Welcome, one and all, to another poll post! Now, I realised that I’ve forgotten to show the results of my previous polls. So, we’re going to start this time by going over the previous three. Moving forward, I’ll announce the result of the last poll at the start of the next one. Until then though, this is what we’re looking at:
Which Boot Screen Can You Hear? In the battle of the console boot GIFs, we saw the Nintendo Gameboy gain 7.69% of the votes and the Sony PS1 with 15.28%. The runaway winner though, with 76.92% of the votes, was the SEGA Mega Drive/Genesis.
Which Of The Nine Titans Is The Best? This one was even more clear cut. Scoring 100% of the votes, the winner of the best Titan Shifter design was Annie’s Female Titan.
Which Trapped In An MMORPG Anime Had The Best First Season? This one genuinely surprised me. I was expecting an easy win for SAO, but instead, it tied with the ‘other’ category, both scoring 12.5% of the votes. Log Horizon came second, grabbing 25% of the votes. Finally, .Hack//SIGN won, taking 50% of the total votes.
Moving on, we’re going to come full circle and return to the world of video games. When it comes to consoles, the different eras of gaming are described as generations. So, what we’re going to vote on today is which of these generations was the best. I won’t list every console released for each generation, but I will name the top sellers. So, let’s look at the options.
First Generation (1972 – 1980)
This first generation saw around 900 consoles released. Unlike the systems that followed, these tended to be home machines that contained single or multiple built-in games, with no way to add to them. On top of that, there were many that would fall into the category of clone consoles. Topping the seller’s chart was Nintendo’s Japan-exclusive Color TV-Game series. These were simple machines but were absolutely successful for the company as they moved into the video game market.
Second Generation (1976 – 1992)
This will be the generation that many older gamers started out in. By this time, console sales were shifting into the millions, and by far the biggest seller was the Atari 2600, which shifted over 30 million units. Trailing behind this was the Mattel Intellivision (3 million units) and the ColecoVision (2 million units). Top-selling titles included Space Invaders, Pitfall!, and Missile Command, all of which were released on the Atari 2600.
Third Generation (1983 – 2003)
You read that right, the third generation of consoles technically lasted until 2003, ending with Nintendo ceasing production of their landmark console in September of that year. When it came to the consoles themselves, the two big sellers were the SEGA Master System (13 million units) and the NES (61.91 million units). Atari also released the 7800, but with only 1 million units shifted, the company fell behind the competition here. This era’s biggest selling game Super Mario Bros, which remained the top-selling game of all time right up until 2009. Other familiar franchises, such as Castlevania, Final Fantasy, Zelda, Mega Man, and Metal Gear all got their start on the NES too.
Fourth Generation (1987 – 2004)
The first real console war began here, with SEGA managing to acquire far more third party titles than they had in the previous generation. The 33.75 million units sold of the SEGA Mega Drive/Genesis was enough to easily see off the NEC TurboGrafx-16’s 10 million sales, but it was Nintendo’s SNES that sold the most, shifting 49.1 million units. Interestingly, though they came second in console sales, SEGA’s Sonic the hedgehog outsold Nintendo’s titles of the time.
Fifth Generation (1993 – 2006)
Atari’s Jaguar didn’t sell near enough units to break the top three and was the company’s final foray into the console market until the current generation. SEGA released the Saturn and sold 9.26 million units, which equated to less than a third of their sales in the previous generation. They weren’t the only ones to suffer either, as the Nintendo 64 also sold less than the SNES, shifting 32.93 million units. Both companies had had the opportunity to work with Sony, but chose not to. The result was the Sony PlayStation which, with over 102 million units shifted, outsold all three previously dominant companies put together. This didn’t stop Nintendo finding success though, as Super Mario 64 was one of the top-selling titles of the era.
Sixth Generation (1998 – 2013)
Despite having a decent following now, SEGA’s Dreamcast sold poorly and signalled the end of SEGA’s run in the console market. Similarly, despite some excellent titles, Nintendo slipped into third place with the GameCube selling 21.74million units. Beating them out was Microsoft with their debut machine, the Xbox, which sold 24 million units. Sony, meanwhile, maintained their dominance by selling 155 million PlayStation 2s. The multi-platform games of the generation tended to score well during this time, with the likes of Resident Evil 4 and Sonic Adventure scoring highly with reviewers.
Seventh Generation (2005 – 2017)
The gap between Microsoft and Sony began to shorten in this generation, with the Xbox 360 selling 84 million units compared to the PS3’s 87.4 million. The surprise top seller though was the Nintendo Wii, which shifted almost 102 million units. Once again, cross-platform gaming was big business, with GTA V selling 29 million copies across the PS3 and Xbox 360.
Eighth Generation (2012 – Present)
For the third successive year, Microsoft’s effort failed to topple Sony in sales, with the Xbox One selling 46.9million units. After the Wii U became a commercial failure, Nintendo ‘switched’ things up and released the Switch, which has so far sold 61.44 million units. Sony took the top slot, however, selling 108.9 million PS4s. Top sellers have included Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Marvels Spider-Man, and GTA V.
Ninth Generation (2020 – Present)
Which brings us to the recently released PS5 and Xbox Series X. So far, these have sold 3.4 million units and 2.12 million units respectively. It is far too early to predict how these figures will change in the years to come.
So, the question is, which of these generations was the best? Maybe it was the one that saw your favourite childhood console. Maybe it’s the one that gave you the most enjoyment as an adult. Vote in the poll below to have your say. You can even comment below to explain why you voted the way you did. So, until next time, thanks for reading, and have fun out there!