Friday, February 22, 2008

#83: Sega CD

Some people had an Atari. Almost everyone had a Nintendo. Then came the 16-bit monsters that drew a line in the sand, either you stood with Super Nintendo or you cast your lot in with Sega and its Genesis.

Most people chose on a whim. Super Nintendo had Mario. Sega had Sonic. Super Nintendo had Mario Pinball. Sega had Sonic Pinball. Super Nintendo had Mario Cart. Sega had Golden Axe. The battle was clearly heated; each side had earned its stripes.

That is, until Sega introduced us to the world of 32-bit graphic rendering on a coaxial connection. They gave us Sega CD. Boasting a limited library of 5 titles, Sega CD appealed to only the most loyal of Sega brand fans who trusted their console to take them into the future. That committed customer base, comprised of video game tastemakers, weathered the commercial landscape and handicapped the odds in the battle of free markets. Malcolm Gladwell would call them the Tipping Point; we call them Asians.

However, due to their presumed familiarity with Japanese electronics, most Asians sided with Nintendo in the console wars. Indians, distracted by rumors of a TATA console, thought with their joysticks and blindly followed Sega's foray into the realm of the 32-bit compact disc. 3 years later they all bought Playstations.