A long history of console wars

Think this holiday season is the first time that big-name video-game makers have fought for the dollars and hearts of buyers? Not a chance. Yes, Microsoft’s Xbox One and Sony’s PlayStation 4 are set to battle each other this holiday season. But, as a recent story by PCMag.com shows, video-game console wars are nothing uncommon. Here’s a brief history of the battles between video-game companies.

Atari vs. nobody?

The PCMag story traces the history of console wars to the late 1970s. This is when the Atari 2600 exploded on the scene. The console didn’t feature nifty graphics. And its games tended to be simple point-and-shoot affairs. But the console dominated its time period. Its main challenger was probably Mattel’s Intellivision. But the Intellivision, despite better graphics, never really mounted a serious challenge to the 2600’s dominance.

Sega takes on Nintendo

From 1989 through 1994, Nintendo was the number-one video-game maker in the us with its NES and Super Nintendo. The company, though, had a honest challenger with the Sega Genesis, which used the famed attack ad “Genesis does what Nintendon’t” to take on its rival. Sega never did catch Nintendo, but it sure made an interesting challenger.

The modern age

The Microsoft vs. Sony battles started much earlier than now, hitting a high point from 2005 through 2012. Sony’s PS3 introduced Blu-ray but came in at an amazingly high price point of $599. Microsoft took on the Sony with its Xbox 360, which it introduced just four years after the original Xbox. The big debate during this period? Which of the consoles was more powerful? Which had the better online network? And which one broke more frequently? Nintendo entered this fight with its first Wii, a device that hardcore gamers sneered at but which families and casual gamers loved, sending it to huge success.