Getting into the console business is an expensive, risky proposition. The costs are insane, the customer base is hostile to newcomers and putting together a cutting-edge machine means either slapping on a prohibitive price tag or losing hundreds of dollars on every sale. With that in mind, it's no surprise that the history of videogames is littered with forgotten systems that never even had a chance to fail.
Some were the brainchildren of naïve dreamers who ran out of money, others were possibly scams and still others were just deemed a waste of money by their glowering corporate overlords. But all of them have fascinating stories to tell, especially if you need a reason to never try and make your own game console. Here are some of the most notable examples:
Created by: Tiger Telematics
Intended for release: 2006
The hope: The now-infamous Gizmondo was barely six months old when, in September of 2005, a successor was unveiled. Clearly intended to compete with Sony's then-new PSP, the new unit would be a notable improvement over the existing Gizmondo, with a much sleeker form factor, a four-inch-wide screen, beefier hardware specs and new features like WiFi connectivity.
The reality: Scheduled to debut at the Consumer Electronics Show in January of 2006, the widescreen Gizmondo was a mysterious no-show. Shortly afterward, any news of the device was swallowed up by Tiger Telematics' now-legendary financial troubles, and to this day it remains nothing more than a couple of photos and a spec sheet. But take heart: even with a sleeker form factor, wider screen and beefier hardware, it still would have been the same Gizmondo. And that means it probably still would have sucked.
Above: Woo! Camera!
Why it never saw life: We're not entirely sure, but we're going to go out on a limb and guess it had something to do with the spectacular bankruptcy and subsequent downfall of the Gizmondo brand, Tiger Telematics and its CEO/gangster/incompetent Ferrari driver, Stefan Eriksson.
But don't count the Gizmondo 2 out just yet - if the discussions over at gizmondoforums.com are to be believed, the machine could finally see release by the end of 2008 as the Gizmondo brand recovers from bankruptcy and officially relaunches, bringing all its terrible games back with it.
Above: Woo! Awful game ideas!