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Are Sega and Nintendo The Same Company?

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Have you ever come across some old Sega games, and thought they looked very similar to Nintendo’s games? That is because they were created around the same time. 

If you’re not into games, and you are wondering whether Sega and Nintendo are the same company, we are here to answer that question. 

Surprisingly to most people, Sega and Nintendo are not the same exact company. Although they both do sell gaming systems, and have released them around the same time, they are very seperate companies.

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Is Sega or Nintendo Better?

Even after 30 years, we are still having the debate about which is better between Sega and Nintendo. Let’s look at a few aspects.

Nintendo began in 1889 as a Japanese playing card producer, while Sega had its foundations in 1940 as a Hawaii-based jukebox and slot machine wholesaler. Neither one of the companies anticipated it at that point, but the two would develop into giant entertainment corporations, starting an extreme competition that would characterize computer games and pop culture for quite a long time.

How did Sega start?

After the juvenile Hawaiian organization Service Games united with a business visionary in Tokyo, the two rebranded themselves as Sega. Sega accomplished its first success in interactive entertainment with a submarine test game called Periscope. The electro-mechanical game was a triumph across Europe and the US in 1966.

Sega turned into a gigantic name in the computer game arcade boom of the 1970s. One of the organization’s progressively well-known games was Fonz, a Happy Days rebranding of the bike race game Moto-Cross. Before the end of the 70s, Sega had just accomplished yearly sales of nearly $100 million.

Nintendo’s first attempt to compete in a world ruled by Sega’s machines and games was a struggle. Be that as it may, Nintendo took an early shot at a Japanese home console, the “Color TV-Game” in 1977. It was basically a minor departure from Pong, and it got famous enough to sell 3 million units.

After a humble accomplishment with the Color TV-Game, Nintendo took a stab at a portable electronic game with an LCD screen in 1980. You’ll likely perceive the hero Mr. Game and Watch from the Smash Bros. arrangement. The Game and Watch turned into a wonder, with Nintendo selling in excess of 43 million units around the world.

Nintendo continued to struggle with arcade games until Donkey Kong!

Nintendo had made a few endeavors to enter the arcade market in the 70s, however nothing truly got on for them until the progressive Donkey Kong in 1981, it was developed by Shigeru Miyamoto, a young artist.

By 1983 there was a big downfall in the arcade market, provoking Sega to fan out with its first home console, the SG-1000. It just sold 2 million units in Japan, even though it had some amazing games.

Just after Sega had launched its home console SG-1000 their competitor Nintendo on the exact same day introduced the Famicom. Until recently, there hasn’t been a home console that has been more successful! The games included were Popeye, Baseball, and Donkey Kong which greatly dominated the home software sales.

With its uniquely creative games, Nintendo quickly gained a foothold in the US. Because of this, Super Mario Bros. and The Legend of Zelda went on to sell a total of 46 million copies combined, boosting the success of Nintendo’s NES to extreme heights. 

The president and the founder of Nintendo of America, Minoru Arakawa, left a line of well-known NES Games in his path. They were Super Mario Bros 1, 2, and 3. These as well as other games turned into Nintendo’s top of the line stand-alone games, selling 18 million copies and pushing the NES sales to 61 million systems sold around the world!

Many acknowledge Nintendo’s prosperity for reviving the game industry in the mid-80s.

After dominating arcade sales, the tables turned on Sega in the home market. Sega released an 8-bit Master System for the U.S. market in 1986, but Nintendo’s NES proved tough to beat. The Master System was still a modest success for Sega though, and eventually sold over 13 million units worldwide.

Seeking to replicate the portable success of Game & Watch, Nintendo introduced the black and white handheld Game Boy on July 31st of 1989. Propelled by the popularity of the packed-in game Tetris, the Game Boy sold a staggering 118 million units worldwide.

Nintendo launched the Game Boy

While Nintendo was busy launching the Game Boy, Sega began to look into the next generation of home consoles.

After two decades of making games, Sega had yet to create a pop culture icon such as Mario. That all changed when Sega designer Yuji Naka helped create Sonic the Hedgehog in 1991. The Genesis game was blisteringly fast, like nothing that had come before. He made the 8-bit Mario seem slow and outdated by comparison.

Sega and Nintendo became enemies

As Sega gained confidence, the company entered into direct competition with Nintendo’s Game Boy by releasing its own handheld device in April 1991: the Game Gear. The Game Gear had a backlit color screen and was significantly more advanced than the Game Boy. Check out this video of Sega’s Game Gear as it mocks the Game boy by Nintendo. 

Sadly the system’s short battery life and small game catalog weakened its appeal. In the end it only sold 11 million units.

Two years after the Sega Genesis was released, Nintendo finally released its 16-bit system; the Super NES. Early titles like F-Zero and Pilot wings showed off an impressive range of colors and flashy visuals.

The premier showcase for the Super NES though was the next installment in Nintendo’s popular Mario series, Super Mario World. It was a critical success and sold 20 million copies. The Nintendo mascot also faced serious opposition for the first time because Sega’s Sonic the Hedgehog had already begun to mark his territory.

Because Sega had launched the Sega Genesis so early, it had a huge variety of quality action and sports games to counter the Super Nintendo’s smaller gaming library. Sega capitalized on this with a snarky ad campaign brashly mocking Nintendo for being behind the times. The ads cemented Sega’s reputation as the “cooler” company.

Action titles like Streets of Rage, Golden Axe and Altered Beast showed off Sega’s edgier side. Nintendo’s Super NES certainly had similar games, such as Final Fight, but only Sega integrated the violent content into its brand. Sega successfully positioned itself as the better gaming system for all of the gamers in the world. 

Sega has always been a more daring company compared to Nintendo when it’s about the competition. With Sega’s final console, the Dreamcast, the company continued to innovate, even if it meant rushing to market in 1999. The Dreamcast was the first console of the sixth generation, and it featured a built-in modem for online playing, a unique VMU controller display, and an excellent game library.

After achieving unsatisfying sales with the Dreamcast, Sega COO Hideki Sato announced in January of 2001 that his company would cease production of the system and exit the console market. With only 10.6 million units sold, Sega had simply suffered too many financial losses to continue.

Because Sega retired it gave Nintendo enough space to contend with Sony’s PlayStation 2 and Microsoft’s new Xbox. In November of 2001, Nintendo presented the GameCube, which proceeded to sell 21.74 million units around the world. The Gamecubes sales were very good for nintendo, and kept them looking for the next big system, which they made in the coming years. 


Even though Sega is not around anymore creating gaming systems like they did in the past, they did help pave the way for the newer gaming systems to come alive and be the most played games around the world!