The world of gaming might sound like something that’s mainly aimed at kids. But its billion-dollar turnover clearly shows that it shouldn’t be taken lightly. And for an industry with such overwhelming demands, there are going to be more misses than hits. Regardless of how revolutionary or legendary a company might be in the business; they are bound to make some remorseful decisions that would prove devastating for them. Interestingly, we’ve prepared a short list for you readers and gaming geeks who want to know more.
- SNES CD/Nintendo PlayStation
Quest to push the business to the next level will certainly have problems if you’re afraid to venture into new territories. The same happened with Moguls Nintendo, who failed to deliver the next generation of console to gamers after their collaboration with Sony around 1991. Their project was a brand new standalone console that could utilize Sony SPC 700 chip (later integrated in Sony PlayStation) and play cartridge based SNES games. That unfortunately, never came to pass and led Sony to develop their own next-gen console, The PlayStation or PS1. Nintendo, on other hand stuck with cartridge based media and released N64 that never quite managed to top the mighty PS1.
- Sega 32x and Sega CD
It was all well and good for Sega while the 16-bit era of gaming lasted. With the introduction of newer technologies and competition from Nintendo, Sega did something they shouldn’t have and never quite recovered. First came the Sega 32x, which was more of an add-on for Sega Genesis rather than separate console. Regardless of its add-on nature, 32x still required a power adapter, a cable that attaches into Genesis, while being already plugged inside the cartridge slot. Same was the case with Sega CD that was another add-on (with separate requirement for power) and all three of them together looked like a monstrosity on life support that could never top anything released on Genesis.
- Virtual Boy
The only thing that stopped Howard Stark from becoming as iconic as Tony Stark (Ironman) was the technology of his time. Same was the case with Nintendo’s horrendous attempt at virtual reality gaming called the Virtual Boy in 1995. According to Nintendo, the console (or peripheral? It’s tough to decide!) was the first gaming machine to display 3D images. However, this claim was half-baked as it only used parallax effect to dupe your eyes into seeing depth and most players could only look at blurred, red monochrome images that were a far cry from being actual 3D, let alone virtual reality.
- PSP GO
Although this bad decision wasn’t as devastating as the rest in this list, it sure taught Sony some valuable lessons about gaming business. Their PSP or PlayStation portable was an extremely popular handheld that shook Nintendo’s undisputed reign with their Gameboy handhelds. But since the smartphone gaming market was also picking up pace, Sony’s decision to introduce the PSP GO only seemed like a cheap attempt to cash in on PSP’s popularity. While the handheld console wasn’t bad, it still didn’t bring the next generation of gaming and cannibalized sales for original PlayStation Portable.
- Sega Dreamcast
One could find an endless array of content over the internet why Sega’s next-gen console Dreamcast failed. Despite of being an advanced console, the Dreamcast had its fair share of woes such as lack of third party games, licensing issues with Electronic Arts, poor sales from previous consoles, an abnormally large controller and extreme competition from Sony drove the final nail in Sega’s coffin, thus sealing their fate.
- Atari Jaguar and Jaguar CD
For a company that literally invented and popularized the idea of home console for video games, it should’ve ended right after the video game crash in 1983. The reason for the crash was an influx of badly made, yet expensive titles for consoles along with rising popularity of home computers. This however didn’t seem to teach Atari a lesson who screwed up badly with the release of 32-bit Atari Jaguar. While the graphics weren’t that bad, they still couldn’t beat Super Nintendo with a dearth of impressive titles to play. These coupled with a clunky and unusually large controller with too many buttons proved as bait for critics to shun this console. The CD attachment too was nothing as capable as the PlayStation and only made the Jaguar look like a toilet.
We’ve already talked about how even the greatest video game developers/franchises have their fair share of disappointing titles, so why not consoles. Some might consider a couple in the above list to be great, but they certainly aren’t anywhere close to their greatest hits and deserve a spot here. If you have any other such examples of worst business debacles, feel free to share the story in the comments below.