Nintendo vs. Sony Week: NES vs. PS1

(Note: Throughout the week, Flava and Flinch will be battling it out controller-to-controller, cartridge to CD as they determine which gaming company is best in the land: Nintendo or Sony)


When we decided to debate the merits of the Wii versus PS3, the argument quickly evolved into which gaming company was better overall. There are alot of terrific systems and classic games in the stable of both companies, so we decided to explore the studio space with this one by having an entire week of joystick goodness. And what better place to start than at the beginning?With that in mind, we kick off Nintendo vs. Sony week with the immortal Nintendo Entertainment System squaring off against the Play Station One. FlavaDave gets it started after the jump.


FlavaDave Says: Day One contains the biggest mismatch of the week, if not the biggest mismatch in ‘F versus F‘ history. The original NES versus the PS1? Seriously?Now, I know Flinch well enough to know that he is going to make a valiant effort and come up with some crazy angle to save a little face. But you (the reader) know as well as I do that this battle was over before it started.

But I’m not going to pull a Mayweather and just go through the motions. Let’s give the greatest gaming system of all time the respect it deserves:

The Nintendo Entertainment System was released on October 18, 1985. At the time, video games were mostly the domain of arcades. Home computers were not a common thing yet, and the Atari was only acceptable because it was the only thing available. However, all that soon changed.

I still remember playing Mario for the first time. I sat in my friend Nathan’s living room for about 8 hours every single day, only taking an hour break at 11:00 to eat some PB & J while his mom watched her soaps. It was so addicting because, at the ripe age of about 5 years, we finally got a little bit of control. We had grown up watching TV, but now we got to play it.

It is very telling that now, in the year 2007, the Super Mario Bros. theme song alone has a greater impact on our culture than all the games released for the PS1 combined. I don’t even really remember any of their flagship games. Crash Bandicot? He existed right, I’m not just making that up? I sort of can’t remember. I certainly don’t remember the game.

Conversely, I dare you to find anyone who loves video games who can’t remember every detail of the first level of Super Mario Bros. I bet I could draw a map of it that is accurate to at least 85% purely from memory. And you know what? I never even owned my own NES.

Speaking of owning, almost all of my friends still own and regularly use their NES. That’s right, these machines are almost as old as we are and they are still relevant. I still play Tecmo Super Bowl to this day. Seriously. On Saturday, Bo Jackson ran for 455 yards and six touchdowns as he/I led the Raiders to a crushing 55-7 victory over the once mighty 49ers.

And that’s only a few of the classic games birthed by the NES. The Legend of Zelda, Contra, Mike Tyson’s Punchout, Metroid, Mega Man, TMNT 2, Duck Hunt, Ninja Gaiden, River City Ransom, Final Fantasy. When you think of video games, these are the titles you think of.

I ate lunch with my mom and went with her to see Spamalot on Saturday. I was behind a girl in line that had an unusual purse. It was an NES that was hollowed out, and she was using a power chord as a strap. I said it was cool, but I asked her how she could bear to destroy her NES in the process.

“Oh, of course I didn’t,” she said. “I bought two more off of eBay. One so I could make the purse, and another one in case my original one breaks down before Wednesday NES night.”

Flinchbot Says: The NES sure did revive home-based video game consoles. The first major flurry, featuring the classic Atari and Intellivision models, was seriously fading at the time Nintendo showed up. Nintendo brought in a howl new generation for graphics, gameplay, and crappy controllers to the market. People bought the hell out of them and everyone played Nintendo. My roommate in college my sophomore year had one. I don’t think I ever beat Tyson but I got to him. I think the semester ended right at the point when I could consistently get my ass kicked by him.

My roommate played Zelda a lot. Talk about the most boring video Yawngame of all time. And Super Mario Brothers? Yawn. It was like Pitfall for the Atari and just as boring.

I had another roommate with a Nintendo. We had epic battles with that little hockey game. It was a quaint little game.

That’s my whole deal with the Nintendo line (even through today). It’s so darn wholesome and family friendly. They even released one of the hockey games back then without the fighting. Lame.

PlaystationSo Sony rolls in with their Playstation. It features massively more complex graphics and game play. This is because they decided to ditch the quick-but-limited cartridges and go with the slow-but-high-capacity CD format. Sure, it took 2 minutes for a game to load but when it did it was totally worth it.

Do you really believe Tecmo football is better than any Madden version? The Madden series revolutionized football gaming. Did the Nintendo have a basketball game? Because anything they could offer was smoked by NBA Live. I’m sure the Nintendo had some gay Mario Karts racing game. Meanwhile the Playstation dropped Ridge Racer and Need for Speed.

Street Fighter, anyone? I’m sure the Nintendo had some really swell Mario vs. Luigi fighting game that involved hitting each other with bright red mushrooms.

Look the Nintendo came first and it changed the way people though about home gaming. But when the Sony rolled in, it changed what people thought home gaming could do. Instead of just being some mind-numbingly boring cute-as-a-rainbow game system, it was a complex system that really brought virtual worlds into the home that you could believe in. Plus, the games weren’t retarded.

FlavaDave called this one a mismatch, and he’s right. It’s just not fair to compare a cutesy little toy like the Nintendo with a solid machine like the Playstation.

FlavaDave Says: And there’s the debate in a nutshell. The NES is a legendary system that changed the face of home gaming and is still played to this day, and the Playstation is “a solid machine”. That’s a ringing endorsement if I’ve seen one.

No one is going to buy into you cutting down the NES. The sustained greatness of the machine is unquestioned. Any arguement claiming otherwise is based on a false premise and, therefore, wrong.

I mean, you might as well be arguing that Journey is the greatest band of all time because the Beatles were quaint and the sound quality of Journey’s records is better.

Flinchbot Says: You bringing up Journey is a freaking act of desperation. Are you serious? You have to play that card already?

As commenter OwningXylophone correctly stated, there was a time when Sony and Nintendo were working together to produce a CD-based NES. A combination of bad contracts and corporate politics lead to the dissolution of that and the beginning of the Playstation.

Young Girl Playing Video GameTaking that into account, the original Playstation was clearly a superior product than the original NES as it was designed to be an upgrade to the NES. Plus, the games that came out for it weren’t boring and made for girls. And what it really comes down to are the games. The Playstation had them in abundance for everyone. The NES had them in abundance for 6 year old girls. So if you’re a 6 year old girl, go at it with your NES. It’s a system that can’t be beat.

FlavaDave Says: And New Coke is clearly superior to Coca-Cola, as it was designed to be an upgrade to Coca-Cola Classic. (BTW, I’ve never heard of “the Journey card”. It’s called an analogy).

In all honesty, name me five people who still play Playstation One to this day. I can list all of the people I know who still play NES:

  • All of my friends except for you.

Do PS1 fans even exist? Have you ever seen a PS1 T-shirt? Is there a YouTube clip online of some Asian dude playing the Spyro The Dragon theme song on a tuba through his nose? Does anybody remember what games the PS1 launched with?

Here, I’ll tell you what. Go find me an active PS1 fansite. I’ll wait.

And as for the girl comment, I suppose the rest of us don’t get our masculine identity from a video game.

Flinchbot Says: You want PS1 games? Well, you can get them on your PS3 now and you will be able to play them on your PSP (over 7,000 titles expected to be available).

Yes, 7,000 titles.

I dunno, can all of those classic Nintendo games be played on a DS or a WII? Did Nintendo ever have 700 games, let alone 7,000?

And while there are plenty of PS1 forums alive and kicking (here, here, and here) most of the Playstation sites cover the PS1, PS2, and PS3 (with the PSP usually thrown in as well).

And I’ll back off on saying that all Nintendo games are for 6 year old girls. They did have the ultra-violent thrill-a-minute Duck Hunt which made 7 year old boys excited too.

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12 Responses to Nintendo vs. Sony Week: NES vs. PS1

  1. Now, you realise the irony in this don’t you… The PS1 is born from the stillborn project for the SNES CD. Nintendo employed Sony & Phillips to design a CD add-on for the SNES to combat the Mega-CD/Sega-CD (depending which side of the pond you live), but it never took off and the deal fell through. Sony went on to use the project to make the PS1, while Phillips used it for the CD-I (which is why there are 3 lame Zelda games and 1 lame Mario game on the CD-I). So in reality the PS1 IS a Nintendo…

    Also, the was absolutly nothing revolutionary about the PS1, the graphics were awful (compared to the Saturn), anything 3D was just a mass of harsh polygons and I still rate the PS controller as one of the least comfortable I have ever used. So all-in-all, I’d say the NES was FAR more important to video games as a whole than the PS1 will ever be!

    And for the record. The PS1 lauch line-up in the UK was:-

    Ridge Racer
    Wipeout
    Rapid Reload
    Battle Arena Toshinda
    Street Fighter: The Movie

    Hotly followed by:-

    Tekken,
    Twisted Metal
    Doom
    Loaded (man this game sucked!)
    Alien Trilogy

    Hardly stellar!

  2. GeekBoy says:

    Nice work here guys – I await your next update with baited breath. Retro gaming is probably one of the greatest things in the world, as far as I’m concerned!

    “But when the Sony rolled in, it changed what people thought home gaming could do. Instead of just being some mind-numbingly boring cute-as-a-rainbow game system, it was a complex system that really brought virtual worlds into the home that you could believe in. Plus, the games weren’t retarded.”

    Incidentally, Nintendo did have Mortal Kombat! Although all the blood was taken out…

  3. GeekBoy says:

    Oh, and in your Nintendo Vs. Sony showdown, don’t forget to mention the PSP Vs. DS!

  4. flavadave says:

    “Oh, and in your Nintendo Vs. Sony showdown, don’t forget to mention the PSP Vs. DS!”

    Wednesday, my good man.

  5. MH says:

    Nintendo all the way!

  6. I think ‘Ultimate MK 3’ on the SNES had blood, it was one of the last SNES games made, but the game itself took up all the cartridge, so there is no sound…

    There you go… Useless fact for the day!

  7. Andrezao says:

    PS1 just sucked really… what made it big was replacements for broken units and pirated cds… but there’s no revolution in PS1, whatever it was, “cd addon” it was created by nintendo which employed Sony and later on Philps to produce those, so Basically PS1 was created by nintendo. NES was and always will be the BEST video game console ever, with SNES coming in 2nd.

  8. Steve Speaks The Truth says:

    Well, Flinchbot was on the right track, but got off course. Let me take you kids back to the halcyon days of the early 80’s when some of us were big enough to wipe our own asses.

    Atari changed our worlds in 1981. We’d all pretty much been robbed of every quarter we could get our hands on during the arcade boom of 1980 that was fueled by Pac Man. The only home system that it seemed anyone had up ’til then was god awful pong. We knew Atari was a pale comparison to the stuff they had at Sultan’s Castle, but it was good enough to get us by.

    Many nights were wailed away following the same pattern over and over again in Adventure or blowing up big geometric blobs in Asteroids. Apparently attention spans were longer or they hadn’t “invented” AD/HD back then, ’cause most of us only had 6 games that would get us through a year and each game had, what, 2 levels? Of course by ’83, after the horrible excuse for an adaptation that was Atari Pac Man, we pretty much figured this thing wasn’t getting any better and most of us abandoned Atari for the arcade or weed or something more entertaining.

    So gaming was pretty much dead for a couple years there. No one played anything. Then the NES hits and suddenly your home experience equalled the arcade experience. This was what we had been waiting for. Sure Super Mario Bros. is some sort of forced march mixed with an LSD trip — but it looked an played like the arcade! It was the most important machine ever in home gaming. Atari was just a preview to what NES started and continues. I saw almost an entire floor of a dorm drop out of college due to NES. That, my friends, is POWER!!!

    Naturally PS1 is a superior platform from a gaming standpoint simply due to the fact it came out 10 YEARS AFTER NES! Ten years from now the whores in GTA will probably pop out of the screen to give you a quick hum job while you’re slaying hoods. But it’s all been evolutionary since NES, not revolutionary like that system was. Yeah, other systems are “better,” but none are more important. And for those of us that were there at the beginning, that warm buzz we occasionally feel inside our veins is the addiction to games like Tyson’s Punch Out or Mario or R.B.I. Baseball (6 dudes + 2 cases of beer + RBI baseball = a great Saturday).

    Of course I wound up with a Sega Genesis. That thing was a piece of crap…

  9. PS1 was a good system to be sure because it had a lot of third party stuff…
    Too bad most of it was crap.

    If it weren’t for the NES, PS1 would never have come to be born.
    So Flinch insulting Super Mario Bros. is just rude.
    Not saying you have to like it, no, but you better respect it–the NES and games like Zelda and Super Mario Bros. single-handedly got gaming out of the crash of ’83 and jump started home console gaming.

    Let’s not forget that Super Mario Bros. the best-selling video game of all time.

    Playstation may be better from a technical standpoint, but I’d say the NES was far more important.

    The Playstation made console gaming truly popular, though, selling like mad and evolving games up a considerable step.

    This match-up just doesn’t work because we’re comparing apples to oranges. Both consoles were great and important for different reasons–in the end, though, the NES holds more influence.

  10. quakehollow says:

    what would really be ironic would be that (if theroists like benheck are correct) the wii causes the next gaming crash it would be iorny considering the nes took the world out of the gaming crash by the way when i say gaming crash i am refering to console gaming because pc will never die

  11. And why would the wii cause the “next gaming crash” ?

  12. quakehollow says:

    see wwww.benheck.com

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