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.