: Is PlayStation Just As Iconic As Nintendo?

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Is PlayStation Just As Iconic As Nintendo?

Time changes perspectives.

There was a time when Nintendo vs. Sega was the ultimate console war and nobody could conceive of a more gripping or legendary battle. In retrospect, it didn't even last that long, not compared to PlayStation vs. Xbox.

There's no doubt that Nintendo will go down in history as a pioneer in the industry. But as the years and decades fall away, one's going to have to ask the serious question: Can PlayStation/Sony go toe-to-toe with Nintendo in terms of overall brand impact on gaming? Is it feasible that in fact, PlayStation will end up being just as important to this industry in the long run, if not more so? One could make the argument that with the same mascots for three decades, Nintendo hasn't done enough to maintain its forward momentum. And without the motion-sensing gimmick that rocketed the Wii to temporary superstar-dom, Nintendo might not even be in the console race anymore.

At the same time, you can't say the N64 wasn't instrumental in the inception and evolution of 3D gaming. PlayStation participated there, too, but I imagine everyone will remember Mario 64 as the game that helped break the mold, that allowed everyone to see what a new generation - and a new dimension - would be like. Even so, if you look at the birth and expansion of various genres, I think it's obvious that the original PlayStation (and in fact, all PlayStations) had a wider variety of gameplay experiences, from the likes of Metal Gear Solid to JRPGs to the first simulators. This diversity is really what allowed the PlayStation brand to dominate the industry; the PS2 had just about every conceivable genre on earth, while the same could not be said of GameCube and Xbox, for instance.

Again, time is the key. For the time being, I doubt anyone will say Sony is "as iconic" as Nintendo. Well, perhaps nostalgia is playing a role...a big role. And maybe we should start to acknowledge that.

8/21/2015 Ben Dutka

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Comments (21 posts)

Phoenix
Friday, August 21, 2015 @ 10:58:09 PM
Reply

Eh.... I don't think it's nostalgia at all, Nintendo had how many EPIC franchises? PS has who exactly? yea, not much, and they're no where near what Nintendo has.

Now, today's youth I'd wager would 100% agree with you that the PS is as Iconic( if not more so ), they didn't grow up in an age of Nintendo, so they've never played the classics, MB1/2/3, Super Mario World, Donkey Kong Country, LoZ, LoZ: ALTTP, Kirby games, Metroid games, Castlevania NES/SNES games, SM64, the list is endless. So, those of us that have been around , or have looked into the oldies know that when you think of games, you think Nintendo.

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GMRX
Saturday, August 22, 2015 @ 7:29:52 PM

I think you're missing the point though, we are talking the entire brand here, not just the games.

Nintendo single handedly brought back the gaming industry from the clutches of death back then and was made famous for such titles as Mario, Zelda etc.

But what have they actually done since then? Other than their same old repeat franchises (which are admittedly successful, but still repeats), their consoles have been mediocre to flops (bar their handheld consoles which have a lifespan, phones are the new way to mobile game and they're more powerful than a 3DS could ever be) and if it wasn't for their games and gimmicks, they'd be like Sega by now, making games for the other two consoles.

Cube was rubbish, I'm sorry, but it was. It had limited potential from the start. Wii only did well because of the gimmick and as soon as people discovered how boring it got, it was dropped faster than a hot kettle and as for Wii U, don't even get me started.

That's three generations of sub par to below par consoles, with Wii and Gameboy being the only things sustaining them. For a child born of today, I wouldn't think anything of Nintendo and children of today have more tech buying power than we ever did.

So for nostalgia's sake, Nintendo for us oldies is the one true icon, but lets be honest, they were dethroned by Xbox and Playstation some time ago. Tell a kid today about Nintendo and they'll laugh at you :/

Last edited by GMRX on 8/22/2015 7:31:19 PM

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Bio
Friday, August 21, 2015 @ 11:12:39 PM
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Been more an icon of the industey than Nintendo for a while now.

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Underdog15
Friday, August 21, 2015 @ 11:52:12 PM
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For a younger demographic aged early 20's and under?

Absolutely.

For those of us who remember NES when it was the new system of the day? Probably not.

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Rachet_JC_FTW
Saturday, August 22, 2015 @ 8:17:52 AM

yeah thats a fair statement

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cLoudou
Friday, August 21, 2015 @ 11:57:48 PM
Reply

Yep, the original PlayStation,and the PlayStation 2 dominated the market, and now the PS4 is poised to do the same if not on pace to overtake the PS2.

They may not have the iconic first party games and characters as Nintendo, but the PlayStation is home to maybe more great exclusive titles than Nintendo.

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Phoenix
Saturday, August 22, 2015 @ 11:20:14 AM

Sales numbers aside, you really think that the PS brand is really as iconic as Nintendo? honestly?

You bring up exclusives, and while I'll grant you during the ps1/ps2 days this was very true( all the FF titles, GT, the boat load of JRPGs, etc ), it's not anymore, most of the ps3/ps4 big titles are multi platform now, while throughout the many years since the NES ( or game and watch ), Nintendo has had the best exclusives imo, but also has kept the big titles where as PS has not.

So, in the end Nintendo has kept all their exclusives ( unless you count that brief moment with the CD-I), has far bigger brand recognition , and imo, better/funner games.

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GMRX
Saturday, August 22, 2015 @ 7:45:45 PM

PS is more iconic, maybe not in history overall, but at the moment it is a more iconic brand worldwide. More kids and adults alike today know about, have and / or WANT a Playstation than they do a Nintendo and that alone = Iconic :/

Nintendo holds the "iconic" title because of four major things.

- How it revived the games industry
- Gameboy
- Innovation
- Franchises

Kids today don't care about the revival of the games industry, gameboy is doing well now, but phones have pretty much ensured that there may never be another gameboy to top the 3DS models. Their idea of innovation has been a bit lacking as of late and their franchises are great, but repeats.

Your point about games going multiplat is moot too, because by multiplat we are only talking PC and Xbox here, both of which are also more iconic than Nintendo is now. Whether or not Nintendo keeps its exclusives to itself doesn't change how the once big titan of the games industry has fallen from grace. In fact, its only the games that Nintendo has going for it any more.

The fact that nobody talks about Nintendo and when they do, they think of a Nintendo console as a console you buy WITH another console and never on its own is testament. Nobody ever says Nintendo vs Playstation vs Xbox, they only ever say Xbox vs Playstation. We forget that Nintendo even exists in conversation.

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Draguss
Saturday, August 22, 2015 @ 2:01:51 AM
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I do not have enough information to make an educated guess, but at least my parents stopped calling it a nintendo when I got the ps3.

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Snaaaake
Saturday, August 22, 2015 @ 5:36:33 AM
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Yes it is.
Reason is that the PS brand is officially the biggest console brand in the world, even bigger than Ninty's consoles.
However, Ninty has been dominating the handheld since the beginning, the DS sold more than 100 million units while the 3DS is already at 50 million.
And let's not forget about Pokemon, I once read that the Pokemon franchise generates $1.5 Billion annually.

So yea, they're pretty much on even ground now.

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Rachet_JC_FTW
Saturday, August 22, 2015 @ 8:19:14 AM

yeah pokemon is a good point i got a 3DS for pokemon in 2013 so thats a point like i said

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Rachet_JC_FTW
Saturday, August 22, 2015 @ 8:30:58 AM
Reply

now yeah sure PlayStation is pritty iconic from the 90's til today and yeah for those of you who came from the 80's the NES and SNES for you guys is what the ps1 and ps2 has been like for us 90's kids so i see what ur saying in respects.

so to slightly different demographics and generations and i know that nintendo was huge 30 years ago and is still big, but now but playstation is well bigger.

i guess if you think about it a bit playstation today is what nintendo was in the 80's and until the ps1 arrived on the scene in the early 90's along side the N64 which was a great system in its own right.

but yeah its a good question to ask.

happy gaming

Last edited by Rachet_JC_FTW on 8/22/2015 8:33:33 AM

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Temjin001
Saturday, August 22, 2015 @ 10:17:25 AM
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Nintendo had the rare opportunity to revitalize a dieing market with the NES.
Sony successfully took consoles to being an acceptable multimedia entertainment solution with PS2.
Sony created first party software that had lots of diversity, much like Hollywood entertainment. Gran Turismo, God of War, MLB the Show, LBP, Killzone, Ratchet, Heavy Rain etc.
Nintendo stubbornly clung to being like a toy in the market in both software and hardware. They avoided being seen as anything other than a games machine with software that had icons that kids would be sure to love. Today Nintendo feels like a children's toy maker. Sony feels like multimedia entertainment that cultivates diversity.

Last edited by Temjin001 on 8/22/2015 10:19:21 AM

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Aranha
Saturday, August 22, 2015 @ 12:42:19 PM
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For as much as I want to say Nintendo (and you and I have gone back and forth about this in previous articles Ben), I do have to say Sony has become just as iconic and even more important now to gaming, than Nintendo.

When people start calling every game system now a "PlayStation", the way people used to refer to games systems of the 80s and early 90s as a "Nintendo", then yeah, it's become iconic.

I love Nintendo, and they definitely made their mark in the industry as pioneers, pulling the gaming industry out of a catastrophic death. But let's face it, Nintendo's best systems, and I mean most memorable, would have to be the original NES and the SNES. None of their newer systems, despite what they introduced, made people marvel at their accomplishments like those 2 systems.

Sony on the other hand practically re-invents gaming with every system. And I don't mean that they're being extremely innovative, but it knows how to dominate every generation because Sony has staying power. It has a strong presence every generation where you know Sony is out there, and has a system capable of playing so many types of games and genres, caters to so many demographics.

I guess you can say Nintendo hasn't kept up, and I don't mean with more mature games, but just in the fact that Nintendo has made it obvious that they're not looking to expand beyond where they're at; their relations with developers and 3rd-party support has always been week and gotten worse, and they hardly branch away from their usual mascots and 1st-party lineup. And they don't have to stop making their 1st-party production, but they don't seem to think that there's room for both 1st and 3rd-party support with their systems.

Nintendo is not staying as relevant to gaming as Sony and even Microsoft at this point. I'm actually afraid for them, which is sad to say of a company that I considered to be legendary at one point.

I guess what it boils down to is the experience each company and their system provides. While I have fun on Nintendo systems and their traditional mascot games, I am always wowed by Sony and the experiences it provides. Despite the NES and SNES opening the doors for gaming to me as a child, I can't think of any other systems that blew my mind as much as Sony's PS1, PS2, and even still, PS3.

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The CEO
Saturday, August 22, 2015 @ 7:01:46 PM
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Probably more iconic. They don't have to rely on a goofy plumber that has a shroom problem.

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GMRX
Saturday, August 22, 2015 @ 8:01:01 PM
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Playstation has become iconic, so much so that you would definitely feel it if it ever vanished one day.

Okay, they haven't been the best with innovation, their games aren't as renowned as Nintendo's, they often copy everyone else in the industry, they've had some funny and frankly embarrassing moments, but you know, Sony and Playstation are like a loyal dog, it's dopey as hell half the time, but you love it all the same.

Sony has had a history you have to smile at, they've had ups and downs and anyone who is a fan of their consoles knows that it's like supporting your favourite sports team, you know they will have moments when they drop and you have to facepalm, but you are so much more proud of them when they reach the top again. Those superstar moments that make gamers everywhere scream with glee and they know better than ANYONE in the games industry how to do it.

They withstood the Sega vs Playstation era, they've withstood the Nintendo vs Playstation era, they've withstood the Xbox vs Playstation era, they've even withstood the Onlive vs Playstation era, the PSP / Vita vs all gaming only handheld systems ever invented battle and ONLY lost against Nintendo.

They managed to sell the PS3 at a frankly stupid price with a silly minuscule amount of games, if that's not a feat, I don't know what is. They've been mocked, shamelessly copied everything from everyone giving PS fans a little bit (albeit mediocre iteration at times) of everything that everyone else has and to be honest had the funniest E3 presentations in history. I always look forward to a Sony presser because I always know there is going to be a moment in it that will be made into a famous meme.

Playstation is iconic because it's been through everything and those who have stuck by it from the beginning know that better than anyone.

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Jawknee
Saturday, August 22, 2015 @ 9:15:23 PM
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No. At least not yet. To the general population when you ask them to think of the first game mascot that comes to mind they will usually say Mario.

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GMRX
Monday, August 24, 2015 @ 7:54:47 AM

Game mascot, not "gaming brand".

That demonstrates that people put a game from Nintendo at a higher pedestal than Nintendo themselves.

Again, it's like your favourite sports team, you like a player from the team because he / she is the best in the world, you just don't care much for the team itself. Which means the player is iconic, the team, not so much.

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Underdog15
Monday, August 24, 2015 @ 9:48:40 AM

The better question to answer what this article is talking about is to ask them to name a video game system.

I bet in NA you're more likely to get XBOX or Playstation than "Nintendo".

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Hexen
Sunday, August 23, 2015 @ 2:50:30 PM
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Well Nintendo was the most Iconic ever with great systems but after their last two toddler friendly systems and turning their franchises into cheap whores I view them as less iconic and relevant than Xbox.

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squibbfire
Monday, August 24, 2015 @ 2:10:30 PM
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Yes..their Controller is iconic..being the first mega successful CD run console is iconic. Metal Gear Solid is iconic god of war resident evil...final fantasy...its hard to compare since nintendo was first

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