Since man first learned how to fashion undergarments from fig leaves, humanity has scarcely lasted five minutes without starting a war. Whether it’s for land, for religion, or to take down a rotten egg like Hitler and his cronies, we as a people are prone to letting our fists do the talking a little too often. Commonly, resources are the reason that we go to war, whether those in power care to admit it or not. President Bush might like to tell you that he invaded the Middle East for the good of the people, but it just so happens there’s also a hell of a lot of oil over there. When there’s not enough to go around, everyone wants to make sure they get their share. As Tears For Fears once sang, ‘Everybody Wants To The Rule The World’.
The video game industry isn’t quite as dangerous as the Normandy landings, but with a finite number of potential buyers wielding a finite amount of money to spend, console manufacturers will do what they need to do to sell their product to the masses. When Pong was first released in a home version it had to duke it out with a slew of knock offs for market supremacy. Later came the Atari 2600 which dominated sales against largely forgotten systems like ColecoVision. After the North American video game crash of ’83 it looked like console gaming was done for in the States, but Nintendo and SEGA were about to enter the fray, and console gaming would be changed forever. 450 bushmaster ammo
Nintendo were a card game company that had seen the interest in board games and card games decline since the arrival of arcades, and like any good company that sees the market they’re in shift, they adapted. Moving into arcade gaming and toys, Nintendo found some measure of success with their new ventures, and the next logical step was to move in on the home video game market. Atari were the big name in gaming but the crash of ’83 had decimated the company, leaving the industry wide open for a new challenger to take over. In 1983 Nintendo released the Family Computer in Japan, and after a successful run in their home country, made plans to go international. In ’85, the Famicom (as it had become known) was rebranded as the Nintendo Entertainment System and launched globally.
Meanwhile, SEGA were primarily known for making coin operated arcade machines, but they made an attempt at cashing in on the home console market too. Their SG-1000 console actually launched at the same time as the NES, but due in part to the aforementioned industry crash in North America, the lack of games available for the system, and the fact that their machine was underpowered in comparison to the Nintendo console, the SG-1000 never really found any footing. These days, the SG-1000 is largely forgotten about, remaining little but a footnote in the pages of video game history.
While the SG-1000 failed to make much of a splash, the success of the NES proved that console gaming could be a viable way to make money, and SEGA still wanted a piece of that pie. The SEGA Master System was launched in 1987 to directly compete with the NES for market share. Technically, the machine was more powerful than the Nintendo console, but with the NES having already been on the market for a few years, the Master System struggled. Gamers already had the NES, and trying to convince them to switch to a new system would be hard work; a problem made even harder because third party publishers were largely afraid to take a risk by releasing games on the system for fear of repercussions from Nintendo, and so the number of games available was limited in comparison to the NES.