The struggle between the two builders extends until the 90’s. In 1988, SEGA designed a new console, MEGA Drive, and a new character that became the icon of the company and will try to shade Mario: Sonic. The console is selling very well, and Nintendo is slow to respond. Finally, in 1990 comes the SNES (Super Nintendo Entertainment System) in Japan, and it, helped by large licenses (Zelda, Mario, etc.), will very quickly end up in front of the console of SEGA in term of sales. Thousands of games were born in the following years, new genres are emerging.
The Parallel Companies
- In parallel, the two companies compete in the portable consoles market, on which Nintendo has dominated for almost ten years, for lack of competition. Nintendo’s Gameboy was released in Japan in 1989, a year earlier than the Game Gear SEGA. Nintendo has literally crushed its competitor, its console selling eleven times better than that of SEGA (118.69 million units against 10.62 million)
- In 1994, a new company comes into play: Sony, with the PlayStation. If the proposed games do not sell as well as some titles on (S) NES, the console is a real success: more than 100 million units sold around the world.
- Nintendo tries to fight back in 1996 with the Nintendo 64 which, despite some flagship titles (The Legends of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Super Mario 64, Mario Kart 64 etc.), is not the weight against the Sony console. For its part, SEGA puts on the market, four years apart, two new consoles: SEGA Saturn (1994) and Dream Cast (1998). Each of these consoles has about 10 million buyers.
The Modern Options
In the 2000s, SEGA stopped the design of consoles to focus on the development of titles for consoles of other manufacturers. Sony launches the PlayStation 2, which becomes the most sold console in the world. Nintendo is again trying to retaliate with the GameCube, but sales of both the console (22 million copies) and its games (7 million for Super Smash Bros. Melee, the best-selling title on the console) are disappointing. Microsoft is making its debut on the video game market with the Xbox, which has found more than 25 million takers around the world. With the online sites coming in the forefront, this is the best option now. With Run 3 unblocked the options come easy now.
- If sales of GameCube are disappointing, Nintendo can smile at the performance achieved by its new handheld console, the Gameboy Advance, which has seduced more than 80 million players.
Finally, in 2005, the new generation of home consoles landed. It is Microsoft who opens the ball with the Xbox 360. The year 2006 is marked by the release of the Nintendo Wii, console that seduces the public with Motion Gaming: the controller recognizes our movements and reproduces them in the game. To this console, Nintendo is reviving in the market of home consoles; Wii has found more than 95 million buyers since its release. Sony will be the last manufacturer to sell its console: the PlayStation 3 was released in 2006 in Japan and North America and in 2007 in Europe.