The VTech CreatiVision was a second gen. computer/console hybrid. It was introduced by VTech in 1981. If you’re wondering why you’ve probably never heard of it, it’s probably because it was sold almost exclusively in Australia, Western Europe and South Africa under the name Dick Smith Wizzard. I’m not even joking.
Play-O-Tronic, or Ping-O-Tronic was sold exclusively in Italy. In fact, it was the first video game console in Italy, introduced in 1974. Obviously, a first gen. system, this classic was also the first system to come with rubber pads on the side for easy movement…for some reason.
Arcadia 2001, released in 1982 by Emerson Radio Corp., is a second gen. system that was very similar to Odyssey and Intellivision. Don’t be fooled by its name. The name has nothing to do with the Arcadia Corporation. In fact, Arcadia was sued by Emerson for using the name Arcadia. Emerson Radio Corp. won the lawsuit, and Arcadia later changed its name to Starpath. According to Wikipedia, right now there are only 30 of these systems in existence.
This super-beast, released by RDI Video Systems in 1985, originally sold with the price tag of $2,500. I’m not sure how inflation has been since the 1980’s, but let’s just estimate that to about $100,000.00 of our current currency (I kid, of course). This system wasn’t just a gaming system, as it also included a laser disk player, and claimed to be entirely voice activated. It’s probably for the best that it wasn’t just a video gaming system, as only two games were actually released for this monster before the company went bankrupt: Raiders VS Chargers and Thayer’s Quest.
This little fella was released by Amstrad in 1990, solely in Europe, and was the only gaming system released by Amstrad. The system itself was as short lived, with only a limited number of games produced. Although it was a third gen. system that claimed to be on par with Nintendo, by 1990, the Super Nintendo was already in the conceptual stages of design. This system, according to sales reports, is actually, to this date, the worst selling gaming system in history.
The Action Max was a system solely designed around the light gun genre, made popular by Nintendo with Duck Hunt. The problems with Action Max were endless, but the biggest was their limitation of only producing light gun games. Another issue with this system is that you needed to own a VCR in order to play games on it. That’s right, this system connected to your VCR and used VHS tapes as the games themselves. The system itself was not capable of playing games, so in my opinion, it should only count as an attachment as opposed to an actual independent gaming system, but the powers that be seem to disagree with me. The only intriguing thing about this system is that one of its six games to be produced was an unreleased game called Fright Night, which was based after the popular movie. I’d kind of like to play it, but according to records, there are only ten of the consoles and none of the game itself in existence. The consoles have sold for upwards of $3,000 on eBay. Sorry, I’m not paying that for something that attaches to a VCR. (Special note for our younger readers: A VCR is what mommies and daddies used to play movies – and apparently games – on.)
The Super A’Can was released exclusively in 1995 in Taiwan by FunTech Entertainment. Outside, you would be correct in saying it has specific similarities to the Super NES system, but inside is actually a Motorolla 68000. This makes it far more similar to the Sega Genesis system. Super A’Can was indeed a flop, and few of these systems remain in existence. And those who own one won’t get much play out of it, as the system only released twelve games total.
Six Words: Laser disk-based, fourth generation monstrosity.
The Casio (for the kiddies, that’s the company that used to make mommy and daddy’s keyboards) Loopy looks like something you might find in your little sister’s bedroom, but you wouldn’t expect it to actually play games. Loopy was a fifth generation system released in 1995 exclusively in Japan. It was marketed specifically toward young girls, and of the ten games released, most of them were dress-up and Otome games (games with the goal of developing romantic relationships). Needless to say, it was short-lived. And while I love me a gamer girl, gamer girls are hardly a large enough demographic to specifically market a gaming console after.
Last but not least, the SuperGrafx from PC Engine looks like something out of AVP, doesn’t it? It just sort of has a cool alien look about it, like it just came right off of a Borg ship. Released in 1989, it was actually ahead of its time, being a 16-bit system. It was sold in Japan, and was an update of the original PC engine, which saw the US market with a different name and look in 1989 (two years after the Japanese release of PC Engine) as the TurboGrafx-16.
That concludes our list of the top ten video game consoles that nobody remembers. I’m sure you may have a different list of your own or you feel I may have left out some better yet less memorable systems. If so, feel free to leave a comment below.