Difference between revisions of "Strange and Forgotten Console emulators"

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(Fourth generation: added unreleased console)
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|Buzztime Home Trivia System
|Released around 2004, the system is the result of a partnership between Cadaco Toys and NTN Buzztime, and as the name implies, the console was designed around playing trivia with family and friends, it's unknown how many games were made for it, how many units sold or when it was discontinued.

Revision as of 09:05, 24 April 2019

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 also Console Boom emulators for the 70s and 80s consoles.


Third generation

Name MAME support ROMs Description
Action Max None 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 Preliminary A repackaging of the Atari 8-bit computer line marketed as a game console. Notable for having possibly the worst physical design ever. It has preliminary support in MAME, as does the 65XE computer it's based on. Overview CGR Review
BBC Bridge Companion Good
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 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 Failed hilariously due to its outdated tech (1984 hardware in 1990!), the fact that the normal Commodore 64 was already sufficient, and a bad case of the 'no games'.
Dendy Decent 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 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 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.
LJN Video Art None 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
Philips Videopac + G7400 Imperfect No-intro
RDI Halcyon None 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.


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. 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.
Soundic SD-290 None 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.

Terebikko\Video Phone None 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 None 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.
View-Master Interactive Vision None 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 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

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 None None 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 None None 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 the people who worked on the system.
Memorex VIS Preliminary 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.
Philips CD-i Imperfect Thanks to working with Nintendo to develop a CD add-on for the SNES, the CD-i is notorious for having egregiously terrible Mario and Zelda games, so much so that the Big N 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
Sega Pico Good TOSEC/No-intro Child's edutainment console released in 1993. Was actually fairly successful. Has good support in MAME.
Super A'Can Preliminary No-intro An extremely rare Taiwan-only console released in 1995.

Fifth generation

Name MAME support ROMs Description
3DO Preliminary Redump 2017
Amiga CD32 Preliminary TOSEC // redump A console version of the Amiga 1200. Can be emulated in WinUAE like other Amiga hardware.
Apple Bandai Pippin Preliminary Apple's attempt at being relevant to games. It failed.

Vintage review Currently, there is only preliminary MAME support, but some of its games may be playable on other Apple emulators.

Arcadia Skeet Shoot None Released in October of 1998 by Toymax (The makers of the Creepy Crawlers and My Pet Monster toys), this Projector-based console, that only played Light-gun games, sold 435,000 units in the first 18 months before being recalled after reports of projectors overheating, melting, smoking and in a few rare cases, causing burn injuries (Faulty cartridges were to blame). After about three revisions, the system was discontinued sometime between 2000 and 2001 with only 5 out of the 9 games advertised known to have been released. It's unknown how many units were sold once the console was relaunched after the recall.
Capcom Power System Changer Good 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. 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.
Playdia None 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.
Video Buddy None Released in November of 1999 by the Interactive Learning Group, this VHS-based console was designed for children aged 3 to 7 years old and had about 20 games released for it. A revision of the Video Buddy that used DVD's instead of VHS's was released in 2003 and while both versions were initially successful, a crowded "Children" console market led to its downfall. The other company that made the DVD-based console shut down in 2006. It's unknown how many units were sold.

Sixth generation

Name MAME support ROMs Description
Buzztime Home Trivia System None None Released around 2004, the system is the result of a partnership between Cadaco Toys and NTN Buzztime, and as the name implies, the console was designed around playing trivia with family and friends, it's unknown how many games were made for it, how many units sold or when it was discontinued.
Nuon None Trurip
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.
V.Smile Preliminary Yes An educational game machine by VTech. It derived from Sunplus' 16-bit SPG-series CPU architecture, which had similar peers including most Jakks Pacific TV games and Vii. The XaviXPORT was similar but had its own custom XaviX CPUs.
XaviXPORT Preliminary 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

Name MAME support ROMs Description
Game Wave None Redump A failed attempt to steal sales from the Wii, the Game Wave was an obscure console released in 2005 by ZAPiT Games that only had trivia games. It also had a VeggieTales family party game.

Giga Pets Explorer TV Game System

GoGo TV Video Vision None Released in sometime between 2005 and 2006 by Manley, the GoGo is Another PS2 Eye-Toy turned into edutainment console and like the Ion, it flopped and has since fallen into obscurity, it's unknown how many games were made for it, how many units sold or when it was discontinued.
Hasbro Ion No None Released in time for the 2005 Holiday season, the Ion is basically a PS2 Eye-Toy turned into edutainment console for preschoolers and at the time, the Ion was turning heads at toy fairs, hype was building and the console looking to be real hit for Hasbro but for whatever reason, the console flopped and disappeared into obscurity faster then the refunds could be made, it's unknown how many games were made for it, how many units sold or when it was discontinued.
Mattel Hyperscan Preliminary Redump Something you would expect to see under a bargain bin at Wal-mart, the Mattel Hyperscan was a card/disc based system released in 2006 to appeal to some poor child's aunt at Christmas. It was run on a 32-bit Sunplus system-on-a-chip CPU, a successor to the 16-bit CPUs used to run such consoles as the V.Smile, many Jakks Pacific TV games and Vii. CGR Review.
Telestory Interactive Storybook System None Release in 2006 by Jakks Pacific for kids aged 3 and up, The Telestory is yet another edutainment console from 2000s and all the games are exactly what the console name would suggest, it's unknown how many games were made for it, how many units sold or when it was discontinued.
Vii Preliminary 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 None 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.

Eighth generation

Name MAME support ROMs Description
Funtastic TV Adventures None None Released in 2015 by Wal-Mart under there Kid Connection Brand, The Funtastic is an educational console made for Preschoolers and the only games known to of been released for the system are the two pack-in games, It's unknown how many units were sold or when it was discontinued.


Name MAME support ROMs Description
Before 1991
Bandai Digi Casse None No Originally released in Japan by Bandai in 1984, another short-lived console from the early 80s. Only had around 4 to 6 games released for it. The console was released in Europe by an unknown company and in Russia as the Elektronika NM 26, both sometime in the late 80s.
Epoch Game Pocket Computer Good Yes Only 5 games exist for this handheld (Released in 1984). All can be found here.
Grandstand Light Games None No Have you every played a poor Game & Watch clone and said to yourself "I Would Love to Play This On The Big Screen"? Then the Light Games from 1988 is for you. It has a built-in projector and less then 10 games released for it. It's unknown how many units were sold or when it was discontinued.
Hartung Game Master Decent Yes (No-intro) A German Game Boy knockoff 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
Palmtex PVS / Super Micro None No Released in 1984, Super Micro was a handheld console similar to the Milton Bradley Microvision in design. Bad timing, a lack of advertising, and issues with its design and quality (the plastic body is vary fragile) resulted in failure. Palmtex sold less then 37,000 units and discontinued the console the same year it was released. Only three of the eight games announced were released.
Romtec Colorvision None No Released in 1984, The Colorvision was another cheaply made console released during the Video Game Crash. It's unknown how many units were sold or when it was discontinued. Only 5 games were released for it.
VTech 3D Gamate None No An extremely rare console released in 1983 by VTech, it's unknown how many units were sold and was likely discontinued shortly after released. While six games were announced, only 3 are known to have been released.
VTech Variety None No Another extremely rare console released from VTech in 1983, like the 3D Gamate. It's unknown how many units were sold and was also likely discontinued shortly after released. Only six games are known to have been released for it.
VTech ProScreen None No Yet another extremely rare console from VTech, The ProScreen was released in 1984 and only three games are known to have been released.
Barcode Battler None No Released in Japan by Epoch in 1991 and internationally later the same year, the console was basically digital trading card game, the player used Barcodes to get new characters, enemies and power-ups, Barcode cards were available in packs and the player was even encouraged to use Barcodes found on everyday products around the house, the Barcode Battler was hugely popular in Japan but a major flop everywhere else, its unknown how many units were sold or how many cards were officially released.
Bandai Denshi Manga Juku None No Released in Japan by Bandai in 1995, the Denshi Manga Juku was a touchscreen-based console that was 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).
Cybiko/Cybiko Xtreme Imperfect 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.
Koei PasoGo None 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 Good 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.
Pixter None No Released in 2000 as Fisher-Price's first Video Game Console, the Pixter was one of many consoles from the 2000s sold in the toy aisle and marketed towards children; around 25 to 50 games were released for it before being discontinued in 2007.
Tiger Game.com Preliminary No-intro // TOSEC Launched on August 1997. An infamous piece of shit, 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 An attempt at making a real competitor for the Game Boy/Color and introduced in 1992.
Apple iPod None No In 2006, Apple introduced "iPod games" as there 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 None 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.
Fisher-Price iXL None No Released in 2010 and discontinued in 2012, The iXL is a Touchscreen-based console designed for kids 3 to 7 years of age, it's unknown how many units were sold or how many games were released for it.
GameKing Preliminary 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 support for it is preliminary at best.
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.
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 SD 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: [1]
Giochi Preziosi My Life None No Released in Italy in 2007, My Life was marketed towards young girls five to thirteen years of age, A Simple life simulator serves as the built-in game and as the main UI. How many units sold, number of games were released and when it was discontinued is unknown.
Leapster Preliminary Yes (No-intro) The Leapster Learning Game System (Released in late 2003) is an educational handheld game console aimed at 4 to 10-year-olds (preschool to fourth grade) and made by LeapFrog Enterprises. Its games teach the alphabet, phonics, basic mathematics (addition, subtraction, multiplication, division), art, and animal facts to players. It featured a touchscreen and games from various licenses from Thomas & Friends to Sonic X. Oddly enough it has a homebrew scene that even features some emulators, most especially with its successors, i.e. the Didj, Leapster Explorer, and LeapPad series of tablets which run on the Pollux and NXP3200 platforms along with a customized Linux distribution.
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 None 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. There's one emulator called N-GageCool, but it's dead payware that only runs Java games. 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.
VideoNow XP None No Released in 2003 and underwent 5 total revisions. An often forgotten attempt by Hasbro and their subsidiary Tiger Electronics (of Game.com fame) to use the popularity of the VideoNow portable video players to enter the Video Game market.
C2: Color & Card None 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.
M&D Monon Color Preliminary 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.