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Coleco Chameleon .... hardware speculations?


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#851 jaybird3rd ONLINE  

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Posted Sun Feb 14, 2016 4:17 AM

I've been wondering why in the world Mike and Co. would have bothered bringing their "prototype" to Toy Fair in its present condition, when it's so obvious that they have almost nothing tangible to show for all the months they've spent "working miracles."  Then, something occurred to me: maybe this whole exhibit at the Coleco booth isn't about selling the system to distributors or making industry contacts, but instead is just a charade intended solely to satisfy Kickstarter's requirement of having a working prototype.
 
I've forgotten the details, but I remember reading once about some failed product idea--I seem to recall that it was a candy bar or cola-flavored bubble gum or something--that the company had no intention of actually bringing to market, but in order to cancel it and write it off, they had to be able to prove that they test marketed it first.  So, they brought the product to a single convenience store and put it on the shelves for only one day, with a company representative staking out the store the whole time to ensure that nobody actually bought it.  Maybe somebody here can remember what product it actually was, but the point is that they went through the motions to do the absolute minimum amount of work they needed to do to be able to officially check the box and move on.
 
Maybe the obscure little Coleco booth at Toy Fair is Mike's "convenience store."  Maybe all he ever intended to bring back from Toy Fair is pictures and video of their "prototype" in action--like the seventeen-second video with the guy doing a quick pan over the controllers and TV and saying "there you have it, it's for real, it's a thing!"--just to be able to "prove" to Kickstarter that they have a physical prototype.  The exhibit doesn't actually show you anything definitive about the product, but despite their promises that it would, it was never meant to: it was set up on the table at Toy Fair just so the press could document that it was really there, playing the games.

#852 leods OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Feb 14, 2016 4:23 AM

Yeah I am not buying that at all.   Unless they are going to license one that's already out there.  But I am not sure of the quality or coverage of any existing ones, though a few do exist.

 

For mine, I fully expected to spend a couple months getting the basics down (PPUs, CPU, DMA, cart stuff) and another couple more to debug it well enough to play a few games like Super Mario World.  Unless they got buckets of money to dump into someone's time to dev it, it most likely does not and will not exist.  Even if they used an existing one, it's still bound to a dev board, so they'll have to design a PCB for it, and since they dumped John, I am not sure who could design it for them without asking for money up front.

I asked a while ago wether you were in this Project. The only way I'd believe they had an SNES core ready was if you'd done it. I don't think they were in contact with someone with that much experience in FPGA. I could be wrong though.

 

The Problem is, at this Point I doubt they have a Hardware Team at all. After showing an SNES as a prototype, who would stick around as being their Hardware guy? Who would in their right mind come up as being the guy behind this prototype? If they had someone working on this I guess at this Point they've already jumped ship. Unless they're insane, but either way there's no way they'll have anything Close to a working prototype in a month from now. If they couldn't Show anything at all in the toy fair, how will they suddenly have something ready in a month?

 

And if the coleco People have any integrity at all, and any idea what's going on, they Need to sit down with M. Kenedy and have a serious talk, because it they want to rebuild this brand's Name, it's not a good idea to have their Name stamped big on this.

 

To finish, the Video I made on youtube got 4 thumbs up and 4 thumbs down, and the Facebook page is full of supportive comments.

 

Sadly most People can't see that a System the size of an SNES, with SNES ports on it, that Plays SNES games with SNES Controllers is much more likely an SNES than an FPGA board that has no reason whatsoever for having any of those ports to begin with. Even the power supply. Why on earth would you Chose an SNES power plug for your FPGA System? Who on earth would do that? But still some People just won't listen. Or they just won't care that the prototype "wasn't production ready".



#853 mickcris OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Feb 14, 2016 4:34 AM

I think they did not expect that anyone would notice what the "prototype" actually was.  they purposely took very low res video and never showed too much detail.  They also hid the console inside of a box so no one could get too close to it.

 

they should have used a Super Everdrive instead of an SD2SNES as its smaller and does not have the 2 extra sets of pins on the ends of the edge connector.  It probably would have fit better into the jag cartridge shell and would have been harder to see what it was.  Then taking the pic of the back of the system was another dumb move, just to prove to someone on facebook it was plugged in.  If they would have not done just these 2 things, and maybe wired up a power switch and led, we may not have noticed what it really was.  Or at least there would not be so much evidence.  People probably still would have speculated it wasn't real.


Edited by mickcris, Sun Feb 14, 2016 5:09 AM.


#854 PlaysWithWolves OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Feb 14, 2016 5:11 AM

These may have already been mentioned, but just in case they'd slipped through:

 

On Facebook, Mike posted a response that the power button doesn't work and that plugging in the cord turns it on.  I'm not sure why they didn't just put a switch in the cord, but nonetheless that may be one reason why the demo videos skip this part.

 

Also, here's Piko's PCB in the system, for those who were wondering--

 

 

12705409_947611795308091_608387777814608



#855 mickcris OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Feb 14, 2016 5:25 AM

These may have already been mentioned, but just in case they'd slipped through:

 

On Facebook, Mike posted a response that the power button doesn't work and that plugging in the cord turns it on.  I'm not sure why they didn't just put a switch in the cord, but nonetheless that may be one reason why the demo videos skip this part.

 

Also, here's Piko's PCB in the system, for those who were wondering--

 

 

12705409_947611795308091_608387777814608

 

I think it was mentioned.  The SNES power slider is on, inside the shell, and they have no good way to turn it on and off without anyone seeing whats in there cause they didnt bother to wire up an external switch.  I still think the reason for the jump cuts is they didnt want to show the SD2SNES menu.

 

also, Pico's PCB is just an SNES PCB which gives even more evidence of this being just an SNES mini inside a jag shell.


Edited by mickcris, Sun Feb 14, 2016 5:37 AM.


#856 leods OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Feb 14, 2016 6:08 AM

 

I think it was mentioned.  The SNES power slider is on, inside the shell, and they have no good way to turn it on and off without anyone seeing whats in there cause they didnt bother to wire up an external switch.  I still think the reason for the jump cuts is they didnt want to show the SD2SNES menu.

 

also, Pico's PCB is just an SNES PCB which gives even more evidence of this being just an SNES mini inside a jag shell.

It was this Picture with the Claim they're running flawlessly on an FPGA that made me go from "it Looks like an SNES, but they couldn't possibly do that"

 

To: "If they don't open this right now it's pretty much proven they slapped an SNES in a Jag shell".

 

At this Point it's sealed. Anyone who has any idea what's going on knows it's an SNES Jr. It's too perfect. They didin't go to through the Trouble of trying to conceal it. They could have properly made the board fit the Shell, use a ribbon cable to Reposition the Slot, put an HDMI upscaler in there and make reptros to the cartridges and try to fit them in the jag cartridge Shells. That's what they should have done if they had foreseen they'd Need this a week before Hand. But obviuosly something went wrong, they had nothing they wanted to Show and in the very last day they just quicly threw the SNES in there in a quick dirty Job. This is so poorly done it actually Looks like Mike did it himself, because as others pointed out, anyone who has done this Kind of Thing would have done a better Job even in a very tight time constrain. You give the parts to someone at midnight and by 9am they'd have a much better looking prototype. Even considering they're tired as hell working the night through.

 

I'd like for someone to make a Video making this protoype step by step and showing the end result. I think many People would Need to see this done to fully realyze what's going on, because they're too lazy to just Google some Pictures and join the pieces together themselves.



#857 Raticon OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Feb 14, 2016 6:46 AM

I'm also convinced that what they have at the Fair is just a SNES in a Jag shell posing as their own new unique system.

If so it is dishonest, fake and attempted fraud at the very least and i wish that they never make it further.

Who knows what other methods they may pull in the future if everyone let this slip?

#858 mickcris OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Feb 14, 2016 7:00 AM

I'd like for someone to make a Video making this protoype step by step and showing the end result. I think many People would Need to see this done to fully realyze what's going on, because they're too lazy to just Google some Pictures and join the pieces together themselves.

Not going to make a video, but i took some quick pictures.  Looks like the cut some of the plastic off from inside the shell to make the snes slot be up a bit higher, but im not going to ruin mine to make a better fit.  Here is a comparison someone made earlier:

http://atariage.com/...ions/?p=3439661

 

and my pic:

ylscAyRl.jpg

here is a couple more I took:

http://imgur.com/a/SOhhK

 

 

as you can see, the back sticks out exactly as much as it does in their video, but i did not cover mine in black tape.


Edited by mickcris, Sun Feb 14, 2016 7:06 AM.


#859 Flojomojo OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Feb 14, 2016 7:22 AM








 

 
Uhm, they really insist they have an FPGA core don't they. 

To me, that reads as ducking the question. I smell a Clintonian semantic dodge. They said that they wrote an SNES core, but they only implied that the thing on display at Toy Fair was it.

Like everyone else, I can't think of a good reason for them to wait 10 days to show the innards. Perhaps MK is trying to hold back from talking too much after the poor results of the last episode of this fine melodrama.

#860 leods OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Feb 14, 2016 7:25 AM

Not going to make a video, but i took some quick pictures.  Looks like the cut some of the plastic off from inside the shell to make the snes slot be up a bit higher, but im not going to ruin mine to make a better fit.  Here is a comparison someone made earlier:

http://atariage.com/...ions/?p=3439661

 

and my pic:

ylscAyRl.jpg

here is a couple more I took:

http://imgur.com/a/SOhhK

 

 

as you can see, the back sticks out exactly as much as it does in their video, but i did not cover mine in black tape.

 

Can I use your Pictures if I decide to make another Video about this? Just this you made is clear enough, and sincerely beyond a shadow of doubt. There is no Chance in hell they'd ever make a custom board exactly like an SNES Jr. If I do it I can either tell where I got the Pictures from or just say nothing. I'd do it as you wish.

 

BTW, I think they either filed a bit or just removed that plastic tab on the back Panel. Either way it's clearly and obviously a 100% perfect fit. I don't care what happens today. They can Show a full fledged FPGA running every single System in the history of Videogames. On the 13th of February they tried to pass an SNES in a Jag Shell as their own FPGA System.


Edited by leods, Sun Feb 14, 2016 7:30 AM.


#861 mickcris OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Feb 14, 2016 7:27 AM

 

Can I use your Pictures if I decide to make another Video about this? Just this you made is clear enough, and sincerely beyond a shadow of doubt. There is no Chance in hell they'd ever make a custom board exactly like an SNES Jr. If I do it I can either tell where I got the Pictures from or just say nothing. I'd do it as you wish.

yeah, you can use it.  dont need to mention where you got it from. :)



#862 Flojomojo OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Feb 14, 2016 7:46 AM

I'm also convinced that what they have at the Fair is just a SNES in a Jag shell posing as their own new unique system.

If so it is dishonest, fake and attempted fraud at the very least and i wish that they never make it further.

Who knows what other methods they may pull in the future if everyone let this slip?

Old 8-bit and 16-bit systems (not just the cartridges), the kind of thing this wants to mimic, were resilient, built like toy trucks and hard to break. They were field tested, made in large quantities, and supported by well funded multinational corporations with call centers and lots of professionalism.

The "prototype" as shown looks like it's hanging by a thread. Kickstarter backers should ask how their small team plans to ensure quality manufacturing and deal with defects. It's not like this machine would be easily replaced of any part of it would malfunction.

If this campaign shows up as promised, I intend to back it at the $1 level so I can ask lots of questions, get the entertainment benefit of their updates, and not lose any money.

#863 sh3-rg OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Feb 14, 2016 7:51 AM

12705409_947611795308091_608387777814608

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#864 roland p OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Feb 14, 2016 7:58 AM

The logo is off-centre, can't be legit :P



#865 rob_ocelot OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Feb 14, 2016 8:08 AM

 

 

 

Uhm, they really insist they have an FPGA core don't they. 

 

When the inveitable man behind the curtain is shown the backtracking explantion will be "I thought an FPGA and the original hardware were one and the same"



#866 leods OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Feb 14, 2016 8:14 AM

BTW, they announced the Early bird, it's going to be 135 Dollars with one Controller and a pack in game. Mike also said it's 10% Discount, so clearly they reached the imaginary Price of 150 Dollars to their imaginary System. Great to know. We're basically back to day one:

 

- they have atary Jaguar Shells.

 

-They're going to make a System, and it's going to be awesome and cost only 150 Dollars.

 

That's all Folks.



#867 Flojomojo OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Feb 14, 2016 8:25 AM

Only the man in the mirror knows for sure.

Attached Thumbnails

  • image.jpeg


#868 tep392 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Feb 14, 2016 8:32 AM

Really, they couldn't even wire up a power switch and an LED?  They already have the light pipes (they've been sending them out with their Jaguar cases), so all it would have taken is a bit of solder, an LED, a resistor, and some wire and hot glue.  At most, that's about $3.00 worth of parts and an hour of labor.

 

(Then again, everybody on the whole team seems to be management and marketing types, so maybe none of them knew how to do it.)

Management and marketing is going to be critically important once they get out of the design phase, if they hope to stay in business.  I really think designing a FPGA based system with off the shelf components is not a difficult design challenge. The biggest hurdle to long term success is going to be attracting competent game developers and distributing in sufficient volume to make a profit.



#869 PickyOldGamer OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Feb 14, 2016 8:35 AM

Not going to make a video, but i took some quick pictures.  Looks like the cut some of the plastic off from inside the shell to make the snes slot be up a bit higher, but im not going to ruin mine to make a better fit.  Here is a comparison someone made earlier:

http://atariage.com/...ions/?p=3439661

 

and my pic:

ylscAyRl.jpg

here is a couple more I took:

http://imgur.com/a/SOhhK

 

 

as you can see, the back sticks out exactly as much as it does in their video, but i did not cover mine in black tape.

 

Ok wow, that is just so damning of evidence, thank you.  Can I also use these photos in a video?  I know LeoDS and I do videos on this.  I wondering when to do one, or wait till end of ToyFair.

 

You know what sucks?  They hit the $150.  Sigh, they give a good price............for a flaming pile of crap.  "We will show your the PCB on Kickstarter".  I am 99.9% sure it will be a render and if it does, oh they will get a thrashing on my podcast which the next one is already dedicated to the Crap Chameleon.  Man, such a disappointment. 


Edited by PickyOldGamer, Sun Feb 14, 2016 8:36 AM.


#870 Raticon OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Feb 14, 2016 8:49 AM

As we suspected all along it will be priced at 150$ standard retail with 1 pack in and 1 controller. Honestly that isn't a bad price for any console that takes external media, but... considering that all the Inty and CV games are basically moot to get if you want this console for them as you can get both of those flashacks for 60$ combined. That leaves you with a few SNES homebrews and supposedly some Genesis homebrews as of now and you can play those on original hardware with a flash cart or in some cases by getting the cart release and thus save the hassle of getting another console to play them on, but i digress.

They tout a HDMI cable and USB controller, basically saying out loud that the thing they showed everyone at the fair (whatever it might be) is way off from the finished product in both input and output.
How can anyone know what they will be getting when such critical things as video output and controllers are changed around from a public demo to a Kickstarter?

Yes. We are all back at square one here. We could as well rewind the tape back to before the IGG and read all the announcements about controllers, pack-in games and HDMI and start over from there.

The only tangible way this can succeed now is that the KS goals are set way low. If they get even close to 1 million $ i will eat my socks on webcam livestream.



#871 Bill Loguidice ONLINE  

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Posted Sun Feb 14, 2016 8:51 AM

What are the bottom line speculations here? I mean, they're obviously not going to be putting SNES-minis or some clone SNES (or x-in-1) in there for the production model, so presumably this is a stall tactic until their actual FPGA-based system (their public statement of what it is) is ready, one that presumably will offer HDMI. I suppose if on the Kickstarter it doesn't offer HDMI, then I suppose it's fair game to assume that it's going to a repackaged clone system with a keyed cartridge slot so that only their cartridges will work in it (which would be easy enough to work around). At the same time, since they've shown ColecoVision and other games running (or at least what they want to have running) in their sizzle reels, it would have to be some type of FPGA, since there's no way one of the x-in-1's could emulate those systems. Geez, they really did themselves no favors here by showing only SNES games. It's obvious something is up. So maybe this is as others have speculated here and just a way to get to the Kickstarter part, hope for funding from that, THEN develop the actual FPGA-based system. If true, that to me is the absolute final straw with this (and for the team).



#872 Kosmic Stardust OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Feb 14, 2016 8:53 AM


If this campaign shows up as promised, I intend to back it at the $1 level so I can ask lots of questions, get the entertainment benefit of their updates, and not lose any money.

That's what I did with the IndieGogo, backing at the $10 teir. I did get my money back after the campaign ended. I'm not sure what Kickstarter's policy is, but I'm sure you can't just haphazardly delete updates. It will be something if Mike makes a statement he can't retract.



#873 PickyOldGamer OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Feb 14, 2016 8:54 AM

From an Ars Technica interview in December Mike stated $250,000 to $300,000 KS campaign.  If many buy into this, it might work.  I won't be, but many are getting fooled. 

 

http://arstechnica.c...tridge-console/


Edited by PickyOldGamer, Sun Feb 14, 2016 8:54 AM.


#874 Kosmic Stardust OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Feb 14, 2016 8:55 AM

As we suspected all along it will be priced at 150$ standard retail with 1 pack in and 1 controller. Honestly that isn't a bad price for any console that takes external media, but... considering that all the Inty and CV games are basically moot to get if you want this console for them as you can get both of those flashacks for 60$ combined. That leaves you with a few SNES homebrews and supposedly some Genesis homebrews as of now and you can play those on original hardware with a flash cart or in some cases by getting the cart release and thus save the hassle of getting another console to play them on, but i digress.
 

My Super Retro Trio does all that (SNES and Genesis and NES homebrew) and cost less than that. :P



#875 galax OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Feb 14, 2016 8:59 AM

Not going to make a video, but i took some quick pictures.  Looks like the cut some of the plastic off from inside the shell to make the snes slot be up a bit higher, but im not going to ruin mine to make a better fit.  Here is a comparison someone made earlier:
http://atariage.com/...ions/?p=3439661
[/url]

Here's another side-by side comparison: the Coleco Chamelon 'prototype' and mickcris's SNES mini in a Jag shell. Spot the difference:
image.jpeg image.jpeg

Edited by galax, Sun Feb 14, 2016 9:14 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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