13 Technologies That Died on Arrival

The tech world today is both cutthroat and fast-paced. Products are announced and launched in the same day, and the future of billion-dollar corporations hang in the balance. Will consumers eat up their product, or will they take one look and stick with what they’ve already got? There have been several notable pieces of technology that simply died on arrival because consumers just did not value the product as much as developers thought they would. Here are a few that you may remember well.

1. Virtual Boy

In 1995, Nintendo released a new video game console called Virtual Boy that they thought would take over the market. It was a head-mounted display with handheld controller that allowed users to experience their 22 videogames in stereoscopic 3D graphics. Instead of being the hit that Nintendo had hoped, the system was a universal flop. Either because the 3D effects weren’t actually that effective or because the games were poorly produced, sales began to drop dramatically. The system took four years to produce and was off the shelves in just a few months.

2. Sega Dreamcast

Although it fared better than the Sega Saturn, the Sega Dreamcast, which was released in 1999, failed to do as well as the company had hoped. Primarily due to the newest wave of consoles, namely the PlayStation 2. Sega marketed the Dreamcast as more inexpensive and accessible than the expensive Saturn, but it still failed to thrive on the market. Although now considered to be somewhat ahead of its time, the Dreamcast was the very last console system that Sega produced, capping off their 18 years in the console market.

3. LaserDisc

Although the LaserDisc is considered a quality product whose invention heralded the CD and DVD, it never actually achieved the same financial success as the more popular VHS and Betamax. This is probably because LaserDisc players were so expensive compared to the competition. Plus, they didn’t have the ability to record media. They were also heavy and delicate compared to a VHS. The technology never really took off in North America, although it did serve as a much more popular bridge between the VHS and the DVD in Asia.

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