Like a lot of the world, I never owned a SEGA console; I was always a Nintendo person, but I enjoyed playing SEGA games when I had a chance at friends’ houses or at my cousin’s place. But what if SEGA stayed in the console business? What would that gaming world look like today?
It is difficult to say as there are a lot of hypotheticals with this question. I assume in one alternate reality that if SEGA stayed in the game then Microsoft may have not entered the ring at all. This could have had two different side effects:
Side effect 1: SEGA would still be struggling in the console game market, and may have taken the Nintendo route, staying kid-friendly making it a Nintendo vs. Sony competition as SEGA would have been the weak link between the two, perhaps trying to change the game. This also would have meant games like Yakuza, Bayonetta, and Valkyrie Chronicles may have never been made, but it also means subscriptions like Game Pass, Gold, and Plus wouldn’t exist either. This scenario would also have the unintended benefit that Sonic games being made for the platform may have actually been good. SEGA would also have been the leader in online gaming, but whether that means crossplay would exist is another story.
Side Effect 2: The other option would have seen Microsoft joining SEGA, like originally intended, making SEGA the leader in online gaming. This would have meant games like Halo, Forza, and Gears may have been SEGA exclusives, but part of me believes none of them would’ve existed, and Halo would have been some unpopular Mac game. Instead of subscriptions like Xbox Game Pass and Xbox Live Gold, we would instead had SEGA Game Pass and SEGA Live Gold. The unintended consequence would be certain games not existing or being on other consoles like Rare staying with Nintendo. To me, this actually would be the best case scenario for SEGA, because they would have had the power and online capabilities of a Microsoft console with their classic gaming catalog meaning they could have conquered the gaming world.
What if Microsoft joined the ring then? What kind of consequences or benefits would there be? I have been thinking about this one for a while and this would have been the worst-case scenario or in Abed’s words, “This would have been the darkest timeline.” We would have had four different consoles vying for our attention, and both Microsoft and SEGA would have gone up in flames (not really, but there would have been the possibility of both companies losing a lot of money). It wouldn’t just be bad for SEGA and Microsoft, but also bad for Nintendo and Sony as there would be less innovation in games; a lot of games wouldn’t exist, and the gaming space would truly be in the darkest timeline.
Sure it could’ve worked out in a weird way with it being Xbox vs. PlayStation and Nintendo vs. SEGA. Instead of Nintendo being the only ‘family-friendly’ console compared to the ‘mature’ consoles, there could have been the SEGA choice, allowing most gamers to have one ‘mature’ console and one ‘family-friendly’ console.
Either way, it would have been something to behold. We will never truly know how it could have turned out.
What do you think would have been the reality if SEGA stayed in the console making game? Let us know in the comments below or on our Discord!
Image Source: IT History Society