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How come in the 80's/early 90's, different generations of systems co existed?


Nov 30, 2012
I'm going through a huge collection of old game magazines that cover the entirety of mid 80's to mid 90's and it reminded me how 2 generations of consoles were fully supported at the same time from both Sega and Nintendo.

For instance, in 1993 there are still plenty of NES and Master System reviews in UK magazines. The Mega Drive/Genesis was already 3 years old at this point ( 2 years for the SNES) and yet you still had new releases from Sega and Nintendo, reviews and official marketed material for 8bit machines. They were still fully supported and marketed. With home computers it was even more pronounced. The Atari ST and Amiga were released in 1985/86 but the C64/Spectrum duo were still the main gaming machines for at least 5 years later.

Now i know that in more modern times you did have the odd FIFA 13 being released on the PS2, 13 years after the console release, but it's pretty obvious that in general the situation is very different. How many reviews of new games you think the PS4 will get in 2023? You think Sony will continue to push the console then?

Basically once a new console is released now, the old one is pretty much dead. You mostly have stock consoles and games left to be cleared. But in the 8/16 bit generation you still had reader letters in freaking 1995 asking how much life the NES/Master System still have, that's well into the PS1/Saturn generation...
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Feb 4, 2013
Forums were less prominent or non-existent altogether (IRC doesn't count), people just gamed.
Now the net is a gathering spot (social media, forums, whatever), as much as they try to be neutral or equal or whatever the balance tips at some point and it gets out of hand.
Games in general were 2D sprites and more fun IMO, people were to be found in arcades instead of being behind the computer fighting over which console is best.

It's not even nostalgia, but I see this (even if it's 3D), there's something about it that makes it look more fun to play than the shit we have today.
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Cores, shaders and BIOS oh my!
Jan 30, 2010
There's always a period of transitioning, I guess people prefer to move on faster now minimizing that, otherwise the few games still releasing on last gen consoles would sell better and in turn cause more to come. People acted like Nintendo killed their dog when they said they'd (and did for a bit) still support 3DS after the Switch.

On the other hand those Sega systems released like 3 years apart so I guess people weren't quite as tired of the old stuff just yet & adding more value to them with continued releases may also have been seen as a requirement really, otherwise they'd have died off way too soon despite selling decently which would be weird/bad.
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Sep 19, 2017
The market was not the same. Parents made the choose to buy 16 bits or not... and there was nothing to say about it. Some parents did not want to buy new hardwares that were just upgrades, simple as that. They saw one thing: ads targeting children (a new toy every week/month/year) and they refuse that.
The Sega CD was important for the US market since it meant: the futur is here, look at it. But parents start to see things in a very different perspective with PsX and its cd drive and off course, Playstation 2 and its DVD drive (with Matrix in Japan) aka the only reason to get one for the 1st year. PS3/360 were the internet generation. PS5 will be all about BC (memories), 4k and a super fast hard drive.

16 bits "just" were the same with better graphics and animations. The Famicom was doing great after 5 years, unlike the Wii for example. So there was no reason to kill it.
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Nov 30, 2018
Because there wasn't as much money kicking about as there is today. People could not afford the new system leaving the old one in service for a lot longer. In 2020 people seem to have a lot more cash. Well here in the UK they do.


Feb 6, 2012
The market was not the same. Parents made the choose to buy 16 bits or not

Because there wasn't as much money kicking about as there is today. People could not afford the new system leaving the old one in service for a lot longer. In 2020 people seem to have a lot more cash. Well here in the UK they do.

More or less this. Gaming was not seen as an affordable mainstream thing, it was a luxury niche hobby, and it was pretty damned expensive. The games were particularly costly when you consider how relatively short they were. We didn't care though. Dynamite Headdy cost me £45 in 1994, which is double that now in terms of inflation. Fortunately I was working at the time and was able to happily blow a week's wages on one game, but I don't imagine most kids back then would have had an easy time persuading their parents to move on to new platforms.
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Patient MembeR
Apr 18, 2018
Online gaming/subscriptions/b.c. wasn't around to keep fans locked into a particular brand.

There was also a more disparate range of exclusives and game libraries and controller layouts, so if you hopped from Master System to TG16 to NES to Genesis/MD to SNES etc you were getting a very different set of games.


Jun 12, 2019
Mushroom Kingdom
Yeah, I was still buying new Master System games when the SNES was out. It was kind of an odd time.

Also, back then, consoles would drop to crazy cheap prices at the end of their life. That just doesn't happen any more. The Wii-U was full priced (In the UK) until it was discontinued....


Sep 4, 2018
A lot of it was international markets. Many countries did not get consoles or they got them delayed or they had knock offs. Sometimes games would keep coming out that were essentially bootleg but for a specific region.

At any rate they still do this a lot, after a new system is released it is typical to keep putting out games for the old one for several years.