It's been a long time since I posted the first of these entries, but here goes:
I think one of Nintendo's greatest failures might be able to succeed today, if it's done right: The Virtual Boy. I actually have one. (At the time, I was thinking about collecting Nintendo failures to evaluate them for myself) I got it several years ago in exchange for a stack of mediocre Magic: The Gathering cards. Got it with Mario Tennis and Telero Boxer. I kind of liked the latter, even though it's a pretty short game.
Problems with the system were myriad, and a lot of them are accurately covered into the linked Wikipedia entry, and here's some ideas, observations, and so forth to hopefully deal with them:
1. Portability. The VB most definitely suffered from a lack of portability, but given miniaturization since then, I think many issues can be dealt with. Since the VB got so many aspects of portability wrong, though, this requires a fair bit of discussion for some of the people who don't know the extensive nature of the wrongness.
a. Weight: The VB weighed as much as a brick. That, combined with its sheer bulk cuts deeply into how easily you could move it about. Up-to-date technology would make a better version easier.
b. Parts: You had the big eye part, the controller, the power supply (more on that, later), the stand, and appropriate wires. If I were to redesign the thing, it'd probably have a decent battery built in and a small wireless controller you could snap on somewhere for portability and recharging its battery. A charger cord would be available, but it'd be optional during gameplay.
c. The stand: The stand that came with the VB couldn't be adjusted vertically, which left me searching for a surface/chair combo that got it right for me. I'd replace that cursed thing with a strap to keep it on your head, like all the other virtual reality things were supposed to be like during that craze. Include some testing to maximize the number of heads it can fit on via adjustments.
2. Lack of social gaming: Two video outputs built for one person's set of two eyes. That was it. "Hey, I'm fighting the last boss, and winning!" "If you say so." I think the best solutions for that would be online multiplayer and some TV connection that'd let other players view the game world.
3. Controller issues: Some people thought the VB controller was weird, having two directional pads, and a pair of underside buttons. One idea I have in mind for my hypothetical improvement: Have Wiimotes as the controller, and see about including motion sensing as a part of the system. Problem with this is that it could lead to 'kitchen sinking' the whole thing, and adding all that weight I don't want back onto the system.
So, anyone else have ideas or Virtual Boy trauma to share?