Retro Game Consoles – Fifth Generation Game Console

Fifth Generation Game Console


The fifth generation video game consoles marketed a significant shift in the type of games and the style of play.

The consoles of this era were powered by 32- and 64-bit processors that were powerful enough that the market transitions to 3D-based game designs. It also marked the transition away from side scrolling and rail-style games.

Atari Jaguar game console

Above: Atari Jaguar game console

The colour and graphics of this generation was a significant improvement over the previous generations, which allowed for more immersive environments and longer and more dynamic playing games.

The Major Players

The fifth generation saw the departure of the 3D0 and TurboGrafx, among other consoles. However, it also saw the entry of a new a powerful console to the market from SONY. It also saw the return of Atari in an attempt to regain market dominance.

While new to the market, SONY spent many years looking at the market to determine what worked and what failed. As a result, their first entry to the market rose to top spot and managed to sell over 100 million units before being replaced with the PlayStation 2.

Sega released the Sega Saturn and after modest sales, released their last console in 1998, the Sega Dreamcast. While the Dreamcast sold well, Sega did not feel they could compete against Microsoft and SONY and pulled out of the hardware market forever.

Sega Saturn game console

Above: Sega Saturn game console

Nintendo, while losing out to SONY, still managed to eak out 30 million units in sales with the Nintendo 64. While significantly lower than SONY, it was significant enough to provide enough funds to stay in the market. Nintendo also continued development on the handheld market where they achieved significant sales figures.

Nintendo 64 game console

Above: Nintendo 64 game console

Another significant note from this era is the departure of Atari from the hardware market after failing to achieve any significant sales from its Jaguar.

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