Coleco Gemini

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Coleco Gemini
Coleco Gemini
The Coleco Gemini
ManufacturerColeco Industries, Inc.
TypeHome video game console
GenerationSecond generation
MediaROM cartridge
CPUMOS 6507 @ 1.19 MHz
MemoryRAM: 128 bytes
Display160x200, 128 Colors [1]
Controller inputCombination joystick/paddle controller
RelatedAtari 2600

The Coleco Gemini is an Atari 2600 clone manufactured by Coleco Industries, Inc. in 1983.[2][3]

Technical specifications[edit]

  • Processor: 8-bit 6507
  • CPU speed: 1.19 MHz
  • RAM: 128 bytes
  • Resolution: 160x200, 128 Colors [1]


In 1982, Coleco released Expansion Module #1 for its ColecoVision video game system. Using off-the-shelf components, the module enabled the ColecoVision to be compatible with Atari 2600 software. Later that year, Atari, Inc. sued Coleco for patent infringement,[4] and the companies wound up settling out of court, with Coleco becoming a licensee of Atari's patents.[5][6]

Gemini vs. 2600[edit]

The internals of the Gemini

The main difference between the Coleco Gemini and the Atari 2600 is the controller design. The Coleco Gemini controllers (dubbed the 'Dual Command') featured an 8-way joystick and a 270-degree paddle on the same controller (the joystick was at the top of the controller, and the paddle was at the bottom of the controller). To play paddle games on the 2600, a Y-connector could be used to connect a joystick and paddles to the controller jack at the same time, rather than physically swapping controllers.[7]

The Gemini was more compact than the large faux-woodgrain or gloss black-trimmed consoles sold by Atari at the time. The Gemini also had a different game included with the system. Atari was including its 1982 version of Pac-Man[8] along with Combat (1977). The Gemini initially came bundled with Coleco's 1982 port of Donkey Kong,[9] but at some point also included Carnival, Mouse Trap and Front Line. Sears also offered a version of the Gemini with both Donkey Kong and Mouse Trap included as separate cartridges.[10]


  1. ^ a b "Coleco Gemini". Old Archived from the original on September 11, 2019. Retrieved November 12, 2019.
  2. ^ Baker, Kevin (2013). The Ultimate Guide to Classic Game Consoles. pp. 69–71. ISBN 978-1456617080.
  3. ^ Baskerville, Tim (February 26, 1983). "Coleco, Atari Going One-on-One in Expansion". Billboard.
  4. ^ "Coleco Industries Is Sued by Atari". The New York Times. New York, NY. December 9, 1982. Retrieved April 17, 2016.
  5. ^ "Coleco, Atari settle up". The Associated Press. The Ledger. March 13, 1983. p. 51. Retrieved November 11, 2019. Under their settlement, the companies said Coleco could continue making and selling its Expansion Module No. 1 and its free-standing Gemini Video Game System. However, Coleco will do so as a licensee of Atari's patents.
  6. ^ "Company News: Atari-Coleco Pact". The New York Times. New York, NY. March 12, 1983. Retrieved April 17, 2016.
  7. ^ Sittnick, Mike (December 1983). Sharpe, Roger C.; Canole, Patricia; Greenberg, Perry (eds.). "Coleco's Gemini: The Dual Purpose Game System". Video Games. Vol. 2, no. 3. Pumpkin Press.
  8. ^ "Image of box with Pac-Man sticker".
  9. ^ 1982 Annual Report. Coleco. April 8, 1983. p. 17.
  10. ^ 1983 Wish Book. Sears. 1983. p. 597. Archived from the original on July 10, 2017. Retrieved June 26, 2019.

External links[edit]