The Sega Genesis, put on the market to challenge Nintendo, turned 20 on Friday. And after a long and enviable stint, it became a classic game console that, to this day, is remembered as one of the few that made its mark without actually leading the market by the end of its generation.
Sega has had one of the most tragic histories in the video game industry. In the early 1990s, it had Sonic; Nintendo had Mario. It had high-quality, third-party titles; Nintendo had high-quality, third-party titles. It had the Sega Genesis; Nintendo had the Super Nintendo Entertainment System.
Battles over which console was better were waged on playgrounds across the world. The Nintendo fans said Mario and the SNES were the kings of gaming. Sega fans said Sonic and the Genesis held that crown.
Today, the Genesis (and Sega's console business) are relics of the past. In the 20 years that has lapsed between the Genesis' release and today, despite Mario's enduring presence, the video game industry has changed dramatically. Nowadays, battles are waged over price as much as they are waged over games. And Sega, the once-beloved organization that kept a blue hedgehog as its mascot, is a third-party developer.
But it's the Genesis--and its success--that we remember today.… Read more