I think it contributed to a better quality of games and a more focused games market. Ninty and Sega both had very individualised styles of games. The current generation seems to lack focus to me. Particularly the XBox and PS3. I was however strongly on the side of Sega up until the end of the dreamcast which was the best console ever made in my opinion (been a humble arcades fan).
Just been talking on the other forum im on and we are trying to decide the best game system from the current generation back to the first consoles. I am saying that it has to be either the dreamcast for gameplay or gamecube for depth of games. Whats your opinion?