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Top 10 Unreleased Consoles

10.  ApeXtreme

Don’t even pretend to call yourself a video game enthusiast if you haven’t heard of this wanna-be!  Joking, of course.  A working model of this console was exhibited at the Consumer Electronics Show back in January of 2004, courtesy of a company called Apex Digital.  These guys are probably best known for a minor DVD player scandal back in 2000, in which users could access a sort of “secret menu” which bypassed the region lockout feature.  Whatever, I got a hacked Toshiba circa 2006 that plays my Region 2 copies of CHUD II: Bud the Chud and Mi Novia es un Zombi (a bizarre Spanish subtitled version of “Cemetery Man,” unavailable on DVD at the time) just fine.


The console boasted a keyboard, mouse, game controller, and a remote and was briefly considered to be an up-and-coming serious contender in the home console market.  It’s unclear if the ApeXtreme was scheduled to have its own dedicated software, but it did have the ability to play and save PC games as well as DVDs, VCDs, CDs, MP3’s, and even Internet radio.  Besides being a device which could play PC games without the need to own a PC, it also contained USB ports in which the user’s choice controller could be inserted for play.  PC gaming fans would then have the option to use a standard gaming controller, the mouse, the keyboard, and possibly even the remote for their favorite titles.  A moderately complicated system of updating “scripts” necessary to play such a wide variety of PC titles was outlined but promised to be of little to no interference for its users.

ApeXtreme ControllerThe ApeXtreme was expected to launch during the spring or summer months of 2004, with a basic model for around $300 and a more advanced version priced at $400.  For unknown reasons the project was abruptly cancelled in December of the same year.  Too bad really; the more I read about it the cooler it sounded.  I could definitely see the potential in a machine dedicated to PC games without all the hassles that arise from using an actual PC for both “work” and “play.”  Then again, there never has been a clear bridge between the two camps, but hell, I would’ve bought one.

Written by The Cubist

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  1. You have to wonder whether this thing was cancelled due to some legitimate unresolvable hardware or software issue, or due to the fact that console or PC manufacturers/developers cajoled/threatened/paid off these guys NOT to release. I would’ve bought one too, in a heartbeat.

    • It’s always possible that shady business takes place behind the scenes, but I doubt PC makers would be all that threatened by a machine like this. After all, people are going to be buying computers anyway. I’d guess that very very few people buy computers only for gaming.


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