by The Ran Man
Okay, not gonna lie. I pretty much wet myself from laughing after reading “Apple is making a console!” by Nemesis. It wasn’t until just a few days ago that a friend of mine informed me that Apple did indeed make a console back in the mid-90’s. That’s right. The mighty Apple company now known throughout the world for it’s ingenious iPhones and hipster-fanfare once tried their hand at the console gaming market with a little help from a company called Bandai. This little gem was know as…
I know what you’re thinking, but don’t let the image fool you. This thing was every bit as huge as the original XBOX if but twice as ugly. But hey, with names like Apple and Bandai working together, it has to be an awesome machine right? Yeah… Let’s start with the initial problems, shall we? The illustrious Pippin was released in 1995 during the heydays of the original Playstation and Sega Saturn for the hefty sum of $599. That’s five hundred and ninety-nine dollars back in 1995 which, at the time, could just about get you a small used car. The system was designed to be a low-cost computer that could double-up as a console gaming market. Computer capabilities with a focus on gaming sounds almost normal by today’s standards but back then it was kind of a new concept, and not one that would help the pricey Pippin. Featuring a 66MHz processor, 5MB of combined memory, 128Kb of flash memory, and a 4x CD-ROM drive, the Pippin was an interesting machine when compared to it’s competitors. The problem however fell back on the hefty price-tag for what many perceived to be just another gaming console.
Moving on from the technical specs and eye-gouging cost of the system, lets move on to software and gaming development. To be blunt, there were more name-brand games for the Atari Jaquar than the Pippin. Infact the only major development for the Pippin was Bandai and they helped create the damn thing. With headlining titles such as “Power Rangers Zeo Vs. The Machine Empire”, “Mr. Potato Head Saves Veggie Valley”, and “Racing Days” paving the way, it was sure to be smooth sailing. Only it wasn’t and the Pippin would meet a swift demise as a result.
Despite the promising power of the machine and it’s overwhelming library of 18 games for the US market, the Apple Pippin suffered from being over-priced, poorly marketed, and genuinely a sad excuse for a competitor. An embarrassing 42,000 units were sold worldwide throughout the system’s lifespan and when Bandai foresaw the end, they jumped ship to join up with Sega on a much more promising endeavor regarding the Sega Saturn. Finally, in 1997 the Apple Pippin was silently discontinued and packed away with other consoles such as the 3DO and Phillips CD-i. But not all is lost. The Pippin itself can still be found on eBay in new condition for under $200 if one is a collector. You can get a white one from Japan or a black one from the US market. At the very least, you’ll be able to say that you own a gaming console that comes with a controller called the “Applejack.”