Coleco ColecoVision
This page was last modified 02:23, 6 January 2022 by Gdx. Based on work by Mars2000you.
Colecovision logo



ColecoVision is a game console with an hardware close to MSX1, the main difference is the sound chip. It was released in August 1982 and discontinued in 1985.

Power supply is external. it use a specific connector.

An adapter for Atari VCS/2600 cartridge was sold separately, too.

Brand Coleco Industries
Model ColecoVision
Year 1982 in USA, 1983 in Europe
Region USA, Europe
Launch price
Media ColecoVision cartridges
Video Texas Instruments TMS9918A/TMS9919A/TMS9929A
Audio Texas Instruments SN76489AN
Keyboard layout specific keypad combined with joystick


Colecovision box
Colecovision box back
CBS Colecovision
CBS Colecovision box
CBS Colecovision box back


The CPU is a NEC Z80 (μPD780C-1) with 1kB of RAM (7000h~73FFh). Rom size is 8kB. It contains its BIOS.

Controller ports use same connector as MSXs but pinout and operation are specific. Do not insert a ColecoVision controller into an MSX.


  • RF-output
  • RGB output (French version only)
  • ColecoVision cartridge slot
  • Expansion bus
  • 2 Joysticks ports (DE-9 type)
  • Power supply input (Specific connector, -/+5V and +12V)

Run ColecoVision software on MSX

ColecoVision software can't run on MSX without several changes. Many games have already been modified or are executable with a loader for DOS or have been converted to a cartridge.

Mission is the first ColecoVision Rom loader. It can launch a few games only. It does not require additional hardware. In addition, many games have been converted.

The differences between Coleco and MSXs are:

  • Memory map
  • BIOS
  • Uses non-maskable interrupts (This is the main problem to convert a game to MSX)
  • Used I/O ports
  • PSG is a SN76489 instead of AY-3-8910 (noise generator is on a separate voice)
  • Controllers

Fixes and upgrades