The History of the ColecoVision Video Game Console

Coleco, having tried home consoles once in 1976, decides the time is ripe yet again for bringing another home console to market. ColecoVision’s history is a fascinating one and a reminder that not even good hardware can overcome market forces.

History of ColecoVision

The ColecoVision story begins a few years before 1982 when, in 1976, Coleco entered the video game market with its line of Telstar consoles. Sales of the Pong-like console were initially strong but eventually, consumer interest dried up and Coleco would take a $22 million dollar hit on the Telstar system.


Unlike the Atari which was a plain black box with a woodgrain front, the ColecoVision hardware had a much different personality. Still a black box, but unlike Atari, ColecoVision cartridges were added to the right side rather than Atari’s choice to use the middle of its hardware.

Hardware Expansions

One of the contributing factors that could have led to far greater success for the ColecoVision if it had time on store shelves was its hardware expandability.

Atari 2600

In today’s gaming world, the thought of building an expansion pack to play the games of your biggest competitor would be unheard of. While the expansion module would drive Atari to sue Coleco, the expansion unit would give ColecoVision the largest software library on the market.

Driving Expansion

Part steering wheel, part gas pedal, the driving controller was a brilliant expansion pack Coleco would include with the purchase of Turbo.

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