Personal Computer Museum, Canada's Videogame Museum

Apple Pippin / Bandai Atmark

Apple Pippin / Bandai Atmark

The Apple Pippin was a technology for a multimedia player platform marketed by Apple Inc. (then Apple Computer Inc.) in the mid 1990s. It was based around a 66-MHz PowerPC 603e processor, a 14.4 kbit/s modem and ran a cut-down version of the Mac OS. The goal was to create an inexpensive computer aimed mostly at playing CD-based multimedia titles, especially games, but also functioning as a network computer. It featured a 4 CD-ROM drive and a video output that could connect to a standard television monitor. The platform was named for the Newtown Pippin, an apple cultivar, related to the McIntosh apple (which lent its name to Apple's Macintosh computer).

Apple never intended to release its own Pippin. Instead it intended to license the technology to third parties, a business model similar to that of the ill-fated 3DO; however, the only Pippin licensee to release a product to market was Bandai.

By the time the Bandai Pippin was released (1995 in Japan; 1996 in the United States), the market was already dominated by the Nintendo 64, Sony PlayStation, and Sega Saturn, game machines that were much more powerful than the more general-purpose Pippin. In addition, there was little ready-to-use software for Pippin, the only major publisher being Bandai itself. Costing US$599 on launch, and touted as a cheap computer, the system, in reality, was commonly identified as a video game console. As such, its price was considered too expensive in comparison to its contemporaries.

Only a few thousand Pippins were manufactured; production was so limited that there were more keyboard and modem accessories produced than actual systems.

Ultimately, Pippin as a technology suffered because it was a late starter in the 3D generation of consoles, and was under-powered as a gaming machine and personal computer. Bandai's version died quickly, only ever having a relatively limited release in the United States and Japan.

We are currently looking for this machine to add to our collection. If you have one or know someone who does please contact us about donating it.

Return to the Wanted index.