Whether you’re a fan of Apple’s walled garden ecosystem or not, it’s hard to deny that the California-based tech giant is a master at making its products objects of desire. Every new hardware revision or software release sets the internet alight with articles and forum posts; every new slab or screen or wearable instantly becoming the next benchmark to which others must rise. Apple exudes cool and commands an effortless air of desirability that make the brand a marketers dream and a competitor’s nightmare…but it wasn’t always like this.
Back in those days before Retina screens and magic mice, Apple was a totally different proposition. In those halcyon days of beige towers and PowerPC architecture, Apple was asking people to “Think Different” by buying into its vision, and while these days it’s all flashy keynote speeches and celebrity-packed product reveal events, there was a time when not everything Apple touched was guaranteed to turn to gold.
Now, while it’s true that Apple has dabbled more in the gaming market than ever before in recent years, what with the App Store and the ability of iOS to run a wide array of games and game-like apps, the firm has been conspicuously absent from the more traditional gaming sphere. This is more likely down to the fact that the other players in the gaming industry have the market pretty much sewn up at this point, but there was a time when Apple did actually dabble in the sector and came away with more than a little egg on its face. In fact, it was more like an entire farm’s worth of yolk.
So join T3 as we take an in-depth look at that time Apple teamed up with toy manufacturer Bandai and unleashed upon an unsuspecting world one of the biggest financial disasters in gaming history: the Apple Bandai Pippin (also called the Pippin Atmark and, later, Pippin @world). But was it a total failure? We’d wager certainly not – especially in terms of design aesthetic and ambition, and here T3 explains why the Pippin may not have been the success Apple and Bandai projected but neither was it the dumpster fire many make it out to be.