5 Video Game Consoles That Never Came To The U.S.

The United States market missed out on some "interesting" video game consoles.

Gambit Magazine
Created by Gambit Magazine
On Feb 7, 2019
Help Translate This Item
1

Ping-O-Tronic

The Ping-O-Tronic is the most stylish and best named console on this list, and maybe even the world. This thing has 1970s written all over it. It's the sort of design that belongs in a museum and not sitting in some persons attic collecting dust. Put one of these consoles in your science fiction movie and it wouldn't seem out of place in t he slightest.

youtube embed goes here!

The Ping-O-Tronic (I can't get over that name) has the pleasure of being the very first Italian video game console. Coming to market all the way back in 1974, the console was based on three 7400 chips and played a bunch of games based on variations of Pong.

The console was produced by an Italian furniture company, which just boggles the mind. Imagine if Lazy Boy all of a sudden announced a rival to the PlayStation 4? The console saw a number of upgrades with one even supporting a gun peripheral.

2

Capcom Power System Changer

Probably the most interesting console on this list. The Capcom Power System Changer was Capcom trying to get in on the home console market in the same way the Neo Geo was doing. Dropping in 1994, the console was an attempt for Capcom to sell their arcade games in a home-friendly format.

It sounds crazy today as arcades don't really exist, or at least aren't where the latest video games are released. But back in the early to mid-90s, you would go to the arcade to play games that were a generation ahead of what you could have at home.

youtube embed goes here!

The CPS Changer featured SNES controller ports so that you could use any SNES compatible controller while playing your favorite Capcom arcade game. Like the Neo Geo AES, the The CPS Changer simply stuffed arcade PCBs in a special plastic shell that could hook up to a TV.

Eleven games were released for the format as arcade boards needed to be modified to fit inside the custom cartridge shell and to bypass Capcom's "protection" feature. The last game release is a unique port of Street Fighter Zero (Alpha) that was downgraded for the CPS system as it ran on the newer CPS II board.

3

Bandai Super Vision 8000

Bandai is still around releasing some great titles, but there was a time when they created their own consoles for heir own games. Back in 1979 Japan was graced by the Bandai Super Vision 8000 that ran on an 8-bit Z80 clone processor.

But what made the the Super Vision 8000 special was that it was the first Japanese console to use game cartridges instead of having a few games burned into the system ROM like Pong clones before it.

youtube embed goes here!

The Super Vision 8000 was way ahead of any other console at the time. in fact, it might have been too advanced for many people to understand with having to buy carts of specialized games. The processor inside this beauty was very close to what would later power the legendary MSX computer line years later.

This Japanese console has now become one of the most coveted consoles around. It's getting harder and harder to locate a Super Vision 8000. It failing in Japan means that even in its home country it's hard to come by.

4

Super Cassette Vision

The Super Cassette Vision released in Japan and Europe in 1984 and was designed to go up against the Nintendo Famicom (NES) and Sega SG-1000, visually taking after the later. The original Cassette Vision has the king of the consoles taking over 70% of the Japanese home console market.

When the Famicom hit the scene Epoch needed something that could keep up and the Super Cassette Vision was introduced featuring an 8-bit NEC PD7801G CPU that put it close to the new Nintendo and Sega gaming consoles. Not quite as good, especially as the Famicom would really push its limits before dying in the early 90s.

youtube embed goes here!

Because of this it featured a solid game lineup and even shared some games that also released on Nintendo and Sega consoles giving it near identical multi-platform games with games like Sky Kid and Mappy. Epoch would release a pink version targeted toward girls called the Super Lady Cassette Vision with apink carrying case.

Unfortunately, neither version very sold well leading Epoch to exist the video game market as they simply could not compete against Nintendo and Sega. The same thing happened with a handful of other consoles that had survived before Nintendo and Sega went to war.

5

digiBlast

The only portable console on this list, the digiBlast is an interesting beast of a console. Released around 2005, the digiBlast was in the same market as the Game Boy Advance, even though the Nintendo DS and PSP had already hit the scene.

Releasing in Europe and coming out of Netherlands, the digiBalst looks like an edutainment console that were popular at the time, but it was a full-fledged portable console. Kids could watch videos and snap photos or listen to MP3's with a special game cartridges.

youtube embed goes here!

The digiBlast released at least eleven games that we are aware of with some big titles including Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4, X-Men 2: Wolverine's revenge and other titles that saw release on the Game Boy Advance. Each console also came with five Atari classics included.

The console isn't all that bad, even with it's chunky design and cheap looking and feeling controls. The real issue with gaming is that the LCD screen didn't look all that going when action was happening. Games often dealt with a lot of ghosting which hurt the experience.