360 Sunday Games Top 10: Worst Game Consoles
If your anything like me you hate wasting money. So when it comes to games and game consoles you want to get the most bang for your buck, and let’s face it, these things are expensive. The consoles itself, the controllers, accessories and most of all the games, it all adds up to a pretty big investment. So when you take your brand spanking new console home and it turns out to be a total piece of $#!+ you would naturally be pretty upset. So to help sort the bad from the good, we bring you the top 10 worst game consoles of all time. Be warned, the following ‘entertainment’ devices are truly the worst of the worst.
10 – Nokia N-Gage
- Year Released: 2003
- Launch Price: 299$
- Games Released: 54
- Units Sold: 3 million (includes N-Gage QD)
On the surface this is a great idea, combining both a mobile smart-phone and a handheld gaming system, add to that Mp3 playback and a web browser all in one convenient package and it’s a wonder why the N-Gage ended up on this list. But then you remember the awful battery life, awkward button placement, vertical screen that was about the size of the one on your cell phone, bad games, the fact that you had to take out the battery to change cartridges and finally that you looked like an idiot talking into this thing. Yep the N-Gage does deserve to be here.
9 – Sega CD and Sega 32X
- Year Released: 1992 (Sega CD) – 1994 (Sega 32X)
- Launch Price: 299$ (Sega CD) – 159$ (Sega 32X)
- Games Released: 200 + (Sega CD) – 34 (Sega 32X)
- Units Sold: 6 million (Sega CD) – 200 000 (Sega 32X)
Sega must really love money, because they decided to squeeze every last penny out of their loyal Genesis fanbase, with not one, but two add-ons for their console. The first was the Sega CD, who as the name implies allowed your Genesis to play CD games. Now this was all well and good but when most of the games are filled with horrible full motion videos and very little actual gameplay its no wonder this 300$ beast failed to impress. Never deterred in their quest for more loot, Sega promptly released the 32X, another add-on for the Genesis that plugged into the system’s cartridge slot and alowed it to play 32-bit games. What doomed the 32X was that it was overpriced, prone to breaking, had few games and in the same month that it launched in North America the Sega Saturn was released in Japan. But the biggest insult to gamers would be Sega’s release of the CDX, a console which combined the Genesis and Sega CD in one console… for 100$ more then buying them both together! Sega you truly were the Scrooge of the game industry.
8 – Nintendo Virtual Boy
- Year Released: 1995
- Launch Price: 180$
- Games Released: 14
- Units Sold: 770 000
Of all the consoles on this list, this is the only one that actually tried to injure you. Sure the games recommended you take a break every 15 minutes, but even one minute with your face pressed into it was too much. Not only would this thing make you blind, you wouldn’t even enjoy it. With only 14 games released in North America, all of them looking like bad Game Boy games their wasn’t much selection. Add to that that everything was either black or red and you have very little reasons to track down one of these bad boys.
7 – Apple / Bandai Pippin
- Year Released: 1996
- Launch Price: 599$
- Games Released: 18
- Units Sold: 42 000
Oh I bet Apple fans would love to forget this. The Pippin was designed to be an all in one multimedia device, being essentially a Power Macintosh II that could be connected to a television. For some odd reason they decided to market it as a video game system. At the time of it’s release the Playstation and Nintendo 64 were already burning up the market and their wasn’t much room for another console. Let alone one priced at 600$ with only 18 available games.
6 – 3DO Interactive Multiplayer
- Year Released: 1993
- Launch Price: 699$
- Games Released: 200+ (?)
- Units Sold: 2 million
The failure of this console is often attributed to its insanely high price tag. It dosen’t matter if you have the best hardware on the market, in the video game world few things are truly worth 700$. Not only that but it had a very limited game catalogue, most being cheesy full motion video’s with limited gameplay thrown in. Add to that heavy competition from Nintendo, Sega, Atari and N.E.C. and the upcoming Playstation and not many people were ready to get R.E.A.L. with the 3DO.
5 – Atari Jaguar
- Year Released: 1993
- Launch Price: 249$
- Games Released: 55
- Units Sold: Less then 250 000
Atari what happened? You were once the crown jewel of gaming. At one point in history Atari meant games. Then slowly but surely bad console after bad console spelt your doom. The Jaguar was just the next in line. At the time of it’s release the number of bits a console had was paramount for gamers. Super Nintendo and Genesis were advertised as 16-bit, early 32-bit consoles were already being pushed to market. Atari decided to jump the gun and release the first 64-bit console. Problem was it wasen’t really 64-bit. The system used a complex series of multi-processors that somehow added up to 64-bit, this made the Jaguar difficult to make games for and most ended up looking like SNES or Genesis games.
4 – Tiger Telematics Gizmondo
- Year Released: 2005
- Launch Price: 400$
- Games Released: 8
- Units Sold: Less then 25 000
Did we learn nothing from the N-Gage? The Gizmondo was a gaming / multimedia / GPS / camera, device that launched at the less then attractive price of 400$. Low on cash? No worries for 229$ you could get a ‘budget’ version that interrupted your game with commercials. Seriously who thought this was a good idea? On top of that only 8 games were ever released for the US. market. But fear not Gizmondo fans, this summer Gizmondo 2 will be released with the ability to make phone calls. Seriosly what did we learn from the N-Gage!?
3 – Phillips CD-i
- Year Released: 1991
- Launch Price: 700$
- Games Released: 104
- Units Sold: Less then 570 000
Of all the things that went wrong with this console: the 700$ launch price tag, the extremly poor quality of its game library, the bad controllers and the fact that it breaks easily theirs one thing that stands above the rest. And that’s the absolute butchering of classic Nintendo franchises. In total 3 Zelda ‘games’ and 1 Mario ‘game’ were released for the console, and they were all horrible. Don’t believe me? Youtube search Link The Faces Of Evil and find out for yourself. The only thing noteworthy about the CD-i is how everybody who got involved with this things wants to forget it.
2 – Tiger R-Zone
- Year Released: 1995
- Launch Price: Unknown
- Games Released: Unkown
- Units Sold: Less then 50 000 (?)
And you thought the Virtual Boy was a bad idea. The R-Zone takes everything bad about the Nintendo bi-pedal monster and makes it 10X worst. the screen is tiny, and uses an odd mirror reflection display, also all the games are in a shade of red. At least the Virtual Boy gave us black. You can’t adjust the volume only turn it on or off. And finally an optional (thank goodness it was optional) headset was included with a ‘virtual reality’ display right infront of your eye gave the impression of being right in the game, at least that’s what we were told. It’s a mystery how this handheld ever got out of the planning stage.
1 – Atari 5200
- Year Released: 1982
- Launch Price: 249$
- Games Released: Less then 100
- Units Sold: 400 000 (+)
How do you follow up one of the greatest and most influential game consoles of all time with the 2600? This was the question before Atari in 1982. Their answer? Take out everything that made the 2600 great and replace it with needless changes. The 5200 was much MUCH bigger then the 2600, it coulden’t play the old games yet most were re-released for it anyway, it had a complicated TV switch box that was also a shock and fire hazard and finally it had the worst controllers for a video game console of all time. Sure they had some innovations, like a 360 degree analog joy stick and a pause button but they were uncomfertable and often broke after only a few hours of playing, or in some cases right out of the box. These controllers are the reason this console is the worst of all time, because the whole point of a video game console is being able to play it.
Tune into to 360blog.org next week for the Top 10 best video game consoles of all time.