Wednesday, April 3, 2013

C is for ColecoVision

Parachute pants, Michael Jackson, Madonna, Growing Pains, L.A. Gear, Breakfast Club....what do all of these have in common? They all helped define the 80s. Come take a fun "Journey" with me as we revisit the totally radical decade.

I had an Atari 2600 as a kid. I loved playing Pac-Man, Defender, Missile Command, and Space Invaders.

But there was one game console I wish I had...ColecoVision.

My neighbor down the street had one, and we played Donkey Kong until our fingers bled. This awesome console came out in 1982, and in less than a year sold 1 million units. The technology inside the ColecoVision wasn't as advanced as Atari's new 5200, but I'm pretty sure it's the Donkey Kong game Coleco licensed from Nintendo that came with the console that sold it.

ColecoVision's version of Donkey Kong was identical to the arcade version.

What made ColecoVision extra cool was that you could buy this adapter that allowed the thing to play Atari games! So basically, I could take all my cartridges and fire them up and my friend's house.

Alas, ColecoVision died out shortly in 1985. Coleco discontinued the console. The Video Game Crash of 1983 had taken out yet another victim. Sales dropped by 97% in the video game industry. A saturation of the market coupled with a lack of new technology probably caused the crash.

I'm pretty sure home computers also took a big bite out of the video game industry. Commodore 64 had just come out, and ColecoVision just couldn't compete.

23 comments:

Nick Wilford said...

Aww, I was just getting all nostalgic about my C64 and then it got a bit of a downer at the end!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

We didn't have one either, just the Atari. And not long after I got out of college, Nintendo started putting out their own system, and that was my next gaming system.

mooderino said...

My parents considered video games a bad thing for so long. I could have been the next Bill Gates...

mood
Moody Writing

Miranda Hardy said...

We had the Atari, but I never recalled this one. I learned something new today.

Jay Noel said...

Nick: Hey, the C64 changed home computing forever. My parents wouldn't buy one, but my dad DID win an Apple IIc from a drugstore drawing contest. I wrote my very first stories on that thing.

Alex: Nintendo changed the game when they decided to let other companies design software, which opened the door to all kinds of cool games. I think the NES came with Duck Hunt and Super Mario Brothers.

Moody: My parents thought arcades were bad, as so many kids got addicted to it. At home, they figured, they could control it.

Miranda: In the end, the Atari was better. But the ColecoVision just looked so different.

Melanie Schulz said...

It's a good thing I didn't know about these things when I was growing up; I would have had to sell a boatload of Koolaid to save up for one.

Jeremy [Retro] said...

i thought i had one of these in my closet... turned out to be intellivison... so many great past games, so little bits.

Jeremy [Retro]
AtoZ Challenge Co-Host
Oh No, Let's Go... Crazy

Joshua said...

I wish I could get my hands on one. It would go nicely on the shelf with the Xbox, Xbox 360, PSOne, PS3, N64, Sega Genesis...

EvalinaMaria said...

OMG, I must be ancient, I remember the 80s!

The Desert Rocks said...

You had me at Breakfast Club!

Tony Laplume said...

My family didn't really get into video gaming until the original Nintendos, but we have a computer console someone gave us that allowed us to play Q-bert. That was as close as we got to the original home market.

nutschell said...

Never heard of Colecovision, but I have played on an Atari. :) Like, once.
Nutschell
www.thewritingnut.com

Eve said...

I had a Commodore 64! God, that was so long ago I had forgotten all about it!

Juliet Bond said...

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Riann Colton said...

We had the Atari too. Actually, it may still work. It wandered off with my cousin years ago. We were the coolest house on the block because no one had anything like it.

Pitfall. That was my game. The iPad version pales to how awesome I remember it being.

OT Ebby said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog Jay. Good luck with the rest of the A-Z Challenge. I hope to cover IT/using computers or something along those lines in one of my posts so will stop by yours again for some ideas!
Ebby

Jay Noel said...

Man, I wish I had my old Atari. I saw a "reissue" where they literally put a bunch of old Atari games into one joystick, which hooked directly into the TV.

Mark Noce said...

Atari, all right:) I played that a bit as a kid, but my folks weren't into video games. Which is funny, because today I work for a mobile social game company:)

farawayeyes said...

What a fun theme for A to Z. Although I'm not participating this year, I've been checking out some of the posts. This is definitely a very inventive theme. Not much of a gamer so I couldn't relate, but I'm all over your 'B' post.

Dana Martin said...

Dooooooood! You had me at Atari, Pac-Man, Defender and all the rest! We are TOTALLY the same age! haha! I am loving going through the 80s with you. I cannot wait for "D"!!!!

See you tomorrow!!

Dana
Waiter, drink please!


Rusty Webb said...

My cousin had the 2600 but I didn't know anyone with anything else until I got an intellivision around 83 or 84. I couldn't afford games for it though and no one else had any. I thought it was the greatest thing in the history of the world though.

Jay Noel said...

I had some neighbor buds with Intellivision too, but nothing could compare to Donkey Kong.

Pk Hrezo said...

Lol what a blast from the past. We never had a coleco either--we had something called Odyssey and it had games nobody had ever heard of before. That was pretty much my life. lol

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