ColecoVision history

The ColecoVision is Coleco Industries' second generation home video game console and was released in August 1982. The ColecoVision offered arcade-quality graphics and gaming style, the ability to play other home consoles' video games (notably the Atari 2600), and the means to expand the system's hardware.

The ColecoVision was released with an initial catalog of 12 titles, with 10 additional titles on the way for 1982. All told, approximately 170 titles were released in the form of plug-in cartridges between 1982 and 1985.


Coleco licensed Nintendo's Donkey Kong as the official pack-in cartridge for all ColecoVision consoles, and this version of the game was well received as a near-arcade perfect port, helping to boost the console's popularity. By Christmas of 1982, Coleco had sold 500,000 units, largely on the strength of its bundled game. The ColecoVision's main competitor in the next generation console space was the arguably more advanced but less commercially successful Atari 5200.

The ColecoVision was distributed by CBS Electronics outside of the United States, and was branded the CBS ColecoVision.

Sales quickly passed one million in early 1983, before the video game crash of 1983. The ColecoVision was discontinued in the spring of 1984. Even with its late difficulties, the ColecoVision still sold more than six million units. In 1986, Bit Corporation produced a ColecoVision clone called the Dina, which was sold in the United States by Telegames as the Telegames Personal Arcade.

Today, Coleco emulators and games are widely available as abandonware on the Internet. Although the games remain copyrighted, the holders of ColecoVision games have tended not to enforce their copyrights, in contrast to Intellivision and some Atari games.

Article from 1985: "Coleco Pulls the Plug"

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