When you ‘die’ in a video game, you get a chance to restart. Unfortunately the gaming industry itself doesn’t have that option. There are many consoles that have tried—and failed—to capture the hearts and the money of the consumers. Some deserve to rot in the junk heap of Bad Ideas. Others were actually great products that didn’t get the marketing support, or simply were years ahead of their time. Which of these consoles did you try?
Hardcore gamers often speak of Neo Geo with a sad sigh. It offered incredible arcade quality gaming at home, but since it was one of the pioneers, the market wasn’t ready—and the prices were way, way beyond what a typical gamer could afford. Three hundred dollars per game? Seriously?!
The fact that it lasted that long (you could still find Neo Geo software in 2004) tells a lot about its quality, but it just couldn’t get enough sales to keep afloat.
Sega gambled a lot on this console, and lost nearly $260 million and a third of its employees in the process. Here was the problem: the company spent too much developing its hardware, but had such horrible development tools that its software was just plain crummy. Plus, it was more expensive to make than Playstation. Bigger operating expenses, a slow trickle of sales, and you know what’s going to happen.
It was a good machine, but once again, the game was won and lost around the titles. I owned both a Playstation and a Dreamcast at one point, and while the latter had some fun games (Crazy Taxi was a favorite) it was nothing compared to the awesome Playstation titles released every year (like Final Fantasy). Since most people buy consoles for the games (durh!) Dreamcast started gathering dust on the shelves.
It seemed like a good idea—mobile gaming, what’s not to love?—but by trying to be both a phone and a console it ended up being bad at both. The buttons were too small for playing games, the portrait orientation didn’t work too well with most games, and its shape was just too un-sexy for a phone.
The Apple Pippin
Once upon a time, Apple wasn’t cool. The Pippin was one of its clumsy attempts: overpriced, and with such a miserable selection of games (a grand total of just 18 for North America) it really wasn’t worth it.
Jaguar? It felt more like a kitten, in terms of power. It had no power, no third party support, and really, no impact. Faced with the competition of Sony and Sega, the Jaguar pretty much whimpered into extinction. However, you’ll find a few consoles rotting in some stores, where they’re collected mainly as retro novelties.
Photo from the-other-view.com