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Geek Trivia: Which of the Big 3 game console makers almost collaborated on a single game system?

The contemporary video game console market is dominated by three central players: Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo. However, the three-console market almost remained a two-player game because two members of the modern Big 3 originally collaborated on a single game system.

The contemporary video game console market is dominated by three central players: Microsoft (with the Xbox line of game systems), Sony (with its PlayStation fleet), and Nintendo (with the Wii family of products). The Big 3 have vied for supremacy of the multibillion-dollar home video game market for the last 10 years, with consumers enjoying the playable fruits of their high-powered rivalry.

It was not always thus. Longtime gamers -- and, as the average age of a video gamer is 37, that means most of us -- will recall that for much of the history of game consoles, it's been a one-on-one contest. The Magnavox Odyssey inaugurated home console gaming in 1972 and was soon locked in a decade-long battle with Atari. Neither company manufactures game consoles today. ColecoVision and Mattel's Intellivision were sideline casualties of the early 1980s console wars, but neither ever really challenged the Big 2. In the late 1980s and early '90s, it was again a two-console race, this time between SEGA and Nintendo, with each company offering four generations of game systems to outdo the other.  NEC's TurboGrafx-16 and SNK Playmore's Neo Geo were the bit players (pardon the pun) of that campaign. It wasn't until the 1994 that Sony entered the market with the PlayStation, sparking the first serious three-front console war. The PlayStation quickly became the best-selling game console in history, effectively forcing SEGA out of the console business by 2001 -- the same year Microsoft entered the fray with the Xbox. What even the most ardent game fanatics often don't know is that the three-console market almost remained a two-player game because two members of the modern Big 3 originally collaborated on a single game system. WHICH OF THE BIG THREE GAME CONSOLE MAKERS ALMOST COLLABORATED ON A SINGLE GAME SYSTEM? Get the answer.

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10 comments
jonrosen
jonrosen

I had an Atari.. some friends had an Intellivision. I've never heard of the Magnavox Odyssey.. If someone ever asked me what the 'big two' original game systems were, I've have said the two listed above. I do remember Pong, and perhaps one or two other beginning ones. But for me it was always atari or intellivision. (I do recall colecovision, but as a small side-competitor)

TyDavis22
TyDavis22

I had an atari growing up, my friend had the first nintendo system in our town and then my friend when I was Germany had a super nintendo in 91 and then another friend had the sega dreamcast in 95, I got a playstation in 97 and loved them ever since.

Slayer_
Slayer_

Any serious gamer should have already known this :)

Bduffel
Bduffel

Somehow the 1989 just sounds earlier than I thought SEGA was on the market...? I thought we bought one of the early gen SEGA's but it wouldn't have been until the early 90's...quibble?

svpaladin
svpaladin

The Odyssey was out in the early days of the 2600, actually before the 2600 IIRC. I saw the Odyssey 2 once at an uncle's house when I was quite young. By the time the 2600 was "mainstream", the primary competition was Intellivision, with slightly advanced graphics and an integrated keypad/controller, which the coleco and 5200 emulated as they were released. Coleco's system was, IIRC, the most popular of the three, graphics rivalling Intellivision's, having an actual joystick vs the disk (early concept of control pad), and computer expansion. With the Adam add-on, the Colecovision was comprable to an early Amiga, IIRC, along with early Amiga's being Colecovision compatible... 5200 controller issues along with compatibility issues (5200 couldn't play 2600 carts) led to the 7800 coming out as Atari's "main" entry into this era...

boomchuck1
boomchuck1

Well yeah, they should have, but then that is why this is called Geek Trivia. It's the trivial sort of things that maybe a geek knows, and serious gamer fits snugly into that category.

Spitfire_Sysop
Spitfire_Sysop

They actually hit the market earlier than I remember. They also had much longer life spans back then. I got a first gen Genesis around '92 before they came out with the newer smaller form factor. It came with the original Sonic. The NES also had a V2 form factor release as did the SNES. Now you can get a device that is like the Japanse Famicon that plays old NES and SNES cartridges in the same machine. It's also smaller than either ever was.

Slayer_
Slayer_

Maybe I was just disappointed because I wanted to learn something new. Too bad it doesn't mention how RPG makers dumped Nintendo and joined the Playstation. I forget the reason why... But it was one of the big blows to Nintendo.

svpaladin
svpaladin

...started when Square jumped ship to Sony. In the early development phase of Final Fantasy VII, Square realized the size of the game, and knew that it would not "reasonably" fit onto a cartridge (unless the cart cost $100+). They repeatedly requested/coerced Nintendo to switch to a disk based format, however, Nintendo refused, citing the piracy-resistance of a cartridge and loading time concerns (little to no load on a cart). Since Nintendo wouldn't comply, and Sony had their disk based Playstation, Square jumped over, FF VII was one of the biggest RPG hits ever, and the rest, as they say, is history...

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