Undying Loyalty

Sega. I preferred Nintendo and everyone now agrees that Sonic the Hedgehog was a bad game.

But Sega were the yin to Nintendo’s yang, the pepper to Nintendo’s salt, the chalk to Nintendo’s cheese, and the dogshit to Nintendo’s Reebok Pumps.

Or was Nintendo the yin? Is yin the good one, with better games? I can’t remember.

Anyway, those were the days. But videogames grew up to be something we weren’t expecting…

Sega used to be hardware – something we could touch, hold in our hands – but then they slipped through our fingers. It was a sad day, and we all felt the gut-punch of bittersweet memories when we had to say, “Goodbye, losers. You never were as good as Nintendo. Hardly surprising, really.”

But in Tokyo, you can play mega-hits by Sega that rake in billions of yen. You can play them on dedicated Sega hardware. You can pick one Sega machine from a row of 10. You can pick one row of Segas from a whole floor. You can pick one floor from a whole building, and on the outside it says SEGA really huge. And there are four buildings like that within 5 minutes, and you could play new Sega games at 20 Sega arcades in one day.

And it feels like Sega says, “Consoles? Oh, we weren’t really trying.” And they have a whole metropolis glowing in their colours and a million crane games and in a handful of those you can win Nintendo toys.

Good old Sega. I always liked Sega.

Photographer and writer covering Tokyo arcade life – the videogames, the metropolis and the people