Console Wars and Rivalries Throughout Gaming History
Video Game Console wars have long been an ongoing controversy within gaming history. Xbox Series X and Sony PlayStation 5’s current battle is but another chapter in an age-old feud which continues to divide gamers worldwide.
Though it’s difficult to pinpoint when console wars ended, some indicators point towards a shift in industry attitudes – one such indicator being Nintendo and Ubisoft joining forces on Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle as evidence of that change.
1. Atari 2600 vs. Intellivision
Mattel Electronics Intellivision (also known as Master Component) was initially released in 1979 and offered superior graphics compared to its main competitor, Atari VCS 2600. Furthermore, this gaming system featured the first use of 6502 microprocessor.
Ubisoft’s library of games included many that pioneered new genres such as construction and management simulations, while others, like Utopia and Body Slam: Super Pro Wrestling were pioneering sports simulations that let users control the movements and actions of characters on a virtual playfield.
Intellivision was the first game console to feature an onboard character font with complete uppercase letters, numerals, and nearly all symbols found on standard computer keyboards – something no other console could match at that time. Each cartridge came equipped with a plastic controller overlay which made navigating its 12-button keypad easier for players. Additionally, each cartridge included a plastic controller overlay for extra control.
2. Sega Genesis vs. Nintendo NES
Console wars pit video game manufacturers against each other to sell their respective gaming systems in the market. Manufacturers usually employ cutting-edge technological features and an enticing selection of video games to draw consumers towards their systems.
Sega released its Genesis console in 1989 with an ambitious plan of outselling both Nintendo’s NES and 16-bit rival NEC TurboGrafx-16 systems in Japan and America respectively. While its sales quickly overtook those of both systems in Japan, Nintendo had more success competing here.
Sega President Hayao Nakayama used aggressive marketing techniques to target Nintendo and their mascot Mario. Nakayama even created Sonic the Hedgehog as his own mascot and themed multiple games around him; ultimately this helped break Nintendo’s US monopoly while propelling Genesis’ success as one of the greatest home gaming systems ever seen in North America.
3. Sony PlayStation vs. Nintendo 64
Sony and Nintendo had initially planned on working together on a console system; when this effort fell through, Sony released their own standalone console – PlayStation. This revolutionary Video Gaming juggernaut revolutionized the industry with its revolutionary 3D graphics, CD technology (allowing more games on one disc), and superior third-party support.
The PlayStation had a two-year headstart on its rival N64, boasting impressive specifications: 33.8 Mhz CPU speed, an anonymous graphics chip and 2MB main RAM. Game developers took notice, creating blockbuster titles like Gran Turismo and Final Fantasy VII on it – helping fuel console wars that would define this fifth generation.
4. Nintendo Wii vs. Sony PlayStation 4
The Wii revolutionized console gaming with the introduction of motion control, ushering in an entirely new way for gamers to interact with their games. It made console gaming much more accessible for casual players or those new to gaming altogether.
Sony PlayStation 2, commonly known as PS2, was the first console that ran games from discs rather than cartridges, revolutionising gaming industry and propelling Sony into mainstream consciousness.
The PS3 marked an enormous leap forward in graphics technology, using its Cell microprocessor to offer pin sharp high definition gaming. Furthermore, Sony used this opportunity to boost their first-party studios – Naughty Dog, Guerrilla Games, and Polyphony Digital were all given games from this powerful machine and helped reclaim their place at the top in gaming history.
5. Nintendo Wii U vs. Microsoft Xbox
The Nintendo Wii U was unveiled to a seventh-generation console market with high definition graphics and seamless online game play, offering motion control features and casual gaming experiences designed to appeal to a wider audience than Sony’s PlayStation which catered to traditional “hardcore” gamers.
Microsoft’s Xbox controller caused quite a stir at launch, due to its initial design being quite different from Sony’s DualShock in terms of positioning its left joystick directly under one’s thumb. Although initially this seemed strange and odd, over time this choice has become standard practice.
6. Sony PlayStation 5 vs. Microsoft Xbox Series
At present, Sony PlayStation and Microsoft Xbox dominate the gaming landscape, each dominating different sectors of the industry. Sony remains on the cutting-edge of gaming technology while Nintendo provides more of a family-oriented experience through their wide array of exclusives and Indie eShop offerings.
Given the current struggles of Microsoft with console exclusive tittles, this latest console war still lays heavily on Sony’s favor, while Nintendo still enjoys the more niche market.