16-Bit rivalry

Damien Lee

Well-Known Member
Jun 17, 2015
Super Famicom
We all know of the bitter and rather enjoyable rivalry between Nintendo and Sega during the 16-bit era. The SNES went head to head with the Genesis and the ensuing marketing and advertisements were over-the-top and cheesy. Of course, Sega was mainly responsible for this.

But the SNES did not only have to compete with the Genesis. There was also the NEC TurboGrafx-16 which was an impressive console but didn't do so well in western countries. In Japan, it was known as the PC-Engine and did quite well indeed.

However, there was also some competition coming from the home computer markets. The Commodore Amiga and Atari ST were very powerful 16-bit computers that had some very impressive games as well. Even the IBM PC & compatibles started to look compelling as soon as VGA graphics cards and AdLib sound cards were introduced.

So as we can see, the 16-bit market was quite competitive and it wasn't just a battle between the SNES and Genesis.
Yeah, I guess it's like Xbox vs PlayStation in today's market. There are more consoles than just those two, but they're the most popular ones. Although at the same time, back in the 16 bit era the consoles were much closer to each other in power than the android and Nintendo consoles are to Xbox and PlayStation.
It was always Super Nintendo vs. Sega Genesis when I was young (until the PlayStation came out, anyway). I do remember the TurboGrafx-16 but it tanked here in Canada. No one got it, and the few that did were "meh" about it.

I always considered PC gaming somewhat separate. I played a lot of the early games, and I remember I had to get a Diamond Monster 3D (add-on 3D card with 3Dfx Voodoo chip) that you had to get on top of your regular video card. I'm pretty sure I got it so I could play Star Wars: Rogue Squadron 3D.
It's certainly true that Nintendo and Sega weren't the only home console manufactures on the market, but (in North America at least) those two companies dominated that market and the media attention surrounding it during the lengthy period following the video game crash that ended the reign of early consoles like Atari's and the release of Sony's PlayStation (basically the mid-eighties to the late-nineties). (Not unlike comic books: there are plenty of publishers, but together the two largest publishers absolutely dominate the lion's share of that market and the media attention surrounding it.) As a young lad at the time, my peers and I were vaguely aware of the existence of alternative console's like the TurboGrafx-16--but it seemed as if hardly any one owned one!
Those are all some great points. It seems that there's always just one or two dominant brands in each console generation. When, if you think about it there always a few more alternatives available. I guess the masses who buy game systems are only concerned of who is a top dog and will spend their money accordingly. This makes sense, after all one will get their money's worth on the system that is more a successful and more supported. But the underdogs help to enrich the gaming milieu in so many ways, and their exclusive titles go unnoticed by the mainstream.
I remember those good ol' rivalry 16-bit days. What was cool about Nintendo and Sega is that a lot of the times when the same title was out on both consoles they were sometimes made by different developers which made the games game play different. Not really any more cause a lot of your big multi platform titles are pretty much the same. I miss that variety. Thats why i always owned both the SNES and the Genesis. Aladdin was awesome on Genesis and sucked on SNES. True Lies was fun as hell on SNES but was total crap on Genesis...lol
When I was growing up, my grandmother had a Genesis at her house that I would play when I went over there. I didn't play a Super Nintendo for the first time until like, last year... lol.
The thing is that Nintendo has always won against Sega. When they try to say that they something that nintendont, it really is just what ninten-do except they switched it up a bit. So literally, Sonic is not the fastest thing alive since most of his game ideas are just following Mario's idea, making him ahead of Sonic. The thing is that sega is mainly focusing on making games about Sonic and Sonic is made solely for rivalry. If Sonic can come with a game better than Nintendo then Nintendo can think of something better than Sega, and etc etc. Mario has no trouble making consistent games as all nintendo needs to do is add one little power-up to make it a completely new game. Sonic on the other hand does not revolve around power-ups mainly because he was built for speed. There are not a lot of new speed attacks that people can come up and Sonic eventually runs out of fuel. It is just like seeing an Old professor with Alzheimers trying to be more popular than Albert Einstein, which will most likely fail.
one huge regret i have is i went from NES to Genesis. I loved my Sega, had a blast playing Desert Strike and all manner of wrestling games. Did not care for Sonic as much. Looking back over the years, i regret not getting SNES. Of course I've caught up on Mario World and ALTTP, but oh well. At least i had Hulk Hogan on my copy of Royal Rumble!
Yeah the SEGA had some niche games that were pretty bamph to be honest. Like Comix Zone, Chameleon Kid and the Shining Force series. I emulate all of those now because I don't have a SEGA but back in the day.... they actually had some good competition to draw my attention both ways. Kinda sad that SEGA is pretty much a relic these days. All they would really need is one good game that was an instant classic, right?
At least we have good SEGA emulators ;D

Technically doesn't Nintendo have the ability to VC a lot of these old SEGA titles to us for like 5 bucks a piece?
How awesome would it be if they made a modern version of a couple of my favorite Genesis games. Those being Mutant League Football and Hockey!

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