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Thread: Video Game History What If's?

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    Default Video Game History What If's?

    I think this is a cool thread idea which could go on for a long time. Basically, whats a thing in video gaming history youve thought of, and you maybe have an alternate history idea for? Someone may have been thinking how Atari could have stayed ontop the console sales, up to nowadays even. Heres the big what if Ive always thought of:

    How could Sega have stayed in the console business?
    To me, it all started going downhill when they made the Sega CD and got all those horrible FMV games on it. After that they released the 32X and those didnt sell well at all, which together can be seen as a big misstep. Then the Saturn being released early made Sega so unpopular with developers and stores they lost to the PS1 and N64 as a distant 3rd place console. The Dreamcast came out, but not having the confidence back of many parties they burned bridges with the Saturn, and it not having a dvd drive, it was too late for Sega especially after Microsoft announced they would enter the console war.

    But lets say Sega didnt put any energy and money into making Genesis addons, what if they had instead focused all that wasted money and time on their next console? Virtua Fighter was a big hit so obviously 3D was the next big step for gaming, and they would make sure they released a quality console for it. The Saturn would be released on time, and not early so then stores wouldnt have been angry with Sega for rushing everything after two failed addons, and developers would have enough time to make their games for it. The Saturn wouldnt have been rushed and enough time would have been focused on doing things right with 3D processing. Then another big thing wouldnt happen. Lets say Bernie Stolar wasnt hired to be in charge of Sega America, so then all those great RPG and 2D Japanese exclusive games would have been given a North American release. The Saturn would have a better library and a ton of games which were also on the PS1 and N64, making them a possible number 1 or 2 company in the 3 way race. Dreamcast production would also start later, giving it a later release with a dvd drive. Microsoft seeing the console market being a strong 3way race decides against releasing the Xbox as a TV gaming console and have it be a cross between computer gaming and console gaming, it fails as hard as the CD-i. The Dreamcast having a very diverse library and great sales numbers would allow Sega's next console to have enough strength in the business to get all the companies they lost in the Saturn era to come back and allow them to keep going strong.


    Whats something youve thought of? It doesnt have to be a big thing like this, what ifs can cover a ton of ground.

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    I really don't know what to think about video game marketing in the 90s. I really wanted more Japanese stuff (ie, "stuff that looks like anime"). But the whole industry in the US seemed to be hell-bent against it, we know how the cool Japanese box art was always replaced with some dull looking airbrushed crap. I always wonder "what if they had marketed the same art and games from Japan?" Would that really have been more successful? Or would it have made the target demographic even smaller?

    I also don't know what to think about the directions Sega went in. They were always the first to come out with the latest technology, and they were always surpassed by the competition, as though the competition was letting Sega dip it's foot in the water to see if it gets bit, then charging over them when it doesn't. But as far as stuff like the Sega CD and 32X, who knows? Sega always took risks. What if they hadn't focused on marketing the FMV games? Would they have been seen as "The same thing as SNES, with better music and twice as expensive"? The FMV stuff really set the Sega CD apart, I think the wow factor of FMV really sold a lot of units to people who were excited about the new technology and didn't think much about the games sucking. And I think we all agree that the 32X was a bad idea, to me it was just a premature 3D gimmick when you know the "true" 3D machines will be out soon. Personally I think they should have been focusing on providing better games for the Sega CD at that time, but hindsight is 20/20... you never know unless you take the risk. And let's not forget Virtual Boy, Nintendo had it's share of flops as well.

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    On that note, what if the Virtual Boy had succeeded? As time went on and developers learned what they could do with the hardware, we might have seen more first-person pov games. Then, 3 or 4 years later, they would have released the Virtual Boy 2 with improved graphics and a full-color display. The end result is that today, full 3D virtual reality would be common and just about everyone would have their own headset, used for everything from gaming to virtual visits to famous landmarks and theme parks. If only...
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    The FMV thing brought interest to it, but then after a few hours of excitement playing the first day you wake up the next morning and its worn off, then you put in Sonic CD :D I dont think I can come up with a way to think of how FMV would get stronger and take the industry forward. hahaha

    Thats weird you bring up those things about the Sega CD, I downloaded a ton of nonFMV games a few hours ago, and I was thinking of if Sega hadnt focused on FMV, but on making better sounding and looking games for it. I noticed there were some computer games ported to it, maybe they could have gotten more DOS or such computer games for it? Maybe DOOM should have been on it instead of the 32X. Or what if NEC hadnt made the Turbo CD, and all those companies that eventually left them when they made the PC-FX had made those games for the Sega CD instead?

    Oh, and yeah, I wish that original Japanese covers were used on a ton of games back then. Way better covers than what the American boxes have.
    Last edited by IHatedSega; 01-23-2013 at 09:35 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by IHatedSega View Post
    The FMV thing brought interest to it, but then after a few hours of excitement playing the first day you wake up the next morning and its worn off, then you put in Sonic CD I dont think I can come up with a way to think of how FMV would get stronger and take the industry forward. hahaha

    Thats weird you bring up those things about the Sega CD, I downloaded a ton of nonFMV games a few hours ago, and I was thinking of if Sega hadnt focused on FMV, but on making better sounding and looking games for it. I noticed there were some computer games ported to it, maybe they could have gotten more DOS or such computer games for it? Maybe DOOM should have been on it instead of the 32X.
    I don't think Sega CD and Doom would be a great fit. The graphics are almost identical to the Sega Genesis. That is a problem since the SNES was graphically better than the Genesis and the Snes had a bad port of Doom. The Sega CD is even faster than the Genesis, but still it wouldn't have been that great. 32x was more High Tech than the Sega CD for Graphics and had a more advanced graphics processor. The other problem is 3DO had Doom with a better processor and is regarded the worst version of Doom out there and that is an issue Since 3DO and Sega CD were CD based Systems.

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    It would have at least sounded better than the 32X port. haha

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    What if the Ps3 released at $299.00 / $399.00
    neo geo system

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    What if Atari had distributed The Nintendo Entertainment System!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by IHatedSega View Post
    It would have at least sounded better than the 32X port. haha
    True enough, but rest of the Sega CD version would have made the 3DO version list a masterpiece. The 3DO version is considered worse port of Doom of all time.

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    What if Murasame Castle and Miracle of Almana were released in the U.S.?

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    What if the Turbografx-16 won the 16-bit Wars?

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    What if Nintendo hadn't turned to Sony in an effort to make a disc based console as the successor to the SNES/SFC? Or what if Nintendo hadn't backed out of their deal? Both of those would mean huge changes in the world of gaming as we know it today.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Guyra View Post
    What if Nintendo hadn't turned to Sony in an effort to make a disc based console as the successor to the SNES/SFC? Or what if Nintendo hadn't backed out of their deal? Both of those would mean huge changes in the world of gaming as we know it today.
    Imagine...Zelda CD.

    It would have been a top-down adventure like AlttP but with an anime FMV intro, cutscenes, and CD quality soundtrack. It would take advantage of the expanded disc space, and 3d effects of the 32-bit Play Station hardware.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Guyra View Post
    What if Nintendo hadn't turned to Sony in an effort to make a disc based console as the successor to the SNES/SFC? Or what if Nintendo hadn't backed out of their deal? Both of those would mean huge changes in the world of gaming as we know it today.
    No difference. The reason Sony did that was solely because they wanted to enter the home console market. Would have happened regardless. Playstation I mean, Nintendo knew it, that's why they hurriedly back out of the deal.

    Quote Originally Posted by treismac View Post
    What if the Turbografx-16 won the 16-bit Wars?
    Has to be a fully 16-bit system to have had a shot. It wasn't.

    Quote Originally Posted by rocky412 View Post
    What if Atari had distributed The Nintendo Entertainment System!!!
    This is my favorite what-if! Pretty hard to say, because that really has never happened. A company selling a system in North America that it didn't design and manufacturer around the globe. Maybe the closest was the Goldstar 3DO or Atari "Epyx" Lynx, but not really. Or I suppose the Coleco Gemini. It would have depended on the contractual language of course. Eventually Nintendo would have waited until it lapsed, threw Atari to the curb, and moved on. It's just difficult to fathom the impact on SEGA let's say, or if Atari would have blown it so bad the NES failed.

    My second favorite is what if SEGA had skipped the 32X and just waited on the Saturn, and released it when it was ready Fall of 1995, instead of earlier in the year like they?
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    What if SNK never went under? What if Atari and SNK actually went through with thier deal to make a cheaper AES?

    What if Gunpei Yakoi lived to see the wonderswan thrive and knock gameboy down a peg?

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    Sega's glut of hardware wasn't their problem, it was their lack of a compelling "killer app" to push hardware sales. The SNES continued to sell well into the 32-bit era thanks mostly to Donkey Kong Country and its sequels.

    Virtua Fighter 2 was a huge hit in Japan that made the Saturn the most successful Japanese Sega console, but the VF series was flat in the US. Had Sega had a game that pushed systems like Sonic the Hedgehog pushed the Genesis, that game would've made its console (32X or Saturn) a hit.

    In fact, the early 32 bit market was wide open in 95 and 96. Sony had the lead, but they could've been overtaken by Sega or Nintendo had either one of them hit a home run software title.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Guyra View Post
    What if Nintendo hadn't turned to Sony in an effort to make a disc based console as the successor to the SNES/SFC? Or what if Nintendo hadn't backed out of their deal? Both of those would mean huge changes in the world of gaming as we know it today.
    This one keeps popping up in my mind from time to time. What if Sony and Nintendo had released the original Playstation add-on for the SNES? Things would be way different. I agree that that gaming would not look quite the same today had that actually happened.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Mort View Post
    This one keeps popping up in my mind from time to time. What if Sony and Nintendo had released the original Playstation add-on for the SNES? Things would be way different. I agree that that gaming would not look quite the same today had that actually happened.
    Would they? Like I said, Sony had no intention of being Nintendo's CD Rom Drive maker, they were eager to have their own system. They likely had no intention of ever following through, so I feel it's a faulty question. Sony is not a "guts" maker, they are a major brand. When Sony's name is on a product, they have made it and will sell it, not somebody else.

    Quote Originally Posted by chrisbid View Post
    Sega's glut of hardware wasn't their problem, it was their lack of a compelling "killer app" to push hardware sales. The SNES continued to sell well into the 32-bit era thanks mostly to Donkey Kong Country and its sequels.
    I agree completely, the 32X and Saturn didn't have enough games like the old Sonic's. Part of the problem was the many titles that got left in Japan on the Saturn, though they still had most of the major third party titles that the PS1 and PC/Mac got too. Even when Sega had great Japan-imported games on Saturn, the concepts often didn't translate cleanly to Americans, and the marketing was abysmal.

    Quote Originally Posted by BricatSegaFan View Post
    What if SNK never went under? What if Atari and SNK actually went through with thier deal to make a cheaper AES?

    What if Gunpei Yakoi lived to see the wonderswan thrive and knock gameboy down a peg?
    SNK/Atari had little to no money to spend on advertising. However, I like the concept but it would have had to be far more encompassing arcade games beyond what they had and console based titles. Then again, Neo Geo games weren't exactly long play console games, since they were arcade games. Wonderswan was in the same boat, marketing budget was dwarfed by that of Nintendo's. But I do love the what-if there.
    Last edited by Greg2600; 01-23-2013 at 09:38 PM.
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    Well looking at those really quickly sounds like the big question is What if Nintendo actually kept with sony on partnership. What would have happened?

    The short answer would be microsoft probably would have never even made console knowing they would never have even stood a chance. And probably sega would have saw the numbers pulling in from this alliance and not even bother releasing the dream cast making Nintendo/sony the ultimate ruler of the console market with no one to challenge them.

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