Technology develops at a really fast pace these days. It’s hard to predict what’s going to be a massive, world-changing success, and what’s just going to be completely forgotten in about a year. In the case of these 10 gadgets, they had all the possibility to be the former, but were ultimately the latter.
Back when 3D video games were starting to become a big thing, Sega decided to get a leg up on the competition by releasing the Sega Saturn ahead of Sony’s new PlayStation console, as well as the Nintendo 64. Unfortunately, it was way more expensive and had a tiny game library, meaning it never caught on. In fact, it was the start of Sega’s big decline as a console maker.
Remember when we all thought we were going to be rolling everywhere on two wheels? Turns out that’s not gonna happen when 1) cities aren’t designed with architecture in mind for these things at all, and 2) when the stupid thing is priced at $5,000. Guess the mall cops are happy though.
Back when choosing your browser was a really big deal, Netscape was one of the names we thought would never go away. It made big waves by winning an anti-trust lawsuit against Microsoft, but then interest in the company just kind of fizzled.
Nintendo Virtual Boy
Back before 3D and virtual reality were a big deal, Nintendo decided to try their hand at both with this weird console that had a screen for each eye, creating a 3D effect. Unfortunately for them, it was expensive, heavy, and caused people headaches if they played it for too long. It barely lasted a year at market, and remains the company’s biggest failure.
I’m willing to bet you don’t even remember some of these next few gadgets…
Motorola ROKR E1
Back when Motorola were the kings of fashionable phones thanks to the success of the RAZR, they partnered up with Apple to deliver the first phone with iTunes built into it (yes, before even the iPhone). However, nobody wanted it; it ran like crap, had next to no storage space, was ugly to look at, and the built-in speaker was awful.
This thing was mostly just guilty of being too early to the game. It was a way to check email and surf the web on your TV well before that was a common feature of things like Apple TV and Roku boxes. However, when it came out there just wasn’t enough to do on the internet for people to be willing to spend $20 a month on it.
Remember when every company wanted their own version of the iPod? Those were some crazy times. Microsoft tried to do some new things with the Zune, but a lot of the features were half-baked and everybody just went back to using their iPods, and then smartphones happened.
Back before Google took over as everybody’s favorite search engine, it was the wild west of having to check a bunch of different ones for what you were looking for. Yahoo was big, and so was AskJeeves, but AltaVista seemed to fizzle out after getting passed between multiple companies who didn’t seem to know what to do with it.
It was better than VHS and harder to break, but with its massively high price point, fumbled marketing campaigns by Sony, and VHS being embraced by the pornography industry (no, seriously, look it up), this video tape format bit the dust, and bit the dust hard.
It was basically a smartphone before smartphones were a thing (minus the whole phone part), but the release of the iPhone basically made it completely obsolete and it never really recovered.