Hey everyone, you’re watching GamerBrain and
let’s look at 8 Failed Gaming Consoles Laughed Off the Market 8. “LaserActive”: The LaserActive console
was released in 1993 by the electronics company Pioneer. It used Laserdisc technology at the time,
which would later develop into BluRay technology and DVDs – and this was all before PlayStation
or even the Sega Genesis. People were really impressed with the technology
and it looked as though LaserActive might actually become a promising competitor in
the video game market. By 1995 though, it was already history. The LaserActive gives us an important lesson
in video gaming history: if you are going to develop a game console, keep it simple
and don’t give make a million add-ons. The basic LaserActive unit itself could only
play basic movies on Laserdisc. If you wanted to play games, you would have
to start buying add-on parts that plugged into the console itself. Panasonic called referred to the extra pieces
of hardware “PACs” [“packs”]. What was really cool about the LaserActive
was that it could play other system’s games. You could play Sega Genesis and Sega CD games,
for example, and even certain PC games, but they required a different add-on. Even the LaserActive’s original titles required
a separate add-on – sorry, I mean “PAC”. In other words, you couldn’t just take it
out of the box and play it. A quick side note: there were even these “3D
Goggles” that you could buy that kind of looked like the virtual reality systems that
are just coming out now. It could even let two players see in 3D at
once, which was pretty unheard of for the 90s. Anyway, there’s no doubt that the LaserActive
was way ahead of its time. Maybe even a little too ahead of its time
for the average gamer to get into. The graphics and games were top-notch, but
the PAC expansions got expensive really quick. Not many people wanted to shell out 700 dollars
for a system that had 600 dollar add-ons. Two years after its release, Panasonic quietly
cried in the corner and let Sony take over the CD-based games market. 7. “The Neo-Geo”: In the 1990s, an arcade
was the only place to see the best graphics that video games had to offer. Or at least that’s what most kids thought. Truth be told, there was one home console
in particular that could produce the same amazing graphics that you were always spending
your allowance on every weekend at the arcade. It was called the Neo-Geo, and it was the
best console that no one had ever heard of. The graphics were amazing and the games were
great as well. The arcade ports looked identical to their
counterparts and the controller was a regular gamepad that felt solid. Or, you could buy a Neo-Geo arcade stick for
the ultimate home experience. Still, if you told someone that they could
have played Street Fighter 2 in their own home without sacrificing any graphics or gameplay,
they probably would have thought you were lying. Even though the console was around from 1990
to 1997, hardly anyone knew about it . The main reason why was because it was insanely
expensive. It was well over 600 dollars to buy a Neo-Geo,
which was bad enough, but the games retailed between 300 to 400 dollars each. Seriously, they may as well of dipped them
in rubies [“roo-bees”] and gold while they were at it. The 90s was a good time for the world economy,
but no one was shelling out that amount of money for video games. Still, the small amount of people who did
buy the system gave the company enough of a revenue to barely scrounge by. Eventually, the console’s developers at
SNK came out with a cheaper version of the Neo-Geo that sacrificed some of the graphics
for more affordable games, but by then, it was too late. 6. “The 3DO”: In the early 1990s, Trip Hawkins
was the CEO of Electronic Arts, and he knew that the CDs were going to become the future
of gaming. He wanted to get behind a new gaming system
that would beat out the cartridge-based systems from Sega and Nintendo, so he started heavily
investing in a game developing studio called 3DO. On paper, it seemed like there was no way
for the 3DO console could to possibly go wrong. Trip Hawkins had brought together top minds
from Panasonic [“Pan-no-sonic”] and Creative Labs to help develop a console that was next-gen
in every imaginable way. It was supposed to have 3D graphics, up to
8 players at once, and better hookups for a much clearer picture. So what did go wrong? First of all, the asking price was absurd
[“ab-sird”]. For the first version of 3DO, they actually
wanted 700 dollars. Keep in mind that this was in 1993, which
means that 700 dollars was more like over 1,000 dollars in today’s value. Meanwhile, a Super Nintendo was available
for 200 dollars, and the Sega Genesis was about 350 dollars – and that came with the
Sega CD, too. Trying to convince your parents to buy a Sega
Genesis or a Super Nintendo was tough enough, but convincing them to buy a 3DO basically
took an act of God. As a result, you’d only hear about some
kid who knew of a kid who actually had a 3DO. This person usually lived in a distant neighborhood
and was probably entirely made up. The people who did buy 3DO were disappointed
when big game titles like John Madden were delayed. The 3DO also had long load times and people
also didn’t like how the CDs could get smudged and not work, unlike cartridges. When the Sony PlayStation hit the market in
1995 for a fraction of the price at 300 dollars, it spelled the final blow for the 3DO. 5. “Atari 5200 [“Fiftty-two-hundred”]”:
The Atari 2600 [“Twenty-six-hundred”] was one of the most successful video game
systems to ever be released. It arguably shaped the video game industry
for years to come. The Atari 5200, however, was pretty much the
exact opposite. This clunky console was about the size of
a coffee table and cost 189 dollars – which is basically 550 dollars in today’s money. It also had hardly any good games and bad
controls. The original Atari’s controller was much,
much better. It was just a simple joystick with a single
button. This new version had a gigantic controller
with a knob that you could twist along with a full telephone keypad. The sharp corners dug into your hands and
the controller itself broke all of the time, which is just want you want from a video game
console. That same year, ColecoVision [“Cal-leak-co-Vision”]
hit the market and sold a half a million units in less than 4 months. The system could handle arcade ports and even
play Atari games. The Atari 5200, on the other hand, had less
than 70 games, and most of them were the same games that players already had on the original
console. Two years later, Atari discontinued the 5200
and slowly backed away. 4. “N-Gage [“N-Gauge”]”: In 2003, the
Nokia [“No-key-ah”] phone company decided that they wanted to take a stab at the mobile
gaming market. After all, how hard could it be, right? Within 2 years of its release, Nokia would
already be admitting defeat with the N-Gage. Even before it was released, people were laughing
at the concept of the N-Gage. Nokia had no reputation as game developers
and the concept of playing games on your phone was not really taken seriously back then. Honestly, Nokia knew that the N-Gage was not
going to sell well, but they decided to push forward anyway. They wanted the N-Gage to be the first model
in a series of mobile gaming phones, and they thought that it would look better to release
the N-Gage than to pull out of the project just months after announcing it. They didn’t estimate just how poorly the
N-Gage would sell. Less than 3 million units were sold worldwide,
pretty much crushing any dreams of a successful series of mobile phones. Still, Nokia bravely pushed on with the N-Gage
QD, the second model in its series. This time, the general public was too busy
shrugging their shoulders to even both to laugh. Nokia took the hint and quietly went back
to making regular phones. 3. “Pippin [“Pip-pin”]”: In 1995 Apple
teamed up with the Japanese toymakers at Bandai [“Ban-die”] and with Motorola [“Motor-roll-lah”]
to develop a console that would attempt to do the unthinkable: it aimed to replace the
PC entirely. The Pippin was marketed in Japan as a machine
that would bridge the gap between PCs and consoles once and for all. It could play games, it could instant message,
it could connect to the internet, and it could fail horribly within two years by 1997. Although exactly what happened, I’m still
getting a little head of myself. Let’s talk about the games first. There were only 18 total, and the most popular
one was called Exotic Sushi. This supposed “game” was literally just
a cookbook with sushi recipes. I mean, we’re not exactly talking Mario
64 here – which was what Pippin was competing with at the time. The graphics could be described as falling
somewhere between the Super Nintendo and the Sega CD, which was fine for the time, but
the console’s performance was laughably bad. You could be staring at a load screen for
as long as three minutes before anything happened. This alone was simply unacceptable. Its messaging system was a joke, too. The dialup modem ran at 14.4 kilobits per
second, which meant that it took a person in Japan about 10 minutes to send a message
and receive a response. You could just use a phone instead. The Pippin also had a really bad design that
had slots for upgrading memory just like you would with a PC. The last thing kids wanted to do in the 90s
was disassemble [“diss-ah-sem-bul”] their console, so this was yet another major drawback. The death blow, however, was its outrageous
price. Apple wanted 700 dollars for what basically
amounted to the slowest computer you’ve ever had, and without Windows. The N64, on the other hand, was selling for
199 dollars at the time. Hm, tough decision. 2. “Gizmondo [“Gizz-mon-dough”]”: Do
you remember those crappy 90s handheld games made by Tiger? They were actually wildly successful – and
hardly a console – so I couldn’t include them on this list. However, if you’ve been wondering what the
Swedish [“Swee-dish”] company Tiger has been up to since then . . . well, let me tell
you about the Gizmondo. That name rolls off the tongue about as well
as the consoles rolled off the assembly line in 2005. Just one year later, the Gizmondo was already
kaput [“kah-put”]. The problem with this console is very similar
to that of the Apple Pippin in 1994 – it’s just trying to do way too much at once. Tiger wanted the Gizmondo to be a mobile phone,
a multimedia player, a GPS unit, and, lastly, a gaming device. A godawful gaming device. Let’s take a look at the buttons. There’s, uh, a double squiggly line button,
a tic-tac-toe button, a button that looks like prison bars, and, of course, circle. You’ve got to love the normal circle. Can you imagine trying to put the Contra lives
cheat in with this setup? Meanwhile, the direction pad is just one big
blog of a button that you press down on the corners of. As any gamer knows, this design sucks immensely
[“ee-mense-lee”]. Just looking at it, you can already tell that
trying to press diagonally is going to be impossible. As for games, the graphics look okay, but
the sound is really poor. The little speakers have no bass, so everything
has sort of a chipmunk-like feel to it. The titles are a mix of bad ports and weird
original titles that don’t really go anywhere as far as gameplay is concerned. From its initial release to its subsequent
[“sub-sit-quent”] marketing, this was quite a flop. Shortly after the Gizmondo launched in America,
Tiger messed up their own momentum by announcing that they would soon release a newer version
with an even bigger screen. Most of the people held off from buying the
original Gizmondo as a result, and then the newer version was never made. In fact, less than 25 thousand units were
ever produced, making this not only one of the worst mistakes in gaming history, but
also probably one of the biggest mistakes in the history of Sweden [“Swee-den”]. 1. “The Virtual Boy”: Nintendo’s Virtual
Boy was a virtual bust as soon as it hit the market in 1995. The hype that Nintendo put out at the time
was unbelievable. Advertisements were everywhere. You couldn’t go to the store, watch a television
show or even eat a box of cereal without seeing at least one commercial. According to the ads, the Virtual Boy was
going to be the console that would usher [“us-sure”] in true 3D graphics, the console that was
going to show you your favorite characters in a way you’ve never seen before. It was the console that made you and your
friends go crazy with anticipation just by mentioning the name. Of course, kids didn’t really understand
exactly what they were freaking out about at the time, but they knew that Nintendo had
never failed them before, so when the company told kids to get excited, it meant that something
really big was on the way. When kids finally played the first Virtual
Boy demo in Toys R’ Us and other stores, they didn’t know what to make of it. The Virtual Boy was more than awful – it
was practically unplayable. Kids were expecting the Virtual Boy to look
like the Super Nintendo, but no, absolutely not. Instead, the graphics were this nauseating
shade of red that you had never seen in your entire life pitted against a completely black
background. It was just unnatural. The graphics were more than just bad, they
were physically painful to look at. Looking into the Virtual Boy was like staring
directly into a high-power laser. The craziest part is that the console had
been so hyped up that kids thought that something must have been wrong with them for not enjoying
it at all. They kept playing and playing the Virtual
Boy over and over again, just trying to find one good to say about it. But there was nothing. Some of kids lied anyway and said that the
system looked good to them, but it was kind of like a video game version of the Emperor’s
New Clothes. Deep down, everyone knew better. The graphics were so bad that kids were throwing
up and going into seizures. When you looked away from the screen, sometimes
you would still see the red wire imprints on your vision. There was a game called Red Alarm in particular
that was basically like playing Star Fox while suffering from a cluster [“klus-ster”]
headache. The only game that was even halfway decent-looking
on the Virtual Boy was Mario Tennis, and even that looked like some sort of Nintendo Hell
most of the time. Seriously, the red background made it seem
like Mario and Bowser were frying in the afterlife. It was like you had been sent there, too,
as a punishment for even playing this console. You’re lucky that we ever forgave you for
the Virtual Boy, Nintendo. So lucky. Good luck with the new Switch, and please
don’t ever do that to us again.