The ColecoVision was Coleco Industries' second generation home video game console, released in August 1982. The ColecoVision offered arcade-quality graphics and gaming style, the ability to play other home consoles' video games (notably the Atari 2600), and the means to expand the system's hardware. The ColecoVision was released with an initial catalog of 12 titles, with 10 additional titles on the way for 1982. All told, approximately 170 titles were released in the form of plug-in cartridges between 1982 and 1985.  

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  Coleco licensed Nintendo's Donkey Kong as the official pack-in cartridge for all ColecoVision consoles, and this version of the game was well received as a near-arcade perfect port, helping to boost the console's popularity. By Christmas of 1982, Coleco had sold 500,000 units, largely on the strength of its bundled game. The ColecoVision's main competitor in the next generation console space was the arguably more advanced but less commercially successful Atari 5200.

The ColecoVision was distributed by CBS Electronics outside of the United States, and was branded the CBS ColecoVision.

Sales quickly passed one million in early 1983, before the video game crash of 1983. The ColecoVision was discontinued in the spring of 1984. Even with its late difficulties, the ColecoVision still sold more than six million units. In 1986, Bit Corporation produced a ColecoVision clone called the Dina, which was sold in the United States by Telegames as the Telegames Personal Arcade.

Today, Coleco emulators and games are widely available as abandonware on the Internet. Although the games remain copyrighted, the holders of ColecoVision games have tended not to enforce their copyrights, in contrast to Intellivision and some Atari games.
  The main console unit consists of a 14x8x2 inch rectangular plastic case that houses the motherboard, with a cartridge slot on the right side and connectors for the external power supply and RF jack at the rear. The controllers connect into plugs in a recessed area on the top of the unit.

The design of the controllers is similar to that of Mattel's Intellivision - the controller is rectangular and consists of a numeric keypad and a set of side buttons. In place of the circular control disc below the keypad, the Coleco controller has a short, 1.5-inch joystick. The keypad is designed to accept a thin plastic overlay that maps the keys for a particular game. Each ColecoVision console shipped with two controllers.
  Coleco's software approach was to go after licensed arcade games that Atari had missed and to make cartridges for the 2600 and Intellivision in addition to its own system. Realizing that Atari had firm support from Namco (creators of Pac-Man and many other hits), Coleco involved itself with companies like Sega, Konami, and Universal. The ColecoVision had enough power to produce near-arcade-quality ports, and industry magazines like Electronic Games were unanimous in their enthusiasm over the console.

Some of the more popular games included Donkey Kong (the pack-in), Donkey Kong Junior, Carnival, Lady Bug, Mouse Trap, Smurfs: Rescue in Gargamel's Castle, and Zaxxon. The ColecoVision didn't offer many revolutionary new games, since most of its popular titles were arcade ports. Still, it did offer a few notable original titles like War Room, Illusions, and Fortune Builder, an early milestone in the style of SimCity. Most cartridges did not have an end-game to beat, but instead would loop around to the beginning, such as Cosmic Avenger.

Coleco also popularized less popular arcade games, such as Venture, the aforementioned Cosmic Avenger and Lady Bug, as well as Mr. Do!. In some cases, the console versions were arguably superior to the arcade versions, as seen in Space Panic.
  From its introduction, Coleco had touted a hardware add-on called the Expansion Module #1 which made the ColecoVision compatible with the industry-leading Atari 2600. Functionally, this gave the ColecoVision the largest software library of any console of its day. The expansion module prompted legal action from Atari, but Atari was unable to stop sales of the module because the 2600 could be reproduced with standard parts. Coleco was also able to design and market the Gemini game system which was an exact clone of the 2600, but with combined joystick/paddle controllers.

Expansion Module #2 came with steering wheel, gas pedal controllers and Turbo (the pack-in), also for use with the games Destructor and Dukes Of Hazzard.

Expansion Module #3, the final hardware expansion module, was released in the summer of 1983. Module #3 converted the ColecoVision into a full-fledged computer known as the Coleco Adam, complete with keyboard and digital data pack (DDP) cassette drives. Module #3 was originally conceived to be the ColecoVision "Super Game Module" using game wafers as the storage medium. Although Coleco presented a mock-up of the SGM at the 1983 New York Toy Show, that product was never to be. There were also rumors that Expansion Module #3 was to have incorporated an RCA CED player to store larger amounts of data.

Coleco prototyped a fourth expansion module intended to provide compatibility with Mattel's Intellivision, but they never released it.

There were also two other available expansion modules, a roller controller expansion module that was packaged with a Caterpillar-like game called Slither and a Sports Controller that was similar in design to a boxing glove with a joystick on top and a series of buttons within the grip area.
  Coleco was infamous for not releasing the games it advertised. In most cases, it isn't certain if games that never came out were advertised using actual screenshots of a game or artist renditions designed to look like a completed game. Nevertheless, over fifty ColecoVision games were advertised in catalogs or on boxes, but never released.

In 1997, ColecoVision was given its first "homebrew" game, the Tetris clone Kevtris by Kevin Horton. Since then, homebrew game designer John Dondzila has released three new ColecoVision games, Space Invasion, Star Fortress, and Purple Dino Demo.
  All Coleco cartridges and most third-party titles had a twelve second delay before the game select screen showed up. A common, but incorrect, anecdote suggested that this delay was the result of a function in the ColecoVision that emulated the programming language PASCAL. The real reason behind the twelve second delay is a loop in the ColecoVision BIOS, so the delay was purely intentional. Some companies like Parker Brothers, Activision, and Micro Fun avoided the delay by simply bypassing the loop in the BIOS.  
  The ColecoVision contains the same CPU and graphics chip as the MSX1 and Sega SG-1000/SC-3000. It also shares a sound chip with the Sega machines (including the Master System), making them identical in hardware capabilities. The MSX contains a different sound chip that is very similar in capabilities, the General Instruments AY-3-8910. For this reason it proved very easy to port games between the three systems.  
  CPU: Zilog Z80A @ 3.58 MHz  
  Video processor: Texas Instruments TMS9928A  
  256x192 resolution  
  32 sprites  
  16 colors  
  Sound: Texas Instruments SN76489A  
  3 tone generators  
  1 noise generator  
  VRAM: 16KB  
  RAM: 1KB  
  Storage: Cartridge: 8/16/24/32KB