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A console war is competition for dominance in market share in video game consoles. The main competition is in home video game consoles and handheld game consoles markets, although there are also microconsoles and dedicated consoles. Console wars do not necessarily have a clear winner in each case, but the outcome may determine whether a console manufacturer remains a part of the video game industry.
Ever since video game consoles were first around, competition has arisen between developers of the individual consoles. Even during the first generation of video games, Home Pong and various similar systems (the Magnavox Odyssey, Coleco Telstar, Nintendo Color TV-Game, etc.) competed for the market. It continued into the second generation with the Atari 2600 competing against a variety of consoles including Mattel's Intellivision, the ColecoVision, and various other competitors. The sheer number of consoles and poorly made games during this era caused the North American video game crash of 1983. Afterwards, very few companies were creating consoles until Nintendo introduced its Nintendo Entertainment System, ushering in the third generation of consoles. During that era, the NES had little competition, most notably from Sega's Master System. The console wars really became prominent, however, during the fourth generation of video games, when the Sega Genesis took on the NES, and later its successor, the Super Nintendo Entertainment System in the first all-out console war. Competition continued with Sony entering the fray during the fifth generation, with its original PlayStation. Sega dropped from being a significant manufacturer of consoles, and became a third-party video game publisher after the failure of the Dreamcast, and Microsoft entered into the war with the original Xbox during the sixth generation. By the time of the seventh generation era of video game consoles, there were three major home video game consoles competing each another: PlayStation 3 by Sony, Xbox 360 by Microsoft and the Wii by Nintendo. Sony and Nintendo also competed in the handheld game console market at the same time, with their handhelds PlayStation Portable and Nintendo DS respectively. With the advance of the eighth generation of video game consoles, the three companies continued to compete for dominance in market share with their successor video game consoles, PlayStation 4 by Sony, Xbox One by Microsoft and Wii U by Nintendo in the home video game console market and PlayStation Vita by Sony and Nintendo 3DS by Nintendo in the handheld game console market.
In popular culture
In the Hyperdimension Neptunia game series, the world of Gamindustri (ゲイムギョウ界 Geimugyō-kai?, a pun on ゲーム業界 Gēmu gyōkai, "game industry") is divided into four regions: Planeptune, Lastation, Lowee, and Leanbox. Each region is completely different from the others in appearance and atmosphere, with each representing a specific video game console (a fictitious 7th generation Sega console, Sony PlayStation 3, Nintendo Wii and Microsoft Xbox 360 respectively). The four goddesses, one for each region, also known as the Console Patron Units (or simply CPU) are fighting each another for "shares" (the amount of influence a CPU and her nation has over a certain place). The war is also known as the "Console War", resembling the real-world competitions for dominance in market share in the video game console marketplace. In the story of the game the Console War had lasted for thousands of years, which is one of the main driving plot lines in the series.
A book titled Console Wars: Sega, Nintendo, and the Battle That Defined a Generation by Blake J. Harris was published in 2014, and tells about the console war between Sega and Nintendo. It is set to be made into a film written and directed by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg.
- Pilchowski, Luke. "The Console Wars: Origin and Generation One". Exepose. University of Exeter. Retrieved 9 July 2015.
- "A History of Video Game Consoles". Time Magazine: 5. Retrieved 9 July 2015.
- Hyperdimension Neptunia + MK2 Artworks Now available!
- Suellentrop, Chris (May 18, 2014). "'Console Wars,' a Gaming Industry Clash by Blake J. Harris". The New York Times. Retrieved 9 July 2015.
- Gibson, Megan. "Sega-Nintendo Movie Console Wars Tapped by Seth Rogen & Evan Goldberg". Time Magazine (Feb. 25, 2014). Retrieved 9 July 2015.