Retro-style 8-bit games have seen a resurgence as of late, with titles like Shovel Knight and Axiom Verge, but gamers looking for an even greater blast from the past have a new console to look forward to buying in 2016. That's because Coleco, one of the forefathers of the home video gaming market, is returning to the market with the Chameleon, a console that plays good ol plastic cartridges.
While no specific games or pricing have been announced, the Chameleon will play compilations of classic titles — we're hoping to see Dig Dug, Frogger or Tapper — as well as brand new games produced in the "8-, 16- and 32-bit styles." Without the ability to download titles, the Chameleon harkens back to the days before your system required constant system updates, and before games needed to be patched with massive updates on day one.
Chameleon's game cartridges will include "high quality, plastic clamshell cases with illustrated instruction manuals and game developer liner notes." As baffling as that may sound to younger gamers, veterans may be relishing the memories of blowing air into the bottoms of the cartridges.
Unlike the ColecoVision, which had controllers that consisted of a telephone-style number-pad and a dial, the Chameleon will have more modern controllers. It features two joysticks, a directional-pad, and buttons for X, Y, B, A, Start and Select.
The Chameleon will be co-produced with Retro Video Game Systems, which was founded by Mike Kennedy. He started the retro games auction website GameGavel and the Retro video game magazine. Kennedy has stated that the Chameleon "is a love-letter to all the classic cartridge based gaming systems that came before it." He believes it will transport gamers to a "simpler time where games were all about great gameplay and fun."
Retro Video Game Systems and Coleco plan to demonstrate the Chameleon at Toy Fair New York 2016. We look forward to getting some hands-on time to test out its nostalgic abilities. Would you be interested in such a console? Let us know in the comments.