Technology has long been the benchmark for what we consider “the future” in terms of human achievement, and it seems like tech keeps advancing faster and faster every year. But even the biggest and best corporations can have disastrous misfires, and aren’t those more fun to watch? Here we’ll look at 5 of the worst tech flops in recent memory.
5 Biggest Tech Flops
#1 – OUYA
The OUYA isn’t a failure because it under-performed (though it did that as well), but because the expectation and hype surrounding it hit unattainable levels for no discernible reason. Upon release, the OUYA was exactly what the developers had promised: a small, mostly inexpensive and configurable device to play mobile games like Angry Birds on your TV.
It didn’t do it especially well, but it did the job. What it didn’t do, and what many people on the internet inexplicably began to believe it *would* do during development, was usher in a new era of home console gaming, like a low budget Steambox. This failure to meet inflated expectations led to early backers abandoning hope for the device and relegating it to a bottom shelf item your grandmother might accidentally buy you when you asked for a new Playstation.
#2 – Amazon Fire Phone
You would think a well established business giant like Amazon, who already makes the most popular e-reader tablet on the market and ***is*** the place to buy just about anything you could ever need, could do no wrong when it comes to rolling out new products. You would be so, so wrong. The Amazon Fire Phone originally debuted at $199 in mid-2014 as a competitor to the iPhone’s vice grip on the mobile phone market.
It now goes for 99 cents with a contract, and it **still** isn’t selling. A combination of poor advertising and a feature list that had nothing new or innovative to convince people to jump ship from the well established iOS or Android platforms meant the Fire was more the kind to burn your house down than to spread like wild.
#3 – HD DVD
HD DVD seemed like a good idea at the time, and it didn’t really have any major flaws as a system, but much like the Betamax versus VHS battle of the past, HD DVD just couldn’t compete with the expansion of Blu Ray, especially after WB announced it would be releasing solely on the latter format. Although HD DVD might get its vengeance sooner rather than later, with Blu Ray being pushed out by the convenience of in-home streaming services like Netflix.
#4 – Google+
Yet another victim of it’s competition rather than it’s innovativeness, Google+ launched in 2011 and…nobody cared. While a few people were excited for the new social media platform from an internet giant like Google, but most people couldn’t be bothered to start something new when they already had Facebook.
Public opinion took another dive when Google required a Google+ integration with their other services like Youtube, and from that point there was no coming back. Which is a shame, because the site is actually pretty nice and has some useful and unique features, but convincing your friends to use it is just never going to happen.
#5 – N64DD
Oh man. Remember this thing? Yeah, neither does anyone else, because it was possibly the saddest tech flop ever. At a time when Sony was touting the superior storage and capability of their disk-drive technology over Nintendo’s old cartridge system, Nintendo decided to fight back with this peripheral for their popular system.
It was delayed several times, and when it was finally released (only in Japan), it was only available through mail order, and was taken completely off the market after only 14 months. While it inspired later Nintendo successes like Nintendogs and Animal Crossing, the N64 Disc Drive was probably the biggest flop in gaming tech history.