Geek Trivia

What Was The Name Of Apple’s Failed Game Console?

What Purpose Does The Penny Aboard NASA's Curiosity Rover Serve?

Answer: Pippin

In the early 1990s Apple began work on a game console based off of the PowerPC architecture that drove its desktop computers. The game console, known as the Pippin, was released to the public in 1995. Like many unpopular Apple products–such as the Newton–the Pippin was born ahead of its time.

Pippin, essentially a stripped down and retooled Mac, was by far one of the most versatile game consoles of its generation. It featured wireless controllers, graphics that blew away many of its competitors and put it in the same league as the Sony PlayStation, and–unlike any other console at the time–was an internet device. Pippin was not just a game console but an early example of a nettop computer; the only problem was that in 1995 not many people were clamoring for a nettop, especially one that retailed for $599. Consumers saw the Pippin as a massively overpriced game console with features they didn’t need, instead of a reasonably priced mini-computer that played games.

Between a public unclear on why they needed an internet-ready game console, a painfully limited stable of games (only 18 in the US market), and an absolutely terrible marketing campaign that left the majority of gamers completely unaware that the console even existed, less than half the units manufactured were actually sold. Of the 100,000 Pippin units produced, 42,000 ended up in the hands of consumers (largely in Japan) and the rest were scrapped out for parts.