The competition among today’s video game systems is healthier than ever as electronic entertainment has become a mature hobby that is fully accepted by society. Each new console hits the market with a community waiting for it and they are always signed by one of the three big protagonists of the party: Nintendo, Sony or Microsoft. But along the way, so far, there are several failed consoles
And it’s that, in the last few years, as this industry was established, many companies tried to be a part of it, and hethe vast majority stayed by the roadside. There was everything: proposals from big names in consumer electronics and even blunders from those who now lead the way. While not considered successes, it took many of these platforms to get to where we are today. Shall we walk around here? console graveyard?
- Amstrad GX4000
- Philips CD-i
- Atari Jaguar
- Sega Saturn
- Virtual Boy
- Apple Bandai Pippin
- Dream cast
- Nokia N-Gage
- Play Station Vita
Amstrad was one of the big winners in the era of home microcomputers and managed to create a fantastic community of gamers and developers. In the early 1990s, he tried to break into the world of cartridge consoles with the GX4000, but he was quite late to the party. It was introduced with an 8-bit system in 1990, when the Mega Drive was already a reality with much more power and gaming possibilities. For example, barely 15,000 copies of the British company were sold, making it the first in this list of failed consoles.
Super Nintendo and Mega Drive showed the world that video games were very serious, on their way to becoming it a very juicy company. All the leading consumer electronics companies wanted to get involved, so we saw Philips making a promising start on CD-i.
His strong point was the introduction of the compact disc as a game format, which also allowed it to become a great multimedia player. The Dutch company managed to get licenses for Mario and Zelda, but neither these nor the rest of the catalog became relevant titles. The price didn’t help either, over $700.
Launched in 1993, in the middle of the reign of 16-bit consoles, Atari surprised everyone with a 64-bit system. Much more powerful on paper, but also very difficult to take advantage of, something that was noticed in the sparse catalog of titles.
Nor did it accompany the bulky handling that came with it, nor the accessory that replaced the cartridge for the most affordable CD discs. The appearance of PlayStation and Sega Saturn, two consoles that were considered anything but failures, topped it off. The Jaguar system caused Atari to go out of business.
3DO was a machine created by the Amiga designers and marketed by a leader in the field like Trip Hawkins, founder of Electronics Arts. Attempted to sell as a media centerwith fewer games than it takes to succeed as a console.
The price was high – $700 – but was more or less justified by offering a 32-bit ARM processor and the CD drive as a format for games. The project was so greedy that it was behind schedule Panasonic, Sanyo and LG making your versions. However, the project failed: it only lasted three years on the market.
Saturn had the responsibility to follow up on the Mega Drive and it is one of the best remembered consoles for video game enthusiasts. It boasts a catalog full of playable jewels that unfortunately remained in Japan, the only country where it wasn’t a failure.
In this sense, its low penetration in the rest of the world is marked the beginning of Sega’s decline as a manufacturer of hardware. Reasons? Except for the absence of one sonic who defended the launch also suffered too much competition from PlayStation, better prepared for the new era of three dimensions.
Surprising as it may seem, the Big N also has failed consoles. The oldest remembered is this Virtual Boy, a 100% Nintendo work, featuring the legendary Gunpei Yokoi (Game Boy) as the designer of the machine.
They wanted to create a headset that provided an immersive experience in a very early era of virtual reality. It has been chosen an unpleasant red color for images and a rather uncomfortable helmet to play in for hours on end. The quantity and quality of the games didn’t keep up either.
Apple Bandai Pippin
A fairly unknown console attempt, but very important for the protagonists involved: Apple designed and deployed the Mac OS platform while Bandai was in charge of making it a reality And I think software for her.
Technically, it highlighted its four-speed CD drive and a PowerPC 603e processor. But it came at a time when it was too busy, with the PlayStation, Nintendo 64 and Sega Saturn all fighting for a piece of the pie. They sold just over 40,000 copies and it’s a full member of this list of failed consoles.
That is incomprehensible a console that was so ahead of its time such a bump would hit. It offered some spectacular technical specifications, innovative controls, gameplay online and titles as special as Shenmue or sonic adventurewithin a fairly complete catalogue.
But the competition was too tough: PlayStation 2, GameCube and Xbox, nothing more and nothing less. Would the latest sega console – until the arrival of the mini versions -, which was forced to go out hardware and become a developer software for the rest of the platforms.
At the beginning of this century talking about mobile phones was synonymous with Nokia, true leader in technology and sales. In 2003 he ventured with a device that was a hybrid between portable console and terminaluniting the best of both worlds.
But they ignored major design issues, such as the unfortunate vertical screen format more typical of a 1990s phone. An N-Gage QD later appeared that improved the format, but it couldn’t do much against the large portables of the time: Game Boy Advance, Nintendo DS or Sony PSP.
PlayStation 2 is one of the most successful gaming systems in history In all respects, such an attractive variant as PSX did not seem to end up on this list of failed consoles. In any case, that was due to the price and low interest rates that prevented him from leaving Japan.
And what was PSX? Well, a PS2 improved by including a hard drive, a DVD recorder and a TV tuner. A total system to control the living roomin fact, commercialization was the responsibility of Sony Corporation, not PlayStation.
Play Station Vita
Another negative surprise in Sony’s track record, when had it all going for it to dominate the wearable market. We have to position ourselves at a time when PlayStation Portable had captured the hearts of players and an update would be more than welcome.
In this way, Sony created a perfect machine with Vita, due to screen quality, processing power and ergonomics that are hard to beat. There was no shortage of games that showed their potential, but beyond comprehension It didn’t have the support, not even from the development company itself, more focused on the launch of PlayStation 4.
Failure can be seen in a relative way depending on who we are comparing to and what company it is. Selling 14 million consoles may seem like a significant number, but Being Nintendo is very little. More if we take into account that the Wii has passed the hundred million mark.
It’s hard to explain the reasons for the glitch as the games were really good. The problem was probably that Nintendo didn’t know how to sell the system as a console other than the Wii. Lucky for them, they’ve returned to the path of hyped sales with their current console, the hybrid Switch.
We leave for last the latest flop in the world of video games, which is technically not a console, although it is a failed idea. Google has been very innovative in offering us a gaming platform via the cloud. For that reason, as a technology, we can only applaud the good functioning of a multitude of games in recent years, but we cannot say the same about the unattractive strategy of prizes and games that the large American company offers.
Parallel to Stadia, we can enjoy services such as GeForce Now and Xbox Cloud Gaming, which makes us think so Google gave up too early.
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Tags: historyVideo games