5. RDI Halcyon
Year released: 1985
Released in limited quantities and priced at a credit-line-denuding $2500 (that's the equivalent of $4954 in 2009 dollars), the RDI Video Systems Halcyon was destined for obscurity before it left the gate. Its entire purpose was to enable users to play branching laser disc video games similar to the 1983 arcade hit Dragon's Lair (another RDI product) at home. RDI incorporated primitive speech recognition and speech synthesis capabilities into Halcyon and compared the machine to HAL from the film 2001: A Space Odyssey, but the comparison was far from compelling.
Signature problems: Obscenely expensive. Designed around the false premise that pseudo-interactive Dragon's Lair-style games are actually fun to play. Only two games released--both bad.
Redeeming features: You have to admire the ambition squeezed into this mid-80s product.
Photo courtesy of 98PaceCar and Marriott_Guy
Source: PC World
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