Most Unusual Entertainment Electronics

Alongside the kitchen and the garage, the living room is the part of the house most dominated by electricals, and where the wiring and training of electricians are put to the greatest use.

This first began with the mass electrification of British homes, a process that coincided perfectly with the mass adoption of radio and television.

Since then, the living room has become dominated not only by increasingly large screens but also by video players, set-top boxes, internet routers and home entertainment electronics of all shapes and sizes.

Whilst a lot of homes will have a PlayStation, Xbox or Nintendo system connected to their TV, there are some other, much rarer devices in the annals of electronic entertainment history.


Apple Bandai Pippin

A product that brought one of the biggest companies in the world to the brink of bankruptcy, the Pippin was an unusual hybrid between a games console, a set-top box and a computer, with its electronics based heavily on the Apple MacIntosh computers of the era.

Featuring an “AppleJack” controller with a trackball in the middle, the console was not entirely incapable, with Racing Days, Super Marathon and The Journeyman Project: Pegasus Prime being the highlights of a desperately small software library.

Within two years and weeks from insolvency, Steve Jobs returned to the company and in one of his first moves discontinued the money-losing Pippin entirely, with just 42,000 lifetime sales to its name.


Casio Loopy

In the 1990s, around the same time as the Apple Pippin, a lot of companies attempted to make money by manufacturing a games console, but one of the most unusual of these is the Japan-exclusive Casio Loopy.

Its main selling point was a thermal printer that allowed players to create stickers, intended to replicate the photo booth experience popular in Japan at the time.

However, with just ten games and no way to replicate the social elements that make sticker booths so popular, it very quickly vanished from the market.


Mattel Hyperscan

With a core selling point that was remarkably ahead of its time, the Mattel Hyperscan was intended to combine the popularity of game consoles, the collectability of trading cards and the then-novel technology of RFID, a technology most famously used in toys-to-life games such as Skylanders and the Amiibo.

It lasted less than a year before exceedingly poor sales forced its discontinuation, a mix of poor controls, cheap construction and the inherently expensive model of having to buy entire card sets to play games and the release of much more capable game consoles causing consumers to stay away.



Prior to the launch of the Nintendo Wii and its popular, living room-altering motion control system, there were earlier attempts to provide motion-sensitive gameplay.

Whilst most of these took the form of accessories for existing systems such as the Power Glove and the Sega Activator, the XaviXPORT in 2004 (also known as the Domyos Interactive System), was a wireless, motion-sensitive game console.

Each game came with its own processors and set of controllers, but despite beating the Wii to market by over a year, it quickly became a forgotten curiosity in the history of home entertainment.