The console wars are a never-ending struggle to drain our bank accounts to entertain our brains with eye candy and stimulating interactive entertainment and we at VGN love it! We remember the days when Sega would launch constant attacks against goody-two shoes Nintendo. All it did was add fuel to the arguments during recess about which console was the best and usually ended with Sega is for (derogatory term) and Nintendo is a bunch of (even more derogatory term).
Today VGN looks at the best attacks from the console wars.
Hahaha get it? As a young lad I was a Nintendo kid as I couldn’t get enough Mario and Zelda but sometimes I’d see this Sega console and think…did I make the right choice? Well according to Sega I was an idiot because I chose a console that didn’t have BLAST processing. Which is a buzz word connected to a technical term which transforms into a compound bs word.
This was a really hard decision as a kid saving all his pennies and birthday money for a new console. What really influenced your decision was what your friends were playing. If all your friends had a Genesis of course you would buy one so you can trade games or bring a controller over to your buddy’s place. This is why this type of marketing was genius because it was children making these purchasing decisions.
If you get into the nitty gritty of the technical aspects of the two consoles the Genesis was able to process the graphics at a quicker speed than Nintendo and this is shown off by it’s flagship game Sonic the Hedgehog. However, the Super Nintendo was able to render more colors but both of these features would not be noticeable to a young child who just wants to work out his/her thumbs and save some princesses or free some cute animals. It was all about the games baby.
Take that Sega! As a Nintendo fanboy growing up I was always a little confused as to why Nintendo didn’t come back with some smash talk against Sega. Looking back I guess they didn’t have to because Sega makes games for Nintendo. A little company called Sony wasn’t afraid to use some sass though.
Once upon a time in Los Angeles in 1995 a little trade show called the Electronic Entertainment Expo was taking place. Sega lost their god damn minds but at the time I bet they thought they were being pretty clever. The Sega Genesis was finally being put out to pasture after having a crappy cd-rom system and an abomination called the 32x plugged into it. Sega was actually going to release a new console called the Neptune which would have all these peripherals in one box but cancelled that to focus on the Saturn.
Sega comes to E3 ready to shock the world by showcasing the Saturn with a hefty $399.99 price tag attached. But if that weren’t insane enough it was made available that same day! Apparently retailers were pissed because they were kept in the dark about this huge reveal. So there was no time for the hype machine to gain momentum. What were these people with a Frankenstein monster of a Genesis/32x/SegaCD supposed to do? Fork over another 400 bucks for whatever this is supposed to be?
And then the gaming landscape changes forever when Sony holds their press conference. Steve Race approaches the podium and says one number and then exits the stage. “299”. BOOM Sega is now officially dying. That moment would be known as the price heard around the world. Sega would never recover and eventually stop making consoles entirely.
The 1995 Sega E3 presentation was dead on arrival and in 2013 it looked like Microsoft was headed in the same direction. E3 2013 was a huge show considering this was the sales pitch from Sony and Microsoft for their next gen consoles. The 360 and PS3 were off to the giant LCD TV in the sky along with HD-DVD and those awful surround sound in a box that your cat chews on. Thank god (or any deity you believe or disbelieve in) for sound bars they are amazing.
Everyone’s blood pressure was going through the roof because of Microsoft’s anti-consumer choices. This is a fan base that got burned by EA’s Sim-City fiasco in which you had to be connected to the internet at all times just to build a city we all know you’ll destroy with a monster when you’re bored of it. Microsoft executives were quoted in saying before E3 that the console would require a constant internet connection in order to make full use of it. And they were also trying to come up with a bunch of bs passcodes that you had to pay for in order to play pre-played games on your system. Now that just means that they’re trying to take some of that sweet Gamestop money that now belongs to collection agencies you may say. If you think you can bring over the latest Gears of War sequel to your buddy’s house and not pay for a code to use it on another machine Microsoft has some news for you.
A public outcry would be an understatement. The response from Sony was legendary.
Sony had already won the first battle of the current console war with this 20 second video. It wasn’t as devastating as the 3 second “299.99” press conference but effective. Microsoft quickly scrapped all those garbage ideas as the call for boycotts grew. You have to hand it to Sony, their revenge is swift and with the wrath of a thousand suns.
I know what you’re thinking and no I’m not a Sony fan boy. I wanted to pick some examples where Sony got dissed but I couldn’t forget about these two examples because they bring me nostalgic joy. And isn’t that what life is all about? Remembering shit?
Well I remember these kickass Sega commercials that tried to make their hardware the badboys of the console school yard. They always ended with a crazy close up of a kid or some old person yelling SEGA right into your face!!! That my young friends is the 90s in a nutshell.
The Nintendo Gameboy is a hall of famer fist ballot legend console. It was portable, affordable and had some of the best games of all time like Zelda and Pokeman. It only had one set back besides being a battery eating machine…no color. Here comes the SEGA Gamegear in all its glory and to tell you the truth this thing was pretty cool. It also struggled with battery life but it had some great titles like Sonic and World Series Baseball.
The ever so subtle tone of SEGA was to remind every idiot kid who didn’t own a Gameboy (me) that a portable video game console in color was possible. I thought for sure this would be the end of Gameboy. Nintendo would release a new more advanced Gameboy… with color.
But to no ones surprise Nintendo won the day again as they blew the Gamegear away in total sales. The Sega Gamegear was no slouch though it sold over 10 million units but unfortunately that was nothing compared to the over 100 million the Gameboy sold. SEGA had a plan and at the time it wasn’t a bad one. It was to change the image of SEGA to be the rockstar take no prisoners consolse.
One of many casualties during the console wars of the 90s was the Atari Jaguar. The console itself looked sleek but the controller is an abomination. 17 buttons! Why? You can’t convince me that the games were so complex that it required a handheld keyboard to operate. But we’re not here to criticize a dead console. Lets look at how sharp the Jaguar’s claws were.
Atari’s big sales pitch was the “fact” the the Jaguar was the first 64bit system. I put the word fact in quotation marks because it’s questionable if that’s actually true. If you were a child during the console wars you only knew that the SNES or Genesis was better than their predecessors because they were 16bit instead of 8 bit. Did anyone know what this actually meant? Sega hammered this home by printing 16BIT on the Genesis console.
So 64 bits oh my. The Nintendo 64 was still a few years away and the Saturn was about to be launched. This beast had twice the power of that piece of crap called the Sony Playstation. We’ll get to what they really meant by 64 bits in a bit (ha!). Let’s take a look at the mind blowing graphics that will win the console wars!
WOW!!! Don’t get me wrong there are some good looking games on the Atari Jaguar. But the 64bit claim is a bit of a stretch. It worked like this: the CPU and the GPU were both 32bits and was processed by a graphics accelerator at 64bits. This might make sense to us laymen who just want to shoot and jump on things but to tech nerds this is laughable. If you did the same math for the Sega Saturn it would be considered a 112 bit behemoth and would of been two generations ahead of it’s competitors.
You have to admit it’s pretty clever marketing. You’re marketing to children after-all and while the video game boom spawned some smart cookies most kids didn’t give a crap about what was under the hood as long as it was the next best thing. The Jaguar harnessed this mindset and came out with an advertising campaign that told kids to “Do the Math!”
The Jaguar was officially discontinued in 1996 and their 64bit monster couldn’t compete with the Playstation and Nintendo (ACTUAL) 64. It didn’t help that Electronic Gaming Monthly called them out on their “math” and the Jaguar didn’t really have a killer app. Alien vs Predator was the best selling game on the console but it was violent and not fun for the whole family like Sonic, Mario, or Crash Bandicoot.
Nothing brings me back to the 90s like these crazy MTV-like trash talking commercials. We don’t get any technical mumbo jumbo words like blast processing or 32 vs 64 bit insults. Today we may get the odd “shot at the other guys” at E3 but this is happening now:
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