Sorry, no pictures for this article, but open for discussion!

What was it that made Sega so intimidating? Was it the hard-core, in your face commercials? Was it the hardware add ons? Or was it their line of ‘mature audience’ games? Whatever it was, the public rejected Sega for some reason. I’d like to cover that and open it up for discussion.

Sega flew under the gaming radar for many years. When the world was indulging in the Nintendo Entertainment System, Sega created the “Master System.” Superior graphics, sound and overall game play over the NES (if you ask me,) but their titles were far behind the mainstreamed NES. Most people don’t even know the Master System existed. I was lucky, my cousin down the street had it and we would play it non-stop!

The argument between NES and Sega has been covered 100x, so I will not exhaust this article with this argument. The SEGA Genesis unveiled in 1991. Sega was smart this time and launches a massive ad campaign. This console looked like the “future.” It took a slow start when it was first introduced with the game Altered Beast (which is a great game in my opinion) but it took flight when they released Sonic the Hedgehog. Finally Sega had a mascot, much like Nintendo’s Mario. Sonic seemed more enticing to us… He was cool looking, fast, and had an attitude!

Sega Genesis obviously did very well. It even stood up to the Super Nintendo! The two systems battled it out for years… The winner is determined by individual’s likes/dislikes. This was my favorite time of the video gaming years. Two great systems, each had their own personalities, but you couldn’t HATE either one!

Sega made some moves to keep everyone’s attention by unveiling the Sega CD. This was an ad-on to the Genesis, but was pretty expensive at the time. Nintendo struck gold with the Game Boy and Sega would soon retaliate with the Game Gear. A back-lit, colored screen with great sound did fairly well, but never measured up to the Game boy. Sega was also the first to offer 32-bit games in cartridge style with the 32x. This wasn’t taken by the public very well either. Sega then released the Sega Channel through Time Warner Cable. It struck gold in my heart, but was never released to the masses. At this time, Sega also released the NOMAD. This was a handheld version of the Genesis. The Genesis cartridges slid right into the back on the NOMAD. This required 6 AA batteries which died within an hour, and add-ons (battery packs, wall charger, etc) which were very pricey for that era. Sega Saturn was also released around the time Playstation 1 (PSX) was released… It was pushed out fairly quickly by Nintendo 64 and Playstation.

Sega seemed to have made a good move with the Dreamcast. My favorite game was the Taxi game from the arcades. The “worlds” in dreamcast seemed never-ending. Dreamcast also failed in the eyed of consumers.

So what did it? Sega always seemed to be ahead of everyone else. Sony struck gold with the PSP…. Was the NOMAD a hard concept to grasp in 1996?? PSX and PS2 have struck gold with games on CD… what about the Sega CD and Saturn?? The Sega Channel offered 50 games a month for $14.95 in the comfort of your own home!! This was like having Netflix in 1995! What happened?? Why did all of these concepts fail and take flight in later years by other companies??