7. Magnavox Odyssey
In all likelihood, you probably didn’t forget about this one, it just came out way before you were born, or you remember that one kid who had one that you hated.
Regardless, this disco-tastic mother right here is ground zero for console gaming. You may think Atari was first - and you would be wrong. Making it’s debut in 1974 the odyssey is 2 years older than Atari’s arcade version of Pong, and 3 years older than the 2600 console.
Magnavox even got Atari to settle an infringement case that Pong ripped off the consoles game called “Tennis”.
Regardless of it’s first-ness, the console was a terrible flop and only 300,000 were ever sold.
6. Sega CDX
This was a combination Sega Genesis/Sega CD that was “Portable”, despite having no internal screen and requiring AC power to play games. Two AA batteries did let you use it as a bulky, $400 portable CD player, though…
5. Panasonic 3DO
Some claim the 3DO was priced at $700 at it’s launch. Others say $600. Everyone agrees it was expensive.
The panasonic party line was that it was not a video game system, but a “High End Audio Visual System” and was “Priced Accordingly”.
They said it was aimed at “Early Adopters”. They sold few.
While it’s performance was impressive at the beginning of it’s lifespan, in comparison to Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis/CD, by the time it was pulled in 1996, the Sega Saturn and Sony Playstation were looking far better for much cheaper.
4. NEC SuperGrafx
Oh, you might have thought TurboGrafx was somewhat esoteric - but SuperGrafx, it’s upgraded progeny is almost unsurpassed in it’s obscurity.
Only seven titles were ever released specifically for the console. And they were priced around $110 1989 Dollars a piece. Not the console, the games. The games were $110 dollars. 1989 Dollars. You can probably figure out the rest.
3. Apple Bandai Pippin
In the mid 1990’s Apple decided to make a video game console. Well, sort of. They designed one, that was really just a stripped-down mid 1990’s Apple computer, and they sought a third party to manufacture and market one.
So they found a sucker in Bandai, who decided for whatever reason that they wanted into the console market. Poor Guys.
Apple’s Pippin cost $600 and less than 50,000 were sold.
2. Atari Jaguar
It was 1993 and Atari wanted to get back in the console game in a big way.
They released the Jaguar, claiming it was the first 64 bit console to mass market. With the competitors being all 32 bit consoles, it was marketed under the slogan “Do the Math”.
While titles initially released on the console include cult classics such as “Doom” and “Wolfenstein 3D”, the Jaguar was mostly a failure, which probably had something to do with its 22 (Twenty Two) button controller. Do the math.
1. Nintendo Virtual Boy
The belle of the ball has to be, and can only be, the Nintendo Virtual Boy.
Featuring fantastic abilities such as red monochrome wireframe graphics, it’s primitive 3D imagery almost universally gave you a headache.
The graphics were mediocre, but the console itself was hideous, and made you look ridiculous while playing it. Granted, this was 1995 and virtual reality was very chic - but seriously, even in 1995, nobody has ever, ever looked cool while wearing virtual reality headgear.
Especially not one that had to rest on a table of a very specific height to play.
Honorable Mention - Pioneer LaserActive
Not technically a console - This was a $1000 Laserdisc player that could play TurboGrafx games, if you purchased another $600 add on.
“Finally, I can have just one system to deal with my encyclopedic library of LaserDiscs and TurboGrafx games!”
It’s probably the most retroactively self-parodical product ever released
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