Today, the Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft game consoles are the biggest in the industry. Their game consoles did takeoff, but there were a number of SEGA, Atari and Commodore alternatives that didn't quite match them. In fact, some were some way short of the mark. These were a few of the consoles that crash landed after takeoff.
The Atari Lynx was first released in 1989 as one of the first portable handheld colour game consoles. The Lynx was a 16-bit colour handheld that eclipsed some of the non-portable 8-bit consoles such as the NES. It also far exceeded other portable consoles such as the Nintendo Game Boy which did not have colour games.
However, despite the Lynx's advanced hardware, which was a little ahead of its time, the game console didn't have a huge impact. Compared with the Game Boy, the Lynx's battery duration was much shorter. Then in the early 1990s, the Game Gear emerged that was an alternative colour handheld. Although it had some a few highly rated game titles the Lynx could not match the Game Boy's third-party support, and the console was later abandoned by Atari.
One of the first game consoles to include CDs (compact discs) was Commodore's Amiga CD32. This game console came out in the early 1990s, and its CDs had larger storage than cartridge alternatives that were then prevalent. The Amiga's CD quality audio also eclipsed other alternative consoles.
But CDs were also somewhat slower than cartridges, and the games had loading times. Third-party support did ensure a few exciting game titles on the Amiga CD32. However, too many of the games were unoriginal ports of previous Amiga titles. By 1994, Commodore effectively went bankrupt.
In the early 1980s, the Atari 2600 was the biggest game console. Thus, Atari followed it up with the Atari 5200, a console sequel that was supposedly a 'super system.' Then the console had state-of-the-art hardware, but its games were old revamped releases that had already been out on the Atari 2600. There wasn't much new, and when the industry declined the game console faded away.
The Dreamcast was a last throw of the dice for SEGA game consoles. When it came out in the late 1990s, this was a game console that boasted online gaming support, a Microsoft software platform and higher storage GD-ROMs. It also had some exciting 3-D games such as Virtua Fighter 3, Soulcalibur and Sonic Adventure, which was the first 3-D addition to the Sonic series.
However, after a relatively encouraging first year, SEGA discontinued the game console. The emergence of the PlayStation 2 and the first Xbox game console ensured a swift decline for the Dreamcast. Since then there have been no further SEGA consoles.
The Lynx, Atari 5200, Amiga CD32 and SEGA Dreamcast were four consoles that didn't quite take off. Even though they had advanced hardware, their game lineups were generally somewhat limited compared to other consoles. Great hardware doesn't always ensure exciting games, which were generally in short supply on the consoles.