1. RCA Studio II
Year released: 1977
The RCA Studio II was second game console in history to use interchangeable ROM cartridges. Unfortunately for RCA, the first and third game consoles in this category--the Fairchild Channel F and the Atari VCS--worked much better. Both the Fairchild and the Atari consoles used color graphics and remote hand controllers on cords, features conspicuously absent from the Studio II. And what's up with the name? As far as game historians know, RCA never released a Studio I.
Signature problems: No joysticks here: the only controllers were two numeric keypads built into the base console--a setup worse than most of the dedicated Pong machines that preceded it. Super-blocky black-and-white graphics. Audio from a speaker embedded in the console. Power supplied through an annoying custom RF-switch that also handled the video signal to the TV set. Games were mediocre at best.
Redeeming features: No reports, even 32 years later, of console exploding when touched. (Or is that a bad thing?)
Source: PC World
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This story, "The 10 Worst Video Game Systems of All Time" was originally published by PCWorld.