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Forums - Gaming Discussion - Best second console

 

I think the best is...

SNES 34 35.42%
 
PS2 45 46.88%
 
Xbox 360 17 17.71%
 
Total:96
curl-6 said:
The_Liquid_Laser said:

Here is some evidence that "most people" prefer the NES, particularly in North America.  The NES/Famicom only had a major presence in Japan and North America.  I wouldn't expect it to be preferred in other parts of the world.  But here is evidence of the NES' popularity in North America.

1) NES literally sold more than SNES.  I know you don't want to count this, but that is kind of like saying, "You have no evidence that I shot this guy" while you are holding a smoking gun.  Sales numbers are very weighty evidence.

NES SNES % change
Japan 19.4 17.2 -11%
North America 34 24 -29%
ROW  8.6 8.7 1%

The NES sold more than the SNES, but the biggest difference in sales was in North America.  That is where we should find the most people who prefer the NES, especially among those who are old enough to remember the NES when it was a current console.


2) Retro Gamers on Youtube.  I did some searches looking for the top 30 retro gaming channels (based on subscriptions) that are in North America.  Almost all of these channels cover retro gaming in general.  However some of the channels clearly favor one system based on content, and in some cases the Youtuber has just come out and said what their favorite system is.  Here are the results:

Channel subs (in thousands) slant/preferred system
1 Cinnemassacre 3340 NES
2 LGR 1410 PC
3 The 8-bit guy 1180 none
4 Summoning Salt 810 NES
5 Metal Jesus Rocks 785 none
6 Gaming Historian 777 none
7 Classic Game Room (80s comics) 437 Genesis
8 Nostalgia Nerd 357 PC
9 Nintendrew 314 N64
10 Happy Console Gamer 253 Genesis
11 Game Sack 250 none
12 Pat the NES Punk 234 NES
13 Continue? 209 none
14 SNESdrunk 182 SNES
15 My Life In Gaming 178 none
16 Nintendo Complete 141 NES
17 Retro Game Mechanics Explained 138 SNES
18 Classic Gaming Quarterly 131 none
19 Kelsey Lewin 124 Gameboy
20 Adam Koralik 111 Dreamcast
21 Nintendo Collecting 108 N64
22 darbian 101 none
23 John Hancock 94 Genesis
24 John Riggs 86 NES
25 nenriki86 83 NES
26 Retrorepairs 75 none
27 RinryGameGame 75 none
28 Retroware 54 none
29 Gaming History Source 54 none
30 NES Complex 50 NES


Here is the data for just NES and SNES channels

Channels Subs (in thousands)
NES 7 4744
SNES 2 320

Just based on retro content on Youtube, the NES is far more popular than the SNES, at least among North American gamers.  You might also argue that the SNES had tougher competition in North America.  However if you add the SNES and Genesis together, then that brings the # of channels up to 5 and the NES is still far ahead on total subscriptions.  The NES' popularity vs the SNES is not simply because some prefer the Genesis.  People authentically love the 8-bit era completely on its own.

3) Merchandise

Here is a popular site that sells retro gaming T-shirts.
https://pixelretro.com/pages/pixelretro-quality

Under their NES category they have 90 different shirts available.  Under their SNES category they have 40 shirts available.


Here is another site that sells retro gaming themed art.
https://artovision3d.com/

The art can be bought as shadowboxes that hang on the wall or it can be desktop art.  I sorted these by "best selling" and then counted how many were NES themed and how many were SNES themed.

Shadowbox art Desktop art
NES 17 15
SNES 9 10

In both cases art from NES games appears more often than art from SNES games in the "best selling" category.  What people actually buy more often is the NES themed art.

Ultimately, what I wanted to show is how extremely popular the NES is in North America.  People on the internet like to crap all over the NES.  Meanwhile, I know plenty of people in real life who love it.  Part of the disconnect is that most parts of the world did not experience the NES in its prime.  Those who didn't dismiss the NES quickly, while those who did have a deep appreciation for it.  When I'm saying people love the NES, I'm not just making this up.  There is a reason why the NES sold more than the SNES.  It was and still is a very popular system for North American gamers.

Again, sales aren't an apples to apples comparison because they sold under very different circumstances.

The preferences of youtubers and merchandise don't prove anything either, that's just the rose-tinted nostalgia of a specific demographic. If you grew up gaming the the 80s, NES was virtually the only game in town, there was little alternative due to the lack of competition in the console space. 

I think our fundamental disconnect is that you're talking about which was more popular in its time, whereas I'm talking now, today, in the 21st century, in retrospect. Take a bunch of gamers who grew up with neither and let them play both today; I doubt most would choose the NES.

That is probabaly true, especially outside of North America and Japan.  SNES games are more like modern games.  SNES games are easier and longer than NES games (as a whole) which makes them more like the games made today.  SNES games are 2D, so they feel a step or two away from modern games, but NES games are like an extra step and that can feel too far removed from modern games.  Also the NES doesn't use any developer tricks (things that subtly make a game easier), and this is great on an old TV, but it can make the NES feel off on an HDTV which generally has lag in it.  NES is more reflex based than any system that came later.

However, a lot of people (probably most people) who played both the NES and SNES when they were new systems prefer the NES.  There is a difference between looking forward (in real time) and looking backward having not lived through it.  There are several ways that NES games are better: 1) action is most intense on NES (less lag and "developer tricks"), 2) more first party games (3 Marios, 2 Zeldas, etc...), 3) light gun games, and 4) most importantly there is a lot more variety and originality on the NES.  One thing that makes a game good (and a console good) is originality.  On the NES, Mario, Zelda, Metroid and Tetris were totally original games (also Mega Man, Castlevania, Final Fantasy, etc...).  Everything was original.  Modern gaming is so far removed from this that it's hard to describe.  Breath of the Wild would have been another good game on the NES, but today it is game of the decade.  The NES was pure originality and today's gaming has almost none.

These are the reasons why the people who experienced the NES in it's prime consider it one of the best (or simply the very best) systems of all time.

Last edited by The_Liquid_Laser - on 07 September 2020

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The_Liquid_Laser said:
curl-6 said:

Again, sales aren't an apples to apples comparison because they sold under very different circumstances.

The preferences of youtubers and merchandise don't prove anything either, that's just the rose-tinted nostalgia of a specific demographic. If you grew up gaming the the 80s, NES was virtually the only game in town, there was little alternative due to the lack of competition in the console space. 

I think our fundamental disconnect is that you're talking about which was more popular in its time, whereas I'm talking now, today, in the 21st century, in retrospect. Take a bunch of gamers who grew up with neither and let them play both today; I doubt most would choose the NES.

That is probabaly true, especially outside of North America and Japan.  SNES games are more like modern games.  SNES games are easier and longer than NES games (as a whole) which makes them more like the games made today.  SNES games are 2D, so they feel a step or two away from modern games, but NES games are like an extra step and that can feel too far removed from modern games.  Also the NES doesn't use any developer tricks (things that subtly make a game easier), and this is great on an old TV, but it can make the NES feel off on an HDTV which generally has lag in it.  NES is more reflex based than any system that came later.

However, a lot of people (probably most people) who played both the NES and SNES when they were new systems prefer the NES.  There is a difference between looking forward (in real time) and looking backward having not lived through it.  There are several ways that NES games are better: 1) action is most intense on NES (less lag and "developer tricks"), 2) more first party games (3 Marios, 2 Zeldas, etc...), 3) light gun games, and 4) most importantly there is a lot more variety and originality on the NES.  One thing that makes a game good (and a console good) is originality.  On the NES, Mario, Zelda, Metroid and Tetris were totally original games (also Mega Man, Castlevania, Final Fantasy, etc...).  Everything was original.  Modern gaming is so far removed from this that it's hard to describe.  Breath of the Wild would have been another good game on the NES, but today it is game of the decade.  The NES was pure originality and today's gaming has almost none.

These are the reasons why the people who experienced the NES in it's prime consider it one of the best (or simply the very best) systems of all time.

SNES are also more like modern games because they learned from the lessons of the 3rd gen and improved upon them; for example there's less cheap and frustrating design choices designed to waste a player's lives/time to extend the game, plus deeper gameplay due to having eight buttons instead of four. 

Few people who don't have childhood nostalgia for the NES would argue it has aged particularly gracefully, whereas SNES's classics are generally considered to have aged extremely well.



Bet with Liquidlaser: I say PS5 and Xbox Series will sell more than 56 million combined by the end of 2023.

curl-6 said:
The_Liquid_Laser said:

That is probabaly true, especially outside of North America and Japan.  SNES games are more like modern games.  SNES games are easier and longer than NES games (as a whole) which makes them more like the games made today.  SNES games are 2D, so they feel a step or two away from modern games, but NES games are like an extra step and that can feel too far removed from modern games.  Also the NES doesn't use any developer tricks (things that subtly make a game easier), and this is great on an old TV, but it can make the NES feel off on an HDTV which generally has lag in it.  NES is more reflex based than any system that came later.

However, a lot of people (probably most people) who played both the NES and SNES when they were new systems prefer the NES.  There is a difference between looking forward (in real time) and looking backward having not lived through it.  There are several ways that NES games are better: 1) action is most intense on NES (less lag and "developer tricks"), 2) more first party games (3 Marios, 2 Zeldas, etc...), 3) light gun games, and 4) most importantly there is a lot more variety and originality on the NES.  One thing that makes a game good (and a console good) is originality.  On the NES, Mario, Zelda, Metroid and Tetris were totally original games (also Mega Man, Castlevania, Final Fantasy, etc...).  Everything was original.  Modern gaming is so far removed from this that it's hard to describe.  Breath of the Wild would have been another good game on the NES, but today it is game of the decade.  The NES was pure originality and today's gaming has almost none.

These are the reasons why the people who experienced the NES in it's prime consider it one of the best (or simply the very best) systems of all time.

SNES are also more like modern games because they learned from the lessons of the 3rd gen and improved upon them; for example there's less cheap and frustrating design choices designed to waste a player's lives/time to extend the game, plus deeper gameplay due to having eight buttons instead of four. 

Few people who don't have childhood nostalgia for the NES would argue it has aged particularly gracefully, whereas SNES's classics are generally considered to have aged extremely well.

This is a very narrow minded view of gaming.  One of the most basic game design principles is "easy to learn, difficult to master".  NES games tend to fit this principle better than SNES games.  A controller with 4 buttons is easier to learn than one with eight.  At the same time "frustrating design choices that waste a player's lives/time" often means the game is actually just difficult to master.  This is assuming we are talking about a tough but fair game like Castlevania.  The best NES games have a better design than the best SNES games.

NES games tend to be better for speed running for this very reason.  If a person has mastered a game, then it's actually pretty short to complete.  Of course it takes hundreds of hours to get that good.  The point of a lot of NES games is to "git gud" instead of just complete the game.  The type of person who likes Dark Souls would probably also like NES games, especially on an original system with a CRT TV.



The_Liquid_Laser said:
curl-6 said:

SNES are also more like modern games because they learned from the lessons of the 3rd gen and improved upon them; for example there's less cheap and frustrating design choices designed to waste a player's lives/time to extend the game, plus deeper gameplay due to having eight buttons instead of four. 

Few people who don't have childhood nostalgia for the NES would argue it has aged particularly gracefully, whereas SNES's classics are generally considered to have aged extremely well.

This is a very narrow minded view of gaming.  One of the most basic game design principles is "easy to learn, difficult to master".  NES games tend to fit this principle better than SNES games.  A controller with 4 buttons is easier to learn than one with eight.  At the same time "frustrating design choices that waste a player's lives/time" often means the game is actually just difficult to master.  This is assuming we are talking about a tough but fair game like Castlevania.  The best NES games have a better design than the best SNES games.

NES games tend to be better for speed running for this very reason.  If a person has mastered a game, then it's actually pretty short to complete.  Of course it takes hundreds of hours to get that good.  The point of a lot of NES games is to "git gud" instead of just complete the game.  The type of person who likes Dark Souls would probably also like NES games, especially on an original system with a CRT TV.

An 8 button controller is very easy to learn though, so only 4 has no benefits, only limitations.

We've veered way off topic at this point though, so if you want to make an NES vs SNES topic, feel free to do so.



Bet with Liquidlaser: I say PS5 and Xbox Series will sell more than 56 million combined by the end of 2023.

I miss 6 face button controllers. Far superior to 4 buttons. 8 buttons aren't that difficult if used to an arcade stick.



Bite my shiny metal cockpit!

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The_Liquid_Laser said:
curl-6 said:

Again, sales aren't an apples to apples comparison because they sold under very different circumstances.

The preferences of youtubers and merchandise don't prove anything either, that's just the rose-tinted nostalgia of a specific demographic. If you grew up gaming the the 80s, NES was virtually the only game in town, there was little alternative due to the lack of competition in the console space. 

I think our fundamental disconnect is that you're talking about which was more popular in its time, whereas I'm talking now, today, in the 21st century, in retrospect. Take a bunch of gamers who grew up with neither and let them play both today; I doubt most would choose the NES.

That is probabaly true, especially outside of North America and Japan.  SNES games are more like modern games.  SNES games are easier and longer than NES games (as a whole) which makes them more like the games made today.  SNES games are 2D, so they feel a step or two away from modern games, but NES games are like an extra step and that can feel too far removed from modern games.  Also the NES doesn't use any developer tricks (things that subtly make a game easier), and this is great on an old TV, but it can make the NES feel off on an HDTV which generally has lag in it.  NES is more reflex based than any system that came later.

However, a lot of people (probably most people) who played both the NES and SNES when they were new systems prefer the NES.  There is a difference between looking forward (in real time) and looking backward having not lived through it.  There are several ways that NES games are better: 1) action is most intense on NES (less lag and "developer tricks"), 2) more first party games (3 Marios, 2 Zeldas, etc...), 3) light gun games, and 4) most importantly there is a lot more variety and originality on the NES.  One thing that makes a game good (and a console good) is originality.  On the NES, Mario, Zelda, Metroid and Tetris were totally original games (also Mega Man, Castlevania, Final Fantasy, etc...).  Everything was original.  Modern gaming is so far removed from this that it's hard to describe.  Breath of the Wild would have been another good game on the NES, but today it is game of the decade.  The NES was pure originality and today's gaming has almost none.

These are the reasons why the people who experienced the NES in it's prime consider it one of the best (or simply the very best) systems of all time.

Speaking only for myself, I got an NES in 1988 when I was 12 and absolutely loved it. Got an SNES in 1993 and loved it even more. Now, I still play SNES games but just the thought of playing certain NES games make me feel a little anxiety. I don't think I'll EVER play an NES game unless I'm just messing around for 5 minutes.

I appreciate what it did for the industry and my childhood but, like the PS1, most of the games are just too crude to be fun. I know I don't speak for everyone. I do like watching videos of the NES but mainly for the reaction of the players, and not because of the games.



Twitter: @d21lewis

d21lewis said:
The_Liquid_Laser said:

That is probabaly true, especially outside of North America and Japan.  SNES games are more like modern games.  SNES games are easier and longer than NES games (as a whole) which makes them more like the games made today.  SNES games are 2D, so they feel a step or two away from modern games, but NES games are like an extra step and that can feel too far removed from modern games.  Also the NES doesn't use any developer tricks (things that subtly make a game easier), and this is great on an old TV, but it can make the NES feel off on an HDTV which generally has lag in it.  NES is more reflex based than any system that came later.

However, a lot of people (probably most people) who played both the NES and SNES when they were new systems prefer the NES.  There is a difference between looking forward (in real time) and looking backward having not lived through it.  There are several ways that NES games are better: 1) action is most intense on NES (less lag and "developer tricks"), 2) more first party games (3 Marios, 2 Zeldas, etc...), 3) light gun games, and 4) most importantly there is a lot more variety and originality on the NES.  One thing that makes a game good (and a console good) is originality.  On the NES, Mario, Zelda, Metroid and Tetris were totally original games (also Mega Man, Castlevania, Final Fantasy, etc...).  Everything was original.  Modern gaming is so far removed from this that it's hard to describe.  Breath of the Wild would have been another good game on the NES, but today it is game of the decade.  The NES was pure originality and today's gaming has almost none.

These are the reasons why the people who experienced the NES in it's prime consider it one of the best (or simply the very best) systems of all time.

Speaking only for myself, I got an NES in 1988 when I was 12 and absolutely loved it. Got an SNES in 1993 and loved it even more. Now, I still play SNES games but just the thought of playing certain NES games make me feel a little anxiety. I don't think I'll EVER play an NES game unless I'm just messing around for 5 minutes.

I appreciate what it did for the industry and my childhood but, like the PS1, most of the games are just too crude to be fun. I know I don't speak for everyone. I do like watching videos of the NES but mainly for the reaction of the players, and not because of the games.

Obviously, everyone has different tastes.  For me I've found that I like first party games better on the NES compared to their SNES sequels (Mario 3 > World, Zelda 1&2 > LttP, etc...), but I usually like the third party versions more on the SNES (Castlevania 4 > 1-3,  Final Fantasy 4&6 > 1, etc...). 

Another thing I appreciate about the NES though is that a fair amount of good games never got sequels on the SNES.  For example, Blaster Master is a great game, but there is no SNES Blaster Master.  NES had a lot more light gun games and I prefer the zapper to the super scope anyway.  And for action games with fast reflexes I prefer the NES.  NES games feel faster and more reactive.  For example, Links sword in Zelda 1 strikes fast and you can strike frequently.  Link's sword in LttP is more of a swing and so it feels slower.  It's like the difference between stabbing with a knife and swinging a baseball bat.  The former is just a lot faster.  NES games in general feel more twitchy, more reflex based.  

Old school (especially 2D) action games are not something the game industry does well anymore.  There are plenty of good ones on the NES, SNES and Genesis, and I like all 3 systems, but if I had to pick which one is the best for old school action then I'd have to say the NES.



The_Liquid_Laser said:
d21lewis said:

Speaking only for myself, I got an NES in 1988 when I was 12 and absolutely loved it. Got an SNES in 1993 and loved it even more. Now, I still play SNES games but just the thought of playing certain NES games make me feel a little anxiety. I don't think I'll EVER play an NES game unless I'm just messing around for 5 minutes.

I appreciate what it did for the industry and my childhood but, like the PS1, most of the games are just too crude to be fun. I know I don't speak for everyone. I do like watching videos of the NES but mainly for the reaction of the players, and not because of the games.

Obviously, everyone has different tastes.  For me I've found that I like first party games better on the NES compared to their SNES sequels (Mario 3 > World, Zelda 1&2 > LttP, etc...), but I usually like the third party versions more on the SNES (Castlevania 4 > 1-3,  Final Fantasy 4&6 > 1, etc...). 

Another thing I appreciate about the NES though is that a fair amount of good games never got sequels on the SNES.  For example, Blaster Master is a great game, but there is no SNES Blaster Master.  NES had a lot more light gun games and I prefer the zapper to the super scope anyway.  And for action games with fast reflexes I prefer the NES.  NES games feel faster and more reactive.  For example, Links sword in Zelda 1 strikes fast and you can strike frequently.  Link's sword in LttP is more of a swing and so it feels slower.  It's like the difference between stabbing with a knife and swinging a baseball bat.  The former is just a lot faster.  NES games in general feel more twitchy, more reflex based.  

Old school (especially 2D) action games are not something the game industry does well anymore.  There are plenty of good ones on the NES, SNES and Genesis, and I like all 3 systems, but if I had to pick which one is the best for old school action then I'd have to say the NES.

On the flip side, I watched a playthrough of Kabuki Quantum Fighter on YouTube and my recommendations are now filled with hidden 2D gems that I think would have blown my mind if I'd played them back then. 

Anyway, I'm rambling. I agree with you. We all have our preferences.



Twitter: @d21lewis

Easily the Super NES for me from that list and the Genesis would be next if we count that as Sega's second console.



I enjoyed the PS1 more than I enjoyed the PS2, so I'd have to give my vote to the SNES. Xbox 360 is a close 2nd, however.