Picking the most powerful console of each generation hasn’t always been as easy as it is now. In the 1990s, when the real console boom took place, we depended on the specialized press to discover the keys to each new system that hit the market.
The Internet did not work at the current level, and obviously, the paper had very important disadvantages that prevented us from really being up to date.
Technical analyzes were booming at that time, but they did not always offer the necessary precision or clarity, and on some occasions, they were “dressed” with a marketing touch that made the user end up absorbing some ideas that were not true.
it was not uncommon to see, at that time, people who believed that the Neo Geo was a 24-bit console, or they thought that the Atari Jaguar was a 64-bit system.
Even if we move to a more recent era, there are still people who think that PS2 was the most powerful console of its generation, a serious mistake since it was precisely the opposite.
I know that there are still many doubts about this topic and that unfortunately there are many myths that continue to be fueled by the fanaticism of some users.
You know the saying, a lie that is repeated many times can end up disguised as the truth, and that is what has happened for decades with the different generations of consoles, in fact, the struggle between consoles and the PC is not something new.
The youngest will think that it was something that arose with the arrival of PS4 and Xbox One, or perhaps with PS3 and Xbox 360, but nothing could be further from the truth.
In general, the “war” between the consoles and the PC began to be quite marked with the arrival of PS1,
Sega Saturn, and Nintendo 64, were three consoles that competed in the same generation. PS1 played with the advantage of having a very powerful graphics unit, which allowed it to offer 3D acceleration and create a multitude of effects, but in reality,
it was behind any PC based on a Pentium 133 MHz or more with 16 MB of RAM. and a half-decent 3D accelerator.
You don’t believe it? Well, someone who verified it firsthand tells you, since Resident Evil, without going any further, worked wonderfully on a 133 MHz Pentium with 16 MB of RAM and an S3 Virge 3D.
However, it is true that optimization and custom developments made a difference in favor of consoles.
However, I am not going to go into an in-depth discussion of this “war” between the consoles and the PC at a historical level, that is not the objective of this article.
We are going to focus on discovering, in a totally impartial and realistic way, which was the most powerful console of each generation, following the time order that we all know, and starting from the 8-bit era.
We hope you enjoy reading this article as much as I have enjoyed making it. Make yourself comfortable, let’s start.
What was the most powerful console in the 8-bit generation?
Although the undisputed winner, by sales and worldwide success, was Nintendo’s NES, known as the Famicom in the Japanese market, the truth is that said console was much less powerful than its main rival, SEGA’s Master System.
I was lucky to enjoy, at the time, both systems, and the differences between the two were very large.
Master System was the most powerful console of its generation, although it was also a clear example that power is not the only important thing when it comes to video game systems.
NES had a huge, varied, and quality catalog of games, where important franchises such as Double Dragon, Shadow Warriors (Ninja Gaiden), Super Mario Bros, and Zelda, among others, shone with their own light.
On a hardware level, the NES featured a 1.66 MHz 8-bit Ricoh 2A07 processor, 2 KB of RAM, and 2 KB of video, and had a 48-color palette. For its part, the Master System used a 4 MHz 8-bit Zilog Z80 , had 8 KB of RAM, 16 KB of video, and a 64-color palette.