Welcome back to thaddius’ Console Roast 2014 Edition. For those of you who are not aware this is a poll where you, the GBATemp user, get to vote on what GBATemp thinks is the worst console ever is. For more information check out the Rules section below. Recap: Last week’s poll was the first one in a while without landslide winner. Despite that the clear winner this week is: The Tiger R-Zone! Congratulations, Tiger, your Game.com came in second too! I’m actually surprised there weren’t more votes for the Virtual Boy, but I’m even more surprised that people voted for the Game Boy Color. Based on the votes the perceived best console would have to be the SNK Neo Geo Pocket. Not a bad choice, GBATemp (if not a little odd). And so the Tiger R-Zone joins the Watara SuperVision for the handheld showdown to take place some time in the future that I’m not willing to figure out now. If you’d like to know more about how the voting went check out last week’s thread here. Intro: The Fifth Generation of Consoles. There are some main players that we all remember fondly and then there are the rest of the CD based consoles that rounded out the shitty edutainment, VCD playing consoles. ‘Interactive Movie’-type games were ubiquitous on the latter systems as everyone and their dog figured that with the advent of video playback base gameplay that everyone could get in on it. Games like Mad Dog McCree (which i’m horrified to find out was released on the 3DS) and Night Trap were straight out films with tangential interactivity, while games like The Daedalus Encounter (starring Tia Carrere) opted for green screen actors with rendered sets. I hate this aspect of early-to-mid 90s video games. Mostly because I was asked as a child to play test a few for a local company and they were not fun at all. So before we get to the contenders, let's recap the rules, shall we? Rules: Warning: Spoilers inside! There can only be one! Each week I pit each console generation against itself to determine what the worst console of that generation was. Updates will hopefully be up every Thursday from now till the end. We’re going to work our way up through consoles and handhelds until we reach the current generation. Once that’s all done, we’ll determine the worst console and the worst handheld. From there we choose the definitive GBATemp-approved WORST CONSOLE EVER. Your only job, Mr. or Ms. GBATemper, is to cast your vote for what you think the worst of the generation is. Please try to do some research, watch some videos, maybe play a few of these games on a (completely legitimate) emulator, and you just might learn a little about the weird amorphous blob that is video game history. But I can't (and won't) keep you from just shooting from the uninformed hip. You're also encouraged to explain your choice in the form of a response to this topic. In the event of a tie, I (Sir thaddius prigg) will cast the deciding vote. It is my Roast after all... The Generations are taken from Wikipedia as I've deemed that to be an appropriate neutral third party. I understand if you might have some concerns that I've put things in the wrong generation in your opinion, but I'm not too concerned about that. Generations are murky constructs at best and are based on arbitrary distinctions made by outsiders as post hoc rationalizations that don't mean anything to anyone anyway. Don't take any of this too seriously. I'm not going to change the polls based on your opinion of them. Aggressive discussion is allowed, but please try to keep within the rules of the forums. Just try to have fun and don’t be a jerk, k? Enough of that crap, time to get started! This Week's Challengers: The Commodore Amiga CD32 Despite long time PC maker Commodore launching the Amiga CD32 successfully in Europe and places like Canada, an injunction placed on it for a patent violation means that many American’s have never heard of this thing. Just like the Phillips CD-i it was able to play game, VCDs, and regular audio CDs. And just like most early CD-based consoles it had some terrible interactive movie games. This is an odd console as Commodore made it so that, with a few add-ons, it could be used as an actual personal computer. Commodore filed for bankruptcy in April of ’94, a mere 6 months after the release of the Amiga CD32 and as a result the console did not sell well. The Panasonic/Goldstar/Sanyo 3DO Interactive Multiplayer Launching in NA for $700, the 3DO Interactive had it all: crappy games, MPEG-1 VCD playback, and daisy-chained controllers (that last one is pretty interesting actually). When this thing launched in ’93 it found itself an overpriced monster amid a sea of CD based consoles. There were main consoles like the Amiga and CD-i, but there was also CD add-ons like the Mega/Sega CD and the Turbo GrafX 16 CD, the 3DO being the only one that didn’t mention CD in its title. Much like the CD-i this one got passed around a few times and a number of manufacturers tried their hand at the console, but unlike another electronics manufacturer that got the whole ‘new to the video game scene’ thing right, none of them panned out very well and the companies just came across as being naive. Especially since having multiple manufacturers making the console inadvertently saturated the market further. The Atari Jaguar Atari hoped that people would remember how awesome they were pre-crash when they released this console. Sadly ten years had passed and a new generation of video game playing kids had grown up with Nintendo and now Sega so Atari was a distant memory to some and a completely unknown entity to others. The Jaguar had one ridiculous controller. For the top half they opted for a Genesis-like three buttoned controller, which was fine. But for some reason the bottom half had a number pad. The downfall of the Jaguar is usually attributed to the fact that it was competing against the SNES and Genesis when it was launched and later the Nintendo 64, PlayStation, and Sega Saturn, but it was also up against a large number of other consoles on the bottom rung of the ladder. CD and 32-bit add-ons for Gen 4 systems made the Jaguar redundant, even when it decided to release a CD add-on of it’s own. Atari would end up completely collapsing at this time and selling off all of their assets. The company we now know as Atari is only a name as the rights to it were purchased by Infogames around this time. The Sega Saturn Sega made some strange decisions around the launch of the Saturn. At the end of the Genesis’ lifecycle they released the 32X expansion. Sega was also working on their ‘Neptune’ console that would be a combination of the Genesis/Mega Drive, the Sega/Mega CD, and the 32X. While all of this may have seemed like a good idea at the time (relatively inexpensive way into the next generation) Sega has been criticized for fragmenting their fan base with games being released for the Genesis/Mega Drive that required one or both of the add-ons that people didn’t necessarily have. They were also still supporting the Master System, Game Gear, and Pico at the time which may have stretched them a little thin. Couple that with the botched launch of the Saturn and it’s $399 launch price (a price that was under cut by the highly anticipated PlayStation) and things start to go wrong for the company. The Saturn was heralded for its arcade ports and did quite well for itself in Japan. Because of this the Japanese CEO of Sega Enterprises instructed Sega of America to focus on the Saturn. This was apparently a point of contention as Sega of America’s management team resigned en masse by ’96. With Sega of America in disarray the PlayStation and Nintendo 64 remained mostly unhindered but for each other in North America. The Sony PlayStation Born from a failed deal for a CD add-on for the SNES, Sony rose to become Nintendo’s worst rival. Despite many newcomers releasing systems left and right Sony managed to create buzz about the PlayStation with an effective marketing strategy. The well publicized story of Square switching from Nintendo platforms to Sony for their latest Final Fantasy game made gamers take notice. And Sony cooly announcing that it would launch for $100 less than the Saturn was met with raucous praise. The PlayStation did fall prey to games that relied on video of real actors to exposit plot, but for the most part they were merely cutscenes (like Resident Evil and Warhawk). Sony would ultimately replace Sega as a main player in the video game industry. The Nintendo 64 In an effort to mitigate load times in their games Nintendo decided to scrap the current trend of using disc based media for their console and stick to cartridges. This was heavily criticized by the industry as there were those who felt it needlessly increased the cost of the games and reduced revenue as cartridges were comparatively more expensive to make. I’m sure you all know that this is touted as the reason why Square switched teams for Final Fantasy VII. The Virtual Boy’s failure contributed to the feeling at the time that Nintendo was past their prime. And with the 64 arriving a year after the Saturn and PlayStation and the 64 apparently being difficult to develop for Nintendo was left in a bad position. Lucky for them the Sega began having trouble with their management in North America and kids who grew up with the NES and/or SNES remained loyal to their brand. The 64’s controller, which has not aged well, was Nintendo’s ace in the hole at first as no other console this generation initially shipped with a controller with analogue controls (despite the fact that the 64’s control stick was apparently not actually analogue). The Nintendo 64 would rely mostly on first party support and garner a beloved ‘second party’ in Rare throughout its lifetime, trends that would continue. Outro: And there you have it: The Fifth Generation of Consoles. I can't see the 64, Saturn, or PlayStation winning this poll at all. I'll be interested to see who 'wins' and who 'loses' though. Don't forget too vote! See you in the comments! Current Standings: Warning: Spoilers inside!