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Gaming History You Should Know – The Nuon April 28, 2015

Posted by Maniac in Gaming History You Should Know.
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Everyone remembers the utter failure of the Atari Jaguar from back in the mid-90s but I bet a lot of you had no idea that the Jaguar actually had a spiritual successor nobody remembers.  That’s right, the Jaguar’s developers got back together and created an entirely new gaming system exclusively for licensed DVD Players, the Nuon.  What is the Nuon?  I’ll let Rerez fill you in on all the details.

What is really disappointing about this is that the idea behind the Nuon could have worked better if only it had been integrated into DVD Player hardware sooner.  DVD Players, while expensive at launch, sold like crazy due to the incredible picture quality (for the time) and extra features that they offered consumers.  In the year 2000, $350 US for a standalone DVD Player was not considered an unreasonable price, and because DVD was getting a huge positive response from consumers since its launch, people would have happily paid that price if it was for one of the first DVD players.  Unfortunately, by the year 2001, 20th Century Fox had already released most of their most popular films (like Fight Club and X-Men) on DVD and it was far too soon for them to consider creating entirely new discs for the Nuon.  It makes a little bit of business sense that Fox chose to integrate Nuon features into new DVD releases for films they were planning to release anyway, although it seems fate wasn’t kind to the Nuon for the four films 20th Century Fox had lined up for Nuon exclusive features were huge critical and theatrical flops.

If you ask me what the biggest shame out of the whole Nuon story is, I would say that it would have to be the world’s ignorance to the game Tempest 3000, which would never see a rerelease on a more popular console.  To this day, not many people know it even exists, and that’s a shame since it could have been a huge selling point for the Nuon hardware.  Given Atari’s recent legal issues with Tempest 2000’s creators I doubt this game will ever get another release.  A true shame.

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