Bespoke Arcades

ColecoVision

The ColecoVision was a home console released in 1982. The console was sadly very short-lived being discontinued only three years later in 1985. The ColecoVision is critically acclaimed for offering what was at the time, a close approximation to arcade games, which other consoles of the time were criticised for not producing.

Upon release, the consolewas initially packaged with Nintendo’s arcade-hit Donkey Kong. With the initial 12-game catalogue of games boasting other arcade classics such as Zaxxon. Between 1982 and 1984 approximately 145 titles were published for the system.

Overall, 2 million units were sold, which is impressive considering the short lifespan of the system and the Video Games Crash in 1983. The console, being released in August ’82, had sold 500,000 units by Christmas in the same year. The console looked ever-promising and that it had a great future ahead as it had sold over 1 million copies by early 1983, thus, the market crash has long been blamed for the decline in the systems sales. The console also sold under the name CBS ColecoVision as the system was distributed by CBS Industries in North America.

Some expansion mods and accessories were released for the ColecoVision. The first released was the Expansion Module #1. This was proven to be a popular add-on to the system as it allowed the console to become compatible with Atari 2600 games. Giving access to the largest software library of any console of its day.

The second expansion was aptly named the Expansion Module #2. This came in the form of a steering wheel and gas pedal. The peripheral sold well as it came packaged with the popular arcade game Turbo. Sadly, the gas pedal was poorly designed – simply being made from an on/off switch so made it impossible for the player to accurately control the car.

The Expansion Module #3 converted to the system into a fully-functional computer system called Adam. This expansion included a keyboard, DDP, cassette drive and a printer.

A further controller was released for the system by the name of the the Roller Controller. This was effectively a trackball which came combined with the game Slither, a clone of the popular game Centipede. However, this came with the problem that it was not compatible with Adam without a specialised power connector, which was later shipped to owners of both systems who had complained to the company.

The Super Action controller set came equipped with two controllers that represented boxing gloves. Each joystick had four buttons, a 12 button numeric keypad and a speed roller. This was compatible with the Super Action series of games which included boxing, football and baseball.

In 2009, IGN rated the ColecoVision the 12th best console (in a list of 25), due to its originality for the wide range of games that were of popular demand such as Donkey Kong. In 1997, a Windows PC compatible game ‘Personal Arcade Volume One’ was released to celebrate the ColecoVision.