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The Colecovision was the dream console of the early 80s, running the best home versions of many arcade classics.

Outside of the USA, the Colecovision was distributed by entertainment giants CBS and was branded as the CBS Colecovision.

Expansion and arcade conversions proved to be Coleco’s strategy to knock the Atari VCS off its pedestal. A planned module that would allow the Colecovision to run VCS games was involved in lengthy delays after a legal tussle with Atari. Agreement was eventually met and the promised module limped out some time later, but only after the great video games crash had wiped out Coleco’s hopes of dominating the gaming world.

An expansion that did come out early enough to encourage sales was the Turbo Expansion Module, a rather spiffy steering wheel and accelerator pedal bundled with Sega’s Turbo game.

The Games

The Colecovision’s similarity to the Japanese MSX machines meant that there was a steady flow of conversions from arcade giants such as Konami and Sega.

Accessories

Coleco released a number of accessories and add-ons for the ColecoVision. Highlights included:

Roller Controller

Possibly the best name for a trackball ever. Came bundled with the game Slither.

Super Action Controller

A complicated controller that looked like the result of a bizarre experiment to cross breed a joystick, a Space 1999 laser pistol and an early ’80s era pocket calculator. Came bundled with the game Super Action Baseball.

People

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Links

Colecovision Zone
Comprehensive website with information about the Colecovision, accessories and, of course, games.

Major events

1983
Launch price £147, including the Donkey Kong cartridge

Emulators

Mac OS X

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iOS

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OUYA/Android

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Features

3.58MHz 8-bit Z80A processor
Graphics: 256×192, 16 colours, 32 sprites
Sound: 3 tone channels, 1 noise