It's one of the most popular questions PlayStation fans ask:

If Microsoft had never bothered with video game consoles, where would the PlayStation brand be today?

Perhaps the correct answer is, "ruling the world." The original PlayStation was a massive success and the N64 arguably marked the peak of Nintendo's power. After that, Nintendo began its decline and Sony started its rapid ascent; the result was the unheard-of dominance of the PS2 for many years. Sega's Dreamcast couldn't withstand Sony's assault, either, and that went the way of the dodo (all too quickly, some say). The point is, Nintendo and Sega had no shot of competing with Sony in the console realm during the PS2 days.

Was it due entirely to Sony's dominance, though, or did Microsoft had a hand in toppling the long-time Nintendo/Sega regime? Would Dreamcast have lasted longer if the Xbox hadn't shown up? Would the GameCube have fared better…or worse? Would the PS2 have owned the world to the point of a console monopoly? It's interesting to think where the PlayStation brand would be today had it ran virtually unopposed since the early days of the PS2. What say you?