Next Generation Consoles

(By Cruise)

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By: Cruise

   I grew up without a life and was totally infatuated with video games. I'm sure some of you reading this share this common account of your life with me as well, so I'm not alone. Anyway, I remember playing with my old Nintendo in the ol' days, cherishing the satisfaction with the type of games I was able to get my hands on. I reminisce the times I've had with my Atari wayyyyy back and recall that there never was a video game scene that is as big as it is now. Consoles like Atari sparked a widely influential area in the entertainment industry. As a result, several premature video game companies were in formation, but this wasn't the beginning of the concept of "home gaming." Arcades were the big thing back then, and it was arcades that strongly influenced this concept. Because technology and ideas improved over time, home gaming became a reality giving birth to the idea of video game consoles.

Introduction to a new age...

    It started with Pong by a company now known as Midway, famous for the Mortal Kombat series. Pong was a major success in the arcades which was later brought home as a one game system. Popularity grew with the idea of having video games at home, and since after, more games and consoles were produced. The most notable console that came home was the Atari 5200 and its successor Atari 2600 which became very successful. Heck, I still have those two systems collecting dust under my bed as I type. As technology progressed, several years later, came the Nintendo 8-bit system, which revolutionized home gaming igniting a whole line of competition thereafter.

The treasured classics...

    Nintendo didn't just start a whole new line-up of games waiting for the 8-bit Nintendo, it started many classics that are still cherished by gamers today such as The Legend of Zelda and lets not forget the Italian plumber, Mario. These titles gave Nintendo the foundation to expand their talents.

    Sega started a lineup of classics themselves. With their Genesis system to battle Nintendo's 8-bit Nintendo, Sega created one of the most intriguing games of all time such as the Phantasy Star series, Lunar, and Sonic the Hedgehog. And so, the two companies rose to the top battling it out against each other notch by notch.

Competition-Fire and Ice...

    That was it, it was Mario against Sonic, they would vie till someone throws in the towel. But that hasn't happened-competition between those two companies remains strong and heavy even until today.

    There were many other companies beginning to create their own console during the scene, but since Sega and Nintendo were the first to be available, they were pretty much oligopolies in the situation. These others never stood the test of time such as the TurboGrafX-16, 3D0, and Jaguar.

    Fierce is the word to describe the battle against Nintendo and Sega. With Nintendo's constant churn of new games for the Nintendo and Sega with its frivolous Genesis advertisements, competition consisted of constant jabbing to each other.

SNES.gif (10424 bytes)    After a long stalemate, Nintendo finally decided to launch its new true 16-bit system. They called it the 'Super Nintendo.' The reason why I say the new 'true 16-bit' system is because Sega claimed their Genesis to be pure 16-bit power but under its hood, all it was is an 8-bit processor with an 8-bit graphics processor. With a couple million loyal gamers at Nintendo's feet, the new system became a rapid success selling several million units in a matter of weeks!

    Panicked as Sega was, more frivolous advertisements battled the Super Nintendo till the launch of their upcoming 32X add-on for the Genesis. Did I forget to mention their silly ads? They had an advertisement for the Genesis showing off this particular feature called 'Blast Processing', and apparently the wide audience of gamers bought the idea. "Blast processing, what the hell is it?!" No one ever really bothered to dig up what the hell it was, but hey, just look at Sonic and become a believer! Sega's blast processing claim turned out to be a hoax, nothing more than a misleading marketing strategy. As a result, Genesis owners became unsatisfied with their system and lusted for the powerful Super Nintendo. Now this is where the beating and whipping began...

    Abraham Lincoln ran many, many elections for the chance to become a president. Many a times, he failed. Lots of times, in fact, till he finally succeeded. Sega has walked in the same footsteps, constantly trying to provide the gaming audience with new improved products, but have failed due to bad engineering and rushed ideas with the release of 32X, Sega CD, and the Sega Saturn.

playstation.jpg (7208 bytes)    Into the ring, entered Sony. Who ever thought Sony was capable of building a real kickass console system? It was called the Playstation. Nobody ever noticed Sony's Playstation, until they started racking up third party support. After a while, there were many games showing up for the Playstation, which attracted a LOT of attention. Games such as Street Fighter Alpha, Final Fantasy 7, Tekken 2, and more. The mission for loyal PSX gamers has succeeded and Playstation was gracefully established.

    Sega Saturn possessed the power almost equivalent to Sony's Playstation, but to make full use of its features the programming language required the intelligence of a rocket scientist. The Saturn had the capability to hold up on its own, but bad marketing strategy eventually led to its demise.

    Uniqueness was the key that booted Saturn out of the ring. Sure, Saturn had a great line-up of games, especially a large number of arcade-to-home ports. But the Playstation had Final Fantasy 7 and other Playstation-ONLY games to give Sega a run for its money. Sega had its Virtua Fighter series ported to the Saturn but it was sadly a direct port to Saturn. Some of you may ask, "What's wrong with that?" Well, Playstation had extra features and enhancements included into arcade ports, that's what distinguished Sony between Sega.

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