If you asked me to make a list of what characteristics define the SEGA of the 90s, at the top of the list would undoubtably be “mocking the competition”. In an era where Nintendo was the family friendly choice, SEGA’s decision to be the rowdy cool kid in town who wasn’t afraid to shake things up and shit talk the competition got people’s attention. During the Genesis era, this sort of practice paid off. The Genesis made SEGA a household name in North America, and the company reigned supreme in the early 90s. However, due to unsuccessful launches of the 32X and Saturn, SEGA slipped in the market and in turn, attack ads like the one above lost much of its bite. Regardless, SEGA soldiered on with such ads, attacking the Playstation in claiming its single processor can’t handle a game like NiGHTS into Dreams and stating that the Saturn kicked Pretendo’s ass when it came to the respective console libraries.
And you know what? I’m inclined to agree with SEGA! While I always find technical comparisons to be a murky area to argue, when you compare the games available… yes, I would pick the Saturn over the N64 at the time this commercial aired, and even twenty years later I’d still go with the Saturn. At launch, the options for N64 games were decidedly light. Sure you had Mario 64, deemed one of the best platformers of the era, but what about the fighters, racers, rail shooters, and light gun games? Saturn had a little under a year and a half head start on the N64, so a library comparison was fair play.
Interesting to note as well, the Saturn’s successor the Dreamcast really put the N64’s library to shame. During the Dreamcast’s North American lifespan of just shy of 19 months, the library grew to around 250 games. The N64, meanwhile, amassed 296 games over a period of 7 years. Basically, the Dreamcast nearly matched the N64’s amount of North American games in a span that took place within a quarter of the N64’s life.
In the comments below, tell us which system you prefer: The Saturn or the N64!