10 Video Game Consoles The World Wasn't Ready For

Sometimes, a video game console doesn't sell despite being way ahead of its time...

Dreamcast console

Video game consoles have been a major player in the home entertainment industry since the very early days of gaming, but not every system makes it in the market. This can be due to a number of factors, and each console release has its ups and downs.

Most of the time, a system will fail due to competition within the market. In the early days, there were dozens of competitors, but even after the competition narrowed to 3-5 viable candidates (Nintendo, Sega, Sony, Microsoft, etc.), sometimes, a game system will falter because they're released ahead of their time.

Technological innovations in gaming are strange where the market is concerned, and it's often true that a platform with limited capabilities can still take the lead with an incredible game library. The Nintendo Game Boy is proof of that, seeing as its competition had color screens and better graphics.

Whatever the reason for a failure, there are some consoles the world simply wasn't ready for. Whether it was due to costs related to enhanced architecture, poor marketing, a crummy game library or all of the above, these video game consoles came to the market WAY sooner than they should have.

10. Sega Saturn

Dreamcast console

When it was released in 1994-95, the Sega Saturn was one of the most advanced video game systems ever made. It hit the market during the fifth-generation of home video game consoles, and when it compared to the competition, there was little doubt the console would succeed.

Sega already had a great deal of success from the Master System and Genesis, which meant there was a large group of people who would be early-adopters of any new hardware the company released. The competition from the 5th Gen hardware included the Nintendo 64, Atari Jaguar, 3DO, and PlayStation.

Sony was new to the console game, but the company managed to steal the generation from all other developers, including Sega and Nintendo. The Saturn was an incredibly innovative system, which featured 32-bit graphics, a CD-ROM, higher-resolution, better sound, and online access via a modem, which was something the competition lacked. Despite these features, the system flopped in the market and was the worst-selling of the bunch.

One of the main reasons the system failed was due to its lack of 3rd-party game support, which limited its library, making it weak compared to the competition. Add to that a $399 price tag ($689 in 2019), and the Sega Saturn was something few people were willing to buy.

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Jonathan is a graphic artist, illustrator, writer, and game designer. Jonathan retired from the U.S. Army in 2017 and enjoys researching and writing about history, science, theology, and many other subjects. He writes for ScreenRant, CBR, NerdBastards, Listverse, Ranker, WhatCulture, and many other sites online. You can check out his latest on Twitter: @TalkingBull or on his blog: jonathanhkantor.com