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THE LARGEST Game Console Flops EVER

Sega Dreamcast game system


In the not-so-distant past, when video gaming were still young, the only real place you can play them was at an arcade. You’d ride your bike there after school, or on the weekends, with a pocket filled with quarters and a head filled with dreams. You’d while away the hours traversing pixelated dungeons, and fighting poorly-rendered aliens. Then, something wonderful happened.

The initial commercial at-home the game console . was invented by means of the Magnavox Odyssey (via Computer Museum of America). The technology enjoyed a short burst of popularity, spawning competitors like Atari, however the future of home video gaming wasn’t certain. Then companies like Nintendo and Sega, and later Sony and Microsoft, found the proper formula, and transformed video gaming right into a seemingly permanent area of the cultural landscape.

It doesn’t imply that every console developed by those companies, or their competitors, is a hit. For each success, there were a small number of failures, bits of tech that have been either before their time, wildly misguided, or mismanaged and doomed to the trash heap. A few of these you will likely remember, others have already been forgotten to time, and that could be to find the best.

Action Max

By the late ’80s, gaming systems had found their footing. The Nintendo Entertainment System, for example, was released in 1983, and contains sold nearly 62 million units worldwide (via Nintendo). Because of this, players had understand the cartridge-style games common compared to that along with other consoles.

It’s curious, then, that in 1987, Worlds of Wonder took a completely different approach. Its console, the Action Max, tossed away the familiar cartridges and only games built on VHS tapes. The console linked to your television via the VCR, and utilized a light gun to connect to the overall game (via GAMING Console Library).

Five games were produced, all of which played from the tape, and continued toward their climax whatever the player’s actions. Really the only evidence that the ball player was contributing at all was a flashing sprite which appeared every time the light gun’s trigger was squeezed.

From the certain viewpoint, the VHS game model was innovative, offering the improved graphics of a live-action movie when compared to pixelated worlds and characters of these competitors, nonetheless it lacked interactivity. The overall game loops were repetitive with little to no method of altering gameplay. That is clearly a risky thing to sacrifice, due to the fact gamers are searching for interactivity above almost everything else. Consequently, the Action Max tanked.

Atari Lynx

Home consoles took games out from the arcade and in to the living room, nonetheless it wasn’t until 1989 when things truly went mobile. Early that year, Nintendo launched the overall game Boy, something that continued to spawn a lot of descendants, a few of which are alive and well today. Hoping to keep its foothold in the gaming market, Atari launched its handheld device in nov 1989.

The Lynx, since it was called, must have been a sure thing. It boasted a full-color backlit display, which stood in stark contrast to the monochrome display of the overall game Boy. In addition, it had the opportunity to flip the screen in the event that you turned it ugly, allowing left-handed gamers to play with the d-pad on the proper side, and the buttons on the left. Not forgetting, the Lynx ran in 16-bit while Nintendo was still offering 8-bit games (via Engadget).

As the Lynx had the overall game Boy beat with regards to pure functionality, Atari made exactly the same kind of mistake for being the Action Max, leaning too heavily on form factor rather than heavily enough on actual gameplay. The Lynx had limited titles, also it couldn’t contend with such emerging darlings because the “Super Mario” series. In addition, it absolutely chewed through batteries, making the entire experience less enjoyable even though it had been prettier. Despite its superior tech, it simply didn’t stand the opportunity.

Commodore 64 Games System

The Commodore 64 is most well-known today being an old-timey computer, nonetheless it was an excellent system in its right. Users could insert games, and play them on the C64 through the use of the keyboard along with other peripherals (via Gizmodo). Then, in 1990, the business set its sights on the house gaming market.

The Commodore 64 Games System was largely a reskinned C64 with a joystick instead of the keyboard. It played all the same games because the original C64 with the notable exception that you couldn’t play any game that required the keyboard. Also, in the event that you wished to play games on the Commodore, you can get the computer for approximately exactly the same price because the Games System, and revel in the added functionality (via Some games were produced designed for the Games System, however they were sparse. That meant Commodore was competing with the NES and the Sega Genesis, both which had dedicated games titles and were purposely designed for home gaming.

Perhaps Commodore thought it had been an advisable risk, considering that it didn’t need to feel the trouble of constructing a fresh device to dip its toes in the gaming pool. The point is, the experiment failed, and the C64 SYSTEM sold significantly less than 25 % of the 80,000 units produced before it went belly up.

Sega Saturn

Sega Saturn game system


By the first ’90s, Sega had established itself as an integral player in the gaming market due in no small part to the popularity of the Sega Genesis, and its own hallmark character, Sonic. Schoolyard rivalries hinged on whether you’re a Nintendo kid or perhaps a Sonic kid, even though Nintendo ultimately won out, the Genesis did well available on the market, selling roughly 29 million units over its lifetime (via IGN).

Because the next generation of consoles was poised going to store shelves, Sega was making plans because of its next device by means of the Sega Saturn. In 1994, the Saturn premiered to considerable fanfare in Japan, selling out the original run of 200,000 units (via Game Informer). But, that’s when things went off the rails.

As Game Informer explains, Sony was going to release the initial PlayStation, and executives at Sega got scared. Consequently, they released the Saturn sooner than they’d originally planned hoping of beating Sony to advertise. The cobbled-together release meant it had been only offered by certain retailers at launch time, and minus the robust game lineup essential to support a console launch. What’s worse, the PlayStation launched soon after with a lesser price.

By 1998, the Saturn was discontinued, having only sold 9 million units in comparison with 100 million for the PlayStation.

Virtual Boy

By the mid-’90s, Nintendo was greater than a decade into dominating the house gaming space, however the cracks were beginning to show. Sony’s first PlayStation console had just dropped and was primed to bump Nintendo from its top spot. Needless to say, the Nintendo 64 would release in 1996to much success, however in the meantime, Nintendo was trying its hand at something truly bizarre with the Virtual Boy.

Virtual reality gaming is just gaining some ground almost three decades later, given that the technology has somewhat swept up with ambition. However in 1995, none of this was true. Regardless of the limitations, Nintendo attemptedto deliver on immersive 3D gaming by strapping a console to the player’s face. Although it offered a version of virtual reality, users were forced to trade in comfort and all but black and red colors for the privilege.

In accordance with AV Club, that’s as the graphics could have been unstable if they’d been offered completely color, and red LEDs were cheap. The true kicker, as may be the case in so many console failures, was the indegent lineup of games. A complete of 22 titles were produced for the Virtual Boy, and several of these didn’t work very well with the 3D effect, if not experienced the monochrome display. By 1996, the Virtual Boy was discontinued. Some reports say it only sold around 770,000 units. It remains a fascinating relic of gaming history, if an unsuccessful one.

Apple Bandai Pippin

Apple may be a high tech giant today, but that wasn’t the case in 1996 when it partnered with toy manufacturer Bandai to break right into the gaming market. Their console, dubbed the Pippin, was built on the building blocks of Apple’s Mac computers, but didn’t have any internal operating-system. Instead, all of the heavy lifting was done by the games themselves (via Insider).

Your time and effort reeks of Commodore’s earlier mistake, leveraging existing technologies in the house computer space to gain a toehold in gaming. Just like the C64 Games System before them, your time and effort failed. The Pippin played ported games from the Mac and utilized a fascinating controller, filled with a mouse trackball.

The Pippin wasn’t all bad: It did involve some cool features, just like the capability to play games irrespective of region. That meant you can buy games from other countries and play them anywhere, something still isn’t available automagically of all consoles. Ultimately, the Pippin offered inadequate, and cost an excessive amount of. Per Insider, it retailed for $600, doubly much because the PlayStation (via PSU) and 3 x just as much as the N64. Consumers weren’t having it, and the Pippin only sold 42,000 units before calling it quits per year after launch.

Sega Dreamcast

Sega Dreamcast game console


The Dreamcast was actually a reasonably good console, rendering it even more surprising that it failed. That has been partly because of Sega losing its footing with the Saturn, but had more related to some questionable design decisions and a changing market.

Electronic Arts pulled from the console before the launch over what it deemed warning flag. Even still, the Dreamcast had some pretty impressive games, including a far more than serviceable port of the arcade game “House of the Dead 2.”

The killing blow for the Dreamcast originated from the hardware. As the games were played on discs, the console was not capable of playing DVDs (via CBR). When Sony included that feature in the PlayStation 2, it went quite a distance toward winning over consumers (via The Gamer). When it came time and energy to buy a the game console ., whether it might also play movies was a deciding factor for most.

Worse still, the Dreamcast experienced lackluster piracy protection. Per CBR, users quickly discovered they might burn games onto a typical CD-R and share them with friends. The impact of the on game sales is probable impossible to find out, nonetheless it certainly couldn’t have helped. All told, the Dreamcast sold about 6.5 million unitsbefore Sega made a decision to halt production. Once the Sega Dreamcast died, so did Sega’s console efforts (via CBR). Since that time, the business has centered on making games for other platforms.

Nintendo 64DD

The Nintendo 64 did pretty much alone, selling roughly 33 million units over its lifetime (via Venture Beat), however the same can not be said for theNintendo 64DD. It had been less a console in its right, and much more an add-on to the Nintendo 64, which promised to upgrade Nintendo’s flagship device to a next-gen console.

In accordance with IGN, it allowed players to pull images from it, make 3D models, and also build their very own levels for a few games. In addition, it included primitive internet connectivity, allowing players to talk about what they made up of other gamers. If the 64DD have been released at or near to the time of the Nintendo 64’s release, it could have already been a casino game changer, but time waits for no console.

It had been originally planned for release in 1997, just a year following the Nintendo 64’s release, but didn’t actually hit shelves until 1999. Even then, it only arrived in Japan rather than made its solution to the states. Delays meant that the hardware was dated by enough time it hit shelves, and no more than 15,000 units were sold. The Nintendo 64DD was officially failing. Ultimately, most of the titles designed for the DD were simply released on the typical Nintendo 64 down the road.

PS Vita

PS Vita handheld console

Daria Gromova/Shutterstock

Following a success of Sony’s first handheld, the PSP, the business hoped to obtain another win with the PlayStation Vita. In writing, it should have already been a contender in the handheld market, but a couple of things went awry on the way.

The Vita was fighting an uphill battle right away contrary to the reigning champion of gaming handhelds, Nintendo. The DS remains the highest-selling handheld ever, with an increase of than 154 million units sold (via Visual Capitalist). It’s on the list of highest-selling consoles ever, handheld or elsewhere. In order to compete, the Vita doubled down on functionality, also it wasn’t any slouch.

Along with having cutting-edge graphics, for enough time, users may possibly also utilize the Vita for remote play. With a radio connection, the Vita could hook up to your PS4 and play nearly any game from all over the world so long as both PS4 and the Vita were linked to the web. When in the home, you might utilize the Vita as a second screen, displaying peripheral information from your own games (via PlayStation).

All it needed was a robust game library of its to supplement the objectively cool additional functionality it gave most of your console, and that is where Sony failed. In reaction to the rising popularity of mobile gaming on mobile phones, Sony squandered the Vita, pulling first-party games just four years following its release (via TheGamer).

Wii U

Wii U handheld console


In the years before the release of the Wii U, Nintendo was riding high. At that time, the Wii was the best-selling home console Nintendo had ever produced, having sold a lot more than 100 million units (via Nintendo). All Nintendo had a need to do was keep carefully the momentum going, however the Wii U failed to fully capture exactly the same excitement from the gaming community.

There have been a few components at play in the failure. One was confusion in what the Wii U was. In accordance with Nintendo, some consumers believed that the tablet-style controller was a peripheral device for the Wii, rather than component of a completely new console. Perhaps more important was the failure release a key titles on an instant enough timeline. By this aspect, you might think console manufacturers would understand the significance of releasing with a solid enough library, but even Nintendo seems to have stumbled on that mark.

The console launched with 23 titles, but only 1 of these was from the flagship “Super Mario” franchise (via Nintendo Life). These factors conspired to help make the Wii U failing, selling only 13.56 million units. This is Nintendo’s worst-selling console ever apart from the Virtual Boy. Luckily for Nintendo, and for all of us, the business learned from those mistakes with time to give the planet the Switch.


Ouya game controller

Fraser Kerr Photography/Shutterstock

Once the Ouya first hit the general public consciousness in 2012, it seemed destined to function as next big part of gaming. It managed an effective Kickstarter campaign, raising a lot more than $8.5 million roughly six times its funding goal from over 63,000 backers.

It promised users a formidable console for $99 (via The Verge). The Ouya endeavored for connecting gamers with developers, granting usage of independently created games, a lot of which may be free. It almost sounded too good to be true, and which should have already been a warning.

As the Ouya did eventually ship as promised, it didn’t meet most of the hardware and software promises it had made. Maybe even worse, the console hit shelves before it had been shipped to backers, something may have felt such as a slap in the facial skin to the people who managed to get possible (via Crowdfund Insider). Still, people got their consoles, plus they may have been happy if the overall game library have been as promised. Unfortunately, many found the offerings left them wanting.

Things got worse as indie developers jumped ship to PlayStation and Xbox, both which made efforts to obtain indie games on the platforms. The Ouya ecosystem just couldn’t continue steadily to sustain itself, and the servers shuttered in 2019(via SVG).

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