A New Reality: An alternate Console wars

Let the Games begin
Despite being a relatively new tradition, E3 already proved to be a massive event in the gaming industry, especially by the 1996 convention. This year's presentation was seen by the industry as the start of the modern era of gaming, as shown by what was shown then and what came after. While future conventions would become more grand and expansive, E3 1996 would be considered one of the most memorable in the Electronic Expo's history.

While Nintendo would continue to showcase major announcements at Space World (for now), this year was the first where they attended E3. Their show is often considered the most notable despite having already showed details about their upcoming products beforehand. Regardless, the Ultra Nintendo was still big conversation starter at this time, as well as Nintendo's other major hardware product, the Game Boy pocket. Nintendo showcased more details about both systems,such as the pricing, designs, and, of course, the games. Super Mario Adventure was considered the premier title for the UNES, although other games were also present such as Pilotwings 3D, Wave Race 3D, Tobal No. 1, Kirby's Roll and Rock, and Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire, among others [1]. Despite the attention the UNES was getting, the SNES did still receive considerable support with titles such as Super Mario RPG, Kirby Super Star, and Donkey Kong Country 3.

Sega was also having a rather large swing at the event, although not as strong as the big N's. Sega did have both decent first and third party support for the Saturn, with the major third party titles for the system coming in the form of Eidos' Tomb Raider, Tecmo's Dead or Alive, Capcom's Resident Evil, Midway's Mortal Kombat Trilogy, among others. However, their biggest boon would be their first party lineup, which included Virtua Fighter 3 and Panzer Dragoon II, as well as new titles such as NiGHTS into Dreams (which included a new controller capable of analog movement, similar to the UNES controller) and Fighting Vipers. The biggest title of them all, however, was Sonic X; the newest installment for the Sonic the Hedgehog series and the first 3D title of said series, which is scheduled to be released by Christmas [2]. Obviously, Sonic X was the most anticipated announcement of the event, however Sega did have another product to showcase in the form of a Sega NetLink. The NetLink was seen as Sega's answer to Nintendo's Ultra-Online, being an addon that allowed users to browse the internet whenever they please. The addon was scheduled for release in October, way earlier compared to the UO's own release (especially since the latter would end up getting delayed). Overall, while Sega's presentation wasn't as much a spectacle as Nintendo's, it was still considered a solid showing.

Then there was the underdog, Sony. While Sony didn't have as nearly a strong first party lineup than either of their competitors, they made up for it by having what's was considered the strongest third party scene out of the three, being backed by video game giants such as Namco and Konami. This included Crash Bandicoot, Tekken 2, Contra: Legacy of War, Jet Moto, Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain, Twisted Metal 2, and other titles. Another major announcement was a price cut for the Playstation as $199 (a decision that actually scared Sega and Nintendo enough to announce price cuts of their own). Sony's presentation was considered favorable, though they were severely lacking in first party games (though their first party library would build up as time goes on).

All in all, this year's E3 was seen as a solid one for insiders and consumers alike; though compared to future events, it was a rather mild one.

[1] This project was originally known as "Kirby Bowl 64" but IOTL, that project never went any further beyond tech demos and some development.

[2] Not to be confused with the anime Sonic X.
 
Last edited:
shit I forgot. I'll go fix that.
GOOD, i got confused if those notes were to mean something or no, nice did mean something, regardless amazing update, show a well done Event and one set the basis of the upcoming generational war
 
Now you're playing with Ultra Power
On June 23rd, 1996, the Ultra Nintendo Entertainment System was finally released to the market in Japan after nearly a year of patience and delays for ¥25,000. The design of the system was a black, slightly bulky machine with a disk drive on the front and four controller ports below it, an addon drive on the bottom back, and the power and connect ports on the back [1]. The most glaring thing about the system was the controller, which had three prongs instead of two with the middle one containing an analog thumbstick. This design was said to have been made so that users could utilize which side of the controller to use depending on if their left-handed or right-handed, though in the end this design choice was criticized due to it's confusing layout compared to the Saturn and Playstation controllers. As for the specs, the system featured a NEC VR4300 CPU running at around 95 Megahertz and a MIPS R4300i processor capable of 64-bit polygonal graphics, a step up from it's rivals which processed only 32-bit graphics. As for RAM, the system was contained around 8 whole Megabytes via the Rambus RDRAM, which allowed for much more expansive games to run in the system.

The launch library for the system, while including various notable and beloved games, was very small. This library included:

  • Super Mario Adventure
  • Pilotwings 3D
  • Wave Race 3D
  • Kirby's Roll and Rock
  • Tobal No. 1 (A fighting game from Squaresoft)
  • Saikyō Habu Shōgi (A Japanese exclusive game of digital Shōgi)
Super Mario Adventure was the most successful and most well-remembered of these titles. The plot is very much akin to other Mario games, with Mario having to rescue Princess Peach from Bowser and his minions and save the Mushroom Kingdom. However, the player can move Mario in an open-world with a movable camera and controls thanks to the use of the thumbstick. Instead of having to choose worlds on a map and capture flag poles, Mario can choose worlds by jumping into paintings and other objects and has to collect stars to progress. There are over 20 levels to traverse in the game, which included but was not limited to Macro Manor (A mansion level where Mario is about the size of a mouse and is forced to face everyday objects as obstacles), Airship Arena (A sky level featuring many of Bowser's Airships, which included great use of the wing cap), Toad Town (which is, of course, a town full of toads as inhabitants), Flower Power Tower (A tower full of plants, both friendly and malicious), and Dinosaur Land (an adaptation of Dinosaur land from Super Mario World, with Yoshi appearing near the end to give Mario a star for finding him). Super Mario Adventure was among the system's most successful titles and is considered one of the best games of all time.

While not nearly as successful as Mario, Kirby's Roll and Rock was another title that fans considered enjoyable. Roll and Rock was essentially a 3D sequel to Kirby's Dream course (also known as Kirby Bowl in Japan), which played very similar to Atari's Marble Madness. Players would have to move Kirby in the form of a ball through various courses with the help of special abilities. While KRR didn't nearly have enough going for it in the singleplayer round, what made it special was the multiplayer (something that Mario Adventure, oddly enough, did not have), which players considered fun and even sometimes nerve racking depending on the difficulty. Overall, the game, while not entirely special, was fairly solid for all parties involved.

Within the first day of release, the system sold out with over 300,000 units sold, in part due to a larger retail range. Though the UNES as of now had yet to reach the success of the Saturn and Playstation, the system was, overall, a success; especially as so when it launches in North America.

[1] Think of it's design as a slightly larger, bulkier version of the original
Nintendo Playstation.
 
Last edited:
something that Mario Adventure, oddly enough, did not have
I think miyamoto and co were so busy make the game work the best on 3D and them move to SF and Zelda to have time for a multiplayer, still for the best, maybe a remake ITTL could add it.

Amazing update, seems the system launched as well OTL N64.
 
A Plumber, Hedgehog and a Bandicoot walk into a bar....
Nearly 3 months after it's original release in Japan, the UNES was released to the American public in September 29th, 1996 for $200. The game library was roughly similar to the original release in Japan with the exception of Saikyō Habu Shōgi being replaced with a port of Midway's own Cruis'n USA. Just like in Japan, the console's release was a success, selling around 500,000 units within the first week, almost twice the amount units sold in Japan on launch day. By the end of the year, the system sold up to 2 million in total. It was safe to say that the future of the system was looking quite bright. However, their competitors weren't ones to cave in so easily coming this Autumn and Winter with hits of their own.

In the same month as the UNES' American launch, a new platformer came onto the scene on Sony's Playstation; one that, while looked to be yet another cash-in of the blue blur's success (I.E. Bubsy), it and the franchise it would spawn would become an icon to many in the gaming field. It's name was Crash Bandicoot. While the game wasn't actually developed or even published by Sony nor would the game be an instant hit at first, the game and character's future success would turn the orange marsupial into the Playstation's unofficial mascot, a legacy that could rival the likes of Mario and Sonic. Speaking of which...

On December 12th of the same year, 13 days until Christmas, Sonic X was finally released in the United States and then in Japan on January 20th in 1997 on the Sega Saturn. The story followed Sonic having to collect pieces of the Master Emerald before Doctor Eggman does after the aforementioned doctor accidentally (though whether or not it actually was accidental or intentional was a frequent discussion point for fans) shattered it during a duel, causing their reality to become distorted in the process. The game features 15 levels, with three acts per level (much akin to the classic Sonic formula), all of which played through a bird's eye view. Some are distored and scattered versions of classic Sonic levels such as Green Hill Zone while others are new areas exclusive to the game, such as Geno-City Zone (a revised version of a removed level from Sonic 2, Genocide City). after the previous 15 zones, Sonic must fight and defeat Doctor Eggman, who carries the last Master Emerald Shard, with everything going back to normal after succeeding in doing so. While the game has received some level of criticism regarding things such as the bird's eye viewpoint (which reportedly caused some players to experience motion sickness) as well as debating whether or not it should truly count as "3D" or not, the game was still a commercial and financial success, especially coming Christmas morning.

In regards to what games people would consider most notable in 1996, it's no surprise to see why Super Mario Adventure, Sonic X, and Crash Bandicoot make it pretty high in those lists, with their memorable characters, settings, and gameplay. Though what is most notable about those three games is that they and their relatively close releases would be viewed as to what defined the fifth generation of the console wars.
 
Last edited:
While the game wasn't actually developed or even published by Sony nor would the game be an instant hit at first, the game and character's future success would turn the orange marsupial into the Playstation's de facto mascot, a legacy that could rival the likes of Mario and Sonic. Speaking of which...
Seeing Universal lock down the publishing rights to Crash now just tells me that its only a matter of time before Crash (and Spyro) show up on the other consoles.
 
Seeing Universal lock down the publishing rights to Crash now just tells me that its only a matter of time before Crash (and Spyro) show up on the other consoles.
Just Like OTL, those were third parties just didn't show anyone else as Saturn was irrelevant in the west and N64 might be space or other issues. Here could be ported very fast too
 
Seeing Universal lock down the publishing rights to Crash now just tells me that its only a matter of time before Crash (and Spyro) show up on the other consoles.
If Crash and Spyro were to release on other consoles, I wouldn't expect it to be anytime soon as I'd be pretty sure there would be attempts by Sony to keep them exclusive to the Playstation. If they were to go multiplat, I would expect it to be the generation after, though I wouldn't absolutely guarantee it.
 
If Crash and Spyro were to release on other consoles, I wouldn't expect it to be anytime soon as I'd be pretty sure there would be attempts by Sony to keep them exclusive to the Playstation. If they were to go multiplat, I would expect it to be the generation after, though I wouldn't absolutely guarantee it.
For that Either sony buy crash already or pay a king ransom to Universal to keep it exclusive, regardless Universal Win a lot of money in the exchange.
 
Top