Let’s step back from the tape a little.
It was the early ’90s, and the hype for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) was real.
Nintendo almost single-handedly dominated the console world. Sure, it had some competition from Sega, but you know… it’s been SNES all those days, thanks to classic titles like The Legend of Zelda, Super Metroid, Earthbound, the Super Mario series, Donkey Kong Country, and other great games. games.
But Nintendo wanted to up its game a bit and decided to bring larger capacity CDs to the SNES, paving the way for potentially superior games.
They made a deal with Sony to develop the add-on CD drive and everything was going well, until the last day. That’s when Nintendo abruptly and unilaterally ended the deal with Sony – without informing the company – and announced that it had agreed with Philips to develop the new drive.
Shook this Sony to the core.
During the ’91 Consumer Electronics Show, Sony’s managers were hearing for the first time, as had the rest of the audience, that Nintendo had partnered with Philips in their stead.
Ken Kutaragi, also known as the father of the PlayStation, was furious.
He was so furious that he spent months trying to convince top Sony officials to continue developing what they had done for Nintendo so far into their own gaming console. Kutaragi saw Sony’s future in gaming, and rightly so. Without PlayStation, Sony would have long since gone bankrupt due to its problematic moves in other areas of technology; Especially their difficult and painful failure in the smartphone industry.
So, Kutaragi got the company’s approval and developed the PlayStation in-house – without any oversight from Nintendo whatsoever and completely independent of it.
Nintendo was making its archenemy with its own hands, an enemy that would come back later to hunt them down.
After the release of PlayStation on December 3, 1994, nothing would be the same again.
Kicked out of the mainstream gaming world, Nintendo has resorted to what I call “nicheland” – appealing no longer to fans, but to Nintendo fans themselves. But when you think of the tens if not hundreds of millions of Nintendo fans around the world, this kind of “niche” adjective fails to live up to its meaning. But you know what I understand.
PlayStation is attracting a much larger audience now, and Sony proved it during the fifth generation of consoles with its absolute dominance in every part of the world and with sales numbers off the charts.
After they obtained permanent resident status in Nishland, Nintendo saw that history, or fate if you will, forced them down that path and accepted reality. They’ve been innovating ever since.
If they didn’t choose this niche path, the Nintendo we know today probably wouldn’t be so fun and full of surprises. So I’m glad they tried and succeeded in being original and produced some of the most innovative gaming equipment, such as the Nintendo Switch portable home game console, the DS line of mobile devices, the motion control focused Wii and many more.
Having taken the throne of Nicheland and expanding its territory, Nintendo is now setting its sights on the more retro gaming scene with the recently announced Nintendo 64 expansion pack and Sega Genesis. lets take alook.
Genesis also portends?
With the demise of the Dreamcast, Sega left the hardware business and continued to develop only games. Another Japanese giant, the company has been focusing on software for nearly 20 years now.
However, her legacy is alive and well.
Sega has also released some of the same hardware in recent years as well, and they were all old gaming stuff. Game Gear Micro, Astro City Mini and especially the Sega Mega Drive Mini were high-quality systems worthy of being Sega products. But other than that, Sega is no longer in the game console industry.
All that said, it looks like Nintendo is ready to bring Sega products for a new home. Once fierce rivals, the two Japanese giants have now partnered to bring Sega Genesis games (known as Sega Mega Drive outside of North America) to a Nintendo Switch Online subscription, albeit with an added bonus — which is sad. People are already paying for a Nintendo Switch Online subscription, so why not let them get the good stuff, too? But Nintendo being Nintendo, the so-called “Nintendo 64 and Sega Genesis Expansion Pack” will add to the players’ old expenses.
When I saw the introduction of N64 games, I wasn’t surprised at all, for obvious reasons. First of all, it was the Nintendo console. Secondly, the Switch will easily handle all of its games quite well from a technical point of view, provided, of course, that the emulation goes well. But the Sega Genesis, which is being offered to Nintendo Switch Online subscribers as a permanent service? That was surprising, to say the least.
Given that Nintendo Switch Online, which already offers dozens of Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) and SNES titles now better with the N64 and Genesis classics, there seems to be only one conclusion in my view: Nintendo is going all-in on retro.
Hundreds of titles from four different flat-rate game consoles per month seem like a pretty cool deal for retro fans — we hope Nintendo won’t charge us for every other platform they might add in the future as they have with the current expansion pack that the N64 and Genesis offer.
Will Dreamcast games come to Switch too? Or maybe the short-lived Saturn Sega, which also made some decent titles? PC Engine, Atari and Commodore 64 too?
Sega was already selling a pretty decent set of Genesis Classics on the Nintendo Switch eStore, and Atari also has their own collection for sale.
However, offering several older gaming systems at a fixed price could help drive Nintendo’s sales even further thanks to the ever-increasing number of retro gamers like myself, people who – at least mentally – still live in the old days.
What Nintendo needs, in my humble opinion, is to raise the price of the Nintendo Switch Online subscription fairly and include N64 and Genesis games in it as well. If they add new platforms in the future for that flat fee as well, the Nintendo Switch will be a giant for older games. No need to buy any games separately, just buy a subscription and get hundreds of old titles for a fixed price per month.
The newly announced N64 and Genesis wireless controllers are also great. They also suggest that Nintendo may venture further into the legacy hardware business after the move.
The only concern I had with the N64 controller was the horrible analog stick previously, which was prone to breakage and failure even after two months of use. I hope they do better in this new review.
And another disappointment for me is the fact that the advertised Sega Genesis console has a three-button layout. Home of the Rising Sun and Nintendo, Japan is privileged once again as they will get the six-button layout version of the console. For the love of God .. Why discrimination?
So if the company is notorious for the “Nintendo tax” – which refers to the fact that the same games are sold at higher prices on the eStore than on other platforms – it gets more consumer friendliness, reducing the chase for expansion pack and giving us every unit One classic control for a fixed monthly payment, and you will win the hearts of many people. It’s really insulting to have to pay for online gaming capabilities already, so why not give us access to more of the things we just “rent” and don’t have anyway, to make it even more worthwhile to pay for a Switch Online subscription?
This is the question to be asked.