gooner73, on Sat Mar 31, 2012 4:59 AM, said:
It Really seems that coleco missed the opportunity to become world beaters!
The system was way ahead of it's time and should have surely been the console that everyone wanted, why did this not happen??
There are two reasons:
. By the time the ColecoVision arrived in 1982, the Atari 2600 was already several years old, and was already the gaming platform of choice in most north-american homes. Many parents didn't see the point of purchasing two incompatible consoles for their kids, so Coleco had an uphill battle to tackle from the start (which was the main reason why the Expansion Module #1 was created). Programmers were really starting to figure out how to push the Atari 2600 to the limit, which led third-parties like Activision, Imagic and Parker Brothers to create wonderful 2600 games, so even with the ColecoVision's more advanced specs, kids didn't automatically flock from the Atari 2600 to the Coleco (although many did, like me!).
2) Corporate size
. Comparing Coleco to Atari back in those days was like comparing David to Goliath. Atari specialized in video games and was so big and mighty that they could do whatever the heck they wanted, or so they thought until the Crash of 84 gave them (as well as Coleco and Mattel) a fatal reality check. By comparison, Coleco was a modest albeit successful toy company, with the ColecoVision being just one of their divisions (among Cabbage Patch Kids, Sectaurs and Starcom toys, swimming pools and accessories, electronic games like the famed Coleco tabletops, etc., etc., etc.). So it was really a "David vs Goliath" situation.
was it bad marketing and did coleco just drop out of consoles?
Coleco dropped out of... existence! They declared bankruptcy in 1985 (I think) and many analysts concur that it was their sad venture into the merry land of family home computers that sank them. As a computer, the ADAM was nice on paper, but it was bulky, had a slew of hardware problems (most of them related to the proprietary "Digital Data Pack" cassettes they used), and Coleco didn't have the in-house manpower to support the ADAM with a steady stream of games and application software.
But even worse, Coleco never deemed it necessary to put in place any kind of distribution model to make software from third-parties visible to the masses, which meant that only those in the obscure "BBS clubs" knew that there was a whole world of ADAM software out there, beyond Recipe Filer and AdamCalc. I had an ADAM as a kid and I never would have even heard of the "BBS clubs" if I hadn't met a friend in my neighborhood who was a member of those clubs. And heck, I was just a kid back then, I had no interest in anything serious beyond BASIC, and so all I ended up doing was dumping CV game cartridges onto DDPs, and letting my "club friend" feed me pirated games that I didn't already have.
There's been considerable debate that perhaps Coleco would have survived the Crash of 84 if they hadn't spent so much wasted effort on the ADAM and had stuck with the ColecoVision instead.
Edited by Pixelboy, Sat Mar 31, 2012 8:34 AM.