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Thread: wonder why sega didnt make the saturn backwards compatiable with the 32x/MD/GENESIS

  1. #31
    I remain nonsequitur Shining Hero sheath's Avatar
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    Last edited by sheath; 08-16-2014 at 10:47 AM.
    "... If Sony reduced the price of the Playstation, Sega would have to follow suit in order to stay competitive, but Saturn's high manufacturing cost would then translate into huge losses for the company." p170 Revolutionaries at Sony.

    "We ... put Sega out of the hardware business ..." Peter Dille senior vice president of marketing at Sony Computer Entertainment

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    The OP needs to use the search function on here as this topic has been done to DEATH on here.
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    Japan on the other hand is in real danger, if Japanese men don't start liking to play with their woman, more then them selves, experts calculated the Japanese will be extinct within 300 years.

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    Backwards compatibility with either Genesis or 32X would have been excellent. Toss it in the pile of Sega blunders.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ThugsRook View Post
    it should be obvious to you by now that SEGA had no idea what ppl wanted, and were extremely proprietary even within their own systems.

    or put another way,
    the SEGA business model was about as wrong as you could get
    It's because the 32x was only mean't to extend the Sega Genesis's life and milk money from it a little bit longer, and the Sega CD was considered a failure from watching many youtube videos on the subject not that i really care. Once the Sega Saturn arrived they pretty much jumped ship and started concentrating all their resources on the Saturn which alienated everyone who bothered to purchase a Sega CD/32x in lieu of waiting for the Saturn to arrive. This pretty much set the stage for their departure from the console business.(1)(2)

    [1]The Rise and Fall of Sega - TheGamerFromMars 8:00 - 9:11
    [2]Console Theory: Was the SEGA 32X Garbage or Great? - ProtoMario 2:30 - 7:00
    Last edited by Scorpion Illuminati; 11-19-2015 at 01:07 AM.
    Scorpion Illuminati - An Open Source Rhythm Game For The Sega Genesis
    https://www.scorpionilluminati.tk

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    TBH, back then there wasn't as much knowledge about how well add-ons made on the market as there is today since the concept was fairly new. The Famicom Disk System wasn't too bad, PCE-CD was certainly a success and in terms of sales the Sega CD was actually OK even at launch (at best they sold one SCD per fifth Mega Drive/Genesis). Nintendo failed with the Virtual Boy and 64-DD, and if it wasn't for the Game Boy they would've probably had gone bankrupt around 2000.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Scorpion Illuminati View Post
    It's because the 32x was only mean't to extend the Sega Genesis's life and milk money from it a little bit longer, and the Sega CD was considered a failure from watching many youtube videos on the subject not that i really care. Once the Sega Saturn arrived they pretty much jumped ship and started concentrating all their resources on the Saturn which alienated everyone who bothered to purchase a Sega CD/32x in lieu of waiting for the Saturn to arrive. This pretty much set the stage for their departure from the console business.(1)(2)

    [1]The Rise and Fall of Sega - TheGamerFromMars 8:00 - 9:11
    [2]Console Theory: Was the SEGA 32X Garbage or Great? - ProtoMario 2:30 - 7:00
    That ProtoMario video is trash. It's like the AVGN video, except he's serious.

  7. #37
    Raging in the Streets xelement5x's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nissling View Post
    TBH, back then there wasn't as much knowledge about how well add-ons made on the market as there is today since the concept was fairly new. The Famicom Disk System wasn't too bad, PCE-CD was certainly a success and in terms of sales the Sega CD was actually OK even at launch (at best they sold one SCD per fifth Mega Drive/Genesis). Nintendo failed with the Virtual Boy and 64-DD, and if it wasn't for the Game Boy they would've probably had gone bankrupt around 2000.
    That's interesting to think about. You're right that the concept of addons hadn't fared too poorly or even really been explored that much previous to the 4th Generation. Going back further to second gen there were lots of weird addons that did okay too, like the Odyssey2 Voice Module and the like.

    Conceptually the 32X made perfect sense: pay the extra hardware upgrade once and not on every cart like with SNES SuperFX titles and the like. But getting people to buy into it was very hard, not to mention the fractured base with the SegaCD, plus the fractured management between US and Japan as well for promoting it. I can see Sega's desire for a "clean slate" on later systems though.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tower of Power View Post
    That ProtoMario video is trash. It's like the AVGN video, except he's serious.
    Why do you say that, i find what he is stating is true. With the Sega Saturn release 6 months away, people chose to wait for the Saturn then buy an addon that may not have 3rd party support? If the 32x had more time to mature it would of been a different story altogether.
    Last edited by Scorpion Illuminati; 11-19-2015 at 08:29 PM.
    Scorpion Illuminati - An Open Source Rhythm Game For The Sega Genesis
    https://www.scorpionilluminati.tk

  9. #39
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    If you want a technical reason, they were designing the Saturn's hardware from the ground up. Rather than iterating on the same hardware they had used in the last gen system, they opted to start fresh with hardware specifically designed for the new capabilities. In many ways, this is cheaper, and is why so very many consoles lack backwards compatibility. In the few cases where it's kept, this is due to being able to condense the last gen's hardware down to a single system on a chip at a cost effective rate and place it inside the new hardware. This is how the Genesis does what Nintendidn't (using the Master System's core processor as an extra sound chip). The 32x COULD have been used as the base for the Saturn, but the 32x was being built around working with the older hardware, rather than all-new hardware. Also, we've all already read numerous articles about how mistaken Sega was to make the 32X to begin with. The biggest issue with the Sega Genesis is just how MANY chips would need to be "system on a chip'd". Would they draw the line at Genesis compatibility, or go for Sega CD compatibility too? Adding in the second would make for a more expensive chip, as well as necessitate extra code in the Saturn BIOS to handle Sega CD games (and how their saved data is stored). 32X on a chip would have been right-out. The hardware was too new to be cheaply put on a single addon chip, and it would have been even more expensive to put two sets of polygon pushing 32 bit chips in one console (technically, the Saturn used quadrilaterals instead of polygons, which made it pretty unique, but also inherently incompatible with the 32x hardware design). The Saturn was already becoming a bloated behemoth in how it was designed, with distinct chipsets for 2D and 3D rendering (brought about by a last-minute decision to compete with the then-upcoming N64 and Playstation and their promise of 3D rendered graphics). They were selling at a loss to start with, so there was basically no way they would have spent the extra money on the confusing and costly incorporation of Genesis hardware. Other examples of this sort of backwards compatibility include the PS3's early inclusion of the PS2's chipset (removed from later revisions), and the Gameboy Advance's inclusion of the Gameboy Color's chipset (removed from the Gameboy micro). Neither of these cases saw games which utilized both the new and old hardware the way the Genesis brilliantly did, so removing the chip as a cost saving measure didn't hurt compatibility with then-current gen games on the systems.

    There's an exception to the above rule. If hardware is iterative on the last generation's hardware, then backwards compatibility is essentially free. This can be seen with the early Sega consoles, the pre-Master System set. Each one was just a spec upgrade on the previous one's hardware, which made backwards compatibility easy to incorporate without additional hardware. Other examples include the Gameboy Advance, DS, and 3DS lines. Each one uses the same basic system architecture, just with newer more powerful versions of the hardware, so they all are capable of running the previous gen's software natively. The 3DS sadly removed the GBA slot, but it still has that fundamental ability. When they released all those GBA games to 3DS ambassadors, they didn't need to bother making a GBA emulator, they just encased the ROMs with a command set to switch the 3DS processor to GBA mode. This turned off all the background features of the 3DS in the process like background downloads and online status, which is why they haven't bothered selling any of those games since then, but they could if they wished to. The Gamecube/Wii/Wii U lines follow the same script, each one just being an iterative upgrade on the Gamecube's architecture. The Wii U could easily play Gamecube games if they hadn't removed the drive mechanism that lets it properly set Gamecube disks on the spindle (this was removed from later revision Wiis as well). It's very likely we'll see Gamecube games sold on the Wii U eShop at some point.

    The last method of backwards compatibility involves emulation. Both the PS2 and PS3 use an emulator to play original Playstation games (later run PS3s eventually had emulation support added for PS2 games). Sony and Nintendo both sell a large number of classics from their old libraries using this method. The downsides are numerous, including inaccuracies and flat out lack of support for a large number of the emulated system's games. The upside is cost effectiveness, though the initial development cost for the emulator can be considered. As of current gen, the PS4 has no backwards compatibility, and the XBox One has emulated backwards compatibility, for select games.

    Well, that's the history lesson for today, and as a side effect also explains why they didn't bother with backwards compatibility with the Dreamcast, nice as it would have been. The hardware was just too different, and the Saturn's hardware too complex to cheaply put on a single chip at the time. (Also, the Dreamcast had two face buttons removed for reasons unknown.) I would love it if backwards compatibility would become more common than it is. It appears and disappears at a console maker's whim it seems, basically only if it's cost effective to bother and they think people actually want it. The one exception is the PC, which has had the same basic architecture (x86) since PCs started. All those additional features and complete changes and so on, they still run x86 code at heart, so they will all still run your oldest DOS programs, so long as you install DOS on it (or a DOS emulator, which doesn't emulate the hardware so much as the software hooks of the OS, WINE does the same thing for Windows up to a point). I think ultimately the solution to backwards compatibility is going to be a console standard, likely based on x86 (the PS4 and XBOne already use that architecture), that every console maker has to adhere to. It'd be just like the DVD consortium, only the industry would get together every 5 or so years to decide the exact specs of the next gen console. You'd know when you bought one that it would play everything you threw at it, and it would play it the EXACT same way as anyone else's. The console industry would get back to competing purely over the games they made. Well, I can dream anyway...

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    Raging in the Streets Blades's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dark Jaguar View Post
    The last method of backwards compatibility involves emulation. Both the PS2 and PS3 use an emulator to play original Playstation games (later run PS3s eventually had emulation support added for PS2 games).
    The first PS3s had hardware support for PS2 games, then a hybrid approach. To my understanding, the PS2 has the PSX hardware onboard, so it doesn't need emulation either.

    What I don't understand is why the Saturn was built for 2D. Didn't Sony decide to base PSX on 3D after seeing Sega's own Virtua arcade titles?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Scorpion Illuminati View Post
    Why do you say that, i find what he is stating is true. With the Sega Saturn release 6 months away, people chose to wait for the Saturn then buy an addon that may not have 3rd party support? If the 32x had more time to mature it would of been a different story altogether.
    Yes, the 32X was a failure as far as marketing and strategy goes, sure, we all know that. We all know the failures of the system. But in his video he is reputably looking to look past all that history and look at the console objectively, really dig into the library and see if it's actually a good system if you look past all that. He asks, was the 32X Garbage or Great? He runs through the games, the hardware, etc. He claims to be piercing through the veil of time and misinformation, but instead falls prey to the same nonsense everyone else does. Again, he makes may of the same points the AVGN makes, but he's being serious, the AVGN is exaggerating things as a joke. As a system itself, it's a good system. You can see in magazines of the time that it was reasonably well received at first (before it was known that Sega would abandon it). Where it failed wasn't a fault of the system itself, it was Sega's poor strategy of dumping everything except the Saturn. If the system had been supported for a while longer, it wouldn't have the reputation it does.

    As far as the actual video goes, as a base, he starts off basically saying he doesn't seem to understand how the 32X works. How it enhances the Genesis by using the Genesis hardware (it's not its own standalone console) He doesn't even realize you don't need those metal "prongs" to hold open the door. It didn't seem like he put a lot of time into the games. By his own admission, for example, he barely puts any time into Cosmic Carnage, which is actually a very fun game when you figure it out (especially in two player), and obviouly he didn't spend much time with Knuckles Chaotix, because he didn't really seem to understand the mechanics of it. Also, (by his own admission) glosses over a good portion of the library. He cherry picks a couple of the worst games to showcase (Motocross and BC Racers). So it's not really an in depth look as to whether the 32X is garbage or great, he seems to have his mind made up at the start of the video, and gets hung up on stuff unrelated to the point of the video. Other than that, he has mostly positive things to say about the games he actually plays, so how does he come to the conclusion that it's garbage? It's quite jarring in the video.

    He said the library was "terrible," which couldn't be further from the truth. Sure, the library is not huge, but taken for what it is (considering it's basically just a launch library + some first gen games), with the benefits of time, it's actually pretty damn good/worthwhile. You have upgrade versions of Genesis games, which at the time wasn't necessarily worth paying $50-60 each for, but right now, might as well buy the 32X version something like Mortal Kombat 2 or Primal Rage or Wrestlemania, it's not going to cost you a ton, and you can play the upgrade version without switching consoles. Other games like Space Harrier, Tempo, Afterburner, Kolibri, Blackthorne, Doom, Shadow Squadron, Knuckles Chaotix, Zaxxon, Star Wars Arcade, Cosmic Karnage, Virtua Racing, Virtua Fighter, etc. are all fun games worth owning. That's a pretty good library there, especially considering how cheap most 32X stuff is today. Indeed I'd say it's an essential purchase for any Genesis fan, especially if you like collecting cartridge games.

    But can you really expect a fair look at a Sega system from someone named "ProtoMario"?

  12. #42
    Man in Black Master of Shinobi IrishNinja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Teh Lurv View Post
    From what I've read about the subject, Sega wanted all the focus of their company, 3rd party devs, and customers to be on the Saturn. The company wanted a clear dividing line between the old and the new.

    The Saturn had some of the parts needed to run Genesis games, it has a 68000 cpu and the cart connector could have been changed to accept Genesis carts. Would've been interesting what-could've-been if the Saturn was compatible with Genesis and the 32x add on.
    damn. as a kid who was burned by the launch price, i figured it was because they marked the damn thing at $400 in the mid 90's even without this feature...had no idea how close they got.

    silver lining? that cart slot wouldn'tve held over time.


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    I did not watch any of the videos. Honestly nobody ever seems to have any new thing to say on videos. Its the same crap over and over.

    I think people just want to bandwagon hop and hope its gets them views and popularity. If people can't look past the faults of Sega, and truly see what the 32x is, then their loss.

    Part of me is glad the 32x wasn't backwards compatible. It gives it its own unique flavor, versus I can play my 32x games on Saturn or whatever. True, I wish it was a stand alone and NOT an add on, but it is what it is and I LOVE the look of it attached to a Model 1.

    There is plenty to play and enjoy on the 32x. People just need to spend more then 10 minutes playing the games to enjoy them...that and stop watching videos where everyone says the same crap cause they don't spend time with the games. Cosmic Carnage, as already said, is a fun game...but you probably won't hear that outside this forum!

  14. #44
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    don't fool yourselves. There's hardware development reasons as to not make a new console backwards compatible, that's for sure, but the main reason has always been the need to sell NEW games. If Saturn or any console were backwards compatible AT LAUNCH, people would buy less new games for the system because they would have hundreds of games already available: some already owned, some second hand, some discounted, in-own-gen compilations, etc.

    I would have bought some 2-3 Saturn games and would still have played a lot of my Genesis carts alongside at the time (I can see thousands of people playing nba jam te cart on Saturn, to Sega's despair), instead of buying like 7-8 games in the first years.

    It also ruins the option to re-release those games in special compilations, CDs, downloadable and then charge for them a secondo or third time. But the main reason is the other one.

    Also you are focused on what Sega did wrong regarding western market but the focusing on the Saturn and letting down 32X, CD & Genesis was the best decision for Japan (and it worked), where most games for any console were being developed. The timing was right and the CD was released a long time ago when that decision was made. Don't forget everything was on the market way before in Japan, even many games (specially RPGs)

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    Well, PS2 was backwards compatible. And you can see how well it was. Ps3 not too much. And ps4? Humf.... Making compatible makes you to buy the console, as you will play with your old games. Newer games will be come later for sure. That's happened with PS2, so INMO, that could be worked with Saturn or any other console.

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