Rare 1997 Failure Shows Why Apple Never Tried to Compete With PlayStation and Xbox Ever Again

Published 07/22/2022, 12:00 PM EDT

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Would you buy a gaming console created by Apple Inc.? Well, turns out they built one way back in 1996 when Apple Inc. was still Apple Computers Inc. And, it did poorly in the market, leading to consumers forgetting about the product soon after.

A new report surfaced regarding the lost Apple product. As it happens, the console features as one of the 150+ products in the iconic Museum of Failure, located in Sweden. In fact, the museum’s tagline is quite inspiring. It’s failure that drives innovation. Apple Pippin’s failure only drove the need for success and accelerated the company’s growth in the long run.


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The team at Apple Computers thought of the idea and executed it in collaboration with Bandai, a leading manufacturer of toys and games in Japan. This happened months before Steve Jobs rejoined Apple in January 1997, bringing the company under his prosperous leadership. Jobs had left Apple Computers, the company he co-founded, due to internal indifferences, back in 1985.

Apple Pippin failed miserably and faced discontinuation

According to reports, Apple Pippin had sold a total of 42000 units in its lifetime, which is ridiculously less. Pippin was discontinued a year after, in 1997, following the massive flop it endured.

The main reason behind Pippin’s failure was its humongous price point. The console was priced $400 more than its immediate competitor, N64, which sold for $200. Pippin also lacked video games in its library; users didn’t have many options. Moreover, it also acted as a computer, which only confused users more.

According to reports, Pippin was also severely underpowered, but its ideation revolved around making it better than its competitors in terms of performance. Pippin’s other competitors, Sony PlayStation and Sega Saturn, which were priced better, included more games and were easier to use, also affected its sales heavily.

It was probably also why Apple didn’t try to return to the gaming console market and compete with the giants, PlayStation and Xbox.


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Compared to Pippin, Nintendo’s 1996 console, N64, featured record sales in the few days of its launch. N64’s lifetime sales amount to 32.93 million, as of July 2022, with 20 million alone from North America. That’s impressive for a retro console!

The Museum of Failures features the product as a mark that Apple too failed once. In fact, Steve Jobs took over the company at the right place and time. After becoming the interim CEO, Jobs introduced revolutionary products like the iPhone, iPad, and MacBook. He created the Apple consumers know today, a technological force to be reckoned with!


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WATCH THIS STORY: Ranking the best Nintendo consoles of all time

What do you think about Apple Pippin’s failure? Let us know in the comments!


Written by:

Sharmila Ganguly


One take at a time

Sharmila Ganguly is an Esports author at EssentiallySports. After completing her Bachelor's degree in engineering, she pursued her love for writing and most importantly, video games. All kinds of video games intrigue her, but her love for shooter video games like Valorant knows no bounds.
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