Throwback Thursday: Console war commercials of the ‘80s and ‘90s

Nowadays you’d be hard-pressed to find a commercial or ad from Microsoft, Sony, or Nintendo calling each other out or disparaging each other’s product. They’d rather spend those valuable ad dollars telling you why their product is so great. But back in the 1980s and 1990s, companies like Atari, Sega, Sony, ColecoVision, and Nintendo had no problem going for the jugular in their commercials and promo videos. Check out this collection of commercials we found:

Atari was the top dog of the late ‘70s and early ‘80s so they were a prime target for up and coming gaming companies to try and go after. Intellivision, a console that launched in 1979, went in especially hard. The console was discontinued in 1984.

ColecoVision launched in 1982 and was the second console from Coleco Industries. For the marketing around this console they went after Atari’s neck. How? By allowing the ColecoVision console to actually play Atari 2600 cartridges – and they bragged about it. While Atari never responded to Intellivision’s barbs, Atari clapped back this time. Check out the back and forth:

So while Atari outlasted both Intellivision and ColecoVision, their battles weren’t over. Nintendo launched the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1985 to much excitement. But Atari wasn’t having it, so they launched a pre-emptive strike on the console.

Nintendo was too much of a juggernaut for Atari to overcome and eventually the NES and later, the Super NES, became the choice console for some gamers. But Sega wasn’t having it. They wanted a piece of the pie in the ‘90s, so they went after Nintendo relentlessly with both the Sega Genesis and Sega GameGear.

When Sony PlayStation finally came on the scene in late 1994, they came out firing on all cylinders, going after both arcades and Nintendo.

Then in the late ‘90s, Sega went after PlayStation and Nintendo finally clapped back at both Sega and Sony.

Ah, the good ole days of gaming. Do you have any favorite console war commercials?