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Vicman
08-11-2005, 12:22 AM
I've yet to read about how and why Bernie Stolar got fired from Sega right before the Dreamcast launch. Does anyone have intimate info about this? From what I have read he played a big role in securing partnerships and deals with 3rd parties securing the DC's early success/momentum; but I've never learned about how and why he got fired...

lordofduct
08-11-2005, 12:38 AM
Probably because of how he treated the Saturn... The Saturn was SoJ's pride and joy and Stolar treated it like the red headed step child. But I can not verify that, I just assume it under personal opinion.

Vicman
08-11-2005, 01:34 PM
The best I've been able to find is this bit of info from the SegaBase article on the History of the Dreamcast:
http://www.eidolons-inn.net/segabase/index-segadchistory1.html

"By August, the Dreamcast had completely shattered the advance sales record set by the PlayStation, with some 200,000 pre-orders placed through various retail outlets nationwide. Most major retailers reported that they were averaging 14,000 pre-orders a week, and Sega of America confidently predicted the trend would continue. Stolar and company were predicting Dreamcast console sales of 400,000 units in the first 30 days after launch, 1 million by the end of the year, and 1.5 million by 31 March 2000. One week later, Sega of America announced its upcoming "Mobile Assault Tour" to promote the U.S. Dreamcast launch. Starting 23 August and continuing for the next 22 weeks, two six-ton Sega "assault trucks" with trailers would tour 39 major U.S. cities, carrying sixteen Dreamcast system kiosks each and a variety of software to eager gamers across the nation in order to give them a taste of Sega's newest gaming experience. Old-time European Sega fans, upon hearing the news, could not help but draw parallels to Sega's "Pirate TV" ads for the 16-bit MegaDrive in Europe back in the early 1990s. The arrogant and overbearing Sega of the Saturn days had disappeared. In its place, it seemed, the bad and brash Sega of old had returned.

Sega of America's heavy-handed promotion of the Dreamcast to both potential vendors and customers had its price, though. Without warning, Sega of America president Bernie Stolar, who many credit with making the success of the Dreamcast launch possible in the first place, was forced to resign and leave the company. His was not the only head to roll - Gretchen Eichenger, vice president of third-party development, and Eric Hammond, vice president of internal development, also left around the same time. This meant that Sega of America was now going into Dreamcast launch mode without the management team that had laid its foundation in the first place. Stolar's replacement as head of Sega of America was Toshiro Kezuka, and among the chief members of Kezuka's management team was one Peter Moore, senior vice president of marketing. It was widely believed (and later confirmed) that Stolar's departure was encouraged in order to open up further third-party support, as his flamboyant style had caused measurable resentment among certain top-name third-party software houses. Stolar's departure may have also had a lot to do with his constant personality clashes with his boss, Sega CEO Isao Okawa, with whom he had never really gotten along. One can only imagine the scene at Sega of America, with thousands of fingers crossing as 9.9.99 inexorably approached. "

Vicman
08-11-2005, 02:01 PM
Also for those that rail against Bernie as the worst thing to happen to Sega need to read SegaBase's History of the Saturn to see how much of the Saturn & Sega's downfall was SoJ's. Plus it'll enlight you to know that SoJ approved of much of what Bernie was doing with the Saturn.
http://www.eidolons-inn.net/segabase/SegaBase-Saturn(Part2).html

Melf
08-11-2005, 02:02 PM
He did a great job with the DC's launch, but by then the writing was on the wall.

Vicman
08-11-2005, 02:22 PM
Would you like to expand upon that Melf? From what I've read in that long and detailed history of Sega by Sam Pettus alot info points otherwise, but then again Bernie is and will always be an easy target for burned Saturn fans.

Dartagnan1083
08-11-2005, 08:05 PM
Stolar managed the Saturn poorly.

Wether it was by design from wanky execs at SoJ, or by other means. . .he severely underpowered the Saturn.

On a side note, Bernie is also seen as one of the factors responsible for Barring the Shin Megami Tensei series from the states when he was still at SCEA.
Support to 2D games or RPGs wasn't part of the deal with bernie. . .at least not untill he saw the sales figures for FFVII.

Not totally a bad guy (bam! is ok for a localization house). . .but he really does deserve most of the burn from Sega fans.

I remember the articles with him saying "Saturn not sega's future" That was idiocy. Effectivly telling 3rd parties HEY, WERE DISCONTINUING OUR HARDWARE. . .FEEL FREE TO THROW MONEY AWAY ON A CONSOLE THAT CANNOT SHOW ANY FUTURE GROWTH.
Then there's the fiasco with working designs.
oi....far too many things to count.

Mel
08-11-2005, 09:44 PM
Stolar managed the Saturn poorly.

Wether it was by design from wanky execs at SoJ, or by other means. . .he severely underpowered the Saturn.

On a side note, Bernie is also seen as one of the factors responsible for Barring the Shin Megami Tensei series from the states when he was still at SCEA.
Support to 2D games or RPGs wasn't part of the deal with bernie. . .at least not untill he saw the sales figures for FFVII.

Not totally a bad guy (bam! is ok for a localization house). . .but he really does deserve most of the burn from Sega fans.

I remember the articles with him saying "Saturn not sega's future" That was idiocy. Effectivly telling 3rd parties HEY, WERE DISCONTINUING OUR HARDWARE. . .FEEL FREE TO THROW MONEY AWAY ON A CONSOLE THAT CANNOT SHOW ANY FUTURE GROWTH.
Then there's the fiasco with working designs.
oi....far too many things to count.


??? Can I have links and details to stories from the history of saturn?

Vicman
08-11-2005, 10:37 PM
Mel I've linked to a history of the Saturn in this very thread http://www.eidolons-inn.net/segabase/SegaBase-Saturn(Part1).html but it seems that everyone is saying the same thing w/o reading the article by Sam Pettus that implies otherwise. Yes we all know about the "Saturn is not our Future" statement, but understanding why it was said instead of just railing against such a statement would prove beneficial if one cares for truth and objectivity.

"Over in the West, Bernie Stolar is the man most often blamed by Sega diehards in the U.S. for the death of the Saturn. Many reasons are cited, but they all tend to boil down to three key issues - his feud with Victor Ireland of Working Designs over Sega booth space at E3 1997, his public statement at the very same show about the future of the Saturn, and his implementation of the Five Star Games Policy. Let us take a moment to look at these three reasons and see just what bearing they had on Sega's worsening fortunes in 1997. In truth, the Saturn was dying long before Stolar came onto the scene, but since he is perceived by many as putting the final nails in its coffin, let us examine why this may in fact be so..."

"Playing your hand too early - The last thing you want to do in a high-stakes poker game is tip your hand, especially when it is a losing one. Hayao Nakayama was the first to do this by ordering the 1995 launch of the Saturn in the U.S. moved up five months despite the protests of Sega of America. In so doing, he left the Saturn high and dry as a console with virtually no software to sell, thus giving Sony the chance to blitz the media with pre-launch PlayStation hype and build up a decent launch library for the console. Surprisingly enough, Bernie Stolar would repeat Nakayama's mistake once he arrived at Sega, albeit for different reasons. In all honesty, this is the only major mistake that I can attribute to Stolar's tenure at Sega of America."

Vicman
08-11-2005, 10:50 PM
Anyways the purpose of this thread was to find out about Bernie's firing in relation to the Dreamcast. I was hoping some of my fellow Sega-16 posters would have some info I might not know of but instead it's just become a big "Bernie Stolar sucks because of his Saturn mismanagement" -thread.

I now think I was naive in expecting otherwise. :? :(

IrishNinja
01-14-2014, 04:42 AM
He did a great job with the DC's launch, but by then the writing was on the wall.

you're a good guy, Melf. also: necro-bump!

bultje112
01-14-2014, 04:51 AM
I've yet to read about how and why Bernie Stolar got fired from Sega right before the Dreamcast launch. Does anyone have intimate info about this? From what I have read he played a big role in securing partnerships and deals with 3rd parties securing the DC's early success/momentum; but I've never learned about how and why he got fired...

because he messed with dreamcast launch price. 199$ was something soj was dead set against. it cost him his head despite being one of the best if not the best sega of america director sega ever had.


Probably because of how he treated the Saturn... The Saturn was SoJ's pride and joy and Stolar treated it like the red headed step child. But I can not verify that, I just assume it under personal opinion.
you couldn't be further from the truth

IrishNinja
01-14-2014, 04:54 AM
take that, 2005

16-bit
01-14-2014, 05:01 AM
you couldn't be further from the truth

I can't say that Sega of Japan thought the Saturn was its pride and joy, but there were several companies who had games on the Saturn, and killing it before the release of those titles hurt things, like a lot. It's what caused EA to drop Dreamcast support for sure.

retrospiel
01-14-2014, 05:32 AM
No:

http://retro.ign.com/articles/974/974695p9.html

To this day, many credit Electronic Arts' lack of support as the Dreamcast's undoing, and much mystery and speculation has surrounded the falling out. Stolar has been kind enough to illuminate the situation, once and for all:


"[Former Electronic Arts CEO] Larry Probst is a dear friend of mine. Larry came to me and said, 'Bernie, we'll do Dreamcast games, but we want sports exclusivity.' I said, 'You want to be on the system with no other third-party sports games?'

"I looked at him and said, 'You know what? I'll do it, but there's one caveat here: I just bought a company called Visual Concepts for $10 million, so you'll have to compete with them.' Larry says, 'No, you can't even put them on the system.' I said 'Then Larry, you and I are not going to be partners on this system.'" -- Bernie Stolar


Despite later smack talk from EA against SEGA and the Dreamcast, Stolar always respected tough negotiation. "I have to applaud EA for asking for that," he admits, before fondly recalling another audacious EA negotiation. The deal fell through, but SEGA was confident that Visual Concepts could outdo even the great Madden franchise, and according to some critics, they were right.



I can't find the interview with Stolar where he talked about his parting from SOA and EA.


btw, here's an older interview I found, slightly OT I guess: http://www.ign.com/articles/1999/07/20/igndc-chats-with-bernie-stolar

A Black Falcon
01-14-2014, 05:45 AM
because he messed with dreamcast launch price. 199$ was something soj was dead set against. it cost him his head .
There are plenty of rumors that that was a factor in why they got rid of him, yes. I'd guess that it was a factor indeed. The 'third party relationships' thing well might be another one.


despite being one of the best if not the best sega of america director sega ever had
But this is about as delusionally insane as anything said on this forum.

bultje112
01-14-2014, 07:25 AM
I can't say that Sega of Japan thought the Saturn was its pride and joy, but there were several companies who had games on the Saturn, and killing it before the release of those titles hurt things, like a lot. It's what caused EA to drop Dreamcast support for sure.

again the factual errors are baffling. the only reason ea dropped support for dreamcast was because stolar refused them sports titles exclusivity for the dreamcast

bultje112
01-14-2014, 07:26 AM
There are plenty of rumors that that was a factor in why they got rid of him, yes. I'd guess that it was a factor indeed. The 'third party relationships' thing well might be another one.


But this is about as delusionally insane as anything said on this forum.

I know that you life by rumors, but I rather take facts and facts are known about this.

Ninsega
01-14-2014, 12:01 PM
Would you like to expand upon that Melf? From what I've read in that long and detailed history of Sega by Sam Pettus alot info points otherwise, but then again Bernie is and will always be an easy target for burned Saturn fans.

I'm pretty sure Victor Ireland said the guy was a total douche, especially when it came to Japanese games.

Sorry if he's your uncle.

bultje112
01-14-2014, 12:10 PM
I'm pretty sure Victor Ireland said the guy was a total douche, especially when it came to Japanese games.

Sorry if he's your uncle.

I could cover the sahara with all the bullshit victor ireland has spread out the past 2 decades

spiffyone
01-14-2014, 01:54 PM
There are plenty of rumors that that was a factor in why they got rid of him, yes. I'd guess that it was a factor indeed. The 'third party relationships' thing well might be another one.


But this is about as delusionally insane as anything said on this forum.

What's insane about it? It's kinda true. He wasn't Kalinske or Katz, but Bernie was a lot better than those who followed him up until recently. Re-establishing the Sega Sports brand trumps coming into an already dying or dead Saturn market and declaring it so. I know some Saturn die-hards love to hate on Bernie, but that thing was dying before he came to Sega. The one bump in sales was the three game pack ins, and even then it was massively outsold by PS1 and N64.

As for RPGs:

RPGs didn't mean a lot at the time. FFVII didn't sell because it was a great "JRPG", but because it had a Sony's MASSIVE marketing campaign behind it. That campaign sold it to gamers who wouldn't otherwise have taken a second glance at the game. Look at sales of subsequent sequels, and you'll see they fall off quite a bit after FFVII on PS1. Look at sales of non-FF RPGs, and you'll see they never came close to selling those FF numbers in the West. They were niche games, and still, quite frankly, are in the West. Grandia wasn't gonna help Saturn, nor those Working Designs localizations.

Y'know what would've helped Saturn? If it weren't Saturn hardware. Then and only then would devs have thought it worthwhile to put on stuff like Tomb Raider II or RE2 or any of those other games that eventually became THE reasons to buy PS1's over the real competition in the mid-point of that gen (N64).

o.pwuaioc
01-14-2014, 02:00 PM
^In other words, the gross fascination with ugly 3D put out the Saturn to pasture.

Moirai
01-14-2014, 03:49 PM
Saturn needed a NEW pack in deal after 3 games free ended. Bundles always sell in the US. the new three games free could have been Sonic Jam, Burning Rangers, and Nights with one 3D pad. That would have been like hot cakes in the US. The next deal could have been Guardian Heroes, two standard pads, and Radiant Slvergun (THE GRAPHICS WHORES IN THE USA WOULD HAVE EATEN UP THAT GAME. IT LOOKS AMAZING!) Treasure could have signed an exclusive contract with Sega, they get publicity, everybody benefits. RSG would have been great to use as an example of Saturns undeniable power over the playstation.

Maybe make a good sports bundle? FIFA '98 or Madden '98 bundles would have been great!


Releasing compilations would have been good. That kinda stuff started on the PS1. How about a Panzer Dragoon Box Set? A 6 disc epic shooter and RPG, the ultimate FFVII killer! If they had marketed that corretly, it could have been huge! They also should have released shining force III and all it's scenarios together as one release.

Different colored saturns. Seriously. Why didn't they make them? It was all the rage with the N64!


Again, the BIG GAMES needed Saturn versions. tomb raider II, RE2, METAL GEAR SOLID?!?! Sega could have done with some exclusive licenses too. Maybe get some sports celebs on board, pro wrestlers? Football players? baseball players? That worked great for them in the genesis days.

A Black Falcon
01-14-2014, 06:36 PM
^In other words, the gross fascination with ugly 3D put out the Saturn to pasture.
The fascination with 3d did hurt the Saturn, but no, that wasn't the only problem, not by a longshot... the Saturn didn't lose in Japan because of that, they lost in Japan because the PS1 got the biggest-name RPGs and that led the Saturn to a quick downhill slide in '97-'98. And of course worldwide the high manufacturing cost and hard-to-develop-for design hurt it a lot too.


What's insane about it? It's kinda true. He wasn't Kalinske or Katz, but Bernie was a lot better than those who followed him up until recently.
Well, their post-Stolar leadership wasn't great either, but at least they didn't make as much bad press as Stolar did.


Re-establishing the Sega Sports brand trumps coming into an already dying or dead Saturn market and declaring it so.
Sega Sports, more important than killing the Saturn? That's absurd! Sure those games sold well on the Dreamcast, but they didn't save Sega, and that Sega didn't have EA was probably a bigger deal press-wise than the quality of their sports games was. Releasing some good sports games is nice I guess, and helped the DC sell better than it otherwise would have in the US, but the situation Sega was in when the Dreamcast released is more important than anything they did after the system's release, as far as Sega's success goes; I don't think there was much more they could have done during the DC's life to help it do better. They just needed to get to that point in better shape. Selling more Saturns probably wouldn't have "saved Sega", no, but I do think it would have helped them overall and led to not just a lot more Saturn hardware and software sales, but some more Dreamcast ones as well, since that whole "Sega killed their system early again" worry would not be there nearly as much.

As for sports games, I do think that Sega didn't have enough of them for the Western market on the Saturn -- I mean, only one football game from Sega, and it was bad? Yeah. But no, DC Sega Sports definitely wasn't as important as killing the Saturn, not from a games standpoint (sports games can sell, but most don't matter much in the long run) or from a success standpoint.


I know some Saturn die-hards love to hate on Bernie, but that thing was dying before he came to Sega. The one bump in sales was the three game pack ins, and even then it was massively outsold by PS1 and N64.
Once again, the Saturn's third place finish absolutely was set when Bernie took over, but its dying the month after he took over and never recovering is entirely his fault. He did absolutely nothing worth mentioning to save the system, no new marketing campaign, no new bundle, nothing. He just let it die, and talked about how that was a good idea because it supposedly would save Sega more money to not sell anything than it would if they were still selling products. Yeah, that's a pretty weak argument there... it's impossible to prove if it's true or not of course, but we do know the effect abandoning the market had on Sega's name recognition as a console manufacturer between '97 and '99. It hurt it a lot! They had a lot to make up for once the DC finally released, and couldn't do it.


As for RPGs:

RPGs didn't mean a lot at the time. FFVII didn't sell because it was a great "JRPG", but because it had a Sony's MASSIVE marketing campaign behind it. That campaign sold it to gamers who wouldn't otherwise have taken a second glance at the game. Look at sales of subsequent sequels, and you'll see they fall off quite a bit after FFVII on PS1. Look at sales of non-FF RPGs, and you'll see they never came close to selling those FF numbers in the West. They were niche games, and still, quite frankly, are in the West. Grandia wasn't gonna help Saturn, nor those Working Designs localizations.
Final Fantasy VII did sell better than any other JRPG, but it absolutely raised sales of the genre as a whole! Just look at how many JRPGs we got localized in the US on the PS1 and PS2. It's a pretty impressively large number compared to the scant handfuls we got in the 3rd and 4th generations. The primary reason for that huge increase in releases was Final Fantasy VII. Even if other games couldn't match its sales, they sold significantly better on average than JRPGs had before FF7's release here. After FF7 console RPGs were no longer just a small niche in the US, they became an important genre. That faded over the course of the last generation, but still things are better for JRPGs now than they were before FF7.

Also, criticizing Bernie isn't only about RPGs. It's about all kinds of games, and also about availability. I mean, really, for example, Burning Rangers was something that Sega should have been able to push enough to get it close to a NiGHTS-level success, if they'd been trying... it was Sonic Team's next 3d platformer after all. But that'd have required not abandoning the Saturn in 1997, and actually trying to sell Saturn games in '98 too, so sadly it didn't happen.


Y'know what would've helped Saturn? If it weren't Saturn hardware. Then and only then would devs have thought it worthwhile to put on stuff like Tomb Raider II or RE2 or any of those other games that eventually became THE reasons to buy PS1's over the real competition in the mid-point of that gen (N64).
Sure, the Saturn's biggest problem was its poor design, yes. That and Sega releasing the 32X at the same time, which I think is equally as important as one of the main reasons why Sega failed that gen.


Saturn needed a NEW pack in deal after 3 games free ended. Bundles always sell in the US. the new three games free could have been Sonic Jam, Burning Rangers, and Nights with one 3D pad. That would have been like hot cakes in the US. The next deal could have been Guardian Heroes, two standard pads, and Radiant Slvergun (THE GRAPHICS WHORES IN THE USA WOULD HAVE EATEN UP THAT GAME. IT LOOKS AMAZING!) Treasure could have signed an exclusive contract with Sega, they get publicity, everybody benefits. RSG would have been great to use as an example of Saturns undeniable power over the playstation.

Maybe make a good sports bundle? FIFA '98 or Madden '98 bundles would have been great!
A sports bundle would be a good idea for '97, yeah. Sega would probably want to pack in their own sports games instead of EA's, but either way I think it'd have sold systems. I've mentioned a NiGHTS + 3D Controller bundle before as a good idea, but for later '97, how about one with that plus Sonic R? Also seriously uncancel Sonic X-Treme and find someone to finish it, even for late '97 it'd have brought a lot of attention to the Saturn that it was missing because it didn't have a real Sonic game. I know that was one of the reasons I always overlooked the system during its life.

As for Burning Rangers and Radiant Silvergun, those were 1998 releases, remember. Bundling those at some point might be a reasonable idea, though, sure. And yes, Radiant Silvergun definitely should have been released here that year. It could have been out that fall for sure. There are a lot of Japan-only Saturn games from '97 and '98 that should have been localized! However, Guardian Heroes really isn't packin material, I think... though that's probably in part because I don't like the game all that much. :p But for other '97-'99 titles I think we should have gotten... uh, Grandia, DarkStalkers 3 (Vampire Savior), X-Men vs. Street Fighter (with 4MB RAM cart), maybe some more Capcom fighters (though the RAM cart thing would be an issue, would they have to release both the 1MB AND 4MB carts? That could confuse people, given how MSH and Cyberbots and any released SNK games need the 1MB one and don't work correctly on 4MB... but anyway), Willy Wombat, Shining Force Scenarios 2 and 3, Lunar SSSC (would have been '97 US), Lunar 2 Complete, Magical School Lunar, Bulk Slash, Assault Suits Leynos 2, Saturn Bomberman Fight!, Soukyugurentai, Radiant Silvergun, and maybe more. They would also have needed Western games in 1998 and beyond, of course, in order to stand any chance of survival; releasing some of the above games, combined with some good bundles and marketing at least as good as that from 1996 (the one year they saw any decent 'success' in the US), would have helped, but they needed Western games too. Sega had had some in 1995 and 1996, but their numbers thinned in '97 and stopped dead at the end of the year. Some better marketing for that Sega had the first console port of Quake sounds like a good idea, for one... the N64 version didn't release until '98. Sega seems to have scaled down externally-developed but Sega-published Western titles during the Saturn era, and that was a mistake considering that that had been a real factor in their success back in the early '90s. But the ones they did have, like Quake and Duke 3D or the Bug! games, weren't as successful as they should have been because of the platform they were on. There was no helping all of that, but giving up early just cemented Sega's bad reputation that made people look back and retroactively ignore the Saturn even more than it had been between launch and early '97!


Releasing compilations would have been good. That kinda stuff started on the PS1. How about a Panzer Dragoon Box Set? A 6 disc epic shooter and RPG, the ultimate FFVII killer! If they had marketed that corretly, it could have been huge! They also should have released shining force III and all it's scenarios together as one release.
Yeah, that's something you do if your system is successful enough to actually be alive later in the generation, when companies would be wanting to release boxed sets like that.


Different colored saturns. Seriously. Why didn't they make them? It was all the rage with the N64!
The colored N64s didn't release until 1999 I believe, but yeah, colored systems were popular then -- the Game Boy line of various-color systems did well, for instance. Offering some alternate color Saturns in the US would have been a good idea.


Again, the BIG GAMES needed Saturn versions.
Sega had had some of those back in '95-'96, but it didn't bring them success... ports help, but the Saturn's biggest problem was that Sony's exclusives or timed exclusives were more popular in the Western market than Sega's were. Sony had more and better PR and marketing, too. Sega could not have matched Sony there, they couldn't afford it... but I'm sure better marketing that Sega's for the Saturn in '95 was possible. Not confusing the market with too much hardware and releasing a better console than the Saturn would have helped too of course.


tomb raider II, RE2, METAL GEAR SOLID?!?! Sega could have done with some exclusive licenses too. Maybe get some sports celebs on board, pro wrestlers? Football players? baseball players? That worked great for them in the genesis days.
RE1 and Tomb Raider 1 hadn't made the Saturn a success, having the sequels wouldn't have done so either... though yes, that the system stopped getting ports at that point was a very bad sign for the system for sure, and a sign of its impending death. As for thsoe specific games, Sony money-hatted Tomb Raider II exclusivity, that's why Sega didn't get the game. RE2 was in development for Saturn, as a late port like RE1 had been, but Capcom cancelled it in 1998 because of the system's decline. I don't think Konami ever considered MGS for Saturn. Sega could not match Sony money, but stuff like RE2 at least they could have gotten had the system not collapsed. There were also things that weren't localized like Castlevania SotN, of course.

o.pwuaioc
01-14-2014, 06:57 PM
The fascination with 3d did hurt the Saturn, but no, that wasn't the only problem, not by a longshot... the Saturn didn't lose in Japan because of that, they lost in Japan because the PS1 got the biggest-name RPGs and that led the Saturn to a quick downhill slide in '97-'98. And of course worldwide the high manufacturing cost and hard-to-develop-for design hurt it a lot too.

That was more of the "good and dead" bullet. Surviving in Japan wouldn't necessarily have saved Sega, just like the success of the PC Engine in Japan didn't save NEC. It could, however, have survived in the US alone, like the N64 managed to do. If the 5th gen consoles in America sold like they did in Japan, the Saturn would have sold something like 22 million more units, and Sega might have survived, even pushed back the Dreamcast to incorporate DVDs. There's no way to predict how the Dreamcast would have done, but it would have been alive a lot longer than the 2 years they allowed it.

A Black Falcon
01-14-2014, 07:06 PM
I think that a Dreamcast with built-in DVD player might have been able to dent even PS2 hype, yeah. That's really the one thing that really could have made a difference, looking only at DC stuff and not anything before it.

sheath
01-14-2014, 07:15 PM
A >$400 Dreamcast would have sold extremely well with Sega's brand all tarnished and "generic" in the masses' minds.

Why was Bernie fired? Was he fired or did he quit? Either way, aside from Hayao Nakayama, Trip Hawkins or Victor Ireland I cannot think of anybody who did more damage to Sega as a Brand than Bernie Stolar. So if somebody fired him, good on them. As soon as Nakayama became known, as Yu Suzuki put it, for shipping "anything with moving pictures on the screen" he should have been made to commit ritual suicide or whatever it is they do over there (retire immediately).

gamevet
01-14-2014, 08:20 PM
btw, here's an older interview I found, slightly OT I guess: http://www.ign.com/articles/1999/07/20/igndc-chats-with-bernie-stolar

There goes the idea that "Eidos wasn't signed up with the DC while Stolar was there." ;)

bultje112
01-15-2014, 04:11 AM
Saturn needed a NEW pack in deal after 3 games free ended. Bundles always sell in the US. the new three games free could have been Sonic Jam, Burning Rangers, and Nights with one 3D pad. That would have been like hot cakes in the US. The next deal could have been Guardian Heroes, two standard pads, and Radiant Slvergun (THE GRAPHICS WHORES IN THE USA WOULD HAVE EATEN UP THAT GAME. IT LOOKS AMAZING!) Treasure could have signed an exclusive contract with Sega, they get publicity, everybody benefits. RSG would have been great to use as an example of Saturns undeniable power over the playstation.

Maybe make a good sports bundle? FIFA '98 or Madden '98 bundles would have been great!


Releasing compilations would have been good. That kinda stuff started on the PS1. How about a Panzer Dragoon Box Set? A 6 disc epic shooter and RPG, the ultimate FFVII killer! If they had marketed that corretly, it could have been huge! They also should have released shining force III and all it's scenarios together as one release.

Different colored saturns. Seriously. Why didn't they make them? It was all the rage with the N64!


Again, the BIG GAMES needed Saturn versions. tomb raider II, RE2, METAL GEAR SOLID?!?! Sega could have done with some exclusive licenses too. Maybe get some sports celebs on board, pro wrestlers? Football players? baseball players? That worked great for them in the genesis days.

you wanted sega to really go bankrupt over the saturn? can you even imagine who much these pack ins cost?

bultje112
01-15-2014, 04:13 AM
I think that a Dreamcast with built-in DVD player might have been able to dent even PS2 hype, yeah. That's really the one thing that really could have made a difference, looking only at DC stuff and not anything before it.

:facepalm: yeah the dreamcast selling for more than double or triple the original retail price really would've saved it. what drugs are you on in general btw that makes you come up with all this shit?

Moirai
01-15-2014, 10:01 AM
you wanted sega to really go bankrupt over the saturn? can you even imagine who much these pack ins cost?

It may have been worth the risk. CD's cost very little to manufacture.

sheath
01-15-2014, 10:09 AM
The only way the Dreamcast could have gotten DVD is if Sega made an add-on later. Paying royalties to Sony for every Dreamcast sold and more than doubling its launch price in 1998 and 1999 would have been even more instant death for Sega later. They were toying with a Zipdrive expansion in Japan, I never figured out why, those things were freaking slow and I could back up my Nexus memory card on PC anyway. A DVD expansion wouldn't have been too complicated, but for what? To turn the Dreamcast into a popular format Movie player (it already was a VCD player)? I definitely don't think Sega should have aimed at turning the Dreamcast into a set-top "Computer Entertainment System".

Sega needed to stick to what they were good at. DVD, for years after the Xbox and PS2 launch, was primarily filled with FMV anyway and streamable music. Real time cutscenes barely existed on both consoles, and the Gamecube versions hardly suffered with 1.5GB mini disks. That isn't even considering whether Sega could have developed a dual layer GDROM within a few years of launch.

bultje112
01-15-2014, 01:13 PM
It may have been worth the risk. CD's cost very little to manufacture.

lol. do you know how much it costs to make a game? and you start about cd costs. you clearly are lost on reality

o.pwuaioc
01-15-2014, 01:22 PM
It may have been worth the risk. CD's cost very little to manufacture.

It would have cost a lot in licensing costs. Sega would have had to pay the developers, is what bultje112 is saying.

Dragonmaster Lou
01-15-2014, 03:27 PM
It would have cost a lot in licensing costs. Sega would have had to pay the developers, is what bultje112 is saying.
It's a bit more complicated than that in some respects. A lot of it depends on the individual games selected to be the pack-ins.

Let's take a a best case example -- 3 games that were all in-house developed by Sega and that had exclusively Sega-owned IP (characters, music, etc., so no outside licensing costs necessary). Let's also assume for the sake of argument that development for each game cost $1 million (as in what you actually paid the developers as well as related expenses) and that manufacturing the CDs would be free, as relative to the cost of development and the hardware they may as well have been free (to paraphrase an old computer article, you take something that costs maybe $1 to manufacture and then sell it for $50 -- gotta love those margins!). So that means that if Sega gave away those games for free, they'd have lost about $3 million total. However, if they made those games and didn't sell them due to poor hardware sales, they'd still be out that same $3 million. The amount lost is roughly the same. If the game sold like gangbusters, then it still would've cost them the same $3 million. Software development cost is funny as it's one of the few "manufacturing" costs that do not increase with quantity of product made.

The calculation then is if giving away $3 million in games would result in more than $3 million in combined hardware/software revenue due to improved hardware sales as well as people buying additional games for said hardware. Unfortunately, only Sega's accountants and marketing teams would have had the knowledge if that would be the case and even then, it would've been mostly a guess instead of a sure thing.

It gets even more complicated if it involves third party games or games involving licensed properties, such as most sports games. In the case of third party games, Sega wouldn't be in the "we'd lose this money anyway" situation as they'd have to pay the third party for the games -- so instead of a situation where they'd lose about the same amount of money whether or not they ran the campaign, they'd end up losing considerably more money as they'd have to dish out extra money to buy copies of the games from the third party. Licensing would be similar, depending on the associated contracts. A license that stipulated that the licensee got a cut of every game sold would probably also have a stipulation that games given away for free would count as sold for the sake of determining license fees, for example.

In our example, let's assume that the NFL gets $1 for every copy of an NFL football game sold by Sega with freebies counting as "sales" for the sake of the license contract. If Sega were to bundle an NFL football game with 1 million consoles, that means that's an extra $1 million Sega would have to pay, as opposed to the earlier example where Sega had already paid for the games' development and it could be argued that it had "nothing more to lose" by giving them away for free if they weren't going to sell anyway. Also keep in mind that Sega probably also still developed those $3 million in games mentioned earlier, so in effect they'd be $4 million in the hole here.

If it was a purely third party game, then Sega could be paying up to MSRP (let's say $50) for each freebie, meaning they'd be out a whopping $50 million more than if they didn't do the bundle, and that's not including the costs of any of their in-house developed games like mentioned previously.

So pack-ins of purely Sega developed games might have worked as a marketing gimmick, but if the pack-ins involved any third parties, whether developers or license holders, it almost certainly would have been cost prohibitive.

o.pwuaioc
01-15-2014, 03:40 PM
^That's exactly what he was saying. AlecRob mentioned Radiant Silvergun, Guardian Heroes, FIFA, and Madden. The original Sega suggestion ("Sonic Jam, Burning Rangers, and Nights with one 3D pad") might have worked, except Sonic Jam wasn't released until 1997 (and it would have taken even longer for it to get to America) and Burning Rangers in 1998, merely a year before the Dreamcast launch. Lots of things would have to be different for this to work. Maybe if Burning Rangers and Sonic Jam were released in 1996, but probably not by 1998.

A Black Falcon
01-15-2014, 07:06 PM
:facepalm: yeah the dreamcast selling for more than double or triple the original retail price really would've saved it. what drugs are you on in general btw that makes you come up with all this shit?

... Triple? Uh, no, adding a DVD drive to the Dreamcast would not make it cost $600. That's absurd. :lol:

But yes, a $300 or $350 DC (at launch, declining to below PS2 price by the time that system released over a year later), with a DVD drive it it but otherwise the same? I think that it would have sold better than the DC we have did. You're forgetting how popular the PS2 was as a cheap DVD player early on in its life! A lot of people bought PS2s just for the DVD player. This was true in Japan and the US, for sure. Probably Europe too. If the DC had also had a DVD player, but was cheaper (by the time the PS2 was out) and released earlier? That would have made a difference! The DC's life is exactly when DVDs became a seriously popular format. Having that in the system would have sold a lot of consoles and gotten a lot of attention.


you wanted sega to really go bankrupt over the saturn? can you even imagine who much these pack ins cost?
First-party packins are a better idea than third-party ones, yeah. They're a lot cheaper for the first party, obviously. So the better sports bundle would be one mentioned in another thread, with some of Sega Sports' 1997 titles, such as the baseball, football, and something else (Decathalete?) games.

First party packins, though, are a good idea. The Sonic and Sonic 2 packins with the Genesis were huge successes in the US, and really helped push a lot more Genesis systems into peoples' homes. Earlier on stuff like the Super Mario Bros. packin with the NES, or Tetris with the Game Boy, really helped those systems as well. The 3-in-1 Saturn packin was available in that one holiday season where the Saturn did well in the US, but in early '97 when Stolar took over he ended that promotion and replaced it with nothing. Sega needed new packins instead. Once again I'd say a sports packin for early/mid '97, then either a Sonic X-Treme + 3D Controller bundle (assuming that Sega uncanceled and finished the game in '97, as they really needed to do) or a Nights + Sonic R + 3D Controller that fall, and also a Burning Rangers + 3D Controller bundle releasing in '98 after that game released (not sure if that needs a second game or not? Not sure what.). They could also do a newer 3-in-1 with some newer stuff than the first one had (Fighters Megamix (or maybe Fighting Vipers, if they wanted an older title), Daytona CCE, and Virtua Cop 2 as a bundle in late '97 or early '98 sometime?). Those are a bunch of good bundle options there. As you see with the Genesis, you make up for the lost sales of the bundled game with sales of other games that people who have bought the system then buy.


^That's exactly what he was saying. AlecRob mentioned Radiant Silvergun, Guardian Heroes, FIFA, and Madden. The original Sega suggestion ("Sonic Jam, Burning Rangers, and Nights with one 3D pad") might have worked, except Sonic Jam wasn't released until 1997 (and it would have taken even longer for it to get to America) and Burning Rangers in 1998, merely a year before the Dreamcast launch. Lots of things would have to be different for this to work. Maybe if Burning Rangers and Sonic Jam were released in 1996, but probably not by 1998.
Yeah, Burning Rangers bundle would have to be '98 of course, but Sega should have been pushing that game since it's a Sonic Team 3d platformer and all other Sonic Team 3d platformers have been at least somewhat successful in the US (Billy Hatcher is maybe their least successful one, but it still did alright), so a Burning Rangers bundle would have been a good idea. As for Radiant Silvergun, that definitely should have been localized (it's on my list I posted earlier in the thread), but a bundle... I don't know. Shmups weren't a big draw back then; Vic Ireland has said that none of the shmups Working Designs published ever made the company money, for example.

sheath
01-15-2014, 10:19 PM
The Dreamcast would not have been $300-350 in 1998-99, or even 2000. Sony was selling the PS2 at over a $100 loss per console in 2000, Sega could never have done that.

j_factor
01-15-2014, 10:50 PM
again the factual errors are baffling. the only reason ea dropped support for dreamcast was because stolar refused them sports titles exclusivity for the dreamcast

That's looking at the issue with tunnel vision. Why did EA demand sports exclusivity? What 16-bit said may very well be the reason. EA didn't make that demand anywhere else, and they probably could have gotten it on the Gamecube if they were playing hardball. It's not like NBA Courtside 2002 was a vital game for Nintendo.


The Dreamcast would not have been $300-350 in 1998-99, or even 2000. Sony was selling the PS2 at over a $100 loss per console in 2000, Sega could never have done that.

I wonder how much of a loss per unit Dreamcast was doing when it was selling for $150 around the time of the PS2's launch. A Dreamcast with a DVD drive still would've been cheaper to produce than a PS2, so it wouldn't be the same loss if at the same price point. Sega also could have mitigated losses a bit by passing the cost of DVD royalty onto a separate remote, like the Xbox did.

sheath
01-15-2014, 10:56 PM
EA would ask for exclusivity for one of three reasons, they suck, they know it, they don't like competition. EA puts the suck in success.

gamevet
01-15-2014, 11:26 PM
That's looking at the issue with tunnel vision. Why did EA demand sports exclusivity? What 16-bit said may very well be the reason. EA didn't make that demand anywhere else, and they probably could have gotten it on the Gamecube if they were playing hardball. It's not like NBA Courtside 2002 was a vital game for GameCube

EA probably asked for exclusivity, because they had provided support for 3 failed platforms (Sega CD, 32x and Saturn) and didn't see the DC selling well either. At least without competition, they would be gauranteed better unit sales.

Pulstar
01-16-2014, 12:24 AM
Till this day I keep wondering how MGS2 could have looked on the Dreamcast, if Kojima wasn't a big Sony cunt.

A Black Falcon
01-16-2014, 12:55 AM
The Dreamcast would not have been $300-350 in 1998-99, or even 2000. Sony was selling the PS2 at over a $100 loss per console in 2000, Sega could never have done that.
That's a very uneven comparison. If you're saying that the DC with a DVD drive could not have been $300 or $350 at that point, then you're saying that it would have cost Sega what, $200 per unit just to put a DVD drive in the system? That's ridiculous! I know DVD drives were expensive then, but they weren't THAT expensive. Don't be silly. I'm not talking about changing anything else in the Dreamcast, just the disc drive.

Second, Sega was selling the DC at a loss. Every DC sold lost Sega money. I don't remember what the amount of the loss was, but they were losing money on it. If you go up to $300 or higher at launch and add in a DVD drive, overall you almost certainly lose less money per unit -- DVD drives can't add anywhere near $100 or more to the system cost, even including DVD licensing fees if you include that with the system (remember how Microsoft charged $30 for the required Xbox remote so as to put the DVD licensing fee there instead of in the system cost), so this would reduce Sega's losses per unit sold, and give the system a MAJOR hook for mass-market consumers in the form of a cheap DVD player (and yes, in 1999-2001 $300 for a DVD player for your DVD was cheap). I don't see any downside, had Sega been in good enough financial condition to be able to afford the initial costs of moving to DVD, which I'm pretty sure they weren't.


I wonder how much of a loss per unit Dreamcast was doing when it was selling for $150 around the time of the PS2's launch. A Dreamcast with a DVD drive still would've been cheaper to produce than a PS2, so it wouldn't be the same loss if at the same price point. Sega also could have mitigated losses a bit by passing the cost of DVD royalty onto a separate remote, like the Xbox did.
Yeah, the DC plus DVD wouldn't have cost as much to make as the PS2, but as far as DVD playback it'd probably be just as decent. $300 at launch in the US, or maybe even a bit higher with a drop to below the PS2's price around when it released ~13 months later, would have done well I think. Yeah, the higher price might have gotten some people not to buy, but the sales of the PS2 and Xbox show that people were willing to spend $300 for a console that generation. Sega could have charged it too, and been successful with it, if they'd had the DVD drive that would justify the cost. As I said, I think a DC with DVD playback would have been VERY interesting, and would have gotten attention. I don't know if it could have cracked PS2 hype, but with how much you hear about people buying PS2s just for the DVD playback at first, you never know...

(Oh, and yeah, a MS-style required remote with license fee included there would be an option. Having the playback built into the retail unit was an advantage the PS2 had, though, so I'm not sure which way would be the better way there.)

o.pwuaioc
01-16-2014, 01:03 AM
(Oh, and yeah, a MS-style required remote with license fee included there would be an option. Having the playback built into the retail unit was an advantage the PS2 had, though, so I'm not sure which way would be the better way there.)

Sony still put out a remote for it. People easily would have purchased a remote for the Dreamcast. Or at least I know I would.

A Black Falcon
01-16-2014, 03:00 AM
Sony still put out a remote for it. People easily would have purchased a remote for the Dreamcast. Or at least I know I would.

The PS2 remote is worth it because without it you can't fast-forward or rewind at anything above 1X speeds I don't think, and can't check where you are in the movie either if I remember right... but you can with the remote. Yeah.

But anyway, yes, I'm sure people would have purchased remotes, but having to buy even a fairly cheap extra is different from including it in the box... but $300 with a $30 remote available day one would probably have been fine. Maybe also sell them bundled together.

bultje112
01-16-2014, 05:55 AM
... Triple? Uh, no, adding a DVD drive to the Dreamcast would not make it cost $600. That's absurd. :lol:

But yes, a $300 or $350 DC (at launch, declining to below PS2 price by the time that system released over a year later), with a DVD drive it it but otherwise the same? I think that it would have sold better than the DC we have did. You're forgetting how popular the PS2 was as a cheap DVD player early on in its life! A lot of people bought PS2s just for the DVD player. This was true in Japan and the US, for sure. Probably Europe too. If the DC had also had a DVD player, but was cheaper (by the time the PS2 was out) and released earlier? That would have made a difference! The DC's life is exactly when DVDs became a seriously popular format. Having that in the system would have sold a lot of consoles and gotten a lot of attention.


First-party packins are a better idea than third-party ones, yeah. They're a lot cheaper for the first party, obviously. So the better sports bundle would be one mentioned in another thread, with some of Sega Sports' 1997 titles, such as the baseball, football, and something else (Decathalete?) games.

First party packins, though, are a good idea. The Sonic and Sonic 2 packins with the Genesis were huge successes in the US, and really helped push a lot more Genesis systems into peoples' homes. Earlier on stuff like the Super Mario Bros. packin with the NES, or Tetris with the Game Boy, really helped those systems as well. The 3-in-1 Saturn packin was available in that one holiday season where the Saturn did well in the US, but in early '97 when Stolar took over he ended that promotion and replaced it with nothing. Sega needed new packins instead. Once again I'd say a sports packin for early/mid '97, then either a Sonic X-Treme + 3D Controller bundle (assuming that Sega uncanceled and finished the game in '97, as they really needed to do) or a Nights + Sonic R + 3D Controller that fall, and also a Burning Rangers + 3D Controller bundle releasing in '98 after that game released (not sure if that needs a second game or not? Not sure what.). They could also do a newer 3-in-1 with some newer stuff than the first one had (Fighters Megamix (or maybe Fighting Vipers, if they wanted an older title), Daytona CCE, and Virtua Cop 2 as a bundle in late '97 or early '98 sometime?). Those are a bunch of good bundle options there. As you see with the Genesis, you make up for the lost sales of the bundled game with sales of other games that people who have bought the system then buy.


Yeah, Burning Rangers bundle would have to be '98 of course, but Sega should have been pushing that game since it's a Sonic Team 3d platformer and all other Sonic Team 3d platformers have been at least somewhat successful in the US (Billy Hatcher is maybe their least successful one, but it still did alright), so a Burning Rangers bundle would have been a good idea. As for Radiant Silvergun, that definitely should have been localized (it's on my list I posted earlier in the thread), but a bundle... I don't know. Shmups weren't a big draw back then; Vic Ireland has said that none of the shmups Working Designs published ever made the company money, for example.

I can't even believe you could write down that bullshit with dry eyes. a dvd drive in 1998 cost more than 400$. so that would make dreamcast 700$+ at launch in japan alone. and not much cheaper less than 1 year later in the rest of the world


your pathetic attempts at trying to rewrite the history that you were never a part of is becoming more than sad. in the saturn topic you are on a crusade against stolar even though you didn't own or even know about the saturn long after it was due and now this. I'm sure you didn't even know what dvd player was in 1998

IrishNinja
01-16-2014, 10:04 AM
i have no proper means of extrapolating how much sega could've packed in a DVD player for the DC in '98, but i do know this much:

a) they would've again had a higher-priced system on their hands, after years of burning dev/consumer confidence
b) i don't see where this would've changed much with their 3rd party situation
c) they were buried in debt & hemorrhaging money, hoping desperately to bank on software royalties down the road and a higher pricetag/ROI would've only hampered that
d) perhaps most important: unlike sony, they would've paid more for both production & royalties on said DVD's, meaning even slimmer odds of a return at a higher investment

it's so very easy to say they were boneheaded for not gambling their last go with a DVD player the market might not've been ready for & might not've even slowed down the PS2's juggernaut momentum at the time, but given that it was Okawa's $ on the line/etc i really can't see how anyone can reasonably monday-morning quarterback that call like it was anywhere near a safe bet at that point in time. The DC we got was an interesting balance of taking chances & playing to their strengths - a multimedia system wasn't one of those things.

gamevet
01-16-2014, 01:12 PM
I had a $129 Sony DVD player at least 6 months before the PS2 launched in North America. I see DVD as being more important for Japan, than the US.

sheath
01-16-2014, 01:19 PM
Yeah, I bought my PS2 because I wanted to play Soul Reaver 2 and Eidos canceled the nearly finished Dreamcast version, my budget PC couldn't run the PC game yet. I figured in November 2001 I wanted a DVD player and Strider 2 was tempting me to get a PS1 again. If I recall correctly the two combined meant that the "PS2" playability only cost me $80-100, so that was how I rationalized a $300 purchase for a system with one game I wanted to play (and VF4 the next year).

I am fairly certain the PS2 cost Sony over $100 more than that at the time, and a DVD license for Sega would have been even more.

o.pwuaioc
01-16-2014, 01:21 PM
I had a $129 Sony DVD player at least 6 months before the PS2 launched in North America. I see DVD as being more important for Japan, than the US.

Yeah, no idea where bultje gets $400 from. We too had a DVD player before the PS2, but we also knew people who bought a PS2 *for* the DVD player. 2002 is really when everyone had a cheap DVD player.

bultje112
01-16-2014, 01:44 PM
in 1998 dvd players where 400$ easily. just google it if you like

A Black Falcon
01-16-2014, 02:15 PM
The cost of a DVD player and the cost of a DVD drive are not the same thing at all. I got a DVD drive for my PC when I got a new computer in fall 2001. It cost about the same amount as a CD burner would have. I'm sure the price was higher a few years earlier, but nowhere near as much as you're suggesting. As usual you have no idea what you're talking about.


Yeah, I bought my PS2 because I wanted to play Soul Reaver 2 and Eidos canceled the nearly finished Dreamcast version, my budget PC couldn't run the PC game yet. I figured in November 2001 I wanted a DVD player and Strider 2 was tempting me to get a PS1 again. If I recall correctly the two combined meant that the "PS2" playability only cost me $80-100, so that was how I rationalized a $300 purchase for a system with one game I wanted to play (and VF4 the next year).

I am fairly certain the PS2 cost Sony over $100 more than that at the time, and a DVD license for Sega would have been even more.
The DVD license was something like $25 per unit, I think. That's why the Xbox DVD remote cost what it did.


I had a $129 Sony DVD player at least 6 months before the PS2 launched in North America. I see DVD as being more important for Japan, than the US.
That's at least somewhat true, but the DC needed more help in Japan than in any other region, so that could have made a big difference.

bultje112
01-16-2014, 03:20 PM
the dreamcast would've done fine in japan if nec didn't have chip problems that cost them 1 million units in sales around launch

j_factor
01-16-2014, 03:21 PM
I can't even believe you could write down that bullshit with dry eyes. a dvd drive in 1998 cost more than 400$. so that would make dreamcast 700$+ at launch in japan alone. and not much cheaper less than 1 year later in the rest of the world

It did not cost that much, and the Dreamcast didn't have to come out in 1998 either.


d) perhaps most important: unlike sony, they would've paid more for both production & royalties on said DVD's, meaning even slimmer odds of a return at a higher investment

Someone can correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm pretty sure the only royalty is for DVD video players, not DVD-ROM. Hence the Xbox DVD remote and the Wii not supporting DVD playback even though it used DVD discs. Sega could have gone the Xbox route easily.

I think what's getting lost in this discussion is that Sega created their own proprietary disc format. Not sure how the cost compares, but that sure wasn't free.

bultje112
01-16-2014, 03:25 PM
It did not cost that much, and the Dreamcast didn't have to come out in 1998 either.

of course it did. they could not waste another year losing 500 million dollars with no hardware and software out(saturn was VERY dead)

j_factor
01-16-2014, 03:34 PM
of course it did. they could not waste another year losing 500 million dollars with no hardware and software out(saturn was VERY dead)

In Japan it wasn't, not really. And the Saturn was only dead because they killed it. I don't know how you can cite that they would have "no hardware and software out", that was the situation in the US and Europe for over a year and y'all act like that was a good thing.

And even as it was, the Japanese Dreamcast launch was clearly too early. It had fuck-all for games, it suffered from a chip shortage, and they flubbed the rumble pack causing it to not be available at launch. Overall it was pretty poor.

bultje112
01-16-2014, 03:48 PM
In Japan it wasn't, not really. And the Saturn was only dead because they killed it. I don't know how you can cite that they would have "no hardware and software out", that was the situation in the US and Europe for over a year and y'all act like that was a good thing.

And even as it was, the Japanese Dreamcast launch was clearly too early. It had fuck-all for games, it suffered from a chip shortage, and they flubbed the rumble pack causing it to not be available at launch. Overall it was pretty poor.
sega was losing 500 million dollars a year with that "fantastic" market in japan. fact is since 97 the japanese market was a lost cause as well and software sales for saturn in japan were always bad outside virtua fighter and sega rally and sakura taisen compared to psx.

it's true they rushed the japanse launch but for all the right reasons because had they launched later just before ps2, dreamcast would've been dead in the water from the get go.

A Black Falcon
01-16-2014, 04:00 PM
sega was losing 500 million dollars a year with that "fantastic" market in japan. fact is since 97 the japanese market was a lost cause as well and software sales for saturn in japan were always bad outside virtua fighter and sega rally and sakura taisen compared to psx.

it's true they rushed the japanse launch but for all the right reasons because had they launched later just before ps2, dreamcast would've been dead in the water from the get go.
The Dreamcast was dead in the water in Japan as it was. Launching too early hurt the console a lot there, just like how launching the Saturn too early in the US helped cripple that system here. You'd think that Sega would have learned its lesson after doing that same thing to disastrous effect once before, but no, Sega just had to be stupid, and this time it REALLY cost them. The DC utterly bombed in Japan, which certainly was a big factor in its failure. A later launch, sometime in 1999, with more software and more hardware available, would have been much more successful.

Also, remember that the Saturn was only 4 years old at the end of 1998. If you're launching your next major console that quickly, something is wrong... and while Microsoft could afford to do that with the X360, Sega couldn't. Even if they'd let first party Saturn software support end as it did at the end of '98, there was a bit of third party support in '99 at least. Waiting until spring or early summer '99 to release the DC in Japan would have been a very good idea.



It did not cost that much, and the Dreamcast didn't have to come out in 1998 either.
Correct on both points.


Someone can correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm pretty sure the only royalty is for DVD video players, not DVD-ROM. Hence the Xbox DVD remote and the Wii not supporting DVD playback even though it used DVD discs. Sega could have gone the Xbox route easily.

I think what's getting lost in this discussion is that Sega created their own proprietary disc format. Not sure how the cost compares, but that sure wasn't free.
Yeah, the royalty is for DVD video playback, not for just having a DVD drive in your system. That is indeed why MS did it that way with the Xbox.



In Japan it wasn't, not really. And the Saturn was only dead because they killed it. I don't know how you can cite that they would have "no hardware and software out", that was the situation in the US and Europe for over a year and y'all act like that was a good thing.
Yeah, that's for sure. They had no hardware because they'd killed it, they were losing so much money because Sony had crushed them and they'd killed their main revenue stream in the West and hurt it in Japan (early DC launch, weak 2nd half 1998 1st party Saturn library), and Dreamcast was just not ready when they released it.


And even as it was, the Japanese Dreamcast launch was clearly too early. It had fuck-all for games, it suffered from a chip shortage, and they flubbed the rumble pack causing it to not be available at launch. Overall it was pretty poor.
I didn't remember about that rumble pack thing... it wasn't ready yet? How weird. But yeah, that launch lineup for the DC in Japan was pretty awful, and system availability was even worse. There was no way they should have been releasing the thing in '98.

j_factor
01-16-2014, 04:09 PM
sega was losing 500 million dollars a year with that "fantastic" market in japan. fact is since 97 the japanese market was a lost cause as well and software sales for saturn in japan were always bad outside virtua fighter and sega rally and sakura taisen compared to psx.

Are you being serious right now? None of what you just said was improved at all by launching the Dreamcast in 1998. Sega lost more money, and their software sales got worse.

A Black Falcon
01-16-2014, 05:23 PM
i have no proper means of extrapolating how much sega could've packed in a DVD player for the DC in '98, but i do know this much:

a) they would've again had a higher-priced system on their hands, after years of burning dev/consumer confidence
$300 was the same price Sony charged, that wouldn't have been that bad I think. $400 again would be a problem, but there's no way the DC would be $400.


b) i don't see where this would've changed much with their 3rd party situation
Better hardware sales in Japan would have changed their third party situation, there at least!


c) they were buried in debt & hemorrhaging money, hoping desperately to bank on software royalties down the road and a higher pricetag/ROI would've only hampered that
Given that they were buried in debt, selling a system that they lost a lot of money on with each system sold, as they did with the DC, really wasn't that good of an idea. Stolar's $200 price was a mistake, I think, and adding in a DVD drive would easily justify charging a much better for Sega $300 price. I don't think it would have hurt sales as much as Sega (or Nintendo) thought, that generation. Not losing lots of money on hardware, as Nintendo has always done, is a way to be less likely to lose lots of money in this industry.


d) perhaps most important: unlike sony, they would've paid more for both production & royalties on said DVD's, meaning even slimmer odds of a return at a higher investment
This is why you maybe do like MS did with the Xbox and have the license fee in a required remote that's sold separately.


it's so very easy to say they were boneheaded for not gambling their last go with a DVD player the market might not've been ready for & might not've even slowed down the PS2's juggernaut momentum at the time, but given that it was Okawa's $ on the line/etc i really can't see how anyone can reasonably monday-morning quarterback that call like it was anywhere near a safe bet at that point in time. The DC we got was an interesting balance of taking chances & playing to their strengths - a multimedia system wasn't one of those things.
The Sega CD, Saturn, and DC all can play music CDs. Also, the Saturn can play Video CDs with the VCD Card addon, you know. A DC with DVD player would just be building on that.

bultje112
01-17-2014, 05:08 AM
Are you being serious right now? None of what you just said was improved at all by launching the Dreamcast in 1998. Sega lost more money, and their software sales got worse.

saturn by 99 had no software, nothing to push. yes that is worse than selling half a million of vf3tb and sonic adventure in japan

sheath
01-17-2014, 09:54 AM
Prior to September 1999 the Dreamcast was listed in Japan at ~$260. DVD Players in 1998 (http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/volume_5_2/panasonica310dvdplayer.html) were upwards of $700. In late 2000 the PS2 sold at about the price of mid range DVD players, there might have been a Walmart brand for less. In 1999 PC DVD-ROM drives were upwards of $150 (https://groups.google.com/forum/#!search/DVD$20IDE$20Drive$20PC$20price$201999$202000/alt.sys.pc-clone.compaq/tPVLb9x5ZVQ/Y2cHuWORRs4J). Let's use that then, what is $150 plus $260? $410 in 1999 for a Dreamcast with a DVD player. Even if we take the GD-ROM price back off and figure it was high at $50 (it's modified CD-ROM tech) you are still looking at over $350.

So, to get down to $300 Sega would have had to take a loss on each system sold of at least $50 per unit in 1999. I say the Dreamcast was fine for a normal lifespan of five years, 1998 to 2004. Multiple game disks are really not that huge of a problem and Sega wasn't in the position to lose that much money per console sold just turn their console into a popular movie format player. I would even wager that Dreamcast game sales would have been even slower (http://www.gamepilgrimage.com/Dreamcastussales.htm) if the Dreamcast was a DVD player also.

Dragonmaster Lou
01-17-2014, 05:44 PM
Prior to September 1999 the Dreamcast was listed in Japan at ~$260. DVD Players in 1998 (http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/volume_5_2/panasonica310dvdplayer.html) were upwards of $700.
Uh, no. I got my first DVD player, another Panasonic-branded one (so not some sketchy off-market one) around Christmas of 1998 for about $400. I got that one after some buddies got it a few months earlier for roughly the same price. The one you pointed to was probably a higher-end model with more features than you mentioned. However, you are right in that the DVD-ROM drives were probably around $100 to $150 around then, based on the one I bought around that time.

sheath
01-17-2014, 06:25 PM
"Upwards of" was meant to mean that price could be mid to high of what a player could be found for. Thanks for the anecdote though, I was having a hard time finding early adopter comments.

A Black Falcon
01-17-2014, 06:57 PM
Well, wasn't Sega losing at least $50 per DC sold in the US anyway? Actually wasn't it even higher than that?

sheath
01-17-2014, 07:17 PM
The only evidence I have seen shows the Dreamcast US launch price right at cost or fairly close. Maybe in late 2000 when they dropped to $150 they were losing $50, but I never saw a report on that either. It is possible the US launch price was $50 below cost though given the Japanese retail rice that Spring.

A Black Falcon
01-17-2014, 09:53 PM
saturn by 99 had no software, nothing to push. yes that is worse than selling half a million of vf3tb and sonic adventure in japan

Sega could have released the Saturn version of VF3 for a late '98 release in Japan. I'm sure that would have sold great. Also Shenmue, if it was ready. Otherwise, release Shenmue in '99 sometime; I think that not releasing the Saturn versions of those games was a mistake, particularly given how badly the DC was selling. Yes, Sega wanted some games to sell the DC, and moving late-gen titles over to your next console is common (Eternal Darkness, Star Fox Adventures, and Resident Evil Zero all started out as N64 games, for example, before moving to Gamecube), but those two games were pretty far along on the Saturn, and Sega badly needed more revenue. It seems like it'd have been an obvious help to release them.


The only evidence I have seen shows the Dreamcast US launch price right at cost or fairly close. Maybe in late 2000 when they dropped to $150 they were losing $50, but I never saw a report on that either. It is possible the US launch price was $50 below cost though given the Japanese retail rice that Spring.
Hmm, I'd always heard that Sega lost money on every Dreamcast sold...

Also, if the DVD drive was $100 more than a CD drive (which seems plausible, or maybe even a high estimate, remember that companies buy in large numbers and often can get better prices than consumers), then raise the price $100. $300 is the result, as I was saying. And charge more than that in Japan and Europe, since those markets are more willing to pay higher prices for consoles than the US ever is.

Melf
01-17-2014, 10:04 PM
EA probably asked for exclusivity, because they had provided support for 3 failed platforms (Sega CD, 32x and Saturn) and didn't see the DC selling well either. At least without competition, they would be gauranteed better unit sales.

All the reasons are thoroughly documented (http://www.sega-16.com/2012/11/history-of-sega-sports/4/). :D

/shameless plug.

gamevet
01-17-2014, 10:47 PM
All the reasons are thoroughly documented (http://www.sega-16.com/2012/11/history-of-sega-sports/4/). :D

/shameless plug.

Whore! :p

This article does backup what I was saying about EA securing the NFL license. ;)


Football suffered a similar fate. NFL 2K continued to put up an incredible fight, and it was only through EA’s efforts to lock up exclusivity with the NFL in December of 2004 (eventually followed by the PGA Tour, NASCAR, and other entities) that the competition was truly shut down. NFL 2K’s last hurrah before losing its license was the 2005 edition, which stunned fans, critics, and even the mighty EA with its incredible depth and $19.99 sticker price. Reportedly, EA management was so afraid of the series after its release that they actively pursued exclusivity in an effort to knock Take-Two out of the NFL running. According to one EA executive, “it scared the hell out of us.” While Take-Two did attempt another football title with All-Pro Football 2K8, which used retired NFL legends in place of current rosters, it never managed to retain the momentum the franchise had gained before EA locked in NFL exclusivity.

spiffyone
01-18-2014, 06:35 PM
Look, the only thing that would've "saved" Dreamcast was if Sega had been healthier financially. If that were the case then at worst it would've have GC level sales, which for Sega would've been a boon coming off of Saturn.

Then again, in order for Sega to have been healthier financially, the whole Saturn debacle would have to have never happened either. Same with 32X.

spiffyone
01-18-2014, 06:41 PM
DVD was unecessary, btw. For Sega's purposes.

PS2 didn't sell because it was a DVD player. That might have sold it to some folks, but the fact is that PS2 would've sold even without DVD. Why? Because of hype alone coming off of the massive success of PS1.

I agree with whomever stated the JP Dreamcast launch was too early, btw. The software just wasn't there, and there were manufacturing woes that made for an already delayed launch that ended up losing pre-orders due to lack of consumer confidence. Sega also made bad decisions on software choices. In Japan, Sakura Taisen 3 should've been targeted for a holiday '99 or Golden Week '00 release in Japan, not something released in friggin' 2001. Why in the hell was Sega just sitting on one of their biggest franchises over there?

A Black Falcon
01-18-2014, 07:15 PM
The PS2 would have sold without a DVD player, sure, but it would have sold less in the first few years without one. There's really no question about that.


Look, the only thing that would've "saved" Dreamcast was if Sega had been healthier financially. If that were the case then at worst it would've have GC level sales, which for Sega would've been a boon coming off of Saturn.
Actually, launch-aligned, the GC did sell better than the DC... but not by too much. Yeah, had Sega not been bankrupt, the DC probably would have sold 15-22 million worldwide that generation, I expect. And yeah, that would have made it Sega's second most successful console, and the losses would probably eventually have lessened. Unfortunately, they weren't in the financial condition to wait it out.


Then again, in order for Sega to have been healthier financially, the whole Saturn debacle would have to have never happened either. Same with 32X.
True.


I agree with whomever stated the JP Dreamcast launch was too early, btw. The software just wasn't there, and there were manufacturing woes that made for an already delayed launch that ended up losing pre-orders due to lack of consumer confidence.
Yeah, they messed up the Japanese DC launch just about as badly as they did the Western Saturn launch, and it hurt them badly both times.


Sega also made bad decisions on software choices. In Japan, Sakura Taisen 3 should've been targeted for a holiday '99 or Golden Week '00 release in Japan, not something released in friggin' 2001. Why in the hell was Sega just sitting on one of their biggest franchises over there?
Well, Sakura Taisen 2 had only released in early 1998 remember, it takes a while to make another one... and they did try to tide people over by releasing Sakura Taisen 1 and 2 remakes on the DC in 2000. Sakura Taisen 4 only released just a year after the third one because they had to rush it to get it out before the DC died, and even then it was much shorter than the other games and was Sega's last DC game released during the system's main life (in spring 2002).

Sega did have Shenmue on DC in December '99 in Japan, but as I said earlier they should have released the Saturn version too, to recoup more of the games' very high cost by selling copies...

Vector2013
01-19-2014, 12:12 AM
JmgI3bpd51o

gamevet
01-19-2014, 01:18 AM
The PS2 would have sold without a DVD player, sure, but it would have sold less in the first few years without one. There's really no question about that.


It would have sold just about the same in North America. DVD players were pretty cheap by the end of 2000. I got my Sony DVD player (@$130) about 6-8 months before I finally got a GT3 PS2 pack in the summer of 2001.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DVD_player


By the end of 2000, players were available for under $100 at discount retailers.

Vector2013
01-19-2014, 03:07 AM
In fact, watch Godzilla2000, Japan had camcorders that had dvds to save video on back then. So this notion of Japan in 2001 being blown away by a cheaper dvd/ps2 unit than a home dvd/vcd unit, when they had dvd camcorders then is kind of odd. I heard Japan was happy about ps2 as a cheaper alternative then, but I'm not buying that story. USA exited yeah, Japan no.

A Black Falcon
01-19-2014, 05:29 AM
.... Uh, you do realize that those DVD camcorders were surely quite expensive, yes?

Phantar
01-19-2014, 07:27 AM
Breaking out of the current discussion a little, but this here is a nice little slice of history that's kinda on-topic: A video of Bernie Stolar introducing the Dreamcast during his keynote speech at GDC 1999, shortly before its US launch.

http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/208513/Video_Dreamcast_keynote_by_Bernie_Stolar.php


In this free GDC Vault video from GDC 1999, then-president of Sega of America Bernie Stolar delivered a keynote that introduced Sega's final console prior to its US launch. Stolar extolled the virtues of its pioneering Virtual Memory Unit, game-extending online capabilities, and demos of memorable titles such as Shenmue and Capcom’s Power Stone, in the talk "Changing for the Better: Redefining Game and Hardware Development through Evolution."

A Black Falcon
01-20-2014, 01:56 AM
Seriously, there's been lots of evidence that when the PS2 released in Japan in 2000, it was cheap for a DVD player and a lot of people bought it for that. And even in the West, while it wasn't the cheapest DVD player that is true, when the PS2 released most people didn't have DVD players yet. Many chose to get a PS2 instead of a dedicated one because it could play games too. I can understand Nintendo passing on video playback because they'd never had anything like that in their systems, but Sega had had audio CD playback for two generations and video playback (VCD) in their previous console with an addon, so it wasn't something new. I think there's no question that a DC launching in, say, spring 1999 in Japan, with a later launch to allow it not to launch so terribly and with a DVD drive in the system, would have been MUCH more successful than the DC was there. Even an early, rushed, awful 1998 launch still would have been better overall because the DVD playback would have somewhat alleviated the weak software library, much like happened early on with the PS2. And it would have helped sales in the West, too.

bultje112
01-20-2014, 07:42 AM
Sega could have released the Saturn version of VF3 for a late '98 release in Japan. I'm sure that would have sold great. Also Shenmue, if it was ready. Otherwise, release Shenmue in '99 sometime; I think that not releasing the Saturn versions of those games was a mistake, particularly given how badly the DC was selling. Yes, Sega wanted some games to sell the DC, and moving late-gen titles over to your next console is common (Eternal Darkness, Star Fox Adventures, and Resident Evil Zero all started out as N64 games, for example, before moving to Gamecube), but those two games were pretty far along on the Saturn, and Sega badly needed more revenue. It seems like it'd have been an obvious help to release them.


Hmm, I'd always heard that Sega lost money on every Dreamcast sold...

Also, if the DVD drive was $100 more than a CD drive (which seems plausible, or maybe even a high estimate, remember that companies buy in large numbers and often can get better prices than consumers), then raise the price $100. $300 is the result, as I was saying. And charge more than that in Japan and Europe, since those markets are more willing to pay higher prices for consoles than the US ever is.

shenmue was never intended for a saturn release. they were merely testing it(only a few months). this has been documented in multiple interviews by suzuki

retrospiel
01-20-2014, 10:04 AM
^ I remember Shenmue being announced for Saturn as Virtua Fighter RPG. I am not sure if that was way back in 1996 or later.

Anyway, a DVD drive in 1998 would have translated to a much MUCH higher retail price for Dreamcast. PS2 still cost a lot and it was released two years later.

A Black Falcon
01-20-2014, 08:01 PM
shenmue was never intended for a saturn release. they were merely testing it(only a few months). this has been documented in multiple interviews by suzuki

That is not true, Shenmue was announced for Saturn and development started on that system. Go look up Saturn Shenmue on Youtube and watch the video -- it's one of the system's most visually impressive games! The game was in development for the Saturn for two years before it was cancelled and moved over to Dreamcast, probably in '98 sometime.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shenmue#Development

Vector2013
01-21-2014, 03:10 AM
Spending 20 million or so and years on Shenmue for Saturn then calling it a "test" = :p

Yes I know those dvd camcorders were expensive, but they existed in Japan in like 1998/1999 so imagine how cheap home dvd units were before the 2000 or 2001 "omg ps2 has a dvd player now Japan can afford a dvd unit" = horseshit for the most part. I KNOW that was the claim THEN, but just observe. Sure it was a HUGE deal for USA, because most of us never even experienced vcd's, so a movie on disc (dvd) was like "wow" but asia was used to vcd and even dvd in the 1999/2000 era.

A Black Falcon
01-21-2014, 04:30 AM
So you've got absolutely no proof or actual evidence to support your claim which goes directly against almost 14 years of universally agreed on reality? Yeah. Right. That is not a credible point.

Also, you're forgetting about laserdiscs. They were, I think, more successful in Japan than in the US, but they existed here too. As for VCDs, I think those were more successful in continental and southeast Asia than in Japan -- lower quality video there, only successful in minor markets. But DVD is an obvious upgrade over either of those. Obviously people would want to upgrade.

j_factor
01-21-2014, 04:49 AM
Besides, if people in Japan weren't buying PS2s near launch for the DVD feature, what were they buying them for? Eternal Ring and Fantavision? :p

bultje112
01-21-2014, 09:48 AM
That is not true, Shenmue was announced for Saturn and development started on that system. Go look up Saturn Shenmue on Youtube and watch the video -- it's one of the system's most visually impressive games! The game was in development for the Saturn for two years before it was cancelled and moved over to Dreamcast, probably in '98 sometime.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shenmue#Development

look I'm no idiot. I know more about shenmue and it's history than you will ever do. but no it was never announced for saturn. NEVER. they only developped for the saturn for 6 months as a testcase and then moved to dreamcast when rthat hardware became definitive. there are interviews on youtube with suzuki where he says this. but pls provide any source at all that shenmue was announced for saturn. ever

A Black Falcon
01-21-2014, 03:04 PM
That "two years" number comes from an interview with some Sega of Japan people, you know. Very good source. Do you have any counter-evidence against this? Not just "I thought I heard it sometime on some video". http://www.the-nextlevel.com/features/interviews/am2/

Seriously, you people and your crazy, unsupported conspiracy theories...

SpaceFlea
01-21-2014, 04:22 PM
Here you guys go. You're going to need this in order to continue.

|_______________________________| ~ 1 e-penis point

Measure up...