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: Another decisive poll last week. And the winner is: The Panasonic/Goldstar/Sanyo 3DO Interactive Multiplayer. Congratulations to Panasonic, Goldstar, and Sanyo! You’ve all been selected as having the worst console of the fifth generation. Maybe it was your horribly pixelated MPEG-1/VCD playback, or your bloated edutainment library, or even ‘games’ like Dennis Miller’s: It’s News To Me, but either way you sucked. For more details about how the voting went you can check out last week’s thread here. Intro: Thanks for bearing with me in my week-long hiatus. My trip to Toronto was a bit more disruptive than I anticipated. But having a week off would make you think I'd spent the rest of the week making this week's poll extra nice. You'd be wrong if you thought that though... Anyway, the sixth Generation of handhelds! Another Nintendo dominated generation. In fact, this is the generation that brought a bunch of us together to this very website. Our insatiable lust for GBA ROMs and what to do with them. But first: Rules! 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 are: The Neo Geo Pocket Color Following the Japanese success of the Neo Geo Pocket, SNK released their slight upgrade, the Neo Geo Pocket Color [sic]. This 16-bit handheld was heralded as being technically superior to the Game Boy Color as well as having a nice form factor. And that centering on the joystick? Superb! Just like the original, the NGPC took two AA batteries as well as a CR2032 battery for saves and internal clock. And just as the NGP was forwards compatible with NGPC games, the NGPC was backwards compatible with NGP games, and in some cases added convincing colour (I don’t think we would have had it any other way). It’s North American and European presence was stymied by the purchase of SNK by another company, but it was considered ‘successful’ in Japan in that it managed to sell units in the shadow of the Game Boy Advance launch. The Bandai SwanCrystal The WonderSwan was a rather impressive success in Japan. So much so that it warranted a revision in the form of a WonderSwan Color [sic] hot on it's heels. But the tech was getting a little sluggish and in hopes of competing with the Game Boy Advance Bandai released the SwanCrystal in 2002. Sadly by this time the SwanCrystal had lost it’s edge as it’s price point was much closer to the Game Boy Advance’s. Additionally their partnership with Square that had spurred sales initially meant nothing once Square started making games for the GBA. Once again the system enjoyed relative success in Japan, but this would be the last entry in the WonderSwan line. The Game Boy Advance A major problem with system releases is lack of quality games. This is especially difficult with modern Nintendo systems as their launch titles are primarily first party. Such was not the case for the Game Boy Advance though. Fantastic games aside, this system would be the beginning of Nintendo’s obsession with rapidly releasing different versions of the same console. The GBA, GBA SP, GB Micro, and the GBA SP2 (backlit) would all be released between 2001 and 2005. And Nintendo would get something wrong with each release. The original GBA had no built-in light (a common complaint) and required an auxiliary purchase to be able to use a plug-in adapter. The SP, while it boasted a rechargeable battery and front-lit screen, the front-light washed out colours, and somehow they forgot to include a headphone jack, which required another auxiliary purchase to have as a feature. The Micro was abandoned before we got any cool faceplates, the faceplate design meant you always had dust on the screen that couldn’t be wiped off without you worrying about damaging the screen, and (for form factor reasons) they dropped GB and GBC backwards compatibility - which not too many people were worried about. The SP2 did fix the screen issue of the original, but never addressed the lack headphone jack. The lifespan of the GBA was also a bit distressing. The Nintendo DS was released ~4 years after the GBA. And while Nintendo claimed that it would continue to support the GBA as a ‘third pillar’ alongside the DS and GameCube, the success of the DS soon killed off the GBA as developers flocked to the DS. It’s short lifespan would not prevent a flood of games from being released for the system though. The GBA would also see a marked increase in piracy. While piracy was nothing new to the industry, the rapid growth of the internet and increase of download speeds (combined with the small size of GBA games) meant that getting GBA ROMs was rather easy. And while flash carts and other technologies had existed before, there were a bunch of flash carts were released during the GBAs lifetime and were produced in such quantity that people are still buying and selling them successfully today. I can’t see why anyone would vote for this console this round, but even the best of a generation has to have some issues, right? The GamePark GP32 A little South Korean company known as Game Park decided to release a 32bit handheld known as the GamePark32 (how original). Just like the GBA there were a bunch of different models all with their own problems (most of them revolving around the screen and the type of lighting therein). Being limited to a South Korean release, the Game Park was not able to have strong third party support, and it’s media of choice was Smart Media cards which some of you might remember as gigantic flat cards that held - at most - 128MB. So why did thaddius put this on the list? These guys would be completely forgettable if not for one difference: they didn’t just license games for the system. In addition to commercial games they encouraged people to program their own! On paper this seems like a great idea. They hoped programmers would wet themselves at the idea of an open platform, and a bunch of programmers took the bait. In practise however this meant that most if the software for this system was either emulators or ports of Linux. Due to it only being officially released in South Korea it quickly faded from the public consciousness elsewhere, but their initial success would not only spur other 'open' handhelds, but it would help them with future projects as well… The Tapwave Zodiac In the late-90s and early 2000s there was no such thing as a smart phone. Instead some people used Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) or PalmTop Computers. These were small touchscreen based computers that had organizers, calendars, memo programs, text reader/editors, etc. Tapwave, somehow not seeing that the PDA market was in decline, released the Zodiac to a cool reception. It was released just before the Nintendo DS and PlayStation Portable so most people decided to pass on the $300 no-name console. Due to poor sales is was taken from shelves in 2005 and the company sold all of it’s assets and no longer exists. Also, Tapwave? WTF. The Nokia N-Gage Maker of fine, completely indestructible phones, Nokia, decided to enter into the video game market with an all-in-one device of their own. It would combine the rugged durability and telecommunications capabilities of a Nokia phone with the crappiness that is non-Nintendo handheld gaming. And thus the Nokia N-Gage was born! In their infinite wisdom they decided to use MMC cards (predecessor to SD cards) to house their games, which made piracy a breeze. They also opted for a portrait orientation for the screen, which by today’s phone standards might be fine, but trying to play games like Splinter Cell and Tomb Raider on a tiny portrait screen was not seen as a plus. They did include an FM radio and Bluetooth capabilities, but removed them from it’s successor, the N-Gage QD. As far as phones go it was apparently nothing special (although people lampooned the ‘side-talking’ as well as the ‘taco’ shape of the phone). And while it did have online multiplayer for some games it was allegedly painfully slow. The games were also rather terrible and button presses were not as responsive as one would expect. Nokia would later turn the N-Gage name into their phones’ gaming platform, similar to Sony’s Playstation Mobile platform, and drop production on dedicated gaming phones altogether. Outro: And there you have it, folks. Another generation down, another generation closer to finding out who the worst is. It's too bad this generation has so many entries. I would have loved to talk about the Pokemon Mini and it's strange existence. Anywho, happy voting! See you in the comments! Current Standings: Warning: Spoilers inside!