Despite the fact that the Turbo-Grafx could utilize a CD-ROM drive for improved games, the console did not come with the drive and to buy the drive was overpriced. By default, the Turbo-Grafx used mere cartridges that lacked the sound and the speed of the Sega Genesis cartridges. The American market judged the unit by this and despite both units selling quite well, Sega won the war and NEC simply bowed out.
Nintendo's Gameboy was also released in 1989. The small black and white game system became the best selling handheld console ever.
Atari made an important impression on the industry that same year with the Lynx. The Lynx was the first color portable game console. Unfortunately, a lack of product caused Atari to miss the Christmas season, so the handheld market was lost to Nintendo with hardly a fight. Even after the Lynx was available the next year, it was more expensive than the hand held market was willing to pay.
In 1990, the Neo-Geo targeted the adult gamer with $200 game cartridges and was undoubtedly the finest game system to date. The Neo-Geo was actually based on an arcade coin-op called the Neo-Geo MVS.
1991 saw the release of the Philips CD-1 and the Nintendo N.E.S matured into the Super N.E.S. The Super N.E.S. was 16-bit instead of 8, had 8 times as much RAM and had nearly double the resolution that displayed 16 times the colors then it's big brother, the N.E.S.
Mediagenic changed its name back to Activision. Since the home video game console crash wiped out all of the platforms that Activision wrote games for and Infocom lacked the snowball effect of new titles it had enjoyed in the last decade, in 1992 Activision filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
1993 saw the release of yet another CD based game system… The 3DO. Actually, the 3DO was not just a game system, nor was it an actual game system at all. The 3DO was a "concept" licensed to several manufacturers and had the ability to play audio CD, Video CDs as well as games. Unfortunately, the first 3DO units were sold for over $600 and, despite the additional features, were seen as nothing more than a rich man's gaming console. Future 3DO units sold for less, but the damage had been done. The initial high price of 3DO devices scared off the customer.
Atari also released the Jaguar in 1993. The Jaguar was the first 64-bit game console. It featured a proprietary chipset manufactured by Toshiba and Motorola and was built under contract by IBM. The graphics and sound for the Jaguar are so impressive, that the year following the release of the Jaguar, Atari Games integrated the Jaguar's technology into an arcade machine: Area 51. Tempest 2000 is released for Jaguar and sells an amazing (for Atari in the 90's) 350,000 copies.
Atari released a virtual reality headset for the Jaguar in 1995, but only one game is ever released for it: Missile Command 3D. Atari released a CD-ROM player for the Jaguar as well.
1995 also introduced us to the Sega Saturn. The Saturn was 32-bit as opposed to 16-bit, but never really took off like the Genesis did, or the Playstation for that matter. The console was expensive and game development was difficult, which scared off third-party developers.
The Sony Playstation was also "only" 32-bit, but was a winner because of several arcade games ported to it, including a full gamut of Konami titles. Also, all of the titles were on CD.
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