Apple made a game console back in 1996, and it was terrible

Way back in 1996, Apple thought it could make a game console.

Ten months before Steve Jobs came back to Apple, the company collaborated with Japanese toy and video game company Bandai to make the Pippin game machine. It turned out to be a tremendous flop. Apple sold only 42,000 units between when it released the Pippin in 1996 and when it discontinued the device the next year. 

Pippin Atmark Console SetBy comparison, when it launched its N64 game console in 1996, Nintendo sold between 350,000 and 500,000 units in just the first three days, according to the Nintendo 64 Wikipedia entry, which cites a 1996 Newsweek article. 

Check out Apple's Pippin game console:

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The look of Apple's Pippin game console screams 1990s. Launched around the same time period, Sony's original PlayStation and Nintendo's N64 also look dated by today's standards, but their designs have aged better than the Pippin's.

The Pippin cost $600 when it was launched. By contrast, the original PlayStation cost $300 and the N64 cost $200.

The Pippin's controller was called the "Apple Jack," and it had a mouse trackball in the middle.

You had to use the Apple Jack's trackball in game menus, because games were direct ports from the versions that ran on Apple's Mac computers, and the Mac versions relied on a trackball or mouse for navigation.

Apple offered a wireless version of the controller, which was advanced for its time. The controller used infrared technology to connect to the console.

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