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Did anyone back in the 90s have any of the "luxury consoles"? (Neo-Geo, 3DO, CD-i...)


Estil
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Member · Posted

You guys know how in the early-to-mid 90s we had what I like to call a "luxury console" movement?  That is, there were video game consoles (the big three being Neo-Geo, 3DO, CD-i) that were meant (and priced!) to be way above and beyond the mainstream consoles at the time (GEN, SNES, and it's "Ross Perot" console, the TG-16 😄 ).  I've sometimes watched videos and such about them and they certainly have some interesting things about them, but that's with decades of hindsight and watching demos of luxury console stuff for free.

So what about those of you back in the 90s who did take the plunge and had to have the VERY best of the best?  You just had to be on the true cutting edge of technology!  You wanted to be the first on your block to be into the multi-media wave of the future!  Your luxury console(s) was like a Cadillac or one of those badass muscle cars...certainly nothing like those kiddie Sega/Nintendo baby's toys! 😄 

So for those of you from that era who took the luxury console plunge...what inspired you to do so?  What was it like?  And was it worth paying more than (at minimum!!) what both the GEN/SNES (and maybe also the NES top loader thrown in!) went for at the time?  Were people envious of you having such state-of-the-art tech?

Sadly, I miss those days in the 90s when you really had state-of-the-art advanced cutting edge tech that was WAY above and beyond what was on the current consumer market...when a new console gen's graphics was WAY above the previous gen (even the very best previous gen's graphics were no match for even the earliest/entry level next gen games).  Nowadays it's like, well...would you guys like for me to bring back that class topic I made back at the old NA place where I didn't understand why I could hardly tell the difference b/t PS3 and PS4 at the time of PS4's launch? 😞  

 

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I knew about them and used to see games that looked cool in magazines and on the limited gaming tv shows at the time. I even tried them out in some stores back then as well. But I didn't know a single person who actually owned one. I thought 3DO was actually pretty cool and even owned one like 15 years ago until it was wrecked in a flood. In 93 when it first dropped it really was decently cutting edge in comparison to everything else. It was just way too fuckin expensive and all of the publishers dropped off or ported their exclusives over to Playstation and Saturn when it sold poorly. I mean $700 for a console is steep as fuck today. $600 in 06 made PS3 have a very rocky start. $700 for a console in 93 was just ludicrous. CDi was a steaming pile of garbage and Neo Geo was 16bit arcade hardware, which is awesome and definitely has the best lineup of the bunch, but not really in the same vein as 3DO and CDi.

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I had the Philips CDi and in no small measure part of the reason why was the Nintendo licensed stuff, but also some of the other disc based fairly (then) unique experiences from Lords of the Rising Sun to the FMV games like Dragon's Lair and Space Ace.  I didn't pay for it entirely, just part of it, parents covered at least half seeing that it would be in the main room and I wasn't an only child.  What got me was its ability to play some pretty interesting stuff that was clearly beyond the scope of consoles at that level at the brief moment in time and PCs more or less too.  I don't remember the games costing all that much since optical was cheaper and they were their own source too.  It's a shame it was pitched as a console and more or less in the US destroyed as one by the hands of EGM according to Philips at least back then on a call I placed to them. 😄

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39 minutes ago, RegularGuyGamer said:

I had a Sega Saturn shortly after launch. I would rent games every other weekend. I remember being blown away playing CDs in it and watch the space ship animation. 

The Saturn was just a regular mainstream 5th gen machine.  In fact I think the luxury console movement was completely gone by the end of the decade.  Just your "big three" each gen and that's it.

Edited by Estil
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7 minutes ago, mbd39 said:

I had a next door neighbor who got a 3DO. The Wing Commander game looked pretty cool, and it was great for playing music CDs.

Remember how I redid part of Montgomery Gentry's "Speed" song for the Genesis and it's BLAST PROCESSING!!!! ?  Anyone wanna redo the lyrics in  this song in honor of the 3DO? 😄 

 

 

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12 minutes ago, Estil said:

The Saturn was just a regular mainstream 5th gen machine.  In fact I think the luxury console movement was completely gone by the end of the decade.  Just your "big three" each gen and that's it.

You mean the console that had a launch price of twice the Genesis? $100 more than PS1? $200 more than the N64? 

 

A regular "5th gen" machine it was not. It contained a Yamaha designed sound chip that was the same one used in Sega's flag ship arcade machines. 

 

Sorry sir, but you've been misinformed. 

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The N64 came out over a year later and it had no moving parts.  And it was originally meant to be $250.

Oh the Saturn took some chips from their flagship arcade machines?  Sounds like exactly what the Genesis did.

Edited by Estil
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When I was in middle school my brother was buddy’s with one of the guys at our bus stop. His dad was a real estate agent. One day he was doing a walk through of a house he sold before the new owner moved in and found the seller had left both Neo Geo AES and Neo Geo CD’s system in a cardboard box. The people had already moved out so he brought it home.

The kid was telling my brother about it and apparently didn’t know what it was. He didn’t want them and his dad would probably just trash them, so he gave them to my brother. 

There were no games, so my brother immediately sold them for $200 each. I believe he sold them to one of our neighbors who was a big gamer and he would let us play KOF, Wind Jammers, and Samurai Showdown.

After a few months the guy was letting us borrow the systems, which meant he was getting tired of them. When we got tired of them we returned them and he sold them.

I wish we would have held onto those systems. Never realized how expansive the library of Neo Geo was until more recently with the switch Eshop. I used to think Neo Geo was just all fighting games

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I briefly owned a CD-i but that was when they were worth nothing in the mid to late 90s. I played the crappy Zelda games on it, a digitised golf game and used a cd-rom encyclopedia to help with my homework one time. My family didn't have a lot of money so expensive systems weren't a consideration.

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I didn't own any of these. They were simply mythical gaming devices I'd only heard about from friends and seeing them in gaming magazines.

Back in the 90s, there was this one kid who claimed to have just about everything. Neo Geo, Turbo Grafx, SNES, Genesis, Game Boy, Game Gear, Lynx... If it was a thing, he had it. Even then I was a bit suspicious because when people asked to come over, he'd basically get a bit sheepish and say that wasn't gonna happen.

But, here's the thing, the guy really was knowledgeable about gaming news, strategies and he did know details about a LOT of games, you wouldn't know if you didn't own them. So he did have a lot more games than all of us because he seemed to know "everything".

Looking back, I still can't figure the guy out. Was he 100% honest or was he throwing out some BS. If he was, we never caught it. Where I lived everyone was in the poor to lower middle class range, and there were only a couple of kids we could call upper-middle. I do know that his Dad was in the military. We lived right beside Fort Jackson, so most of the kids parents worked their or were military. And, since the military likes to move people around, this guy was only around for about 2-3 years, and then were re-assigned.

My guess is that his Dad might have been a lawyer or worked as a doctor at the VA Hospital on the base, or something like that. I never recall seeing proof but he definitely seemed to have legit, first-hand knowledge of everything there was to game on. He might have brought a Lynx on field trip once.  That was about it.

Edited by RH
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We had one of those types in our school with regard to musical equipment. Dude claimed in 8th grade and all through high school that he had a 4 cab rig  (2 Full stacks of I believe Marshalls, as well as a Randall Warhead, Dimebag style) and all kinds of crazy guitars and basses. So naturally we started wanting him to come play in bands, especially on bass since like nobody played it. Well anytime you were supposed to hang out, or he was supposed to come over to practice, dude was nowhere to be found and never picked up the phone. It became a running joke that stuck with him when he started coming back around in our 20s. Basically anything he'd say, someone would cut him off and jokingly shout "Tell the truth" or "Stop lying" to him.

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I had a middle/high-school friend with older brothers, and the bunch of them pooled together and bought a 3DO, back when they were new.

One of my elementary school friend's dad had an 80's era pinball machine fairly contemporary to its release, as well.

Never knew anyone, as a kid, with any of the other specialty consoles, though.

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I never had much interest in them since none of them had much (if any thing) in the way of games that I even remotely had any interest in.

 

Much much  later I did pick up a laseractive with the four gaming pacs so I could access pc engine/turbografx games, a few sega import games, and a couple of laseractive ("Blue Chicago Blues" and "Manhattan Requiem" ) games that  I wanted to play.  Plus the system was just a neat (if flawed) idea.  Way way overpriced when new though.

Edited by Tabonga
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It would've been even more obscure for us in EU while you Americans would've atleast known about those console we over here wouldn't even know that they existed in the first place. I never heard of them and i'm pretty sure no one else did either. And no one would've likely bought one anyway because back then you had only a few games and whatever else you experienced it was at someone elses home.

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13 hours ago, Cepp said:

I briefly owned a CD-i but that was when they were worth nothing in the mid to late 90s. I played the crappy Zelda games on it, a digitised golf game and used a cd-rom encyclopedia to help with my homework one time. My family didn't have a lot of money so expensive systems weren't a consideration.

Oh is that the one with Patrick Stewart doing the intro?  Wow I thought it was so awesome back then you could do a whole encyclopedia on a CD-ROM!  I really could've used a nice reasonably up to date set of encyclopedias back in my day...I bet I could've done way better in school with them seen as how I do love (then and now) to read that kind of thing.  Yeah I really have no life... 😞 

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8 hours ago, arch_8ngel said:

I had a middle/high-school friend with older brothers, and the bunch of them pooled together and bought a 3DO, back when they were new.

One of my elementary school friend's dad had an 80's era pinball machine fairly contemporary to its release, as well.

Never knew anyone, as a kid, with any of the other specialty consoles, though.

Was it worth the pooling over?  Boy I hope it didn't turn out like this!!

PS: If Milhouse still wants that 1973 Topps Carl Yastrzemski with the big sideburns for that $30 can get him about a PSA 6...though I really think for that year you should spring for at least a 7 (about double that).

Granted the Internet/Ebay/PSA was still almost a decade away....I guess like Fresh Prince would say he wasn't think that far ahead! 😄

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1 hour ago, Estil said:

Was it worth the pooling over?  Boy I hope it didn't turn out like this!!

PS: If Milhouse still wants that 1973 Topps Carl Yastrzemski with the big sideburns for that $30 can get him about a PSA 6...though I really think for that year you should spring for at least a 7 (about double that).

Granted the Internet/Ebay/PSA was still almost a decade away....I guess like Fresh Prince would say he wasn't think that far ahead! 😄

Excellent reference lol

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I grew up on Atari, NES, then went full-on Sega. Never had any of the "luxury" consoles growing up, but there was always that "one kid" on the block that did.

Y'all know the one: that kid who was an only child and was homeschooled so their house always looked clean, had an upstairs AND ceiling fans... And here I am im my dark, small, cluttered house playing Genesis. 

I can see above that there was an argument about the Saturn, which I had (and love to this day, my fave console), but as poor folk we could afford it, especially rent-to-own, so it wasn't that esoteric. But, to be fair, I was a Sega fanboy. 😛

Edited by BouncekDeLemos
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