EVERYBODY HAS their favourite games console. All those hours you whiled away on your Sega Mega Drive or Nintendo 64 as a youngster were some of the happiest of your life, before you moved in with a partner, maybe had some kids, and got told to ‘stop wasting your time and put up that sodding fence you’ve still not done’.
But what about the other side of the coin? What about those consoles lost to history? The ones too terrible to remember? Those execrable wastes of silicon that, owing to a failure of planning, implementation, software support or usually all three, ended up on the reputation scrapheap squelching around in an inch of water in the bottom of a plastic tub at far-flung car boot sales nationwide?
Join us as we count down the losers, the failures, the games consoles that caused Christmas tantrums and laid waste to companies and careers.
10. Sega Megadrive 32X
It’s 1994, you’re in charge of Sega, and the 32-bit Atari Jaguar has just launched. What do you do? Clearly, you come up with a competitor.
But what you don’t do is come up with a highly limited competitor that bolts directly onto your previous 16-bit console – the Sega Mega Drive – then immediately announce a true follow-up in the form of the Sega Saturn before the 32X is even released.
Known at best as “a poor man’s entry into ‘next-generation’ games” and at worst, by smug 3DO founder Trip Hawkins, as “a band-aid”, the 32X was dead on arrival. Barely able to pull off the technical tricks that the Mega Drive’s 16-bit rival, the Super Nintendo, had been doing for years, it was soon murdered by its own stablemate as the Saturn came lumbering over the hill months later, itself to be swiftly put out of business by Sony’s PlayStation anyway.