In the history of video games, the 16-bit era was the fourth generation of video game consoles. Starting in 1987 with the Japanese launch of the PC Engine, this era was dominated by commercial rivalry between Nintendo and Sega with their machines, the Super Nintendo Entertainment System and the Sega Mega Drive â€” the latter known as the Sega Genesis in North America. The machines introduced in this generation retained the majority market share until 1996.
In the history of computer and video games, the 32-bit / 64-bit era was the fifth generation of video game consoles. It featured both 32-bit and 64-bit consoles, and the market was dominated by three consoles, the Sega Saturn (1994), the Sony Play Station (1994) and the Nintendo 64 (1996), with the PlayStation eventually ending up the most successful and ending Nintendo's longstanding domination over the market. This era began with the release of the 3 DO in October of 1993 and ended on November 27, 1998 with the release of the Sega Dreamcast.
The sixth-generation era (sometimes referred to as the 128-bit era; see "Number of bits" below) refers to the computer and video games, video game consoles, and video game handhelds available at the turn of the 21st century. Platforms of the sixth generation include the Sega Dreamcast, Sony Play Station 2, Nintendo GameCube, and the Microsoft Xbox. This era began on November 27, 1998 with the release of the Dreamcast, and it was joined by the PlayStation 2 in March 2000.