Well at the time internet wasn't a thing and here in my neighborhood (in Brazil) SNES was very much liked, so I wasn't aware of any criticism. It took time to become market leader because of the time it took to launch and Sega doing well, but from what I knew it wasn't for poor reception.
And PS4 is after its peak, so they are comparable. Also Sony expect to ship 16M against 18M of Nintendo, so it would be another close year (which so far seems unlikely).
The internet wasn't a thing for anyone back then but gaming mags and such were the criticism was a common notion among the media and developers.
I don't think you understand what you're arguing with this part them being comparable is the point as NS hasn't reached handheld price point range yet.