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Sega Master System II Screenshots
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Sega Master System II
Released January 1990
In 1990, Sega was having success with its Sega Mega Drive/Sega Genesis and as a result took back the rights from Tonka for the SMS. They designed the Sega Master System II, a newer console which was smaller and sleeker but which, to keep production costs low, lacked the reset button and card slot of the original. Sega did everything in its power to market the system, but nothing came out of it.

By 1992, the Master System's sales were virtually nonexistent in North America and production ceased. Sales were poor in Japan as well, due to the dominance of the main competitor from Nintendo, the Nintendo Family Computer.

The Sega Master System is still being produced in Brazil. The latest version is the "Master System III Collection". It uses the same design as the North American Master System II (Master System III in Brazil), but is white and comes in two versions: one with 74 games built-in and another with 105 games built-in on an internal ROM. But in Brazil it's hard to find the 3D Goggles, the Light Phaser Pistol and even the cartridge, leaving Brazilians only with the built-in games.


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SNK NEO-GEO (AES) Screenshots
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SNK NEO-GEO (AES)
Released April 01, 1990 for $650.00
Shin Nihon Kikaku (SNK) first ventured into the arcade market in 1989 and was successful with its unique 2D arcade machine, which was powered by an impressive custom graphics processor, 68000 and Z80 CPUs and offered 330Mbit ROM storage space. This arcade version was known as MVS, or Multi-Video Output and allowed 1 of 6 games to be loaded at any time. The Neo Geo AES (Advanced Entertainment System) was a home version of the Neo Geo MVS and played the exact same games as the ones in the arcades. In fact, even memory cards could be switched between the two, allowing players to save their progress on one machine and load it on the other.

The major weakness of the Neo Geo AES was the high price tag on the cartridges. Most games sold for about $200! The console itself was also fairly expensive, retailing at $650. Its arcade-style joystick and excellent arcade ports made it a very attractive console. A Multi-Link cable was released for the Neo Geo AES that allowed two Neo Geos to be connected together and be played on two separate televisions.


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NEC TurboGrafx 16 CD Screenshots
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NEC TurboGrafx 16 CD
Released August 01, 1990 for $399.99
The TurboGrafx-CD debuted on Aug. 1, 1990 at a prohibitive $399.99 (and did not include a pack-in game). Monster Lair (Wonder Boy III: Monster Lair) and Fighting Street (Street Fighter) were the initial TurboGrafx-CD titles. Ys Book I & II soon followed. However, the TurboGrafx-CD catalog grew at a very slow rate compared to the library of TurboChip (HuCard) titles.

The TurboGrafx-CD came packaged in a very large box, 85% of which was filled with protective styrofoam inserts. By some accounts, no other video game console (or peripheral) has been packaged in such an overkill manner. The TurboGrafx-CD did however come with a large plastic "carrying case" that could comfortably hold the TurboGrafx-16 base system, TurboGrafx-CD, all AC adapters, 2 – 3 controllers, and a few games.

Although the TurboGrafx-CD library was relatively small, American gamers could draw from a wide range of Japanese software since there was no region protection on TG-CD / PC Engine CD-ROM software. Many mail order (and some brick-and-mortar) import stores advertised Japanese PCE CD and HuCard titles in the video game publications of the era.


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Commodore 64 Games System Screenshots
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Commodore 64 Games System
Released December 1990
The Commodore 64 Games System (often abbreviated C64GS) was the cartridge-based game console version of the popular Commodore 64 home computer. It was released by Commodore in December 1990 as a competitor in the booming console market. It was only ever released in Europe and was a considerable commercial failure.

During its short life, the C64GS came bundled with a cartridge with four games: Fiendish Freddy's Big Top O'Fun, International Soccer, Flimbo's Quest and Klax.

The C64GS was not Commodore's first gaming system based on the C64 hardware. However, unlike the 1982 MAX Machine (a game-oriented computer based on a very cut-down version of the same hardware family), the C64GS was internally very similar to the "proper" C64 with which it was compatible.


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Philips CD-I Screenshots
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Philips CD-I
Released April 1991
CD-i, or Compact Disc Interactive, is the name of an interactive multimedia CD player developed and marketed by Royal Philips Electronics N.V. CD-i also refers to the multimedia Compact Disc standard used by the CD-i console, also known as Green Book, which was developed by Philips and Sony. Work on the CD-i began in 1984 and it was first publicly announced in 1986. The first Philips CD-i player, released in 1991 and initially priced around USD $700, is capable of playing interactive CD-i discs, Audio CDs, CD+G (CD+Graphics), Karaoke CDs, and Video CDs (VCDs), though the last requires an optional "Digital Video Card" to provide MPEG-1 decoding.

The CD-i proved to be a commercial failure in that market segment and some of its games have been known to be among the worst games ever made. Philips ceased publishing video games for the platform in 1998.


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Super Nintendo Entertainment System Screenshots
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Super Nintendo Entertainment System
Released August 23, 1991 for $200.00
The Super Nintendo Entertainment System was Nintendo's second home console, following the Nintendo Entertainment System (often abbreviated to NES, released as the Famicom in Japan). Whereas the earlier system had struggled in Europe and large parts of Asia the SNES proved to be a global success, albeit one that could not match its predecessor's popularity in South East Asia and North America - due in part to increased competition from Sega's Mega Drive console (released in North America as the Genesis). Despite its relatively late start, the SNES became the best selling console of the 16-bit era but only after its competitor Sega had pulled out of the 16-bit market to focus on its 32-bit next generation console.

Nintendo released the Super Nintendo Entertainment System which initially sold for a price of $200. The North American package included the game Super Mario World. The SNES was released in the United Kingdom and Ireland in April 1992 for £150, with a German release following a few weeks later. The PAL versions of the console looked identical to the Japanese Super Famicom, except for labelling.


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NEC TurboDuo Screenshots
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NEC TurboDuo
Released October 1992
In 1992 TTi (Turbo Technologies Inc.) released the TurboDuo, the North American version of the Japanese Duo. The system combined the TurboGrafx-16 and an enhanced version of the CD-ROM drive (the "Super CD-ROM²") into a single unit. The system could play audio CDs, CD+Gs, CD-ROM2 and Super CD games as well as standard HuCards. The Super System Card required for some games when using the original CD add-on as well as some of the Japanese variants of the TurboGrafx was built in to the Duo rather than requiring the card to be inserted at all times when playing CD games. The original pack-in for the Turbo Duo included the system, one control pad, an AC adapter, RCA cables, Ys book I & II a CD-ROM2 title, a Super CD disc including Bonk's Adventure, Bonk's Revenge, Gates of Thunder and a secret version of Bomberman accessible via an easter egg. The system was also packaged with one random HuCard game which varied from system to system (note: Actually, Dungeon Explorer was the original HuCard pack-in for TurboDuo, although many titles were eventually used, such as IREM's Ninja Spirit and NAMCO's Final Lap Twin and then eventually a random pick).

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Sega CD for Genesis Screenshots
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Sega CD for Genesis
Released December 1992
The Sega CD had been announced at the Chicago CES on November 1992. Early reports had suggested that hardware in the system would allow it to display more on screen colors (from a larger palette) than the Sega Genesis or the Super Nintendo, which was an important technical concern for consumers.

In the end, the Sega CD failed to convince North American gamers, mostly due to the cost of the console, and the lack of any hardware advancements. There just was not enough value for the price. Moreover, the game experience was little improved.

The single speed CD drive added load times to all games, and the 64-color graphics and underpowered processor (for video rendering) made full-motion games look terrible. One particularly infamous example of this came in the form of the Mortal Kombat CD, which was widely criticized due to certain moves, particularly the games popular "fatalities", that would not perform until after a notable lag between the execution of the move and its actual on screen animation.


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Nintendo Entertainment System Model 2 Screenshots
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Nintendo Entertainment System Model 2
Released February 01, 1993 for $45.00
In 1993, Nintendo released a top loading NES model 2. This newer model was scaled down to nearly half the size of the original. The case was a sleeker design (Like a smoother Famicom). The cartridge port was more stable, and used eject & power buttons similar to it's successor the SuperNES. Even the controller had the "bone-like" shape of the SuperNES. This new model sold for $45. The cheaper price came at the loss of the original model's interface and A/V output ports. Nintendo dropped support for this new model a year later. Today, it's a collectors item.

Nintendo's success introduced some of the most interesting accessories and conversions. Who could forget the "Power Glove", and "Rob the Robot". Nintendo slapped "NES-like" hardware into an Arcade cabinet and released Nintendo Playchoice to arcades everywhere. In Japan they released a disk drive accessory that allowed gamers to download games from vending machines onto a disk.


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Commodore Amiga CD32 Screenshots
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Commodore Amiga CD32
Released July 1993
The CD32 was released in Canada and was planned for release in the United States. However, a deadline was reached for Commodore to pay a patent royalty to Cad Track for their use of their XOR patent. A federal judge ordered an injunction against Commodore preventing them from importing anything into the United States. Commodore had built up CD32 inventory in their Philippine manufacturing facility for the United States launch, but, being unable to sell the consoles, they remained in the Philippines until the debts owed to the owners of the facility were settled. Commodore declared bankruptcy shortly afterwards, and the CD32 was never officially sold in the United States. However, imported models did come over the border from Canada, and many stores in the United States (primarily mail-order stores) imported units for domestic sale. During the long bankruptcy proceedings, Commodore UK also provided some hardware components and software for the American market, including production of the MPEG Video Module that was not officially released by Commodore International.

On its release, the CD32 was marketed by Commodore as 'the world's first 32-bit CD games console'. Although it was indeed the first such machine released in Europe and North America, the FM Towns Marty, a console released exclusively in Japan, beat it to market by seven months. However, the CD32's 68EC020 processor had a 32-bit data bus both internally and externally, while the 386SX in the FM Towns Marty has a 16-bit data bus externally.


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Pioneer LaserActive Screenshots
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Pioneer LaserActive
Released September 13, 1993 for $970.00
The Pioneer LaserActive was a short-lived Laserdisc-based game console released by Pioneer in 1993. In addition to LaserActive games, separately sold add-on modules (referred to as "PAC" by Pioneer) expanded the hardware to include compatibility with the Sega Mega Drive/Sega Genesis and PC Engine/TurboGrafx 16 game cartridges and HuCards and CDs. It ended up being a commercial failure.

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Panasonic 3DO Interactive Screenshots
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Panasonic 3DO Interactive
Released October 04, 1993 for $700.00
The 3DO was a concept. "Create the blueprints for a next-generation, 32-bit, do-it-all, set-top system that is fully upgradeable and license the actual hardware manufacturing to some of the world's largest electronics manufacturers." That's the 3DO. Trip Hawkins, founder of the 3DO company, joined forces with RJ Mical and Dave Needle to create the most innovative system of the '90s. The 3DO was originally designed to be the next step in home entertainment: Audi-o, vide-o, 3D-O. The creators hoped it would become as common as the VCR and as fun and entertaining as a TV, VCR, CD player, video game system and computer combined. The idea was sound. Unfortunately, the execution of the idea was not.

Many companies obtained licenses to produce 3DO systems, including Goldstar, Sanyo, Samsung, AT&T, Creative Labs and the world's largest electronics company, Matsushita/Panasonic. With the idea that the 3DO was to become a multi functional part of everyone's home entertainment centers, the unit was released in 1993 with an MSRP of $700.


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Atari Jaguar Screenshots
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Atari Jaguar
Released November 1993
Competing with Sega and Nintendo's 16-bit consoles, the Jaguar was said to be 64-bit. Back then, bit width was a big deal in the gaming industry, just as polygon-pushing power is today. The Jaguar did not work off of a solitary 64-bit processor, but instead it had a collection of processors with bus widths ranging from 16 to 64 bits. The bit width of the Jaguar is still a source of considerable debate today, but consensus exists among those who are familiar with the system hardware that, because Jaguar's main data bus and some of the processors are 64-bit, the entire system can be considered 64 bit. It would otherwise be considered a 32-bit console.

Nonetheless, it was technically superior to the leading 16-bit consoles at the time. Unfortunately, this last ditch effort by Atari to find room in the console market failed. A relatively small number of games were developed for the system, but Atari pulled the plug altogether in 1996.


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Sega Genesis 2 Screenshots
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Sega Genesis 2
Released February 1994
The Sega Genesis 2 Unit was released in 1994 and was nearly the same as the Sega Genesis released in 1989. The new unit was absent of a headphone jack and volume control and used a non standard RF switch and AC adapter. The pack ins were an AC adapter, RF switch, controller, and the Sonic the Hedgehog 2 game.

The failures of the Sega CD and 32X, a lack of effective advertising, and disputes between Sega of America and Sega of Japan had taken their toll on the company. By 1994, Sega's market share had dropped from 65% to 35%, and the official announcements of newer, more powerful consoles, such as the Saturn, Playstation, and N64 signaled that the 16-bit era was drawing to a close. Interest in the Genesis suffered greatly as a result, compounding its already falling sales. In 1996, less than a year after the debut of their Saturn console, Sega quickly brought their participation in the 16-bit era to an end by discontinuing production of the Genesis and its associated accessories.


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Goldstar 3DO Interactive Screenshots
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Goldstar 3DO Interactive
Released February 01, 1994 for $699.95
3DO Interactive Multiplayer is the name of a number of video game consoles released in 1993 and 1994 by Panasonic, Sanyo and Goldstar. The consoles were manufactured according to specifications created by The 3DO Company which were originally designed at the New Technology Group (which later became part of the 3DO Company) by Dave Needle and RJ Mical. After leaving EA Games, Trip Hawkins originally came up with the idea of the 3DO Multiplayer system.

The consoles had very advanced hardware features at the time: an ARM60 32-bit RISC CPU, two custom video co-processors, a custom 16-bit DSP and a custom math coprocessor. They also featured 2 megabytes of DRAM, 1 megabyte of VRAM, and a double speed CD-ROM drive for main storage, Up to 8 controllers could be daisy-chained on the system at once. In addition to special 3DO software, the system was able to play audio CDs (including support for CD+G), view Photo CDs, and Video CDs with an add-on MPEG video card (released in Japan only). However, few titles utilized the console's full potential, which, along with its high price (699.95 USD at release) and the inability of the console market to sustain multiple platforms, put it in an early grave. The final nail in the coffin was the scuttling of the project after the expensive development of the successor console, the M2.


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Sega CD for Genesis 2 Screenshots
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Sega CD for Genesis 2
Released April 1994
The Sega Mega-CD is an add-on device for the Sega Mega Drive released in Europe, Australia, and Japan. The North American version is called the Sega CD. The device allows the user to both play CD audio discs and specially designed game CDs. It can also play CD+G discs.

The development of the Sega CD was top secret; game programmers didn't know what they were designing for until the Mega-CD was finally revealed at Tokyo Toy Show in Japan. The Sega Mega-CD in Japan was designed to compete with the PC Engine, which had a separate CD-ROM drive.

In the United States, the Sega CD was considered a failure due to its high price, low sales and general confusion with the Sega 32X, another Genesis peripheral offered. Due to Sega of America's lack of support for the Sega CD and 32X, many consumers lost their trust in Sega and it can be said that Sega never recovered from this, as the Saturn sold poorly and the Dreamcast, although considered a good effort on Sega's behalf, was unable to compete effectively with the PS2.


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JVC X'EYE Screenshots
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JVC X'EYE
Released September 01, 1994 for $499.00
JVC had helped Sega by delivering the most advanced sound made by a gaming console. A wider range of sounds not only gave the CD games more of an impact, but it was better then most audio CD players at the time. In return for their work, Sega gave JVC the "OK" to create this console. This system could play both Sega Genesis carts and Sega CD games in a single unit.

At a debut price of $499, the X'EYE was a costly version of something you could buy much cheaper by getting a Genesis and Sega CD separately. JVC's higher price tag did came with some added features. Not only could you play your Sega Genesis and Sega CD games from a single unit, but you could play your games with better video and sound. JVC added audio components such as a Digital Audio Processor and bass enhancer that would improve music clarity and explosive effects on Sega's CD games. JVC also added Super VHS output (SVHS another JVC created standard) that would provide a much improved display then other standards of its time. JVC also added numerous Karaoke features (popular in Japan), and MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) output. The MIDI interface could later be used with a keyboard add-on called "Piano Player".


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Sega Genesis 32x Screenshots
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Sega Genesis 32x
Released November 1994
The 32X hit the market in North America in November 1994, during the same month the Sega Saturn was released in Japan. Many industry insiders speculated that the 32X was doomed from the beginning as the Sega Saturn hardware was widely regarded as more powerful than the 32X and had the support of many Japanese third party software developers.

The Sega 32X can only be used in conjunction with a Sega Mega Drive/Sega Genesis system; it is plugged in where the cartridge bay is. Besides playing its own cartridges, it also acted as a passthrough for Genesis games so it would be a permanent attachment. The 32X came with 10 coupons and several spacers, so it would work with all versions of the Genesis.

Since this was an expensive add-on system, Sega decided to bundle in some rebate vouchers, which were difficult to take advantage of. Orders exceeded one million, but not enough were produced, and supply shortage problems arose.


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Sega CDX Screenshots
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Sega CDX
Released November 21, 1994 for $399.00
The Multi-Mega or CDX was a 16-bit video game console released in 1994 for $399 USD, combining the Sega Mega Drive (Sega Genesis in North America) and one of its add-ons, the Sega Mega-CD (Sega CD in North America), into a single compact unit as a final attempt by Sega to encourage consumer interest in its unpopular Mega-CD format. It was released under the name Multi-Mega in Europe, Genesis CDX in North America and Multi-Mega CDX in Brazil.

Overpriced and underselling due to lack of high quality Mega-CD games, and the anticipation of the Mega Drive's successor, the Sega Saturn, it was never well-supported by Sega, and died a quiet death. Its counterpart, the combined Mega Drive/32X console, the Sega Neptune, never went beyond the prototype stage.


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SNK NEO-GEO CD Screenshots
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SNK NEO-GEO CD
Released December 1994
The Neo Geo CD is essentially the same hardware as the AES but with a CD drive instead of the cartridge slot. CD's are a lot cheaper to produce than cartridges and SNK passed this saving on to gamers with the Neo Geo CD.

Unfortunately, the CD drive is single speed and it takes a long time for games to load compared to cart based games that load instantly. The loading isn't too bad on level based games such as Metal Slug, but it can be really infuriating on fighting games when it needs to load every couple of minutes.


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Atari Jaguar CD Screenshots
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Atari Jaguar CD
Released March 1995
Late in it's life span, Atari released this long-promised CD-ROM unit. The device sat atop the Jaguar console, plugging into the cartridge slot, the physical design of the system sometimes compared to a toilet. The drive had its own cartridge slot to allow cartridge games to be played without removing the CD drive. There was a separate "Memory Track" cartridge for storing saved game position and high scores.

The Jaguar CD unit featured a double speed (2x) drive and built-in VLM (Virtual Light Machine) software. The VLM, which provided a sophisticated video light show when an audio CD was played in the machine, was as popular among buyers as the games themselves. Packaged with the drive were two games (Blue Lightning and Vid Grid), a music CD (Tempest 2000 soundtrack), and a Myst demo disc.

The drive was manufactured for Atari by Phillips in the United States. The initial shipment was 20,000 units. With the JT Storage reverse takeover looming just a few months away, it is possible that those 20,000 drives were the only units ever produced.


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Bandai Pippin Screenshots
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Bandai Pippin
Released April 1995
The Pippin, known in Japan as Pippin Atmark, and marketed as Pipp!n, is a multimedia platform designed by Apple Inc. and produced by Bandai in 1995. It was based on a 66 MHz PowerPC 603 processor, a 14.4 kbit/s modem and ran a stripped version of the System 7.5.2 operating system.

The goal was to create an inexpensive computer aimed mostly at playing CD-based multimedia titles, especially games, but also functioning as a network computer. It featured a 4x CD-ROM drive and a video output that could connect to a standard television display.

The platform was named for the Newtown Pippin, an apple cultivar, a smaller and more tart relative of the McIntosh apple (which is the namesake of the Macintosh).


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Sega Saturn Screenshots
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Sega Saturn
Released May 11, 1995 for $399.00
Sega's Away Team worked for an entire two years exclusively to make certain that the Sega Saturn was launched with some of the world's best hardware and software. The 27-member Away Team comprises Sega employees from every aspect of hardware engineering, product development, and marketing. Their sole mission was to ensure that Sega Saturn's hardware and design met the precise needs of both the U.S. and Japanese markets.

In May 1995, Sega launched the Saturn in the USA, a full four months ahead of schedule. This was announced at that year's E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo) where Sega representatives were engaged in a public relations battle with Sony. This surprise move resulted in very few sales, however. This was due largely to the $399 USD price of the system and the lack of available software at time of launch. Also, Sega chose to ship Saturn units only to four select retailers. This caused a great deal of animosity toward Sega from unselected companies, including Wal-Mart and KB Toys.


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Nintendo Virtual Boy Screenshots
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Nintendo Virtual Boy
Released August 1995
The Virtual Boy is a video game console developed and manufactured by Nintendo. It was the first video game console capable of displaying "true 3D graphics" out of the box. Whereas most video games use monocular cues to achieve the illusion of three dimensions on a two-dimensional screen, the Virtual Boy creates an illusion of depth through the effect known as parallax. In a manner similar to using a head-mounted display, the user looks into an eyepiece made of neoprene on the front of the machine, and then an eyeglass-style projector allows viewing of the monochromatic (in this case, red) image.

It was released on July 21, 1995 in Japan and August 14, 1995 in North America at a price of around US$180. Hype surrounding the device included public musings by Nintendo that the device might resemble a gun, projecting a 3D image in the air. The actual device was considered a disappointment. The commercial demise of the Virtual Boy was considered to be the catalyst that led to the designer, Yokoi being driven from Nintendo, yet it was maintained that Yokoi kept a close relationship with Nintendo despite Yokoi having later created a rival handheld system for Bandai. According to Game Over, the company laid the blame for the machine's faults directly on the creator. The Virtual Boy was discontinued in late 1995 in Japan and in early 1996 in North America. In 2007, the system was listed as number five in PC World's "The Ugliest Products in Tech History" list. TIME Magazine's website listed the Virtual Boy as one of the worst inventions of all time.


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Panasonic 3DO FZ-10 Screenshots
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Panasonic 3DO FZ-10
Released September 1995
The 3DO sported some very innovative features. The fact that it is a CD-based system gave developers nearly limitless space to store their games and programs, something cartridge-based systems lack. There was only one controller port. However, this wasn't a problem since extra controllers (up to 8) could be easily daisy-chained as each controller has its own controller port. The original Panasonic controllers have a built-in stereo headphone jack along with a volume control dial. The system has its own internal memory to save games and other information. It has 2 expansion ports which were to be used for future upgrades such as memory cards, modems, digital video cartridges and the M2 system upgrade.

There were many accessories for the 3DO, some of them standard (like game pads, wireless controllers and a light gun). Then there were more unique items like the mouse, steering wheel, flight stick and the Super Nintendo controller adapters which allowed the cheaper Super NES controllers to be used on the 3DO. However, there were even more impressive items available that truly allowed the 3DO to stand alone.


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Sony PlayStation Screenshots
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Sony PlayStation
Released September 1995
Nintendo asked Sony to develop a CD-ROM add-on called "PlayStation" for the SNES. Because Sony wanted 25% of all profits Nintendo earned from sales of this PlayStation and all PlayStation games, after Sony revealed that they were developing it, Nintendo instead went to Philips. This caused Sony to consider abandoning their research, however instead they used what they had developed so far and made it into a full blown console. This led to Nintendo filing a lawsuit claiming breach of contract and attempted, in U.S. federal court, to obtain an injunction against the release of the PlayStation, on the grounds that Nintendo owned the name. The federal judge presiding over the case denied the injunction.

The PlayStation was launched in Japan on December 3, 1994, the USA on September 9, 1995 and Europe on September 29, 1995. In America, Sony enjoyed a very successful launch with titles of almost every genre including Toshinden, Twisted Metal, Warhawk, and Ridge Racer. Almost all of Sony's and Namco's launch titles went on to produce numerous sequels.


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Nintendo 64 Screenshots
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Nintendo 64
Released September 29, 1996 for $199.00
The Nintendo 64, commonly called the N64, is Nintendo's third home video game console. The N64 was released on June 23, 1996 in Japan, September 29, 1996 in North America, 1 March 1997 in Europe/Australia and September 1, 1997 in France. It was released with only two launch games in Japan and North America (Super Mario 64 and PilotWings 64) while Europe had a third launch title in the form of Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire (which was released earlier in the other markets). The Nintendo 64 cost $199 at launch in the United States.

During the developmental stages the N64 was referred to by its code name, Project Reality. The name Project Reality came from the speculation within Nintendo that this console could produce CGI on par with then-current super computers. Once unveiled to the public the name changed to Nintendo Ultra 64, referring to its 64-bit processor, and Nintendo dropped "Ultra" from the name on February 1, 1996, just five months before its Japanese debut.


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Super Nintendo Entertainment System Model 2 Screenshots
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Super Nintendo Entertainment System Model 2
Released October 01, 1997 for $99.00
By 1996, the 16-bit era of gaming had ended, and a new generation of consoles, including Nintendo's own Nintendo 64, caused the popularity of the SNES to wane. In October 1997, Nintendo released a redesigned SNES 2 in North America for $99 USD (which included the pack-in game Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island). Like the earlier NES 2, the new model was designed to be slimmer and lighter than its predecessor but lacked S-Video and RGB output, and would prove to be among the last major SNES-related releases in America.

Nintendo of America ceased production of the SNES in 1999. In Japan, the Super Famicom continued to be produced until September 2003 (also some new games were produced until the year 2000). In recent years, many SNES titles have been ported to the hand held Game Boy Advance, which has similar video capabilities. Some video game critics consider the SNES era "the golden age of video games," citing the many ground breaking games and classics made for the system, whereas others question this romanticism. See video game player for more.


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Sega Genesis 3 Screenshots
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Sega Genesis 3
Released February 01, 1998 for $29.99
A company by the name of Majesco started to take over manufacturing of systems for Sega in 1998 with their release of the Genesis 3. The system retailed for $29.99 and came packaged with one controller, AV cables, and a power cord. The controller that was featured as a pack in was the new Sega six button controller. The system itself was very tiny, about the size of two controllers for the system. The system lacked the expansion port that the Genesis 1 and Genesis 2 had and thus could not utilized the function of the Sega CD 1 or 2. The Genesis 3 could not utilize the 32X either.

Besides redesigning the Sega Genesis, Majesco also re-released certain games for the system. They came in cardboard boxes with black and white instructions. Majesco had also done some re-releasing for the Sega Game Gear and the Super Nintendo. At the same time they were doing work with the Game Gear, they had plans to re-release the Sega Saturn, but as of yet, nothing has been done. The following games do not work (per Genesis 3 Instruction Manual): Virtua Racing. The Sega Channel Modem also does not work.


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Sega Dreamcast Screenshots
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Sega Dreamcast
Released September 1999
The Dreamcast was released on November 27, 1998 in Japan, on September 9, 1999 in the United States (the date 9/9/99 featured heavily in US promotion) and on October 14, 1999 in Europe. The tag line used to promote the console in the US was "It's thinking", and in Europe "Up to 6 Billion Players". (The vagueness of these campaigns and almost total lack of any in game footage has been touted as one of the reasons for the Dreamcast's eventual downfall. Many Americans knew that the Dreamcast was coming, but didn't know what one was.)

The Dreamcast was the first console to include a built-in modem and Internet support for on-line gaming. It enjoyed brisk sales in its first season and was one of Sega's most successful hardware units. In the United States alone, a record 200,000 units had been pre-ordered before launch and Sega sold 500,000 consoles in just two weeks (including 225,000 sold on the first 24 hours which became a video game record until the PlayStation 2 launched a year later). In fact, due to brisk sales and hardware shortages, Sega was unable to fulfill all of the advance orders.


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