Worst Christmas gadgets ever
title: Worst Christmas tech gifts 1991 to 2000 / url: Worst-Christmas-tech-gifts-1991-to-2000
1991: Gadget: Sega Game Gear
Price at launch: £100
Inflation adjusted price for present day: £156
Worst Christmas present because: This is the console that promised so much but delivered so little. Remember how you used to EITHER love Sega or Nintendo (or, if you're five years old, Sony and Microsoft?) and by that reasoning, the Game Gear would be as good as the Gameboy.
Well, it wasn't. It ate six AA batteries for five hours' worth of play (try telling your Mum you need ANOTHER two packs of Duracell) and it had a pretty poor selection of games, as well as being a bit too chunky compared to Nintendo's dinky l'il offering.
Buy One: Sega
1992: Gadget: Philips CD-i
Price at launch: £465
Inflation adjusted price for present day: £684
Worst Christmas present because: Is it a games console? Is it a karaoke machine? Is it a DVD-style movie player? Nobody really knew the point of this device from Philips, bar another chance to show off the power of the CD. It nabbed a few Mario and Zelda titles and had a slew of accessories, like a touchpad controller, but it could only have sunk quicker if you'd tied it to a deep sea diver and told him there was treasure in the pond at your local park.
Buy One: Phillips
1993: Gadget: Atari Jaguar
Price at launch: £170
Inflation adjusted price for present day: £241
Worst Christmas present because: There were many that shed a tear for this console when launched. It was the equivalent of seeing your aged dog trying to fetch a stick and do a somersault... Atari used to be agile and powerful, but it was just hobbling away from death with this console.
The Jaguar was a powerful beast, (hence the name probably) but had a real lack of games, making Christmas only palatable if you had friends that cared when you phoned them up and told them you had a console that was four times as powerful as theirs. If you did, then shame on you.
Buy One: Atari
1994: Gadget: Disney's The Lion King CD-ROM
Price at launch: £30
Inflation adjusted price for present day: £42
Worst Christmas present because: The game that promised to let fans to further their love of the Lion King was hardly a success... an incompatibility problem with the graphics engine meant a legion of children were left disappointed when attempts to play the game gave them their first taste of system failure and possibly made Mufasa's death even harder to bear.
Buy One: Disney
1995: Gadget: Timex Datalink
Price at launch: £70
Inflation adjusted price for present day: £96
Worst Christmas present because: Designed to be a PDA on your wrist with a huge bevy of futuristic tech features, this was the gadget for the uber-geeks.
Included features like a lens at the top, which meant instead of wires to sync with a PC, just 'show' the watch the computer screen and let it learn away... but there's a reason mobile phone watches still haven't taken off (hint: we don't need them).
Buy One: Timex
1996: Gadget: Apple Pippin
Price at launch: £375
Inflation adjusted price for present day: £495
Worst Christmas present because: The Pippin was designed to do what the super-consoles of today manage with ease: play games over the internet while connected to your TV.
But Apple, why did you go and put a processor and modem in it so slow and weak it would have been easier to have just run round your friend's house and told them what move to make? Stop showing us the iPhone, Apple, it won't make us forget that easi... ooh, it's so shiny.
Buy One: Apple
1997: Gadget: Nikon Coolpix 100
Price at launch: £500
Inflation adjusted price for present day: £645
Worst Christmas present because: Despite heralding a new age in photography, paying half a grand to buy someone a device that will simply make a fuzzy haze on your PC is not the best idea for Christmas.
Storing only 19 photos and munching four AA batteries every seven seconds despite having no viewfinder, anyone that bought this would have been kicking themselves every passing month as a newer and more capable model was released.
Buy One: Nikon
1998: Gadget: Iomega Zip Drive
Price at launch: £130
Inflation adjusted price for present day: £163
Worst Christmas present because: To be honest, no matter how good it is, anyone that gets a storage device for their computer is going to feel more than a little aggrieved on Christmas day.
But being given one that often failed for no good reason, making the data on your disc completely useless and inaccessible, and you would have been chewing on turkey sandwiches wondering what on earth you did to make Santa hate you so much that year.
Buy One: Iomega
1999: Gadget: Personal Jukebox PJB-100
Price at launch: £600
Inflation adjusted price for present day: £726
Worst Christmas present because: If you got one of these 4GB capacity MP3 players for Christmas, only the most gadget-loving early adopters could avoid the incandescent rage at seeing the iPod released the next year.
While it was one of the first MP3 players with a hard drive (ooh, space age and futuristic for 1999) it was literally just able to play music and that was it... even playlists has to be made on the PC. Singing your favourite tunes to yourself almost made more sense at times.
Buy One: PJB
2000: Gadget: 3Com Audrey
Price at launch: £335
Inflation adjusted price for present day: £400
Worst Christmas present because: While you couldn't help but like the look of this design, it turned out to be just a little too advanced.
A passive-matrix touchscreen wasn't quite up to the technologically advanced tasks that were required to make you go 'ooh', and while being an 'internet device' was the height of cool back at the turn of the century (it could play video AND send email... seriously) hitting the shelves before broadband became ubiquitous meant this device went to the gadget heavens pretty quickly.
Buy One: 3Com