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Thread: Sega and Sony: New Insight into the Partnership That Never Came to Be

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    Hedgehog-in-Training Hedgehog-in-TrainingWildside Expert MushaAleste's Avatar
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    Great article! A predatory and deeply psychopathic outfit as Sony would have destroyed Sega in the end anyway. It was smart for nintendo and Sega to turn Sony down.

  2. #17
    Mega Driver Hedgehog-in-TrainingWCPO Agent Gryson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Melf View Post
    I think that Paramount representative who died of a heart attack was actually Gulf + Western’s founder and chairman, Charles Bluhdorn. G+W owned Paramount and Sega at the time.
    Nice! Thanks for the info. For anybody else that's interested:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Bluhdorn

    Quote Originally Posted by Melf View Post
    Kalinske resigned in July 1996. Nakayama and Rosen also stepped down that month. I doubt they both would have left if Kalinske was lying. And Nick Alexander mentioned the problems with working with SOJ. Its treatment of SOE with the Game Gear was the whole reason he left the company.
    Rather than get sidetracked on this "Tom is a liar" stuff, let's get to the real point. The point that Kalinske has continuously focused on is: Was the Japanese management of Sega incompetent? There are so many quotes from him alluding to and outright stating that they were incompetent that I don't think it's necessary to list them here. He cycles through the same several stories: the Sega-Sony partnership, the SGI deal, the Saturn launch, etc. All intended as examples of not just differences, but incompetency.

    However, we have people such as Sega founder David Rosen, who was likely in a better position than anyone to truly know, saying the following:

    Quote Originally Posted by David Rosen
    I played the part of coordinator between San Francisco and Tokyo. There were always differences and problems; my time was spent on that. Tom was great, he did a hell of a job, but it wasn’t always easy for him to understand the decisions in Japan, and there they couldn’t always appreciate necessities like cutting the retail price of the machine. After the Genesis, Sega of America was interested in developing peripherals, while Sega of Japan wanted to move on. It wasn’t necessarily a friction, but there was a lot of going back and forth, helping to resolve issues with the ultimate aim of achieving what both arms of the company wanted.
    What we're talking about are the kind of differences and misunderstandings that you would expect in any international company. The same can be said for the quote from Nick Alexander. Who would ever doubt that in a worldwide company composed of thousands of employees that the main office wouldn't make decisions that sparked disagreement and resentment?

    But where is the incompetency? Does Sega's failure as a consumer hardware company indicate incompetency, or just that they were overcome by bigger players?

    To return to the focus of this thread, I hoped to provide more insight into why Sega decided not to work with Sony. This is what has been missing from discussions of Sega's history for a long time now: moving away from the idea that incompetency explains everything because one person says so, and looking for some real answers as to why certain decisions were made.

  3. #18
    End of line.. Hero of Algol gamevet's Avatar
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    Yeah, SEGA made the right choice. We saw what happened to Psygnosis.
    A Black Falcon: no, computer games and video games are NOT the same thing. Video games are on consoles, computer games are on PC. The two kinds of games are different, and have significantly different design styles, distribution methods, and game genre selections. Computer gaming and console (video) gaming are NOT the same thing."



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    Raging in the Streets Team Andromeda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Melf View Post
    Kalinske resigned in July 1996. Nakayama and Rosen also stepped down that month. I doubt they both would have left if Kalinske was lying. And Nick Alexander mentioned the problems with working with SOJ. Its treatment of SOE with the Game Gear was the whole reason he left the company.
    Nakayama stepped down 1st and Tom followed and you're list issues that all will have subsidiaries will have, not least Tom with issues over what game would be packed in with the Genesis. SONY America had battles with SONY Japan over the pricing of the PS and the name, with SONY America wanting to keep the PS-X name. Nick didn't leave SOE till 94, quite a number of years after the GG hit Europe and in the interview with a UK gaming mag in 1995, he sighted his love of Journalism and music, no more long Haul's to Japan, less pressure as the reason for him stepping down. In the same interview mind, he also praised the worth ethic of SOJ & America,(how Japan busted a gutt to get more Mega Drive and Sonic stock for Easter rush) and that the 32X would go on to dominate the sales .

    All bosses will have pressures of hitting targets and worries over costs. If Nick really felt that was the reason, why stay on untill 94 when the GameGear launched in 91 in Europe.
    Last edited by Team Andromeda; 03-20-2019 at 04:37 AM.
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    Life!? ... What console is that on?

  6. #21
    Raging in the Streets Team Andromeda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gamevet View Post
    I shouldn’t even respond to this, but your Tom Kelinske BS is getting old. You can’t even get the date right, about when he resigned. He resigned near the beginning of 1996 and remained for about 6 months to allow
    SEGA of America to transition to new leadership. David Rosen wouldn’t have left the board, if Kalinske was lying. That’s been documented to death.

    Harrison was not a part of Sony software around 1992-1993, when this whole thing would have happened. There was no Sony video game division in Europe back then either, but there was Sony Imagesoft in North America that worked closely with SEGA to distribute CD software.
    I small genuine mistake (like you haven't made mistake), Harrison, not only joined SONY in the early 90's , he was the one charged with getting developers on board the system in Europe, the man who was showing off the SONY hardware and where Archer Maclean gave the famous interview to Edge where he said, he seen the 'future of gaming'. Harrsion told EDGE that SONY screwed with SEGA and only used them to help get some development known how on CD development and while SEGA was boasting about Ground Zero Texas, Harrion laughed and said he and a small team were showing off developers SONY's PS Hardware and asking them to become developers for SONY Platform and leave SEGA and Nintendo


    There wasn't a SONY video games division in SONY Japan, it all part of the music division. SONY Imagesoft also worked with Nintendo, it was only a Publisher (and I believe one of its 1st ever games was thanks to a UK developer and on a Nintendo system) most of its the game published were either what was on the Snes or Digital Pictures knock off FMV products and unlike with SEGA Nintendo already had SONY hardware in its 16 bit system and was looking to SONY to provide the CD-Drive for the SNES. If there was any corp with access to SONY Hardware, it was Nintendo and indeed it was the only corp either to be locked into SONY hardware for a console.

    You show me in any interview from High ups at SONY or SEGA either with current staff or ex-staff where SEGA had access to SONY's PS chipset. SONY does all its R&D in Japan and in 1990/1 There was no SONY Computer Entertainment, the team that was working on the PlayStation hardware were tiny and could only work on one project; where that team offered it's Hardware to SEGA America. I would put to you that SONY didn't want SEGA to handle its hardware, but instead to actually make games for its own console. For sure SEGA Japan turned down the Lynx, the N64 Chipset and twice the 3DO M2 and if we listen to staff at 3DO that was down to a bust-up with SOJ and Panasonic over where logos were to be placed, but not for once were SEGA offered a SONY chipset that could power the main hardware of a console


    And remind me again why did Olaf leave SONY?. I think resigned after bust-ups with SONY Japan over pricing and such bust up's made SONY Japan fire SONY America's Jim Whims at pretty much the same time as Tom leaving SEGA. Its not just SEGA that will have heated issues over pricing and costs
    Last edited by Team Andromeda; 03-20-2019 at 04:35 AM.
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    Can't we ban this guy already?

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    Raging in the Streets Team Andromeda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zyrobs View Post
    Can't we ban this guy already?
    Only having a debate (on topic too). Genuine sorry if that offends you.
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    Master of Shinobi Mega Drive Bowlsey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Team Andromeda View Post
    Only having a debate (on topic too). Genuine sorry if that offends you.
    Yes but it's the same old tired debate over and over again, ad infinitum in every single Sega/Sony/Nintendo thread. We get it, you hate Tom Kalinske. Although he didn't have an eye for quality games per se, he was a master of marketing tactics and did Sega a whole lot of good in the early 90's. I'm a big fan of his. Did he get everything right? Hell no, but then hindsight is a wonderful thing. We can agree to disagree regarding Kalinske, but my advice to you is to just change the record once in a while TA, people will thank you for it.

  10. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mega Drive Bowlsey View Post
    We get it, you hate Tom Kalinske. Although he didn't have an eye for quality games per se, he was a master of marketing tactics and did Sega a whole lot of good in the early 90's. I'm a big fan of his..
    You see this is what I dislike. I don't hate Tom K all the time I dislike the fact that he lies and spins over the Saturn. I've praised him and SEGA America for doing a far better job with the Mega CD than SEGA Japan and for standing up to SOJ over Sonic and using it in a pack title (one of the best moves and Tom using his skill as a sales person)
    This Topic is actually about what sort of Hardware SEGA was offered, is it not ?

    I've never seen any staff member of SEGA including all the key technical people at SEGA America - Scott Bayless, Marty Franz or Joe Miller, or SEGA Europe's - Mike Brogan ever say they could have worked with SONY and we've seen the Interview with Hideki Sato who said he was shocked at SONY entering the market and the power of the chipset - he was the man with total say on all SEGA consumer Hardware fullstop . Edge has done 2 features on the making of the PS with staff from SONY Japan (including the maker of the PS ken), Europe and US and none of them ever say, SONY looked to work with SEGA, . All say after Nintendo pulled the deal, a decision from the very top of SONY Japan. was made to go it alone and chart SONY's own coruse.

    Unless you or other's can prove otherwise via staff from SEGA or SONY who were at key positions at the time? I genuinely like to read it, but sorry I think there's little factual evidence that can back up Tom claim of a possible partnership with SONY making the Hardware for SEGA's next console.
    Last edited by Team Andromeda; 03-20-2019 at 06:01 AM.
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    Master of Shinobi Mega Drive Bowlsey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Team Andromeda View Post
    You see this is what I dislike. I don't hate Tom K all the time I dislike the fact that he lies and spins over the Saturn. I've praised him and SEGA America for doing a far better job with the Mega CD than SEGA Japan and for standing up to SOJ over Sonic and using it in a pack title (one of the best moves and Tom using his skill as a sales person)
    This Topic is actually about what sort of Hardware SEGA was offered, is it not ?

    I've never seen any staff member of SEGA including all the key technical people at SEGA America - Scott Bayless, Marty Franz or Joe Miller, or SEGA Europe's - Mike Brogan ever say they could have worked with SONY and we've seen the Interview with Hideki Sato who said he was shocked at SONY entering the market and the power of the chipset - he was the man with total say on all SEGA consumer Hardware fullstop . Edge has done 2 features on the making of the PS with staff from SONY Japan (including the maker of the PS ken), Europe and US and none of them ever say, SONY looked to work with SEGA, . All say after Nintendo pulled the deal, a decision from the very top of SONY Japan. was made to go it alone and chart SONY's own coruse.

    Unless you or other's can prove otherwise via staff from SEGA or SONY who were at key positions at the time? I genuinely like to read it, but sorry I think there's little factual evidence that can back up Tom claim of a possible partnership with SONY making the Hardware for SEGA's next console.
    I'm not arguing anything or trying to prove anything to you. I'm not interested in all these alternate history 'what if' scenarios involving Sega. What happened, happened. All I'm trying to say is that people are getting tired of these endless debates where you just keep repeating yourself over and over again, page after page of the same argument that never goes anywhere or convinces anyone of anything. I'm not saying you're wrong or right, I'm just asking you to please not turn every Sega/Sony/Nintendo thread into a 35 page long diatribe. Lighten up a bit, yeah?

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    Maybe they never mentioned the Sega/Sony deal because it was a strictly confidential, internal matter. Or because it would have seriously hammered public perception in both of them at the time. Or because it was one of the 101 experiments they tried that never got off the ground. Do not underestimate how polite Japanese people are especially when it comes to a cause - they expect to be given their body and soul to it, and that means they are not allowed to say certain things.

    we've seen the Interview with Hideki Sato who said he was shocked at SONY entering the market
    Does that rule out the fact that they could have had deals with each other? No it doesn't, perhaps they were even more shocked because Sony went ahead on their own without a partnership and without any experience. Not any stranger than when Microsoft entered the market, or how Google is trying to do that right now.
    Perhaps they were shocked in anger, because they talked about mergers before. From this new interview, it feels to me that SOJ had their pride hurt by Sony. And that could have been why they turned down Kalinske's attempt at joint development, out of spite. So Sony announcing they'll go their own way would have indeed been shocking.

    You are so cemented into your own narrative that you can't accept anything else that may alter it in any way. Even things that would fit perfectly into it. Or you just straight up ignore facts, like the interviews posted *right now* that talk about the deal.

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    Raging in the Streets Team Andromeda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mega Drive Bowlsey View Post
    I'm not interested in all these alternate history 'what if' scenarios involving Sega. What happened, happened. A
    I can get that, but this topic thread really is all about 'what if'. EDGE has done 2 features on the making of the PS and its journey of creation with key members of the Japan staff. I've seen quite a few interviews with Scott Bayless, and a couple with Marty Franz or Joe Miller and Mike Brogan: All key technical people at SEGA America or Europe at the time. We've seen an interview with the main person in charge of all SEGA's consumer and Arcade hardware for over 30 years of SEGA's Hardware, with Hideki Sato. None say SEGA had a chance to work with SONY hardware to power SEGA's consoles

    And yet one is expected to believe only Tom's recount of events? That's my issues. I like to see proof from key people at SEGA or SONY in the late 80's and early 90's that can back up Tom's claims until then, they are just claims and not facts
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    Quote Originally Posted by zyrobs View Post
    Does that rule out the fact that they could have had deals with each other? No it doesn't, perhaps they were even more shocked because Sony went ahead on their own without a partnership and without any experience. .
    The timing is key Hideki Sato wasn't just shocked SONY was to enter the market (it had been rumoured) he was shocked the tech spec's. That's points to SEGA Japan learning of the specs near the end of the PS development cycle when most of the key tech spec had been settled on. If SEGA had been working with SONY prior, then one would imagine SEGA would know what spec's SONY was aiming for, what sort of components would be used and get a gage of a spec that could be offered and how to supply the console pipeline development.

    So given that SEGA Japan was caught off guard with its pants down on the tech spec's, I don't buy it sorry.

    Maybe they never mentioned the Sega/Sony deal because it was a strictly confidential, internal matter
    At the time maybe, not now otherwise, we wouldn't know of Tom's recollection. But console development isn't cheap and I'm sure SEGA Japan would have taken an interest why SEGA America was spending loads of its dosh on a confidential, internal matter with-in SEGA America if it really was working with SONY America. That's then to overlook Sony America had no R&D and the Japanese staff made it quite clear to EDGE, in their features, that after Nintendo did the dirty there were told to go it alone from the very top of SONY Japan, the then president.

    And why did Miller not talk of a SONY partnership, or Scot Bayless or Marty Fran; who have in the pasted talk of various projects SEGA were working on or how SGI offered SEGA the N64 chipset? Never did one ever talked of a SONY possible deal?
    Last edited by Team Andromeda; 03-20-2019 at 08:02 AM.
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    Mega Driver Hedgehog-in-TrainingWCPO Agent Gryson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zyrobs View Post
    From this new interview, it feels to me that SOJ had their pride hurt by Sony. And that could have been why they turned down Kalinske's attempt at joint development, out of spite. So Sony announcing they'll go their own way would have indeed been shocking.
    Why do you think their pride was hurt? They had preliminary discussions that never resulted in anything. I didn't translate this part, but Sato says that such discussions of partnerships happened every so often from different companies and almost never resulted in anything. I think Sega would have liked to partner with Sony due to the hardware/manufacturing advantages, but not if the terms weren't clear and balanced.

    Quote Originally Posted by Team Andromeda View Post
    (lots and lots of poorly structured text)
    This is probably too much work to correct, but I think you are not understanding the basic concepts of what Kalinske has suggested.

    Nowhere has he said that he or anyone else at Sega/Sony of America had access to ANY information on the PlayStation or its chipset (you seem to be the only one suggesting and then refuting that in this thread).

    What he HAS said is that he and Olafsson/Schulhoff got together, discussed a possible partnership, and put together some kind of basic design doc to present to the people in Japan.

    So, they go to Japan, and Kalinske brings up the idea of working with Sony to the Sega execs, and they tell him that's not going to work. Of course, what Kalinske doesn't know is that Sega has already been in talks with Sony and decided that a partnership won't be to their benefit.

    That's entirely believable, and really, given the lack of details, what is there to disagree with? I'm sure they spent a lot of their time pursuing potential business leads, most of which didn't materialize, and this is just one that stuck out in Kalinske's mind.

    Were Kalinske, Olafsson, and Schulhoff way out of their element? Likely. I think it must have been very hard for someone like Kalinske to not be in full control of the company and not be in the loop on things that were going on in Japan.
    Last edited by Gryson; 03-20-2019 at 09:15 AM.

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