A Brief History of Game Consoles, as Seen in Old TV Ads

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1992-1993: TTi TurboDuo, Amiga CD32, 3DO Interactive Multiplayer, Atari Jaguar

In 1992 and 1993, a wave of new entries joined an already crowded field; but few showed much staying power.

1992: TTi TurboDuo

The $300 TurboDuo combined 1988's NEC TurboGrafx-16 and an enhanced version of the TurboGrafx-16's CD add-on in a single unit. But consumers considered the console overpriced, despite its being bundled with seven games.

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1993: Commodore Amiga CD32

Released in September 1993, the Amiga CD32 was the first 32-bit CD-ROM console to reach North America. Using third-party add-ons (a 3.5-inch floppy disk drive, a hard disk, and a PC keyboard), a dedicated owner could turn the console into a pseudo-Amiga computer. The system became something of a cult hit, but it never caught on with the masses, and expired when Commodore International went bankrupt in 1994.

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1993: 3DO Interactive Multiplayer

Trip Hawkins, founder of Electronics Arts, conceived the 3DO and took the unusual step of franchising its technology to multiple companies (most notably Panasonic and Goldstar, now LG Electronics). The first to arrive in the United States was Panasonic's pricey $700 Real 3DO. Like the Philips CD-I, it could play various multimedia CD formats. Though the 3DO hosted a number of top games (including Return Fire, Alone in the Dark, Need for Speed, and Street Fighter II Turbo), many other titles were dominated by poorly received, pixelated video footage. An interesting side note: Creative Technology even launched a 3DO-Blaster ISA card add-on for PC gamers.

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1993: Atari Jaguar

After several years of watching Sega and Nintendo dominate the home console market that it had helped create, Atari Corporation launched its $250 Jaguar system. The console benefited from popular games like Wolfenstein 3D and Alien vs. Predator, yet it developed a reputation for lacking compelling titles. Atari eventually introduced a Jaguar CD drive add-on, but soon thereafter the Sony PlayStation and the Sega Saturn overshadowed the Jaguar. Is that Vin Diesel doing the end-of-commercial voice-overs?

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