Last year we covered the biggest surprises during this past generation, but now we’re taking a look at the biggest surprises throughout the industry’s history. Over time, we’ve played witness to some shocking and unforeseen instances, such as SEGA removing itself from the hardware industry and Sony making a run at the handheld market against Nintendo. Some surprises have been unfortunate while others have been a delight to see.
We’ve rounded together our five biggest surprises in the history of our beloved hobby and have included them below. Let us know what you think and if you can think of surprises that were bigger to you.
We listed Nintendo’s Wii as one of the biggest surprises of this past generation, but it’s also worth mentioning as one of the biggest surprises in gaming, period. The Wii was not only the first Nintendo console ever to eclipse 100 million in sales, but it was also the first console to reach such a broad demographic of consumers. The Wii was purchased by senior living centers, soccer moms, your grandmother, gamers, etc. It’s reach was incredibly broad and definitely impressive.
Master Chief not only blew up immediately as a gaming icon, but is arguably the biggest reason Microsoft didn’t jump ship after the original Xbox. The Halo franchise has completely dominated the entertainment market with commercials, apparel, a movie, a soon-to-be television show, and of course, games. If we’re being honest, it’s easy to admit that Halo is probably the most well rounded and robust property in the gaming industry when it comes to revenue streams and sources.
Sony’s original PlayStation is arguably the biggest surprise on this list. I know that will lose value since we’re a PlayStation exclusive website, but Sony did something nobody thought was possible at the time by dethroning Nintendo. Nintendo has its claws deep into the industry and bullied SEGA around left and right while leaving smaller manufacturers dying one-by-one. Enter Sony and everything changed. Nintendo allowing Sony to enter the market on its own has been the console giant’s biggest mistake and Sony has made them pay for that almost every generation when it comes to console market share and units sold.