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"Playing this game is like driving a beat up old car. You're always afraid it's going to break down."
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Attention: This trope is only meant for games that are genuinely nigh unplayable at release. A few missing features, oversights and bugs do not count.

Before releasing a product, it must be tested, and video games and computer programs are no different. Software is tested in stages; while the exact number and terminology varies between companies, they typically include two phases called "alpha" and "beta". Alpha testing is done by the developers themselves, while beta testing is done by a specific, outside quality assurance team. In late phases of beta testing (this phase rarely called "gamma", "open beta", or "release candidate"), select members of the public are allowed to test the game. During alpha and beta tests, testers seek out bugs, note them, and forward them to the parties responsible for fixing them. Those developers then either fix the bug, delay the fix due to whatever time or business constraints, or declare that it "will not be fixed". Ideally, testing will last long enough to fix the most noticeable bugs.

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However, sometimes, this isn't the case. Software may be rushed for any number of reasons, which may include: A holiday release, desire to compete with another company's product, a studio's closing, or outright laziness. When this happens, testing can be shortened or outright skipped. This results in buggy, unstable programs that no one likes.

While the name "Obvious Beta" implies that the game has only undergone alpha testing, sometimes it might not ever have had even that.

Sometimes, this is just Executive Meddling; different people do marketing and development, after all. Other times, though, some companies may have no choice. Not all companies have enough time, discipline, or money to go through all the development stages for what they're planning, so they have to release the product and hope enough people will buy it that they'll have the resources to perfect the product later. The early access model is a way of doing this by essentially allowing any paying customer to be a "public beta" tester.

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When reading outside sources, remember that different companies use different terms to refer to different stages of testing. What we're calling "beta" might be another company's "alpha" if they use the term to refer to a shippable product that's feature-complete but still has a lot of issues.

If a game's single-player mode is fine but the multiplayer isn't, please put the example under Misbegotten Multiplayer Mode. See Perpetual Beta for when the developers no longer have an excuse to update things (or no excuse not to have updated them, in some cases). This trope can also overlap with Porting Disaster if it occurs when software is converted to run on a different platform.


Examples:

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    Apple 
  • It's a common sentiment among Apple loyalists that often the first iteration of a product, or the first major redesign, is somewhat of a public beta, and most of the bugs are ironed out for the next minor revision or x.1 release. Examples include the antenna issues of the iPhone 4, fixed for the 4S, the infamous Butterfly keyboards that were prone to failure, which, in one instance, had a recall program issued on launch day and was eventually fixed- by bringing back the old keyboard and the first generation Apple Watch, dubbed the "Series 0", which was slow and clunky, before getting replaced by the much better Series 1.
  • Mac OS X spent years in development and missed numerous scheduled release dates to the point of being suspected as Vaporware, so when version 10.0 finally came out customers were disappointed with the slow interface, frequent kernel panics, lack of DVD playback and CD burning (present in Classic Mac OS), and spotty printer compatibility. Version 10.1 remedied many of the issues, but it wasn't until version 10.2 "Jaguar" that OS X was able to match the speed and stability of Mac OS 9 and Apple dropped development of Classic Mac OS.
  • iOS 6 Maps was Apple's attempt to create a native navigation app for iOS 6, replacing the venerable Google Maps. They created it and released it four months ahead of schedule, surprising even Google in the process. But the app didn't work like it should have: entire cities were renamed, called hospitals, or covered by clouds in satellite view, some places were flat-out missing (replaced with blocks of solid color), and the maps contained some strange, incredibly tall mountains, among other nonsensical and inaccurate geography. Its route planning was sketchy at best (sometimes advising users to drive on train tracks and water), it didn't have public transit routes, and it had minimal coverage outside the U.S. It was clearly rushed into production without a second look. Although it has since been improved tremendously, it remains one of Apple's most visible failures. Google showed how it should be done by making a freely downloadable app of its own for iOS 6 in response; iPhone users showed companies what they wanted by putting off updating their phones to give Google time to make it.
  • iOS 8.0.1 was pulled a mere half hour after going live. It was touted as a fix for, among other things, the Health app bugs that prevented HealthKit-enabled apps from going live on launch day. Instead, it broke several important features, including the phone itself.
  • Apple Music was the company's attempt at a music subscription service that would revolutionize the field in the same way that the iTunes Store had revolutionized the Digital Distribution of music over a decade earlier. As longtime Apple fan Jim Dalrymple enumerates, it came with a whole bunch of bugs and glitches. It would only add parts of albums to users' libraries when they requested the whole, randomly mixed up album and playlist contents, and had a poor and unintuitive music recommendation program. It had relatively few features compared to services like Spotify. And people who tried to quit the service reported that doing so deleted large chunks of the music that they outright owned, with no apparent method of recovering it. Apple didn't even offer a public beta of it like they did with the then-upcoming iOS 9 and OS X El Capitan.
  • The 4th-generation Apple TV and its new operating system, tvOS, lacked several capabilities of previous models. It didn't work with Apple's own Remote app, nor could it work with Bluetooth keyboards or iOS devices to enter text. There was no Podcast app, which was weird since virtually every Internet-connected Apple product since 2007 could natively play Podcasts, and Apple's commercials and in-store demo loops clearly showed one on the home screen. Siri worked for finding movies and TV shows, but not for music. Many users also weren't pleased Apple inverted the interface to black text on a light grey background with no dark mode option, a feature of older models and every other streaming player and TV interface, given that TVs are more often used in darkened rooms. Many of these shortcomings were fixed in the following months.
  • Early buyers of the Touch Bar MacBook Pro had to deal with a laundry list of issues: inconsistent battery life, glitchy graphics cards, unresponsive keyboards, drive failure, speaker crackles, thermal throttling, and display malfuctions. The battery issues caused Consumer Reports to decline recommending them, the first time it had done so for an Apple laptop.
  • iOS 12.4 is famed for inexplicitly reintroducing the Sockpuppet Exploit, which was first found on 12.2 and patched on 12.3. It took them a month to issue a patch to fix it. Apple ended up being credited in the Unc0ver jailbreaking tool for their contribution to Jailbreaking.
  • iOS 13 can be described as such, with plenty of bugs plaguing the OS from the start. Apple's attempts to patch the bugs somehow wound up introducing more.
  • The release build of Mac OS Big Sur bricked older MacBook Pros.

    Gamebooks 
  • The sixth volume of the GrailQuest series, Realm of Chaos, appears to have suffered from a severe lack of playtesting before being released. Several paragraphs don't link together properly, several characters give you clues and instructions that never come into play, and it's entirely possible to miss plot-relevant information by accidentally never encountering one character.
  • The same goes for the sixth book of The Way Of The Tiger, whose central part is a terrible twist of broken links and mismatched situations.
    • If we add that even the ending was somewhat ambiguous, it is no wonder that the authors eventually came around releasing an edited version, plus a seventh book.

    Pinball 
  • Interplay's Star Trek Pinball was a rushed cash grab, filled with numerous bugs, a wildly unrealistic and inconsistent physics engine, and frequent game crashes. To add insult to injury, a note in the package mentions that the advertised network multiplayer feature was not completed in time for the game's release.
  • Many new Stern Pinball games have been shipped with unfinished, (albeit playable) software, and often extended periods of time pass before a code update is finally released. As of late, this trend has been decried by vocal enthusiasts and resulted in a fan movement called Where's the Code?. It was significant enough for Stern — who is notorious for not replying to anything on social media — to respond within hours. Many highly-requested updates have since been released, but the movement still speaks up whenever a game isn't getting the polish they think it deserves.
    • After languishing for years with no "Super Hero" Wizard Mode, few callouts, missing animations and rules, programmer Lyman Sheats produced several meaty code updates in his spare time to transform 2007's Spider-Man (Stern) into what some fans consider to be one of Stern's best releases. Later releases like The Walking Dead and Metallica got similar treatment.
    • 2008's Batman had several truncated modes which indicate the game was unfinished before it shipped. The most prominent example is "Final Challenge", the game's Wizard Mode, which was completely absent until a 2010 software update added one.
    • For 2015's WWE Wrestlemania, the only parts of the game that were available at launch were multiballs and modes pertaining to the tiny wrestling ring near the top, which meant that gameplay was extremely centralized in an area that doesn't even take up one-tenth of the playfield.
    • Batman '66 — meant as a Milestone Celebration for both Stern and the television show — was unplayable at the 2016 Pinball Expo due to incomplete software. It wasn't until November 2018 where the code version finally reached 1.00. Regardless, many players believe the last few months of updates up to that point have been incredible progress on a game that had felt relatively complete way before then.
    • Star Wars (Stern) was released with its Lightsaber Duel mode completely absent. Some of the modes and awards mentioned in promotional materials to be activated with the "F-O-R-C-E" drop target bank were also not present. There was also a glitch associated with Victory Multiball that causes it to last much longer than it should. Fortunately now that the code has reached 1.00, Stern has made good on their promises to add missing features, fix some of the most game-breaking bugs, and revamp the games' mini-wizard modes to better integrate them with their scenes.
  • The 19 released tables of Magic Girl were built in a rush to stave off a lawsuit by crowdfunding backers, and shipped with software designed 3 years previously for a whitewood prototype with different hardware. The entire media package was complete, so the artwork and sound are beautiful, but the gameplay can be summed up as "the spinner kind of works".

    Microsoft 
  • It starts early: Word 3.0 for the Macintosh was released in 1987 with about 700 bugs.
  • MS-DOS 4.0 suffered massive problems on its release in 1988, including poor compatibility with older programs and even a number of potential data corruption issues. This one wasn't entirely Microsoft's fault, though — IBM were the main culprits here, as they forced Microsoft to shoehorn in a number of OS/2 features at the last minute, then insisted on releasing the resulting product before adequate testing could be done. This lead to a subsequent 4.01 release which fixed the major problems. You'd think Microsoft would have learned something from this experience, but unfortunately it was just the beginning.
  • Many, many versions of Windows have been hit with this over the years:
    • In Windows 95, the plug and play functionality was nicknamed "plug and pray" because it was that unreliable. To their credit, it's usually sorted out after the first few months, but upgrading to the new OS before at least Service Pack 1 is a bit of a gamble.
    • The original release of Windows 98 was horribly buggy, to the point of being physically unable to run longer than 49.7 days without crashing due to a serious timing bug — though this was a rarely seen problem, as the system was overwhelmingly likely to crash from any of a zillion other bugs long before such an uptime could be achieved. It was so bad that that they had to release a Second Edition in order to patch everything. Admittedly, 98 SE went on to become the most stable and successful branch of the "9x" branch of Windows.
    • Legend has it that the Windows ME launch party coincided with the filing of the 500th urgent bug entered into the tracking system. This Windows version was so buggy that Microsoft basically abandoned it once Windows XP was released, with all support for Windows ME being terminated on the same date as Windows 98 (July 11, 2006). Millenium was said to have been Christmas Rushed after a consumer-oriented version of Windows 2000 codenamed "Neptune" was canned for whatever reason. If there's any silver lining to it, the NT-derived Windows XP born from the ashes of Neptune and the failure of ME would be fondly remembered as one of the best if not the best Windows release of all time.
    • Windows XP ran into several problems early in its life, which led to it being criticized by tech sites (though not to the same extent as ME). Later on, particularly upon the release of Service Pack 1, it became usable to the point that it had a longer lifespan than previous versions of Windows, and even received a critical security update five years after support for it was ended.
    • Vista seems to have been released in a similar state, but it was very usable after Service Pack 1. Certainly every Vista video card driver released in the first six months of Vista's life qualifies, as they were responsible for the majority of Vista crashes. The stated minimum hardware requirements being optimistic to the point of outright misleading didn't help either.
    • After Vista was replaced with Windows 7, users started to see a pattern and claimed that Windows would experiment, create a buggy release, then fix it in the next one, then experiment again. At that point, though, the pattern stopped; every version since Vista has had freely available public beta testing, and they haven't had a really buggy release since (people didn't really like Windows 8, but that's just because it was heavy on the "experimental", especially in the user interface, not because it was buggy; the 8.1 update was basically intended to revert the system to make it a little more like Windows 7 by adding the Start button to the taskbar).
    • Windows 10 was basically Microsoft just giving up on releasing stable operating systems on launch day, Moving the Goalposts and calling it a rolling release in order to claim that release day bugs are normal. Every major update is infamous for being riddled with bugs such as infinite reboot loops, missing files and malfunctioning features, most of which are eventually ironed out on a later maintenance update. It didn't help that Microsoft laid off most of their internal QA staff prior to the release of Windows 10 and now relies almost entirely on Windows Insider volunteers from the public to test their software.
    • The 2018 October update was somehow more of an obvious beta than usual, as it had issues with completely breaking Edge and Windows Store apps, was blocked on many devices due to Intel Driver incompatibilities, and even had the nasty habit of completely wiping your files. The update was soon pulled from Windows Update.
      • Microsoft had already received warnings from it’s unpaid beta testers that the October Update wiped their devices. Microsoft chose to completely ignore their warnings and release the update as-is, complete with the same drive-wiping bugs.

  • Microsoft Word 6.0 for Mac. Despite Word for Mac 5.0 being considered one of the best word processors of all time, Microsoft decided that it wanted the next Mac version of Word to share the same code-base as the Windows one, and thus they abandoned all traces for 5.0 in favor of a direct port from Windows. Not only did this alter the user interface into something that felt very out-of-place in Mac OS, it also produced a Porting Disaster that was so buggy, slow, and unstable that the Windows version ran faster under emulation.
  • Developers at the small set of companies who were sold Microsoft's Visual Interdev when it was released were dismayed to see the splash screen labelled 1.0a and a large Alpha after the name. The actual product crashed regularly, lacked key documentation, generated non-functional code, and even had unremoved warnings that it was not for public release.

    Hardware 
  • Even systems often count as an Obvious Beta. Consoles and handhelds, especially the latter, often have an Updated Re-release/updated model released a couple years later that addresses several bugs/design quirks. This can sometimes lead to the original models seeming a bit odd to play after you got spoiled by the newer ones. The Sega Genesis alone had a lot of models (some of the later ones came with the add-ons built in) and Nintendo's handheld systems generally have at least two models.
    • The Game Boy line had a few revisions and each iteration sold very well. The original Game Boy was thick as a brick, had the screen green, and took 4 AA batteries for power. The Game Boy Pocket slimmed down the design so that it could easily fit in one's pockets, made the screen background gray, and used 2 AAA batteries. The Game Boy Color had better processing power, gave every game color, and used 2 AA batteries.
    • The Game Boy Advance had gone through many redesigns, many of which were fixes for obvious flaws in older versions. The original GBA had no form of lighting on the screen, which meant playing without an adequate light source was a huge hassle. The GBA SP fixed the lighting issue by having a frontlight and the handheld got redesigned by being smaller, having a flip screen, and having a rechargeable battery. The GBA SP got another redesign by making the frontlight into a backlight instead so the colors looked more vibrant instead of washed-out.
    • The Nintendo DS also had many iterations over the years. The first DS was very thick, which had many fans nickname it the DS Phat. The DS Lite slimmed down the design, moved the Start and Select buttons below the face buttons, and also had improved backlighting. The DSi came with a bigger screen and WPA2 support for Wi-Fi, but the Game Boy Advance slot was removed. The DSi XL added on board memory to download games from the online shop and had the screens bigger.
    • Like the previous handhelds, the Nintendo 3DS is no stranger to constant revisions. The original 3DS was quite small and it made holding it quite uncomfortable for people that had large hands. The 3DS also had a battery that only lasted 4 to 5 hours. The 3DS XL addresses both issues by making the handheld and the screens bigger while improving battery life. Nintendo then created the "New" 3DS and XL versions which added a C-stick, added ZR and ZL buttons, moved the power button to the front bottom of the handheld, added amiibo support, and a stable 3D feature that would adjust the 3D effects based on how the person looked at the screen. Nintendo also created a 2DS and "New" 2DS XL at a lower price point to appeal towards people who didn't care for the 3D effects or had health issues regarding 3D. The original 2DS was a singular design similar to the Game Boy Advance while the "New" version changed it back to the flip screen clamshell design.
    • The Milton Bradley Microvision is notable for being the first portable game console that allowed players to change what game it played. While obviously there's only so much you can expect from a gadget released in 1979, the Microvision suffered from some very basic flaws. The console itself had an extremely vulnerable CPU; you could brick the thing just by holding it as you walked across a carpet, since this could easily transfer a static shock that could fry the CPU beyond redemption. The games themselves weren't much better; the system itself had no screen, so the screens were built into the game cartridges as LCDs, which were prone to breaking. It's no wonder the Microvision was retired within three years of its release and gamers had to wait until 1989 for Nintendo to get it right.
  • The initial version of the drum set that came with Rock Band had a design flaw where its battery case didn't hold the batteries in tight enough. Since a drum set is a device designed to be hit repeatedly, this meant that just a few seconds of playing could cause the batteries to jostle loose and make the drums stop working from ordinary use. The official solution was to fold a paper towel into the battery case to pack them in enough.
  • The Sony PSP models, although the PSP Go was often considered a downgrade by fans — and it's also an Obvious Beta for the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play, affectionately dubbed the PlayStation Phone.
  • Atari Jaguar:
    • The infamous toilet bowl-shaped Atari Jaguar CD addon, which, due to faulty connections, rarely worked at all.
    Spoony (as Dr. Insano), who struggled to get one working to review a game: [N]ot only is it prone to hardware failures, it's prone to about five different ways it can fail. It can fail if [it] isn't perfectly placed on the [Jaguar]. It can fail if the contacts aren't clean. It can fail if the Memory Track cartridge isn't perfectly set, and it can easily fail because the laser itself or the motor mechanism are defective, and they often are, and in [Spoony's] case, it would often fail because the lid is so poorly designed that, when closed, it actually closes too tightly and mashes the CD against the inside of the drive, preventing it from spinning, and that could easily cause additional internal damage[...E]ven when I did get it to work [it] still froze all the time, and I do mean all the damn time!
    • When the same was attempted by The Angry Video Game Nerd, he couldn't get it working either, and so handed off his Jaguar and CD addon to his repairman Richard DaLuz, creator of the NinToaster and Super Genintari (an NES, Super NES, Genesis, and Atari 2600 in the same box). It seemed like if anyone had the skill set to get such things working, it would be him. Even after he hard-wired the CD addon to the console, thus eliminating any possibility of a connection problem, it refused to work.
    • One of the developers of the Highlander tie-in game for the Jaguar CD revealed why; when they were making the game for it, they found out the hard way that add-on was clearly rushed out the door and was buggy and resource constrained, to the extent that everything for it had to be coded by hand from scratch just to make a game on it.
    • The Jaguar itself was a bit infamous for having come out of the oven half-baked. Atari was running short on time and money and determined to use the best tech available, which led to a system architecture that was custom-made, manufactured by a company (IBM) that hadn't worked with consoles before, very poorly documented, and incredibly convoluted (most funnily, its sound hardware couldn't be used without draining power). This was a lot of why Jaguar games were notorious for not being much more technically impressive than SNES and Genesis games; most developers ended up using a 16-bit CPU that was just meant to coordinate things as the main CPU.
  • Early adopters of the Xbox 360 found themselves acting as beta testers for the machine's cooling system, then as beta testers for the various fixes for this. Depending on who you believe and which motherboard variants you include, the failure rate within three years was anywhere between 30 and 70%, with many customers requiring multiple replacements. These issues were only finally fixednote  with the release of the slim redesign five years after the original launch. It was later revealed that this was nothing compared to the assembly line failure rate, which was astronomically higher, to the point where the ones that were sold were basically the only ones that worked at all. Furthermore, this wasn't merely a matter of poor internal design. The company that they contracted out production to had used below substandard parts to keep their costs down, leaving Microsoft with hundreds of thousands of worthless consoles at launch.
  • OCZ's "Agility 3" series of SSD hard drives featured a controller that was prone to failure, which was fixed in the next generation.
  • Intel's series of blunders in the early 2000s:
    • IA-64, released in 2001, was meant to be the 64-bit successor to the x86 architecture. While the initial implementation in Itanium did have x86 backwards compatibility, it was through software emulation that couldn't manage to outperform the then 11 year old 80486. Even running its native IA-64 mode wasn't that much more competitive than the alternatives. Though it did manage to carve out a niche given that Intel not only made a second generation, but it continued to receive incremental improvements until 2017.
    • Around the same time, the Pentium 4 didn't look so good as the successor to the Pentium III. The first iteration, the Willamette core, couldn't outperform the Pentium III Talutin core clock for clock. The second iteration, Prescott, struggled to keep heat and power consumption down.
  • AMD throughout its history has had some trouble:
    • Its successor to the Athlon 64 series, Phenom, shipped with a hardware bug that could lock up the system in rare cases. The fix then was simply to disable the hardware with the bug, cutting into performance.
    • AMD's "Bulldozer" series of CPUs, known as the FX series, serve as an example. AMD introduced a new process with the Bulldozer, which involved pairing every two integer cores with a single floating-point core, and using an extended pipeline for instruction execution in order to ramp up the clock speed (a technique known as "hyperpipelining", which Intel had previously experimented with in the Pentium 4 and Pentium D processors). Unfortunately, these new techniques failed to boost the new chip to Intel's performance standards, and in some applications, they actually performed worse than AMD's previous-generation Phenom II chips (mostly due to the large penalty for branch prediction failures introduced by the extended pipeline).note  The second generation core developed with this process, "Piledriver", may not have quite caught up to Intel's performance levels, but it did fix many of the mistakes of Bulldozer and represents an objective improvement over AMD's older chips, albeit they still had a big flaw: an absolutely insane heat output that required an aftermarket cooler on the FX 8350 and onwards. AMD's entire reputation of making extremely hot hardware stems almost entirely from the "Piledriver" architecture, although due to irony, the current day Ryzen lineup actually runs cooler than Intel's modelsnote .
  • The first version of Amazon's Kindle Fire tablet. It had a slow screen refresh rate; the device was too heavy to hold comfortably for any length of time; the web browser was clunky at best; and items on the screen were so small it was easy to accidentally select something you didn't want, to the point that one could struggle to log onto a website with two text fields and a button.
    • Amazon's second generation 4K Fire TV streaming player seemed rushed out to hit the market before the Apple TV 4 and Roku 4. Early customer reviews were scathing, noting that there was no support for surround sound other than for Amazon's own apps, Wifi frequently disconnected, and the remote would lag. Amazon reportedly assigned hundreds of employees to test the unit, and even flew out engineers to test them in customers' homes. Amazon issued software updates over the next few months to fix the issues and give it features that were already present in the older model.
  • Happened a few times in the video card industry:
    • NVIDIA had a rocky start with the GeForce FX series, particularly with the GeForce 5800 card. It introduced the idea that a video card needed two expansion slots to cool. However, they didn't get the implementation down right as the affectionately named "dust buster" or "leaf blower" had a fan run very loud for marginal gains. It also didn't help the architecture of the FX series was a core problem that didn't perform so well against ATi's Radeon 9000 series.
    • When NVIDIA released the GeForce 8 series and ATi released the Radeon HD 2000 series, there was some excitement over the new architecture topology. Except in both cases, only the flagship, high-end card and the one below it performed convincingly well against the previous generation. Everything below it couldn't really perform any better than previous generation cards that dropped to a similar price value. It took another spin of the GPU to get it right, which NVIDIA did at least with the well remembered G92 GPU debuted as the GeForce 8800GT and 8800GTS 512MB. ATi's next generation, the HD 3000 series, also pulled off a similar feat.
    • NVIDIA's GeForce 400 series appears to be this. They were months too late with a new DirectX 11 card after AMD released theirs. While the GTX 480 did win the single GPU performance crown (the fastest card at the time was AMD's HD 5970, it was a two GPU card), it did so at the expense of heat and power consumption. The cooler was insufficient, causing it to reach temperatures up to the mid 90sC when 100C is "stop everything and cool the damn GPU now." Its design also led to memes that it could double as a grill. The kicker as well, in order to improve yields the GTX 480 wasn't even the fully realized GPU. With improvements to manufacturing tech and switching over to a vapor chamber cooler allowed the next generation, the GeForce 500 to perform better in every aspect to the 400 series, including having a fully realized GPU on the top-end.
    • Invoked with the GeForce GTX 750 Ti, which is based on NVIDIA's Maxwell architecture. Rather than wait for the 22 nm process to be refined for full scale production, NVIDIA built the GPU using the tried and true 28 nm process. This way, any design issues either on the hardware or software side can be stamped out. Improvements were made, sans the move to 22 nm due to manufacturing issues, in the GeForce 900 series under the Maxwell 2.0 moniker.
  • The Atari 5200 itself, especially its controller, designed by someone who had never played a video game before. The controller was the first to feature a pause button and the analog joystick was ahead of its time, but it didn't center itself and was prone to breakage. Working controllers are incredibly rare in the wild, though you can buy a special mod kit that makes the controller much more reliable if you're willing to shell out big bucks for it.

    Rumors are that, despite knowing about its numerous flaws, a senior engineer at Atari mandated the use of the 5200 controller because he owned the patent for it and would collect royalties for each one sold.
  • According to its creator Gunpei Yokoi, the Virtual Boy was only a proof-of-concept prototype when Nintendo halted its development because they wanted to devote all of their hardware development resources to the then-upcoming Nintendo 64. However, rather than scrapping the project entirely like they should have done, they released the Virtual Boy as-is, ensuring its place in history as the worst piece of hardware Nintendo has ever made.
  • Early Color Dreams games cartridges may count, as they tried to get games to work by bypassing the lockout chip that was present in the NES. Earlier models were prone to render the games unwinnable, give it glitchy textures, hardly controllable etc. Later models worked much better.
  • Many cell phone models often fall into this trope, considering how many updated models come around that improve bugs and complaints about the previous models.
    • Nokia's 3650note , for one, was the butt of numerous complaints due to its unique circular keypad layout—games had to be adapted to account for the keypad, though it's just the matter of an alternate control scheme as seen in the mobile version of Red Faction. Some people actually found the keypad easier to use, though. Nevertheless, an updated variant of the phone, the 3660 (3620 for North American markets) was released with a conventional layout, and a 16-bit, 65K-color screen compared to the 3600's 4096-color display.
    • Samsung's Galaxy Note 7 phone, released in 2016, got infamous for batteries that were prone to explosion, forcing a massive recall. It was so sudden and desperate that Samsung even told owners to stop charging their phones until replacement units could be issued, and then the replacement batteries turned out to be explosive as well becuase the entire battery design was flawed. The phone quickly earned the nickname "the (literal) bomb", Several countries, America included, air travel authorities actually declared it a hazardous material that was banned from flight (moving this phone across the ocean literally had to be done through a hazardous material shipping company), and its entire model's name became so poisonous that effective immediately Samsung permanently retired it (the Note 7 itself was a very good design and was rereleased the following summer with a new, non-exploding battery as the "Samsung Galaxy Note Fan Edition" in certain third-world countries).
    • Samsung's woes doesn't stop there, however. Their Galaxy Fold phone was hyped to be a cutting-edge demo of what flexible displays are capable of, but reviewers have complained about their Galaxy Folds' screens getting trashed within a day or two of use. It doesn't help that the Fold isn't a breeze to repair either.
  • Certain LeapFrog Epic units (e.g. those sold in Walmart with DISA activation built in; Academy Edition units are unaffected) with firmware version 1.7.18 had a major bug where streaming videos are unable to play back properly regardless of site (e.g. YouTube, Netflix or Vimeo), if at all, which is egregious as parents have bought the tablets for children to watch their favourite cartoons on. And to rub salt into the wound, LeapFrog isn't apparently arsed to fix the issue and has dismissed complaints as having nothing to do with the firmware itself and blaming it on some third-party app they don't support, much to the ire of parents who have spent $50 or more on what would essentially be a defective product. That is unless you're a tech-savvy person or a parent who happens to be a hacker — one workaround is to replace the default firmware with a signed backup of the latest Academy Edition ROM.
    • Even the signed Academy Edition backup is in itself an Obvious Beta based on what some users mentioned, as for some reason the firmware update utility fails to install newer OTA packages even if the backup appears untouched. It may be due to the signing keys used or the way the ROM is compressed, though the author is looking into a fix.
  • The PlayStation Classic, released by Sony in late 2018 in a Follow the Leader moment to Nintendo's line of classic mini consoles has clear evidence that it was Christmas Rushed. The system uses an off-the-shelf open source emulator (PCSX-ReARMed to be exact), rather than one of Sony's making, that clearly wasn't configured or optimized correctly for the hardware since many of the games run with worse framerate performance than the originals, smomething made even worse by the fact that many of the selected games use the slower running PAL versions. The feature set is also very barebones with a very minimalist user interface and a lack of configuration options. Perhaps the most damning of all is a set of debug options that weren't properly Dummied Out and can be accessed by plugging in a USB keyboard and pressing the escape key.
  • Samsung’s 840 Series Solid State Drives and its enterprise counterpart, the PM 851 had a firmware issue that drastically crippled write speeds as the drive filled up, often reaching hard-disk level speeds.
    • Samsung eventually released a fix to make the performance decent- but only for the 840 EVO. The 840 and PM 851 never received such a fix, and as a result are often found at bargain bins.

    Software 
  • This was how many computer professionals who worked with mainframe and minicomputer operating systems like VMS saw UNIX in The '70s and The '80s. (It was originally a research project designed for internal use, after all.) Unix was a much simpler system back then. The Unix Hater's Handbook gives a good overview of many of the complaints. It's an artifact of an era when many commercial Unixes often fell into this, due to vendors trying to compete on features without making sure they actually worked. A lot of BSD people see Linux as an Obvious Beta today.
  • vBulletin 5. Indeed, for supposedly 'beta' software, it's buggy as heck, lacking in at least 50% of the features found in the last version yet still being sold for near 300 dollars. Oh wait, the whole thing won't work without JavaScript. And it changes every single URL on a website that upgrades to it, causing them to lose half their search engine rankings. For a supposed beta, it's more like an Obvious Alpha being sold at full price.
  • The non-LTS versions of Ubuntu are notorious for this, as Canonical tends to make major changes without adequate testing. Canonical seems to position the non-LTS versions as public betas, directing most people to install the LTS versions on the Ubuntu download page.
  • The Virtual Boy Emulator WiirtualBoy was plagued with slow frame rate, inaccurate sound, and graphical corruption with frameskip (which is used to bypass the slow frame rate). Raz0red, the emulator's author, less than four months later, released the much-improved WiiMednafen, which emulates NES, Game Boy, GBC, GBA, Sega Master System, Game Gear, PC Engine, PC-FX, Lynx, WonderSwan, WonderSwan Color, Neo Geo Pocket, NGP Color, and Virtual Boy. WiirtualBoy was removed from the Homebrew Channel shortly after.
  • Canon's first DSLR with video recording, the EOS 5D Mark II, hit the market with a limited video feature set. There was no manual control of the lens aperture or shutter speed other than an "exposure lock" button that set the exposure when it looked about right. The video recorded 30 frames per second with no option for the common drop-frame rate of 29.97 or the film-like 23.98. The video files also had a tendency to come out of the camera significantly brighter than they looked on the LCD, but leveled out if converted to another format. Canon updated the firmware over the next few months, adding full exposure control, 23.98 and 29.97 frame rates, audio level control, and correcting exposure inconsistencies.
  • Recent drivers for Nvidia GeForce GPUs, particularly the 364.xx releases, were considered by some PC gamers as this. This thread on /r/nvidia, along with a few others, are chock-full of stories from disgruntled users who either had their rigs locking up upon playing certain games, or claimed that their video cards went toast due to instability, the most common workaround being to downgrade to 362.00 or earlier.
  • PGN Inc's Open Canvas Version 6 - New Windows 10 users were plagued with various bugs and access violations- Creating a new image usually causes the program to give out an error message of "Failed to open new window". Trying to put your cursor anywhere on an opened project's window causes the program to freak out and give another error message about its controls. And worst of all, the program cannot be closed without resorting to Task Manager, due to the access violation. Oh there's one more- the program can respond to certain few drawing pads. Have the wrong one? Too bad. Thankfully Steam users are given an option for a refund.
  • Netscape 6. On the one hand, this major rewrite of the venerable Communicator suite introduced the Gecko engine with vastly improved web standards compliance. On the other hand, it was rushed due to pressure from new owner AOL. So it had terrible performance, glitches galore, and a strange interface.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Avalon Hill shipped the board game Assassin with rules that clearly had not been properly playtested, making legitimate moves ridiculously rare. The game's designer blames Executive Meddling (it was a localization of a game originally titled Eurohit).
  • Dungeons & Dragons Third Edition was laden with this stuff; it was pretty obvious that the designers were still trying to work out the kinks of the new system. A lot of it resulted from things that had been retained from AD&D but now didn't work, including a major problem with Empty Levels and a lot of Game Breakers. This lasted until around when 3.5 showed up, by which point the designers had (generally) figured out what worked and what didn't.
    • Recreating every NPC in the Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting from scratch would have taken a lot of time, so most NPCs were run through a fairly basic conversion guide and then shipped out the door. Of course, given that AD&D and 3rd Edition have very different mechanics, this led to a lot of NPCs having bizarre builds, too-high stats, and often vestigial abilities. For instance, Elminister retains his immunity to Time Stop, even though the 3rd Edition Time Stop is a burst of Super Speed and not anything that affects other individuals, and Drizzt has taken five levels of Ranger despite the fact that he gets almost nothing out of them (unless he went eleven levels before taking two-weapon fighting).
    • On the other side, late 3.5 had the Tome of Magic supplement, which becomes increasingly this over its three parts. The first (about pact magic) was generally well-received and seen as polished. The second (about shadow magic) got a reputation for being on the weak side, which wouldn't be notable if the designer of the signature class hadn't outright stated it didn't really get playtested, and suggested fixes for it on his own. The third (about truenaming) was, at best, designed around a different balance paradigm than the rest of 3.5 leaving it cripplingly weakened and growing weaker unless aggressively optimised, and as printed lacked key information for several abilities. Even more curious, the pact magic and shadow magic sections are clearly linked in their fluff (a shadow-powered vestige can have pacts made with it by binders, and an organization of anti-pact magic witch hunters has a Dark World counterpart of a shadow magic cult). Meanwhile, the truenamers get only a few perfunctory mentions that don't really make any sense - for instance, being caught up in the binder's Unequal Rites and mistaken for them, even though the two forms of magic are nothing at all alike.
    • The third-party adventure The World's Largest Dungeon seems to have let beta testing take a backseat to living up to its name. Consequently, many encounters and Non Player Characters are poorly built to the point of being illegal, the names of characters and locations and details about the lore change from chapter to chapter, the geography frequently has territories that go through walls or sworn enemies living one room away from each other, and there's one major event involving an underwater siege that references monsters and items that don't appear to exist.
    • Many of the published (and third-party) adventures can feel this way, with sometimes obvious issues that should have been noticed come up with many of the groups that encountered them, even with ones that are overall received as high quality.
      • The very-well regarded Lost Mines of Phandelver which acted as the introductory module for 5E had an infamously tough first encounter because the extra Hit Points that characters had under D&D Next playtest did not carry over into the actual 5th Edition. As a result, many characters had their first experience with 5th Edition combat being unconscious as they were quickly incapacitated by the goblin and warg ambush before their turns.
      • Curse of Strahd has some infamously deadly (as in kill the whole party) encounters in the early part of the adventure. The first couple of levels are spent in the "Death House", a module that was tested as a one-shot (where characters dying aren't a big deal if they're not expected to continue on) with a meat-grinder that not only throws out a multitude of tough encounters including a thematically bizarre Shambling Mound, but attempts to kill the PCs with traps as they try to escape the house. After a few more encounters of appropriate challenge, the PCs can then run into another poorly balanced encounter with a coven of 3 Night Hags (the PCs are only level 3 at this point!) who can sling Lightning Bolts. For another obvious oversight that didn't seem tested, there is a point about halfway through the adventure where the PCs can resolve their Escort Mission quest with allowing a female character to join a ghost calling out to her. However, the module goes out of its way to trick Genre Savvy PCs into not allowing their companion to leave and specifies that this was the only way the character could escape, but then has no further notes about how to treat her (and her brother's) presence for the rest of the adventure even though this has major implications for the rest of the adventure.
      • Storm King's Thunder has an infamous issue of [[padding filler quests]] that don't explain the primary political nature of what's going on with the giants and the dragon very well until after it the game is over, meaning the players are just straggling around doing random plot things and told what they finally mean afterwards.
      • Dragon Heist has a lot of issues due to mashing together a lot of different concepts into one package: low-level railroaded city adventure (with four different options to run), running a business (that will almost certainly cost the party way more money than they can earn from it during the adventure), a gazetteer of Waterdeep, options for a high-level heist not directly related to the main adventure itself, skimpy faction quests, etc. Many Dungeon Masters were forced to fill in a lot of blanks and/or purchase additional downloadable materials in the nature of 100+ pages just to properly fill out the adventure. Despite being an adventure for 1st level characters, its very odd structure and layout implied that it did not have any actual feedback of people trying to actually run it.
  • The board game Betrayal at House on the Hill originally shipped with several errors in the instructions — particularly in the game's various Scenarios. (For example, the Underground Lake is on an Upstairs tile.) This obviously could cause gameplay to grind to a halt as the confused players tried to sort things out... which was made much harder by the game's primary conceit: that one or more of the players pulls a Face–Heel Turn and starts actively working against the group. Errata for the first edition can now be found online, and only the (greatly revised) Second Edition is available for sale anymore.
  • The second edition of Exalted was so buggy that the Scroll of Errata has more pages of rules than any given Splatbook — and that's not a joke, the Scroll of Errata weighs in at 205 pages while the rules sections of Manual of Exalted Power: Dragon-Blooded are only about 120 pages long. In brief, when you take a cluster of freelancers, don't require them to communicate, don't have enough good crunch writers to keep up with your schedule, and care more about the release date than whether something is in a releasable state, you get a desperate need for errata (some of it going down to the most basic functional elements, like the combat system).
    Robert "The Demented One" Vance: On page 49 of Scroll of Fallen Races, right under that big sidebar, there's a paragraph detailing the Leadership keyword. It's something that exists to tag effects that effect groups of Jadeborn based on their caste. Seems like a cool, thematic mechanic you could structure some of the Enlightened Pattern stuff around, sure. Now, try to find a Leadership Charm in SoFR. Try to find one in any of the books. You won't, because there are none. I think that's fairly indicative of the kinds of problems you're going to see in the Mountain Folk mechanics.
  • Racial Holy War is a game about Neo-Nazis (you) trying to kill all non-whites. It is at pre-Alpha at best: There are rules for making Swastika shirts, healing yourself by reading racist propaganda, and Jews using "jewgold" to bribe White Warriors into skipping their turn ("explained" by "brain polution")—but no mechanical values for weapons, stats, or accuracy. And yes, the authors were serious.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! contained one fairly obvious example early in its run in the Toon monsters. Toon monsters were essentially the game's very first, prototypical attempt at the archtypes that would later become central to the game. "Toon" was made an actual ability type much like Tuner and Gemini to make sure they were kept together where today's modern archtypes are written with abilities specifically meant to work together, and the card central to the entire type, Toon World, has no given effect of its own beyond paying 1000 LP whereas today it would likely just be made a Field Spell meant to go along with the archtype. Which, in fact, later happened with Toon Kingdom in an attempt to update the archetype.

    Media 
  • Tintin and the Alph-Art features tons of scenarios that were supposed to be in the new album of The Adventures of Tintin, but as the name implies most of them did not even get past scenario. The stories themselves are also incomplete.
  • Harper Lee's manuscript Go Set a Watchman, written before her agent advised her to instead do a story set in the main character's childhood that became To Kill a Mockingbird, was released without any editing work in 2015. This resulted in several awkward bits, as Lee had altered several plot points mentioned in Watchman for Mockingbird and reused several entire paragraphs for Mockingbird almost verbatim.
  • The release of Kanye West's 2015 album The Life of Pablo seemed mostly slapped together. Originally titled Swish, West changed the title to Waves less than a month before its release, then changed it again four days before the planned release to T.L.O.P. and then announced two days later that title actually stood for The Life of Pablo. West posted several track lists on his Twitter account, continuously adding new tracks, and oddly dropping "Only One", a duet with Paul McCartney which West had already released as a single and shot a music video for. The album's February 13 release date came and went with no sign of the album on any major retailers, though West staged a concert/fashion show at Madison Square Garden and performed several tracks. West later stated the album was delayed by Chance the Rapper, who needed to rerecord portions of the track "Waves". The album was released late on February 14 to coincide with West's performance on Saturday Night Live, streamable on Tidal and available for purchase on West's official site, the latter promptly crashed due to high traffic. The track "Fade" was missing, with an early version of "Facts" uploaded in its place by mistake, though the error was quickly fixed. West then removed the option to purchase the album from his site and refunded customers, and announced the album would never be available to purchase ever and would be accessible solely by streaming on Tidal, despite a download of the album being included in the cost of tickets to West's aforementioned Madison Square Garden event. West stated later that week the version of The Life of Pablo on Tidal was essentially a draft, and several tracks were being remastered.
  • Exorcist II: The Heretic was pulled from theaters, recut, and reissued twice during its theatrical run due to negative audience reactions.
  • The first season finale of Star Trek: The Next Generation, "The Neutral Zone." With a writers' strike fast approaching, the producers simply pulled a rough draft script off the pile and put it into production with zero editing. This is most obvious in the episode's climax, where the Romulans accept a truce with the crew, then promptly turn around and tell them the truce is off as apparently the writer hadn't yet put in any explanation for this.
  • Trailers for visual effects-heavy films often come out before the effects are completed for the final film. For example, the Super Bowl trailer for Jurassic World included several early version effect shots lacking fine details, causing quite a bit of flack.
  • The English dub of Transformers Armada and Transformers Energon were rushed due to a combination of having to coincide with the western launch of their respective toyline and Cartoon Network broadcasting requirements, leaving both as unedited first drafts.The dub of Armada suffers from odd, often incoherent, dialogue and an inability to keep the name of secondary characters straight, but was still generally comprehensible. The issues with Energon, however, were more severe: TF Wiki specially created "Lost in translation" sections on its pages for Energon's episodes due to how rushed the dub was, and it's not rare to find instances of muddled plot points, characters saying the direct opposite of what is happening on the screen, and genuinely nonsensical dialogue (and often, all three in a single episode). Both dubs also had unfinished animation due to airing long before the Japanese broadcast debut of the series. While the differences were minor in most cases, the plot of the Energon episode "Battle of the Asteroid Belt" was made incomprehensible to English viewers because the spaceship the characters are reacting to the entire episode was not drawn by that point.
  • A new version of Cats was issued to theaters in its second week after the studio admitted that the visual effects weren't quite finished.
  • The Ralph Bakshi adaptation of The Lord of the Rings is fairly notorious for this due to major Troubled Production. The film made heavy use of rotoscoping, but because it wasn't quite finished, many rotoscoped sequences never got the actual animation drawn on top, which leads to scenes where the characters abruptly transform from 2D animated characters to real-life actors with an ugly filter over them.

    Other 
  • Clive Sinclair, head of Sinclair Radionics and later of Sinclair Research, which brought the ZX Spectrum to Britain and helped kickstart its home computer market, valued minimalist designs that the British public could afford, at the cost of neglecting to have his creations properly tested and polished. One of the two most infamous examples by far is the Sinclair Black Watch, an early digital watch that used an LED and sold for either £17.95 or £24.95 depending on whether you got it in a do-it-yourself kit (like most home electronics of the time) or preassembled. The kit was notoriously difficult to assemble; it had a battery life of only ten days (leaving many preassembled watches dead on arrival) and its batteries were just as difficult to replace; its integrated chip could be ruined by static from nylon clothing or air conditioning (a problem that also affected the factory it was produced in); and most damning of all, it was unreliable in keeping time because it ran at different speeds depending on the weather. Oh, and just for kicks, it could explode if you left it powered on for too long (made possible by the nylon weakness). The product was such a gigantic flop that Sinclair Radionics would've gone bankrupt if the UK government hadn't stepped in to provide subsidies courtesy of the NEB.
    • The other notorious example of this besides the Black Watch was the Sinclair C5, an early attempt at an electric vehicle touted as a replacement for the car at a time when no electric battery could power one. The result amounted to a motorised tricycle that could only go as little as 10 km before sputtering out (which, again, varied based on the weather), had great difficulty ascending gentle slopes, and left the driver exposed to the elements (during one of the modern UK's coldest winters, at that). That last one combined with its low height also meant it was very much possible for a C5 driver to have a semi-trailer's exhaust pipe blasting in their face. The C5 flopped just as badly as the Black Watch did, and this time, Sinclair wasn't so lucky: with the NEB having fallen by then, he had no choice but to sell his "Sinclair" brand computer products to his rivals at Amstrad (of CPC fame) just to keep his company alive.
    • Early versions of Sinclair's 1984 QL computer had bug-ridden firmware, which also spilled out into an external donglenote . In addition, there were reliability problems with the microdrives. While all these were later fixed, they probably contributed to its commercial failure. Even at the time Your Computer magazine said "I sense that the time for foisting unproven products on the marketplace has gone [..] The QL may have been announced six months too soon."

  • Facebook has entire groups dedicated to hunting and showcasing its buggy updates. It has even led some people to call it "Pajeetbook", because only a development outsourcing sweatshop based in India could create such terrible coding mistakes. It also really doesn't help that Facebook has been known to still promote the Silicon Valley startup mentality of "breaking things is good", which might be good for startups that need to move fast or disappear, but not so much for big companies that can afford both speed and quality control.
  • The Boeing 787 Dreamliner, including its notorious battery fires.
  • Similarly, the Boeing B-29 Superfortress suffered from numerous reliability problems, most famously the overtaxed engines that would sometimes set themselves on fire in flight. In this case the problems due to the need to rush the new bomber into production during the height of World War II, and they were ironed out by the time the B-29D was designed (and re-christened as the B-50A Superfortress in 1948, just in time for WWII to end three years beforehand).
  • The B-36 was like that, except more so. Due to being mounted backwards (as pushers), its engines had such a tendency to spontaneously catch fire that in at least one instance the engine was shut down and the mission was allowed to continue on the remaining five. Needless to say, it didn't end well - not because of that fire, but because of the others that followed.
  • The very complicated nature and large scale involved in building ships means that a "shakedown cruise" is a routine step in any ship's construction whereby they spend time figuring out all of the things that are wrong with the ship for them to fix or correct back in port. During the Battle of Denmark Strait, HMS Prince of Wales suffered numerous problems while fighting the Bismark because she was pressed into service before she could do her shakedown cruise.
    • The Japanese aircraft carrier Shinano had it even worse. She put out to sea before her water-tight doors could be installed, and had the misfortune to run across an American submarine, USS Archerfish, less than a day out of port. Struck by a spread of four torpedoes, she went down with 1,435 of her 2,400-man crew, including civilians who were still working on the ship. She had put out to sea in her incomplete state because an American scout plane had flown over the base, and the Japanese wanted to move the ship to another port before the Americans could attack.
  • The video game database MobyGames's 2013 redesign was practically unusable, as glitches greatly complicated or prevented contributing any new info. There were also errors visible to regular visitors, such as screenshots which never loaded (apparently, in order to display an ordinary image, you needed a complex, failure-prone script). What made this even more ridiculous is that the redesign was presented months prior to the users, who proceeded to give their feedback and report the numerous bugs—and all of it was promptly ignored. Tellingly, when GameFly sold the site to Blue Flame Labs on December 20 of the same year, the very first thing the new owner did was to revert the site design back to the previous one.
  • Wikia, a wiki hoster, did the same thing as Moby Games. Not only did they introduce a new page skin that simply does not work the way it is supposed to while also managing to cut the usable page in half (the other half permanently displaying useless information that cannot be minimized to give space), they also ignored hundreds of thousands of user complains against the new skin. Worst of all, not only did they force the skin as the default so that not logged in users are forced to use it, they also removed the much more popular and infinitely more functional skin "Monaco".
  • The Healthcare.gov website has numerous bugs and issues, which has caused a great deal of controversy.
  • TV Tropes:
    • The reworked design in 2015 was initially released with a number of errors and bugs, before being recalled and returned to the previous site design and working on those errors.
    • The June 2018 redesign was released in a similarly half-functional state. Issues included but were not limited to spoiler-tagged text being simply underlined as opposed to blocked-out, edits not being registered, pages randomly getting locked, and users finding themselves randomly logged into other accounts.
  • Sling TV, Dish Network's TV streaming service geared toward "cord cutters" has suffered from lots of performance problems, but the worst so far has been its failure during the premiere of Fear the Walking Dead.
    • Any streaming service that's not Netflix tends to fall over under heavy load — considering that Netflix literally accounts for 30% of the entire Internet's traffic, it goes without saying that capacity planning for streaming services is not an easy task.
  • Amusement parks will often quietly open new attractions to the public before the official date as a "technical rehearsal" to work out kinks and train staff. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Hollywood allowed park guests in two months before its official April 2016 opening date.
  • The British nationalised railway system suffered from this repeatedly, but one of its worst examples was the Modernisation Plan of 1955. Urgently needing to move from steam to diesel power, they ordered small batches of prototypes from various manufacturers — and then ordered production runs before the bugs had been worked out of the prototypes. The results were predictable; in 1961 one entire class was returned to the manufacturer for remedial work on the engines and to stop the cab windows falling out while running.
  • Harley-Davidson is known for reliability issues, but the Twin-Cam is one Obvious Beta. A recurring issue with the engines is the cam chain system driving the lower end, with a nylon shoe keeping the chain's slack in check. Plastic shoes as tensioners are nothing new, yet the way Harley designed it meant that it wore down after 50,000 miles, which is egregious as the bikes are intended to be used on long stretches of road in cross-country tours and such. Third parties like S&S Cycle came up with unofficial fixes for the issue, but they are way out of reach for most riders. And it's worth mentioning that despite Harley citing EPA regulations for using a chain drive system in the Twin Cam and its successor, the Milwaukee-Eight, Harley still continued to sell the Sportster, a model that has used what is essentially the same engine as it was first introduced in 1957, albeit with enhancements over the years to keep up with the times. The Sportster still uses a gear-driven set of cams for its valvetrain, making Harley's EPA compliance claims with the Twin Cam somewhat suspect. Some speculated that Harley was simply too unwilling to invest in precision tooling for them to manufacture a more silent gear system.
  • The introduction of the All Live streaming service to the World Rally Championship was seen as a welcome move by fans who were previously just content with highlight footage and rally standings, but its launch was far from perfect, as it was (and still is) plagued by connection and login issues amongst other things, most recently in 2019 when viewers were kicked out of the service all of a sudden on certain occasions. It didn't help that the official mobile apps weren't any better either. Besides the lack of screen casting support and occasional clunkiness, for whatever reason, recent versions of the WRC client refuse to run on a rooted Android device, necessitating a root cloaker app to continue.
  • Magic: The Gathering superstore and content hub Star City Games had a disastrous relaunch of their web site in 2020, breaking functions as simple as searching the store.

In-Universe Examples and Parodies

    Anime and Manga 
  • The World God Only Knows has an early story where Dating Sim Otaku Keima Katsuragi struggles to get through one of these. Filled with every bug imaginable, the biggest one he has to overcome is getting stuck in a loop that prevents him from reaching the ending. Not only that, but trying to save the game will fry his PFP, so in order to find a way around the loop, he has to try every single route. And when he finally does manage to get past the loop, the result is corrupted graphics and text that make it completely unplayable.
  • In episode 5 of Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai, the characters play an MMO game using virtual reality headsets. The game is in a playable state, but the first enemies they encounter haven't even been programmed with attacks yet, nor does the main character Kodaka have any abilities to use despite being a "wizard". There are also balancing issues as the boss they fight is a bit too tough, though to be fair their healer was taking a nap (since she's only a ten-year-old) and they weren't coordinating their moves very well either.
  • Do You Love Your Mom and Her Two-Hit Multi-Target Attacks? takes place in what is explicitly a closed beta test of a video game. Several of the features are noted as being unfinished. Many of the background characters lack textures and the tutorial area skybox is a grid.

    Film—Live Action 
  • In Tomorrow Never Dies, one of Carver Media Group's profit-making schemes is to deliberately release unusable software for cheap, and then sell the patches at high prices.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Kenneth the Page of 30 Rock once invented a game show similar to Deal or No Deal in which contestants had to choose which model was holding a case full of solid gold. They caught on in no time that it was always the model struggling with a case full of heavy gold bricks.
  • On The Muppet Show, pretty much any invention highlighted on a Muppet Labs sketch.
  • Game show pilots are often done long before the show itself debuts; it might look nearly the same, or not at all identical to the show it became. The host or announcer might be different, the gameplay may vary (elements may be added or dropped compared to the aired show), and often times it's rigged to show how the game goes. Sometimes, they end up being prototypes for other shows; the 1980 Goodson-Todman pilot Puzzlers (hosted by a young Pat Sajak!) contained early variants of Blockbusters, Bumper Stumpers, and Catchphrase (the first and last both had involvement from Steve Ryan, who also worked on this pilot).

    Video Games 
  • A side-mission in Borderlands 3 asks the Vault Hunter to play an augmented reality game titled "Destroyer of Worlds" which at seen upon first glance is an unfinished beta at version 0. The sorceress who has to be escorted is constantly in a T-pose while continuously shouting the same lines before falling down randomly to be revived, the enemies are given placeholder titles as they're just floating orbs moving at random speeds. At one point, a object that needs to be collected glitches out and breaks into a hundred pieces to be collected, with the last boss moving at random slowly as well as having an impenetrable armor with the name Boss_Final_ReallyFinal_06 for extra measure.
  • At one point in his video game, Deadpool runs into an area full of wire frames and enemies clumsily pathfinding, requiring him to call up High Moon Studios and fund an emergency patch to continue playing.
    • At another point in the game, due to blowing out the game's in-universe budget on expensive explosion effects, it reverts to an 8-bit Zelda-like design.
  • The Kayfabe of Sonic Dreams Collection is that the game is a collection of these, taken from a Dreamcast purchased off eBay. In-game, this leads to things like characters in t-pose and weird physics glitches (that can be used to break out of the game areas). Buggy items are also available for shooting glitch hellscape movies. Eggman Origins is the most beta-like, taking place in an untextured white void and featuring your character turned 'birdlike' with no arms, though this is used for artistic effect.
  • Parodied in the Stylistic Suck Mario Kart parody Supra Mayro Kratt. There are only three characters, slapped-on graphics for the skybox and terrains, and two levels.
  • Parodied by DLC Quest, which contains a zone named "Allan Please Add Zone Name". It's a completely empty rectangle, save for one sign in the middle which reads "ALLAN PLEASE ADD WORLD." This is a direct reference to a placeholder item description that was accidentally left in the final version of Hitman: Blood Money.
  • Parodied in Nifflas's official Knytt Stories level "This Level is Unfinished". It consists of crude black pen drawings with notes such as "Animate water here" and "Dangerous blocks (draw spikes)."
  • In The Magic Circle the player is a tester in an unfinished game that's been stuck in Development Hell for ages. As one might expect from such a premise, there's plenty of Stylistic Suck.
  • In Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes, the Killer Marathon level is this. It's a third person lobby in a builder with placeholder textures and skybox leading to an endless hall, which then inexplicably turn into a Captain Ersatz of Asteroids. Due to it being incomplete, the Dragon Ball-esque wish granting tiger deity only resurrect Bad Man's daughter as a little dog. Later in the DLC the real "Killer Marathon" can be acquired and Bad Girl is properly resurrected as a girl. The final collectible game "Central Intelligence Agency" which isn't part of the official Death Drive games, has a crude ASCII-based logo and title, and the game itself consists of Pac-Man esque mazes with Hotline Miami arcades scattered around the game area. It's a masking device for a teleportation device to the actual CIA headquarters in a Thanatos Gambit by the designer to destroy CIA, thus Travis sees the actual CIA agents as video game bugs.

    Web Comics 
  • "Mad Snacks, Yo!" in Homestuck is a skateboard game riddled with glitches that get the Player Character stuck in walls or other decor elements, assuming the game doesn't crash first.
  • In this strip of The Trenches, after Quentin wows the staff with "in-game" footage, they discover that most of the game is so thoroughly Beta that it doesn't know where the ground is. The actual development state of the "game" is this article's page image. But at least the game isn't released in this state.

    Web Original 
  • Sword Art Online Abridged portrays the titular game as this, owing to being Christmas Rushed. Boss minions have error messages, [NPCs] can be kidnapped by never finishing their quests (this includes an NPC from the tutorial), the crafting system is described as "seizure inducing" (the one instance we see is a simultaneous shoot-'em-up, mecha battle, and rhythm game set to Big Blast Sonic), teleport crystals sometimes don't work and sometimes Tele-Frag their users, bosses can glitch out and die without opening the exit doors, players die for real when their avatars do...
  • Dragon Ball Z Abridged: Android 19's coding in Abridged is... very messy, to say the least. Trying to activate Murder.exe (his combat program) crashes his program to the point that he had to take a lengthy time to reboot its system (even then, it only managed to run properly once he absorbs Goku's energy), and his dodging protocol is uselessly slow in a world where certain people can teleport/Flash Step and hit you near-instantly.

    Western Animation 
  • In The Simpsons episode "500 Keys", the Couch Gag uses this trope, right down to Maggie's pacifier sucking noise.

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