Epic fails: Consoles
Sun is shining, birdies whistle and those damned bloodsucking mosquitos are back in town, not to mention the huge piles of paper many students have to work their way through. And as if the fact that the exam-period falls right into one of the most beautiful times of the year (at least for the people amongst you that occasionally get outside the ‘bed-kitchen-pc’-triangle) isn’t enough, my neighbor decided to show of her meat right in front of my window, lying on a beach chair in a way too small pink bikini. As it comes to women, I don’t really need a model, but hell! Fat Princess is nothing compared to her!
After I closed my curtains as fast as possible to prevent even worse psychic damage, I obviously couldn’t focus on my courses anymore. Nonetheless I decided to spend my time in a useful way, so I looked up some Epic Failing consoles and related hardware. Here they come!
5. The Phantom
This console was announced in 2002, but would never become more than its name states, a phantom. There seemed nothing wrong with the concept though: A set-top console on which PC games could be played. This meant that at its launch, The Phantom already had thousands of games available. Seen as most gamers with a pc didn’t really need an extra console to play their games on, the console had a very limited success. Only after having spent more than 60 millions of dollars, it got through to Phantom Entertainment their console would be a total failure and they decided to put the production to an end. The Phantom eventually turned into nothing more then a painful memory that still spooks in the heads of its creators.
Announced in 1995, released in 1999 in Japan. It was Nintendo’s answer to Sony’s Playstation and had a lot in common with a 64meg zip-drive that could be linked to the N64 for extra data storage. This way they could develop extra levels for existing N64 games and of course new N64DD games (although only 9 made it). It was a total commercial failure and in spite of the announce it would be coming to Europe and the US, this N64 extension never got further than the Japanese market.
3. The Gizmondo
This GPRS- & GPS-endabled handheld made it to the market in 2005 and was developed by the controversial Tiger Telematics. The developers had to deal with a lot of scandals while they were creating it, mostly thanks to the incompetent and corrupt executive Stefan Eriksson. He didn’t only make the news by crashing his exclusive Ferrari into a wall, he also got linked to the Swedish organized crime and even was sentenced to jail. Tiger Telematics filed for bankruptcy in 2006. After that, there was news about a new Gizmondo, to appear in 2008, but after it got postponed to the summer of 2009 all news about the new device died.
2. The Sega activator
Pictures say more than a thousand words, don’t they? Let’s just conclude the Sega Activator was way ahead of its time. Or was the Tectonic too late? It’s up to you to decide.
1. Nintendo’s Virtual Boy
It’s not a portable, it’s not a handheld, it’s the Nintendo Virtual Boy! Innovative 3D-images thanks to the revolutionary parralax effect. Breathtaking gaming experience, wicked graphics, deadly head- and neck aches, and all that for the little price of only 180 dollars (in 1995). Unfortunately in 1996 this futuristic device was withdrawn from the market and Nintendo showed the inventor of the Virtual Boy (, the Game Boy line and the Metroid franchise), Gunpei Yokoi, the door. The Virtual Boy is known as Nintendo’s biggest hardware screw-up.
Clouds! God be praised! My neighbor is trying to make it inside as elegantly as possible. *cough* I’m going to reopen my curtains and dive into the wondrous world of financial analysis… Joy!