With The Unheard Nerd turning 5 I thought rather than checking to see what track was number one on this day 5 years ago (Pixie Lott – All About Tonight), I’d take a look at what gaming was like 5 years ago.
However, a few minutes in and it’s clear that whilst we’ve moved on from the PS3 and XBox 360, the same sort of games are being churned out on a huge scale. Instead it got me thinking, instead of 5 years ago, I’d take a look at the big game events from when I turned 5. So come with me as we travel back to November 1990…
I was born on the 4th November 1985 and it’s hard to remember exactly what my earliest gaming memory is. It was either something on the ZX Spectrum because of my two older sisters or, and the more likely, the Sega Master System (probably Teddy Boy). Either way, it was a great time to be born and there was plenty of gaming choice to be had.
Even before my 5th birthday, 1990 had already contributed some big parts of video game history. February saw Nintendo release Super Mario Bros. 3 for the NES in North America and it sold 17.28 million copies, April had Konami releasing the follow up to Metal Gear, Snake’s Revenge, July brought us Final Fantasy for the NES and also Dr. Mario. 1990 was a big deal but the last 2 months of that year would prove to be defining.
November 21, 1990 – the day that Japan was introduced to the Super Famicom. It’s true that the SNES as it would be known in the USA and UK wasn’t released until 1991 and 1992 respectively, but this first incarnation was a big deal. Up until that point Sega had been on the 16-bit market for a while with the Genesis being released in Japan in 1988 and America in 1989. It’s no surprise though that only 9 days after the Famicom hit Japan that Sega released the Genesis as the Mega Drive across Europe. Now that Nintendo had bought a 16-bit console to the table the console war was starting to get serious.
I’m going to end that portion of 1990 there, this isn’t an article about the “Console Wars”, because it if were, you’d be here for a long time so if you want to learn more about that then the book of the same name by Blake Harris is a good place to start.
There are some other notable happenings from just before my birthday and the end of 1990 that are worth mentioning though:
- The Famicom launch titles saw the introduction of F-Zero with Captain Falcon, along with Yoshi in Super Mario World
- Mega Man 3 was released in the US
- The Secret of Monkey Island was released
- Sega Game Gear came out in Japan in October
- Commander Keen released as shareware in December and was the first major platformer on the PC (if you like Commander Keen then you’re going to love one of my next articles)
So there you have it, in a nutshell the gaming landscape as it was when I was 5 years old. Now I’m sure everyone reading this isn’t the same age as me so why not get nostalgic and share your memories of video games from when you were 5 in the comments below.