Tons of video game consoles have been released over the years. Some managed to change the video game landscape while others failed to capture an audience. There are even a few systems that seem to be totally forgotten.
While video game consoles like the NES and the PlayStation 2 made a significant impact on the video game community, many couldn’t withstand the test of time. Here are a few video game consoles that most gamers have forgotten about.
The 3DO was released in North America in 1993 and the rest of the world in 1994. The console was marketed as a high-end system that used state of the art technology and it was one of the first CD-based consoles with FMV playback. The 3DO also allowed users to buy and watch TV shows. Unfortunately, this advanced technology came at a price: The 3DO launched at a whopping $699, which would be about $1,200 in today’s dollars.
The expensive price point ended up hurting the 3DO in the long run. Most gamers passed up the console and went for cheaper systems with better games. The system saw better sales in Japan, but it was short-lived and it halted manufacturing just two years after launch.
The Sega Nomad, also known as Genesis Nomad, was Sega’s second attempt at a handheld console. Sega advertised the system as a portable Genesis, since it played Genesis cartridges. The hand-held gaming system only received a North American release but was heavily influenced by a Japanese portable console called the Mega Jet.
The Sega Nomad sounds like a great product, but unfortunately, many issues plagued the device. The system used 6 AA batteries, which only charged the Nomad for about two hours and its bulkiness hurt sales. Many people didn’t like having to carry around a big system as well as full-sized Genesis cartridges and extra batteries The Nomad sold horribly, dying off shortly after its release. Sega had a great idea, but technical limitations and poor design severely hindered the Nomad.
The Atari Jaguar made its debut in 1993 at the height of the early ’90s console war. It competed against the Sega Genesis, Super Nintendo and the 3DO. Many video game companies promoted their systems’ bit count as a selling point during this time and Atari was no different. The company advertised the Jaguar as the first 64-bit video game system. A lot of the leading consoles were 16-bits during the early to mid-90s, so Atari saw the Jaguar’s large bit count as a huge advantage.
Unfortunately for Atari, the Jaguar’s impressive graphics couldn’t save the system. The Jaguar only had 50 subpar games with many popular genres missing from its library. Atari attempted to lengthen the Jaguar’s lifespan by releasing an add-on called the Jaguar CD, but it was too little too late. Atari stopped producing the system in 1996 and the Jaguar became Atari’s last console to play physical media.
The SNK Neo Geo AES is a very interesting console. There are actually two different types of Neo Geo systems: The Neo Geo MVS (Multi Video System) and the Neo Geo AES (Advanced Entertainment System). The MVS could usually be found in arcades while the AES focused on home entertainment. The Neo Geo AES featured some of the best graphics during the early 1990s and brought the greatest arcade experiences to home consoles. The system even overpowered many home computers when it first released in the U.S. in 1991.
The Neo Geo’s highly advanced AES home system became one of the most expensive video game consoles ever created. Only the 3DO and the Phillips CD-i (more on that later) surpassed the Neo Geo’s price point of $650 ($1,116 today). Even the games were around $250 apiece. The Neo Geo’s expensive price turned off many video game fans, causing them to overlook the powerful system. Today, the Neo Geo AES is extremely sought after and is one of the most expensive video game consoles to collect. Some Neo Geo AES games go for thousands of dollars online.
The Phillips CD-i is one of the few consoles that is better off forgotten. This 1991 disk-based system started as a CD add-on for the SNES. Sony originally worked on the system but stopped due to disagreements with Nintendo. This is why Sony decided to make the PlayStation. Philips stepped in to replace Sony and created the abysmal CD-i system.
This sorry excuse for a video game system hit store shelves in 1990. Philips originally planned to sell the CD-i for $300 but changed it to $700 ($1,200 today) right before its release, making it the most expensive console of all time. Nearly every game for the system received horrible ratings from both critics and gamers alike. A Mario game as well as two Zelda games came out for the CD-i, but they weren’t made by Nintendo and they are widely panned by critics and gamers. The system became a complete failure and will go down as one of the worst consoles ever created.
Creating a successful video game console is no simple task. Countless hours of hard work and careful planning goes into making a great system. Many of these consoles failed due to mismanagement and lack of games. Some even had great premises but technological limitations stopped the consoles from achieving mainstream success.
Less popular video game consoles are often forgotten after new systems release. Here are five, as well as explanations for why they failed.