Hands down, Nintendo was going to win this battle, and Sega knew it. So, in the late '80s they began R&D for the first 16bit home console. While Sega sat back and waited, Nintendo grew in power, strength, and fanbase. Link, Mario, Samus and Megaman were looked on with as much love as Hulk Hogan and the Ultimate Warrior, but ever present was the beast that was Sega, and in 1990 they struck. "Turbo Blast Processing" it was called, but it was only due to the 486 processor located within the heart of the NEW sleak, red and black case. Complete with a headphone jack and a volume slide knob, the Mega Drive was ready for action. Upon it's release in the states, Sega utilized what it had learned years ago during it's fight with Nintendo; Sega finally marketed this new console to the masses. The Genesis finally arrived. Not one to be outdone by Sega, God, or ayone in it's way, Nintendo had been working on a monster of it's own. Not that it mattered, really, I mean Sega was doing things that Nintendo..... not necessarilly couldn't, but WOULDN'T do. The packaged title with the Genesis featured a half-naked Greek man fighting the dead and demons, to ultmately (after about 8 minutes of gameplay) be rewarded with rescuing the princess who had a really big nose. We're talking Streissand. See? Sega was down with using ugly chicks... that shows real balls.
1991 rolls around with the Super Nintendo. Oddly enough, despite using such a stupid American name for the system, Nintendo also used the word Super in Japan. I'd have named it the "Shin Famicon", or Famicon no something. Yeah. What was realeased with the SNES is what made me buy the damned thing.... the single (in my opinion) greatest Super Mario title of all time. This was followed after a long wait by the (again, my opinion) greatest, and last TRUE Hyrule adventure, A Link to the Past. Now, most of the kids I knew had one or the other. Me? After a summer of working my ass of I bought both. See, I was fat, had no real friends, and girls didn't like me, so I bought video games. Still, most kids had only the Genesis, because despite Nintendo having these great titles, most people "couldn't be bothered" with Ultraman, or Sim City, or F-Zero when they were playing Streets of Rage, Sonic the Hedgehog, Madden '92, or what have you, so they stayed with Sega. Sega was winning this round!
In 1991, there was an arcade game that revolutionized the gaming world. Street Fighter 2 was unlike aything anyone had dealt with before, and through shrewd planning, Nintendo got "sole rights" to the title. This was the first time Nintendo had gone this far to get a title under it's control... It made a deal with Capcom that would ensure the death of the Genesis with one game, and both Sega an Capcom felt it. Those who didn't have a SNES begged, borrowed and stole to get one, and SNES sales skyrocketed. Genesis sales went nowhere.
The bottom line is: Games are games. Play them or don't, but if you choose not to, make that choice based on the games, not the console. People on both sides missed good titles because they felt that the "other system" had no good games because they only played Revolution X or Zero Wing.