The Great Video Game Wars of the Early 90’s

When looking back on the video game systems of old, it is difficult to choose just one favorite. Most of us growing up we had two choices either Nintendo or Sega. In the late 80’s and early 90’s Nintendo and Sega battled with exclusive games and developing new and exciting characters to help drive sales. This time in the industry is often referred to the video game wars and really helped bring life into the industry we all love today.

In 1990 Nintendo controlled 90% of the video game industry. Nintendo had some of the most amazing, fun and memorable games of all time including Super Mario 3, The Legend of Zelda, Mega Man, Metroid, Donkey Kong Country, Super Mario World, Contra and more. Sega on the other hand answered back with Sonic, Castlevania Bloodlines, Streets of Rage, Splatterhouse, ToeJam and Earl, Altered Beast, Michael Jackson Moonwalker and many more as well. Because of the more “adult” games Sega was given the persona of the cooler system to own. Sega games had blood, they were faster, more intense, and beat em up style while Nintendo was kid friendly. During the “video game wars” of the early 90’s Sega really used this perception in the Sega Genesis marketing and came up with one of the worst slogans in video game history “Sega does what Nintendon’t”. From 1989 to 1991 The Sega Genesis was battling against the Nintendo NES and with the superior graphics and games it seemed that Sega was going to win the war. Until August of 1991 when Nintendo release the Super Nintendo and blew the minds of gamers all over the world.

Nintendo reclaimed the throne and proved that they have the best games in the industry. With titles like Super Mario World, Donkey Kong Country, and all the amazing RPGs coming out Sega had to respond in some way. Instead of developing a new system the Sega CD attachment was released.  This was a shot at Nintendo having only cartridges and Sega trying to stay ahead of the curve with CD based games. After Sega CD was still not getting any of the support and Nintendo still thriving the next attempt from Sega came out the Sega 32X. Both the CD and 32X needed and had its own library of new games you needed to purchase. Only a few short months after the release of the 32X Sega announced yet another new system, the Sega Saturn. The die hard Sega fans could not keep up with all of the new systems and attachments and many switched over to the Super Nintendo.

During the war between Sega and Nintendo, Atari also threw its hat into the ring with the Atari Jaguar and Jaguar CD. Nintendo was on top of the video game world and seemed like there was no stopping them. Nintendo had plans to release the new system in development the Ultra 64 in 1996 and things just couldn’t be any better. Until the fall of 1995 when Sony PlayStation busted onto the scene and all those gamers that did not want to play “kids” games rejoiced and purchased one. Sega did try one last effort in the console wars in 1999 with the Sega Dreamcast but it was way before it’s time. The Dreamcast had virtual memory units, high resolution graphics, internet browsing & was a CD player as well but the game support just was not there.

When learning about the video game system wars in the early 90’s it is not hard to determine who the winner is. Clearly it is Nintendo since Sega shut down in the early 2000’s but Nintendo is having a hard time now competing with PlayStation and Xbox. As a die hard Nintendo fan I hope they are here for many more years but only time will tell.

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