Here’s one game console you may have never seen or heard about: the Gizmondo. Released by Tiger Telematics in March 2005, it was a popular topic among gamers due to its unique features such as Bluetooth, a 1.3-megapixel camera, SMS & MMS, GPS and GPRS. With fewer than 25,000 units sold, the Gizmondo was named by GamePro as the worst selling handheld console in history. By February 2006, the company was forced into bankruptcy and the Gizmondo was discontinued. Continue reading for more failed game consoles you might not have seen before.
5. Apple Pippin
The Apple Pippin was an open, multimedia technology platform, designed by Apple Computer, and marketed as PiPP!N. According to Apple, Pippin was directed at the home market as “an integral part of the consumer AV stereo and TV environment. By the time the Pippin systems were released, the market was already dominated by the Sega Saturn, Sony PlayStation, and the PC. In addition, despite Apple’s efforts to sign on software developers, there was little ready-to-use software for Pippin, the only major publisher being Bandai itself. At a price of US$599 on launch, it was considered too expensive in comparison to its contemporaries.
4. Pioneer LaserActive
The LaserActive is a converged device and fourth-generation game console capable of playing Laserdiscs, Compact Discs, console games, and LD-G karaoke discs. It was released by Pioneer Corporation in 1993. In addition to LaserActive games, separately sold add-on modules accepts Mega Drive/Sega Genesis and PC Engine/TurboGrafx 16 ROM cartridges and CD-ROMs. Pioneer released the LaserActive model CLD-A100 in Japan on August 20, 1993 at a cost of Y89,800, and in the United States on September 13, 1993 at a cost of $970. NEC later released a cloned version of the system, the NEC PDE-LD1, which also accepted Pioneer’s PAC modules. Due to its low value for money, the LaserActive was a commercial failure.
3. Action Max
Created in 1987 by Worlds of Wonder., Action Max is a console using VHS tapes for games. It required its owner to also have a VCR, as the console did not have a way to play tapes itself. Using a light gun (or two for 2-player games) players would shoot at the screen. The gaming was strictly point-based and dependent on shot accuracy. Players could not truly “lose” or “win” a game. This, along with the fact that the only real genre on the system were light gun games that played exactly the same way every time, greatly limited the system’s appeal and led to its quick downfall.
2. Philips CD-i
The Philips CD-i (Compact Disc Interactive) is an interactive multimedia CD player developed and marketed by Royal Philips Electronics N.V. to provide more functionality than an audio CD player or game console, but at a lower price than a personal computer with a CD-ROM drive at the time. Seen as a game console, the CD-i format proved to be a commercial failure. However, the device was sold until 1998, despite claims that Phillips planned a discontinuation in 1996. Despite this, they lost nearly one billion dollars on the entire project. The CD-i was also one of the earliest consoles to implement internet features, including subscriptions, web browsing, downloading, e-mail, and online play. This was facilitated by the use of an additional hardware modem that Philips released in 1996 for $150.
1. 3DO Interactive Multiplayer
The 3DO Interactive Multiplayer is a video game console platform developed by The 3DO Company. Conceived by entrepreneur and Electronic Arts founder Trip Hawkins, the 3DO was not a console manufactured by the company itself, but a series of specifications, originally designed by Dave Needle and R. J. Mical of New Technology Group, that could be licensed by third-parties. Panasonic produced the first models in 1993, and further renditions of the hardware were released in 1994 by Sanyo and GoldStar. Despite a highly promoted launch and a host of cutting-edge technologies, the 3DO’s high price of US$699 at launch and an over-saturated console market prevented the system from achieving success comparable to veteran competitors Sega and Nintendo.Since its discontinuation in late 1996, the 3DO has been frequently derided by video game historians.