Just in Time for April Fools – The Top Five Hoax Game Consoles

Mar 30 2007

With April Fools fast approaching this Sunday, its time for the yearly tradition of fake news, bogus systems and wild, baseless speculation.

Which is why I’ve felt its most appropriate to compile this list of the top five hoax game consoles. Would you have purchased any of these if they actually did exist?

Number Five – The Sega Phoenix

Part Xbox 360 clone, part God-awful looking — introducing the Sega Phoenix. Born out of fanboy nostalgia of Sega’s glory days, this fake system started popping up in late Spring 2005 in discussion forums over the internets.

Promising backwards compatibility with all previous Sega systems and bogus specs boasting of “four AMD processors” and a 120gb hard drive (remember, this was in 2005) would have easily challenged Sony’s PS3 for the title of most expensive console ever.

Number Four – Sony and Nintendo’s PSPboy

Oh, PSPboy, if you only you existed. Then, gamers everywhere could have the best of both worlds – a crisp lcd screen, 2 GB Memory Sticks with emulators, cartridge load times and Nintendo innovation. Sigh, some things are never meant to be…

Number Three – The Apple iGame

The iGame appeared in EGM’s April 2006 issue as their April Fools joke. In the fake article, EGM writers claimed Apple was hard at work producing an ipod clone that would serve solely as a portable game system offering iTunes support and a rich game library through their online store.

Experienced EGM readers immediately smelled hoax but that didn’t stop the collective of mac fanboys to lust for Apple’s return to games after the ill-fated Pippin.

Number Two – The Sega Hedgehog

The Sega Hedgehog would be every retro gamer’s wet dream. “Leaked from Sega France”, this bogus console was a new Sega handheld that was in addition to playing new games, would be able to emulate past Sega consoles. Under the hood would be a 566Mhz Samsung processor, and 128MB nVidia graphics processor based on the GeForce 3D 4500 and a LCD display capable of 640X360 resolution and touch-screen capabilities.

Other features included were USB support for syncing with a PC, DiVX playback and support SD and Compact Flash. To ensure gullibility amongst skeptical gamers, grievances were aired about Sega’s concerns on backwards compatibility and low battery life with the original rumor.

Number One – The Nintendo ON

The Nintendo ON was released when demand for information on the Nintendo Wii (known then as Revolution) reached fever-pitch levels.

Produced by Pablo Belmonte from Spain whom posted his creation on various boards, claiming to have found a leaked video of the Revolution. Quickly, it spread like wildfire with many believing it was indeed Nintendo’s next console due to its professional production values. Silence from the Big N only fueled speculation until after E3 2005 when official pictures were revealed, confirming that the Nintendo ON was indeed a hoax.

Update: Since being linked on Game|Life, Kotaku and Digg, many are asking why the Phantom console didn’t make the cut.

My original criteria was to only cover consoles that were created purely out of fabrication to prank, mislead or cause speculation. The Phantom, given its history, would be defined in my opinion as vaporware, not an elaborate hoax. I’m sure the inventors of Infinium Labs may beg to differ but hey, they did eventually release a glorified keyboard in the end. That ought count for something.