As someone else who lived through the same era, starting with the casette-based Commodore 16 somewhere between 1984 and 1986, I’d quibble with some of your points:
Not quite sure what you’re saying here, but I don’t really agree that games back in the 8-bit era “had more personality”. An awful lot of 8-bit games were super-super-generic, including some from the arcades. Indeed I’d say 8-bit games were generally more generic than 16-bit ones. That said, the “maximum generic-ness” period of gaming was probably the early-mid '00s.
This is like, 66% true, but not 100%. Wizardry and Ultima were incredibly influential, far more so than people nowadays think, but there were JRPGs in existence before Wizardry got translated and really reached Japan. Wizardry had a huge impact once it got there though.
You’re also forgetting the influence of Rogue/Angband, which was pretty profound, though arguably not as widespread. Plus once JRPGs started up, from essentially similar roots to the Western games, they absolutely exploded outwards in different forms.
Well, not everyone. Everyone with a casette-based machine did. You couldn’t with a Master System or NES, though, and it wasn’t as easy with discs due to the peculiarities involving them. But certainly if you could do it, the only question was “how much” you did it, not whether you did.
This is a real half-truth that points to something arguably more interesting. There were “more varied characters” in the sense that most of the characters were just weird poorly-explained pixel blobs, or cartoon-y characters. It’s not really true to say “there were more female characters”, I don’t think that can be supported with examples or argument. But what was going on was that, due to people not knowing what a game “should be” about, games where about much more diverse things than most games are today. It wasn’t until later in the '80s that games really worked out they should either be about shooting or stabbing or piloting a vehicle that shoots. So back then indeed an ugly witch or a jester or a grandma or a paperboy or any number of ill-favoured characters could be the main character, and likewise the subjects of the games could be pretty bizarre. I remember a C16 game which was about a weird little blob-man who had to keep popping pills to not die of radiation poisoning or something.
Certainly far fewer games had a white 20-35-year old male with a strong chin, good muscles and military (or similar) training as the lead, whereas since the late '90s that’s pretty much been the default, and only eroded somewhat in the last six years or so.
As someone who had a clearly-shitty Commodore 16, then a Sega Master System (then on to 16-bit), I never understood that feud, given the C64 was like, clearly wildly better in every way that counted. That said I had an Atari ST and it was kind of the same thing - the Amiga was pretty much flat out better except if you were literally using the ST for making midi music. Yet we defended the ST to the death!