Fourth Generation (1989–1994)
The fourth generation (more commonly referred to as the 16 bit era) began on October 30, 1987 with the Japanese release of Nippon Electric Company's (NEC) PC Engine (known as the TurboGrafx-16 in North America). Although NEC released the first fourth generation console, this era was dominated by the rivalry between Nintendo and Sega's consoles: the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (the Super Famicom in Japan) and the Mega Drive (named the Sega Genesis in North America due to trademark issues). Nintendo was able to capitalize on its previous success in the third generation and won a dominant market share in the fourth generation as well. Sega was also successful in this generation and began a new franchise, Sonic the Hedgehog, to compete with Nintendo's Mario series of games. Several other companies released consoles in this generation, but, with the exception of the Neo Geo from SNK, none of them were widely successful. Nevertheless, several other companies started to take notice of the maturing video game industry and began making plans to release consoles of their own in the future.