Note: The following is sort of a meta parody thing. Please do not take it seriously.
So the latest popular althist on this site is "Ohga's Revenge." And I'll give it some credit. It shows a great understanding of video game history, is decently written, and shows a lot of research. There's only one problem.
It's b***f*** insane.
I mean, let's look at the point of divergence. Norio Ohga gets so angry at Nintendo executives that he lets the guy who made the SNES's sound processor create an alternative brand. Just excusing how farfetched that idea is for a moment, how would they ever get off the ground? Starting a game company isn't easy, and Sony had virtually no games division in real life. How were they supposed to go from nothing to a big chunk of the industry by 1995 or so?
The way Ohga's Revenge shows the "PlayStation" taking over the industry in a couple of years is equally ludicrous. Video game fans are notoriously loyal to their favorite companies, and the limits of game machines in the mid 90's prevented them from expanding into what they are today. Ohga's Revenge shows the PlayStation ALONE selling more than any gaming console in human history, with over 100 MILLION units sold! Including their laughably low N64 and Saturn numbers, that's essentially DOUBLING the industry size in half a decade or so.
Just how is the PlayStation supposed to get that large? Nintendo's games alone guaranteed them at least 30 or 40 million consoles sold. Ohga's Revenge settles for 32 or 33 million, and supposes that even Square and Enix jump ship to the PlayStation. For some reason. Because as everybody knows, abandoning the systems you got popular on is the best way to go. And don't get me started on this timeline's version of Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. The original prototype PlayStation hardware couldn't even support 2D graphics! Making SOTN for it first would require making 3D graphics that only looked 2D or something.
I can admit, games like Resident Evil and Metal Gear Solid would have been at home on the "PlayStation," but do you really think that no-name franchises like Tekken could really replace frikkin Virtua Fighter 2?
It only gets more ridiculous as it goes on. In total, Sega only sells about 10 million(!) Saturns, forcing them to launch the Dreamcast early (in 1998/9!) with reduced power. And then all the sudden Sony comes out with a PlayStation 2 that costs a whopping $300 and doubles as a DVD player. Yeah, because a 6th generation console that was backwards compatible AND could play DVD's would TOTALLY cost $300 in 2000...
From this point, it goes from weird to "Alien Space Bats" territory. Microsoft entering the console race with Halo as their main franchise? That game wasn't even that good! The PlayStation 2 outselling the "Xbox", GameCube, and Dreamcast by a factor of 3 to one COMBINED? Realistic racing sims being more popular than Mario Kart? Grand Theft Auto as a console-dominated franchise?
And then, around 2004, even the Alien Space Bats get too weirded out. Look, just because the Game Boy 3DS exists in real life is no excuse for it to have a dumbed down lovechild with the Nitro in 2004! I mean, without 3D, what is the point of the second screen? And having Super Mario 64 as a launch title doesn't make any damn sense without an analog stick! And why is the GBA's life not even four years long?
As for the console race, I guess Ohga's Revenge tries to end on a neutral note, but it jst gets weirder! Apparently Nintendo gets an early burst of wind through 2009 or so thanks to a TV remote control thing, then Sony copies them by making what appears to be a sex toy and Microsoft sells a webcam for $150? And the consoles become dumbed down PC's that cost $600 at launch? And yet for some reason, the Game Boy 3DS and Kid Icarus Uprising STILL manage to exist?
I didn't come here to bash all the hard work that went into "Ohga's Revenge". It is well-researched, well-written, and very imaginative. I just think it might be a bit too implausible even by this site's standards.