As a child growing up in the 90s there was no greater debate. Which console is better? The Mega Drive or the SNES. It was a question that divided opinion, and it still does to this day.
With Nintendo and Sega having recently launched new retro plug-and-play consoles, gaming fans are once again firmly split in their allegiance. Having reignited an old rivalry, here are four reasons why you should do the right thing and side with Sonic and the Mega Drive.
It made gaming fun for adults
Gaming on the SNES was enjoyable, but it just couldn't compete with the Mega Drive if you were of a certain age. Titles like Mortal Kombat uniquely featured uncensored blood and gore on Sega's platform, which although perhaps sounds like a minor detail, it was a big deal at the time. With the SNES having built its reputation as being 'family friendly' it only seemed appropriate that their version omitted this. By targeting a more mature audience Sega proved that gaming was for everyone. And their efforts even helped bring about the need for gaming's first ever age ratings system.
The Mega Drive costs just £50
Unlike Nintendo's new NES Classic Mini, the Sega Ultimate Classic is available to buy today. No waiting. No stock shortages. Today!
Yes, they're both priced the same at a very reasonable £49.99, but what sets the Classic apart is that it comes with 80 built-in games. 50 more than Nintendo's device. That's all your favourite titles like Sonic, Golden Axe and Shinobi, plus an integrated cartridge slot so you can play original games too. By all means you could try sourcing the original hardware and games but be warned, it'll cost significantly more.
Sega were underdogs in the 90s
Before the Mega Drive, Nintendo had dominated the video games industry. Back in 1990 Nintendo accounted for 90 per cent of the US's £2bn video games sector, but that all changed when Sega launched their 16-bit console. They went from relative minnows to - albeit briefly - market leaders, going on to reach their peak in 1993. It was a fine accomplishment that shouldn't be underestimated.
Snazzy marketing, cool arcade adaptations, licensed sports games and advertising on shows like Saturday Night Live proved sure-fire ways to gain a loyal following. And who can argue with what they did? The Mega Drive sold somewhere between 30 and 35 million units, and to this day it's Sega's best-selling console!
It has more games to play
Whilst Nintendo spent a lot of time obsessing about the quality of the games they released Sega adopted a different, more open approach that resulted in a much larger library of titles. If you're the kind of person that likes unearthing hidden gems (see: Gunstar Heroes, Comix Zone or Herzog Zwei) then you'll appreciate their strategy. At one point they had 10 titles for every single SNES game! And today there are more than 900 games to discover.
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