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Pride comes before the fall. Sometimes a gaming company pretty much rules the world with their hardware only to fall hard with the follow up. Maybe they got arrogant. Maybe they banked on a trend that was no longer popular. Maybe the competition was just too great and capitalized on mistakes while learning from their own past errors. In any event, great consoles have been followed up by machines that failed for one reason or another. Who failed the hardest?

The candidates:

Nintendo 64

Why it's the worst: The Super NES is considered by many to be Nintendo at their absolute best. It won its era with over 49 million consoles sold. Every genre you could think of was represented by several great games. The follow up N64 sold about 33 million. A far cry from the generation leader's 105 million plus. At the same time, the N64 suffered from storage problems, lack of third party support for major titles, overpriced software, and an overall "kiddie" image. 

Sega Saturn

Why it's the worst: Sega Genesis sold a respectable 30 million consoles. Many fondly remember Nintendo's rival and how great it was for the time. The console did have some issues that may have effected the success of its successor. The Sega Saturn sold anywhere from 9 million to 17 million (depending on where you look). Sega's 1995 console hit the ground with a massive thud as gamers looked to sexier hardware from Nintendo and Sony. A weak 3D engine and poor public image buried this console. By late 1999 the ship was sunk.

Sony PlayStation 3

Why it's the worst: With 87 million plus in sales, it's hard to call the PS3 a fail console. However, with rumors that the console lost so much money during its lifespan that it almost killed the company itself, and the fact that it followed the single best selling home console of all time (PS2 with over 157 million in sales), one shouldn't call the console a success, either.

Nintendo Wii U

Why it's the worst: caught lightening in a bottle with the Nintendo Wii. With weaker hardware and innovative controls, the console basically printed money and sold like crazy. Everyone had one and (to steal a joke) if you didn't have one, just check the cushions of your couch. There's probably one in there. The follow up console, the Wii U, sold like warm dookie water. With about 13.5 million in sales, the Wii U was an epic fail. Third parties and gamers ran to greener pastures. Was it the high price? The lack of power? The name? Lack of a killer app at launch? While it had some great games and unique experiences, one has to wonder how they got it so wrong...

Xbox One

Why it's the worst:  The Xbox 360 managed to sell an impressive  84 million consoles following the modest 24 million in sales that the original Xbox did. The Xbox One is estimated to have sold around 46 million (depends on who you ask..) but compared to the runaway success of both the PS4 and the Nintendo Switch, it's definitely a step back. A lack of top tier exclusives, bad public image, high launch price, and a peripheral that most people didn't want hindered what could have been an undeniable success.

So there you have it. The candidates. Feel free to nominate any that you think I've forgotten. What follow up console failed the hardest and why do you think so. 

Ready? GO!!

Last edited by d21lewis - on 15 November 2019

Twitter: @d21lewis