, and without any backward-compatibility, the 5200 tanked, while the 2600 lived on. But Coleco had a plan. A plan that would allow Coleco to beat Atari. And it would’ve worked, if Atari didn’t kill itself and bring Coleco down with it.
The Atari 5200 fell to its little brother
The Colecovision had one thing going against it right from the start: its price. The Colecovision was another 16-bit system, and where does a small leather company find the money to fit all those extra bits into something from 1982? Your wallet. The Colecovision was nearing twice the price of the VCS in its later days, and that’s why the PS2 sold more than the PS3 for quite a while. Not to mention because of a larger library.
The console looks nice too. With that nice wooden finish, and……phones?
The Colecovision controller suffers from what I like to call the button effect. To have more complex games, you need more buttons. So Coleco, like Intel before it, goes and uses a phone, with its entire button layout.
Because for games this complex
You really need all those buttons.
The Colecovision, however, had what Intel didn’t: Good games. The Colecovision had a lot of arcade classics that Atari had missed out on, and had Donkey Kong as a pack-in. It also had a lot of other really good first-party games, like Montezuma’s revenge (easily better than Pitfall) It even had an accessory that made the Colecovision a PC, not to mention an accessory that allows you to play VCS games. If you did that today,
your lawyer’s head would explode.
The Colecovision also took arcade games that had made their way to the VCS and almost always improved on them. It showed the world that the VCS was an aging system, and that it was a system with the days hardware abilities. The Colecovision could have easily been the next big thing, but sadly, it wasn’t. Atari, creator of the video game industry, would also nearly destroy it, when in 1983, the video game market crashed, taking Coleco with it. It eventually took a plumber from Brooklyn to bring it alive again, but that’s a different story.
I try doing things people don't really know as much about. I used to review things people already knew lots about (Super Mario 64, Super Mario Bros 3, Super Metroid) but there is really no point. So now I'm trying to review things not as well-known. Mike Tyson's Punch Out!!* and this are examples.
The only thing I would review that is well-known is the first handheld war. Apart from that, I would have to find something to review. Thanks for your interest