And Nintendo mops the floor with Sega once again! The Nintendo Game Boy Color, even though it was a very minor leap in technology from the original, took a commanding lead over EVERYONE. Oddly enough NO ONE voted for the Game.com or the Wonderswan. The surprise there was that someone did actually vote for the Virtual Boy. For more information, see the last topic here. Before we get into the vote, lets have a quick recap of the rules, shall we? Warning: Spoilers inside! Each week, video game history will be put to the test to see which console or handheld is the greatest. There can only be one! Warning: Spoilers inside! Vote for your favourite and follow it through to the end as we try to determine GBATemp's favourite console/handheld! Consoles and handhelds will face off in brackets comprised of their generation. Because there can only be one, in the event of a tie I will cast a tie-breaking vote. Once a winner has been declared for each generation, the console winners and the handheld winners will face off in individual brackets. Once an ultimate console and ultimate handheld have been chosen, they will face off against each other to see who is the greatest! For a concrete example of the brackets, see the image at the bottom of this post. So... what now? Well last we saw the consoles, Nintendo was still the head honcho, although Sega was able to take a sizeable chunk of the console market this time around. Will Nintendo remain number 1 forever? Hindsight might have something to say about that! This week we examine the Fifth Generation of Consoles. Last gen we saw the brief rise and total failure of CD gaming. The lesson people should have learned is that no one wants to have interactive movies as video games. The general trend this gen was the release of 32-bit consoles and a sudden leap to 64 bit technology! And a few more companies learn their lesson in trying to enter the video game industry unprepared! Let's meet the competitors. This Week's Challengers Are: The Commodore Amiga CD32 Some Americans may have never even heard of this thing. When it was being launched, it made it to Canada successfully, but an injunction was placed on it in the States as it violated a patent. So... mostly Europeans remember this one. It was released in 1993 and is considered the first 32-bit CD-ROM system (keeping in mind that the Genesis/Mega Drive had separate CD-ROM and 32-bit add-ons). Much like the Phillips CDi before it, the Amiga CD32 was intended to be a multimedia system that played V(ideo)CDs, audio CDs as well as video games. Not a ton of games were released for the system though, and a bunch of them were interactive movies or ports of older games. Commodore filed for bankruptcy in 1994, very soon after the CD32's late '93 release, and it was discontinued soon after. To put things in perspective, that was a quicker failure than the Virtual Boy. The Panasonic/Sanyo/Goldstar 3DO Interactive Multiplayer The 3DO Interactive Multiplayer was released in 1993 by Panasonic, and the hardware was eventually picked up by Sanyo and Goldstar in 1994. It launched in North America for $699.95 US. The 3DO had an up-hill battle form the start. Not only was the launch price so huge, it was competing against the SNES and Mega Drive/Genesis at the time. By '93 the market was saturated with 'multimedia consoles' like the 3DO, with the CDi, Sega CD, Amiga CD32, Turbo GraFX CD, etc. Most games for the system were available on other, cheaper, systems, and it's exclusives were terrible (reminiscent of the CDi). My favourite part about this console is that there was only one controller port on some models, but to get around that, one could daisy chain the controllers to one another, as there was a controller port on the controller, meaning that you could theoretically have as many players as you wanted. The system was discontinued in 1996, sold approximately 2 million units, and it's best selling game was the non-pack-in, Return Fire. The Atari Jaguar Ah, the Atari Jaguar. It is most well known for being marketed as a 64-bit system, although that is contested. This beast of a console was released in 1993 with a retail price of $249.99 US. Much like the CDi, 3DO, and the CD32, Atari was facing a saturated market. Atari was hoping on banking on the name Atari being synonymous with fun, but the kids playing games at the time were a lot more familiar with Nintendo and Sega. The system was notoriously difficult to program for, and as a result there were very few third party titles. The system was also panned for it's ridiculous controller which, despite having a Genesis-like control scheme, had an unexplained number pad on the bottom of the controller. The Jaguar ultimately failed and it's assets were sold to Hasbro, who eventually released them to the public, making room for homebrew. In the UK the Jaguar apparently stayed on shelves till as late as 2007, but was sold as a budget console by that time as everyone was just trying to slowly liquidate their stock. The console sold less than 250,000 units. This was the last entry into the console wars by Atari as they exited the hardware business as sold off it's assets to other companies. The company currently known as Atari is really a French developer named Infogames that bought the rights to the name some time ago. The Sega Saturn This console had my favourite launch ever. After hyping up a release date known as "Saturnday" (Sept 2nd, 1995) at E3 in May of that year the president of Sega's North American division, Tom Kalinske, announced that Saturnday was a ruse and that the system was ALREADY IN STORES. Kalinske's idea was probably that people would be really excited that they could get the anticipated system then and there, but instead the public was outraged. Not only that, but only select retailers had the stock early, while others felt that they were left out of the loop, and those stores started only stocking their competitors. At the time Sega had just released their 32X for the Genesis/Mega Drive and were talking about releasing a 'Neptune' console that would integrate the Genesis, Sega CD and 32X into one system. Even though this is a common practise (see NES2, SNES2, PSOne, PS2 Slim, DS Lite, etc, etc.) some felt that they were saturating their own market. The Sega Saturn mainly competed with Nintendo and Sony throughout the fifth generation, and only really made an impact in Japan where it had a really aggressive ad campaign with a Judo master who carried a Saturn round on his back. While the system had some great games for it, and was quite a piece of hardware, ultimately the console was more or less a failure in North America and Europe, and it lost the company millions. Kalinske stepped down as president of Sega North America and the company geared up for their next console. The Sega Saturn sold 9.5 million units and it's best selling game was Virtua Fighter 2. The Sony PlayStation After a failed contract with Nintendo for a CD add-on for the SNES, Sony went back to the drawing board and decided to beef up the system a bit. In 1994 (Japan) and 1995 (everywhere else) they released the Sony PlayStation for $299 US. As stated earlier, the PlayStation's main competition at first was the Sega Saturn, but as the console failed more and more, and with the release of the Nintendo 64, the Saturn was driven underground and the PlayStation was able to flourish. Boasting a 32-bit processor, CD medium and the ever important Full Motion Video (FMV) technology, the PlayStation had third parties flock to it. A major hit against Nintendo on the matter was Square's (now SquareEnix) decision to develop their seventh Final Fantasy game on the system in favour of Sony's cheap, large CD medium, compared to Nintendo's expensive and small cartridge medium. This is considered to be a huge hit to Nintendo as up until that point Square had almost exclusively worked on Nintendo platforms. The Sony PlayStation continued to have stellar releases for the console, including two of my favourite games ever: Silent Hill and Metal Gear Solid. Somehow it managed to completely avoid the 'interactive movie' genre altogether. I'm not sure if that's because by that time developers had figured out that it was not the way to go, or if Sony did what they could to stop it. The platform did so well, actually, that it did what was once considered to be impossible: it dethroned Nintendo. The Sony PlayStation sold a reported 102.49 million units, and it's best selling game was Gran Turismo. The Nintendo 64 After reeling from the commercial failure of the Virtual Boy, Nintendo tried to put all of that behind them and released the Nintendo 64 in 1996 and sold for $199 US. While the 64 was a technologically impressive system (boasting an actual 64-bit processor), some things that held it back were: the failure that was the Virtual Boy (causing people to lose faith in the company), the 64's late release (the Saturn and PlayStation had almost a year on them), the medium used (cartridges were considered a thing of the past by most companies at the time), and it was apparently difficult to program for. All of these factors led to the Sony PlayStation selling more consoles this generation. This generation would solidify Nintendo consoles as 'kiddy' and being chock full of first party titles and not much else. During this time though, Nintendo continued to release some of the best games they've ever made. This console brought us Super Mario 64 and Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask. In the end, the Nintendo 64 sold an estimated 32.9 million units, and it's best selling game was the launch title Super Mario 64. Housekeeping!! So there you have it, folks. The Fifth Generation of consoles is a messy one. But who will win out? Will nostalgia get the better of us and let Nintendo get away with this one? Or will they finally be unseated as the king of systems? You decide! By voting NOW! The current brackets are as follows: Who will win? It could be you!* *Note: It can't be you. EDIT: The poll is now closed. I'll be posting the results soon.