It was in the late 80s when my mom bought me my first game system with her tax return money – the Nintendo Entertainment System. As an only child, the NES provided me with countless hours of gaming; some of them were great, many were good, and of course many were terrible. Really terrible. Makes you want to punch someone in the face terrible. Of course, there were the tricks we all had to do when the connectors didn’t make contact with the pins in the system; blowing inside the game and machine, using water and a Q-tip on the game, and more have been tactics to make an NES work. But when I, (as a small child,) rent a game that doesn’t work for the first hour after arriving home, there were a few times where I punched that console with my little 8-year-old fists. Watch some Angry Video Game Nerd videos to understand what I’m talking about. Even with its faults, the NES is one of my favorite consoles.
The 8-bit NES had quite the selection of games that gamers still see nowadays in a rehashed format. These are typically the flagship titles such as Super Mario Bros. and Donkey Kong, but third-party developers have their own such as Capcom’s Mega Man. Four years after the release of the NES came the Sega Genesis with its 16-bit graphics and “blast processing,” (whatever that means.) Supporters of the Genesis argued that it was better than the NES because its graphics were sharper. Period. Nintendo and Sega were archrivals back in the day and lately, I’ve found a similar correlation with the Xbox 360 and the Playstation 3.
The Xbox 360 released in early-2005 and it wasn’t long before problems started popping up around the performance of the console. The term “red ring of death” was used almost daily by the gaming community and Microsoft took measures to make sure consoles were fixed. Of course, this could be debated about whether Microsoft did a good enough job, but I’ve sent three consoles back and have had them all fixed for free. What amazed me were the stories from people about taking a wet towel and wrapping it around the console or to taking it completely apart and re-soldering connections. (I’m not that tech savvy.) A little over a year later, the Playstation 3 released in North America and people claimed again that this system is better because it can support better graphical settings with its blu-ray capabilities.
I’ve worked in the used game business for over seven years and have spent many more gaming. I’ve played many great games on all the consoles, but as I compare the NES to the Genesis and the Xbox 360 to the Playstation 3, I believe it’s not about the graphics it can support, but the quality of games that can be made for a system. Both the NES and the Xbox 360 were plagued with problems, yet both are considered a huge success financially and by fans worldwide.
This is just a random musing, so please leave your own comments of memories you may have of any of these systems.