Did the Super Nintendo actually win the 16-Bit war?

Did the SNES beat out Blast Processing?

  • No, Sega moved on to the Saturn.

    Votes: 69 16.2%
  • Yes, the SNES outperformed the Genesis commercially.

    Votes: 358 83.8%

  • Total voters
    427

German Hops

Member
After reading yet another article saying how the SNES eventually won the 16-bit war, I was thinking about how it went down at the time. Here's the wiki summary-



Despite the Genesis's head start, its much larger library of games, as well as its lower price point, market share between the SNES and the Genesis was about even in April 1992, and neither console could maintain a definitive lead for several years. The Super NES eventually prevailed in the American 16-bit console market, and would even remain popular well into the 32-bit generation.





Now, the SNES might've gotten a lead at one point, but I don't remember the market drastically shifting one way enough to be considered a real victory, as in forcing the Genesis to go under or die off at all. Sega cut the Genesis off before it was done to move onto the Saturn, even counting the 32X. I also don't consider the Saturn a response to the SNES, so it doesn't count (to me) that way either.

If the SNES pummeled the Genesis like the PlayStation did the Saturn, I'd consider it a true victory even though the Saturn also got yanked in favor of a successor. Even before the Saturn launched, development had already shifted towards it since publishers knew it was coming and at that point Genesis development began to dwindle. It's not like everyone abandoned the Genesis in favor of the SNES.

The only reason the SNES continued to do well into the 32-bit generation is because it was all that Nintendo was doing. Same deal as the NES until the SNES finally showed up late. If the 32X never happened, the Saturn and N64 swapped launch dates and Sega strongly pushed the Genesis the way Nintendo actually did the SNES, it likely would have also done well during the 32-bit generation until it was replaced late. Especially if Sega continued to experiment with accelerator chips like the SNES did. Hell, even if the 32X and Saturn still went the way they did, the Genesis still would've gone on strong if Sega fully backed it.

Anyways, what I'm asking on a neutral forum is did the SNES truly claim victory, or did Sega simply bow out to move on to bigger things?
 
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Shifty

Gold Member
Anyways, what I'm asking on a neutral forum is did the SNES truly claim victory, or did Sega simply bow out to move on to bigger things?
What's your category for victory?

Total sales of a bygone era?
The legacy left to the emulation scene in the form of high-quality classic games?
The generalized public opinion of NeoGAF circa now?
Which mascot had the sicker burns?

I'll go Mega Drive, because it has more games that I revisit regularly.
Nice and simple, and no need to root around for irrelevant graphs to back up my reasoning.
 
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64bitmodels

Reverse groomer.
I'm A bit confused about the sales numbers of either console but super Nintendo had the bigger impact and it's not even close. No one I know really mentions the Mega drive. 360 vs ps3 was a far more fair fight
 
Nope...

SEGA sold more consoles in Europe, and in the US they were ahead most of the time, until they moved to Saturn.

Nintendo lost a ton of market share with SNES, this can only be seen as a failure in my opinion.
SNES was ahead vs Genesis in the USA, I barely knew anyone that had a Genesis. SNES was more popular undeniably.
 
commercially and critically, the SNES won in the US.
it had superior hardware, sales, and games.

i really really enjoyed sonic 1 & 2, but super mario world was on a different level.
and super mario world sold as much as genesis' top 15 games combined.
 

01011001

Gold Member

this is actually a really damning graph.
even tho the Mega Drive had a 2 year head start, eveb after a bit more than a year it was overtaken.

also I think retrospectively the SNES simply was the way better system.
you can get an SNES and its top 10 games and still will not feel like they are games not worth playing anymore, even if that's the first time you ever played them...
do that with the 10 best games on Mega Drive and you'll most likely not have nearly as good of a time.

which 10 games these are for each system is of course arguable but I bet no list anyone could come up with on the Mega Drive will beat a top 10 list from the SNES.

Mega Man X, Super Mario World, Zelda, Super Metroid and Yoshi's Island alone are IMO better games than anything the Mega Drive has to offer.

I myself am a huge Sega fan, but not a fan of the pre 3D Sega. IMO Sega really hit its prime with 3D arcade games and everything before that and after that was more or less in the "meh" category
 
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this is actually a really damning graph.
even tho the Mega Drive had a 2 year head start, eveb after a bit more than a year it was overtaken.

also I think retrospectively the SNES simply was the way better system.
you can get an SNES and its top 10 games and still will not feel like they are games not worth playing anymore, even if that's the first time you ever played them...
do that with the 10 best games on Mega Drive and you'll most likely not have nearly as good of a time.

which 10 games these are for each system is of course arguable but I bet no list anyone could come up with on the Mega Drive will beat a top 10 list from the SNES.

Mega Man X, Super Mario World, Zelda, Super Metroid and Yoshi's Island alone are IMO better games than anything the Mega Drive has to offer.

I myself am a huge Sega fan, but not a fan of the pre 3D Sega. IMO Sega really hit its prime with 3D arcade games and everything before that and after that was more or less in the "meh" category
Why is the chart comparing mega drive to SNES? Usn't mega drive a competitor to the NES?
 

SF Kosmo

...please disperse...
Globally, yeah, SNES won. But in the west? I don't think so. I think Genesis led both US and Europe, and SNES didn't catch up until after they more or less vacated the position by shifting to Saturn.
 

01011001

Gold Member
Why is the chart comparing mega drive to SNES? Usn't mega drive a competitor to the NES?

it was both a way to beat the NES but also to get a head start in the 16bit race against Nintendo.

it's comparable to the Dreamcast in that sense, that was a way to get ahead of the PS1, but also to get a head start in competing with the PS2.

Sega tried this tactic in general with its last 3 consoles. just remember the surprise launch of the Saturn to come out before the PS1
 
this is actually a really damning graph.
even tho the Mega Drive had a 2 year head start, eveb after a bit more than a year it was overtaken.

also I think retrospectively the SNES simply was the way better system.
you can get an SNES and its top 10 games and still will not feel like they are games not worth playing anymore, even if that's the first time you ever played them...
do that with the 10 best games on Mega Drive and you'll most likely not have nearly as good of a time.

which 10 games these are for each system is of course arguable but I bet no list anyone could come up with on the Mega Drive will beat a top 10 list from the SNES.

Mega Man X, Super Mario World, Zelda, Super Metroid and Yoshi's Island alone are IMO better games than anything the Mega Drive has to offer.

I myself am a huge Sega fan, but not a fan of the pre 3D Sega. IMO Sega really hit its prime with 3D arcade games and everything before that and after that was more or less in the "meh" category

Depends. The Mega Drive dwarfs the SNES in action - sidescrollers and shoot 'em ups in terms of quantity and quality. While the SNES dwarfs the Mega Drive in slower paced platformers and RPGs. They're very different libraries, and they really complement each other very, very well. You cannot get better than this as far as 2D gaming goes than playing around with both of their libraries in RetroArch or something.
 

twerkouting

Banned
It had some of my favorite games of all time, so that automatically makes it win the gen regardless of tech or sales or whatever.

Plus the soundboard on SNES didn't make all music sound like farts.

I had both and while the SNES had more developed soundboard that produced some the best tracks of that era, in the right hands, the Genesis' weird ass soundboard was euphoria-inducing (e.g. Streets of Rage 2, Sonic 2)
 
Depends. The Mega Drive dwarfs the SNES in action - sidescrollers and shoot 'em ups in terms of quantity and quality. While the SNES dwarfs the Mega Drive in slower paced platformers and RPGs. They're very different libraries, and they really complement each other very, very well. You cannot get better than this as far as 2D gaming goes than playing around with both of their libraries in RetroArch or something.
huh? SNES destroys the Mega Drive in action and sidescrollers.
 
Mario and Super Metroid, nuff said.

Action - sidescrollers. Man.. one is a platformer and another is an action - adventure, i got this distinct difference between action - sidescrollers, platformers and the likes. That's why i said that the Mega Drive dwarfs it in terms of action - sidescrollers, and the SNES is better at platformers.

With that said, i'll take Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master over both of those.
 

Flakster99

Member
Yes, it was a blow out in the end.

There is a laundry list of reasons as to how it became lopsided in the end, but that was the outcome.

Both systems were incredible.
 
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ShirAhava

Plays with kids toys, in the adult gaming world
Do you 'win' a race if your rival leaves the track while being in the lead because you cross the finishline alone?

Sega stopped supporting the genesis after 94/early 95 SNES was supported until like late 96/97

The revisionist history of SNES whooping the Genesis has always seemed rather pathetic to me

Genesis basically retired on top (in the US), Nintendo never beat it
 
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Flakster99

Member
Winning the “war” by sticking around long after your competition moved on, and then arriving so late to the next generation that you get pummeled.

Big “win” alright lol

Do you 'win' a race if your rival leaves the track while being in the lead because you cross the finishline alone?

Sega stopped supporting the genesis after 94/early 95 SNES was supported until like late 96/97

The revisionist history of SNES whooping the Genesis has always seemed rather pathetic to me

Genesis basically retired on top (in the US), Nintendo never beat it

Downplaying the Genesis coming out two full years before the SNES in JP/NA and 3 years in PAL is irrelevant?

28 years later and the bad faith arguments continue.
 
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ShirAhava

Plays with kids toys, in the adult gaming world
Downplaying the Genesis coming out two full years before the SNES in JP/NA and 3 years in PAL is irrelevant?

28 years later and the bad faith arguments continue.

The 16-bit wars started with the TurboGrafx-16 vs Sega Genesis in the late 80s

Nintendo being late to the battle riding the NES wave for as long as they could when The Super Famicom could have been released a lot earlier was a choice and negates nothing
 

Romulus

Member
You answered your own question. Genesis needed add ons to compete. SNES didn't. They keep it simple.

50 vs 30 million is a pretty devastating ass beating, especially considering SNES came out later.
 
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Soapbox Killer

Grand Nagus
They both had there place but by any reasonable metric, Super Nintendo is the defining 16-Bit system by way of software. Sales numbers can be skewed to push any narrative so that one or the other can be dismissed but if we just look at the software alone, the Sega Genesis/ Mega Drive had some all time classic games that are still very fun to play today.


However,

Super Nintendo had games that some people still think are the greatest games ever made

Super Metroid, A Link to the Past , Chrono Trigger, Final Fantasy 6, Super Mario World.


That is some damn compelling software. Sega wasn't a slouch either and shined when it came to action and sports games (dudes were playing NHL 94 for ten years plus)
 
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