25 Most Awkward Video Game Hardware Fails Of All Time

Posted By | On 05th, Aug. 2012 Under Feature, Gallery | Follow This Author @GNReith

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The hardware part of the games industry is a usually positive place, with thousands of kids growing up with the success stories of the SNES and PS1, along with how Nintendo pulled the industry out of decline with the original Famicom back in 1983. In order for this story of Nintendo’s reversal of fortunes to work though, the industry had to be in complete decline to begin with, prompting the thought that there are probably more failures in the hardware sector than there are successes.

For every Playstation 2 quality console there are just as many Nokia N-Gage style designs out there, prompting the need to put them in order as us journalists so love doing. Read on for the 25 most awkward hardware related failures ever.

A very controversial entry on a list such as this, it's safe to argue that the Playstation 3, despite recovering magnificently, had a very awkward launch back in 2006. The cell processor it packs remains notoriously difficult to work with, even today, and the price was certainly a point of contention at launch. It was Ken Kutaragi's negative publicity that really harmed the credibility of the console, however. Displaying an arrogance that belied the skilled marketing of the Playstation 1 and 2, claims that the PS3 is “not a game machine” also just seemed confused and a little misleading. What happened Ken?

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  • Ray

    no xbox 360 in the list? The failure rate on that console was unforgivable.

    • Mike

      Yes, Because the Xbox 360 RROD compares to these sad excuses for machines where most couldn’t make it past launch.

    • tahrey

      The article LED with the PS3…. O_O

  • i own i think two of the three cdi zelda games…. i use to play them as a young boy, i didnt know what i was playing

  • Jago

    Amiga Cd32? Amiga CDTV?

  • tahrey

    Funny how the main criticism of the modular, laserdisk based systems here is their purchase cost … just go find out how much all that stuff would have cost you to buy separately at the time, for your home cinema and for a PC-type computer of comparable power, and see how ludicrous the price seems then. Serious movie wonks and computer geeks were spending absolutely lavish sums in the 80s and early 90s on what would seem like laughably poor hardware now…

    (I was flipping idly through an early-90s edition of PC Pro I found in the back of a cupboard the other day and my eyes were soon out on stalks at how much even some upgrades that would have been fairly basic at the time were selling for. The general idea of a “budget system” would have been ANYTHING you could have bought for ¤499 without it being refurbished… and that’s without adjusting for inflation, either. But that’s what you had to pay for even vaguely capable computing hardware (in this case, we’re looking at early 1994, and the budget system in question is a 40Mhz 386 with 2MB of RAM, Win 3.1, an 80mb hard disk, basic VGA adaptor, no monitor/keyboard/mouse (intended as a drop-in for an older or broken machine), and no multimedia capabilities whatsoever – all singing all dancing CDROM Pentiums were well above ¤2000). Affordable games consoles were spectacularly simplistic machines by comparison – those modular systems just happened to have a compatible gaming deck as PART of their lineup, along with the other high end bits and pieces…)

    • tahrey

      yay for no editing ability and how easy it is to lose major grammatical errors when inserting something into the middle of text you already wrote…

      “what you had to pay for even vaguely capable computing hardware (…) _at the time._”

  • IceEmQuick

    Wow, I am shocked that they led with the PS3… Biggest FAIL I think not…. It is not a fail, considering that the now real good looking games are now on the PS3. I bought only 1, the Original and it still runs great. I am on my 5th 360…. This pick was not based on the hardware, but personal bias. After all the version that everyone thought was cheaper than the PS3 was the Arcade version, where if you wanted to do anything with the console besides playing the game on the small capacity DVD, you badly buy a proprietary External HDD with one or 2 sizes… Otherwise youbwould get banned from XBL. If any console was to be on here for hardware its the 360… Due to the massive returns, was it not over 40% at one point… If it didn’t die so much, no console from this gen would be on the list…

  • christen

    You dare to put ps3 as hardware fail. You sir ,clearly are an xbox fanboy.
    Considering xbox360 has the highest percentage of hardware failure recorded in consumer electronic. You should be ashamed of making articles based on such biased opinions.
    I own pretty much every consoles that came since 1980 and son, i can think of at least 20 other consoles that would have deserved a spot on that list. Really shame on you.
    And shame on gamingbolt.

  • Gaara D.Dragon

    Great unbiased list, the PS3 on top with technically no technical problems and the console with the 60+% fail rate, nowhere.

    I think journalism just took an arrow in the knee.

    • Sir Spergsalot

      Everybody knows that the PS3 was a bad joke for the first few years of its launch. It was a freaking turkey, too much power, too much price, and nobody knew what to do with it. Maybe if you knew how to, you know…read an entire article before erupting into nerd rage you’d be able to tell that the PS3 was on the list SPECIFICALLY for its poor performance during its initial launch. For several years, there was speculation that the PS3 would actually be the death of Sony, and it was being handily outsold by the PS2.

      TL:DR — You’re dumb, the PS3 was a fail for the beginning of its life.


    It’s not a hardware fail per-say, but don’t forget the month long downage or PSN. However, Dreamcast I feel is one of the most underrated consoles of all time

  • slapheadednesss

    all correct except for the C64 and wtf PS3 was not a fail? Xbox on the other hand, Im sure that red ring was a feauture that the PS3 didnt have? no wait…lol

  • chuj123

    Pierdolcie sie cwele

  • jctejada

    This list is a JOKE and was obviously created by a definite Xbox 360 groupie. Really??? the PS3 is 1st on the list? the first Xbox should had been number 1, 2 and 3 on the list, fallowed by the Xbox 360 to finish out the remaining spots on the top 25 list. The Red Ring of Death is the gold standard to Awkward Video Game Hardware Fails. You Said, “Apple’s first (and hopefully last) attempt at cracking the games market” Why do you FEAR Apple so much? Well sorry to burst your bubble but Apple is already kicking major butt in the gaming market with the iPad, thanks to their 3rd party backing. With what they know now just imagine what they could do with a REAL Apple Gaming Console???

  • RadPig94

    what, no consoles that had 60% RROD rate, low end hardware mediums (Blu-ray has 20+ GB space while DVDs only 4 GB), small HDD spaces, pay-to-play online games only to hear whiny 10 year olds on Halo going “I called the sniper!!!!!” in every match (Sure ps3 has that problem, but at least I don’t have to pay to listen to it), constant Mods and Hacks online (esp Call of Duty), no built-in WIFI for the longest time, no HDMI ports on first gen, bulky menus?

  • The Playstation 3 launch was a marketing failure, not a hardware one.

  • Bruce Taylor

    OK sir, I guess you accomplished your goal. To get attention. Yes, you said that it was a controversial decision, but calling the PS3 a failure in any respect is just silly. For something to fail, it has to fail, and I do not care about the launch. Let’s use a sports analogy. If a team starts out with a horrible record at the beginnning of the season and ends up winning the World Series/Super Bowl/Stanley Cup, do we ever refer that that season as a failure for that team? I’ll let you answer.
    The saddest thing about this is that the other 24 things on the list were exactly what I was looking for when I clicked on the article. GREAT article, great insight, Great trip though time, SUCH A SHAME you had to taint it with this stunt. Just think about all of the people who may have read and really enjoyed your article (as I did), but didn’t get past #1. I am sure there were a lot.
    Also, I will not accuse you of being an XBOX360 fanboy as others have, but it is interesting that the PS4 will certainly hold it’s ground if not gain on the XBOXOne by leaps and bounds.
    Oh yeah, I forgot. WHAT ABOUT THIS FAIL. The Xbox360 choosing to use HD-DVD (which they didn’t even build into the console and required an add on drive) only to have the format fail (that’s what you call a fail by the way) and therefore, cause some large games that came on one disc for the PS3 come on multiple discs for the XBOX.

  • Pablo Limada

    …Soy el único que habla español acá?


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