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Coleco Chameleon .... hardware speculations?


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#7026 Vanta OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Mar 10, 2016 1:05 AM

 

The board is trapezoidal.

And imaginary!

 

the chip placement seems done by someone trying to give the impression that the board is complicated, more than the impression that the board is real.

 

Also the mosfet heat sincs aren't actually attached to mosfets.



#7027 Carbon Tiger OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Mar 10, 2016 1:06 AM

 

Seriously. WTF is up with these people?? Here's an idea- go fuckin' make something, then start creating cute little executive titles for yourselves!!

 

I put quotes around Mike's job title and "Michael Jackson"??? REALLY???

 

[pic removed]

 

It's finny isn't it ? Every niche hobby or interest has its con men and frauds. The funny thing is they all seem to know each other or at least of each other and either work together to swindle the rubes or hate each other while proclaiming 'they are the fraud not I'. Thing is when two cons work together they cannot overcome their natural inclinations and the whole thing explodes in entertaining ways.   



#7028 wf_ OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Mar 10, 2016 1:19 AM



 

It's finny isn't it ? Every niche hobby or interest has its con men and frauds. The funny thing is they all seem to know each other or at least of each other and either work together to swindle the rubes or hate each other while proclaiming 'they are the fraud not I'. Thing is when two cons work together they cannot overcome their natural inclinations and the whole thing explodes in entertaining ways.   

 

And the Mysterious Mr. Lee is likely another one on the pile, according to Eli's account.

 

Even giving Mike the absolute benefit of the doubt, where Mr.-ious Lee was solely at fault for slacking off, cashing in contracting fees, and giving Mike Corp useless hardware props, that still doesn't exonerate Mike. Because he then took these props and presented them as real, getting into specifics of them being FPGA-based and cooking up reasons why they can't open the Toy Fair model.

 

A simple "Sorry, we had to back out of the fair because our supplier didn't come through for us. Give us some time to find another partner." would save face if you get screwed by somebody else. Honestly is simple, and keeps you as the good guy.

 

I am in the boat of thinking Mike was generally well-meaning, in that he's an actual retro fan, and believes he's going to make sellable product (I don't believe it'd actually sell). It's shady that he doesn't want to risk anything, wanted to set up a walled garden, and is shuffling ownership away from partners (though I really don't see anything technically illegal in that as others have alluded). But he did want to actually build and sell a real thing, even if tainted by his disreputable Serial Entrepreneur™ tactics. However, once things started going pear-shaped, his response was to try to lie his way through continuing the project as-is, and at that point he's firmly the bad guy, even in this absolutely best-case hypothetical scenario.


Edited by wf_, Thu Mar 10, 2016 1:26 AM.


#7029 Vanta OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Mar 10, 2016 1:43 AM

I believe Mike really really wanted to make this system, but he also:

  • Didn't want to be the one funding its development
  • Used car-salesmen tactics on those in charge of engineering and development
  • Was FULLY aware that the system was not in a presentable form and outright lied as he didn't want public knowledge of that fact impacting the project
  • Outright lied about support from other companies (Atari being one of them) to upsell the console to potential backers
  • Is likely to try again, especially now that the Kennedy empire is crumbling around him
  • Had many opportunities to come clean and be on a level with the community about things, but chose not to
  • Likely had shill accounts on this and other forums defending the project up until Coleco's announcement this week.

I know people say he had good intentions but having good intentions does not, in my opinion, change what actually happens. If you shoplift from a store and get caught, "I fully intended to pay!" won't get you off the hook when you're found to have not even brought your wallet. "I just wanted to talk to him!" won't get you off the hook after you're charged with assault, so people saying he had good intentions doesn't change the fact that he willingly lied to push his project forward in unethical ways.

 

To those doubting if Mike know the prototype was fake or not - There are two shots of the console at NY Toy Fair, one inside the clear plastic case and one outside, in order to get those "hardwired" controllers out, he would have had to have lifted off the top half of the shell and unplugged the SNES controllers first, and I don't care how oblivious someone claims they are, when you see a PCB stamped with "© 1995 Nintendo" all possibility of pretending you thought it was a new FPGA board go out the window with it.

 

He is complicit and likely the mastermind behind the deception.



#7030 wf_ OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Mar 10, 2016 1:55 AM

Yeah, maybe instead of saying "well-meaning", something like "he actually intended to do real business" could be more appropriate. He didn't want to set up an actual scam to take money and run, or to sell a fake product on the shelves.  But rather he wanted to Corner The Market™ and make a pie that he can have his fingers in. He's certainly a scummy businessman, but if he was actually trying to scam the end customers and crowdfunding backers is up for grabs. That latter point is what people (including me) are trying to distinguish.

 

But it's undeniable that he was pulling a con at the Toy Fair, and was certainly scamming Coleco, even if his endgame was to try to ship a real product after funding. Evil is as evil does, regardless of intention or means to an end, and Mike's responses to trouble were certainly from the dark side of the force.


Edited by wf_, Thu Mar 10, 2016 2:09 AM.


#7031 Carbon Tiger OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Mar 10, 2016 2:27 AM

His many failed business ventures also kind of paint him in a bad light. They're all centered around his gaming hobby. Now I get it he wants to work with something he's interested in but interest does not imply talent or knowledge. Also all of his ideas are really "Death of a Salesman" like get rich quick schemes that involve very little work. His business ideas are all also ripped off ideas of something else but with retro!! He's not really filling a market need just trying to replace existing ones with some nebulous idea of it will be better. Also his behind the scenes actions would get him in trouble in various ways provided he ever made real money with any of this stuff.



#7032 StopDrop&Retro OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Mar 10, 2016 3:25 AM

^ His ideas have serious problems because they go too far into the absurd. But ripping off ideas is actually one of the safest bets to make in business. After all- Henry Ford did not invent the car. Most inventions or ideas never take off in their first iteration. It's usually a competitor who solves a problem and finds success. Also, for someone who wants to make his hobby his work, he sure doesn't understand his market, or just doesn't want to listen to them.

 

I see his biggest Achilles heel is his constant need to go to crowdfunding. I don't get it. I guess the easiest explanation is "he doesn't want to put his own money on the line." But I think the true reason runs much deeper than just that. I think successful crowdfunding is a symbol of acceptance in his mind. If he hits the "Successfully Funded" milestone, then he feels his idea has been accepted and he is an unquestionable success. Whether he delivers or not is no longer an issue, he can blame whatever problem got in the way of delivery as being some force beyond his control. As long his campaign was successfully funded then he's right, he's successful, he's accepted, the haters were all wrong.



#7033 rdemming ONLINE  

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Posted Thu Mar 10, 2016 3:25 AM

 

Panther was 32 bit, yo.


Yea... I guess they would have marketed that way even though the intent was to use a 68000 Motorola CPU, the same one used in the Genesis. The 68000 has a 16 bit wide external bus. At least Sega was honest and didn't try to add the Z80 and call the Genesis a 24 bit system....

 


The bitness of the general purpose CPU says nothing. In a game console it is all about the graphics chips. The Intellivision had a 16-bit CPU but the graphics were only a little better than a 2600. The PC-Engine had a 8-bit CPU and was in the same league as the 16-bit SNES and MegaDrive because its graphics chip was 16-bit (and was marketed as 16-bit). The Atari Lynx as had a 8-bit CPU but a 16-bit graphics chip but I can't remember if it was marketed with any bitness at all.

 

So you can't only take the bitness of the general purpose CPU as an indication for the bitness of the whole system. In a game console it is the graphics chip that counts so if the Panther's graphics chip is 32-bit, you can arguably call it a 32-bit system just like the PC-Engine was arguably a 16-bit system.

 

Robert



#7034 Algus OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Mar 10, 2016 3:55 AM

I've been catching up after not following this since the end of IGG and my jaw is just slack. To me it is amazing that MK was ever able to persuade River West he was a legit outfit. The vetting process by major gaming news sites is shockingly bad as well. I liked Mike and defended him heavily in the past but his attempts to damage control as this venture collapsed around him have disabused me of whatever faith I had left in him.

I really can't believe this went on as long as it did and that he was able to convince so many people, himself included, that having the manufacturing shells for an old game console would let him easily make a new console.


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#7035 UKMike OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Mar 10, 2016 4:09 AM



5. Fake Prototypes
Not one, but two fake prototypes.


Three.
Don't forget the Retro VGS lab.

#7036 dommie OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Mar 10, 2016 4:09 AM

 

I prefer to use the term "scheme" for all of his previous efforts. I don't think they ever rose to the proportion of a full blown scam until the day he stuffed a SNES mini in a Jag shell.

 

Was the GameGavel IndieGoGo the first?? Eh, not quite. 

 

Remember back in 2011 when the gaming press was all hyped up about how developers are getting screwed out of used game sales and therefore we need a system that will give money back to the developers when we buy and sell used games?

 

Well who better to come to our rescue than Mike Kennedy! Enter: PostalGamer, the alternative to GameStop brought to us by the man who made an alternative to eBay. Where he'll corner the used game market by offering you a used game with an online pass for a whopping $5 discount off the game if it was new!!

 

http://www.citizenga...lks-postalgamer

http://www.wired.com...mer-used-games/

 

Gee, I could swear Mike is determined to place himself as an unnecessary middleman in a gaming scene that doesn't need "an alternative" to established services that are already working just fine... if only I made a video about this...

 

In what seems to be a pattern of ill conceived business ventures, this postal gamer thing fits right into the MK story.  The buying and selling of used games is a complete commodity market system.  Used games are a commodity who's values more often than not rapidly evaporate.  The whole used game market system is completely independent of the game developers/manufacturers, and with good reason.  A used game merchant has to expend real money to buy back the used games that become inventory.  The developer/manufacturer doesn't spend a dime acquiring these rapidly depreciating commodities.  So why should they see a dime in the sales of these commodities.  The used merchant is taking all the financial risk.  It makes no sense to give them 10% (why 10% anyway?, why not 5%, or 25%?) of the sales of something they didn't touch.  This was apparently given very little thought, much like the RVGS/CC, et al.  It's like "cartridges, because... CARTRIDGES!"  The idea of giving away any percentage of profit to an unaffiliated party for no reason at all is just stupid.  Doubly so when the product devalues as fast as used video games.



#7037 dommie OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Mar 10, 2016 4:16 AM

 

 

Where does he get these delusions of grandeur? Check this out

 

 

This was posted in 2011, so I guess they're off the hook for giving back "up to" $500,000,000. Note: they would need to have done FIVE BILLION DOLLARS in sales to get up to that amount.

 

Note to press: don't take this loon seriously, OK?

 

edit: billion, not trillion ... I would have gotten away with it too, if it weren't for that meddlesome SD&R

 

HOLY EFFING SHIT!  I missed that gem.  So wait, MK projected $1B/year revenue for this brand new company??  One billion US dollars a year in used game sales.  The ENTIRE WHOLE of used game sales per year is about $2B.  Globally.  He projected to sell half of all used games on earth.  What. The. Fuck.



#7038 carlsson OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Mar 10, 2016 4:22 AM

I have never really know who actually designed the CV. 

A bit off-topic, but I've read about reference designs from Far East Asia, whether those were in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Vietnam (!) or even Korea. Supposedly some company had designs with both Z80 + VDP and 6502 + VDP, of which VTech opted on the later design for their Creativision console, while Coleco, Sord and eventually Spectravideo went with Z80 + VDP. Regarding the SN sound chip also from TI, it should be noted that Colecovision, Creativision and Sord M5 have that in common, while Spectravideo and a lot of other systems went with the GI AY chip already in use in the Intellivision, Bandai Supervision etc. I kind of believe that TI offered discounted bundles of their two custom chips, perhaps after finding out their $1150 TI-99/4 was difficult to sell. It also seems that in VDP reference manuals from early on, there were code examples for different CPU's, so perhaps TI all along planned to sell their custom chips to various manufacturers, which is when a custom chip becomes an off the shelf component.



#7039 enoofu OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Mar 10, 2016 4:32 AM

I've been catching up after not following this since the end of IGG and my jaw is just slack. To me it is amazing that MK was ever able to persuade River West he was a legit outfit. The vetting process by major gaming news sites is shockingly bad as well. I liked Mike and defended him heavily in the past but his attempts to damage control as this venture collapsed around him have disabused me of whatever faith I had left in him.

I really can't believe this went on as long as it did and that he was able to convince so many people, himself included, that having the manufacturing shells for an old game console would let him easily make a new console.


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Most major gaming news sites are owned by the global 3 news organizations which always show 24/7 Kardashian new coverage, sad but true we can't expect much from them, including the truth or facts.

 

River West Brands is a marketing company, much like Retro VGS so it isn't shocking, as both are legit companies

RWB probably knew before hand their could be major problems, and wanted to get the Coleco name out above all else, especially since they have no experience in Technology based physical goods.

A lot of new legit companies promise the moon and can't de·liv·er, and usually become failing businesses


Edited by enoofu, Thu Mar 10, 2016 4:32 AM.


#7040 dommie OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Mar 10, 2016 4:40 AM

Just to dig in a little more on this postal gamer thing:

 

Using waybackmachine, postalgamer.com only had a few snapshots for 2011-2012, all redirecting to game gavel.  Turns out the name "postal gamer" was already somebody else's trademark.  Which is weird because there is no record of it in the USPTO database.  Anyhow, there was some sort of conflict so they changed the name to "parcel gamer".  Wayback has the same redirect to game gavel snapshots for 2011-2012.  The redirect page for this timeline looks like this:

 

https://web.archive....arcelgamer.html

 

The page reads like the team page for the CC.  A nice touch is that most of the team members are "proposed" team members.  Anyhow, this thing never stood a chance, much like the RVGS/CC.  



#7041 enoofu OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Mar 10, 2016 5:02 AM

post-39360-0-56121400-1457282537.png

Surprisingly Star Wars already seen and destroyed this enemy 

 


Edited by enoofu, Thu Mar 10, 2016 5:03 AM.


#7042 carlsson OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Mar 10, 2016 5:41 AM

Perhaps Mike can find another backer. How about the Kim Kardashian Kartridge Konsole? 



#7043 wf_ OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Mar 10, 2016 5:42 AM

I see his biggest Achilles heel is his constant need to go to crowdfunding. I don't get it. I guess the easiest explanation is "he doesn't want to put his own money on the line." But I think the true reason runs much deeper than just that. I think successful crowdfunding is a symbol of acceptance in his mind. If he hits the "Successfully Funded" milestone, then he feels his idea has been accepted and he is an unquestionable success. Whether he delivers or not is no longer an issue, he can blame whatever problem got in the way of delivery as being some force beyond his control. As long his campaign was successfully funded then he's right, he's successful, he's accepted, the haters were all wrong.

 

But Ouya! Ouya Ouya Ouya! Such crowdfund!

 

If only he can get just X percent of Ouya's funding | eBay's marketshare | Nintendo's install base | etc, then he'd be rolling in cash!
 



#7044 Flojomojo OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Mar 10, 2016 5:53 AM

 
Mike's Linkedin subheading now says "Celebrating the History of Video-Games" (with the hyphen).

The business about a new console is gone, too. This new profile is classier. I'm glad he's updating his stuff and showing a little humility.

#7045 wf_ OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Mar 10, 2016 6:01 AM

While I would expect changes to be geared towards his next venture, "Celebrating the History of Video-Hyphen-Games" could simply be a reference to his magazine.

 

I hope so, and that he's taking some time off to reflect on things before stumbling into whatever is next for him.



#7046 Flojomojo OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Mar 10, 2016 6:19 AM

While I would expect changes to be geared towards his next venture, "Celebrating the History of Video-Hyphen-Games" could simply be a reference to his magazine.
 
I hope so, and that he's taking some time off to reflect on things before stumbling into whatever is next for him.

Agreed.

If I were his day job employer of the past ten years, I would sit him down and have a little talk about priorities. I would ask what he thinks the effect of his recent, high profile outside ventures on our organization's reputation might be. I would inquire about whether he really wants to stay, and put him on notice to shape up and focus on his steady paycheck job, which he should not take for granted. I would ask him point blank why he doesn't just go chase the chuckwagon full time.

I'm a little surprised that Googling "Mike Kennedy video games" doesn't (yet) have the words "scam" and "fraud" all over the search results.

#7047 Raticon OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Mar 10, 2016 6:21 AM

Perhaps Mike can find another backer. How about the Kim Kardashian Kartridge Konsole? 


They could make it a tie-in with the reality show, having the whole family get together at the end of every episode and play some KKKK.

#7048 Flojomojo OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Mar 10, 2016 6:23 AM

There are still some true believers out there.

http://xpcoin.com/20...is-a-good-idea/

#7049 enoofu OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Mar 10, 2016 6:36 AM

There are still some true believers out there.

http://xpcoin.com/20...is-a-good-idea/

 

Yeah that article is a joke, DLC's were common, buggy games, and Piracy was somewhat common even with carts in the 80's

 



#7050 rob_ocelot OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Mar 10, 2016 6:40 AM

There's a quote attributed to someone from Factory Records (I'm really embarrassed I can't remember who) around the end of Joy Division/start of New Order era that basically states "if you have the choice to live the truth or live the legend... take the legend". it's not entirely applicable here but I think of it because I'd rather have the legend of Mr. Lee than finding out the boring ol' truth. We have plenty of insane nonsense from this ordeal to give us chuckles for a lifetime.
 

 

Sounds like a quote from Tony Wilson, Factory Records' founder.   Or Martin Hannett. 

 

As for who this mysterious 'Lee' is --

 

We've just unmasked Janus as one of Mike's cronies who was trolling or hyping here and there's the ugly possibility that it was happening at Mike's behest or instruction.  Would not at all be surprised to find Janus or another sheep in the Retro fold posing as a 'hardware engineer' at some mysterious Google-esque entity.   That sounds like just the sort of shit someone who thought they could pass off a video capture card as a console would come up with.   This is probably the most mundane of the pack of lies told.


Edited by rob_ocelot, Thu Mar 10, 2016 6:41 AM.







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From: Coleco Chameleon .... hardware speculations?

By Serguei2 in Robin Gravel's Blog, on Tue Mar 8, 2016 9:32 PM

If only Coleco Chameleon was true, I would buy it
 
Unfortunately, it's seem it's a prank after all.
 
  
Source: Coleco Chameleon .... hardware speculations?

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