Wednesday, August 1, 2012

22 Failed Game Consoles that You've Probably Never Heard Of

Atari 2000 (1979)
An early prototype of the Atari 2600 with the controllers built in. There's only a few out there because they were only used in test markets. The problem with it was your system was shot if the controllers broke, so it was thrown out in favor of the 2600 with detachable controllers.

Atari Cosmos (1982)
The Atari Cosmos was supposed to be the handheld compliment to the Atari 2600. There were only 9 games total, and supposedly they were not going to make any more. Had a holographic display similar to the virtual boy, but was never released because of the crash of 84.

Magnavox Odyssey 3 (1983)
Follow-up to a semi-successful Odyssey 2 console. Would have had full backwards compatibility with Odyssey 2 games, but would allow for better graphics on new games. Never released due to the video game crash of '84.

Ultravision (1983)
This console was announced with promises of being able to play Atari 2600, Intellivision, Colecovision, and it's own games. It also featured a built in 10 inch color TV set, but it just never came to be.

Nintendo AVS (1984)
Nintendo seemed to be working up some wonder system with this one. It was supposedly a prototype of the NES. It was only shown publicly once, but it was like nothing ever seen before. It had a keyboard, joystick, light wand/gun, music keyboard, and a data storage unit. The amazing thing was they were all wireless. It had amazing functions for the time like video game editing and storage,  light wand/ gun to tv interaction, and amazing (for the time) 8 bit graphics.

Konix Multisystem (1989)
Konix was an English company that developed controllers and add- ons for various consoles and computers. The 16-bit system they developed was supposed to be very powerful, and seemed to have a large emphasis on racing games from the multiple styles of racing controllers that have found their way onto the internet.

Atari/SNK Mirai (1989)
No one really knows what the Mirai is. Was it developed by SNK, Atari, or was it a joint project? People debate whether it was supposed to be a cheaper american version of the Neo-Geo. All we ever had of this console was this one mockup, so no one will ever truly know what it was meant to be.

Atari Panther (1991)
One of Atari's biggest mistakes was never putting this console into production. They worked on this 32-bit system and the 64-bit Jaguar at the same time, and this was supposed to be released in 1991 to compete with the SNES. This console was much more powerful than the SNES. Had it been released, instead of waiting to release the Jaguar, the Panther may have competed with the SNES. The Jaguar came out against the 3DO and 32X consoles, and once Sony released its Playstation, Atari was killed.

Camerica Express (1991)
Perhaps one of the best ideas for a handheld I've ever seen, the Camerica Express played actual NES cartidges. It was created by Biederman Design Labs and marketed by Camerica. They denied the Nintendo licensing agreements and produced software without Nintendo's seal of approval. Sadly, the company fell apart before it was released.

Action Enterprises Gamemaster (1991)
This thing was supposed to be able to play SNES, Genesis, Gameboy, TG-16, NES, and Lynx games in addition to it's own. Too bad there was not the technology for this in 1991, and it just disappeared.

Sega VR (1991-1993)
Back in the early 90's, the gaming world was thirsty for virtual reality. Sega attempted to deliver with the VR. Apparently the VR got into production, but Sega never released it because of dizziness, motion sickness and fear of players moving and injuring themselves during extended play. Sega claimed that the experience was too realistic, but because of the technology at the time that is highly doubtful. There may be a few working units out there for someone who desperately wants one.

32-bit Nintendo Disc (1991-1994)
Had this system never failed, we may have never seen one of the most successful systems of all time, the Sony Playstation. There is a long story to go along with this system, but I'll shorten it. Sony and Nintendo came to an agreement for Sony to produce a CD-Rom add on for the SNES. After a disagreement on whether or not Sony should get publishing profits, Nintendo broke the deal and went to Phillips. Phillips and Nintendo deal, but the add- on never came out of it, and Phillips got to produce a few Mario and Legend of Zelda games. Sony then went on to make its own console, the Playstation.

Taito WoWoW (1992)
The WoWoW was supposed to be a CD based 16-bit console with  capabilities comparable to the Genesis. It was only seen at the 1992 at the Tokyo Game Expo. The amazing thing about this was that it was supposed to be able to recieve games through a satellite antenna, similar to a TV. However, it only made it as far as test marketing before the plug was pulled.

Bandai HET
Shown at E3 1993. It was supposed to be a portable, laptop style console that could play NES games, but Nintendo pulled the plug before its release.

Sega Neptune (1994)
The Sega Neptune was a proposed Genesis and 32X combo that was supposed to keep Sega fans satisfied until the Saturn came out in '95. Unfortunately it never happened, but there is supposedly warehouses full of unsold units.

Atari Jaguar Duo (1995)
The Jaguar Duo was an Atari Jaguar and CD combined into one console. It was extremely hyped, but by the time it was released the Jaguar was already dead. There are hundreds of test units as well as boxed units that were never released somewhere.

Sega Blackbelt (1997)
The Sega Blackbelt was supposed to be Sega's fourth generation console. Not much is known about it other than it was scrapped in favor of the Dreamcast.

Panasonic M2 (1998)
This was supposed to be an upgrade to the solid 3DO console, to make it able to compete with the Playstation. It was supposed to be released as both a standalone console, and a possible add on to 3DO machines. The console was instead sold Matsushita, who decided not to release it. However, a few arcade games and some computer hardware was based off of the M2's inner workings.

Red Jade (2001)
The Red Jade was supposed to be a super-handheld, able to perform PDA functions, had wireless connectivity, DVix movies, graphics similar to PS1, and software would be downloaded from secure servers. However, prior to release Ericsson had to cut 22,000 jobs, and a long with it, the Red Jade.

Indrema L600
Indrema attempted to enter the console race with this. It was a NUON based that ran Linux. It was supposed to be an opensource console, meaning games could have been produced by anyone and everyone. The console was killed because of Sony's dominance, and a low supply of money for the project.

Infinium Labs Phantom (2004) 
The Phantom would have been truly revolutionary. All games would have been downloaded, and the console would have come with a library of various games already loaded on. There was supposed to be an automatically managed 80 GB hard drive, any games that were not played would be automatically deleted, but could be re-downloaded at any time free of cost. It will forever go down as one of the greatest systems to never be, although you probably could find a working unit somewhere.

Gamepark XGP (2006)
This was supposed to be a sequel to a solid handheld called the Gamepark 32. The Gamepark XGP came in three models, the original, mini and kids. Each would have different specs, size, and price. The handheld looked nice, but in March of 2007 Gamepark declared bankruptcy. There are most likely working, boxed models that will never be released to the public.


Arcane said...

Great article! I remember a bunch of those in EGM

Anonymous said...

Atari Jaguar was a 32bit console. Common mistake since Atari flat out lied and said it was a 64bit console.

Anonymous said...

it was 64 bit just with 32 bit parts that added up to 64 bit

Dannyson97 said...

The Only heard of Atari panther, Panasonic M2,The nintendo disc dive.
Also Sony was working on the console before nintendo came to them.

Post a Comment