The 7 biggest video game console fails in history

Oculus Rift? No, it's Nintendo's Virtual Boy from 1995.
Oculus Rift? No, it’s Nintendo’s Virtual Boy from 1995.

Not every video game console gets to be a Nintendo Wii or a PlayStation 2. Some die a slow and agonizing death on store shelves. Some die a quick and painless death on store shelves. Some never even really see store shelves at all. Here is a list of the biggest console fails in history.

1. Nintendo Virtual Boy (1995) Back before the Oculus Rift was a blip in Mark Zuckerberg’s eye, Nintendo tried their hand at an extremely similar concept. The Virtual Boy, however, was hampered by the fact that it was 1995 and the technology simply wasn’t up to snuff yet. Nobody bought the thing. Maybe they were all too busy watching “Get Shorty.”

Before its epic run of greatness, Apple tried their hand at video games consoles with The Apple Pippin. Credit: Provided
Before its epic run of greatness, Apple tried their hand at video games consoles with The Apple Pippin.
Credit: Provided

2. Apple Pippin (1995) Apple once had its very own video game console, and it sucked. Before the company quite literally began pooping out gold-encrusted diamonds, they made this severe misstep. It had very few games, agonizingly slow loading speeds and, oh yeah, it cost $600. Think different?

tk Credit: Provided
The Sega Dreamcast didn’t deserve to die in flames.
Credit: Provided

3. Sega Dreamcast (1999) 

The Dreamcast was actually a great little system with a great line up of games. It may be one of those cases of being just too forward thinking for the time. It had Internet connectivity, with games to back it up. It had great multiplayer titles. It had great graphics and sound. It wasn’t enough to sell units once PS2 and the original Xbox took the stage.

The Philips CD-i screwed everything up. Credit: Provided
The Philips CD-i screwed everything up.
Credit: Provided

4. Philips CD-i (1991) This thing cost $700 and is chock full of some of the worst games ever made, proving that the gaming world was not ready for disc-based games in the early 90s. Also, it managed to snag the “Zelda” license from Nintendo. What did they do with it? Made three of the most unintentionally funny games ever made, that’s what.

The Atari Lynx wound up being one of the many handheld consoles slayed by the Game Boy. Credit: Provided
The Atari Lynx wound up being one of the many handheld consoles slayed by the Game Boy.
Credit: Provided

5. Atari Lynx (1989) Atari got the be the first company on the block to fall prey to Nintendo’s handheld dominance. All told, the Lynx was several times more powerful than the original Game Boy, with a slew of forward looking features, including online play and a color screen. It didn’t matter. See also: Nokia N-Gage, the Gizmondo, Sega Game Gear and many more. Sorry, guys.

The 3DO cost $700. Credit: Provided
The 3DO cost $700.
Credit: Provided

6. 3DO (1993) Panasonic’s first and only video game console was an abject failure. Why? Well, it cost $700 (yikes) and all of the big titles that were promised kept getting delayed, giving Sony’s original PlayStation plenty of time to get on store shelves at a much better price point. The rest, as Crash Bandicoot liked to say, is history (he didn’t ever really say that).

The pretty snazzy Vectrex debuted right when the video game market crashed. Credit: Provided
The pretty snazzy Vectrex debuted right when the video game market crashed.
Credit: Provided

7. Vectrex (1982) In the glory days of Ronald Reagan and candy-loving aliens came an all-in-one home console that came with an actual monitor. It boasted exclusive deals with arcade game makers. It featured a graphics technology that had never been seen in homes before. What happened? In 1983 people got sick of video games, having to do with a slew of crappy titles. The entire industry crashed and stayed crashed until Nintendo and Mario came along.

Follow Lawrence Bonk on Twitter @sidescrollers


California passes 'yes-means-yes' campus sexual assault bill

Californian lawmakers passed a law on Thursday requiring universities to adopt "affirmative consent" language in their definitions of consensual sex, part of a nationwide drive to curb sexual assault on…


Syrian refugees top 3 million, half of all…

By Stephanie NebehayGENEVA (Reuters) - Three million Syrian refugees will have registered in neighboring countries as of Friday, but many remain trapped by the advance…


North Korean leader's money manager defects in Russia:…

A senior North Korean banking official who managed money for leader Kim Jong Un has defected in Russia and was seeking asylum in a third country, a South Korean newspaper…


MAP: New York City Street Closures August 29,…

The Department of Transportation and NYPD said there may be residual delays near all of the street closures on August 29, 31 and 31. Several streets and avenues will be…

Going Out

'Friends' coffeehouse Central Perk coming to NYC —…

"Friends" is coming back for a one-off special: "The One with the Free Coffee." Warner Bros. is bringing a pop-up replica of Central Perk, the…


Interview: 'As Above, So Below' directors: 5 ways…

The fraternal directors of the found footage horror "As Above, So Below" dish on the best ways to frighten the bejesus out of audiences.


Criterion's new Jacques Demy box mixes the light…

Jacques Demy, the most effervescent of French New Wave filmmakers, gets a Criterion box all to himself, with classics like "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg."


Comedian Joan Rivers, 81, rushed to New York…

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Acerbic comedian and fashion critic Joan Rivers was rushed to Mount Sinai Hospital in New York on Thursday after she reportedly…


3 things we learned in the Giants preseason…

The final score didn’t matter — a 16-13 win by the Giants — but it would’ve been nice to finally see Big Blue’s new-look offense get on track.


NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top

U.S. Soccer

5 facts about new England captain Wayne Rooney

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney was named as the new England captain by coach Roy Hodgson on Thursday.


Jets vs. Eagles: 3 things to watch

A win on Thursday night at the Eagles would give the Jets a 3-1 record and just their second winning preseason under head coach Rex Ryan.


Trend: White hot on the 2014 Emmy's red…

White was one of the big trends on the Emmy's red carpet.


Recipe: Samuel Adams beer-marinated grilled shrimp

Summer calls for two things: a cold beer and light food. Sam Adams' Latitude 48 IPA fairly bursts with citrus notes, making it an ideal marinade…


4 healthy ingredient swaps to make your meals…

When it comes to eating well, everyone knows they could be doing better. But cooking in an apartment on a busy schedule is a recipe…


Heart trumps brain when it comes to movies…

When you need a good cry, do you reach for the movie that’s “based on a true story”? Science says you’re giving your brain far…