Console Wars: The Bit Wars III: The End of an Era
So as we enter the console generation that probably the rest of us reading this article was born in, the Sixth Generation of consoles is something that no one likes talking about if they’re a fan of Sega, and not only that it was the closest thing to an Iron Curtain than Nintendo’s unyielding death grip on the handheld market. The PlayStation was dominating the market and the underrated underdog that was the N64 were battling it out with the number of games they were pumping out, but the minds of Sony had something far bigger ready to start the new millennium with.
Sega was bleeding money due to their mega blunder with the Saturn, and they wanted to fix what was wrong and do a right with what would come to be Sega’s last dance in the console market. Sega would release the Dreamcast on September 9th, 1999 in America and the Dreamcast was doing really well with a pretty good library to boot, and it was the console to start the Sixth Generation, with an interesting controller, the VMU and another slot in the back for rumble or other features, the Dreamcast was an interesting little thing upon its release, especially with the advertising behind it in the American market as in Japan, it already wasn’t looking good, but in the states it was doing fairly well, and it looked like Sega was going to finally be back to the golden days of the Genesis. Well I have bad news for you later on.
After going through a second fight to the death, this time with their ex-girlfriend Sony, Nintendo finally joined the CD revolution with a resounding lukewarm reception that eventually became God-like praise in its later years. The GameCube was released in November of 2001 alongside Microsoft’s debut with the Original Xbox, didn’t sell as well as expected, but it did become the cult classic of classic consoles for several reasons. Once again, Nintendo never ceases to fail with their overabundance of games that they decide to release, with their most popular game of all time to be released: Super Smash Bros Melee. Not only that, but games like Super Mario Sunshine, Super Monkey Ball 1 and 2, Perfect Dark Zero and even though it was an exclusive title for about 30 minutes, Resident Evil 4, once again, Nintendo goes to another bloody war for a third consecutive console generation battling it out with the other consoles of the same generation.
Now what more can we say about the Xbox other than the fact that it pretty much saved Nintendo from a fourth bloody war in the upcoming generation? Released a few days after the GameCube, the Xbox became its own color as it wasn’t planning on fighting over which color they could steal, but the Xbox was actually a beast in the making, while having some decent success in its first go. Now, unfortunately, I can’t really say much about the Original Xbox as I joined the Xbox team during the 360 years, but from the general knowledge that I know about the system, is Halo and The Duke Controller which is the daddy of controllers. Other than that, and unfortunately, I’m shooting blanks, and this isn’t Deja Vu, but luckily Game Sack has me and you covered on the games n stuff about the old Xbox:
So now, the elephant in the room.
While the Dreamcast was soaking in some well-needed success, it should be no surprise that Sony wasn’t gonna allow that by a long shot, and Sony wasn’t gonna hold back this time, no matter who was in their way. October 26th, 2000 was a day that saw the grim end of Sega, as the successor to the PlayStation had arrived: The PlayStation 2. Also, happy early 20th birthday to the PS2, I’m older than the system and it makes me feel like an old fart. Do y’all remember how I said in the previous article that the PlayStation was a Leviathan that Sony unleashed? The release of the PlayStation 2 was the Call of Cthulhu. I should also mention this part of the sales, but the Dreamcast in its first month was able to sell 640,000 units within its first month in the states. The PS2 did those numbers in a week after release. The PS2 wasn’t just a console as well, as it had the capability to play DVD movies and even play albums on the system, so it was the absolute Jack of All Trades. With these sales numbers happening in such little time, the GameCube on the way, and the Xbox as well, on March 31st, 2001, Sega announced the discontinuation of the Dreamcast, and it was the spiritual death of Sega, as it was Sega’s final console that they would release, and Sony became the new blue brand.
The Third and Fourth Generation of consoles would be discontinued in 2003 and 2004 respectively.
I know that this article is the shortest of the bunch, but I think it’s really no question that this generation goes to the PS2 with an overwhelming 155 million units sold and the overwhelming amount of games that it had beat out the Xbox and GameCube, and even though the GameCube had a strong amount of first-party titles, the PS2 was simply, a Jack of All Trades. While the GameCube had super strong games, and the Xbox had a controller the size of my head, the PS2 was just mowing down everyone with the number of games that were being released.
It was down to three as the Seventh Generation rolled on and Sega was now out of the race, and this next generation would be the beginning of a new war that would rage on to this day.
Xbox vs PlayStation
To be continued…