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Nintendo May Have Some Serious Competition

Sure, we are primarily a Nintendo site, but we like to see what the competition has to offer. It’s no secret that both Sega and Atari have made strides at retail to try and take part in the revitalization of the video game industry. The Sega Master System has finally launched nationwide and as display units make their way to retailers it’s becoming evident that the machine can display some pretty nice graphics. Ed Semrad, a writer for the Milwaukee Journal has mentioned before that out of the three machines he vastly prefers the Sega Master System. I do agree that Sega’s console does have some very colorful games, but so far they haven’t really impressed me as much as Super Mario Bros. on the NES. Here’s Ed’s impressions of some of the games for the Master System:




As you can see, Ed is pretty enamored by Sega’s new machine. I did find it a bit odd that he compared World GP to Excitebike as they are very different games with completely different perspectives. Perhaps a comparison to Mach Rider would have been a little more appropriate?

Also, he mentions that Nintendo doesn’t have a space shooting game on its system yet. This is true, but remember that next month Konami is releasing Gradius for the NES and it has lit up the charts in Japan, selling over a million copies just this year. Also he once again seems to think that the NES is incapable of diagonal movements with the controller, which is completely false.

All in all, competition is a great thing to have. It makes each company work harder to create more innovative products and games and keep prices competitive, which is a win-win for consumers. My main concern for the Master System is whether or not it will have third party support or not. Looking to Japan to see the number of games released, it appears that Sega has a small fraction of titles to bring stateside when compared to Nintendo and its arsenal of companies creating games for its NES. If Sega can continue to release a steady stream of high quality software then it could possibly stand a chance at succeeding in North America. Time will tell.

Which system are you hoping to get this year for Christmas, and why? Let us know in the comments!


[Source: Milwaukee Journal — November 8, 1986]

Craig Majaski

Craig has been covering the video game industry since 1995. His work has been published across a wide spectrum of media sites. He's currently the Editor-In-Chief of Nintendo Times and contributes to Gaming Age.

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