The Five Failed Video Game Consoles (That Had it Coming)

Posted on September 12, 2010
Views: 1,654

Subscribe to our newsletter

Advertisements

Video games have a long and complex history. The Atari crash. Nintendo saving the entire industry. The rise of Sony. And even today a game console designed for simple games that appeal to old people and children and makes them stand up and flail around like loons makes cash by the bucket while "hardcore" gamers scream bloody murder about it and the other two systems fight tooth and nail for second place.

But, although we only remember a few systems, the history of gaming is littered with many consoles. Some were ahead of their time. Some were way behind before they were even released. Others were bad ideas. And still others, five to be specific, deserved the heaping helping of miserable failure that was force-fed to them. Whether it was charging way too much, eating batteries like a fat kid eats cake, or simply not having a reason to exist, here are the five that deserved everything fate gave them and more.

1.

Pioneer LaserActive

pioneer laser active

One thing most fans of one console or another have noted is that, oddly, each console seems to want to do a lot more than just play video games. It wants to stream your Netflix, play your movies, turn your TV into a web browser, and generally serve as your living room butler. What they may not know is that this dream was a lot older than they thought: Pioneer first tried it in 1993 with the LaserActive.

We'll give the Pioneer LaserActive at least this much: by buying add-ons, you could play both TurboGrafx and Genesis games as add-on modules, in addition to the fancy new laserdisc games. It even had 3D goggles. For those of you born after 1990: LaserDiscs are to DVDs as records are to CDs. The problem was that the core system was $900 and the add-ons were $600 apiece, because that's what people were apparently willing to pay for a Genesis bolted onto a laserdisc player.

And not only was it insanely expensive…there weren't any games, and what games were available happened to be ports. So basically Pioneer wanted people to pay thousands to play games they could play more cheaply elsewhere. Yeah, that ended well.

2.

The Sega Nomad

sega nomad

If there's one thing old-school Sega fans like to talk about bitterly as they sit in bars, drinking cheap whiskey and reminiscing about the days when Sonic games didn't make impaling yourself look like whimsical childhood fun, it's the fact that Sega was perpetually ahead of its time. But no failure was so stupid or so egregious as the Nomad.

On paper, the Nomad was perfect. Back when portable gaming was basically the Game Boy's monochrome screen and 8-bit technology, the Nomad was a portable 16-bit powerhouse, the perfect way for Sega to keep those Genesis games alive, leapfrog its competitors technologically, and stay relevant. After all, all that needed to happen was for people to keep making Genesis games.

Unfortunately, that didn't happen because Sega forgot one minor detail: the Nomad was the size of a concrete block and ate double-A batteries like some ravening, acid-guzzling, electricity beast. In other words, Sega made a portable that was barely portable. So instead of beating Nintendo at their own game with a handheld that had a huge library of games and a proven development technology, Sega crashed and burned.

On the bright side, at least it prepared Sega die-hards for the Dreamcast's failure.

3.

The Apple Pippin

apple pippin

There are many things that define the embarrassment that was the Internet in the early '90s, but nothing quite sums it up as well as the "TV PC". For some reason, everybody thought that computers that connected to TVs were going to be the wave of the future, because that's what we think of when we think of computers: low resolution screens that don't refresh that quickly. And nobody redefined "embarrassing" in the early '90s quite like the flailing Apple. The center of this Venn diagram is a device so terrible Apple won't even speak of it. That's how much the Pippin sucked.

Yep, before Steve Jobs came back and turned Apple into the well-designed supervillain-y empire it was always fated to be, there was the early '90s, when Apple just kept inflicting terrible ideas on the world. The Pippin was intended to be a low-cost computer, but, this being Apple in the early '90s, it wound up being a ridiculously expensive game console. How expensive? Try $600 on for size.

To be fair, it was supposed to be a platform Apple would license, not something Apple produced, but it wound up being their baby. Their thalidomide baby, really. And considered what a steaming pile of crap the Newton was, that's saying something.

Advertisements
Random
Page 1 of 3
Loading...

Latest Articles

20 Bizarre Flavors of Food You’ll Find Around the World

20 Bizarre Flavors of Food You’ll Find Around the World

People all over the world have different tastes in all sorts of things. Music, movies, television, politics, and so forth. And in some cases, it’s their actual tastes that vary...

20 of the Most Terrifying Things Kids Have Ever Said

20 of the Most Terrifying Things Kids Have Ever Said

Kids say the darndest things, as the old saying goes. They also say some of the most horrifying things, as well. Most of the time it’s just because they don’t know any better...

20 Creepiest Abandoned Hospitals From Around the World

20 Creepiest Abandoned Hospitals From Around the World

Hospitals can be scary places. They’re sterile and often impersonal, and oh yeah, there are often people dying all around you. And let’s not even get into the fact that...

7 Weird Ways People Try to Get Drunk

7 Weird Ways People Try to Get Drunk

People like their booze, and have for centuries upon centuries. It’s not a secret that basically as long as there have been human beings roaming the Earth, there have been human...

8 Ways Science Says Sex Is the Best Medicine

8 Ways Science Says Sex Is the Best Medicine

With a few odd exceptions, people love sex. Sex sells, people enjoy watching it, and more importantly, people enjoy having it. That’s because sex makes you feel good, and it...

10 Absolutely Baffling Celebrity Cameos in Music Videos

10 Absolutely Baffling Celebrity Cameos in Music Videos

Believe it or not, music videos are actually things that still exist, despite the fact that channels like MTV would have you believe otherwise. Celebrities popping up in a music...

7 TV and Movie Side Characters That Deserve Their Own Spinoffs

7 TV and Movie Side Characters That Deserve Their Own Spinoffs

One of the hardest things about writing fiction is coming up with interesting, fully developed side characters. After all, you can’t spend too much time on them because you...

8 Incredible Facts About Game of Thrones

8 Incredible Facts About Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones is an absolute juggernaut. There’s no denying it. Along with Walking Dead, you’d be hard pressed to find a television show that gets more online chatter that...

7 Books That Should Would Make Great TV Shows

7 Books That Should Would Make Great TV Shows

With the return of the immensely successful and wildly popular Game of Thrones, it’s only natural to look at the bookshelf and imagine what books may have a chance to rival the...

8 Completely Off the Wall Zombie Movies

8 Completely Off the Wall Zombie Movies

First things first, let’s not pretend that zombie movies are ever going to be exactly “normal.” After all, we’re talking about movies that center on the conceit that the...