Do you recall this thing that happens every so often called the “Console Wars”? Ya know, that thing where people of all shapes, sizes, ages, genders, classifications, and experience all wage a war on a system (or systems) they deem inferior to their own personal system of choice? This was no different 25 years ago. Only then, bit-count was the battlefield where unnaturally colored woodland creatures, seafaring mammals, and a multitude of other such characters waged a war on the industry giant, defined a generation and revolutionized the gaming industry for all time. This week, we would like to wish a happy birthday to the system that changed it all…
Nintendo, the overlord with a monopolizing grip on household gaming, and Sega, the small arcade company underdog with the heart and guts to overthrow the hierarchy… T’was truly a battle for the ages.
Sega had to figure out the best way to attack the adversary where it made an impact enough to gain the attention it needed to establish itself as the new challenger, thus effectively starting the “Console Wars” as we know it. Things then weren’t quite like they are now, however. There wasn’t an E3 to showcase the system and it’s capabilities. The television was one of the main, if not only, useful propaganda and advertisement outlets of that time. So Sega did what any young challenger would do… They went up and wholeheartedly went in head-first against the beast, turned around showing that they could stand on their own in the market that essentially didn’t have any real challengers to Nintendo, and began to let loose series of television advertisement onslaughts that would make every viewer feel as though this system was the actual future, embodied in a plastic case, and could totally do what Nintendon’t… Take a look!
These claims weren’t just empty claims, though. The system has enough firepower and processing speeds to render games like Sonic the Hedgehog, Ecco the Dolphin, and many other fast-paced games at break-neck speeds, and with Sonic on their side, it had to be fast! Now, while Sonic the Hedgehog was the flagship game for the franchise even to this day, the Genesis had such a vast library of over 900 games towards the end of it’s run that not a single person can honestly say that the Genesis was a stale system. Those games claimed a place in the hearts of so many people with the exhilarating gameplay and the immersive soundtracks. Below is just a teeny tiny sample of some games I remember playing as a kid, and even playing as an adult.
Travel down memory lane with me for a bit, would ya? Just click that little orange thingy next to the title and enjoy.
Toejam & Earl
Ecco the Dolphin
Street Fighter II
Ahhh… That was refreshing.
Now, the Genesis had a valiant run. It was a serious contender all the way up to 1995, when the 32 bit era began to take shape, rendering the 16-bit system technologically obsolete. Genesis consoles had sold upwards of 29 million units worldwide by that time, and while the Genesis was officially discontinued by Sega in 1997, units sold to date has reached around an estimated 40 million!
To gamers of all levels, the Genesis is still a game system that can bring endless joy. This week, we celebrate 25 years of that joy and entertainment! Here’s one for the road.