The ColecoVision is Coleco Industries’ second generation home video game console, which was released in August 1982. The ColecoVision offered near-arcade-quality graphics and gaming style along with the means to expand the system’s basic hardware. Released with a catalog of 12 launch titles, with an additional 10 games announced for 1982, approximately 145 titles in total were published as ROM cartridges for the system between 1982 and 1984. River West Brands currently owns the ColecoVision brand name.
Coleco licensed Nintendo’s Donkey Kong as the official pack-in cartridge for all ColecoVision consoles, helping to boost the console’s popularity. By Christmas of 1982, Coleco had sold more than 500,000 units, in part on the strength of its bundled game. The ColecoVision’s main competitor was the arguably more advanced but less commercially successful Atari 5200. Sales quickly passed 1 million in early 1983, before the video game crash of 1983. By the beginning of 1984, quarterly sales of the ColecoVision had dramatically decreased. Things weren’t looking very good for Colecovision and it wouldn’t get any better.
Over the next 18 months, the Coleco company ramped down its video game division, ultimately withdrawing from the video game market by the end of the summer of 1985. The ColecoVision was officially discontinued by October 1985. Despite Coleco’s short run in the video game industry, it’s the retro gaming collectors and homebrew games, that have kept the Colecovision popular to this day.
In 2009, IGN named the ColecoVision their 12th best video game console out of their list of 25, citing “its incredible accuracy in bringing current-generation arcade hits home.”