Sega Set Out To Impress Nintendo Following Its Console War With F-Zero GX

While you may not see that strain these days, at one point Sega and Nintendo were bitter enemies [...]


While you may not see that strain these days, at one point Sega and Nintendo were bitter enemies in the video game realm. The companies went neck and neck with systems like the Sega Genesis and SNES, and the Sega Saturn and Nintendo 64.

Eventually, Sega stepped out of hardware manufacturing, but then something unique happened -- it opted to play nice with Nintendo. Not only did it result in the creation of the Mario + Sonic Olympics games, but it also created one of the best racing games for the GameCube, F-Zero X.

Per a report from Edge (as posted by Resetera), Toshihiro Nagoshi, who currently works on the Yakuza franchise, explained that he had a desire to try and impress Nintendo once the console wars came to a close, in an effort to showcase its worth.

"Compared to us, in the big picture, we are similar," Nagoshi explained. "But in the finer details – their decision-making and timing – things are different, and I learned a lot from them. In short, it's about objectivity. (…) It's hard to describe, but when I'd say about some part of the game, 'It's okay like this, isn't it?' they'd say, 'Our company does not allow this kind of thing. Ever.' I didn't manage to change their minds about anything. Not even once. But that's why Nintendo has such a solid brand, even after all these years. That is why we lost the hardware war.

"Even though we'd lost the war in the hardware market, I wanted Nintendo to see how great Sega was as a company. We made lots of characters and courses, and we did the best we could for the graphics using the best technology of the time. Even though we'd tried really hard making games for Sega hardware, they never sold too well, but F-Zero sold over 1.5 M copies worldwide. We realised the only thing we needed to admit was that Sega did not have the ability to sell hardware (laughs). That as a developer (…) we did not need to be pessimistic at all."

Despite what had happened in the past, Nintendo was highly impressed with Sega's work on the title. "After it released, I got a call from Nintendo," Nagoshi explained. "They said they wanted to see all the source code for the game, and wanted me to explain how we'd made that game, in that timeframe and with that budget, in detail. They were wondering how we'd done it – they couldn't figure it out. We were able to achieve something a lot higher than what Nintendo had expected."

Granted, we still haven't seen a proper F-Zero follow-up since, but if anyone can get the job done, it's Sega and Nintendo. C'mon, guys, do it for the Switch crowd!

F-Zero GX is available now for Nintendo GameCube.