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

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


Technical specificationsEdit

  • 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, that enabled the ColecoVision to be compatible with the Atari 2600. 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. 2600Edit

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 much more compact than the large faux-woodgrain consoles sold by Atari at the time. The Gemini also had a different game included with the system. Atari was still including the Combat game released in 1977. The Gemini most commonly included Donkey Kong, 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.[8]

Coleco struck a deal with Columbia House to start a video game club similar to its record club. Columbia sold the Coleco Gemini as the Columbia Home Arcade through the Columbia House Video Game Club. In Canada, CBS Electronics sold the Gemini under the Columbia Home Arcade name.


  1. ^ a b OLD-COMPUTERS.COM Museum - Coleco Gemini page
  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. ^,5116985&hl=en
  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. 03. Pumpkin Press.
  8. ^ 1983 Wish Book. Sears. 1983. p. 597. Archived from the original on 10 July 2017. Retrieved 26 June 2019.

External linksEdit