the releases of the PlayStation 5 and the Xbox Series X, the end of 2020 will
see the beginning of the ninth generation of games consoles. This will be the
fourth generation where Sony and Microsoft, together with Nintendo, will
dominate the market, having gone unchallenged by other companies since the
discontinuation of Sega’s Dreamcast in 2001.
downfall was the most notable since that of Atari five years prior in 1996,
when their final roll of the dice, the Atari Jaguar, bombed against the
Playstation and Nintendo 64.
almost unthinkable to imagine new companies attempting to make any headway in
today’s oligopolistic landscape, but until just a few years before the
Jaguar’s failure, the console industry was something of a free-for-all.
both established and unknown companies all
trying to capture a piece of the rapidly growing new market across its first
few generations, Sega and Nintendo emerged truly dominant with the Mega Drive and SNES. Notable casualties included Mattel (the
Intellivision), Apple (Bandai Pippin), Sir Alan Sugar’s Amstrad (GX4000), Philips
(the CD-i) and even EA (the 3DO), who switched their focus to games instead.
amongst all of these are a host of forgotten systems that brought innovations
or ground-breaking technology to the table, changing the industry as it was
replicated and improved upon by others. Here are five such consoles that paved
the way for the games we enjoy today, but are mostly unknown outside of museum