Video-game wars are nothing new

December 26th, 2013

Debating if you should buy your kids a Microsoft Xbox One this holiday season? Or perhaps you think the Sony PlayStation 4 is the better choice. If you're attempting to decide which video-game console is best, take some comfort in the fact consumers have been weighing the pros and cons of home gaming systems for more than thirty years. As PCMag emphasizes in a recent story, video-game makers have long battled for superiority and consumer dollars. The battle between the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 is simply the latest of these battles.

Quiet times

As the story says, the early days of the home video-game industry were dominated by the Atari 2600. This isn't to say that the console didn't have its challengers: The Intellivsion and Odyssey 2 were two of them. Nevertheless the Atari 2600 seemed to be in every gamer's home.

The brawl: Sega vs. Nintendo

Nintendo has long been a video-game heavyweight. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, the company enjoyed long-running success with its NES and Super Nintendo home-gaming systems. But Sega was a strong competitor with its Genesis home system. Sega never backed down from taking potshots at its rival, including an infamous "Genesis does what Nintendon't" ad campaign. Still, Nintendo continuously ranked as the top gaming company of this period.

The modern age

Today, the home-gaming battle is a three-way battle. Microsoft, with its Xbox series, and Sony, with its PlayStations, typically fight for the dollars of hardcore gamers. Nintendo is taking a different approach with its Wii consoles, focusing on casual and family gamers. Which system is the fan's favorite? We'll learn more this holiday shopping season.