Apple Bandai Pippin

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Apple Bandai Pippin
Not everything that Apple touches turns into gold. This here is valid proof.
Developer: Bandai
Release Date: 1996
Competitors: Nintendo 64
Sega Saturn
Sony PlayStation
Generation: Fifth generation

The Apple Bandai Pippin (abbreviated and commonly known as Apple Pippin) was a multimedia console designed by Apple and produced by Bandai in 1995, with it coming to North America in 1996. It was designed to be both a gaming console and networking computer. Due to different problems, decisions and the problematic competition with other manufacturers' consoles at that time led to the Pippin being remembered as one of the worst failures in the history of video games.

Why It's Not the Best Console Ever Made

  1. Despite trying to be an inexpensive computer, it was priced at $599 at launch, when the consoles it competed with, the Nintendo 64, Sony PlayStation and Sega Saturn, were far cheaper, with the Nintendo 64 being $199 at launch, the Sony PlayStation being $299, and the Sega Saturn being priced at $399.
  2. It was never given a direct focus, as it was both a computer and a console, so most games were educational or programs which they were more for a computer than for a console, which only caused people to ignore the console and as a result it was a failure.
  3. Its complex design made it difficult for third-party developers to program games for the system, so third-party games were limited on the system.
  4. It was severely underpowered; in fact, its hardware was below even the computers of its day, with no hard drive storage, only 6MB of RAM, and a very slow 14.4k modem.
  5. Only 80 games were made for the system, with the complete collection in Japan and only 18 in North America, besides that the catalog of games was not impressive or interesting, with educational games or programs.
  6. The controller looks like a boomerang, making it awkward to hold,in addition, the design of the control is ugly and looks weird, besides, because the boomerang design feels uncomfortable to hold, makes it difficult to move naturally.
  7. Mac OS 7 had to be included in the game’s CD and loaded onto the system at startup, leaving memory for the actual game.
  8. Any game made for the system can also be played on the Mac, rendering the console redundant. Sounds familiar...
  9. Technically it was a computer, but Apple sold the Pippin as a console because of the Apple's desperate attempt to make money because the consoles of the moment sold well, but they failed miserably and the console raised little money.
  10. It did not have the support of the great video game developers of the moment, that added to a rather strange marketing approach of the console as a computer, made many people distrust and choose other options that were a console. It was also ignored a lot for its educational intention, something that many people were not interested in and bought the other consoles that were on the market.
  11. Apple predicted they would sell around 300,000 units, they sold 100,000 at their outlet, and they only managed to sell 10,000 units. In 1997 the Nintendo 64 and the PlayStation were the preferred options, no further reason was needed to stop producing it and finally reveal that only 42,000 had been sold since the day of its launch.
    • Pippin, as a technology, suffered due to its late appearance in the generation of 3D consoles and being underpowered for both being a console and being a computer. The Bandai version quickly disappeared, having only a limited release in the United States and Japan until December 1, 1997.

Redeeming Qualities

  1. You can play Macintosh games on this system. This is because this system IS a Mac.
  2. The controller has a built in trackball for using the operating system.
  3. Best of all, it was one of the first consoles to have wireless control through an infrared port, as well as a wide range of accessories, a dock for floppies, keyboards, external modems up to 33.6 kbits / s, memory modules,external from 2 to 16 MB, or an adapter to connect it to Macintosh. It also had its own browser, so having macOS as the main operating system, we could install programs, or surf the Internet.



  • A copy of the Pippin can be found in The Museum of Failure in Stockholm.


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