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What If — Sony and Nintendo Had Never Split?

As we know, the Nintendo 64 still kept the cartridge port, leaving it in a category all by itself with Sony’s PS1 and SEGA’s Saturn system both sporting disc drives. However, this wasn’t originally the case. Nintendo had previously partnered up with Sony to develop a brand new system that also featured a disc drive; the aforementioned “Nintendo-Sony PlayStation”. Unfortunately, the two had a big fallout and the system was left to die. Sony later took the idea and recreated it into what we now know as the PS1. Therefore, it is very much true that Nintendo was the actual creator of their biggest adversary in the console market.

Now I’ve known about this little debacle for a bit of time, but I never really thought about it deeply until that picture surfaced a few weeks ago. It made me wonder: “You know, what if that actually came to light? What if Sony and Nintendo were still close partners even today?”

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LaWiiG1210d ago

I think the market could have been more broad for Nintnedo. They would have tapped into a more hardcore arena, bringing ports of PC Games.

Regis1210d ago

Well if we had a Sony Nintendo relationship. Let's see over milked IPs with lots of third party support? Hmmm... sounds like Microsoft? Juse kidding making a small joke here.

Max-Zorin1210d ago (Edited 1210d ago )

You 8th gen trolls are extremely corny.

Larry L1210d ago

I've thought about this alot over the years. I don't believe in coincidence and I do believe in fate. Had Nintendo not backstabbed Sony for critical damage at the inaugural E3, I think things would've worked out exactly the same, things probably would have just been delayed by a couple/few years.

We see where Ninty took gamers over the years since SNES. In all honesty it wasn't all that far. They continued pandering to the child demographic. They didn't and still don't at least have a percentage of their 1st party studios dedicated to making games that have "grown up" with their audience.

My point is that Sony would have fairly quickly outgrown the E for Everyone borders of Nintendo and would have broken out on their own by the following generation. Because of the delay the only difference in our lives now would be the we'd be on PlayStation 3 now instead of PS4, and that Sony's PlayStation would be known as Sony's SomeThingElse since Nintendo would have owned the rights to the PlayStation brand name I'd assume.

ChickeyCantor1210d ago (Edited 1210d ago )

" Had Nintendo not backstabbed Sony "

I'd set your house on fire as well if you want to claim rights to all my property.

I think Sony wanted to f*ck over Nintendo equally.

But what a beautiful beast it could have been.

+ Show (1) more replyLast reply 1210d ago
3-4-51210d ago

What is this title ?

They were never combined to even be able TO split !

Neonridr1210d ago

the SNES-CD was almost a reality, prototypes were built. The Playstation would have never existed had Nintendo not jumped ship a the last moment.

Can you picture a world where Sony and Nintendo were releasing a joint console? And how different the games industry might be now?

GameSpawn1210d ago

Sony had a contract with Nintendo to develop a CD add-on for the SNES. For lack of better words they were combined on a joint project. Nintendo backed out at the last minute and signed a contract with Panasonic for a disc-based system (Code named Dolphin - Later became the GameCube). This was an act of war to Sony execs at the time (remember these are Japanese companies) and they didn't want anything to do with a niche market until this act. After Nintendo balked out of their contract, Sony execs told Kutaragi to go full force into developing a standalone console to compete against Nintendo.

We see the monster that Nintendo created. After the success of the PS1 and PS2, Nintendo almost seemed to never have a chance left to stay in the market. If it wasn't for their handhelds, low cost/high margin consoles, and the luck of the Wii they very well could have gone the way of SEGA.

Relientk771210d ago

Then today it might have been Sony and Nintendo Vs. Sega Vs. Microsoft

johndoe112111210d ago

I don't think that partnership would have lasted regardless. If you look at both systems and both companies you would see that they both have totally opposite visions and directions they are going in terms of gaming. From the design of the systems to the features to the types of games and target audience, it's like night and day. It would have been epic if it worked but I don't think it would have been possible unless one of them bought out the other.

Xavior_Reigns1210d ago

Indeed, it would've been endless power struggles, potentially leaving the victor seriously crippled.

Concertoine1210d ago

If they were both making money, they'd be willing to compromise.

bmf73641210d ago

Sega, regardless of Sony, would be responsible for its demise with the Saturn. And odds are, the dreamcast would still tank, and Microsoft would not see Sony's 'living room PC' (PlayStation) as an issue in their business resulting in their direct involvement in the games industry

Sony was already manufacturing sound chips for SNES cartridges, and allegedly the Nintendo PlayStation would have allowed Sony to give licensing for SNES games, which is why Nintendo 180'd the deal. To have complete control over publishing on their system.

It would be debatable on whether or not Sony would have used their licensing ability because their peak interest would have most likely been providing hardware design and manufacturing with few titles to demonstrate the SNES CD-Drive.

Maybay1210d ago

Good hardware, with exclusives that reign the competition.

FallenAngel19841210d ago

Then Nintendo would've made way less profit than they did. The industry also wouldn't have been so broad because Nintendo would've not be so lenient with mature titles.

On a side not, its funny to remember that the SEGA Saturn despite being a failure had better third party support than the Nintendo 64.

Concertoine1210d ago (Edited 1210d ago )

That's because the saturn was big in japan, where all the games were being made at the time.

N64 sold pretty bad in japan, carts couldn't fit rpgs or pre-rendered graphics which were all the rage.

Honestly, nearly all of nintendos problems can be rooted to the n64. If they went with cd-roms instead of a proprietary cart format they could've had it out sooner (n64 was released two years later than ps1 in some areas...) and wouldn't have lost third parties.

Serg1210d ago

This is exactly what Nintendos problem is. As you said the ball started rolling downhill with the N64. Everybody and their mother moved to CD-Rom, except for Nintendo. Sub 100 MB games are a joke even in the mid 90's. The GameCube had the exact same problem. It offered a puny 1,5 GB mini-CD format. There were games larger than that on the PS1... and the GameCube is 14-15 times more powerful, this is not an exaggeration, 33,7 Mhz vs. 485 Mhz. PS2's DVD drive could read 8,5 GB dual-layer DVDs, in comparison. The GameCube was even faster than the PS2, but that didn't matter much as games simply couldn't fit on the tiny discs. Wii is the same story. Single layer DVD sized discs, which were not in any DVD format readable by conventional DVD players, again. Wii U? Do you need to ask? 25 GB, good size mind you, but yet another proprietary garbage format nobody other than Nintendo uses.

They annihilated every bridge they had, they alienated all third parties and most fans, just so they can try and retain some sense of control... over nothing, essentially, since there is no one left to have control over.

Nintendo needs to radically change their stance or they will face serious problems in the next few years. They were already whining that the move to HD crippled their development process, well, it isn't going to get any easier so they better rethink just what the hell they are doing.

They have to either make a console appealing to third parties and beg them to come back, or they should at long last abandon their home consoles and move to 3rd party or publish their games exclusively on Sony hardware. There is no other way for them to remain relevant.

Hell even their handhelds are losing ground. They have a lot of money saved up, but the way things are going the pile is only going to shrink.

Concertoine1210d ago

@Serg

Exactly. And for what? Piracy protection? Not worth ruining your console's potential to prevent piracy

UltraNova1210d ago

I think its Nintendo's leadership that needs a radical change, as in get them the hell out. They are stuck in times long gone and refuse to modernize.

Look I get that they need to preserve that Nintendo ethos, its what defines and separates them from the competition.

My question is why do they insist in low powered,proprietary obsolete tech? Piracy I keep hearing..MS and Sony are doing just fine...

If they are so hell bend on not competing directly with MS and Sony they can release a console with a familiar architecture (x86) and provide a system with say 50% the power of their competitors (and evade any comparison whatsoever while keeping costs low) while luring in 3rd party support, i.e the life line support of any system.

Of course moving away from hardware is not an option for Nintendo, getting on with the times however is now a must.

Losso-Oso1210d ago

@Concertoine

You are absolutely right. And just like Dr. Frankenstein, Nintendo created their own monster when they stabbed Sony in the back and got in bed with Philip.

Which was a huge deal back then, Japanese companies just did not do this to one another, and they certainly didn't stabbed each other in the back to get in bed with a foreign one. And to add insult to injury, we all know how that Phillips partnership ended up as. CDi anyone?

@UltraNova

I kind of agree with you. Nintendo doesn't have to compete all that much with the other two to stay relevant. They have carved out a niche in the industry and they can survive in that niche.

But, and this is a big one, they absolutely, can not, must not create a system that is 50% less powerful than the competition and actually think that if they beg they will get 3rd party support back.

If Ninty creates such a system, that would be akin to them shouting from the hilltops that they will go at it alone. Even if the system is x86 in its architecture, being that far behind the competition in terms of power means that there would be extremely significant differences in a game that is made for all 3 systems, actually 4 can't forget about PC.

Those games would not be simple ports, a lot of sacrifices will have to be made, things will get cut, and all of this means that the Ninty version of a game will be extremely gimped. Which means that version of a game will not sell, 3rd party devs and publishers will once again become angry with Ninty and they will be right back to square one.

At the very least, they must make a system that is 80% as powerful as the current systems. If they wish to stay relevant in the overall core market and rally 3rd party support.

UltraNova1209d ago (Edited 1209d ago )

@losso

I kinda agree with you too ;-)

80% would pit them directly where they dont wont to be, in a power struggle with MS and Sony because they will always be compared to them due to the similar power.

50%,however is low enough to prevent direct comparisons (if made clear from the start) and while you are right that devs will need more time&resources to develop(damp down) that version, there will still be some that will make the effort, as opposed to none.

The truth is its not that Nintendo doesn't wont to go at it with the other two its because they know they no longer can, due to their decade+ push to present their consoles as affordable and different. Going against Sony and MS will dramatically increase costs which in turn will decrease R&D for niche ideas like motion controls and tablet/controller hybrids.

They have to either go half way their (avoiding direct comparisons) or all in with a more powerful x86 system that beats the ps4/xbox while doubling their efforts to show their vast collection of IPs with now great visuals/performance and as a shocker announce lots 3r party support. Or try to be affordable and niche/popular one last time (their very last imh).

I am sure, however, that I wouldn't want to be in their shoes right now. Whats that saying? 'you made the bed you'll sleep in'?

+ Show (2) more repliesLast reply 1209d ago
Loadedklip1210d ago (Edited 1210d ago )

Less profits? I don't know. I can only imagine how many Mario, Mario Karts, Smash Bros, Zelda, Donkey Kong, Smash Bros, Animal Crossing, Pokemon and more would sell on 150 million user base every generation.

Oh actually I have an idea ... their software would probably have sold like they did on the Wii and DS. The one generation where they had the mega huge user base and had their games breaking profit records left and right.

cfc781210d ago

Im just glad they did those Playstation 1/2 days were the best.

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