The ‘90s marked a great leap in the technology industry. New inventions were made in this era, and many companies invested in Silicon Valley gold at the time. Every major company in the US, China, and other technology giants tried to get a piece of the tech revolution cake.
The competition for supremacy and dominance in the tech industry led to fierce competition in the sector. One of the most notable competitions that received remarkable worldwide attention was the rivalry between Nintendo and Sega.
These two gaming giants made in the news back in the 90s through to the 2000s. Their rivalry was on another level, that the documentary “Console Wars” in that regard. The term console wars become synonymous with the two companies. This made the other gaming tech companies like Sony PlayStation take a back seat and watch as the giants stepped on each other’s toes.
The Nostalgic War Begins…The rivalry between Nintendo And SEGA was like the sibling rivalry that is experienced in our families. It was like the game of chess, where both sides are struggling to dominate the board. The two warring sides were fighting to win and retain the number one slot in the gaming industry. Fortunately, the market responded in their favor because more people were getting into gaming, thanks to the internet.
However, on the flip side, the coming of the internet changed the way gaming was perceived. In came the RPG and social media-based games that wooed the gamers more. However, this did not completely lessen the fight between Nintendo and SEGA.
Was the publicity on the War between Nintendo and SEGA a little too much? Indeed yes, the media all over the world highlighted the war between the two gaming giants. This reached a level that it became breaking news in many media houses at the time.
But what was happening all this while?
The sales were over the roof. The two would, in the end, report having sold millions and millions of copies globally. As the internet was abuzz about the superiority contests, many got interested in gaming to experience the technology first hand. You could see gamers starting blogs and streaming channels to compare and contrast the various games and their playing experience with the two consoles.
This only helped to fuel the furry between the two while at the same time, forced them to put money into marketing and to promote their ever-evolving new products.
Around that time, more and more consoles were released by the two sides.
But who won the race to supremacy?
That was a personal opinion that relied on one’s intimate attachment and experience with a particular console.
The war between Nintendo and SEGA lasted for a very long time. Then suddenly, SEGA stopped their development of consoles. Meaning Nintendo won the battle.
However, SEGA continued to develop games, mostly for Nintendo! Yes, you heard me right. Sonic Mania is one of them.
Other Console Wars.The war triggered other gaming giants to join in and start similar supremacy wars. This was like World Consoles Wars II that featured Microsoft’s Xbox and Sony’s PlayStation. This war is not over yet to this date. You can see the rivalry between the yet to be released beasts: The PlayStation 5 launch (12th November) and the Xbox Series X &S Console, which will be released tomorrow (10th November).
These two consoles will be released around the same time; indicating how extreme the war between Microsoft and Sony is. With the increasing number of online games, the market is growing thinner every day; thus, everyone would kill to have a decent client base.
Minecraft was announced to receive updates on the Bedrock Edition, Pocket Edition, Windows10, and Java Edition release. Mobile devices and 3DS Pocket Edition, Windows 10 edition was, on the other hand, developed exclusively for Windows 10 with a Java edition for PC, Mac, and Linux edition.
What about Bedrock? That was set aside for Xbox One and Switch, which will no longer receive updates. It is unfortunate because these are still on the PS3 version of the console, Xbox 360, Wii, and Xbox One. Microsoft owns Minecraft and Mojang. I wonder why they stopped updates on Minecraft. The next thing we ought to see is Sony buying Fortnite and remove it from Xbox!
Nintendo Vs. SEGA: Who is the Coolest of them All?The battle for who is the coolest between the two was rife until SEGA gave in!
While Nintendo was battling it out with SEGA, Mario and Sonic were the most outstanding contestants at the game level. On the other hand, Blast processing and FX chips were giving each other a hard time. The firms were once enemies in the 90s, but now they are friends and even business partners.
The two companies would fight for the number one slot for the coolest and the most profitable franchise in the world in terms of design and longevity. They wanted to see who will stay relevant for the longest period.
But on the flip side, what is cool to me may not necessarily be cool to you. But let’s face it….
In the 90s, this meant going out and trying to find out what the children were up to. The firm that succeeded in doing so won the mantle of the best game designers at the time.
During those times, you would never predict that one day, you would see Sega games on a Nintendo game console or the Sonic and Mario happy together!
As I said before, the feud between Sega and Nintendo back in the ‘90s was so nasty that a film was made to deeply analyze and explain the courses and the effects of the war between the two giants.
Let us look briefly into the films and the message that it passed concerning the gaming world wars in the 16-bit era.
Console Wars (2020): May the Coolest win!The Console Wars is a documentary about the Nintendo-Sega console wars of the 1990s. At the time, the gaming consoles were all 16-bit. The documentary is based on the 2014 book of the director and was the first movie to be produced by CBS All Access.
A decade ago, video game documentaries were unheard of. This is because the majority of the gamers were just young kids. Plus, at the time, the stories were still being developed; they had not yet gotten to the level of making history.
This has since changed as movie makers have discovered convincing narratives as they gaze at the industry curtains. The Netflix “High Score” series offered an overview of the history of video games and various genres.
In the documentary, King of Kong welcomed viewers to the retro-gaming world. Atari: Game Overlooked at the pioneering company’s rise and fall.
The documentary demonstrated that video games' history is exciting, and some of the best stories and events that happened date back to the 1990s. The author Blake J. Harris explains the rivalry of our childhood times. Jonah Tulis helped him in the development of the documentary, which was based on the book.
The documentary follows events as they occurred in the novel. It is the underdog tale that explores how Sega emerged from nowhere to challenge Nintendo’s monopoly in the gaming industry. It has a slant for hard-core Mario fans as it follows its rise and fall.
Unlike the novel, the nitty grayness of the technology doesn’t wade too deeply. It goes beyond the attempt of Electronic Arts to reverse engineer a Genesis and looks over the technical error Sega took with Saturn in the fifth-generation console.
It is hard to paint an exact picture in a movie anyway. Instead, the film focuses on how Sega fought Nintendo by changing the gaming culture at the time.
It starts with Sega’s chairman and CEO Tom Kalinske, who is more or less the main character of the film. It explores his work on Mattel properties like Barbie and “The masters of the universe” that led him to take the lead at Sega and his attempt to turn the company into a top competitor by trying to right the wrongs that Nintendo did.
Sega succeeded partly because of its 16-bit technology and transformed what was cold in the gaming world at the time.
In the 80s, Nintendo’s supremacy made Mario more popular than Mickey Mouse, but it changed in the 90s as Sega tried to win a new generation of Sonic the Hedgehog gamers with a sleek mascot. But the most significant improvement was the way games were advertised.
The famous line: “Sega, Welcome to the Next Level,” and the grungy looks of the sales were good for the adults. It sets a bar for coolness, and that sets the tone for the decade. This aggressive marketing strategy made the firm ignore other facets of the business and generated what was later called the Console Wars, which was the intense rivalry of the two companies.
The documentary exposes the tit-for-tat battles between the two companies, but it does not explain why Sega emerged to be the winner of the battle back then. It is safe to say that Sega’s “in your face” message forced its rival to adjust!
In the end….Finally, Sega emerged as the winner. At the time, Nintendo chose the “play it loud” advertisement, copying its competitor with its high-energy ads. That could have been a climactic moral triumph for Sega, but the company's success in the 1990s could not be sustained.
As the decade went by, Sony joined the gaming industry. Nintendo Maintained its technological edge with the Nintendo 64. The documentary goes beyond this, but Sega’s tale of decline was rushed through the film. The show missed the details on how the Sony PlayStation took over the industry with the $299.99 console compared to Sega’s $399.99 Saturn.
These were some of Sega’s lost opportunities that led to its downfall. Overall, the film did an excellent job to condense the whole history of video games in a 90 minutes movie. In essence, it summarized the novel.
In Summary, What was happening between Sega and Nintendo in the ‘90s is precisely what we will soon witness with Xbox and PlayStation this fall. The rivalry between these two gaming giants will be in full force this fall when they both release their signature consoles (PS5 and Xbox X).
This clearly shows that the gaming industry wars will not end any time soon. These wars were started a long time ago by Sega and Nintendo. Now Microsoft and Sony are just like siblings, following the footsteps of their seniors!
Back in 1993, when Nintendo and Sega both launched Mortal Kombat, it was a clear indication of the start of a long battle between the two. Both versions of MK blamed video games for inspiring violence in the real world. This led to endless court sessions. They both spent years in and out of courts and congressional committees hurling insults on each other’s technology.
Sega did battle it out, but Nintendo landed a knock out in 1996 with the N64 console. At the same time, the American SEGA CEO resigned, and by 2002, the firm was developing games instead.
Back then, many gamers benefited by buying consoles cheap during the wars between the two gaming giants. What about you?
How did you benefit from the wars between Nintendo and Sega back then?