You must have heard of so many different video game consoles. There was an endless list of systems that virtually everybody had. One of the most fascinating generations of consoles was the sixth generation because of a rare console manufactured by Samsung.
At the time the Sega Dreamcast was the newest system on the market and many gamers ran to the store to purchase it. While the Dreamcast was being sold, Samsung was working on its own gaming console. It was initially called “Project X”, and it featured new DVD technology that the Dreamcast lacked. The system was marketed as an expansion system for DVDs. The system offered a number of features that were not available on other DVD players when playing standard DVD-formatted titles. One of these features included very smooth forward and reverse functionality. Another feature was having the ability to smoothly zoom in and out of sections of certain video images (This feature allowed continuous and instant magnification of the video image up to 20 times.) The system also offered a multipicture strobe function, which divided fast-moving scenes into individual still frames for a more detailed view of whatever the viewer was watching.
Additionally, the console provided a software platform to a handful of DVD authors to provide interactive software like features to their titles.
The technology was developed by VM Labs. VM Labs made sure that the product (which was eventually named The Nuon) didn’t just directly deal with DVDs, but also offered the consumer 3D video games. The video games also used enhanced navigational tools which allowed the player to zoom in on certain characters. The Nuon also played regular audio CDs and was supposed to have an internet connection, but that would have only been equipped on next-generation consoles.
Credit: Wikimedia Commons
In 2000, Sony released the Playstation 2, which dominated the sixth-generation video game market. Dreamcast and Nuon simply both could not compete with Sony's Playstation 2. Many people were more comfortable with buying a system from well established companies which have released consoles in the past (Nuon was Samsung's first console).
Nuon only released a handful of DVDs for the system which included Planet of the Apes, Dr. Dolittle 2, Bedazzled, and The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the Eight Dimension. All of these videos were released by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment.
The selection of video games for the Nuon could not compete with the Dreamcast or Playstation 2 either. Some of the Nuon's video games included titles such as Tempest 3000, Merlin Racing, Iron Soldier 3, Space Invaders X.L. and a few other games mainly released on the same system, but were manufactured by other companies. In North America the Noun was used in Samsung's models of the DVD player. Some of the other companies that used the Nuon technology were Toshiba, Motorola, and RCA.
The system offered gamers a controller that was not manufactured by Samsung, but Logitech instead. Other controllers that were also available included the Pro-elite controller, AirPlay wireless controller, Stealth controller, Warrior Digital-D pad, extension cables for the controllers and port replicators which allowed the gamer to play from anywhere desired.Credit: Wikimedia Commons
The Nuon was sold from 2000 up until 2003, which was when the manufacture decided to discontinue the product. Many believe that the product offered special DVD functions to the consumer, but that may not have been enough to keep them interested. The Playstation 2 also had the ability to play audio CDs and had a high-quality Sony DVD player as well. Furthermore, the Playstation 2 had a behemoth assortment of games to choose from as well as add-on hardware.
Credit: Wikimedia Commons
There is no doubt that Samsung and VM Labs created a product that was way ahead of its time in regards to DVD technology. The main issue that the both companies faced was that the consumer may have not been in the market for a DVD player with advanced capabilities. Another issue was that both companies put the product on the market when the number of DVDs available for the system only totaled 4. This didn't give the consumer a chance to watch their favorite film with the features that the system offered.
In regards to the video games that the Nuon offered, all of the games were comparable to other systems at the time. The Nuon offered quality sound and 3D graphics, but lacked a large selection of games. Apparently, there were some homebrew releases, but they could only be played on selected models.
Another major issue that the Nuon faced were other video game manufacturers who entered the market after 2000. By 2001, Nuon did not compete with just Sega and Sony, but two other large companies entered the market as well. Nintendo released the GameCube in November of 2001 and Microsoft launched the Xbox at the same time. Nintendo's launch of the GameCube allowed its immense fan base to purchase the system. Many loyal fans even waited for the release of the system instead of buying another sixth-generation system. At the same time, Microsoft's Xbox gave gamers the opportunity to experience a system with excellent graphics and a massive library of games. Furthermore, many of these consoles offered the gamer internet access, which made the games even more appealing. Nuon just didn't have the capability to compete with these four other systems at once.
So, if you ever get a chance check out this system's games on the internet (YouTube). Many believe that it should have been released at a later date and could have offered a larger selection of DVDs and video games. Some also believe that if the system had internet capabilities, it may have had the chance to draw large numbers of people into those communities. There is no doubt that the Nuon will always be known as a rare video game system that attempted to compete with better-known systems at the time. Unfortunately, its sales couldn't keep it in production, but it was definitely a great attempt by Samsung to enter into the highly-competitive video game industry.