With Mario, Zelda, Metroid, and countless gamer-friendly devices, Nintendo has become the old school gamer’s favorite. The game company hasn’t lost sight of what makes its industry special, and it continuously finds ways to deliver products that can appeal to both the hardcore segment and casual gamers. Plus, the sheer fact that it’s been able to survive (and thrive) all of these years is testament to unique value proposition.
Sony, meanwhile, is the embodiment of all that the gaming industry has become. The company delivers high-priced and high-powered consoles that allow developers to offer some of the most graphically impressive games ever launched. And although Nintendo makes much of its cash from first-party games, Sony has, for the most part, allowed third-parties to deliver titles for its platforms.
To say that the differences between Sony and Nintendo are major might very well be an understatement.
And yet, those differences can be helpful in determining which company — Sony or Nintendo — has done more for the gaming industry. Nintendo fans will, of course, choose their favorite, and other, hardcore gamers will likely choose Sony. But why?
A solid argument can be made that Nintendo has contributed more to this industry than any other company. After all, the Nintendo Entertainment System was really the first console to prove in-home gaming could work. And with the launch of countless high-value properties, including Mario, Nintendo has proven platforming and adventure titles can be a massive revenue opportunity.
What’s more, I think you can trace back all of today’s gaming advancements to Nintendo back in the old days. Without the NES, there would have never been the SNES, or the Sega Genesis, or even the first PlayStation. What Nintendo did was put gaming as we know it today on the map.
Still, Sony is impressive. Although the company doesn’t have the same longevity as Nintendo, it dominated the late 1990s and early 2000s by delivering a totally new style of gaming. Whereas Nintendo assumed that console makers would have to compete against developers and components didn’t matter so much, Sony thought that allowing developers to do what they want and blowing customers away with incredible graphics would be the future.
As far as I’m concerned, the new PlayStation is what set off the “new age” of gaming we’re in today. Without it, cinematic sequences wouldn’t be nearly as lifelike as they are now. And without Sony’s efforts, graphics still wouldn’t be so important. Even Microsoft, which is performing quite well in the gaming business now, can trace that success to Sony’s efforts in the 1990s.
So, it’s tough to say which company has contributed more to the gaming business. On one hand, we have a steady, elder statesman that has offered some of the most iconic franchises in the world. On the other hand, we have a tech giant that brought the movies to gaming. At this point, a solid argument can be made for either side.
So, what do you think? Which company — Sony or Nintendo — has contributed more to gaming than any other?
Don Reisinger is a technology and video game columnist. You can see what he's up to each day on Twitter by following him @donreisinger.
The opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of SlashGear