Back in the day, Nintendo is trying to sell the Super Nintendo and they use the term 16 bit. They didn't list what kind of hardware it has, since most kids at the time didnt really care. We just wanted better graphics then what we saw with NES.
The Atari marketed the Jaguar as 32 bit, something is better then Genesis and Super Nintendo. This is probably when we realized that bits is irrelevent when Nintendo put out Star Fox and Donkey Kong Country.
I bring this up because I notice the same thing happening with PS4 and Xbox One. Like suddenly the type of memory is important for argument sake which system is better.