Apart from the standard gaming technology we use on a daily basis like a DualShock, console, Kinect sensor and now VR headsets, there has been some weird gaming tech released in the past that if you saw it today you would wonder what in the world it was actually used for.
There used to be a purpose for the weird gaming tech back in the day. While much of the weird gaming tech was never a huge success, it is nice to know that it existed in some way, shape or form.
Here is some of the weird gaming tech that’ll make you say WTF.
Released in 2004, the XaviXPORT does not only have a strange name but its use was pretty out there too. This piece of weird gaming tech was designed to be a fitness-based system where users would make use of motion controls to interact with various games on the device. While the console did not come with a controller, each game came with a set that you would have to pair with the device in order to make them work. The most popular game on the system was Golf which came with sticks and a sensor that you plugged into the device when on the floor. Players would then simulate the action of hitting the golf ball above the XaviPORT and sensor and the game would render the outcome depending on the action. Nintendo was fond of this weird gaming tech which was implemented into the Wii’s motion controllers and games.
This weird gaming tech was released in the 80s and came in different forms. Astro Wars, Munchman, Caveman, and Scramble were just a few games that released on the platform with all of them being a moderate success. Many of the games were restricted to a Pong-like experience, but the extra hardware such as guns and joysticks added to the overall experience of the games. Many of the games were also blatant clones of popular Namco and Atari games. For instance, Pac-Man was rebranded as Munchman. Muchman featured the exact same gameplay as the yellow ball we all know, but with lenient licensing rights, this sort of copyright infringement was easily overlooked.
The Rollet Videocolor was a budget gaming device released in 1983 targeting users who were unable to purchase fancy game consoles of the day. The console was cheaply made but it did its job. It would plug into the power and the TV and the controller part of it would be on the actual device itself with one analogue stick and one button being the primary use of the controller. While it was unable to live up to the success of the Hanimex HMG0-7900, games like Pac-Man, Space invaders, and Missile Attack were released on it. However, its weaker chipset only rendered 8-bit colour so it looked terrible.
Super Lady Cassette Vision
Dubbed as the “unsuccessful successor to the Nintendo Famicom Vision” the Super Cassette released in 1984 to underwhelming numbers. It only had about thirty games, and sales were poor. Saying that however, this did not stop Epoch from making a fancy version of the console designed just for ladies. The Lady Cassette Vision was a bright pink version that came with a copy of Milky Princess and was transportable thanks to the extra-pink carry case that came with the bundle too. This over-the-top model had compartments to store games. Too bad no one like this piece of weird gaming tech.
The Wondermega released in 1992 and was the combination of both the Sega Mega Drive and the Sega Mega-CD. Created by a company known as Victor, the console was half a CD-Rom and half a slot for a cartridge which meant that no matter what Sega games you owned, you could make use of the console in some way or another. Unfortunately, with the console featuring both ways to play this meant that it was also double the price. The console was almost four times the asking price of just a standalone Sega Mega Drive and double the price of a Sega Mega-CD console. This meant it was cheaper to just buy both which people did. This led to the downfall of the console and the company behind it.
One of the earliest VR experiences on the market was Nintendo’s Virtual Boy. It was advertised as the first device to render stereoscopic 3D graphics and deliver them to players with a head-mounted display. The hardware then used a parallax effect to create the illusion of depth which was unique to the platform. Nintendo was a few years too early for VR as the device did not do as well as hoped. With 22 games released on the system, Nintendo ceased production on the device selling a mere 770k units.
Formerly known as the Apple Bandai Pippen. This console was based on the Apple Pippen platform, a Mac OS spinoff and produced by Bandai. To think that Apple is now an iPhone company and Bandai Namco is one of the biggest publishers in the world. Back in 1996, the goal of the Bandai Pippen was to create an inexpensive computer aimed at playing CD-based multimedia software, like games. Fewer than 100,000 units were made, with Apple selling less than half of them. This was due to the tough gaming market of the day with the PlayStation, Xbox, and Nintendo GameCube being leaders in the fight.
Back in 1977, the VideoBrain Family Computer was released. It was not a successful piece of weird gaming tech, with only three years of life in the industry.
What weird gaming tech have you come across in your experience as gamer? Drop us a comment below and let us know.