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TheStreet Open House

5 Worst CES Offerings Ever

Stocks in this article: AAPL GOOG MSFT

5. Apple Pippin

Apple has rendered its checkered history with gaming a somewhat moot point by helping smartphones and tablets wrest the mobile gaming market from Nintendo's 3DS and DS handheld's and Sony's Playstation Vita and PSP. With a nearly 60% share of the mobile gaming market that's still growing, according to Flurry Analytics, mobile devices are killing dedicated handheld consoles one cheap app at a time.

In 1996, though, Apple's relationship with gaming was awkward at best. At a time Apple was better known for its well-intentioned ideas than for executing them -- the Apple Newton message pad, a distant relative of the iPad, comes to mind -- Pippin was just another example of bold vision in a clunky, underpowered package.

The Pippin was a joint venture with Japanese gaming company Bandai that was supposed to not only meld a network computer and a gaming console, but introduce the world to true online gaming. A Mighty Morphin Power Rangers or Dragonball Z game is tough to play online at a dialup speed of 14.4 kilobytes per second, though. Also, at $600, the Pippin was more than double the price of a Nintendo 64, Sega Saturn or Sony PlayStation.

Apple sold only 10,000 Pippin consoles, and the entire project was considered a colossal failure. The folks in Cupertino got their revenge little more than a decade later, but the Pippin cost Apple its chance to get in on console gaming just as it was nearing its peak.

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