Trivia

Hard

What Fourth Generation Video Game Console Is Considered One Of The Industry’s Biggest Failures?

The Neo Geo
The TurboGrafx-16
The SEGA Master System
The LaserActive
A photo of the laser-disc-based video game system.
Museum of Video Games

Answer: The LaserActive

Imagine, if you will, a video game system that costs approximately $1,906, comes with no games, requires approximately $1,178 to $1,802 worth of add-ons to even play the games that aren’t included, and the only good titles for the system are games from other video game consoles that you can play via the previously mentioned expensive add-ons. In other words, you’d need to invest roughly $3,708 just to play all the good games from other consoles on your new money pit.

That was exactly how consumers, rightfully, viewed Pioneer’s foray into the video game console market—as a bizarre money pit. The system was absolutely enormous, cost $970 for just the main console itself at launch in 1993—the prices above were adjusted for inflation to represent the cost to modern readers—didn’t come with a single game, and, bizarrely, required expensive licensed modules from the likes of SEGA and NEC to even play games. Further, these add-on modules cost as much as the other video game consoles themselves.

Despite Pioneer’s insistence that the future of gaming was bulky video-disc games where the action was all pre-recorded video created with live actors, the system and the concept never caught on. The system experienced very poor sales worldwide and was regarded as the largest commercial failure of the fourth generation of video game consoles and, quite possibly, one of the biggest console failures in video game history.

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