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12 Failed Gaming Consoles


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I disagree with a couple of those game consoles as they are not "dead" they are having games still released for them (may be dead as far as the commerial companies but not the homebrewers.


Ghost n Zombies



Atari Lynx:

Songbird Productions would like to dispute that claim


Atari Jaguar:

See Lynx

Good Deal Games/Homebrew Heaven also disputes this one

Atari 7800:






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Colecovision wasn't a failure. They had all of the true arcade ports. They were also the last system to be released before the crash. Maybe the Adam computer that came with the deluxe pack was a bomb but the console alone had lots to offer.

Can Vectrex be considered a fail though? Wasn't it held back (kind of like the 3DO) by the manufacturer then dropped?

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No way should the ColecoVision or Vectrex be on this list.

At the time the ColecoVision rivaled the Atari 2600 for the video throne.

Vectrex was an incredible system that enjoyed some success, even if it was only for a year or so. The fact that it has a large homebrew community today says something.

For that time the real fails were Fairchild Channel F and Bally Astrocade or even the 5200.

I was thinking the Lynx can't really be considered a fail aslo, it was too far ahead of it's time. It was all about the battery life. Also apparently the Epyx guys tried to sell the Lynx to Nintendo and they actually showed them the Gameboy before it was released.

I don't think the reviewer that compiled this list has played many or any of these systems either.

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I disagree with this list. Not entirely, but the Vectrex was not a failed console. There were a lot of games made for it and as a stand-alone console, it had near-perfect ports of the vector arcade games.

I also disagree about the Colecovision. As Crookedmouth pointed out, it had the best home arcade conversions of games for a console of its time. The Atari 7800 was even more dead-on still, but it was the crash and marketing that killed them, respectively.

I agree with most of it, though. Gizmondo, sure. Virtual Boy? You bet. Phillips CD-i? It does have its merits, but costs and (lack of) marketing killed it, like the 3DO. Game.com? Yep. Terrible implementation. Sega CD was more successful than the 32X, so I think the 32X should be in place of the Sega CD.

What should be on the list aren't listed:

Microvision. It deserves an honorable mention of being the first handheld game console. (Actually own one of these)

Pioneer Laseractive. Ambitious. High costs and lack of common LD features were what killed it. (Ditto. With the SEGA and NEC paks, no less!)

Halcyon. Super ambitious! Reportedly, only 5 were sold.

Neo Geo. Sacrilege, you say? Expensive console. Expensive carts. Arcades where where it did best, not the home market. (Yes, I own one. Two if you count the Neo Geo CD)

Nokia N-Gage. It's a phone! It's a game console! It's... Not so fun... (Yep. Own one also.)

Sega CDX. This was cool! It's a portable Genesis/Sega CD! And, despite the fact the 32X packaging says it isn't compatible with it, it is. So you get a triple treat in a slim package! Downside: Expensive! Portable technology cost a lot. (Yes, I own one.)

Game Gear. Yes, it did not do so hot as a handheld, but was in full color! Game Boy was more popular. (Yep. In my collection)

NEC Turbo Duo. Great system, stand alone Turbo Grafx and Turbo CD in one tight package. No add-on needed! Ready to go out of the box! Marketing by thumbing their noses at SEGA turned many potential buyers off. Could have given SEGA and Nintendo a run for their money. (Yes, I... Ok, I won't say it. ^_^)

NEC Turbo Express. A handheld for games you already play on your Turbo-Grafx! No need to buy new games to play! Released too late to make much difference in the handheld market. One of the most popular among collector's however. (I wish! Been looking!)

SEGA Nomad. Could be debatable as a failed console as it is a portable Genesis, but deserves mention because it was not as well received as SEGA had hoped. (Yes. ^_^)

On a side note, I am going to be selling off a lot of my collection at my eBay store and stuff...

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On a side note to what Kitsune mentioned there, I had a Halcyon system, now my ex has it, er had it, she sold it about 2 years ago, reportedly for $4200 with both games (everything had the boxes).

I believe there were more than 5 sold though, I believe it was closer to 50, so it may be a typo somewhere.

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I agree 32x was less popular than sega CD I remember my friend growing up buying a 32x sega cd and a virtual boy all at a KB toys store for practically nothing. I still love the star wars game on the 32x ;) Virtual boy wasn't as bad as people say. Yeah it was hard on the eyes but had Nintendo backed it with more games as fun as Wario Land it would have been way better. That and not market it as a portable so much. Wish there was some good homebrew for that!

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Hmm, the list is evil! Just because they don't still make games for a system doesn't make it a failure. The Sega CD, while not as popular now as it was when it first released was pretty damn popular. Everyone I knew wanted one and it sold quite a few units. I wouldn't exactly call the 3DO a failure either. While it was expensive and only people with tons of money could afford it, the system was pretty healthy for some time and had a nice number of games release for it including, arguably, the best version of Super Street Fighter II Turbo. Even though I love my 32-X, why is it the Sega CD is on the list and it isn't?

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  • 2 weeks later...

Colecovision wasn't a failure. They had all of the true arcade ports. They were also the last system to be released before the crash. Maybe the Adam computer that came with the deluxe pack was a bomb but the console alone had lots to offer.

Well I'd have to disagree with this comment.

The games were better than say the 2600 but they were no where near true to the arcade.

Anyway back to subject yeah I have to disagree with this list as well. But out of this specific list I will tell you the consoles that I love and play on at least a monthly basis still.

Virtual Boy



Sega CD

And as mentioned before many of these consoles are not a failure but that is only because of the communities that keep them running.

Heck even Virtual Boy has an active home brew community.

I can't believe that they actually have the CDi even on the list to tell you the truth. The first CD-i systems to hit the market was back in 1988 and was discontinued in 1996. In no way would I call that a failure. That's longer than the average life span of a video game system. The consolized version of the CD-i on the other hand I believe came out in 1994 so many people who know nothing about the CD-i only know about the small box that was marketed towards gamers and lasted less than 2 years. So in that case yes I'd say thats a failure.

What about the Phantom?


now there is a failure. Actually that should be Phailure so bad it was never released.

While at it... where is the Tapwave Zodiac?


I used to have a Zodiac II and it was great for homebrew but died a very quick death.

What about... GP32


Another great handheld (I thought) great emulation but horrid screen. It did not last long by the time GamePark released a new version of the system GP2X I believe it was called then after that they did yet another one.

While talking about handhelds how about the Gamate no that is not a misspelling.


I always wanted to get one of the these but when I was about to buy one I won a Game Boy from a Captain Crunch mail in contest so it was pointless. But I still wish I had bought one after all considering the Gamate now fetches a high price on eBay.

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I don't really agree or disagree with any of those picks, mostly because i've never owned any of those consoles. I'd like to buy them as a collector's item, though. I still think that the Virtual Boy is pretty cool.

I'd like to had a 64DD. Its similar to the Famicom Disk System, and would have done well if it were released early in the console's life, as the disk system was.

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