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The 1994 console market was crazy

nkarafo

Member
You had the Sega Genesis/Mega Drive and SNES as the main competitors. But you also had:

- The 8 bit NES and Master System consoles still kicking as they co-existed with the 16 bit systems in Europe.

- The 2 handhelds, Game Boy and Game Gear in full swing. I think the Lynx was dead at this point.

- Turbo Duo (Turbografx+CD).

- Sega/Mega CD.

- Philips CDi.

- Panasonic 3DO.

- Amiga CD32.

- Atari Jaguar.

- Neo Geo/CD.

And during all that mess, you had the 32X, Saturn, PS1, Virtual Boy, Jaguar CD, Panasonic M2 and "Ultra 64" on the horizon, making the decision to invest on a "next gen" console even harder.

I was lucky enough to not have enough money to buy anything new and just enjoy the late 16 bit games like Sonic 3 & Knuckles and Donkey Kong Country. And in 1995, when things started to settle a bit, i decided to wait for the N64.

How did you manage during that onslaught?
 
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BPX

Gold Member
Sanford And Son Smh GIF
 

Paasei

Member
Even though we had one, the CD-I wasn’t really a success. For us it was mostly used for movies, as it was sort of the predecessor of the DVD player. Don’t even recall most games we had for it. I’ll have to look around in the attic at my parents house. It is still there somewhere.
 

Ozzie666

Member
The 32x provided some good times at the end of 1994, obviously short lived, so much hope. But that ignorance was bliss. 3D0 EA Sports efforts were also fantastic. I was so completely unaware of the the incoming 32 bit systems, with DKC on SNES I didn't think gaming could get any better. PC games of the year, Ultima 8, Tie Fighter, Theme Park, Pacific Strike, Warcraft, Arena. So many great games. Genesis had Sonic 3 to start the year and just kept on smashing out 16 bit hits NBA Jam, MK2. It was really the last viable year for the Amiga, with games like Innocent until caught, Beneath a steal sky, King's Quest 6 and Rise of the Robots taking up 10-15 disks!

So good - so broke.
 
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SmokedMeat

Gamer™
It wasn’t as nuts as it sounds, at least not in the US.

It was still Nintendo and Sega domination.
3DO was on its death bed, and only sold at a few retailers.
Jaguar? Lol. They were collecting dust at the couple stores that bothered to sell it.
Jaguar CD wasn't even released.
Neo Geo? Nobody was buying that, and I knew of two stores that briefly tried selling it.
Phillips cdi I knew of one retailer trying to unload them.
Amiga CD32 wasn’t a thing in the US.
Turbografx sadly it was pretty much done at this point. I don’t even recall it being a contender by 1994.
Virtual Boy was a monster flop that nobody bought.
32X, nobody cared. They collected dust, and in typical Sega fashion they pulled the plug quickly.

It was super easy to manage because most of the other systems were junk.
 
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nkarafo

Member
It wasn’t as nuts as it sounds, at least not in the US.

It was still Nintendo and Sega domination.
3DO was on its death bed, and only sold at a few retailers.
Jaguar? Lol. They were collecting dust at the couple stores that bothered to sell it.
Jaguar CD wasn't even released.
Neo Geo? Nobody was buying that, and I knew of two stores that briefly tried selling it.
Phillips cdi I knew of one retailer trying to unload them.
Amiga CD32 wasn’t a thing in the US.
Turbografx sadly it was pretty much done at this point. I don’t even recall it being a contender by 1994.
Virtual Boy was a monster flop that nobody bought.
32X, nobody cared. They collected dust, and in typical Sega fashion they pulled the plug quickly.

It was super easy to manage because most of the other systems were junk.
Reading magazines in 1994 painted a less realistic, more optimistic picture. I still couldn't tell which is going to be a success or failure, though i was a 13 year old living in Europe.

In my country you even had local computer magazines still fully support the Amiga line, even claiming the brand still has a future despite it's closure and suggesting buying a 1200 over a PC.
 
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nush

Member
How did you manage during that onslaught?

I brought every console once it had ten games that I WANTED to play. Some consoles I bought later used with games like the 3D0 and Jaguar, Skipped Neo CD, CDi and CD32.

After that gen though I made a rule of only one console and one handheld per generation (Unless it was an amazing deal with games) because you can buy all the consoles but can't afford all the good games and more importantly the time to play them. I was better getting the most out of one console. It's worked out OK for me since then.
 

MrA

Member
It wasn’t as nuts as it sounds, at least not in the US.

It was still Nintendo and Sega domination.
3DO was on its death bed, and only sold at a few retailers.
Jaguar? Lol. They were collecting dust at the couple stores that bothered to sell it.
Jaguar CD wasn't even released.
Neo Geo? Nobody was buying that, and I knew of two stores that briefly tried selling it.
Phillips cdi I knew of one retailer trying to unload them.
Amiga CD32 wasn’t a thing in the US.
Turbografx sadly it was pretty much done at this point. I don’t even recall it being a contender by 1994.
Virtual Boy was a monster flop that nobody bought.
32X, nobody cared. They collected dust, and in typical Sega fashion they pulled the plug quickly.

It was super easy to manage because most of the other systems were junk.
Hindsight , the post all these consoles had tv campaigns, major media coverage and more
Also the jag cd was released got one right here and the neo geo sold well for a high end niche product, systems were produced till 97 and games to 2004

Also nkarafo nkarafo you ain't given the memorex vis (imagine a dumber cdi only sold at radio shack) and capcom cp changer or whatever they called it(basically a glorified supergun/jammy adapter) the props they deserves and the Bandai apple pippin (a 1996 power mac in a console form) was on the horizon too
 

kubricks

Member
I remember having friends all with different console at the time so we swap them like monthly to play games. Despite only owning the SNES, I have played most of the console in the market at the time.

Everyone wants to borrow the rich kid's 3DO because of the adult rated games lol, I think it's called the virtual cameraman where you take photos of some japanese model. Being teenager is embarrassing.
 
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gundalf

Member
I'm so old, when I did my driving license we had to solve quizzes with the CD-I :messenger_grinning_sweat:
It was actually kinda neat since the driving instructor didn't need to fiddle around with a Windows PC, just plug and play with no random crashes and other idiocracies.
 

SmokedMeat

Gamer™
Reading magazines in 1994 painted a less realistic, more optimistic picture. I still couldn't tell which is going to be a success or failure, though i was a 13 year old living in Europe.

In my country you even had local computer magazines still fully support the Amiga line, even claiming the brand still has a future despite it's closure and suggesting buying a 1200 over a PC.

The magazines are something I miss. There were so many! They were our only connection to the industry, so when something like E3 hit - it was exciting as hell.
 

Orta

console wars 2020 - participant
You had the Sega Genesis/Mega Drive and SNES as the main competitors. But you also had:

- The 8 bit NES and Master System consoles still kicking as they co-existed with the 16 bit systems in Europe.

- The 2 handhelds, Game Boy and Game Gear in full swing. I think the Lynx was dead at this point.

- Turbo Duo (Turbografx+CD).

- Sega/Mega CD.

- Philips CDi.

- Panasonic 3DO.

- Amiga CD32.

- Atari Jaguar.

- Neo Geo/CD.

And during all that mess, you had the 32X, Saturn, PS1, Virtual Boy, Jaguar CD, Panasonic M2 and "Ultra 64" on the horizon, making the decision to invest on a "next gen" console even harder.

I was lucky enough to not have enough money to buy anything new and just enjoy the late 16 bit games like Sonic 3 & Knuckles and Donkey Kong Country. And in 1995, when things started to settle a bit, i decided to wait for the N64.

How did you manage during that onslaught?

The Megadrive and Snes were entering their twilight at that period here in Europe, the nes & master system were long dead and all the other consoles may as well have not existed. It was a pretty dull period if I recall correctly, we were all waiting on the Saturn & Playstation.
 
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nush

Member
The Megadrive and Snes were entering their twilight at that period here in Europe and all the other consoles may as well have not existed. It was a pretty dull period if I recall correctly, we were all waiting on the Saturn & Playstation.

32X, Jaguar, 3D0 and Amiga CD 32 hardcore gamers pretty much knew they were stopgap consoles. You'd have some fun with them but they were never a mainline console.
 

TLZ

Member
- The 8 bit NES and Master System consoles still kicking as they co-existed with the 16 bit systems in Europe.

- The 2 handhelds, Game Boy and Game Gear in full swing. I think the Lynx was dead at this point.

- Turbo Duo (Turbografx+CD).

- Sega/Mega CD.

- Philips CDi.

- Panasonic 3DO.

- Amiga CD32.

- Atari Jaguar.

- Neo Geo/CD.

And during all that mess, you had the 32X, Saturn, PS1, Virtual Boy, Jaguar CD, Panasonic M2 and "Ultra 64" on the horizon, making the decision to invest on a "next gen" console even harder.
I had moved on from the Famicom by then and already had the Mega Drive and also borrowed my friend's SNES.

Also borrowed his 3DO which I thought was awesome at the time.

Then bought the PS1 when it came out.

The Neo Geo I was very curious about but was very expensive.

I was interested in the Gameboy but not sure why I never got one. Maybe I wasn't interested enough or dad just didn't want to.

The Game Gear I played a lot at another friend's house.

The rest I had no idea existed at the time.
 
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Putonahappyface

Gold Member
  1. SEGA Master System
  2. NES
  3. SEGA Megadrive
  4. Playstation
  5. Playstation 3
  6. Playstation 4
  7. Playstation 4 Pro
  8. Playstation 5
I've had a two high end gaming PC's fifteen years ago. I always wanted a Neo Geo, but my parents wouldn't even consider it because of the price.☹
 

reinking

Member
You had the Sega Genesis/Mega Drive and SNES as the main competitors. But you also had:

- The 8 bit NES and Master System consoles still kicking as they co-existed with the 16 bit systems in Europe.

- The 2 handhelds, Game Boy and Game Gear in full swing. I think the Lynx was dead at this point.

- Turbo Duo (Turbografx+CD).

- Sega/Mega CD.

- Philips CDi.

- Panasonic 3DO.

- Amiga CD32.

- Atari Jaguar.

- Neo Geo/CD.

And during all that mess, you had the 32X, Saturn, PS1, Virtual Boy, Jaguar CD, Panasonic M2 and "Ultra 64" on the horizon, making the decision to invest on a "next gen" console even harder.

I was lucky enough to not have enough money to buy anything new and just enjoy the late 16 bit games like Sonic 3 & Knuckles and Donkey Kong Country. And in 1995, when things started to settle a bit, i decided to wait for the N64.

How did you manage during that onslaught?
I had them all with the exception of the Amiga but also had an Asteroid and Neo Geo arcade cabinet. I wasn't rich but did a lot of trading and finding good deals. I wish I still had that kind of energy but these days I'm lucky to boot up a console.
 
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German Hops

Gold Member
Interesting list, but consoles didn't get good until the PlayStation / Saturn / N64 era.
The NES was awesome, though. So many timeless classics were on that platform.
 

Duchess

Member
I remember reading in EDGE magazine around that time how the queues in Japan to get the Sony PlayStation were literally a mile long.
 

Needlecrash

Member
In 1994, it was still the land of Sega and Nintendo. All other consoles were pretty much in the bargain bin at that point.
 

Aesius

Member
The level of revisionism in this thread is phenomenal, magazines, media, stores were hyping and pimping all this stuff like crazy in 94, in 95 things were clearer but 94 was hype city for everything
Agreed. There was a definite sense of "what's the next big thing?" by 1994 or so. Tech was moving extremely fast back then. I remember hyping up the 3D0 in particular to ridiculous levels in my mind, but I was also 7-8 years old and bought all the marketing hype. Finally I managed to play one at a local video game store and was hugely underwhelmed. It didn't help that one of my neighbors got a 32x and we quickly realized it was a piece of shit. Then one year later the PSX came out in North America and it devoured all the hype from the other crap consoles and then some.
 

Naked Lunch

Member
We only had enough money to stick with Nintendo consoles thru those years.
I was lucky to have friends and relatives who had Segas and Turbographx 16s - I was pretty jealous of those.
My uncle also had a 3DO which was wild to see and play in person. Star Control II blew my mind compared to what I was playing on SNES.

Years later when the 94 era consoles were on the way out - I tracked down many of those consoles to own for myself - and by then the system and games were dirt cheap. Of course today that is a different story.
 

MrA

Member
Agreed. There was a definite sense of "what's the next big thing?" by 1994 or so. Tech was moving extremely fast back then. I remember hyping up the 3D0 in particular to ridiculous levels in my mind, but I was also 7-8 years old and bought all the marketing hype. Finally I managed to play one at a local video game store and was hugely underwhelmed. It didn't help that one of my neighbors got a 32x and we quickly realized it was a piece of shit. Then one year later the PSX came out in North America and it devoured all the hype from the other crap consoles and then some.
That’s also a thing the 32x was the new hotness, right until people got it and then it cratered, jag , 3do and cd32(not so much in na for the cd32) all had a decent window from late 93 to 94
psx/64/Saturn hype didn’t start really until mid/late 94
 

Pagusas

Elden Member
All I remember of 1994 was Donkey Kong Country and Nintendo advertising it EVERYWHERE. Even got a VHS marketing tape for it somehow.
 

lefty1117

Member
It was a glorious time but I think right around then the 486 Intel processors came out, and once I got one I didn't play a console for 5 years :D
 

STARSBarry

Gold Member
In the UK you really only has the big boys, SEGA and Nintendo, all that other crap no one cared about, I am sure they where there somewhere but not in the major game retailers that's for sure.

Still remember getting the Megadrive 2 as a birthday present with Ecco the Dolphin of all things. Solid game.
 
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jshackles

Gentlemen, we can rebuild it. We have the capability to make the world's first enhanced store. Steam will be that store. Better than it was before.
Virtual Boy was a monster flop that nobody bought.
Virtual Boy owner, checking in! Although it didn't come out until 1995 so I'm not sure why OP mentioned it.

I had Red Alarm and Wario, those games were both amazing and made the Virtual Boy worth owning. But... out of the 14 games that released in the US, these were the only two good ones so I was a little spoiled.
 
Yeah, there was an electricity and a bubbling "wild-west" growth to the period that will never be recaptured. Hardware varied greatly. Game development wasn't streamlined and homogenized - there was plenty of creative risk-taking. There was a chaotic instability to everything that made it a very exciting time.
 
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