The 90s saw the rise of video game consoles and it’s considered one of the most impactful decades.
The rise of video game consoles during this decade surpassed previous generations’ 8-bit. While 80s consoles were impressive, 90s consoles were overwhelmingly more popular. And in fact, remakes of 90s consoles can be purchased by retro gamers nowadays.
We all know mobile gaming is booming nowadays, but 20 years ago mobile phones were not that functional at all, they were bulky and could be used as blunt trauma weapons when thrown at someone. Back then, most kids had video game consoles.
Although these consoles have aged, they are still as enjoyable as the day they were released. It’s still possible to find 90s consoles in working condition, however, they are rare and can be costly. 90s gaming was perhaps more impactful than what followed in the next decade. 2000s consoles wouldn’t exist without the great developments during the 90s.
You might have, most likely, heard of at least one of the consoles below, and as you will see, some had more success than others. Let’s begin!
Super Nintendo Entertainment System – SNES(1990)
The NES, or Nintendo Entertainment System, Nintendo’s first home console, was launched in 1985, in North America. By 1990, Nintendo was in danger of losing their place at the top of the home gaming console competition. It had been five years since the launch of the once-dominant NES, and it was definitely starting to show its age. With its bulky design and simplistic graphics, it became very difficult for this console to compete with the Sega Genesis. Sega Genesis took advantage of this vulnerability, and launched an advertising campaign which loudly and aggressively painted the Nintendo as old and slow, while showing the Sega Genesis as the new thing all the “cool kids” were playing with.
The SNES, or Super Nintendo Entertainment System, released in 1990, in Japan, with improved graphics. Games such as Super Mario World, Super Metroid, Donkey Kong Country, or Super Castlevania IV are the reason why Super Nintendo stands out from the rest.
PlayStation – Sony (1994)
This console, also called nowadays PS One, was released in 1994 by Sony Computer Entertainment. The PlayStation, one of a new generation of 32-bit consoles, set Sony on the right path in the video game world. Also, it used compact discs (CDs), encouraging the video game industry to move away from cartridges slowly.
This console almost didn’t happen due to a canceled collaboration between Sony and Nintendo, leading to somewhat of a feud in the mid-90s. As we all know, this product was finally launched: Sony saw the potential of this project and decided to develop its own console.
Initially, the PlayStation launched in Japan, giving its players a way to enjoy beautiful (at the time) 3D games using discs.
Nintendo 64 (1996)
The Nintendo 64, often referred to as N64, was Nintendo’s third home video game console for the international market. Named after its 64-bit central processing unit, it was released in 1996 in Japan, and just a few months later in North America.
Codenamed Project Reality, the console’s design was mostly finalized by mid-1995, though Nintendo 64’s launch was delayed until 1996. The Nintendo 64 was launched with three Games: Super Mario 64 and Pilotwings 64, released worldwide; and Saikyō Habu Shōgi, released only in Japan.
For the United States launch, the slogan was “Get N, or get Out!”. With 32.93 million units sold worldwide, this console was later released in a wide range of colors and designs.
Game Boy Color (1998)
Nintendo’s Game Boy Color is one of the most revolutionary handheld systems in video game history. Being able to play a video game console in your hands was never fully successful until the release of the original Game Boy. Years after the release of the first Game Boy, this smaller version of the system that displayed color was released. It was named the “Game Boy Color.”
When released, the console was available in five original colours: the logo for the Game Boy Color spelled out the word “COLOR” in the five original colours in which the unit was manufactured. They were named: Berry (C), Grape (O), Kiwi (L), Dandelion (O) and Teal (R). It was also released in “Atomic Purple” at the same time, which was made of transparent purple plastic.
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