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ColecoVision image
Manufacturer Coleco
Type stationary game console
generation second generation of consoles
United StatesUnited States 1982
EuropeEurope 1982
Main processor Z80A
Graphics processor Texas Instruments TMS9928A (US) / TMS9929A ​​(EU)
Storage media Modules
Controller two wired gamepads
Online service none
Units sold over 2,000,000
Most successful game unknown
predecessor Coleco Telstar series

The ColecoVision is a game console from Coleco that was released in August 1982. Graphics and gamepad correspond roughly to the standard of arcade games of the time ; At the time of market launch, there were 12 software titles to choose from, which were sold in the form of modules . Over the years, the range has grown to almost 170 titles, including mainly implementations of slot machine games .


The ColecoVision was the first game console that could reproduce the arcade hits of the time almost true to the original with graphics and sound. This was due to the hardware similarity of the ColecoVision with the arcade technology of the time; on the Atari 2600 , Intellivision and Philips G7000 this was only possible with major compromises, not only graphically and sonically, but often also in gameplay and level structure. The steering wheel with pedals (turbo) offered for the ColecoVision was also a sensation at the time, a comparable version was not available for the home area until then.

The ColecoVision for the European market was manufactured by CBS ; this contained a graphics chip suitable for the European PAL television system. In terms of hardware, the ColecoVision technology is similar to that of the later published MSX home computer standard, but without being compatible with it.

View of the ColecoVision circuit board

The included controller ( joystick ) with spiral cable and an additional number pad found space in the housing and ideally was always tidy when not in use. Something similar already existed with the Intellivision console or the Interton VC 4000, and some first-generation TV video games ( Pong consoles with permanently installed games) already had this.

By Christmas 1982 Coleco had sold around 500,000 units. The success was due to the enclosed games. While Atari had made the breakthrough with the popularity of Space Invaders , the ColecoVision was the first home console on which the cult game Donkey Kong from Nintendo could be played. Another game hit was the game Zaxxon , which was very well ported from the arcade machine to the Coleco console.

Sales exceeded a million in early 1983 until the great video game market collapse in 1983 . The production of ColecoVision was stopped in the spring of 1984. Despite difficulties towards the end of its heyday, more than two million units were sold.

Today Coleco emulators and games are common on the Internet . Although these games are still subject to copyright law and are therefore illegal to distribute, many of the rights holders have so far refrained from asserting their claims.

Expansion Modules / Extensions and Accessories

Coleco launched a number of extensions, including Expansion Module # 1 , Expansion Module # 2, and Expansion Module # 3 .

  1. Expansion Module # 1: Coleco offered an additional hardware module that made it possible to play Atari 2600 titles and made ColecoVision the console with the largest selection of games of its time. Market leader Atari did not manage to stop the module from selling.
  2. Expansion Module # 2: Steering Wheel and Accelerator Pedal for Car Racing.
  3. Expansion Module # 3: Expanded the game console into a full-fledged home computer called Adam. The error-prone Coleco Adam based on the game console was only released in North America and was not very successful there.

Technical specifications

  • CPU: Z80A with 3.579545454 MHz
  • Video processor: Texas Instruments TMS9928A (for the US version) or TMS9929A ​​(for the European version) with a resolution of 256 × 192 points, 32 sprites and 16 colors
  • Sound chip: Texas Instruments SN76489A, 3 tone generators and 1 noise generator
  • VRAM : 16 kilobytes
  • RAM : 1 kilobyte
  • Storage media: modules with 8, 16, 24 or 32 kilobytes


ColecoVision game modules

Below is a list of some popular games for the ColecoVision.

Web links

Commons : ColecoVision  - collection of images, videos and audio files