Q&AmeCola: Erase Which Console?

We all have a console that we love. What about a console that we hate?

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What defines a great console? The graphics? The games? A curved lunchbox handle? We all have game consoles that we hold dear and true to our hearts. But what about the rejects? The consoles on which we shelled out our hard earned birthday money from grandma only to realize that we just bought a poor excuse for a home entertainment machine? Did you get suckered into dreams of compact discs, virtual reality, and blast processing? Is it time to shred all the evidence of you owning that console and delete the tech support number from your cell phone?

This month’s question comes from staff member Michael Gray who asks: If you could erase one console from existence, which one would it be and why?



All I ever see when Sega posts any kind of news on their Facebook is a thousand angry voices yelling about wanting a new Shenmue game. When people who share their formative gaming years with myself see a Dreamcast, they wax nostalgic for the system—oh, it was the best console ever, so ahead of its time, such great games.


The Sega Dreamcast is a beautiful failure. The very first model allowed players to run copied discs; what a joke. Games had areas locked off unless you were connected to the Internet, and do you realize how expensive dial-up was back then? Why did the memory card need buttons and a screen, it’s just a waste of batteries. Why did the memory card beep so loud all the time when turning the console on?!

You couldn’t even have covert night sessions playing Dangerous Toys or something because the console beeps loudly and the disc drive whirrs relentlessly and sounds like a typewriter coughing up blood. But no, the console lives on as “fond” memories—but it’s nothing more than the fail nail in Sega’s console coffin.



As sacrilegious as this sounds, I’d probably say the GameCube. I’ve found that Nintendo systems are more or less Zelda Machines for us, and Wind Waker is probably one of my least favorite titles in the series. I know a lot of people liked the GameCube, but I feel like it was an unnecessary step between the N64 and the Wii. Also, considering the awesome lineup of games on the PS2 during the same time period, the GameCube was more or less invisible in our house anyway.




I’m going with the Philips CD-i. The whole console—if it can actually be called that—was just a huge mess, resulting in a billion-dollar loss for the company. It forever reminds us that there’s not just one painfully horrendous Zelda game, but three of them, as well as a dreadful Mario game. With just a handful of moderately tolerable games in its entire library, the CD-i did little aside from proving that not every big name company should attempt to join the videogame industry. When’s the last time you heard someone say “Man, I sure wish I had a CD-i!” that didn’t mean strictly for collecting it? My bet is never.

Wonder why the system was so expensive? These absurdly long infomercials may have something to do with it. I think this is where Apple got the idea for Siri.


The first time I saw a Virtual Boy was in a Blockbuster Video store. They were made for each other…doomed for failure. Doooooooomed! I mean, what was this thing? A video game goggle that wasn’t actually worn on your head and wasn’t the least bit portable like you’d expect. Nintendo doesn’t do a great job at choosing a color for its monochrome systems. Whether it’s the pea-soup green of the original Game Boy or the blood-red soviet shades of the Virtual Boy, burning a single color into your brain for very long is never a good idea. Also, Nintendo released this…thing in 1995. Why didn’t they just wait for the release of the N64 and continue the ride of the GBA/GBA-SP? It’s like they forgot they were even releasing this thing; there’s maybe a dozen games for it, depending on region, they didn’t release it around the world, and they discontinued it in less than a year. Consider yourself lucky, Europe! And, Nesters Funky Bowling? Seriously?!




I’m not opposed to mobile devices in general. Those handheld communicators on the original Star Trek are the future, man, and I think we all appreciate having that extra option when we think about ways to irradiate our hips and brains with possibly cancerous radio waves and annoy people in quiet public places. However, I don’t ever recall seeing Captain Kirk using his communicator to call Scotty and then play Angry Birds while waiting to beam up.

It’s all well and good to be able to play games on the go, but iOS games in particular are responsible for a drastic shift in the way game companies do business. Why bother putting all that hard work into a real videogame when we could easily make a couple thousand dollars by slapping together some clip art and pushing it out the door in a matter of hours? Who cares about having more than three minutes of worthwhile gameplay if the game only costs a dollar? Why go to the effort of crafting sequels and spinoffs with an international appeal when we can just flood the Japanese mobile market with games our hardcore English-speaking fans will never see?

Yes, I’m sure there are some legitimately good games that’ve come out for iOS. Hopefully those rays of sunshine will remind both developers and consumers that videogames weren’t invented just to waste our time and money. They were invented to waste lots of time and lots of money, so we’d better darn well get the most out of our games. Either way, I won’t be happy until I own a mobile device that’s sophisticated enough to play any of these games, so I think we’d be much better off if we abolished iOS gaming capabilities in the meantime.




The Sega Genesis, definitely. Despite growing up in the ’90s, I had no contact with the Sega Genesis at all; in fact, I never knew there were non-Nintendo consoles. But now that I’m older, everyone constantly talks about how great the Sega Genesis was. I’m forced to stand there awkwardly and nod my head, pretending I know what Matt Jonas is talking about when goes on and on about Sonic the Pledgehog or whatever.

To save myself social embarrassment, I would remove the Sega Genesis and replace it with the Sega Exodus, or perhaps the Sega Deuteronomy.



That’ll be the Nintendo Wii, please. The console was very popular and it sold like crazy, but that doesn’t mean that it was actually good. After getting this console, you had to settle for a handful of games, and that was it. Nintendo (once again) failed to appeal to third party developers, so you had a very limited selection of good games to choose from.

Not only do I dislike the Wii for becoming the fanciest paperweight ever, but also for being kind of harmful for the overall videogame landscape. This console started this “motion control” infatuation we’re living in till this very day, and while not everything’s bad, I’m sick of being told how I am supposed to play my games, or even browse the game’s menus. Without the Wii, there might not have been a Kinect.

So, I have to tap my shoes three times, or…? Oh, I wasn’t actually making a wish…?




Have a console that you loathe? Have a question you’d like answered in a future edition of “Q&AmeCola”? Let us know in the comments!

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Mark Freedman is a hard hitting reporter on just what the crap is going on in the world of video games.He also writes reviews and manages the staff Q&A column. Occasionally, he has been known to take a shower. zzzz


  1. What’s this crap about the Gamecube being awful? There were plenty of excellent games on it and how jarring it would’ve been to go from N64 straight to the Wii!

    It’s not Nintendo’s fault their fauxcore poseur fangamers only consider their consoles “Zelda Machines” (of which the Gamecube had more than ONE) and never bother to play anything else. That’s 100% the fault of the gamer in question. Not living up to insane standards is not a standard in and of itself.

    Sorry, I really don’t intend to come off mean, but holy Lord I haven’t heard such nonsense and snobbery about the Gamecube in years. I want put a frame around that “Zelda Machine” phrase and hang it up on my wall as an icon to everything that’s wrong with gamers’ attitudes today. Sorry again, disrespect not intended, just balking.

    1. It all depends on the perspective. The GameCube was also short on my list, not only because it kept scaring third party developers away, but also didn’t do too much to expand Nintendo’s franchises, it just took everything from the old generation and play with it (Super Mario, Zelda, Smash Bros… and I can’t forgive what it did to Star Fox).

      And while I also had the Nintendo 64 on my sight… I just couldn’t call it since because without the N64, there might not be an Ocarina of Time… So, while it’s not all about Zelda, sometimes the size of the Zelda does matter.

    2. It had good games, but I think Kate’s point comparing the Gamecube to the PS2 is a cogent one. PS2 had one of the most vast libraries in the history of gaming, much of it indispensable hits. Even the Xbox, which I thought had the worst game library of the three, at least pushed the tech, being the only one really committed to online play while Gamecube sheepishly sold their Hope-You-Like-Phantasy-Star-Online modems.
      Also, mini-dvds? Why would you even?
      It didn’t bring much to the table, comparatively, from a software or hardware perspective.

    3. I tend to agree that the GameCube was probably the most lack luseter of their home consoles. I got my Cube pretty late in the game as I wanted to play Mario Sunshine and Wind Waker. I wasn’t too impressed with these titles, having high expectations from Mario 64 and Ocarina of Time.

      I did play a number of other titles, but most of the third party games were on all 3 consoles, so it didn’t really stick out as being a “Gamecube game”. The big 3rd party titles at the time, in my opinion, simply were not on the GameCube, so it’s easy to look at GameCube as being a “this is what you need to own to play this generation of Nintendo titles” system.

      I think the biggest contribution of the Game Cube was smash brothers, and the wave bird, specifically the ability to use the Wave Bird on the Wii.

      The Cube did try to do some online/LAN play, but requires a lot of hardware (requiring GBAs and such). Infact, I would argue that Nintendo still isn’t anywhere close to the other guys in terms of online play. They are, however, king of local mulitplayer play, but I think screwed the pooch on one of their big local mulitplayer titles, Double Dash.

      1. I wasn’t impressed with the N64 when it was released, and all the games I’ve played (with the exception of GoldenEye) have been, at best, “It’s good, but…” I’ve been incredibly satisfied with the GameCube’s offerings if for no other reason than I play Metroid and Mario Party.

        Also, as someone who only had Nintendo consoles in his home up until a couple years ago, I was thrilled to have compilations of all the Sonic and Mega Man games I’d missed out on by staying sheltered. Novelties like Animal Crossing and Pikmin developed cult followings; I count at least THREE new Zelda games (plus re-releases of old ones); sports fans had Mario playing tennis, soccer, baseball, and golf; and Super Mario Sunshine is a perfectly good game ruined by expectations for it to be something it never tried to be.

        Oh, and did I mention the Game Boy Player peripheral, so you can play Game Boy, Game Boy Color, and Game Boy Advance games on your TV? Yeah. The GameCube has a LOT of good things going for it, but it’s those comparisons to the N64 and the Wii and the PS2 that make it look worse than it really is, when the things is does well aren’t the things you’re looking at.

  2. Wow, did the editor remove duplicates, or did we coordinate perfectly with everyone picking a different system?

    1. I didn’t do any editing. I had a toss-up between CD-i and Virtual Boy. I went with Virtual Boy after getting Eric’s response. Other than that, yes, everyone picked their own system. Neat!

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