Do you own so many Sega Genesis cartridges that you're practically buried in black plastic? Do you tire of having to switch cartridges out of your Genesis whenever you want to play a different game? Are you lazy and have $49.99 to burn? Then the Video Jukebox is for you. Vintage Computing and Gaming has a scan of an advertisement from 1994 for the ASG Video Jukebox that could store up to six — count 'em, six! — Genesis cartridges in a ready-to-go location. Here's what VC&G's Benj Edwards has to stay about this miraculous third-party peripheral:
The problem with this device was one of scale. If you had only six carts to choose from, it’s wasn’t worth buying a jukebox device to let you switch between them quickly: keeping track of six cartridges was easy. The ad says you could chain up to six of these jukeboxes together for a total on-line selection of 36 carts. By that point you were looking at a $300 investment in gadgets that weren’t actually that useful.
On the other hand, if you had a device that let you switch between 100, 200, or 500 carts at once, that would have been legitimately handy. But the device would have cost $1000 and nobody owned that many carts back then anyway. Today, we have the same functionality in the form of emulator software, so lazy Genesis fans have long since been appeased.
Useless add-ons not a recent development in the video game industry. As long as there are easily wowed consumers with a little too much money in their pockets, products like Wii remote shells shaped like sports equipment, PlayStation Move gloves, and the Video Jukebox will continue to exist.