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Sega Genesis and NEC TurboGrafX were around even until Sonic came out.

Oh the kids all knew Sega Genesis was the cool thing well before Sonic. TG16 just didn't quite have the it factor, and it certainly didn't have all the arcade ports. This was the era of OMG it looks almost like the arcade!

Bonk was fucking badass though.
 

Eddie-Griffin

Gold Member
But the 7800 & SMS were getting the bulk of their sales during the uptick back from the North American gaming crash,
That happened in 85 before any of the consoles release and is wrong.

Atari with what manufacturing they could set up only could produce a bit over 100k which all sold out. 7800 eventually sold over 2 million~

Sega brought 400-700k and only sold 125k. Master System sold a disputed 1.5 million

Ain't no bulk of sales coming from anywhere in the early phase of the cycle.

Genesis & TG-16 also had direct competition in the NES, which still had a lot of strong momentum in its last years thanks to games like SMB3
NES peaked in the US in 1989 and then fell drastically each year after.

No, Sonic was only a factor into it, but even if the gap were smaller pre-Sonic announcement, the truth is they were never selling on par,

They were pretty much selling on par, the gap between them before hand could easily be attributed to the fact the NEC launched later than the Genesis in most of the country. There was know notable increase in hardware between the two, or even the Genesis buy itself until CES, and the press coverage of the sudden heightened interest from consumers is documented during the months afterward up until launch, in which after that all the analysts and trackers were coming out seeing Sega now as a competitor and all putting the blame on Sonic, which Sega themselves also did by throwing his pictures in the newspapers and magazines along with market statements as shown in the OP with one example. NEC had nothing to counter Sonic pre or post release.

No, the 90-something million was for PS3, because Sony actually did release their numbers.

Huh? Sony directly announced a number so not sure why you're using estimates unless your rounding up for some reason, at 87.4 million.

That might've existed for the first few months but Genesis's library saw arcade ports and sports games TG16 simply wasn't getting and that began the gap to grow in its favor
The first comparison was the first 6 months actually, which goes several months into 1990, and CES was Jan 1991. As for the tail of your post you simply don't have any reason or evidence to make this claim. Looking at when several of these games you brought up released and where the sales between the two were, they were not moving Genesis consoles in the way you imply. In Jan 1991 during the month of CES both NEC and Sega declined to give numbers, but NEC was the only one comparing results to their forecast.

Keep in mind the 1.2 million to 750k spread in favor of Sega came out 4 months after, not at CES, where Sega still hadn't sold 1 million consoles yet, so how much less was it in Dec, Nov, October, the 3 months before jan? Which was 4 months away from the 1.2 million?

Also the TG16 also had arcade and sports games that the Sega Genesis was also not getting, so that is just a poor argument. Games like Taking it to the hoop were considered a superior sports title, but none of these were significantly improving either consoles prospects. As of Dec 1990 the best selling 16-bit game was still Bonk (which never sold a million copies), and Bonk and the TG16 were winning awards left and right including from major gaming publications, and for some time NEC actually had more games available than Sega (which shouldn't be a surprised early on given that the console came out in 87 in Japan and they had games to bring over, similar to NES).

There's zero evidence of any widening of the small gap until after CES when Sonic was shown, and that hype spread to other games that were shown at CES, and the Game Gear which was also shown at CES. The hype and positive coverage of Sonic and the other titles raised interest in to consumers which started buying more Genesis consoles eventually helping it pass 1 million and then 1.2 million a couple months before Sonics release where we can see clear evidence of a major change in trend for the console.

but in Sega's case it was because they were quickly pivoting to Saturn. For MS it was probably due to making a switch over to the XBO, but they were also having a very different shift in priorities for Xbox as a whole in those last years and up to XBO's release.
Actually Sega was losing money on unsold genesis stock, as before they were touting number susing shipment figures.

For Microsoft, the company as a whole was moving away from numbers, I personally put the blame on WIndows 10 and how Microsoft was bragging about adoptions ignoring the fact they were forcing people to install it on their computer by force with many people not knowing and several users not having machines with the specs to handle it. You would have had to know ahead of time or caught when they announced the forced updates, and then uninstall a file downloaded from WIndows update to prevent the switch. To be fair, at first there was sometimes, an option to switch back, but which was later removed.


Software sales aren't important for the hardware discussion here; there may not have been any Genesis games pre-Sonic that did numbers that big, but Genesis also had a lot more NA releases so it had a bigger variety of games still doing decent-ish numbers and each segment of the base buying the system were probably doing so for some of those specific games.
Software moves hardware, and barely any software was moving hardware at a good pace at the time, it was unusually slow.

As for a lot more NA releases, are you saying in compared to NEC? Because that's not true, you must be looking at totals instead of the relevant period of 1989 to January 1992 which this thread is based on. Yes, Sega in 1991 definitely picked up but that was mostly due to the Genesis showing it was competitive after Sonic and the pick up after CES. Before that most of the time NEC had a bit more games available. I don't think either had 100 games until mid 1991. Variety is arguable, I can see that working both ways,

It's the exact same for Microsoft, in fact I'd say it's a more pronounced scenario in their case considering the sales range even their marquee 1P releases total nowadays, in relation to the actual number of consoles they are selling.

Except those are two things MS hasn't released numbers for in like 6 years, so an odd statement.

Even supposing that, Genesis/MegaDrive still had markets like Brazil, and some smaller parts of Asia like South Korea; between those and some of the licensed variants I still don't see TG16/PC-Engine globally lining up with Genesis/MegaDrive numbers sans Sonic's existence.

I think some of the discussion points you bring up are based on looking at LTD totals years after the fact instead of staying within the time frame of relevance.

Before NEC died in 1994, though they had some pity support after technically, and that zombie console that was quickly abandoned by retailers and consumers which barely counted, some would say end of 1993 was when they folded, but in anycase NEC had more than 5 million sold in Japan by then. No combination of anything outside NA was going to get the Genesis to that number at that time, you then had to include what NEC sold in other Asian countries, Europe, and other territories on top of that 5 million. Remember the Turbo sold close to 9 million in total across the TG16 and DUO, and it was only really alive, on life support, in Japan in 1994 so most of those other sales came from before worldwide.

Brazil and the Americas (Not North) took years for the larger sales numbers to come to fruition There weren't 1 million Mega Drives sold in brazil by 1994. Probably not even half that. This is WITH Sonic being the face of the consoles. Without it, raises questions about the longevity of the Mega Drive, because a lot of US sales also suddenly vanish.

So when looking at 89-1992, it's a more sure thing that Sega wouldn't be much of anything. Even if NEC was still behind the Genesis, it would have still sold well and not have been knocked out as the SNES creamed everything at release, combined with japans sales, there's a strong possibility NEC may have been global number 2 without Sonic.

In Europe? Because MD Western Europe sales were around 9 million by end of 1996, and the Majesco Genesis/MegaDrive 3 (the $50 'bargain-bin' priced option) didn't release until 1997.
Pretty far off the timeline.

Point being, again there was a gap already forming between the two systems prior to Sonic's release, even prior to its CES showing.
Very little evidence supports this.

The larger NA software variety for Genesis being the growing reason, that and the sports games.
As mentioned above when you brought this up before, this is incorrect.

Sonic just helped catapult the exponential sales trajectory the Genesis was already building in the NA market prior to its existence.

No such built trajectory existed until after CES, and the press and the experts took notice.

The only thing I'm really in contention with you on ITT is the idea the two systems were "relatively even" in sales prior to Sonic's release
You are forgetting the fact that CES was in Jan and the sales report you're thinking of was late April.

Basically, "relatively easily" would've required some masterstroke 3P licensing deals and 1P releases beyond what NEC/Hudson had on the market at that point (or had in the pipeline) to make up that gap, or pull ahead of Genesis in the NA territory. Especially knowing it'd also have to contend with the SNES.
SNES was later, they could have covered that gap with just one other appealing title like Bonk, which was not Bonk 2, as neither consoles really put out any software that was moving hardware at an even moderate level until Sonic. Bonk and the TurboCD were expected to push NEC out of the pack but didn't and those were the biggest shakers before CES.

If Bonk 2 had a major update to go with the marketing that could have been it. But Bonk 2 wasn't just more of the same, it was literally more of the same, including reused tracks, and it wasn't what people expected from a sequel to a major title that was sometimes referred to as NEC's mascot (even though it was Hudsons). Having more support for the CD may have done it too, or at least helped, but they really botched that launch, even with the price it could have done better.
 
That happened in 85 before any of the consoles release and is wrong.

Atari with what manufacturing they could set up only could produce a bit over 100k which all sold out. 7800 eventually sold over 2 million~

Sega brought 400-700k and only sold 125k. Master System sold a disputed 1.5 million

Ain't no bulk of sales coming from anywhere in the early phase of the cycle.


NES peaked in the US in 1989 and then fell drastically each year after.



They were pretty much selling on par, the gap between them before hand could easily be attributed to the fact the NEC launched later than the Genesis in most of the country. There was know notable increase in hardware between the two, or even the Genesis buy itself until CES, and the press coverage of the sudden heightened interest from consumers is documented during the months afterward up until launch, in which after that all the analysts and trackers were coming out seeing Sega now as a competitor and all putting the blame on Sonic, which Sega themselves also did by throwing his pictures in the newspapers and magazines along with market statements as shown in the OP with one example. NEC had nothing to counter Sonic pre or post release.



Huh? Sony directly announced a number so not sure why you're using estimates unless your rounding up for some reason, at 87.4 million.


The first comparison was the first 6 months actually, which goes several months into 1990, and CES was Jan 1991. As for the tail of your post you simply don't have any reason or evidence to make this claim. Looking at when several of these games you brought up released and where the sales between the two were, they were not moving Genesis consoles in the way you imply. In Jan 1991 during the month of CES both NEC and Sega declined to give numbers, but NEC was the only one comparing results to their forecast.

Keep in mind the 1.2 million to 750k spread in favor of Sega came out 4 months after, not at CES, where Sega still hadn't sold 1 million consoles yet, so how much less was it in Dec, Nov, October, the 3 months before jan? Which was 4 months away from the 1.2 million?

Also the TG16 also had arcade and sports games that the Sega Genesis was also not getting, so that is just a poor argument. Games like Taking it to the hoop were considered a superior sports title, but none of these were significantly improving either consoles prospects. As of Dec 1990 the best selling 16-bit game was still Bonk (which never sold a million copies), and Bonk and the TG16 were winning awards left and right including from major gaming publications, and for some time NEC actually had more games available than Sega (which shouldn't be a surprised early on given that the console came out in 87 in Japan and they had games to bring over, similar to NES).

There's zero evidence of any widening of the small gap until after CES when Sonic was shown, and that hype spread to other games that were shown at CES, and the Game Gear which was also shown at CES. The hype and positive coverage of Sonic and the other titles raised interest in to consumers which started buying more Genesis consoles eventually helping it pass 1 million and then 1.2 million a couple months before Sonics release where we can see clear evidence of a major change in trend for the console.


Actually Sega was losing money on unsold genesis stock, as before they were touting number susing shipment figures.

For Microsoft, the company as a whole was moving away from numbers, I personally put the blame on WIndows 10 and how Microsoft was bragging about adoptions ignoring the fact they were forcing people to install it on their computer by force with many people not knowing and several users not having machines with the specs to handle it. You would have had to know ahead of time or caught when they announced the forced updates, and then uninstall a file downloaded from WIndows update to prevent the switch. To be fair, at first there was sometimes, an option to switch back, but which was later removed.



Software moves hardware, and barely any software was moving hardware at a good pace at the time, it was unusually slow.

As for a lot more NA releases, are you saying in compared to NEC? Because that's not true, you must be looking at totals instead of the relevant period of 1989 to January 1992 which this thread is based on. Yes, Sega in 1991 definitely picked up but that was mostly due to the Genesis showing it was competitive after Sonic and the pick up after CES. Before that most of the time NEC had a bit more games available. I don't think either had 100 games until mid 1991. Variety is arguable, I can see that working both ways,



Except those are two things MS hasn't released numbers for in like 6 years, so an odd statement.



I think some of the discussion points you bring up are based on looking at LTD totals years after the fact instead of staying within the time frame of relevance.

Before NEC died in 1994, though they had some pity support after technically, and that zombie console that was quickly abandoned by retailers and consumers which barely counted, some would say end of 1993 was when they folded, but in anycase NEC had more than 5 million sold in Japan by then. No combination of anything outside NA was going to get the Genesis to that number at that time, you then had to include what NEC sold in other Asian countries, Europe, and other territories on top of that 5 million. Remember the Turbo sold close to 9 million in total across the TG16 and DUO, and it was only really alive, on life support, in Japan in 1994 so most of those other sales came from before worldwide.

Brazil and the Americas (Not North) took years for the larger sales numbers to come to fruition There weren't 1 million Mega Drives sold in brazil by 1994. Probably not even half that. This is WITH Sonic being the face of the consoles. Without it, raises questions about the longevity of the Mega Drive, because a lot of US sales also suddenly vanish.

So when looking at 89-1992, it's a more sure thing that Sega wouldn't be much of anything. Even if NEC was still behind the Genesis, it would have still sold well and not have been knocked out as the SNES creamed everything at release, combined with japans sales, there's a strong possibility NEC may have been global number 2 without Sonic.


Pretty far off the timeline.


Very little evidence supports this.


As mentioned above when you brought this up before, this is incorrect.



No such built trajectory existed until after CES, and the press and the experts took notice.


You are forgetting the fact that CES was in Jan and the sales report you're thinking of was late April.


SNES was later, they could have covered that gap with just one other appealing title like Bonk, which was not Bonk 2, as neither consoles really put out any software that was moving hardware at an even moderate level until Sonic. Bonk and the TurboCD were expected to push NEC out of the pack but didn't and those were the biggest shakers before CES.

If Bonk 2 had a major update to go with the marketing that could have been it. But Bonk 2 wasn't just more of the same, it was literally more of the same, including reused tracks, and it wasn't what people expected from a sequel to a major title that was sometimes referred to as NEC's mascot (even though it was Hudsons). Having more support for the CD may have done it too, or at least helped, but they really botched that launch, even with the price it could have done better.
None of this matters, even if for a few months it made a splash and was passing the Genesis/Megadrive with software and hardware sales. That would be it. The fact that the system couldn’t do parallax scrolling is what killed the system. The hardware was dated when the thing released and it showed in the software.
 

Eddie-Griffin

Gold Member
None of this matters, even if for a few months it made a splash and was passing the Genesis/Megadrive with software and hardware sales. That would be it. The fact that the system couldn’t do parallax scrolling is what killed the system. The hardware was dated when the thing released and it showed in the software.

No one cared about that, there's too much documentation showing praise for the TG16. Parallax scrolling wasn't moving Mega Drives and wasn't a selling feature until after Sonic when people paid more attention to the console. Saying it killed the Turbo doesn't make any sense, Bonk was the best selling 16-bit title for awhile and it didn't have it at all iirc. The two were selling close to each other for over a year until CES 1991, there wasn't a reason for most console games from the 3 previous consoles to migrate to either consoles until Sonic and other announcements at CES. Nor was there a reason for computer players to consider a console in the US and migrate, at least not yet.

No one in US media, or gaming mags were saying the TG16 was dated at that time.
 

Neff

Member
In Europe Sega was very big even before Sonic. Even the Master System was just as big or bigger than the NES

Sega was huge in the UK, it can't be overstated. The Master System was the first popular go-to console here. As bizarre as it might sound to the rest of the world, the NES was a niche platform in the UK and seriously struggled until Nintendo (reluctantly) agreed to bundle it with TMNT in 1990, by which time the Mega Drive was the hot new thing.

Ghouls n Ghosts and Revenge of Shinobi we’re my favorite games in the early days, and remain among my all time favorites.

For my 16th birthday I got a Mega Drive with the packed-in Altered Beast, Castle of Illusion, Strider and Revenge of Shinobi. I picked up Ghouls 'n' Ghosts and Sonic the Hedgehog soon afterwards.

Good god damn times.

The fact that the system couldn’t do parallax scrolling is what killed the system.

A mediocre US line-up, being crushed by Nintendo, and the fact that you couldn't even buy the damn thing officially in Europe is what killed it. I do remember wanting a PC Engine like crazy when reading about it in the '80s though.
 
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StreetsofBeige

Gold Member
Sports. Lots of sports games on old Genny. While TG 16 had great games (my fav) - but honestly it lacked crucial variety that suited western audiences - namely sports.
Yup. During that era Genesis was always known as the sports system. Even in the early days when console sports games were arcadey with fake players and teams and zero GM modes, Sega paid up for celebrity licenses for their first party sports games. Then a few years later it got the real players and such. They built up their sports from the ground up. EA also joined in so they covered all bases. Then other third party companies made sports games too if someone wanted to try something new.

When T-16 have archaic sports games like TV Sports, paired up with Power Golf, big head basketball and their baseball game which were all Japanese influenced and NEC put zero effort and money into trying to at least tempt US gamers of course those gamers will trend to Genesis. Funny thing is some of those old sports games were the exact same game from Japan localized. Sega would get the visuals adjusted a bit and add Pat Riley or Tommy Lasorda as a title or add American/Canadian cities. NEC calls it Taken it to the Hoop with big heads and they didnt adjust their sports games at all.
 
Sega was huge in the UK, it can't be overstated. The Master System was the first popular go-to console here. As bizarre as it might sound to the rest of the world, the NES was a niche platform in the UK and seriously struggled until Nintendo (reluctantly) agreed to bundle it with TMNT in 1990, by which time the Mega Drive was the hot new thing.



For my 16th birthday I got a Mega Drive with the packed-in Altered Beast, Castle of Illusion, Strider and Revenge of Shinobi. I picked up Ghouls 'n' Ghosts and Sonic the Hedgehog soon afterwards.

Good god damn times.



A mediocre US line-up, being crushed by Nintendo, and the fact that you couldn't even buy the damn thing officially in Europe is what killed it. I do remember wanting a PC Engine like crazy when reading about it in the '80s though.
I wanted the thing so fucking bad just to play and experience y’s.

I only heard and played the thing over at my sisters best friends house (we’re only 10 months apart) she had a brother who was four years older then me, I was 13 at the time and it was Christmas break of 89. It blew me away and at this very moment in my life I can say with certain confidence is when I became a graphics whore. The sprite were huge and the amount of color on the screen was mesmerizing especially with the only home console’s I ever had was the Atari 2600 and the NES. That was the first and last time I ever seen, touched and played one. Until…

Fast forward 3 years later when my brother randomly came home with one. But at this point we had the Genesis for about 2 years and just collectively got the SNES that past Christmas as a gift from our parents.

The no parallax scrolling was in jest but for me it really did at that point kill it. The disappointment of playing The Legendary Ax 2, realizing that there is no parallax scrolling is up there in my top 5 gaming disappointment of all time.
 

Eddie-Griffin

Gold Member
Sega was huge in the UK, it can't be overstated. The Master System was the first popular go-to console here. As bizarre as it might sound to the rest of the world, the NES was a niche platform in the UK and seriously struggled until Nintendo (reluctantly) agreed to bundle it with TMNT in 1990, by which time the Mega Drive was the hot new thing.

Master System was not huge in the UK, took years to sell the number it eventually had, during the relevant time period Europe was a small console market people are exaggerating Sega's reach in Europe before 1990-91.

The NES was only a major force in two countries as well, you imply that the rest of the world would be surprised Sega was more popular in the UK as if the rest of the world brought NES's, they didn't. Japan and US were nearly it's entire sales LTD.

A mediocre US line-up, being crushed by Nintendo, and the fact that you couldn't even buy the damn thing officially in Europe is what killed it. I do remember wanting a PC Engine like crazy when reading about it in the '80s though.

Sonic killed, it along with NECs push to take the US, its domination of Japan substitutes at that time, Sega's lead in Europe, in fact even more so.

Sports. Lots of sports games on old Genny. While TG 16 had great games (my fav) - but honestly it lacked crucial variety that suited western audiences - namely sports.

Man people just ignore documentation and believe whatever for some reason, had nothing to do with sports, which the TG16 also had early on, NEC was basically dead in the US at the start of 1992, any major gap in genres would be inevitable in favor of Sega after that, before then sports weren't really moving Sega consoles at any significant advantage to NEC. At least, not until CES and post-Sonic release months later. All the best selling sports games the Genesis gad that are on the best sellers list were all after 1992. only 3 sports titles sold over 1 million copies yet the Genesis was dominating until 96 or so with millions of units.
 

lachesis

Member
Man people just ignore documentation and believe whatever for some reason, had nothing to do with sports, which the TG16 also had early on, NEC was basically dead in the US at the start of 1992, any major gap in genres would be inevitable in favor of Sega after that, before then sports weren't really moving Sega consoles at any significant advantage to NEC. At least, not until CES and post-Sonic release months later. All the best selling sports games the Genesis gad that are on the best sellers list were all after 1992. only 3 sports titles sold over 1 million copies yet the Genesis was dominating until 96 or so with millions of units.

Well, I looked into the sales # of 1989 and 1990 on wiki and looks to be somewhat different from yours. You can check out on the wiki as they also have sources sited.

According to Wikipedia,
1989 alone, Genesis sold 500k units in U.S. 1990, 1M units.
TurboGrafx 16 sold 300k in 1989, and 450k in 1990.

If above #s are corret - Already Sega sold double the amount by end of 1990, well before Sonic. 1.5M vs 750k. Not quite neck-to-neck...
I do agree with you about Sports playing more impact on later in the cycle - but more robust sports game support on the platform as early as 1990 was pretty apparent as well.

Anyhow.
In my case - I used to live in a small city - in Iowa in 1990. I couldn't find TG16 at the mall (a good sized one) - not in walmart, Kmart, or Babbages or Electronic Boutique or whatnot. I had to drive an hour and half to a bigger city's Toys R Us to get anything TG16 and CD games. Maybe TG16 and games were more readily available in bigger cities - but at least I couldn't get it readily. If that's the case - maybe it's also one of the reason why it fell behind. Lack of nationwide supply? Or perhaps lack of the name value recognition being a home console videogame brand?
 
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Eddie-Griffin

Gold Member
Well, I looked into the sales # of 1989 and 1990 on wiki and looks to be somewhat different from yours. You can check out on the wiki as they also have sources sited.

According to Wikipedia,
1989 alone, Genesis sold 500k units in U.S. 1990, 1M units.
TurboGrafx 16 sold 300k in 1989, and 450k in 1990.

I don't see what you're saying, but even if it is as you say (I was able to find another version of the article your referencing with the same numbers) the context is out of wack, and the numbers aren't attributed to Sega, it's just said.

Sega gave out the 1.2 million number in late April of 1991. Sales momentum would have had to collapse if they sold 1 million consoles by late 1990. 500k also seems too large, maybe shipped but sold? I can't see it. The article referenced I can find is mainly talking about Sega's hopes for the Game Gear and randomly just brings up 1 million Genesis consoles out of nowhere.

However

Paducah News Jan 11th 1991

Kalinske gave a range of 600-650k sold in 1990.

Now, last time Sega and NEC gave ranges they were shipped figures, which is why i didn't include that in the OP, but in this case even if we were to take these numbers literally, which is bad because of contradictions before and after this, even if we took 600k they still wouldn't have been at 1 million units sold combined 1990 and 1991, and that's going off Kalinske giving this skew. He says 61% up from 1989.

That means using his numbers 1989 sold either 366k or 396k depending on which part of the rage you use. In either case using these likely shipped numbers and using either number adding to 600k, adding both years together still would not give you 1 million consoles and that's with PR inflation.

Only if you use the higher end would you just get over the line but of Sega sold 1 million they wouldn't have forecasted passing it in 1991 and they would have announced it. Even Kalinskes own interview posted in the wikipedia article shows that Sega of Japans goal for the console was 1 million nd when they did pass 1 million Sega was going to the press starting with a hard to find 1.1 million and then the 1.2 million that was circulated more I linked in the OP. If they had 1 million why wouldn't have Kalinske just mentioned it right then in the article instead of doing another shipment range that was done the last time Sega (and NEC) gave a range instead of a solid number?

Sega themselves announce 1.2 million units in late April (1.1 million before that) that's almost May, 5 months into the year, CES was jan 10th 1991 when the Sonic anticipation (and other games shown with it by proxy) there's a clear trend of genesis sales picking up after that CES.

Even when Sonic was shown again before release it still got gawking attention

The hype wasn't fake s the haters say, or overblown, it was real.


This was in June 4th 1991, less than two months later from the 1.2 million announcement landing on the same month as Sonics launch and second demonstration and there's a 200k sales jump. Over 2 million by late Sept, that's a 600k sales jump less than 3 months. A month after that, 2.3 million which as shown in the OP, is another 300k jump.

It's very clear that Sonic since it's first showing at January CES in 1991 was the source of the increasing interest in Genesis sales, and that exploded once the game was actually released. Going off the trends, it's also clear that there's no way that 1 million sales, including Sega's silence on the matter, happened in 1990. The best hypothesis is they passed 1 million at the earliest in February 1991, though i think that may be a bit too early i can see that possibility. Followed by 200k sales between February and late April, that is plausible. But before that starts to get unbelievable.

Maybe TG16 and games were more readily available in bigger cities

That was their game plan yes, they went with a trickle down strategy, but unlike Japans urban set-up which could be compared to a rich-poor dystopian movie, in the US the trickle down strategy doesn't actually work. Granted, NEC did improve just not enough as they still focused a lot more on major cities instead of going for having major centers as a priority, but having fair distribution throughout in between, that should have been their strategy.

However, the first strategy worked so well in Japan, and NEC basically owned the country in multiple electronic categories so badly, that they likely thought given that they were somewhat a big name in tech overseas, the same strategy would work. But that's more NEC not bothering to do some research on the market before hand which they could have done easily since they had the cash and the resources, they just decided not too.

Of course, they did ok as the thread indicated early on, and honestly, even if they were to be a bit smarter without they distributed systems to retailers I don't see anyway it would improve their situation. Without a new hit that could do double Bonks numbers, which did well initially and was the best selling 16-bit game for a time, with no game at least half as appealing as Sonic to drag consumers to its ecosystem I just don't see any way out for NEC. Sonic was already hurting them when it was announced, after it came out NEC's sales basically froze, and when you add in additional salt with the SNES which almost sold two years worth of sales of either consoles in a few months, NEC loses that window of opportunity they had.

CD never took off because it entered too expensive, and NEC slowly dropped the price and then stopped, the TurboDUO was not priced to rectify that and Sega came out with a cheaper CD expansion which NEC had to price cut to match that ended up selling both forms of Turbo CD 5:1 and it still sold to slowly and ended up being a dud in the long term. CD was NEC's backup plan if they couldn't get another major hit.

I'm well aware of the Japanese library, and there was nothing in NEC's arsenal to pick up sales even at half Sonics level unless it was on CD., which was $400 on introduction and without much software ready.

Hucard games once CD started gaining ground in japan basically hit the dirt. Some modest sellers showed up but the last leg of the PC Engines life was dominated by the CD expansion and the Turbo Duo console which Japan had two versions of and almost marketed them as new consoles even though they weren't. Without CD working in US I think NEC was always screwed when Sonic came out and made Sega a genuine competitor, Super Nintendo came from the company that blocked out the competition (literally) and dominated the country nearly unopposed, and while you could make that argument for Japan, over there NEC was the only viable competitor and had a year head start and got the CD out early and had time to convince Japanese consumers to adopt it. In the US, Sega and NEC were out close to each other, while there was a market slump, in a much more cost conscious country where having little software ready for your $400 device which requires consumers to buy a console to even work, is usually a death sentence. There's also not much time to get things in order ether, with both NEC and Segas consoles picking up after slow burning launch months, NEC would have had to have a hit or hits to stay ahead and to counter the eventual Super SNES release, they didn't.

What NEC likely should have did that may have worked, at least for them to remain a player and maybe that Supergrafx console may have ended up not being a 6 game flop, or maybe the PCFX would have sold more than 50,000 units, is that they should not have tried to position the (to the US) new Turbografx and the Turbo CD at the same time.

They should have done it like Sega (but better) where they build the brand and games up with the base console first, and then launch the CD either at the same time or just before the Mega CD Sega put out in 1992, that way more games are ready and the price for the player would be lower. Also given this is NEC in the 90's, they could undercut Sega by $50 too.

That's the only way i see this working, otherwise, without CD NEC only system seller was Bonk, and they screwed up the sequels appeal and nothing else they had that could be released before 1992 would move anything in the US, and the games that could would release too late.

It sucks, but their position was always screwed without the CD. Worked in Japan, for a bit but even that ran into the "lack of appealing Hit game" problem and after the Super Nintendo had been out there for awhile NEC fell to pieces even though they were number two.
 

Eddie-Griffin

Gold Member
Master System was the console of choice for the UK in the late '80s, no question. In fact it was the first time a console had ever been popular here.
The issue isn't that I'm saying it wasn't the console of choice, the issue is you applying "console of choice" to "huge" UK was a small console market then. Micros were the ones selling millions of hardware during the 80's. Where in the US both were, but the Micros weren't as popular as the UK.

I'm not implying anything. I'm stating that the NES' performance in the UK was phenomenally weak compared to other countries, which it was.
You implied the NES had greater reach then it did when you said "As bizarre as it might sound to the rest of the world" it only sold massive numbers in two countries. Even though the SMS sales across the world were less, Sega had a better sales distribution in relation to lifetime sales than the NES did. The SNES would not improve this and the results would become worse, and then after that the next two consoles Nintendo pretty much depended on one major region.

Sega was always better and getting its sales more marketplaces.
 

StreetsofBeige

Gold Member
Eddie-Griffin.

Just curious. Why are you so combative in posts trying to prove everyone wrong with giant posts and obscure black and white newspaper snippets?
 

Eddie-Griffin

Gold Member
Eddie-Griffin.

Just curious. Why are you so combative in posts trying to prove everyone wrong with giant posts and obscure black and white newspaper snippets?

Answering questions or addressing things so information is correct, or adding some additional detail about marketing conditions to be informative = Combative

Major newspapers, or stories from major Newspapers being circulated in major local outlets = Obscure

80's and early 90's News Papers being black and white is apparently a problem, even though that was most newspapers.

I'm not even sure there's a point to your post. But feel free to participate in the actual topic.
 
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StreetsofBeige

Gold Member
Answering questions or addressing things so information is correct, or adding some additional detail about marketing conditions to be informative = Combative

Major newspapers, or stories from major Newspapers being circulated in major local outlets = Obscure

80's and early 90's News Papers being black and white is apparently a problem, even though that was most newspapers.

I'm not even sure there's a point to your post. But feel free to participate in the actual topic.
Why would anyone participate? You'd flood the board with a novel, images and say everyone is wrong.
 

Eddie-Griffin

Gold Member
Why would anyone participate? You'd flood the board with a novel, images and say everyone is wrong.
Seems they have so far, maybe you're just blind. Also apparently threads focused on information are too informative for you to handle with too much complex text that you can't understand. Never mind the information being backed up by contemporary documentation.

Just curious. Why are you so combative in posts trying to troll a thread you say no one wants to participate in but you are here now wasting time adding nothing of substance other than to cry? Feel free to go to another thread. I'm sorry that you don't have the capacity to read more than a few sentences and don't like people backing up information with documentation. Maybe you can have a talk with your parents and or doctor about having that problem looked at instead of making a pointless derail to ironically, act as if you're trying to prove me wrong. Now if you're done hurting yourself from reading this text, feel free to actually post with substance next time instead of trolling as I won't be pulled into any more of it.
 
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StreetsofBeige

Gold Member
Seems they have so far, maybe you're just blind. Also apparently threads focused on information are too informative for you to handle with too much complex text that you can't understand. Never mind the information being backed up by contemporary documentation.

Just curious. Why are you so combative in posts trying to troll a thread you say no one wants to participate in but you are here now wasting time adding nothing of substance other than to cry? Feel free to go to another thread. I'm sorry that you don't have the capacity to read more than a few sentences and don't like people backing up information with documentation. Maybe you can have a talk with your parents and or doctor about having that problem looked at instead of making a pointless derail to ironically, act as if you're trying to prove me wrong. Now if you're done hurting yourself from reading this text, feel free to actually post with substance next time instead of trolling as I won't be pulled into any more of it.
Relax.

It's a game board, not essay writing in English class.
 

DaGwaphics

Member
Oh the kids all knew Sega Genesis was the cool thing well before Sonic. TG16 just didn't quite have the it factor, and it certainly didn't have all the arcade ports. This was the era of OMG it looks almost like the arcade!

Bonk was fucking badass though.

Sega knew how to market to the their target audience (mostly tween/teen boys) better than anyone else back then.


They had me hyped.
 

Eddie-Griffin

Gold Member
The disappointment of playing The Legendary Ax 2, realizing that there is no parallax scrolling is up there in my top 5 gaming disappointment of all time.

At least the game was great, so there's that.

Shame they never did an Axe 3 for the CD. That would have fixed your problem. Or Super CD.

Man NEC had a lot of hardware.
 

Eddie-Griffin

Gold Member
No, I didn't.
You literally did because otherwise you wouldn't have said "As bizarre as it might sound to the rest of the world" in the post which you keep trying to act like never happened.

All I did was make it clear NES wasn't that far reaching, there's nothing more to talk about on the issue. I was clarifying in general since that viewpoint is actually very common. Just like NES world domination, which you also clarified with your own better information on the UK. See, it's all good.
 
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Eddie-Griffin

Gold Member
Sega knew how to market to the their target audience (mostly tween/teen boys) better than anyone else back then.


They had me hyped.

That was a good idea because that market was money on the table, even NEC was racing to get the Tween/Teen whats, Nintendo didn't really care about about them, one could say they practically created their own competition.
 

Ozzie666

Member
Sports. Lots of sports games on old Genny. While TG 16 had great games (my fav) - but honestly it lacked crucial variety that suited western audiences - namely sports.

I keep screaming to anyone who will listen that the Electronic Arts sports games and Sega Sports offerings cannot be under valued for their importance early on. NEC had Cinemaware TV sports as their big western sports creator. The only EA game on NEC I can recall was Madden C?, way to late to make a difference for NEC. Full agreement with sports here. Impacted a lot of consumers choices for sure.
 

Ozzie666

Member
Answering questions or addressing things so information is correct, or adding some additional detail about marketing conditions to be informative = Combative

Major newspapers, or stories from major Newspapers being circulated in major local outlets = Obscure

80's and early 90's News Papers being black and white is apparently a problem, even though that was most newspapers.

I'm not even sure there's a point to your post. But feel free to participate in the actual topic.

Once again I will ask, did you actually live through this era of gaming or are you just researching and a historian. You seem to lack some personal awareness, and your not always correct, no matter how much you toss on the screen. You do come off as highly combative in most of your posts. You are not open to serious discussion, because you believe your are correct and attempt to shut people down in a rude manner. You then bring their mental capacity into question, even when they make a good point.

Talking about the UK and the influence the Master System had there in the late 80's, using American articles is questionable. Back then America and Sega didn't fully understand what was happening in the UK or care. Did you live in the UK or are you just using articles, you believe to be correct?

News articles maybe not be the smoking gun you think they are from that time period.
 

Eddie-Griffin

Gold Member
Talking about the UK and the influence the Master System had there in the late 80's, using American articles is questionable. Back then America and Sega didn't fully understand what was happening in the UK or care. Did you live in the UK or are you just using articles, you believe to be correct?
I know you dislike sales numbers being brought up, but I have no idea why you are bringing that baggage from the SNES thread here.

I never used American articles to talk about Master System influence in the UK, this is something you created..

The only mention of the UK regarding the Genesis was addressing people overstating how popular it was in the UK during the time frame of this thread, and even after this time frame it was popular to an extent but consoles in general were still low in sales compared to NA and Japan in most of the world and wouldn't really become big (mostly) in Europe specifically until the PlayStation. Europe, not just the UK.

Sega surely set the foundation but it was still behind Micros in the UK.

http://web.archive.org/web/19980629...com/spotlight/features/e3/genesis_lineup.html

With "over" 18 million in America, if we low ball Canada that's 20 million units. Japan is 4 million that's 24 million, that means (using Sega figures that don't include some SA stuff or Majesco US) there are only 5 million consoles for the rest of Asia, South America, Europe, and anywhere else, so whatever the UK sold couldn't have been as major as some people imply.

There was a time I thought Intellivision was competitive until that anecdote was completely proven wrong with data and the only console that was ever really competitive with Atari was Coleco, who never had anyone leak final sales to the press but was outselling everyone and was always profitable, and beat the new 5200 console (because it dropped out early and was too expensive which is why the 7800 was announced so soon after)

Other than that small mention, this thread is about NEC vs. Sega in the US.
 
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NeoIkaruGAF

Gold Member
Eddie-Griffin.

Just curious. Why are you so combative in posts trying to prove everyone wrong with giant posts and obscure black and white newspaper snippets?
The dude is taking the time to find and comment actual sources. Such an effort would be commended in other discussions, why is it a problem here? Most answers to his posts are people posting personal memories, perceptions and feelings about a time when they were kids living in their own bubble and reading mostly biased media.

E Eddie-Griffin is probably a bit too combative in his replys, but the stuff he posts is genuinely interesting. I can’t be bothered to check it all, but it’s certainly better founded than “No dude, Sega was huge in the UK with the Master System, were you even there???”
 

Neff

Member
I can’t be bothered to check it all, but it’s certainly better founded than “No dude, Sega was huge in the UK with the Master System, were you even there???”

It's all relative. The Master System situation in the UK is particularly interesting because the numbers don't fully inform its unique situation, namely the Master System's phenomenal lead over the NES (after the NES had launched at that), and the beginning of the UK gaming market slowly turning from computers to consoles for the first time. The UK is one of the few places in the world where many gamers are able to look back fondly on the Master System and reel off a list of favourites. By the end the NES and the Master System were more or less even due to Nintendo ditching Mattel/Boots and going in hard on bundles, but it was a wild ride to get there, and final tallies alone don't tell that story.
 

Eddie-Griffin

Gold Member
It's all relative. The Master System situation in the UK is particularly interesting because the numbers don't fully inform its unique situation, namely the Master System's phenomenal lead over the NES (after the NES had launched at that), and the beginning of the UK gaming market slowly turning from computers to consoles for the first time. The UK is one of the few places in the world where many gamers are able to look back fondly on the Master System and reel off a list of favourites. By the end the NES and the Master System were more or less even due to Nintendo ditching Mattel/Boots and going in hard on bundles, but it was a wild ride to get there, and final tallies alone don't tell that story.

The discussion wasn't about that, it was about actual popularity in UK society which was still dominated by micros, consoles were still a secondary option for most gamers in the UK. This is in contrast to much higher console sales in the US where someone had a better chance of knowing what a 7800 or SMS is before they know about games on an Amiga. There was a console audience in the UK no doubt, but it was still a growling market.
 

NeoIkaruGAF

Gold Member
It's all relative. The Master System situation in the UK is particularly interesting because the numbers don't fully inform its unique situation, namely the Master System's phenomenal lead over the NES (after the NES had launched at that), and the beginning of the UK gaming market slowly turning from computers to consoles for the first time. The UK is one of the few places in the world where many gamers are able to look back fondly on the Master System and reel off a list of favourites. By the end the NES and the Master System were more or less even due to Nintendo ditching Mattel/Boots and going in hard on bundles, but it was a wild ride to get there, and final tallies alone don't tell that story.
I agree with this, while E Eddie-Griffin is still completely right about UK being mostly microcomputers well into the early 90s.

In Italy it was pretty much the same. The Amiga was by far the gaming machine of choice that everyone would know about, with 386 snd 486 PCs also being very popular for adventure games and DOS games (I remember virtually everyone with a PC having played Prince of Persia). The easy piratability of floppy discs was key in a country that was very late to the tech race, and where people didn’t have a lot of money to spend for games.

The NES and its games were pretty expensive for the average family. This helped the Master System be more popular (ever kid knew about “the Nintendo“, of course, but it was the well-off kids‘ toy) and gave Sega a foothold in the country. Sega also had much better advertisements featuring famous footballers, while Nintendo put the games front and center (a good choice everywhere else, except in Italy). And then Nintendo didn‘t really care about Italy until the GC era, when they took European distribution into their own hands, so the SNES had terrible distribution issues and only launched in Italy in late 1992, much later than in the rest of Europe, giving the Mega Drive ample time to become the cool kids’ console. Of course, in such a scenario, NEC’s console was only known to people who read gaming magazines, or regularly went to France where the PC-Engine found its best European niche.
 

Eddie-Griffin

Gold Member
The NES and its games were pretty expensive for the average family.
This is also true for the US despite higher value currency. but it was cheaper than getting computers (especially since many of then raised prices back up after the price wars) which were more expensive in the US than Europe .and prices never got low enough even for older machines. The games cost less but good luck dropping $800 on a graphics over processor computer.

But this high price of Nintendos games and accessories is instrumental to understanding the game crash folktale in the US and why it was spun by pundits with little knowledge in the electronics industry as Nintendo "saving" gaming and it would not exist otherwise, a myth that was only based (in its entirety) on a misunderstanding of basic economics.

NES was always the most expensive console to own, so buying for it would always generate more revenue than buying the competitor. In 1986 US Nintendo sold 1 million consoles, Atari sold 775,000 2600's. and 100,000 7800's, that's 875,000 which is no slouch and ruins the at launch domination narrative many claim. However, despite this Atari didn't bring in half the revenue of the NES, maybe less. Why? Because prices were lower.

Compared to 7800 the NES console was between $50-$100(full set) more expensive, accessories were $30-$70 more expensive, and games usually $20-$30 more expensive. These price differences add up.

Nintendo sells another 4 million through 1987, it brings in 70% of the markets revenue which they also control, armchairs see the revenue being brought in was similar to before the price battles in the mid-80's and say "wow Nintendo saved the planet" completely ignoring context, what occurred in the past, or the fact both competitors were cheaper. This was distorted further when the reporters started fabricated reasons for the crash, my favorite being the massive amounts of misinformation and vitrol about the 2600, which at that time was a distant second place, and not too far from the NES with developers still making software for it. This is also when people started going deep into conspiracies about Pacman 2600 and E.T. and how a landfill was created just for it, the landfill that existed before E.T. was released and reported by the press, but that news was buried, and considering news reporters use archives often, and it wasn't that long ago the original reports were made, it makes me wonder if some of the press knew about the earlier reports but still pushed the myth anyway. it was the 80's so it wouldn't surprise me.

But the point is that the high prices were key to the profits Nintendo made which were more lucrative than most gaming companies. So I don't see how many European countries could ever buy large numbers of NES consoles because computers were a much better option with better value. The games were cheaper, or free if you pirated them. I've know people who said they would pay equal to $1 or 2 for a couple pirated games, some even sold in stores.

It also should be considered maybe Nintendo didn't need sell many consoles either. A million NES in the UK compared to a 1.5 Million SMS probably ended with Nintendo being the real "winner" making double the profits of Sega. Only 50,000 sales in Greece may have made Nintendo more money than 100,000 Amigas in Germany. Amiga software was usually cheaper, so were the accessories, the biggest cost was buying the computer itself, but over the years it was a cheaper investment.

Problem was that strategy wasn't sustainable in the long term, we saw that with the big drop from NES to SNES. By N64 Nintendo was competing with 3 competitors that had hundreds of games, had cheaper consoles with comparable power, and cheaper software overall It's a wonder how the N64 did so well in the US given the cost investment, it didn't work anywhere else.


The easy piratability of floppy discs was key in a country that was very late to the tech race, and where people didn’t have a lot of money to spend for games.

Don't forget Tape, that was even easier, and even officially they were dirt cheap even though they were a nightmare.
 
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