While there is much talk these days about the possibility of Apple releasing a new version of the Apple TV that will also include gaming features, this isn’t the first time Apple’s name has been connected with gaming on your television. Return with us to the long ago days of the 1990s as we recall Apple’s failed “Pippin” gaming console venture with Bandai.
The story of the Pippin reads like a geekier, technological version of a Greek tragedy. It has its heroes and its villains. There’s a strange artifact with supposedly untold magical powers. And like all good tragedies, it’s a story filled with its fair share of hubris, with characters who were destined to fail almost before they even began.
The ill-fated device was unveiled in 1995, at a time when Apple was a much-different company than we know today. Co-founder Steve Jobs had been been ousted years-earlier, and the company was being run by CEO Michael Spindler, a somewhat eccentric German engineer who had risen to power via Apple’s European division.
Apple was still the largest computer manufacturer in the world, but was losing ground to the numerous Windows-powered PCs hitting the market. Spindler decided to emulate Microsoft’s Windows model and license the Mac operating system to other hardware manufacturers. The Pippin came out of the clone initiative.
While we could go in-depth about the entire Pippin initiative, and it’s doomed destiny here, Adam Volk over at the Gameological Society has already done an excellent job detailing the console’s story. It’s an excellent read for anyone interested in the history of video games and Apple.
Read the full Pippin story at The Gameological Society’s website.