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TaitoWoWoW

The Taito WoWoW video game console.

The WoWoW was a video game console that never made it past the prototype stage. It was developed as a joint effort between coin-op video game company Taito, JSB (the owner of the Japanese satellite TV network WoWoW), and software editor ASCII. The WoWoW was a CD-ROM based video game console that used the type of hardware featured in Taito's arcade system boards at the time, allowing for near-perfect ports of Taito's arcade titles. However, it also features an on-board satellite receiver for downloading games via satellite through the WoWoW network. It was first unveiled at the 1992 Tokyo Game Show at the Taito booth, and had made it as far as the test-marketing stage before it was canceled.


How the data transfer would have worked, is that Taito would send the data streams to JSB's satellite base through an RJ-45 connector. From there, JSB would transfer the data to satellite, and the WoWoW's receiver would detect the data and store it into the receiver memory. From there, the subscriber would select the downloaded game and it would run from the receiver memory.


According to an Unseen 64 interview with Taito engineer Yukiharu Sambe, who was the R&D manager of the project, the WoWoW wasn't released due to data transfer speeds being slowed down by error correction packets. Cost was also a factor. At the time, combining a video game console and a satellite receiver into a single package wasn't feasible, and would have made the console's retail price too expensive.

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