Thursday, January 30, 2014

The Clash of Two Console Titans


Which console creator was your favorite? Throughout the years, these two consoles manufactures have been duking it out. I am going to compare Sega and Nintendo and their battles in the console generation. I will be walking the reader through the tactics and methods each company used.
.In 1983, the great videogame crash happened. This was when the American consumers got fed up with videogames and thought they were just a fad. It was caused because of too many consoles on the market, and with Atari, the biggest console maker at the time, had no control over what games were made on their console causing too many bad games on the market. This gave video games a bad reputation to the consumer. At this time, savior of video game market the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) came out. It was advertised as more of a toy and partnering with the Teddy Rubskin Bear Company helped get the NES on store shelves. The next year, Nintendo did not need the partnership and NES was a huge hit. Nintendo did not want to screw this up, so they made very kid friendly games and were very tough on not having explicit content or violence.
After seeing the rebirth of the videogame market, a company that previously dipped their toe in the water called Sega, came out with Sega Master System. This is how the great console war began. The first two consoles to fight were Segas Master System and Nintendos NES. Sega was a more powerful console graphics wise, meaning they had better graphics; but, Nintendo had killer applications (something that moves hardware).  They had Zelda, Mario and Mega Man. The first fight between these juggernauts was a complete victory for Nintendo. At end of day, there were 61 million SNES in the world and only 11 million Sega Master Systems. 
Since that console generation was over, Sega came out Genesis and Nintendo came out with Super Nintendo (SNES). At this point, Sega was on their more aggressive than ever. They came out with   They did have a mascot his name was Alex Kidd, but he was a lame duck of mascots. So, Sega held a contest internally for the new Sega mascot, and they came up with a new edgier mascot who had crazy spiked hair and his name was Sonic the Hedgehog. He would travel faster than supersonic speed (making him faster than Mario, the Nintendo mascot, which was also in advertising).
advertising such as, “Sega does what Nintendon't”. Sega also went for older kids by bringing more violent games to Sega Genesis, such as Mortal Combat with blood. Then, Sega went after the cool artsy crowd. Sega still had a more powerful console but they had an identity crisis.
Sega had more games due to fact that more people given them a chance because of the blitz advertising and word of mouth from the previous generation. Nintendo was the good kid in this whole scenario and just sat on SNES and kept making AAA games.  To describe the game flow, Nintendo would have 5 A+ games a year compared to Segas 20B games. Just like previous generation, they were priced same.  This time Sega had 44% of the market share and was closing in on the console crown, but only God knew what the Sega Saturn was going to do to Sega.
Sega was getting ready to announce their new console, Saturn, when they got word that this new console "PlayStation" was going to have better specifications, ram and memory, then, they rushed to put a second CPU on the console. This made it harder to make games even though it was the most powerful console of the generation. The other big issue was they announced the Sega Saturn release date was for a September 1995 and it had a lot of hype; but at E3 conference 1995, they had a surprise release date of May 1995 and almost instantly ran out of stock. They also, in previous generation, made a bunch of add-ons which confused the average consumer. Plus, with these issues Sega was in trouble.  Nintendo did come out with the Nintendo 64 their console to compete with Sega Saturn. But, Nintendo never made a 32bit console and sega did to stay relevant, they dropped it like a box of rock losing even more consumer support.
 Now if one was to look at how many models Sega and Nintendo made they would find out that Sega had made 9 consoles but in the same time period Nintendo had only made 3.Sega bet was on hardware and Nintendo was on software. This was the first generation since the second generation of consoles where Nintendo was not in the lead since PlayStation came in like a hurricane. This gave Sega about 6% of the market and Nintendo with 20% and with 74% going to PlayStation.  Sega final endeavor was the Dreamcast it was hailed for being ahead of its time but with looming PlayStation 2 it was final nail in the coffin.
This was the console war what started all console wars. This was interesting time in video game history. We talked about Sonic origins. The first time someone booted there GameCube and saw Sonic they knew it was over.