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RCA Studio II Screenshots
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RCA Studio II
Released January 1977
RCA could not accept the fact that they let the Odyssey slip through there fingers (Ralph Baer the designer of Odyssey approached RCA with the deal first), and into the hands of there TV rival Magnavox. The RCA Studio II was their answer to the Magnavox Odyssey. Released in 1976 a few months after the release of the Fairchild Channel F, it would have been the first programmable console (Fairchild beat them to the release gate).

The console was doomed from the start. The lack of a color display and control paddles made the unit old and dated. With only 8 games released, the Studio II suffered the same fate as Channel F. Overshadowed and rendered obsolete by the Atari VCS / 2600

The RCA Studio II should have been a color console, a few games were designed for color, but the video output of the console was black & white. A Studio II clone released in the UK called The Sheen M1200 was released in 1978, and produced PAL color with RCA Studio II games and was a more successful unit.


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Emerson Arcadia 2001 Screenshots
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Emerson Arcadia 2001
Released March 1982
In 1982, the computer electronics company, Emerson, jumped into the gaming world. They released the Arcadia 2001, a small cartridge-based system.The Arcadia 2001 controllers are similar in design to the Intellivison or Colecovision, with a numeric keypad, a joystick, and two side buttons.

Emerson Arcadia 2001 was supposed to be the Atari 2600 killer. A great console with great games. Unfortunately they fell prey to complete lack of third party development, and the lack of Arcade game titles. Similar to other consoles before it, they were forced to release home versions of arcade games.

The system didn't grasp much attention, and soon found it's way to the bargain bin at the cost of $99. The release of the Colecovision months later sealed the Arcadia's fate. The Emerson Arcadia 2001 died after only a year and a half with 35 game releases. Most never recall it existed.


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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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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 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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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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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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SSD XaviXPORT Screenshots
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SSD XaviXPORT
Released August 2004
In January at the Consumer Electronics Show 2004 (CES), SSD COMPANY LIMITED debuts their XaviX® technology to the American public. The XaviXPort console was officially released in the US in August of 2004.

XaviXPort is a unique and innovative console that uses peripherals to interact with on screen games. The console contains image recognition and infrared sensors that can detect player movements. These movements are calculated by a proprietary multiprocessor that measures both velocity and angle. The multiprocessor then translates the actions into on screen movement.

Getting players to immerse themselves into games with body movements is not something new. However, this is the first time a console has been dedicated to providing this "Get your butt off the couch" interactive gaming experience. What makes XaviXPort even more unique is that the console’s multiprocessor is not installed inside the system itself. The multiprocessor can be found in each game cartridge.


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Mattel HyperScan Screenshots
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Mattel HyperScan
Released July 01, 2006 for $69.99
HyperScan is a video game console from Mattel. It uses Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology along with traditional video game technology. It was marketed toward boys between the ages of five to nine who were not ready for high-end video games in terms of maturity or expense, though ironically the included game was rated T by the ESRB. The console used UDF format CD-ROMs. The HyperScan has two controller ports, as well as a 13.56 MHz RFID scanner that reads and writes to the "cards" which, in turn, activate features in and save data from the game. Players are able to enhance the abilities of their characters by scanning cards.

Games retailed for $19.99 and the console itself for $69.99 at launch, but at the end of its very short lifespan, prices of the system were down to $9.99, the games $1.99, and booster packs $0.99. The system was discontinued in 2007, shortly after its release, and is featured as one of the ten worst systems ever by PC World magazine.


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1970s Video Game Consoles | 1980s Video Game Consoles | 1990s Video Game Consoles | 2000 and Beyond
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Top 10 Game Consoles of All Time | 10 Game Consoles That Didn't Catch On | Game Console Clones
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Top Brands:Magnavox | Atari | Coleco | Mattel | Nintendo | Sega | Sony | Microsoft
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