Strange and forgotten consoles

From Emulation General Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Beneath the clean and successful exterior of gaming giants like the Super Nintendo and PlayStation lies the Gap of Vidya: a realm populated by unwanted and forgotten consoles of old, immortal in their plasticity. Here we may receive knowledge of their eternal fate. Not everything on this page can or will be emulated.

If it's a video game console from the third generation and beyond, it's on this page for your viewing pleasure.

See console boom for the 70s and 80s consoles.

Consoles[edit]

Third generation[edit]

Name MAME support ROMs Description
Action Max None No VHS tape console released in 1987 by Worlds of Wonder. It relied on a light gun and score counter for all of its 5 games, which could not really be lost. There's an add-on for the multi-arcade LaserDisc emulator DAPHNE called SINGE. We're in murky waters here, so run this at your own risk.

Cinemassacre Demonstration

Amstrad GX4000 Good TOSEC/ A consolized version of the Amstrad CPC.
Atari XEGS Decent Yes A repackaging of the Atari 8-bit computer line marketed as a game console. Notable for having possibly the worst physical design prior to the Xbox One. It has preliminary support in MAME, as does the 65XE computer it's based on. Overview CGR Review. It is also supported on Altirra.
BBC Bridge Companion Good Yes An 8-Bit console made exclusively for teaching people to play bridge.
Casio PV-1000 Good No-intro A 1983 console pulled from shelves very quickly. Like many others, its titanic failure makes it a rarity nowadays.
Commodore 64 Games System Good Yes A hacked up console version of the regular Commodore 64, released only in Europe. Failed hilariously due to its outdated tech (1984 hardware in 1990!), the fact that the normal Commodore 64 was already sufficient, and a bad case of the 'no games'. It is supported in VICE, a widely used emulator for Commodore's 8-bit computers.
Dendy Preliminary Yes The NES, but for slavs. (TCRF COMEDY!) Only Kinaman can properly explain this one (turn on CC). Has decent support in MAME, and its status as an NES clone means its "exclusives" can be played on NES emulators that support broken pirate carts.
Dina Good Yes Hybrid clone of both the SG-1000 and ColecoVision. Sold by Telegames as the Telegames Personal Arcade, allegedly with permission from Coleco themselves. The console's build quality leaves a lot to be desired, not to mention that games for the aforementioned platforms can be played on most ColecoVision emulators anyway.
Family Driver/Video Driver None No Sega also had a go with the VHS-Based console market with the Family Driver from 1988 and unlike most of these type of consoles, this did not play Light-gun games but instead played driving games. Only three games were released for the system; it's unknown when Sega discontinued it.
Funsation

Off-The-Wall Projector

None No Released circa 1989 by European company, Funsation (The Exact Origin is Unknown).This Projector based console somehow sold worse and is even rarer then the "Mega Video Game" (A similar console that also flopped). It's unknown how many games were made for it, how many units sold or when it was discontinued.

It was also released in France (and Germany?) by French toy company, Savie as the "Projector Jeu Électronique LCD"

LJN Video Art None No A notorious "educational" console made by the notorious LJN released in 1985. It was meant as a paint program type system that was meant to compete against television rather than mainstream consoles at the time. It flopped hard. Commercial AVGN Review
My Vision Good No
Philips Videopac+ G7400 Decent No-intro A rare Europe-only console, first released in early 1983. Philips designed the Videopac+ to be a backwards-compatible successor to the Videopac/Odyssey², and was even planning to release an American version called the "Odyssey³", but they reconsidered after a poor showing at that year's CES. Then the 1983 crash happened, and Philips quickly axed the whole thing. Limited support in some Odyssey² emulators.
Playtime Projector Mega Video Game None No Released in 1988 by the Hong Kongese company, Playtime Products. The Mega Video Game played Game & Watch style games and used a built-in projector as the display. Less then 15 games were released for the system, and was discontinued sometime between 1989 and 1990. how many units were sold is unknown.

Furthermore, it's important to note that PlayTime licensed the console to various toy and electronics companies to rebrand and available in other countries. In the UK, Grandstand sold it as the Light Games, and was released in Italy by Fantastiko.

RDI Halcyon None No A terrifying machine based on HAL from 2001: A Space Odyssey, featuring voice-recognition and AI learning. Its failure bankrupted RDI. There are currently no known emulators for the Halcyon, as mankind has yet to fully comprehend its awesome power.

Demonstration

Super Cassette Vision Decent TOSEC/ 1984 successor to the original Cassette Vision. Much easier to emulate as the hardware is similar to some other obscure systems. There's an emulator for it called eSCV. The graphical quality is somewhere between the ColecoVision and NES. Was actually fairly successful in Japan until the Famicom came along and kicked its ass. Then this happened. It has a homebrew scene that is still alive with some cool stuff like a port of Super Mario Bros and was the first console with a Dragon Ball videogame.
Soundic SD-290 None No Released by Soundic in 1983, the SD-290 was designed to undercut the competition but the lack of compelling games and dated hardware drove customers away from it. Only 11 of the 16 games planned for the system were released. It's unknown how many units were sold or when it was discontinued. Furthermore, it's important to note that Soundic sold SD-290 motherboards to various companies to rebrand them as their own consoles. excluding the original console, there are five versions of this system are known to exist so far, these include:

Soundic Soundicvision SD-200
Hanimex HMG-7900
Rollet Video-Color
JouéClub SD-290
ITMC SD-290

With the exception of the SD-200 (no one seems know where it was released) All of them were only released in France

Terebikko\Video Phone None No The Terebikko is a VHS-Based edutainment console released in Japan by Bandai in 1988 and in the US by Mattel in 1989, The Japanese version had less then 10 games made for it but most of them are based on high profile properties such as Super Mario, Sailor Moon, Doraemon and Dragon Ball Z, Meanwhile, Only 2 games are known to of been released for the US version, both were discontinued in 1994 and it's unknown how many units were sold.
Video Challenger Preliminary No Released in 1987 by Select Merchandise and licensed to 4 companies in different regions, this VHS-Based console only had around 8 games released for it and like most systems of this type, it only played Light-gun games. It's unknown how many units were sold or when it was discontinued.
Videosmarts None No Released around 1986 by the Connor Toy Corporation, the Videosmarts is VHS edutainment console that taught Preschool to Second Grade Subjects, It's unknown how many games were made for it, how many units sold or when it was discontinued.
View-Master Interactive Vision None No 1988 edutainment VHS console that used two audio tracks on each tape, the player choosing one of two options on the screen, to create interactivity. Also had short mini-game segments with ColecoVision-like graphics. Unlike the other VHS systems, the games were actually decent. No known emulators.
VTech Socrates Preliminary Yes Old edutainment console released in 1988. It featured a robot-type character called Socrates and had wireless infrared controllers. The same company would later release the V.Smile and V.Flash systems many years later.
Zemmix Series Good Yes Korean system that was simply an MSX/MSX 2, depending on the model, in console form. Mostly just existed as a way to play MSX games. Though there were a few games made specifically for it, they were playable on the MSX as well. Any MSX emulator should work for its games.

Fourth generation[edit]

Name MAME support ROMs Internet Archive Description
Commodore CDTV Preliminary TOSEC // redump A console version of the Amiga 500. Can be emulated in WinUAE like other Amiga hardware.
Konami Picno Preliminary No Released in Japan by Konami in 1992, the extremely rare Picno is an odd hybrid of a Video Game Console and a Drawing Tablet that used cartridges similar to HuCard's and Sega Pico. It's unknown how many units were sold, when it was discontinued or how many games were released. Software & sources lists.
Krokha Decent No The Krokha (Кроха) is an unreleased Russian console by SKB Kontur (СКБ Контур). The console was only in development for a short time in 1990 before Kontur pulled the plug on the project. They made 200 units for internal testing and, after it was cancelled, the 200 units were given to the people who worked on the system.

Furthermore, A former employee that worked on the Krokha back in the day has released Photos, Schematics and Rom Dumps for the system on his Website

Memorex VIS Decent Yes A beautiful monster sold only at RadioShack in the early 90s. The software may be playable on Windows 3.x emulators, as the console's OS was an altered version of that.
Lico CAI System None No A console released by Lico around the early to mid 90s, this Taiwan-only console is even rarer then the Super A'Can. there is vary little known about it other then

1. Its seems to be an educational console
2. Its not a famiclone.

It's unknown how many units were sold, when it was discontinued or how many games were released.

Philips CD-i Preliminary Yes Thanks to working with Nintendo to develop a CD add-on for the SNES, the CD-i is notorious for having egregiously terrible Zelda games, as well as having a polarizing Mario game. the Big N has basically disowned their existence and considered it a blank space in their official history. Aggressively promoted and held on for multiple years with multiple different models (targeted at everything from gamers to pharmaceutical companies), but couldn't compete with mainstream consoles and computers of the time.
Pioneer LaserActive Preliminary TOSEC Released in 1993. A device capable of playing LaserDiscs, compact discs, console games, and LD-G karaoke discs.
Super A'Can Preliminary No-intro An extremely rare Taiwan-only console released in 1995.
Toy aisle consoles

Fifth generation[edit]

Name MAME support ROMs Description
3DO Interactive Multiplayer Preliminary Redump 2017 A 32-bit console developed by The 3DO Company, first released on October 4, 1993. It failed to gain momentum in the fifth-generation market, and was discontinued in late 1996.
Amiga CD32 Preliminary TOSEC // redump A console version of the Amiga 1200. Can be emulated in WinUAE like other Amiga hardware.
Apple Pippin Preliminary Yes Released by Bandai and Katz Media in 1996-1997, the Pippin is a "consolized" Power Macintosh. It sold extremely poorly and was discontinued in 1997-1998.

Currently, there is only preliminary MAME support, but a good number of its games are playable on PowerPC Mac emulators.

Capcom Power System Changer Good No A console version of the Capcom CPS arcade board. Compatible with SNES controllers.
Casio Loopy Preliminary No-intro A Japan-only game console designed for girls focused on printing stickers. A Magical Shop add-on allowed for the printing of any screenshot, not just Loopy games. Drunken Printing Demonstration Ashens overview
FM Towns Marty Preliminary Trurip An early fifth-generation console released by Fujitsu in 1993, which is basically a consolized FM-Towns personal computer. Despite being claimed to be the first 32-bit CD-based home video game system, it failed due to its astronomical price. Another version called the Car Marty was also released, designed to be a GPS for automobiles. Preliminary MAME support for both.
Panasonic M2 None Yes A canceled follow-up to the 3DO Interactive Multiplayer. There are game prototypes and other miscellaneous software available on the internet, but there are currently no emulators able to play them. Its hardware was licensed for use by Konami in arcade development (See Konami M2).
Playdia None Yes A disc-based system released in Japan by Bandai in 1994. Notably, it had a wireless controller and all of its titles were interactive movies like Dragon's Lair. No known emulators.

Sixth generation[edit]

Name MAME support ROMs Description
NUON None Yes A hybrid DVD player/game console with enhanced movie-viewing tools, from a bunch of former Atari personnel. Only a few games were made for the system, as the cheaper PS2 slaughtered it. There was a closed-source emulator in production called Nuance, but its author died and he didn't release the source code himself. Though it became publicly available and is in continued development again with better compatibility and faster performance.
XaviXPORT Preliminary No A fitness based system, employing the usage of motion controls in an effort to get players off of the couch - beating Nintendo's Wii by more than 2 years! Each game cart came with a dedicated controller and an own CPU (not in the system, similar to Super FX chips in some SNES carts). The XaviXPORT was actually developed by eight of the engineers who worked on the original development of the NES. An upgraded version with a 16-bit "Super XaviX" CPU compared to the original 8-bit CPU came in 2005. Also of note is the fact that Jackie Chan partnered with SSD Company Limited in order to bring his likeness to the console, which resulted in two licensed games. David Haywood is particularly working on reverse-engineering the XaviX technology for MAME.

Seventh generation[edit]

Name MAME support ROMs Description
Game Wave None Redump A failed attempt to steal sales from the upcoming Nintendo Wii, the Game Wave was an obscure console released in 2005 by ZAPiT Games that only had trivia games. It also had VeggieTales: Veg-Out! Family Tournament.
Vii Decent Yes A rather poor excuse of a response to the Wii, made by JungleTac, KenSingTon, and a dozen or so manufacturers churning out shoddy variants of it. Emulators have recently been made for the platform, with several projects aiming to provide support for Sunplus' rather oddball architecture, such as MuchimeX for the original Xbox, and Unununium, the latter being the basis for a MESS core. The same goes for VTech's V.Smile, the XaviXPORT and most Jakks Pacific TV games including those Disney tie-in ones.
Zeebo Preliminary Yes An obscure Brazilian console released in 2009. It was based on the BREW platform, and its games were delivered via a 3G mobile network. It was only sold in Brazil, Mexico, and China. Preliminary MAME emulation driver was added in 0.225 build.

Eighth generation[edit]

Name MAME support ROMs Description
Android consoles None No Consoles that run Android as their operating system. Most of them only run cellphone games and emulators, but some of them have their own unique games or heavy-hitting titles ported from other platforms.
Eedoo CT510 None No Taking heavy influenced by the Microsoft Kinect, the CT510 was made by a Chinese company for the Chinese video game market and its one of the rarest consoles ever, those who live in China reported that on launch day, they couldn't find anyone knew about it let alone had one in-stock, one article called it Vaporware on launch day. it's unknown how many games were made for it, how many units sold or when it was discontinued.
Intellivision Amico None No A console being developed and marketed by Intellivision Entertainment. Designed to run some simple and family-friendly indie or classic titles.

Handhelds[edit]

Name MAME support ROMs Description
1985-1991
Franklin Bookman None No Franklin Electronic Publishers First released the Bookman in 1989. It was marketed as electronic book, and was never designed to be a video game system, yet the Bookman still has a place in video game history. The Bookman line of devices were originally sold in 1989 as "Electronic Bibles" that costed $299 US (or $561 in 2020) before expanding into electronic versions of non-religious books in the early 90s. All models have a cartridge slot for other books and games. most titles were trivia or some other kind of word game. How many units were sold and the number of games that were released are unknown.
Hartung Game Master Good Yes (No-intro) A German Game Boy alternative released in 1990. Also distributed in the UK as the Systema 2000 and under alternate names in other countries, including Super Game and Game Tronic. Demonstration
1991-2000
BBK Electronic Dictionaries None No Like the devices released by Wenquxing, The BBK is a long line of electronic dictionaries that became a mainstay in Chinese portable gaming.They first launched in the late 90s.
Bandai Design Master Denshi Manga Juku Preliminary No Released in Japan by Bandai in 1995, the Denshi Manga Juku was the first touchscreen-based console ever and the predecessor to the WonderSwan. It was discontinued in 1996 and only four games were released for it (including of all things, an exclusive Rockman aka Mega Man game (9 cartridges were made, though, only 8 were sent to retail). On August 4, 2020, in a first for the Gaming Alexandria group, they announced the complete game library was dumped on mid-July 2020, and the assets scanned & uploaded between November 2019 to February, 2020.
Cybiko/Cybiko Xtreme Decent TOSEC The Cybiko is a Russian handheld computer introduced in the U.S. by David Yang's company Cybiko Inc. as a retail test market in New York on April 2000, and rolled out nationwide in May 2000. It is designed for teens, featuring its own two-way radio text messaging system. It had over 430 "official" freeware games and applications.
Gamate Good Yes Another attempt to capture part of the Game Boy market, the Gamate was released in the early 90s by Bit Corporation. The magnitude of its failure makes it and its software obscenely rare today, with prices over 500 dollars for the handheld alone on eBay. It's so obscure that it wasn't until December 2014 when preliminary support for the handheld was added in MAME, and ROM dumps were made.
In2it None No The Philips In2it is an unreleased touchscreen-based console that never matured past internal testing and media press kits. Unfortunately after the failure of the CD-I, the console was cancelled and only 10 out of the few hundred systems manufactured are known to still exist. Furthermore, 10 games are known to have been made for it.
J.Cock Z400S None No Released in Japan sometime in the 90s, the Z400S was made for gambling or prize winning purposes and not for the home console market. A business like a Bar or Hotel would lend it to a costumer, so they could play a Casino type game. its speculated that its using PC Engine (TurboGrafx-16) hardware but nothing has been confirmed. It's unknown how many games were made for it, how many units sold or when it was discontinued.
Koei PasoGo Preliminary No In 1996, Koei released a Game Boy competitor in Japan called the PasoGo, and for some reason Koei decided to market it as being designed specifically to play the traditional Asian board game, Go. The console flopped thanks to its high price tag of 39,800 Yen (about $600 when adjusted for inflation), the size of the device, and the fact that all six launch titles were slightly different versions of Go. It's unknown how many units were sold or when it was discontinued.
MegaDuck/CougarBoy Decent Yes Chinese knockoff Game Boy (Made and released in 1993 by a Hong Kong firm) that was branded with various bizarre names, despite each version being exactly the same. Used cartridges. ROMs are out there, surprisingly.
Tiger Game.com Decent No-intro // TOSEC Launched on August 1997. An infamous handheld, with quite possibly the worst screen on any handheld ever. Somehow still had a "port" of Resident Evil 2. CGR review. Notable milestones in industry: it was the first video game console to include a touchscreen and the first handheld console to include Internet connectivity.
Watara Supervision Good No-intro // TOSEC Introduced in 1992. An attempt at making a real competitor for the Game Boy/Color.
Wenquxing Electronic Dictionaries None model NC1020 First Released in China in around the late 90s to early 2000s, these devices were designed to be electronic dictionaries, but thanks to their unparalleled extensibility such as built-in BASIC runtime and abilities to run third-party assembly programs, their intended purpose soon fell to the wayside when Hobbyist programmers started to make games for them. these devices from Wenquxing now plays a big role in Chinese portable gaming.
jswqx, web-based emulator
2001-2010
Apple iPod (Classic/Nano) None Yes [1] [2] Although you know what an iPod is and you might even have an iPod in your junk drawer, In 2006, Apple introduced "iPod games" as their first step into the handheld console market, despite having third party companies like Square Enix, Hudson Soft and EA making games for the iPod, it wasn't the huge hit they hoped it would be, a mix of awkward click wheel controls, controversy over pricing and the lack of an iPod-specific SDK resulted in a lack of interest from developers and a quick decline in game sales, Apple stopped releasing iPod games in 2009 and removed them from the iTunes store in 2011, Around 50 games were released for the iPod.
DigiBlast Preliminary No The DigiBlast is a Linux-based console from 2005 that was meant to compete with both the GameBoy Advance and the VideoNow series of portable video players, Unfortunately despite having a solid launch lineup, The system was a major flop and quickly became one of the worst selling consoles ever released, only selling about 100,000 units in its short lifespan.
GameKing Good Yes A rather bastardized attempt at making a Gameboy-esque handheld, manufactured and marketed by TimeTop (aka Guangzhou Daidaixing Tec. Electronics Co. Ltd.) in 2003. Strangely enough, this one's even more primitive than the Supervision, Gamate and Mega Duck consoles before it, as it uses a lower-resolution 64x32 screen, and that's despite companies such as Subor (i.e. that Chinese company who gained notoriety for developing an AMD-based gaming PC/console hybrid) releasing workalike clones of the Game Boy and, more recently, GBA clones. MAME seems to emulate well all known carts.
Gizmondo Preliminary Yes (No-intro) A disaster of a handheld, the Gizmondo was released in 2005 with a furious marketing campaign. It was ahead of its time in that it (was supposed to have) included built-in advertisements to make the console cheaper. LGR Review
GP32 Preliminary Yes (No-intro) A Korean handheld, it was released on November 23, 2001, in South Korea only. It was the first handheld to use Smart Media cards and had pretty good specs for the time, so everybody ended up just jailbreaking it and using it as an emulator/homebrew platform. The developers later went on to develop the more successful GP2X line, which was designed from the ground up for emulators. An emulator was made for the system in 2002 called "GeePee32" that is known to be able to emulate many commercial games for the system, though some lack sound. However, the project is inactive. It can be found here: [3]
Nintendo Pokémon Mini Decent TOSEC A very downgraded Game Boy (But also the tiniest cart-based handheld device made by Nintendo). It was first released in NA and then Japan on late 2001. Only Pokemon related games were released, and its catalog of games is also very limited. It's also very rare nowadays. Decent support in MAME, though there are other choices to play these games on other emulators.
Nokia N-Gage Preiminary Yes Nokia's attempt at making a cell phone/handheld system hybrid, before mobile gaming really took off. Although it was the most powerful handheld in its time and released in October 2003, it failed due to a high price, a terrible button layout, numerous design flaws, and its underdeveloped cell phone component. Had a redesign called the QD, but it was only slightly better. Most of its games were ports, either from the GBA or from the PS1 and Saturn. While it didn't have any standout titles, it still had a few odd original entries from big franchises such as Elder Scrolls Travels: Shadowkey and SSX: Out of Bounds, and was the only system to have an English version of Xanadu Next (before the 2016 global re-release for Windows PCs). In 2019, an emulator called EKA2L1 started development. EKA2L1 currently supports a few N-Gage games. Other modern open source emulators are in the works.
Tapwave Zodiac None Some A handheld released in 2003 that used an enhanced Palm OS. Ahead for its time, even receiving awards. However, the PSP and Nintendo DS killed it. LGR Review
Teachermate Handheld Educational Computer None No Released in 2008 by the non-profit company, Teachermate, This educational handheld console was only sold to schools and taught kids in a Kindergarten to Second Grade level, It's unknown how many games were made for it, how many units sold or when it was discontinued.
2011-2020
C2: Color & Card Preliminary No Released in 2015 in China by Baiyi Animation, The extremely rare, C2 was made to bank on the popularity of Roco Kingdom films but ultimately it was a flop. Only 6 games were made for it and was discontinued shortly after released.
Evercade None No Evercade is a cartridge based handheld that released on April 9th, 2020. The console is designed to emulate officially licensed retro games and games from Indie publishers / developers. Since the console is still being sold, it's unknown how many games will be made for it, when it well be discontinued or how many units of this system will sell.
Kids Pad None No Released in 2012 by LG. The Kids Pad was only sold in South Korea and featured an app store and support for cartridges. How many units sold, number of games were released and when it was discontinued is unknown.
M&D Monon Color Imperfect No Like the C2, The Monon Color from 2014 also tried to bank on the popularity of Roco Kingdom films and was only slightly more successful than it; it's unknown how many games (At least 15) were released for it or when it was discontinued. Preliminary support for it was added in MAME 0.205 on December 2018, and promoted to working state in MAME 0.247 on 31, August 2022.
Pokitto None Yes The Pokitto is a DIY handheld that aims to aid users into learning how to program games and create/build gadgets for it.

At Maker Faire Rome in 2016, prototypes of the Pokitto were available for hands on demonstrations. A kickstarter for the project was launched on April 28, 2017. The Pokitto was released around New Years 2018. Pokitto Magazine Issue 1 was released in July 2019.

2021-2030
Thumby None Yes A teeny tiny, fully working handheld that also makes for a cute keychain. You're also able to program games for it and it even has Link Cable style multiplayer support.
Playdate None No Released in 2022 by Panic Inc, The Playdate uses a monochrome screen, and along with standard controls (A & B Buttons, D-Pad) there is a Crank on the side of the console, giving the system a unique way of controlling games. Game development is aimed mainly at indie studios. Since the console is still being sold, it unknown how games will be made for it, when it well be discontinued or how many units of this system will sell.