When Apple failed at hardware: Apple Pippin gaming console

3 Aug 2015

The Pippin gaming console. Image via Wikimedia Commons

We all know how successful Apple has been as a company that churns out hardware each year for maximum profits, but let us hark back to a time when they tried to make a gaming console called the Pippin and failed terribly.

Officially called the PiPP!N (ah, my eyes!), the device was launched in 1995 with some seriously grand ambitions.

Licenced to Japanese video game company Bandai, Apple had hopes for the company to create a successful CD-ROM-driven games console that could connect to the internet, which would be far ahead of Sega and Nintendo at the time.

It was also designed to be a multimedia device in the same way that Microsoft and Xbox now market the Xbox One as a multimedia device, rather than just a gaming console.

Unfortunately for the Apple Pippin, that’s where the similarities end as a multitude of different reasons led to the console being a complete and utter flop worldwide and definitely a product Apple were not looking to have attached to them.

Aside from having the least-cool name in gaming console history, the Pippin was a playbook on how not to market a product, by just not marketing it at all, and also an example of how bad timing can kill you, particularly with the launch of the far-superior Sony PlayStation in the same year.

Catch a glimpse here of Apple’s high hopes for the Pippin and, with glorious hindsight, revel in the blatantly-scripted 1990s promotional video.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic