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Modern gamers know all about the competition between current-generation video game systems (Wii, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3), but how many of them remember the details of the long-gone "console war" between the fourth-generation systems? It has been over 20 years since the release of the Sega Genesis (1988), and nearly as many since the release of the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (1990), but back then, just as today, die-hard fans of each of the big-name consoles engaged in spirited arguments as to which was better. Regardless, both consoles were extremely successful, effectively blocking out any serious competition from the other game systems out at the time (the NEC Turbografx-16 and the Neo-Geo home console).

The old console war

The history of the competition between the Super NES and the Genesis still seems well worth examining, due to intrinsic interest as well as to the possibility of insight into why and how game consoles become successful.

Which of the two consoles was in fact the better one? That is up to the individual to decide, whether this determination is based on raw hardware power, the available game libraries, or level of popularity and market value. Some say the Super NES was the best because Mario made the biggest difference, while others speak similarly of the Genesis because it had Sonic. Some may argue that the Super NES won due to number of sales, while others may argue that the Genesis might well have won out in that department, due to its superiority in certain areas, if Sega had devoted more attention to it rather than to other, less successful projects. Developers may argue over the relative technological advantages each had, such as CPU speed or advanced graphics. The goal of this website is not to take a side, but simply to present the details of why each one was popular and preferred by some gamers over the other.


To get started browsing the site, please click on one of the navigation icons above. System-specific information may be found by clicking on the Super NES image or the Genesis image.

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