History of video games/Platforms/ColecoVision




Colecovision logotype.

The ColecoVision had been preceded by the Coleco Telstar series of consoles, where Coleco had familiarized themselves with the home gaming market.

The ColecoVision was released in June of 1982, selling for $195 USD.[1] Console shortages were a concern for Coleco in November 1982.[2] Despite this 500,000 units were sold in 1982.[3] Yet shortly following this, production in the United States was briefly stopped in August 1983 to make capacity for Coleco Adam computer production, which used the same manufacturing facilities.[3]


An abandoned Coleco building in Amsterdam, New York.

Having sold 6 million units, the ColecoVision ended production in 1984 so that Coleco could focus on their Cabbage Patch Kids toy line and their Adam home computer.[1][4] The ColecoVision was officially discontinued in 1985.[5][6] The changing of production from ColecoVision to Coleco Adam is commonly seen as a massive blunder by Coleco. The Coleco Adam launched with a flawed design which was nearly self destructive that caused over 60% of produced units to be returned as defective.[7] As a result the system was a massive commercial failure which helped contribute to the bankruptcy of Coleco by loosing hundreds of millions of dollars in spite of large revenue generated by other massively successful product lines.[7]

The Coleco partnership with Nintendo lead to a prototype unit being demonstrated to Nintendo employees in Japan, inspiring Nintendo Research & Development Number 2 Department to match or exceed the capabilities of the ColecoVision during the development of the Famicom.[8]

Though the company that created the ColecoVision went bankrupt, a few later consoles made by others would bear the Coleco brand. This included the Coleco Sonic of the 2006. This would also briefly include Chameleon of the mid 2010's before the naming rights were revoked.


Donkey Kong cartridge for the ColecoVision.



The ColecoVision CPU is the 8 bit NEC D780C-1, a variant the Zilog Z80A clocked at 3.58 megahertz.[1][6][9]

The ColecoVision has 1 kilobyte of RAM and 16 kilobytes of video RAM.[9]



The ColecoVision has an 8 kilobyte ROM.[9]

A Texas Instruments TMS9928A was used for graphical output, and could display 32 sprites with 16 simultaneous colors out of 32 possible colors.[6][9]

Colecovision cartridges leveraged bank switching for increased ROM sizes.[5]

Expansion Modules

  • Expansion Module #1 allowed the ColecoVision to play Atari VCS games.[1]
  • Expansion Module #2 was a driving wheel controller.[10]
  • Expansion Module #3 turned the ColecoVision into the Adam computer system.[11]

Notable games


The ColecoVision Console






Telegames Personal Arcade



  1. a b c d "OLD-COMPUTERS.COM : The Museum". www.old-computers.com. Retrieved 26 October 2020.
  2. "COLECO'S NEW VIDEO CHALLENGE (Published 1982)". The New York Times. 11 November 1982. https://www.nytimes.com/1982/11/11/business/coleco-s-new-video-challenge.html. 
  3. a b Berg, Eric N. (7 September 1983). "COLECO'S NEW MEMORY DEVICE (Published 1983)". The New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/1983/09/07/business/coleco-s-new-memory-device.html?searchResultPosition=5. 
  4. "The ColecoVision/Nintendo Partnership and the Atari Clone". Lifewire. Retrieved 26 October 2020.
  5. a b "CVGA Disassembled Second Generation (1976-1984) · Online Exhibits". apps.lib.umich.edu. Retrieved 18 November 2020.
  6. a b c "Home Page". Video Game Console Library. Retrieved 18 November 2020.
  7. a b Modine, Austin. "Remembering the Coleco Adam" (in en). www.theregister.com. https://www.theregister.com/2008/02/04/tob_coleco_adam/. 
  8. "GlitterBerri's Game Translations » Deciding on the Specs". www.glitterberri.com. Retrieved 18 November 2020.
  9. a b c d "ColecoVision". The Dot Eaters. Retrieved 3 December 2020.
  10. "Steeering Wheel - Expansion Module #2 - ColecoVision Addict.com". cvaddict.com. Retrieved 20 December 2020.
  11. "Colecovision Zone Module 3 Adam". www.colecovisionzone.com. Retrieved 20 December 2020.