Back in the day, gaming in general was off my radar. The NES had been a fun way to waste some time after school but rarely more than that. Then the SNES came along and pretty much lost me. Final Fantasy VI was the one real shining light. I considered myself a Nintendo fan but they weren't holding my interest at all. Everything just felt like more of the same, more of the same, more of the same. When the PS1 came along, I bought it solely for FFVII, because of FFVI. What happened then was a revelation for me. Suddenly games and game characters were interesting and creative, not just jumping and punching with a random, uninspired story intended to simply tie levels together, or souless, goofy characters with no personality.
It's easy to say, "oh, Sony got lucky," but the way I see it, Nintendo had their shots. Two consoles to one but it took only a brief spell with the PS1 and I never looked back. I never even considered getting the Nintendo console at the time. It was off my radar, my sonar, and even my satellite network was getting nothing.
Is a lot of that nostalgia talking? Absolutely. But it's nostalgia generated by the simple fact that I liked the games on the PS1 more than those of the NES and SNES combined, and by a country mile.
The simple truth is that Nintendo just didn't make a mistake. It was Nintendo being Nintendo and they would have made the same mistake 10 times out of 10. If it hadn't been that mistake then it would have been another mistake. Nintendo thought they had the right to dictate the terms of gaming to consumers, developers, and publishers--just like Microsoft did with the original Xbox One. I think a lot of people liked the vibe that Playstation brought to the table. I know I did.
I was consistently excited about video games throughout the early to mid 90s. Back in the 80s, I first got into gaming through arcades, the Intellivision, and my father's Commodore 64. Then the NES comes along and I quickly became a Nintendo fan. The first time I saw an NES (it was at a friend's house) I was blown away, and I begged my parents to get me one, which they did for Christmas '88. When the SNES was announced, needless to say I retained my excitement. My parents unexpectedly bought me a Genesis back in Christmas '91, and while it wasn't an SNES, it was a pleasant surprise. But I still had plenty of opportunities to play the SNES until I finally got one of my own on Christmas 1994. And the SNES remained tied with the NES as my favorite system ever. Back in the N64's infancy, a classmate of mine (and my best friend of 22 years) had bought an N64 and we played it all the time. Nintendo's games still hadn't lost that magic even with the switch to 3D, but aside from Nintendo and Rare most other studios didn't make a ton of games that appealed to me. I played various PS1 games and only a handful did anything for me (I enjoyed FFVII, Mega Man 8 was okay, Resident Evil 1 & 2 were pretty good), and even most third-party games I played on the N64 that weren't an FPS were average at best. From 1988 to 2000, Nintendo was quite simply the best around.
Now, it was the GameCube where Nintendo started to lose me a bit. They seemed to go more towards quirky experimental titles (Super Mario with a water pack?), and that kind of turned me off a bit. Honestly, Gen 6 as a whole was to me the weakest post-Crash-of-'83 gen overall. Most popular games still weren't clicking with me, and it seemed that most devs were still working out the kinks and figuring out how to get cameras right in third-person games and how to get the controls right. Halo CE was by far my favorite game that generation, and while I had more games on the GameCube, I probably spent more time overall on the Xbox (and as for the PS2 I mainly had it for a few exclusives like Final Fantasy X, Gradius V, and Shadow of the Colossus). But by Gen 7 it seems like most notable studios were getting the hang of things. The Wii was an okay system with a few gems, while the 360 was my primary, and I never actually owned a PS3. The Wii U meanwhile actually got me back into buying Nintendo games big time, and the Switch is great, too. Sony has done a lot to wow me with their first-party outputs over the past few years. MS has made an amazing piece of hardware with the Xbox One X, though their first-party efforts aren't as strong as I'd have liked (hopefully Halo Infinite blows me away).