7 Failed Consoles That Made No Sense Even Then

Whether due to a lack of games, a botched launch, or an unshakeable belief in the monetary potential of edutainment, plenty of games consoles have fallen by the wayside. Here are seven instances that made it pretty clear why for every hugely successful Wii, or PS2, or Nintendo DS, there are a bunch of Bandai Wonderswans. What? Exactly.

During the early 1990s, CD-ROMs were the hottest thing in gaming, with their increased storage capacity allowing for much higher quality music, visuals and, occasionally, full motion video of Jeff Goldblum as Dracula.

Hoping to ride the wave of CD-ROM popularity that would presumably continue for all time, electronics company Philips introduced the CDI, a home console with a CD ROM drive that was considerably cheaper than a PC, thanks to not needing any of the expensive additional things PCs had, like monitors, keyboards or fun games to play.

That wasn’t for lack of trying. Philips acquired the rights to make games using Nintendo characters, which meant the CDI was home to a Mario game, which was bad, and three Zelda games, which were worse.

The Philips CDI was discontinued in 1998, having sold only 200,000 units and having lost Philips one billion dollars. No FMV game is worth a billion dollars, Philips. Unless it’s got Jeff Goldblum in it as Dracula, obviously.

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21 Replies to “7 Failed Consoles That Made No Sense Even Then”

  1. J Marshal

    I have the worst luck buying consoles. I had the Saturn, I had the GameCube, I bought the Vita. And when there’s a choice between Xbox and Sony, I always seem to get the wrong one 😩 I’m not even touching next gen until about two years in when I can make up my mind based on actual use and reviews.

  2. Jonah Unger


    Seriously, when talking about the Sega Saturn how could you not mention the GREATEST video game spokesman ever? He did nothing but beat the everliving CRAP out of anyone not playing his console! I LOVE YOU SEGATA SANSHIRO

  3. Andrew Smith

    I love the story behind the Phillips CDI. They were able to license Nintendo characters because originally they had a deal with Nintendo to create a CD-ROM add-on for the SNES. This was after Nintendo ended their deal with Sony, who used the technology they developed for the project to make the PlayStation.

  4. Paula Kiesling

    I remember seeing Razer talking about the Forge TV. I did notice that it didn't hang around for long. I love their peripherals, so I'm not going to rag on them too hard about it (my top choice for gaming mice and keyboards; and my Xbox controller for my computer is by Razer). That and they realized that making laptops would go over better than trying to get into the console war.

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