There comes a time where companies try a little too hard to create something that does not do very well. We have seen this in the past with hardware and gadgets which are meant to change the world, but instead become bargain bin items dust collectors.
Here are some tech “innovations” in gaming, that should have stayed at the drawing board.
The year is 2011, and Sony have been hard at work on their latest and greatest creation, the new PlayStation Portable successor. This however was not the PSP 2 as everyone hoped for, but rather something completely new, called the PlayStation Vita.
Hype was built around the launch of the handheld which took place worldwide in February 2012, but soon after its release, things all went silent. Sure this could have been part due to the fact that the PS4 released a year after this handheld, or the fact the fact that Sony had zero games in development for the device.
Every E3 or major gaming event that took place over the months following the release of the PS Vita was accompanied by indie game announcements and very little substance. Keep in mind that most of these indie games have still not released on the handheld.
Sony even went as far as to try and merge the portable gaming platform with the TV when they revealed the PlayStation TV. This however did not go down as well as they hoped, with sales dropping faster than ever.
It wasn’t until E3 2015, that we could officially call the device dead. The event brought no new games to the platform at all, and Sony completely ignored it by leaving it out of their lineup.
We will most likely never see another portable gaming device from Sony, but if we do, I can only hope that it does everything differently to what the PS Vita did.
Microsoft first announced the Kinect in 2009, when the company showed off some really snazzy tech demos. The hardware was well-received and looked promising, as the Milo demo and some well-scripted and over-rehearsed lounge setups showed the power of the hardware.
Unfortunately, the device slowly lost its momentum, as more games relied on gimmicks and dancing around like a lunatic rather than any actual game scenarios. Sure, we could chat to the Kinect about Mass Effect dialogue options, but that was about it.
As the Xbox 360’s older brother, the Xbox One entered the market, Microsoft decided to give the motion capturing device another go, one which forced gamers into the steep purchase, as it was bundled with every Xbox One console for two year of its release.
Yes, if you bought an Xbox One in its first two years, then you would be paying for the Kinect. This was a move by Microsoft to try and push the hardware, as the Xbox One could not function without it at all.
As more games used the hardware less, and more gamers cared less about shouting at their TV, Microsoft saw that this was not going to work and decided to scrap the mandatory Kinect option from the console.
To make matters worse, Microsoft have now developed the Xbox One S, without a Kinect port. This means that if you want to use it, or have an existing Kinect camera, you would need to buy an adapter to use it. I think we can officially call the Kinect dead in the water, no?
Nintendo had the Wii nailed down. Its motion controllers and awesome active games made the console and its experience unique and worthwhile.
Enter the PlayStation Move. It seemed that after the success of the Wii, both Microsoft and Sony wanted a piece of that action.
The PlayStation Move was introduced to bridge the gap between the Wii’s flick of the wrist, and the Kinect’s controller-less gaming. Sony came up with a pretty great controller indeed, the PlayStation Move tracked light and motion, which gave it the advantage over the Wii.
Unfortunately, you need to have the software to back the hardware, and Sony did not. With only a handful of titles available when the hardware launched in 2010, gamers felt that taking the dive into the hardware would be risky.
Sony had some great games like Sport Champions and Sorcery, but they were not enough to push people to buy the hardware. Many game also received updates to enable PlayStation Move play, but again, nothing.
Sony might be utilizing the PlayStation Move with their upcoming PlayStation VR, but I have a feeling that it will be phased out for the DualShock 4 instead.
Nintendo Wii U
Before everyone sends me death threats, hear me out. Nintendo’s latest console, in all right compared to its previous hardware, was an epic fail. The Wii U was announced at E3 2011, where the gaming giant revealed the successor to the Wii, and entire new console.
The problem here is that no one knew what the Wii U was. Was it a new controller? Which the company advertised the hardware as at E3, or was it a new piece of hardware for the Wii? No one knew for sure as Nintendo was not very clear when it came to explaining the new console.
Then we come to the price point as the console released as the most expensive Nintendo console on the market. Nintendo had very little third-party games to help back up their Wii U library, and even its launch day first party lineup was the worst the company had experienced in generations.
The console however, did very well during its first year, until 2013 where the PS4 and Xbox One were revealed. Coming in at around the same price point as the Wii U, which has not until this day received a price drop, gamers opted for a next generation console rather than the dated Nintendo product.
Nintendo did very little to make the console look appealing, as their only releases, being first-party, suffered delay after delay.
As of March 2016, Nintendo only sold 12.6 million units of the Wii U in 4 years. Comparing this to the massive success of the Wii, which hit 100 million – this is a terrible failure.
Have you fallen victim to any of these hardware fails? Let us know in the comments and forum.