Super Nintendo VS Sega Genesis

Script written by Kurt Hvorp The classic Console War may have ended, but there's still a debate to be had. Join WatchMojo.com as we be pit the Super Nintendo Entertainment System against its counterpart, the Sega Genesis. Special Thanks to our users "michelletouriz22" & "tom dray1" for suggesting this topic on our Suggestion Tool at WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Script written by Kurt Hvorp

Super Nintendo Vs. Sega Genesis


The classic Console War may have ended, but there's still a debate to be had. Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we’ll be pitting the Super Nintendo Entertainment System against its counterpart, the Sega Genesis.

Round 1: Controller


In basic design the Super Nintendo and Genesis' controllers share certain traits. Both are rounded in shape and feature prominent action buttons for ease of use. However, the difference is in the details; the SNES controller has two “shoulder” buttons and four color-coated buttons arranged in a diamond, whereas the Genesis' controller sports three large action buttons in a row.

While the Super Nintendo control scheme has gone on to inspire modern controllers, the Genesis left something to be desired. A 1993 redesign added three more buttons to the Genesis controller, but the resulting crowding on the controller left some critics less-than-enthused, not to mention early adopters who had to fork out a whole new chunk of cash just to play certain games.

Ultimately, for its controller's instant utility and long-term impact, the Super Nintendo wins this round.

Winner: SNES 1/Genesis 0

Round 2: Notable Marketing Campaigns


The 1990s were a time of great competition between game companies, especially when it came to their consoles. Naturally, both Nintendo and Segawere at the forefront of this trend, delivering some interesting advertising in the process.

Sega was fond of the no-bars-held approach to marketing – which meant targeting Nintendo directly. Its blunt “Genesis Does What Nintendon't” slogan is perhaps the best-known example, but Sega also made a show of its console's Blast Processing capabilities and appealing to a more mature audience. This was also evidenced by the fact that they actively pursued sports titles more than their competitor.

Nintendo, meanwhile, relied on an update of its “Playing With Power” message... which was a fun bit of nostalgia, but wasn't quite as hard-hitting as their competitors.
Bold marketing is certainly memorable, so Sega gets the point.

Winner: SNES 1/Genesis 1

Round 3: Technical Capabilities


Graphics and sound aren't everything, but they can add to an overall experience. In the 90s, the goal of engaging players with impressive visuals and sound design was ever-present, which factored into the design of both theGenesis and the Super Nintendo.

The Sega Genesis sported the first true 16-bit processor and had 72 kilobytes of RAM - enough to display 64 colors out of a palette of 512. Impressive... until the arrival of the Super Nintendo, which contained a high-quality audio processor designed by Sony and a video processor that could display over 32 thousand colors. To say nothing of its innovative Mode 7 technology, allowing for simulated 3D game environments.

Sega later tried overcome the Genesis’s technical inferiority by releasing expensive hardware peripherals known as the Sega CD and Sega 32X. While the SNES opted to boost games with the Super FX chip, included in the cartridges of certain games.
For pushing technological boundaries, Nintendo wins the round.

Winner: SNES 2/Genesis 1

Round 4: Notable Ported Games


Taking existing games from one console to another was not unheard of in the fourth console generation, yet that generation saw great strides made in the art of porting.
Sega boasted a healthy number of arcade ports for the Genesis, including Golden Axe, Virtua Racing, and Altered Beast... though the Genesis version of Mortal Kombat is of particular note, given its fidelity to the 1992 arcade game's bloody violence. Nintendo also had a respectable amount of ports under its belt – for instance, it was the first console to get a version of Street Fighter II.

However, certain ported titles on the SNES also suffered from censorship. Speaking of which, it also helps that the Genesis versions of Street Fighter and the 3rd version of Mortal Kombat were more faithful to the Arcade versions than the SNES’s counterparts.

As such, Sega earns the point for their prowess in porting.

Winner: SNES 2/Genesis 2

Round 5: Exclusive Titles


Exclusive games can showcase a system's best qualities. Both Nintendo andSega made admirable attempts to appeal to their core audience, though their methods differed.
The Super Nintendo launched with the ever-beloved platformer Super Mario World, leading to a decade-long string of memorable exclusives such as Donkey Kong Country, F-Zero, Star Fox and The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. The SNES also notably had a killer 3rd Party developer on hand with Squaresoft. Bringing with them the likes of Final Fantasy III (or six whatever) and Chrono Trigger, while Sega’s Phantasy Star really could not stand up to the RPG juggernauts.
The Genesis, meanwhile, was built more for ports. Sonic the Hedgehog was only released two years after the console's launch, and while other exclusive games saw release – including Ecco the Dolphin and Gunstar Heroes – they lacked the staying power of Nintendo's exclusives.

Think about it this way: in our Top 10 Games of All Time list, the SNES had 2 games represented on the list; in the form of Chrono Trigger, and Super Mario World, while the Genesis, didn’t have any. Thus for a better lineup of games that have stood the test of time, SNES takes the final round.

Winner: SNES 3/Genesis 2
Through its then-advanced technology and overall abundance of quality, the Super Nintendo stands tall and proud. Now that we've talked about Sega and Nintendo at length, feel free to continue the discussion in the comments below. And be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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