I really only attribute such things as console wars to the growing importance of internet. They would have existed far sooner if it wasn't for how easy it is to obtain information nowadays.
At least hardcore gamers of the 5th generation had some respect. You may have been a SEGA or Nintendo fanboy but if you were at someone's house with either a SNES or a Genesis, they would hesitate to play either or complain about graphics beyond a few minutes.
you mean the 4th Gen 5th Gen is PS1, N64 and SATURN.