There’s an excellent article over on Gameological about the Pippin, Apple’s failed video game console from the ’90s.
At the time, Apple was the largest computer manufacturer in the world, but was quickly losing ground to the flood of Windows computers hitting the market. In an effort to compete, Apple decided to try to copy Microsoft’s business model and apply it to the game industry.
Apple created the Pippin, a blueprint that companies could licence to create their own consoles, just as companies like Dell and HP make different computers running Windows today. Bandai, the first partner to sign up with Apple, invested $100 million into manufacturing their version of the device. The console ran a simplified version of Mac OS in the hopes that developers would make games both for the console and for Apple’s Macintosh computers.
Despite including a CD-ROM drive, dial-up modem, and a major launch title from Bungie (the company that went on to create the Halo series for Microsoft’s Xbox), the Pippin was a sales nightmare. Priced at $600 at launch, the console was predicted to sell 300,000 units in its first year. Estimates put actual sales in the United States at somewhere between 12,000 and 42,000.
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