Coleco ColecoVision
Type Console Developer Coleco Industries
Release Date 1982-Aug Region(s) North America, Europe
Initial Price $175 USD Games Released 144
     by Dark Watcher
After nearly bankrupting itself in 1978 with overstocked Telstar units, Coleco once again entered the console market looking to dethrone Atari 2600 and Intellivision, the current kings of the hill.

ColecoVision was released in 1982 and boasted amazing specs for its time which showed in its arcade conversions.  To secure their success Coleco reached out to a Japanese based company called "Nintendo", paying $250,000 for the rights to a super popular arcade game called Donkey Kong, which would become the pack in game with the console.

Since the Atari 2600 contained no patented material and was made up of all "off-the-shelf" hardware, Coleco took another step to insure ColecoVision's marketing power.  The ColecoVision's Expansion Module #1 was essentially an entire 2600 which fit into the Coleco's expansion port.  This gave gamers access to Atari's large library of games.
Home computers were starting to overtake game consoles simply because they were more "respectable" in the eyes of parents.  So in June 1983, Coleco decided to focus its energies on the Adam computer system.  They stopped support and sadly ColecoVision owners suffered.  With the video game crash of 1983, Coleco officially ceased production of the unit with over 6 million units sold in just two years.

FACT:  Coleco's software approach was to go after licensed arcade games that Atari had missed.  Realizing that Atari had firm support from 3rd party developers like Namco (creators of Pac-Man and many other hits), Coleco involved itself with companies like Sega, Konami and Universal.  Amazing how far some of these developers have come.

     Officially licensed releases
The ColecoVision was released in the United States by Coleco and by CBS Electronics abroad.  The systems are identical with the exception of branding and voltage\AV output.

ColecoVision Expansion Modules
Module 1 - Atari 2600 Game Converter
Module 2 - Steering Wheel Controller
Coleco ColecoVision - Expansion Module 2 (Steering Add-On)
Module 3 - ADAM Computer Interface
Coleco ColecoVision - Expansion Module 3 (ADAM Computer Interface)
     Non-licensed hardware releases
This odd clone, developed by a telephone company named Splice, appeared in the Brazilian market in 1984.  To say that the system's design is utilitarian would be an understatement.  It seems that this console had two releases, one with a beige casing and the other with a matte black housing.  Splice also released 17 bootleg games.  These are not compatible with the standard ColecoVision system due to their larger cartridge size.  For more information, please check out this excellent article on this rare bird at ColecoVision Zone.

MicroDigital Onyx
Another Brazilian clone, but we have never actually seen one to verify that it this was released to the public.

Dina 2 in one (2-in-1)
The Dina 2-in-1 was an authorized clone that was compatible with ColecoVision games.
Click here for information on this system.

Bit Corporation BIT-90
The BIT-90 was a computer released by the Taiwanese company Bit Corporation that accepts ColecoVision game cartridges. Bit Corp was also the original creators of the Dina 2 in one (2-in-1) pictured above.

     Interesting facts on software for this system
Software for the ColecoVision was distributed on ROM cartridges, packaged in large cardboard boxes that are rather fragile and prone to accidental crushing.  First party arcade ports featured the upright cabinet that one would see back in the hey day of the video game arcades along with the moniker "Plays Like The Real Arcade Game".

Third party offerings created unique cover art that highlighted their own brand in addition to the actual game.  These vary greatly in both presentation and overall appeal.

The launch lineup for the ColecoVision was quite impressive, boasting 11 additional games to compliment the Donkey Kong pack-in.  These titles included Carnival, Cosmic Avenger, Ken Uston's Blackjack/Poker, Lady Bug, Mouse Trap, Smurf: Rescue in Gargamel's Castle, Space Fury, Space Panic, Turbo, Venture and Zaxxon.
applemctom's Games that Defined Compiliation

ColecoVision Game Boxes

     Captured in-game images
2010: The Graphic Action Game
Artillery Duel
Buck Rodgers: Planet of Zoom
Cabbage Patch Kids
Congo Bongo
Cosmic Avenger
Donkey Kong Jr.
Dukes of Hazard
Flipper Slipper
Jumpman Jr.
Lady Bug
Miner 2049er
Mouse Trap
Mr. Do
Nova Blast
Rocky Super Action Boxing
Sir Lancelot
Smurf: Rescue in Gargamel's Castle
Space Panic
Spy Hunter
Star Wars: The Arcade Game
Super-Action Baseball
Super Action Football
Super Cobra
Super DK Junior
Tournament Tennis
War Games

     First and third party system emulators

This is an amazing emulator for Windows.  There are other
emulators available, but this one is one of our favorites.
     For the hardware enthusiasts out there - all the detail you\we love.
Processor Type  Processor Speed  Other Processor Information RAM \ Video RAM
NEC D780C-1 (8-bit) 3.58 MHz Texas Instruments TMS9928A (VDC) 1 KB \ 16 KB
Screen Resolution Color Palette Polygons \ Sprites Audio
256 x 192 16 colors 32 sprites (on screen) Texas Instruments SN76489AN
(3 tone channels, 1 noise)
Media Format Media Capacity Games Released Other Supported Formats
Cartridge 32 KB 144 Atari 2600 (with optional converter)
Internal Storage External \ Removable Storage Game Controllers Other Game \ Peripheral Devices
8 KB ROM None Joystick with numeric keypad Atari 2600 Converter,  Steering Wheel, Adam PC Expansion
Controller Ports Network Ports Other Ports Audio \ Video
Two (2) - Hardwired None Expansion Module Port RF
Power Supply - External Other Outputs  Other Details \ Notes
Input: AC 120V, 60 Hz .25A
Output: +5 9A, -5 1A, +12 .3A, Grnd
None Two other alternative controllers were also released that utilized the expansion port bay
Coleco ColecoVision Owners Manual (PDF) - 7.87 MB
CBS ColecoVision Owners Manual (PDF) - 3.74 MB

     Peripherals, Promotions, Commercials, Brochures, Etc.
ColecoVision Television Advertisements

ColecoVision Print Ads

     Visitor insights and feedback
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