Twenty years ago this week, at the E3 video game conference in Los Angeles, the head of Sega of America accidentally killed the company’s Saturn video game console.
This is a really nice article about a part of the history of gaming. I hope it gets approved.
Read through it and had to give this my 3 points to get it live. We need more stuff like this and less "Top whatever" lists in the "retro" world.
There were several mistakes. But the biggest one was not partnering with Sony. However their consoles would have died anyway. Lets get the truth out there, Sega was never first in anything but Arcades. It's a myth that the Genesis outsold the SNES. SNES sold more overtime. However we are missing some of SEGA's best IPs. Because they choose to go mobile. Sony or Microsoft should buy them out so they can have a Shemmue exclusive.
Can u hook up a Saturn to hdtv?
You can zeee, but it is a bit of a pain in the arse. I have the weird Saturn wheel and not too long ago hooked it up and played Sega Touring Cars. A lot of good memories came flooding back. I really liked my Saturn.
ive had the honor of owning a sega saturn. it was a bad ass machine back in its day. it had many good games, but my all time favorite from that machine was none other than the venerable dragon force. they gotta sequel or atleast remaster that badboy.
I didn't own an Saturn, but I do own a Dreamcast. It still one of the best consoles I've ever own. Sega really did a good work with the Dreamcast. It's a pity it didn't work. I still wondering how the world of gaming would be different if Nintendo would have not break the alliance with Sony at the time of the N64...
What if SEGA would relase a new gaming console?
I like to think of Xbox as the spirtual successor to SEGA.
I would argue the same. At least, the first xbox. The pioneering of online infrastructure, PC architecture, and unique games was the xbox's philosophy as well. Originally dreamcast games were going to be playable on xbox too. Also the bulk of sega's worthwhile first party content was exclusive to xbox.
Sega is too broke to put out a new console I think they got like $20 Million left in the bank, that why most of they focus is on Mobile Games now
Actually , last years fiscal year brought an increase of over 17% , which made the company now have in profits over 3.71 billion dollars. They could let other companies support them to create a console , including research, creativity, and marketing; all which if combined would require a budget over 4 billion dollars , other companies supporting them could easily help them to create a console , now for profit sharing as other companies would have already helped them would make it as the profit doesn't all come to the hands of Sega and the decisions won't be always agreeable.
I have to agree,them putting out a new console now in this already fragile market is not a good idea to begin with.Software profit margins are very low as it is and facilitating mobile platforms is what's best for them i think,although i would gladly have seen it differently.
They would probably... keep doing what they had always been doing: Namely, releasing terrible unwanted addons (like the 32X) to existing consoles, make crappy short battery life handhelds (like the Game Gear and Nomad), focusing almost exclusively on the sports game market, leaving all the really great games in Japan (WHY?!?!?!?!), releasing lots of childish fanboy ads (Genesis does what Nintendon't!) add a little Michael Jackson to taste and serve. I grew up a Sega fanboy but now in hindsight, I think they deserved to lose. Even despite how good the Dreamcast was. I remember pleading for Sega to release their great games like: Dragon Force II, Princess Crown, Shining Force III (Scenario 2 and 3), Segagaga, Deep Fear, Radiant Silvergun, Zero Wing, Ikaruga, Alien Soldier, Pulseman, Mega Man Wily Wars, all the Langrisser/Warsong games and a bunch of others I can't recall I felt betrayed. I kept wondering why they wouldn't just get up off their asses and bring some of that awesome sauce to us Americans especially since Europe got most of them anyway. Damn those Sega bastards to hell! They could have whupped Nintendo's ass and been Sony's big rival ...but no... they wanted to play "keep away" from us fans. Because: reasons. I say: Good Riddance. I Hope they never come back.
Ha ha you are the first bitter sega fan i have seen in years... brilliant :-)
@IRetroUK And no mention of what Sega have done to Sonic either. This is a rare treat.
Lol yeah, although i would have agreed with him if he had of lol
price matters. lesson learned.
I love my Saturn, Still play it daily!
The only problem with SEGA SATURN why it failed is due to the fact that it's CPU architecture was very unique and hard to develop at the time. If I'm not mistaken it's cpu was composed of 2 cores or thread combined together and developers were scratching their heads on how to program their games for it. I think the history repeated itself with the PS3 back in 2006. the whole gen, actually.
Except the PS3 ended up finishing that generation in 2nd place behind the Wii and Sony is still alive. So the only thing that repeated was possibly how hard it was to develop for.
Sony's ps3 end that gen on third place behind Nintendo and Microsoft.
Try looking that up VforVideogames. You'll find the reports of Sony finishing out that Gen ahead of Microsoft.
sony ps3 came is second, the 360 was last!!!!
No actually Microsoft confirmed it finished first above the Wii in America and came in second worldwide behind the Wii. The ps3 was last in the America by something like 30 million and behind worldwide by 2-3 million. Either way for the xbox to make such a huge leap in its second effort is a win for them no matter how much you damage control it. Also I was just on eBay looking up Saturn's 2 days ago. I list all my consoles when I moved. I plan to get them all off eBay. Saturn, ps1,Dreamcast,ps2,og xbox,n64,nes,SNES, GameCube and a Genesis. I remember living Daytona USA but not ever bring able to best the first level lol also loved Nights and fighting viper, was a good console and had my favorite controller at the time.
@ Ilikepizza Need to go check your numbers, ps3 lifetime sales so far beat the 360s, been that way for at least 2 years now, on top of the fact that every year they were both on market the ps3 outsold the 360 worldwixe every year apart from one. 09 or 10 i think.
It had 2 separate CPUs so it was (and still is) very unique and extremely difficult to program for. The saturn was designed to be a high powered 2D system and couldn't display polygons, at least not in the traditional sense (it could only render squares as opposed to the traditional triangle shape) so devs had to get a bit creative when making their games.
It's also the fact that it was built from the ground up to be a pixel pushing monster, and it was. They were caught with their pants down with the 3D gaming revolution and had to shoehorn those capabilities in *relatively* at the last minute. They destroy PSX in 2D pixel games which is why the Capcom vs games were brought to the Saturn ungimpped *couldn't tag on PSX*. Also why games like Guardian Heroes could be done only on Saturn. Making 3d games for the Saturn was the real struggle for Devs. Getting the Saturn to do what it was designed to do *push 2d pixels* was relatively easy. I think the main reason the lost is because they weren't forward thinking enough about system design.
Back then Sega was Nintendo's greatest rival not Sony. Sony was the still the new kid on the block in those days.
Its true I never even considered buying a Playstation. I remember having the buyers guide with all the consoles in it. Ultra 64 (as it was known at the time), Panasonic 3DO, Atari Jaguar, Neo Geo, Sega Saturn and Sony Playstation. It was a crazy time with so many consoles launching at once. Everyones eyes were on Nintendo and Sega and Sony snuck in the back door and surprised everybody. I had no idea the console I had dismissed so early on would go on to become my favorite console of all time.
I remember being in 2nd grade with all this going on, being a Nintendo fanboy, I would mock the PlayStation for using fragile discs that would brake easier than Nintendo's cartridges for the 64, to my friends and saying how dumb it was to use disc.. Then my friend showed up to my house with a PlayStation and tekken and I fell in love.. I got it for my birthday the following year with crash and twisted metal.. God awesome times
I remember that too and with all that going on, and with relatively little info on the ground, I picked Playstation. I don't remember my thought process at the time but I made the right decision.
I was in a similar boat. I already had an N64 and was enjoying it to no end. Was always mocking the Playstation...then I went over to my cousin's house and played the first Resident Evil. I was hooked! I begged my parents for a Playstation for Christmas. Never got one, but a few years later, I did end up with a PS2. :p
I agree with the post above me, it was a mess to develop for and most first party games were the ones to truly use full resource out of the console (sounds familiar?). Trying to emulate the Saturn's infrastructure is a nightmare for those who try, and it's a bit more stable on PC. I tried the one on Android with my Note 4, and it's not what I'd call a working app. Saturn was a beast when it came to rendering beautiful 2d graphics and it did decently well with 3D. Shining Force 3 and Panzer Dragoon Saga are testaments to its 3D capabilities. Gems like guardian heroes and fighters like darkstalkers and Xmen still hold well to this day. Its story is quite similar to what Sony did with the PS3. Thankfully, Sony stuck with it and third party developers still released games for it and still do. I still game on my Saturn when Nostalgia hits, nothing can replace its exclusive library. I can't blame Sony for marketing their console successfully and for the longest time I couldn't stand to look at a PS1 but I bit the bullet and never looked back. :)
Ditto I never even asked for a Playstation. My brother got it for Christmas and my moms boyfriend had the greatest hits edition of Resident Evil. Before long I was being drawn to it. That legendary Pizza Hut demo with Crash, Parappa, and the game that changed everything for me - Metal Gear Solid. I ran out and grabbed MGS and someone sold me Final Fantasy 7 and I never looked back. Before long it was MY playstation because my brother was never a gamer. I don't know if I'll ever be as amazed and excited by games as I was during that gen.
Omg I forgot all about the pizza hut demo you sir are awesome now I remember all those crazy pizza hut ads where like with the pizza slice and toy backgrounds
The only game I ever played on the Saturn was Marvel vs Capcom the Japanese Version and honestly I didn't miss out on much
Marvel vs Capcom never came to the Saturn. It was xmen vs streetfighter and marvel vs streetfighter.
I liked the Saturn. I dunno. It had worse ports of fighters and platformers, shooters (like DooM) especially... But something about it felt right.
You mean "3d" fighters right? Saturn had some of the best 2d ports of all time...
Saturn had many of my favorite games
Are there any that you would recommend?
Dragon Force,Burning Rangers,Gunstar Heroes,Panzer Dragoon,Xmen vs Street Fighter and the masterpiece Radiant Silvergun
NiGHTS Into Dreams, Fighter's Megamix, Die Hard Arcade, Deep Fear, Dead Or Alive(superior port), Sega Rally, Daytona USA are more of many excellent titles on the Sega Saturn. One of the most slept on consoles in gaming history. $niper
These are the types of articles this website needs Edit: Constructive informative articles
More articles like this and less of hey check out these comparative screenshots all in a hopes of riling up the fanboys.
I'll never forget my time with my Sega Saturn. It was the best Christmas surprise I ever received. Somehow I'd opened every gift under the tree except that one. *Sigh* memories. Virtua Fighter 1-2, Panzer Dragoon, Worms, Virtua Cop, WWE In Your house, Street Fighter Alpha 2 and Warcraft 2. Truly an underrated console undercut by bad decisions.
My brother had a Saturn, we really liked it back in the mid 90s then the PlayStation just got more popular I also got a PlayStation for my birthday and never looked back, but I do miss die hard arcade I used to love that :D and the virtua fighter games 👌 its a shame it flopped...
Gaming from the 90's and early 2000's is so interesting. I'd enjoy more articles like this on N4G.
Saturn was awesome for those willing to import games from Japan. Nights, Virtua Fighter 2, Fighting Vipers, Last Bronx, Sega Sports games, Guardian Heroes, and all those excellent capcom ports were great. Just too expensive and it just gave Sony an easy in. N64 came too late to the party to do much against Sony's low price. die hard arcade rocked on Saturn too!
I only skimmed the article, but Sega moved the release date of the console 5 months early, and that pissed off some developers and definitely some retailers. In fact, if I remember correctly, one retailer was so angry, they refused to sell any Sega products and sent everything back to their HQ/warehouses (boycotted any future stuff, too).
My nostagia is over 9000. We need an eccentric billionaire gamer to fund Dreamcast 2 already.
SEGA was a very disjointed company back then with different branches not agreeing with one another.
Wow great article. Much better than the other junk that gets approved here.
Saturn was a primarily a 2D machine with 3D as extra. developers couldn't even get the simplest 3D games to work properly. this design was horrible and cost them thier company big time. sega needed a good showing that gen to build themselves for next gen, but the damage had been done prior to Dreamcast release. all thier management decisions were rank, mega cd, gamegear, 32x were all not needed. if they had skipped them you would find sega console today I've always been gutted that they dropped off as the 90's I was a huge sega fan and have to say they deserved it.
Try again. The saturn outputs some 3D games at 704x540 at 60fps(VF2) DOA runs at 480p60fps on saturn while running at 240p 30fps on PS1 . almost triple the resolution of most all PS1 games. crispest graphics of that generation actually. The N64's anisotropic filtering wouldnt have made anyone blink if sega had saturn demo units run on high-rez monitors with games that took full advantage of the system.
Virtua Fighter 2 was a very impressive 3-D Saturn game.
The Saturn was very Reminiscent of the PS3. The System was complicated to work games on them. THere was a crazy number out there that 1 in like 5 or 8 devs can make a well coded saturn game if given the resources and time, etc.... VF came from AM2... So they had the budget and time to make them...well except for that one time during launch and all.. And then there was the VF RPG that pretty much became shenmue when they moved development to the dreamcast. https://www.youtube.com/wat...
I really wish for more games like Virtua Cop, but I know that won't happen in this pansified world we live in.
Greatest rival?Who the hell wrote this lol
Weird for The Guardian to tackle this topic now. Now that I'm complained, I'm glad to see a story that isn't to do with The Witcher 3 up there for a change.
The Saturn was originally designed to be a 2-D powerhouse and it was. After Sega learned of the PSones then advanced 3-D abilities Sega stuck another CPU on the motherboard to try to up the Saturns 3-D capabilities. The Saturn had some great games but Sega did so much wrong with the console it could never recover.
Sega had some of the best s*** ever. Genisis was my first console. Never had a saturn but played a lot on one. Dreamcast was my s***. Proudly supported sega and still do. They just need to get some of their act together. Recoupe all of their money on little shit then hit us with a much anticipate blockbuster.
Great article, shame as I did love Sega back in the day just shows how Sony wanted something and they got it, nearly lost it with PS3 but they listened and they wanted it back and look at them again at the moment, they'll be an article like this about ps4 and how Xbox one's 1 or 2 early decisions have caused them a pretty weak launch overall, here's hoping that E3 show from Microsoft lives up to their own hype, I have my fingered crossed as a gamer but if it's just gears of war 1 remake, a new gears and halo 5 then big wow, crackdown 3 would be pretty cool but apart from tomb raider which we already know about Microsoft better come out all guns blazing as last 2 years have been average at best.
Battle Arena Toshinden and Zero Divide were the first Playstation games I saw in person on or right after launch at a friends house. Mind was blown, had my brother sell my turbo grafix 16 to guy that regretted selling his and used all my saved up lunch money for it. Life was incredible every single day with that thing.
I love my sega saturn. Spent a lot of hours on shinning force 3 and burning rangers
Sony's greatest rival was, is, and will be Micrisoft. No other company had stayed in the Gane long enough and taken a slice of share like Microsoft has. But the biggest reason why microstructure is their biggest rival is the deep pocketbook.