The Nintendo 64 Was Nearly Sega’s Console

Twenty years ago today, the Nintendo 64 arrived on shelves. In many ways, the Nintendo 64 was a culmination of Nintendo’s dominance of the home console era. Even though the PlayStation, itself a console with roots in Nintendo’s history, eclipsed it in sales, the N64 saw Nintendo leap from the second dimension to the third with The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Super Mario 64, and Goldeneye. But if things had gone a little differently, it might have been Sonic and Phantasy Star that defined 3D gaming. Sega had a chance to leap ahead, and the story of how that chance slipped through the company’s fingers changed the direction of gaming.