Apple memoria brings back failed game console

Posted by Mike Luttrell

Today, the Internet is all abuzz with memories and retrospectives about Steve Jobs and the company he helped created, but here's one that is particularly interesting.

As a means of answering the question how to make the death of Steve Jobs relatable to the gaming industry, the blog Kotaku has dug up something most people never knew about, and the few that did likely forgot.

It was called the Pippin, an ambitious TV-connected device that was supposed to revolutionize the way people thought about game consoles.

In addition to crazy peripheral ideas like a printer and full Qwerty keyboard, the console was designed to be as powerful as a computer. You could even insert Pippin discs into a Mac.

It was a hot and sexy time for game consoles - the mid-1990s. Everyone was trying to cash in on the market that was so easily milked by companies like Nintendo. But Apple did not have quite as much success.

The Pippin was priced at $600. Many blame the PS3's $600 price point for its terribly sluggish early sales, and that was a good decade later. When the Pippin came out, $600 was insane.

On top of that, only 18 titles were released in the US, and not a single one made headlines or became a big collector's item after the fact. Very few gaming franchises even managed to grace the Pippin platform.

Jobs was not directly involved with the Pippin, but even when he tried to get the company into the game world it didn't work - that is, until the iPhone app revolution spun the industry completely around.

And yet the average iPhone game today is probably not even as sophisticated as the software that came out for Pippin. Go figure.