5 of the weirdest video game consoles ever made



2015-10-29 16:15:13

We live in an age of hyper-realistic graphics and superfast gaming. But it wasn’t always like this.

Over the years hundreds of video game consoles have been produced. Some good. Some very, very strange. Here are 5 of the weirdest.

5. Sega Nomad

Sega released the Nomad in 1995 as a portable version of its hugely popular Genesis console.

It offered high spec graphics for the time, but this came at a cost.

A very high cost.

It went through AA batteries at the rate of six in around one and a half hours and batteries were not any cheaper in 1995. It also cost $300 – a huge outlay at the time.

All of these problems led to extremely poor sales on its release.

4. Vectrex

The Vectrex (1982) was a pioneering console, which used a fully integrated screen to display vector graphics.

In many ways it was ahead of its time, but for a fundamental flaw.

It didn’t display colours, in an era when almost every console was capable of producing colour images.

The programmers’ solution was to issue it with coloured swatches of plastic to display over the screen, which went down with customers about as well as you’d expect.

4. Mattel Bandai Hyperscan

The most interesting pieces of obsolete technology are those that bear absolutely no resemblance to anything we use today.

The Hyperscan definitely falls into this category.

Released in 2006, it was designed primarily for children. The most interesting part of the system was its reliance on RFID to scan games in order to load them.

Sadly, interesting doesn’t necessarily mean functional. Its slow load time and dire graphics led to the Hyperscan being dumped on the scrapheap of history.

2.  RDI Halcyon

The RDI Halcyon was so far ahead of its time, it was never even released.

The company, RDI Video Systems, was well known for its unique laserdisc games – which combined animation and film footage with gameplay.

The mid-1980s system featured speech recognition and artificial intelligence. As you might expect, it didn’t come cheap.

The projected cost was an eye-watering $2,500. Unsurprisingly the company went bankrupt before the machine could be released.

1. Apple Bandai Pippin

There’s a reason Apple hasn’t dipped its toe into the games console world since the mid-1990s.

It’s called the Apple Bandai Pippin.

The system is widely derided as one of the biggest flops of video game history. For a start it cost $600. It was also painfully slow, to the point that it was almost unusable.

Following this humiliating blow to its reputation, Apple got out of the console game and never came back.

It was around this time the company got on the phone to Steve Jobs to ask if he could please come back.

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