Still... when it comes to the console wars, we all know who the big winners and the big losers were.
Who we are less familiar with are the collaterally damaged - the systems that got caught in the crossfire, and were "holed" below the "water line" before they barely pumped off a shot.
This is the story of those forgotten consoles. Though, technically, it's more of a listicle than an actual story. But... y'know. This is 2016, guy. If The Bible had been written today, even God would've included some sort of bossy listicle in it, and called it something like The Top 10 Commandments You Totes Need to Follow, or something like that, but funnier. Whatevs. FML.
Just look at it - a triangular console, with triangular cartridges, with each of the three sides offering a different control system: Pong-type games, racing games, and shooting games. It's like glueing a motorbike on the front of a car, a Portuguese man-o-war onto the roof, and a load of fumes in a jar onto the windscreen.
See, Sony and Microsoft? That's how you make a console. You can stuff your big black slabs... you can STUFF THEM... STUFF THEM RIGHT. UP. YOUR. DIDDY-DUFF.
Despite its name, however, the games came on ROM cartridges, rather than cassettes. Intriguingly, the controls - just enough for two players - were built into the hardware, and featured 50% of The Beatles... i.e. two twisty knobs, controlling horizontal and vertical movement. If that sounds like a terrible idea to you... well, you would be right in that assumption. Hence its inclusion on this list.
It boasted two built-in games, as well as a calculator and a simple drawing program. The remainder of its software was released on cartridges dubbed "Videocades", while its controller looked like the hold-y bit of a pistol. Doubtless, this increased its popularity among supporters of the NRA.
Though virtually unknown elsewhere in the world, the VC-4000 somehow acquired a library of 40 games - albeit mostly the usual clones of games made popular elsewhere. Also, its controllers looked a bit like the joypad of the Atari Jaguar: another of history's greatest travesties.
Consequently, the Arcadia played host to versions of some of the more obscure arcade games of the era, such as Jump Bug (a sort of proto-endless runner game, in which players controlled a constantly bouncing car), and Jungler - a none-too-vague cross between Pac-Man and Centipede.
Also, here's an actual excerpt from a CreatiVision ad, that's possibly worth your time: "The serious personal computer you've been waiting for! At last! A total computer system. Right in your own home! Start with a fully functional computer... for the low price of a video game set!"
"BZZZZT! 007 is here to see you, sir."
"Thank you, Miss Fudgeyfanny... Ah, 007!"
"Hello, M. Look what I can do."
"Cool! You could drive a bus through there!"
Admittedly, it had five built-in games - though one of them was a tedious adding game. Which might sound good, but you try selling anything to kids by promising them extra maths. Consequently, the Studio II doesn't have much of a legacy, but what legacy it does have is this: one of the worst things that ever happened.
It disappeared from shelves within months, with Casio retooling the hardware as a similarly short-lived personal computer. Intriguingly, the PV's games line-up featured titles which seemed to suggest they were special interest films rather than video games: Excite Mahjong, Naughty Boy, Dirty Chameleon, and "Pooyan". Those titles aren't even made up. Look:
Consequently, the games played out identically every time, with only your score changing. The limited nature of the games - there were only five ever released - pretty much throttled it at birth. Which, like all deformed piglets, is all that it deserved.