I believe all gamers have their own perspective on what “SEGA” was/is to them, as well as SEGA’s mascot… Sonic the Hedgehog. To me, it was always a battle between Nintendo and SEGA(duh!). But I mean it got more competitive than that. The root of the competition even spurred out to the gamers! What do I mean by this? As a kid I’ve always been faithful to Nintendo. Even in the school playground during recess and lunch I’d always have arguments why I thought Nintendo was better than SEGA. I was just an 8 year old kid so mind you I didn’t appreciate what SEGA brought to the table for the Video Game industry. I was molded into the Nintendo culture at age 4 since the NES was the first system my parents bought me. If they bought me a Sega Genesis things would be very different.
Mario and Sonic, at the start of the race; who will finish first? This image is the best way to describe Nintendo and Sega’s rivalry. Back in elementary, school finished at 2:45 and off we went to the school buses. For me, 2:45 meant another Nintendo VS SEGA battle with Gary(my bus seat partner). He never owned a Nintendo Entertainment System, or even cared to talk about the latest NES game! Super Mario Bro.s 3 CaME OuT!!! Everyone was talking about it!!!……except for Gary. He simply…did…not….c.a.r.e It was always about SEGA and how they had better graphics than Nintendo. He would claim that Sonic was much more dominant in his features while Mario was a small fat plumber and wasn’t as versatile. My argument was that anyone who’s a plumber and can kick as much ass as Mario is pretty good in my books :). As you can see, it was always fun standing up for Mario!! But it was always puzzling how anyone could prefer Sonic over Mario, at such as young age it was truly mind boggling. I thought, “Uggghhh…..what a weird world to be in….only owning a Sega Genesis(or Master system)”
Nonetheless, I’ve grown to appreciate SEGA over the years(fighting games were always better on SEGA IMO), and now since SEGA OF AMERICA doesn’t produce consoles….I miss those times. I miss Mario VS Sonic :(…….. I especially miss the SEGA commercials because they were always comical:
It was very sad to see SEGA diminish over the years and only become a third party developer for the likes of Nintendo and Microsoft(producing software for them). With that said, I decided my next post would showcase only eBay auctions for Sonic the Hedgehog…
In the meantime….I want to share one of my favorite posts from a pure SEGA follower and what SEGA meant to him; by M. G. Pettit:
“Well, it’s a long story. I have worked in electronics most of my life. I owned a SEGA Master System back in high school around 1986-1987. When I got my first job in 1990, before broadcasting college, I purchased a SEGA Genesis for my girlfriend who is now my wife. The great thing about the Genesis is that if featured a 16bit processor. This was unheard of at the time.
Later in 1998, after I finished school, bought a home and had two kids, I purchased a SEGA Dreamcast for the family. So you see, I have been a fan of SEGA OF AMERICA for some time.
SEGA, from what I read, was an American video game company on the early 1970’s. I was told that it was owned by the Gulf Western Oil Company, and stood for: South East Gaming Association. Once computers and microprocessors began to come down in price, manufacturers began to build better video games and the arcade and home video market began to take off in the early 1980’s. Along came a Japanese computer company who wanted to purchase SEGA. They did, and in the early 80’s they produced an array of dazzling arcade games, the likes of which had never been seen. This included the famous Star Trek-The Arcade Game.
After 1983, kids like me stopped purchasing video games because the home versions were horrible. The graphics looked like little stick figures, and the arcade games were ripping us off, so we decided to get into computers and start writing our own video game programs. Thus, the arcade and home video game market slumped from around 1983 to 1985. Then around 1986 SEGA and Nintendo brought the home video game market back to life with the SEGA Master System and the Nintendo Game System. The graphics on the Master Systems were incredible. Games like Chop-lifter, Space Harrier, Astor-Warrior, and my favorite, TRANS-BOT were new and very cool.
This brought life back to a buying market. Later, the Genesis Game System ruled the home video market with an array of great titles. They owned an unprecedented 78% of the home video game market. I believe this is the highest in home gamming history.
Unfortunately, this system was so popular that SEGA attempted to maintain it with a bizarre 32x enhancer module; even after SONY released its Play station 1 system.
The 32x module was a add on that enhanced the Genesis to a simulated 32bit processor. However, the add-on was bulky and expensive, with very few titles. SONY had better graphics and more titles.
Seeing how much a failure the 32x module was, SEGA introduced for the first time in America its SEGA Saturn System. Once again, the Sony Play station had better graphics than this outdated unit that was on the market in Japan when the SEGA Genesis was just being released in New York for the first time in 1990. SEGA’s competitors, SONY, had over 6 years to study and copy SEGA’s crown jewel and thus the SEGA Saturn soon fell way behind in sales toitss rival, the Play station.
Attempting to create an advanced game system, SEGA quickly started designing a new game system. One that would have far better graphics than the Sony Play station or any other game system on the market. It would be one that would allow revolutionary interactive game play via the internet. This new game systems was none other than the SEGA Dreamcast.
The Dreamcast had excellent graphics and game play, and for a short time, it put SEGA back at the top of the home video game market.
However, SONY had already anticipated this, and had already been planning a release of the Play Station 2. This game system, along with the new Microsoft Xbox, offered some very stiff competition for the Dreamcast. Both of these companies, Sony and Microsoft, had ample time to design a game system that used high speed internet connections which offered game downloads and updates. I believe SEGA may have rushed getting the Dreamcast to the market and this may be why it only offered a slow 56k modem connection. There is only so much data that can be delivered through this dial-up internet connection. This combined with the fact that the SONY Play station also played DVD’s gave the Dreamcast some serious blows.
The Sony Play station went on to become the best selling game system of all time. The Xbox evolved into the XBOX 360.
However for a short time, the Dreamcast held in there, and the clever designers at SEGA were about to offer a DVD add-on, and all other types of goodies that would have probably put the Dreamcast back on top.
Unfortunately, differences with SEGA of Japan and SEGA of America slowed the company down a little; a house divided can not stand. The final blow came when the CEO and innovator of SEGA whom I believe was named Isao Okawa, died.
SEGA then decided to get out of the game console game and they continue to make great titles for other game systems. However, they may one day get; “BACK IN THE GAME!” – M. G. Pettit