PDA

View Full Version : Why is dreamcast the worst console ever?



Pages : [1] 2

indianknightrider
11-06-2010, 07:51 AM
http://techland.com/3do/n-gage/

I read at techland about the top 10 worst consoles ever just now and I was shocked to see the Dreamcast in the list!

Bulls###, I think wii is the worst console ever made since 1974. all the games on it are for dumb people, and there's nothing like Crazy Taxi when you get all your friends over on a hot weekend, who would hate a Dreamcast? unbelievable.................. ........... I think we should complain to the author of the article.

Who is with me?

Baloo
11-06-2010, 08:16 AM
Failed doesn't mean worst my friend. Failed means it was not successful. And needless to say, as good of a system as the Dreamcast was, all it successfully did was boot SEGA out of the console business for good.


Dreamcast was certainly more successful than the Saturn. ;)

Sega's many failures are the result of bad karma from the "Nintendon't" advertisements, that's what I believe.

Nah, just really shitty Japanese business practices, and jealousy.

cj iwakura
11-06-2010, 11:45 AM
It's funny how the situation reversed between the Saturn and the Dreamcast.

Saturn: successful in Japan, bombed in the US
Dreamcast: exact opposite, but still not enough to stop the PS2.


Screw the haters. I love both consoles, and they remain hooked up to my TV to this day.

gamevet
11-06-2010, 11:49 AM
That article is way off. Since when was the N-Gage considered a console?

If they wan't to list failed consoles, they could start with the Amiga CD32, Atari 7800, Amstrad GX4000, Adventure Vision, Vectrex and Atari Jaguar.

NeoVamp
11-06-2010, 11:55 AM
Failed doesn't mean worst my friend. Failed means it was not successful.

And with that we can close the thread, simple case of seeing the word "fail" everywhere and thus forgetting its original meaning.

The DC did fail, it was supposed to be Sega's next major console and take on future consoles of other companies,
but Sega yanked the plug because they did not see any future for it, pretty much meaning that Sega felt the DC was a failure.

Great console yes, but unable to fight off piracy and the PS2.

But if the Wii has taught us anything its that consoles with less advanced looking graphics can still be a major player,
all you need is fun games.

Jeckidy
11-06-2010, 12:13 PM
Most major gaming publications tend to be sheep anyway to appease the ignorant masses. The editors themselves hardly play or give a shit about anything that isn't popular.

gamevet
11-06-2010, 12:17 PM
But if the Wii has taught us anything its that consoles with less advanced looking graphics can still be a major player,
all you need is the name Nintendo stamped on the box.

Corrected. ;)

NeoVamp
11-06-2010, 12:23 PM
Corrected. ;)

And yet the Gamecube sucked.

Jeckidy
11-06-2010, 12:49 PM
I liked the 'cube along with the DC, actually. Those were my two favorite non-handheld systems of the previous gen, with Xbox and PS2 taking last place.

roguetrip
11-06-2010, 12:58 PM
And yet the Gamecube sucked.

Not as bad as the Virtual Boy! I had a VB and never really enjoyed it. Atleast the GC had the GBA attachment to bring it need to own status :cool: The GC does have a handfull of essentials if anything.

While I the DC is no where near the Worst category, It remains in one of my least played systems! I had one early on (2000) and it already was deceased system at time of owning. I haven't found many games to make me want to play it since pulling it out of storage a month or so ago, or should I say I haven't found any games to make me want to continue playing over better titles in my backlog!

Systems in my Least played or least care for that I've owned or currently own:
Turbo graphics 16 (non cd unit)
Sega Game Gear
Sega Dreamcast
Nintendo Virtual Boy

retrospiel
11-06-2010, 01:13 PM
I haven't found many games to make me want to play it since pulling it out of storage a month or so ago

How 'bout these ? - http://www.sega-16.com/forum/showpost.php?p=277413&postcount=28

oldmanwinters
11-06-2010, 01:23 PM
I don't think Neo Geo should be on that list either. From what I understand, the AES and the Neo Geo CD were never aiming to achieve mainstream exposure or a high percentage of market share. Rather, it was marketed as a high end collectible for arcade gaming enthusiasts.

ApolloBoy
11-06-2010, 01:31 PM
That article is way off. Since when was the N-Gage considered a console?

If they wan't to list failed consoles, they could start with the Amiga CD32, Atari 7800, Amstrad GX4000, Adventure Vision, Vectrex and Atari Jaguar.
Actually the 7800 did fairly well for Atari and sold about three and a half million units if I'm not mistaken.

TheFace
11-06-2010, 01:40 PM
Ok, the Wii has games for "dumb people...?"

PS3 and XBox have the vast majority of the same exact library, and then they have a couple of franchises that are unique to the systems, neither of which have one that I find particularly remarkable. But sure, the system with more unique and innovative games is for dumb people.

And let's talk about Move, which you have to calibrate every time, and Kinect, which will ultimately be found to have zero practical applications for the games that keep systems selling.

NeoVamp
11-06-2010, 01:41 PM
I don't think Neo Geo should be on that list either.

Its really stupid that they put the Neo Geo on there yeah, i quote :


Reason for Downfall?: Price and changing tastes

The frigging system has been out there for years and only recently has SNK stopped tech support for it.
It was never a console for everybody, just the die hard arcade fan with money to burn.

Stupid site.

gamegenie
11-06-2010, 02:30 PM
Dreamcast is not the worst console ever.

If any, if SEGA didn't run out of cash from their worst console ever (Saturn) , or had they been wise to agree to Microsoft's buy out offer the Dreamcast would have sustained PlayStation 2 and Gamecube and probably become the best console ever.

Mr Smith
11-06-2010, 02:45 PM
I never really fell in love with my Dreamcast, but even I wasn't blind to the fact it was a chuffing good console. Anybody who ranks it in their top 10 has never played one.

NeoVamp
11-06-2010, 02:53 PM
Nobody said the DC was the worst console ever, topic starter just misunderstood the use of the word "failed"

JRedmond3
11-06-2010, 03:47 PM
"Reason for Downfall: Company wanted to focus on software"

:/

Guntz
11-06-2010, 03:51 PM
And yet the Gamecube sucked.

That comment makes you just as bad as that site saying the DC was bad. If you ever actually owned a GameCube and played a decent number of games for it, you'd see that it has lots of great games. Pikmin is the obvious flagship exclusive IMO.

Now if you say Pikmin was bad, I may have to kill you...

Guntz
11-06-2010, 03:55 PM
"Reason for Downfall: Company wanted to focus on software"

:/

And yet the Genesis had a fantastic library of first party titles...

sheath
11-06-2010, 03:57 PM
"Reason for Downfall: Company was out of venture capital and political cache' and what conservative investors were left alive wanted to focus on software"

Not trying to be snide, but I think my correction is more correct. ;)

NeoVamp
11-06-2010, 03:59 PM
If you ever actually owned a GameCube and played a decent number of games for it, you'd see that it has lots of great games.

I do own a Gamecube and own some good games for it, but i guess overall i expected more from it.

And it probably doesn't help that the Snes/Genesis days were so frigging awesome.

TheFace
11-06-2010, 04:22 PM
I play the GameCube more than any console from that generation.

roundwars
11-06-2010, 07:04 PM
And yet the Gamecube sucked.

The Gamecube doesn't fit that description though; it had MORE advanced graphics than the competition, not less.

sheath
11-06-2010, 07:29 PM
The Gamecube had awesome graphics capabilities for its generation, clearly shown in its software, and it had the GBA Player. It cannot be discounted. ;)

kool kitty89
11-06-2010, 08:43 PM
Actually the 7800 did fairly well for Atari and sold about three and a half million units if I'm not mistaken.
3.77 million only counting domestic US sales through 1990. (1987 and 88 were the big years with well over a million each and by '90 it was under 100k)

But given it supposedly sold better in Europe and there's the Canadian numbers to add, it should be a good chunk more.

Those figures (along with the 2600 selling more than the 7800 during that peiod) would seem to imply that the 2 Million SMS figure for the US is also false given Sega's market share figures for the time. (significantly less than Atari, but even then close to 1/2 overall -sometimes more and other times less up to the release of the Genesis) So it would seem more likely that the SMS sold more like 4 million in the US alone, or more.

gamevet
11-07-2010, 09:58 AM
Actually the 7800 did fairly well for Atari and sold about three and a half million units if I'm not mistaken.

3.5 million isn't a lot of consoles. Considering what the competition at the time was selling, it wasn't good at all.



And yet the Gamecube sucked.

The Gamecube didn't suck. It certainly deserved to sell better than the Wii.

nathanallan
11-07-2010, 04:39 PM
It was my idea that the GC didn't do that well because it lacked online play (except for that one game). It's definitely one of my fave consoles, always has been, even before I got the gameboy player.

Personally, I would argue that the Xbox 360 is the worst console ever because of the failure rate. I have played it, it has some good games; The failure rate to me is a huge issue.

Short of spilling things on them, I'm pretty sure that everyone's 'most hated consoles' work better than the 360. They still work.

Might be off topic but the DC is some peoples' favorite console, as games are still being made for it by Indie dev companies.

sheath
11-07-2010, 05:30 PM
At least Microsoft admitted the failures (the rate has always been in question) and fixed them all on their tab.

Don't get me wrong though, I'd like to see these companies completely out of the industry in this order: Sony, EA, Activision, MS. All of their purchased developers can continue as they were when creativity still thrived in this industry.

Thenewguy
11-07-2010, 06:26 PM
The Gamcube was pretty decent, nothing more, nothing less.

I think of it as Nintendo's interim console between the N64 and the Wii :)

geralds
11-07-2010, 06:51 PM
It was my idea that the GC didn't do that well because it lacked online play (except for that one game).

I still don't why people say gamecube was bad for lacking online xbox and ps2 didn't have much online ether. If anything gamecube failed for the lack of dvd drive that why some people even bought a ps2 back then because it was the cheapest dvd player at the time. IMO xbox only sold more 1 halo 2 word of mouth, the intigreated music player, Xbox live was the only attempt to push online last generation. I just think people need to stop saying gamecube sucked for lack on online its stupid.

gamevet
11-07-2010, 07:42 PM
The Gamecube got it's bad reputation, because it was viewed as the kiddy system. Even the Wii holds that title, with online play relying on friend codes, and most of the games being family friendly.

kool kitty89
11-07-2010, 10:57 PM
The Gamecube got it's bad reputation, because it was viewed as the kiddy system. Even the Wii holds that title, with online play relying on friend codes, and most of the games being family friendly.

That's the same thing with the NES, SNES, and N64 too... and the Wii is more of a kiddie system than the GC or any of those IMO.

The GC is probably nintendo's least kiddie centric system with the overall software available, but next to the Xbox, PS2, or contemporary PC games it's certainly more on the "family friendly" side.

nathanallan
11-08-2010, 06:21 AM
Hasn't the term "kiddie" changed yet? I mean, I play Halo for PC and get called old by 9 and 10 year olds-- playing frekkin Halo, where you shoot each other! The term "kiddie" needs to be redefined or parents need to watch better what their kids play.

@sheath, I agree on most of the companies that ought to be out but Sony; They have been in the computer business for a long time with the MSX which were pretty game heavy, so they're okay in my book. MS definitely should NOT be in the game industry, and it ticks me off that they are. They are historically a rip-off company.

@kool kitty, there are definitely some non-kiddie (definition notwithstanding) games for the GCN; I look at my shelf and see plenty (not too much into the younger played games myself). But they got a bad rap, agreed.

@geralds, that upset me, too, you can't play a regular DVD without a major mod to the system. That was just what I heard, it never failed in my house!

Back on topic, the DC is a great console with so much potential to a hardware guy it's just mind boggling. Let the haters go on, I say, they won't get to play SoulCalibur.

gamegenie
11-08-2010, 07:02 AM
That's the same thing with the NES, SNES, and N64 too... and the Wii is more of a kiddie system than the GC or any of those IMO.

The GC is probably nintendo's least kiddie centric system with the overall software available, but next to the Xbox, PS2, or contemporary PC games it's certainly more on the "family friendly" side.

nah SNES, and the early years of N64 was the only time Nintendo escaped their kid friendly imagine when they started putting out the mature violent titles, and that's only because they were attempting to take away the mature market that SEGA carved out with the Genesis from the beginning.

Hidden_Darkness
11-08-2010, 09:48 AM
thats crap, the dreamcast should not even be on a list of worst consoles. it's a great system with great games that was discontinued way too early in the us.

Zoltor
11-08-2010, 09:55 AM
Without counting obscure systems noone has ever heard of(who the hell makes a list requiring 10 whopping consoles, nevermind 10 failed consoles), It's hard to say, but the DC probally could be in such a list, but if so, it would be like in 10th place(which most people would still consider successful, however the only reason It's there, is because the list is so big).

5200

CDi

CDO

32X

Sega CD

Atari Jag

Saturn

GC

XBOX(the original XBOX mind you)

PS3

Virtual Boy

This is what I would go with(top 11 in no specific order) personally, but as you can see, if you don't count the Sega expansion systems, you are left with 9 consoles(What's put in there, is a very hard choice, however anything that is, wouldn't be a true failure.

E.J.
11-08-2010, 01:24 PM
Was the Dreamcast a commercial failure? Obviously.

Was it the worst commercial failure by SEGA, or any other system producer, ever made? No.

Is it the worst console ever? That would be totally subjective, but I surmise I could find enough people to warrant a reasonably assured 'no' to that question.

Hiarcs
11-08-2010, 02:00 PM
It is not, I actually enjoyed more my Dream than my Ps2. Nowadays this might sound illogical, but sometimes a system can be great, and just bad things in matter of reception and publicity happens, there has to be an explanation, but insight its needed in this matter I guess. For me it wasn't. Actually this is the only system after the n64, that completely surprised me about graphics and innovation, personal view.

Zoltor
11-08-2010, 04:15 PM
It is not, I actually enjoyed more my Dream than my Ps2. Nowadays this might sound illogical, but sometimes a system can be great, and just bad things in matter of reception and publicity happens, there has to be an explanation, but insight its needed in this matter I guess. For me it wasn't. Actually this is the only system after the n64, that completely surprised me about graphics and innovation, personal view.

Yea, the DC was awesome, especially the Fighters omg(the fighters were so good, that two of them are still in the top 3 fighting games ever made list). Then you have SA2, Shenmue, and the ton of other obscure games that noone has ever heard of, that happen to be awesome too.


Despite the fact that my favorite FPS is on the N64(lol, which in all seriousness, is the only reason I got a N64), there's a lot more games I like on the DC(even some all time favorites), so if it were about games, the DC was more or less a run away success.

NeoVamp
11-08-2010, 04:49 PM
thats crap, the dreamcast should not even be on a list of worst consoles.

You know whats crap? people who don't even bother to read the thread
so they could have found out there is no such list.

the link leads to a site that claimed the Dreamcast was a failure, which it was.
Here we had bigass Sega who had already made the SMS/Genny/Saturn by then,
and now suddenly their entire hardware company has to be ended just because they fucked up?
Now thats a big failure right there.

Imagine it like this, you get caught with a ugly hooker and go to jail, failure? mehhhh a bit,
but if a celebrity does the same thing its a HUGE FAILURE!!!
and only because of the fact that they are famous and should have known better,
what with the constant attention and all.

Nobody is saying that the DC is a failure hardware wise or software wise,
just a failure to properly sell their Dreamcast product.

Hiarcs
11-08-2010, 07:04 PM
Yea, the DC was awesome, especially the Fighters omg(the fighters were so good, that two of them are still in the top 3 fighting games ever made list). Then you have SA2, Shenmue, and the ton of other obscure games that noone has ever heard of, that happen to be awesome too.


Despite the fact that my favorite FPS is on the N64(lol, which in all seriousness, is the only reason I got a N64), there's a lot more games I like on the DC(even some all time favorites), so if it were about games, the DC was more or less a run away success.

Indeed, dreamcast holds many greats in fighting genre.

cfjackson123
11-09-2010, 06:51 PM
I will officially give the list in order of awesomness of Sega consoles 1. being awesomnessist and the 6. being lowest
1.Mega-drive, Genesis
2.Master System
3.dreamcast
4.Satun
5.Mega CD
6.32X

Da_Shocker
11-09-2010, 08:29 PM
It was my idea that the GC didn't do that well because it lacked online play (except for that one game). It's definitely one of my fave consoles, always has been, even before I got the gameboy player.

Personally, I would argue that the Xbox 360 is the worst console ever because of the failure rate. I have played it, it has some good games; The failure rate to me is a huge issue.

Short of spilling things on them, I'm pretty sure that everyone's 'most hated consoles' work better than the 360. They still work.

Might be off topic but the DC is some peoples' favorite console, as games are still being made for it by Indie dev companies.

The PSx had a HUGE failure rate and so did the PS2. The PS3 from what I have heard isn't as bad as the 2 but it is Sony's lowest selling console for the time being.

NeoVamp
11-09-2010, 08:44 PM
The PS3 from what I have heard isn't as bad as the 2 but it is Sony's lowest selling console for the time being.

One might even say that the PS3 is this generation's Dreamcast,
it looks good, plays good, and has some good games and more coming,
yet interest seems low for some reason.

I really wonder what causes that, because for me buying a 360 is just not an option,
because i can understand that you have the occasional bad console in the mix,
but the 360 really takes the cake when it comes to poorly build hardware.

Yet the majority does not seem to give a crap about it, you have no idea how often
I come across posts where people just say "I'm on my fifth xbox360 now, if this breaks I'll just buy another."

If the Genesis had been this badly designed i wouldn't buy another one, no matter how good the games for it are.

but yeah, guess its all about money and this generation having too much of it.
(inb4crisis)

Namakubi
11-09-2010, 11:26 PM
One might even say that the PS3 is this generation's Dreamcast,
it looks good, plays good, and has some good games and more coming,
yet interest seems low for some reason.

This is why:

IH2w2l1JTs4

As a consumer, I'm not going to reward a company for that kind of hubris, let alone pay that much for a system right out of the gate, especially with Sony's history of failure rate at the time. I didn't even buy a 360 until last year, and even that was a refurbished model.

kool kitty89
11-09-2010, 11:38 PM
nah SNES, and the early years of N64 was the only time Nintendo escaped their kid friendly imagine when they started putting out the mature violent titles, and that's only because they were attempting to take away the mature market that SEGA carved out with the Genesis from the beginning.
False... none of thsoe were Nintendo games... all Nintendo did was finally relent to the censorship they'd been imposing in the west and allow 3rd parties to publish games more as they liked. (though still more restricting than others -to this day, especially with the DS)

Nintneo themselves didn't really push into the less "family friendly" (ie games that are kid specific or fun/acceptable for any age) until the N64 and even then they mixed it up a lot with more stereotypical "kiddie" games. (Goldeneye would be the biggest example of a Nintendo published title, especially in terms of mass market popularity)

In Japan they'd never done that at all, only censoring/localizing some very specific things that didn't mesh with Japanese culture very well. (but most/all companies did that) In the early days of the NES you had a lot of uncensored stuff (blood, biting, fork in the eye, etc in Pro Wrestling), but that went away once NOA/NOE censorship kicked in to address complaints of content.

With the GC you saw similar stuff from 3rd parties into the "hardcore" side and often some excellent games. From nintendo themselves, not too much more so than the N64, but still present to a degree. (still predominantly with third party titles though)

kool kitty89
11-10-2010, 12:27 AM
One might even say that the PS3 is this generation's Dreamcast,
it looks good, plays good, and has some good games and more coming,
yet interest seems low for some reason.
I'd say the 360 is more like this generation's Dreamcast in some respects given the lower price point and earlier release along with much better development platform and better general performance (though technically less powerful in some respects).

The big difference is money: like Sega MS had a name on the market already though not the strongest, but unlike Sega they had MASSIVE amounts og money to spend and compete directly on Sony's terms. (albeit not profiting like Sony did, but that's a somewhat tangential issue)
Had Sega had MS like funds with the DC, they almost certainly could have kept up with the PS2... though the entrance of the more powerful GC and Xbox made things different than the current generation with only 3 consoles and Nintendo's not being remotely competitive tech wise. (any more than the N64 was competitive with the DC or PS2)

So in some other respects it's more like the PS1, but that doesn't fit either.

The PS3 is not like the DC though in terms of price, marketing, or ease of development it's more like the Saturn, but in terms of success it's more like the N64 in some respects, but again, those are vague comparisons as Sony's position is rather different than others. (they have monetary resources that Sega and Nintendo never have)



I really wonder what causes that, because for me buying a 360 is just not an option,
because i can understand that you have the occasional bad console in the mix,
but the 360 really takes the cake when it comes to poorly build hardware.

Yet the majority does not seem to give a crap about it, you have no idea how often
I come across posts where people just say "I'm on my fifth xbox360 now, if this breaks I'll just buy another."
Don't forget the large portion who wouldn't have to "buy another" as it's covered by the warranty ... unless you're among those who have expired warranties (my friend's would certianly apply given it's an '06 model and hasn't red ringed and thus been repaired/replaced, but perhaps it's among the few with more consistent quality control and actually up to spec with the thermal paste or it's just up to luck).

Given the lack of any solid statistics on the matter (and no way in hell MS would be forthcoming), it's largely up to speculation just how unreliable the machine is. Most people I know are on their first system still or have only had to send it in for repairs once, but I know there's a lot to counter that as well. (anecdotes are limited)

That and the fact that they have finally rectified the reliability issues on newer machines... though it took a laughably long time. They could have avoided that had they simply not gone cheap AND pushed for fashion over function with the cramped case design... had it been built like the original Xbox that wouldn't have been a problem. (granted the ridiculous lead free solder thing didn't help... did Sony and Nintendo have to comply to that as well? -totally ridiculous though: what are kids going to break open the cases and start chewing on the motherboard?)


but yeah, guess its all about money and this generation having too much of it.
(inb4crisis)
That and shortsightedness with the lower nominal price point of the 360 initially and general marketing and hype and Sony's unattractive development platform tend continuing to break the precedent set by the PS1 and without the mitigating factors of the PS2.

The wii and PS2 would be the more attractive "budget" platforms, with the PS2 in the lower-end obviously.
And the Wii may be overpriced and underpowered, but that doesn't make the lower price point any less attractive to the average consumer. (let alone the much cheaper games -not PS2 cheap of course, but closer to PC prices at least vs ~$60 for many new 360 or PS3 games)




The PSx had a HUGE failure rate and so did the PS2. The PS3 from what I have heard isn't as bad as the 2 but it is Sony's lowest selling console for the time being.
Well, comparing it to the 2 best selling consoles of all time skews that a bit. The screw ups of the PS2 almost certainly compounded with those of the PS3 and you have plenty of reasons that it's less popular, not least of which being stronger competition. (MS not only had a head start, much better development platform, and lower price point, but also had a generation of building its name unlike with the Xbox when they were new)

MrMatthews
11-10-2010, 01:36 AM
I'm offended by the opening post. I mean, Wii only has games for dumb people? I have a Wii & about 15 games. I happen to really like a lot of those games, and I really don't consider myself "dumb."

You're dumb.

But watching Neovamp getting all worked up over the people whining about this worst console list takes some of the sting off that first guy.

Hiarcs
11-10-2010, 02:27 AM
For me, actually the last true 3d system (for me) that catched my eye was the dreamcast, after it I was never impressed neither by ps2 nor xbox and the likes, I know for sure that in this regard Im a minor statistic, since ps2, xbox, wii and so on were and some are very successful. At some degree, I could swear that dreamcast graphics do feel kinda different-better in a positive way, even over newer systems I still get the impression, who knows, but a great system overall.

JRedmond3
11-10-2010, 07:35 AM
Sony probably could've destroyed MS had they not tried to push Blu Ray. Which BR popularity is picking up but the current gen is pretty much 1/2 to 3/4s of the way through its lifespan. The added cost drove people away and they just took a chance on the 360. It also doesn't help that Sony has released increasingly inferior versions of the PS3. First it was the 60GB w/Emotion Chip to the 80GB with emulation software. Which wasn't too bad but then they went from the BC 80GB to the Slim which has no backwards compatibility at all. It's like they asked, "what can we do to make the PS3 less discernible from the 360?" As faulty as 360s may be I have to credit MS for at least improving on each subsequent console.

gamegenie
11-10-2010, 09:17 AM
False... none of thsoe were Nintendo games... all Nintendo did was finally relent to the censorship they'd been imposing in the west and allow 3rd parties to publish games more as they liked. (though still more restricting than others -to this day, especially with the DS)

Nintneo themselves didn't really push into the less "family friendly" (ie games that are kid specific or fun/acceptable for any age) until the N64 and even then they mixed it up a lot with more stereotypical "kiddie" games. (Goldeneye would be the biggest example of a Nintendo published title, especially in terms of mass market popularity)

In Japan they'd never done that at all, only censoring/localizing some very specific things that didn't mesh with Japanese culture very well. (but most/all companies did that) In the early days of the NES you had a lot of uncensored stuff (blood, biting, fork in the eye, etc in Pro Wrestling), but that went away once NOA/NOE censorship kicked in to address complaints of content.

With the GC you saw similar stuff from 3rd parties into the "hardcore" side and often some excellent games. From nintendo themselves, not too much more so than the N64, but still present to a degree. (still predominantly with third party titles though)
I never said it had to be Nintendo 1st party develop games. Fact remains what I posted earlier. :|

NeoVamp
11-10-2010, 01:40 PM
But watching Neovamp getting all worked up over the people whining about this worst console list takes some of the sting off that first guy.

People need to learn to read before they press that reply button in a fit of Sega defending nerd rage.http://img684.imageshack.us/img684/3278/smileyarmscrossed.gif

OldSchool
11-10-2010, 03:32 PM
This is why:

IH2w2l1JTs4

As a consumer, I'm not going to reward a company for that kind of hubris, let alone pay that much for a system right out of the gate, especially with Sony's history of failure rate at the time. I didn't even buy a 360 until last year, and even that was a refurbished model.

That video was hilarious... only for it's sillyness though. I'd love to see the 360 equivalent if there is one. :p


"realtime weapon change" :o - classic

bigladiesman
11-10-2010, 06:46 PM
I'm offended by the opening post. I mean, Wii only has games for dumb people? I have a Wii & about 15 games. I happen to really like a lot of those games, and I really don't consider myself "dumb."

But watching Neovamp getting all worked up over the people whining about this worst console list takes some of the sting off that first guy.

+1. I love Wii as well. I got a PS3, a 360, a DS and a PSP, too, and I still like my Wii.

Too bad many 3rd parties crammed it with CRAP like we were in the worst times of the 1983 Video Game Crash. The Nintendo Seal of Quality doesn't make games better. BTW, one of my fav 3rd party companies on Wii is Sega, along with Capcom.

kool kitty89
11-10-2010, 06:48 PM
I never said it had to be Nintendo 1st party develop games. Fact remains what I posted earlier. :|
Then that only supports my argument more. Ninteno'd 1st/2nd party stuff was the only thing more "non-kiddie" with the SNES or N64 than the GC as I already addressed.

The difference with the SNES is the fact it was far more popular in general and thus with 3rd parties, so you got more of ALL games and would have had a broader spectrum in general had it not been for the restrictive licensing and content regulations. (albeit had it not been for their restrictiveness, Sega probably would have been far less successful that generation -more so if Nintendo pushed competitive ads more like Sega had -or Sony later would, albeit on a larger scale)



That video was hilarious... only for it's sillyness though. I'd love to see the 360 equivalent if there is one. :p


"realtime weapon change" :o - classic

Pfft, "giant enemy crab" if far more classic. :D


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T3e6Wy19jbo
T3e6Wy19jbo

gamegenie
11-11-2010, 07:48 AM
Then that only supports my argument more. Ninteno'd 1st/2nd party stuff was the only thing more "non-kiddie" with the SNES or N64 than the GC as I already addressed.

The difference with the SNES is the fact it was far more popular in general and thus with 3rd parties, so you got more of ALL games and would have had a broader spectrum in general had it not been for the restrictive licensing and content regulations. (albeit had it not been for their restrictiveness, Sega probably would have been far less successful that generation -more so if Nintendo pushed competitive ads more like Sega had -or Sony later would, albeit on a larger scale)




It doesn't matter if the game was 1st or 3rd party, that's not the point. The point is that Nintendo approved the game period.

Mortal Kombat II having no censorship
Killer Instinct
Challenging SEGA's attack ads with ads of their own PLAY IT LOUD campaign.

Is the point I'm getting at. Nintendo changed from a family friendly industry through the NES days (NES sold more than SNES, so I don't see how you can say SNES was the most popular) to broadening their appeal to the older games which SEGA was doing from the start with more mature oriented games.

sheath
11-11-2010, 09:53 AM
I never said it had to be Nintendo 1st party develop games. Fact remains what I posted earlier. :|

Oddly enough, I did a study in grad school on how games were marketed back in the day. I wanted to poll every game advertisement in print magazines, and every game review. Due to time constraints I only got from 1989-90 finished. It wasn't very complicated to do, I just took every word that pointed to violence (eg. hit, shoot, destroy, etc) and put a tick in excel under that column.

During this time frame NES game advertisements and reviews were far and away the largest chunk of any print magazine. Violence was marketed three times as often as the next biggest category, abstract world, which was followed by magic and damsels in distress.

How Nintendo maintained its "family friendly image" is a mythological study as much as a marketing one. ;)

MrMatthews
11-11-2010, 02:00 PM
People need to learn to read before they press that reply button in a fit of Sega defending nerd rage.http://img684.imageshack.us/img684/3278/smileyarmscrossed.gif

I agree. I just liked the fact that you were getting so annoyed and people kept doing it. It's almost as if they weren't reading your posts, either!

kool kitty89
11-11-2010, 05:34 PM
It doesn't matter if the game was 1st or 3rd party, that's not the point. The point is that Nintendo approved the game period.

Mortal Kombat II having no censorship
Killer Instinct
Challenging SEGA's attack ads with ads of their own PLAY IT LOUD campaign.

Is the point I'm getting at. Nintendo changed from a family friendly industry through the NES days (NES sold more than SNES, so I don't see how you can say SNES was the most popular) to broadening their appeal to the older games which SEGA was doing from the start with more mature oriented games.
1.
I was talking about the GC over ALL of the previous ones, thus SNES more popular than N64 or GC...

Ans yes, my point was mainly regarding 3rd party stuff in general too, I only listed the exceptions to cover a possible counter argument against the GC on the grounds of 1st party stuff.


And of course, Nintendo only used those tactics in the west, not Japan, and not initially in the west either (not until 1987 releases) with significant public complaints on the content in certain early games. (they opted for censorship rather than a rating system)

Sega (alongside others in the industry EXCEPT Nintendo) changed that in the early 90s to the point that Nintendo finally relented and started allowing use of ratings for less restricted content on their systems.

But that doesn't cover Japanese or unlicensed game, and also is no argument against the SNES being any less "family friendly" than the N64 or GC.

And for better or worse, Nintendo never did lose that "family/kid friendly" tag or perception, at least in the US. (be it SNES, N64, GC, or Wii) They may have gotten plenty more unrestrained content and more "hardcore" titles and interest from that side, but they still retained both the positive and negative connotations of their "family friendly" nature. (probably not least because of their 1sty party stuff)




Oddly enough, I did a study in grad school on how games were marketed back in the day. I wanted to poll every game advertisement in print magazines, and every game review. Due to time constraints I only got from 1989-90 finished. It wasn't very complicated to do, I just took every word that pointed to violence (eg. hit, shoot, destroy, etc) and put a tick in excel under that column.

During this time frame NES game advertisements and reviews were far and away the largest chunk of any print magazine. Violence was marketed three times as often as the next biggest category, abstract world, which was followed by magic and damsels in distress.

How Nintendo maintained its "family friendly image" is a mythological study as much as a marketing one. ;)
Historical perception and trends plays a huge role.... that and the fact that much of Nintendo
s top tier 1st party stuff still ties into that. And the Wii helps reinforce that a lot of course, and the libraries of their handhelds.

Firebrandx
11-11-2010, 09:27 PM
I really liked my dreamcast. What pissed me off was the sudden pulling of the plug Sega did. The system was awesome, there were some awesome games for it and it was just getting started. Then all of the sudden, whoosh! No more dreamcast. Sega lost me as a customer after that, and I stuck with either Sony or Microsoft for my gaming machines.

GohanX
11-12-2010, 03:22 PM
I remember the "Dreamcast is dead" announcement, it hit a lot of gamers at the time pretty hard. I was depressed for a couple of days, and bitter towards the gaming industry in general for a while. Other than picking up a bunch of cheap DC clearance titles, I barely bought any new games until about a year or so after the PS2 was released (even though I got that system at launch.)

I've also barely touched my DC since then, but I dusted it off last night and played some Sonic Adventure. Good stuff, I think I need to fill out my DC collection.

Gentlegamer
11-12-2010, 05:48 PM
http://techland.com/3do/n-gage/

I read at techland about the top 10 worst consoles ever just now and I was shocked to see the Dreamcast in the list!

Bulls###, I think wii is the worst console ever made since 1974. all the games on it are for dumb people, and there's nothing like Crazy Taxi when you get all your friends over on a hot weekend, who would hate a Dreamcast? unbelievable.................. ........... I think we should complain to the author of the article.

Who is with me?That list is about failed consoles. The Dreamcast certainly qualifies.

Defolto
11-13-2010, 12:38 AM
That is ridiculous, while the Sega Dreamcast is not exactly the best console it certainly is better than some game systems such as the Nintendo Game Cube, or at least I think so.

NeoVamp
11-13-2010, 12:58 PM
That is ridiculous, while the Sega Dreamcast is not exactly the best console it certainly is better than some game systems such as the Nintendo Game Cube, or at least I think so.

You seem to have missed the entire point of this thread.

The Jackal
11-13-2010, 01:08 PM
I really liked my dreamcast. What pissed me off was the sudden pulling of the plug Sega did. The system was awesome, there were some awesome games for it and it was just getting started. Then all of the sudden, whoosh! No more dreamcast. Sega lost me as a customer after that, and I stuck with either Sony or Microsoft for my gaming machines.

I agree, but you remember - they did the same to the Saturn and 32X when they were bombing!

That's the reason people lost faith in them. And sadly, the Dreamcast was the victim.

Zz Badnusty
11-13-2010, 01:18 PM
Pfft, "giant enemy crab" if far more classic. :D



That was easily the dumbest thing I've ever seen on YouTube.

KALuther
11-15-2010, 07:59 AM
Screw that, dreamcast kicked ass. I think the major reason it failed was the fact that it was so easy to pirate games. I could do it when i was 11.....sega fucked up

Majestic_Lizard
05-30-2014, 08:49 PM
Sorry to necro a dead thread, but the Dreamcast was a resounding success.

Sega was 200+ million dollars in debt in 1997 and there was no hope the company would ever return to profitability. Nothing could slow the momentum of Sega down the tubes by the time Bernie Stolar (and idiots like him) had thoroughly alienated venders and developers alike.

The Dreamcast was conceived by Isao Okawa as a means to forestall the inevitable and improve the Sega brand enough to make Sega's brand and intellectual property rights marketable to sell to a third party in order to recover at least some of their corporate losses.

The Dreamcast served this purpose perfectly. Though there are rumors to the contrary, the Dreamcast was never seriously considered to have a future beyond a brief product life cycle. Sega knew it. The developers knew it. Only consumers were oblivious to this reality.

Though The Dreamcast did not sell as well in Japan as it did in the US, it by no means "bombed" there and the Japanese market was a small ratio of the overall market including sales in Europe, North America, and Australia. It was a successful product. Also, one of the main reasons the DC did not sell well in Japan is that consumers werw a bit more savvy there and could see the writing on the wall for Sega.

People often say it died because it had no DVD support. This is not true and you have to put this within the context of the time the console was released. The Playstation 2 was far more expensive to manufacture, produce, and distribute than the Sega Dreamcast. Not only did it feature a DVD-ROM, but it also had a proprietary CPU (with a variable 128-bit bus) & GPU. That stuff isn't made on a standard fabrication process. Those parts were ONLY used in the Playstation 2. Meanwhile the Dreamcast was made up of industry standard components offering arguably similar power, but at a fraction of the cost.

The Dreamcast improved Sega's brand, returned the company to slight profitability (while not getting it out of debt), and enabled the corporate executives to gracefully exit the business.

j_factor
05-30-2014, 11:43 PM
Though there are rumors to the contrary, the Dreamcast was never seriously considered to have a future beyond a brief product life cycle. Sega knew it. The developers knew it. Only consumers were oblivious to this reality.

I can maybe believe this in the abstract, but the specific timing seems awfully suspect and seems to have caught many developers by surprise. At least two developers went out of business because of Sega cutting off Dreamcast releases: Ripcord Games and No Cliché. Then you have things like Toejam & Earl III very nearly coming out for Dreamcast before being hastily moved over to the Xbox, and Evil Twin coming out in Europe only despite developer intentions, because Sega of America wouldn't allow it. Sega had previously stated that Dreamcast games would come out until mid-2002, then they changed their minds and said if the master isn't in their hands by October (2001), it's dead.

MaxWar
05-31-2014, 01:03 AM
Sorry to necro a dead thread


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=prMFx7Q7EMk

gamevet
05-31-2014, 01:31 AM
I can maybe believe this in the abstract, but the specific timing seems awfully suspect and seems to have caught many developers by surprise. At least two developers went out of business because of Sega cutting off Dreamcast releases: Ripcord Games and No Cliché. Then you have things like Toejam & Earl III very nearly coming out for Dreamcast before being hastily moved over to the Xbox, and Evil Twin coming out in Europe only despite developer intentions, because Sega of America wouldn't allow it. Sega had previously stated that Dreamcast games would come out until mid-2002, then they changed their minds and said if the master isn't in their hands by October (2001), it's dead.

I have a feeling a lot of that had to do with Sega making deals with MS to publish games for the Xbox. Shenmue II was not published for the DC in North America, but it was brought out on the Xbox here. Then you also had DC games like Gun Valkyrie that were cancelled on the DC and brought over to the Xbox as well.


Sorry to necro a dead thread, but the Dreamcast was a resounding success.

Sega was 200+ million dollars in debt in 1997 and there was no hope the company would ever return to profitability. Nothing could slow the momentum of Sega down the tubes by the time Bernie Stolar (and idiots like him) had thoroughly alienated venders and developers alike.


Stolar had a lot to do with the success of the DC in North America. He brought back Sega sports, and the best selling North American titles for the DC were the sports titles from that division.

Segadream
06-01-2014, 02:00 AM
To me: Sega Dreamcast.....Best console Ever...You should own 3 too.

A Black Falcon
06-01-2014, 02:35 AM
Sorry to necro a dead thread, but the Dreamcast was a resounding success.

Sega was 200+ million dollars in debt in 1997 and there was no hope the company would ever return to profitability. Nothing could slow the momentum of Sega down the tubes by the time Bernie Stolar (and idiots like him) had thoroughly alienated venders and developers alike.

Uhh... you do know that Sega lost a huge amount of money on the Dreamcast, probably just as much as they did on Saturn or maybe even more, and did not start making a profit again until the year AFTER they discontinued the DC and moved on to supporting other platforms too, right? Yes?


I can maybe believe this in the abstract, but the specific timing seems awfully suspect and seems to have caught many developers by surprise. At least two developers went out of business because of Sega cutting off Dreamcast releases: Ripcord Games and No Cliché. Then you have things like Toejam & Earl III very nearly coming out for Dreamcast before being hastily moved over to the Xbox, and Evil Twin coming out in Europe only despite developer intentions, because Sega of America wouldn't allow it. Sega had previously stated that Dreamcast games would come out until mid-2002, then they changed their minds and said if the master isn't in their hands by October (2001), it's dead.
Considering that Ubisoft did not release the PS2 or PC versions of Evil Twin in the US, I would have a very hard time believing that they were planning on releasing it for Dreamcast here, given that they game didn't release in Europe until several months after the last US DC release in February 2002, and that they didn't even release it here on the other platforms the game was on, which were both quite major! No, I think Ubisoft just decided to be stupid and not give us that pretty good 3d platformer. I like Evil Twin, it should have released here on PC at least!

It is true that Sega of America pretty much stopped supporting the DC in October '01, though. There were a few third-party releases after that, and one first-party one in Feb. '02's NHL 2K2, but we did miss out on Shenmue II, Rez, and Headhunter in late '01/early '02, while Europe got all three of those. But Evil Twin specifically? If Ubisoft had actually cared about that game we'd have gotten it on other platforms.

Also of course, Sega announced the DC's impending death in January '01, in response to the system's disappointing sales that first holiday season against the PS2. It's not suspicious, it was a response to not-good-enough sales at its first critical test against the competition. A Sega with money could have kept going, but Sega was nearly broke, so they couldn't do it. Sega then released a solid game library in the US for the next 10 months anyway, despite having already announced the system's death. So sure, we missed out on a few games in late '01, but they could be imported and played on US systems, and given that the system was dead by that point, I'm sure Sega was thinking that it didn't matter anyway; they wanted DC owners to buy the other systems. I wish they had released those games here, but they didn't. That was almost a year after the announcement of discontinuation, though; it wasn't that sudden of a thing, they just announced discontinuation basically as soon as they could after seeing that Christmas sales had not been good enough to make it.


I have a feeling a lot of that had to do with Sega making deals with MS to publish games for the Xbox. Shenmue II was not published for the DC in North America, but it was brought out on the Xbox here. Then you also had DC games like Gun Valkyrie that were cancelled on the DC and brought over to the Xbox as well.
Perhaps so, but I'd guess that they wanted people to move on generally; after all, in late '01/early '02 they released Super Monkey Ball (this must have been originally planned for the DC!) and Sonic Adventure 2 on the GC, VF4 on the PS2, and all that stuff on the Xbox... they must have decided that sales on the DC wouldn't be good enough to justify releasing something which would slow down DC owners' moving on to the new consoles. An annoying choice, but it's one first parties often make late in the life of a system. Nintendo stopped making any Game Boy Color games immediately when the GBA came out, for example, even though the GBC was only 2 1/2 years old... sure, sometimes a system is kept alive even with first-party support, as with the NES and SNES particularly in Japan, but killing the old platform in favor of the next one, or in Sega's case the other ones, is a common choice as well.


Stolar had a lot to do with the success of the DC in North America. He brought back Sega sports, and the best selling North American titles for the DC were the sports titles from that division.
The DC was so successful in the US that it got outsold by the N64 in every single month of the year 2000, outsold by the PS1 almost all of the time, and immediately fell way behind the PS2 in monthly (and, soon, overall) sales as soon as that system released. It also sold well in 2001 as Sega dropped the price through the floor; I doubt you'd have seen the uptick in US DC sales in 2001 that you saw had the price not dropped so much. I mean, yeah, the DC did okay during its short life, and certainly did wonders for Sega's name with Western hardcore gamers, but it was NOT a success, it was a failure that lost Sega a lot of money.

gamevet
06-01-2014, 02:57 AM
The DC was so successful in the US that it got outsold by the N64 in every single month of the year 2000, outsold by the PS1 almost all of the time, and immediately fell way behind the PS2 in sales as soon as that system released. It also sold well in 2001 as Sega dropped the price through the floor; I doubt you'd have seen the uptick in US DC sales in 2001 that you saw had the price not dropped so much. I mean, yeah, the DC did okay during its short life, and certainly did wonders for Sega's name with Western hardcore gamers, but it was NOT a success, it was a failure that lost Sega a lot of money.

It was still the most successful launch of any console before it. It would have been much worse, if not for the success Sega Sports had in North America.

A Black Falcon
06-01-2014, 03:38 AM
It was still the most successful launch of any console before it.
True. The problem is sales dropped off after launch and didn't really recover.


It would have been much worse, if not for the success Sega Sports had in North America.
That helped, yes. No question.

KitsuneNight
06-01-2014, 04:45 AM
True. The problem is sales dropped off after launch and didn't really recover.

sounds kinda familair doesnt it ?

anyway on topic of a very old thread the dreamcast is by no means worst but it is a failure yes
it could have done better it should have done better
but it didnt

the hows and why have no doubt been dicussed to death already

QuickSciFi
06-01-2014, 06:15 AM
You know what's better than necro-posting? Necro-quoting. ;)

P.S.> The Dreamcast rules all.

retrospiel
06-01-2014, 06:40 AM
Uhh... you do know that Sega lost a huge amount of money on the Dreamcast, probably just as much as they did on Saturn or maybe even more, and did not start making a profit again until the year AFTER they discontinued the DC and moved on to supporting other platforms too, right? Yes?

They lost more money discontinuing Dreamcast then they did supporting Dreamcast.

j_factor
06-01-2014, 12:30 PM
Uhh... you do know that Sega lost a huge amount of money on the Dreamcast, probably just as much as they did on Saturn or maybe even more, and did not start making a profit again until the year AFTER they discontinued the DC and moved on to supporting other platforms too, right? Yes?

They didn't make a profit a year after. They didn't make a profit again until the Sammy merger. Back then I was posting on Sega boards and there were a lot of discussions about Sega's finances. A few years ago I posted financial information here, showing that Sega lost more money in 2002 than they had in 2000.


Considering that Ubisoft did not release the PS2 or PC versions of Evil Twin in the US, I would have a very hard time believing that they were planning on releasing it for Dreamcast here, given that they game didn't release in Europe until several months after the last US DC release in February 2002, and that they didn't even release it here on the other platforms the game was on, which were both quite major! No, I think Ubisoft just decided to be stupid and not give us that pretty good 3d platformer. I like Evil Twin, it should have released here on PC at least!

I'm not sure exactly what happened with the US PS2 version. Originally it was Dreamcast only in the US, then when the US DC release was cancelled, they eventually decided to bring over the PS2 version instead. It had a release date, though quite a bit later. When talking about the game in late 2002, someone linked me to a preorder page for it at Gamestop. I declined because I wanted the European Dreamcast version instead. I remember they even shortened the title from Evil Twin: Cyprien's Chronicles to simply Evil Twin and gave it a different cover.

The Dreamcast version was supposed to come out in the US in the last quarter of 2001 alongside Ubi's Conflict Zone and Dragon Riders. It was cancelled because they missed the deadline that Sega of America imposed. The European release date has nothing to do with it. Note that both of those games were released in Europe months after the US releases. Also, Evil Twin was released as part of the final batch of EU Dreamcast titles that were all released on the same day, distributed by BigBen Interactive. None of those games had to come out that late, the others had been released in the US already.


Also of course, Sega announced the DC's impending death in January '01, in response to the system's disappointing sales that first holiday season against the PS2. It's not suspicious, it was a response to not-good-enough sales at its first critical test against the competition. A Sega with money could have kept going, but Sega was nearly broke, so they couldn't do it.

That is not true. Sega lost more money by doing what they did. Sega didn't have a good exit strategy. The announcement in January '01 came abruptly, with Sega not prepared to support other platforms yet. The Gamecube and Xbox wouldn't even be out for another 10 months, and Sega didn't start releasing PS2 games until they were supporting all three. So they announced the Dreamcast was dead, and then for the next 10 months they're only releasing Dreamcast games (apart from Chu Chu Rocket GBA, which they could've done anyway). This killed their software sales. Games like Sonic Adventure 2 and Crazy Taxi 2 sold worse than their predecessors despite the system having a larger installed base, and games like Floigan Bros. got basically no attention at all. Price cuts would happen for games almost immediately after they came out, because people expected games for a dying system to be discounted. And then when they did start releasing games like Super Monkey Ball, well, a lot more people had Dreamcasts than Gamecubes at that point.

gamevet
06-01-2014, 02:48 PM
True. The problem is sales dropped off after launch and didn't really recover.


They didn't immediately drop. The Dreamcast sold @1.6- 2 million units in North America (during its 1st year), before sales abruptly dropped with the release of the PS2. It was not because the (North American) Dreamcast didn't have good software, because the console had plenty of that.

http://www.ign.com/articles/2000/07/19/new-solid-figures-for-us-dreamcast-hardware-sales

A Black Falcon
06-01-2014, 03:44 PM
They didn't immediately drop. The Dreamcast sold @1.6- 2 million units in North America (during its 1st year), before sales abruptly dropped with the release of the PS2. It was not because the (North American) Dreamcast didn't have good software, because the console had plenty of that.

http://www.ign.com/articles/2000/07/19/new-solid-figures-for-us-dreamcast-hardware-sales
http://www.sega-16.com/forum/showthread.php?25207-N64-PS1-Saturn-DC-sales-US-NPD
Have you forgotten the facts already? DC sold fine in '99, but dropped badly in Jan. '00 and did not recover. Sales looked "good" at the end of the first year because of the launch months.


They didn't make a profit a year after. They didn't make a profit again until the Sammy merger. Back then I was posting on Sega boards and there were a lot of discussions about Sega's finances. A few years ago I posted financial information here, showing that Sega lost more money in 2002 than they had in 2000.
I don't know what you're talking about, but it's a quite well-established fact, based on Sega's releases, that Sega lost money for five years, from FY1998 to FY2002. So no, this is wrong. (Remember that a fiscal year starts in the middle of the previous year and ends in the spring of the listed year, so Sega lost money from spring 1997 to spring 2002.)

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/e3/Sega_Annual_Icome%28Loss%29_1993-2004.svg


I'm not sure exactly what happened with the US PS2 version. Originally it was Dreamcast only in the US, then when the US DC release was cancelled, they eventually decided to bring over the PS2 version instead. It had a release date, though quite a bit later. When talking about the game in late 2002, someone linked me to a preorder page for it at Gamestop. I declined because I wanted the European Dreamcast version instead. I remember they even shortened the title from Evil Twin: Cyprien's Chronicles to simply Evil Twin and gave it a different cover.

The Dreamcast version was supposed to come out in the US in the last quarter of 2001 alongside Ubi's Conflict Zone and Dragon Riders. It was cancelled because they missed the deadline that Sega of America imposed. The European release date has nothing to do with it. Note that both of those games were released in Europe months after the US releases. Also, Evil Twin was released as part of the final batch of EU Dreamcast titles that were all released on the same day, distributed by BigBen Interactive. None of those games had to come out that late, the others had been released in the US already.
It's interesting that they were actually considering bringing over the DC version, I didn't know that. But given that the PS2 and even PC versions were not released here, I still think that it's likely that in the end they'd have canned it for DC too... which is really too bad considering that it is a good game.


That is not true. Sega lost more money by doing what they did. Sega didn't have a good exit strategy. The announcement in January '01 came abruptly, with Sega not prepared to support other platforms yet. The Gamecube and Xbox wouldn't even be out for another 10 months, and Sega didn't start releasing PS2 games until they were supporting all three. So they announced the Dreamcast was dead, and then for the next 10 months they're only releasing Dreamcast games (apart from Chu Chu Rocket GBA, which they could've done anyway). This killed their software sales. Games like Sonic Adventure 2 and Crazy Taxi 2 sold worse than their predecessors despite the system having a larger installed base, and games like Floigan Bros. got basically no attention at all. Price cuts would happen for games almost immediately after they came out, because people expected games for a dying system to be discounted. And then when they did start releasing games like Super Monkey Ball, well, a lot more people had Dreamcasts than Gamecubes at that point.

Again see the chart above, and notice how losses were less in the '01-'02 fiscal year than the year before. A lot of that is probably that hardware losses pretty much stopped by the end of '01, and software sales picked up late in the year when their GC, Xbox, and PS2 games started releasing, but the results are as shown.

Sure though, yeah, they probably did hurt '01 Dreamcast game sales by announcing the discontinuation, and they definitely got some games cancelled that would otherwise have released, but when you look at how amazingly the PS2 was selling and Sega's dire financial situation, they had to do something or they'd go under. What do you want, Sega announces the DC's death that fall and kills it months later? Giving more warning is not a bad idea... and the end was inevitable given Sega's finances. Also see that chart again I link at the top of this post, and notice how DC sales increase in most months in '01 over '00, surely mostly because of how Sega dropped the price to like $50 by the end of the year in order to sell off their stock. That has to have helped overall software sales too. (If that very low December '01 sales number for the DC is accurate maybe the DC did sell better in '00 just because of that, but January to November sales are clearly higher in '01.)

But overall, I think that even without a discontinuation notice until later, I think it's likely that those '01 DC releases would still have been overshadowed because the release of the PS2 was completely dominating the industry... and also, the holiday season dominates videogame sales. What you sell during that time is often more important than what you sell in the rest of the year combined.

gamevet
06-01-2014, 10:01 PM
http://www.sega-16.com/forum/showthread.php?25207-N64-PS1-Saturn-DC-sales-US-NPD
Have you forgotten the facts already? DC sold fine in '99, but dropped badly in Jan. '00 and did not recover. Sales looked "good" at the end of the first year because of the launch months.


The chart doesn't show anything close to dropping badly in January of 00 (@50k for that month is pretty good), as a matter of fact it actually goes up in February of 00 (88k according to that article I'd posted) and sells just as well during the 00 holiday season, as it did during the 99 season. Looking at 2001, the Playstation, N64 and Dreamcast are all trading places on best seller of the month throughout the year, though that chart doesn't show the PS2 kicking all sorts of ass.

Go look at Xbox 360 and PS3 sales numbers for their 1st year. You'll find that there wasn't a massive difference to what the DC (North America) was posting in 2000. It was certainly posting better numbers than the Playstation did in its 1st year.

http://vgsales.wikia.com/wiki/Xbox_360


According to that article I posted, the Dreamcast was pretty much selling like it should. Even the Playstation saw a massive dip in May of 2000. The DC most certainly didn't drop off of a cliff several months after being released in North America. It was doing okay in North America, it's just that Japan and Europe weren't holding up their end of the deal. It was selling better than the Wii U has so far, that's for sure.

http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?p=108859206

j_factor
06-01-2014, 11:21 PM
I don't know what you're talking about, but it's a quite well-established fact, based on Sega's releases, that Sega lost money for five years, from FY1998 to FY2002. So no, this is wrong. (Remember that a fiscal year starts in the middle of the previous year and ends in the spring of the listed year, so Sega lost money from spring 1997 to spring 2002.)

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/e3/Sega_Annual_Icome%28Loss%29_1993-2004.svg

I wish I could find my old post. But, the total net profit/loss for the company is kind of an out-of-context number. You don't just the overall health of a business just on that. You also have to look at things like sales, and where the money is going. Sega wasn't necessarily losing money on the Dreamcast itself on a continual basis. They made a lot of one-time investments during the Dreamcast era (e.g. the launch of Seganet) that wouldn't have been recurring costs in 2002. They canceled the system before they could really get a return on these investments. Sega also sold off a good amount of assets in the last couple years before the Sammy merger. That nominally adds to their revenue but doesn't represent any improvement on their core business.

http://puu.sh/9bi4z/dbb1cca0ac.png


It's interesting that they were actually considering bringing over the DC version, I didn't know that. But given that the PS2 and even PC versions were not released here, I still think that it's likely that in the end they'd have canned it for DC too... which is really too bad considering that it is a good game.

I wish I could find a bit more information, I had an old link saved but it doesn't work anymore. I did find this (http://planetdc.segaretro.org/community/mailbag/mail048/index.html), dated October 27, 2001.


I looked in the Eb Games website today and noticed that Evil Twin for the Dreamcast is not in their upcoming titles anymore. I just want to know if the game has been cancelled. I really hope not, since I was totally looking froward to that being my last game purchased for the Dreamcast.

So yeah, I know I'm not misremembering, at least.


Go look at Xbox 360 and PS3 sales numbers for their 1st year. You'll find that there wasn't a massive difference to what the DC (North America) was posting in 2000.

The Xbox 360 was in third place (behind Wii and PS2) from the Wii launch in November 2006 until the following August. Nobody seemed concerned.

A Black Falcon
06-02-2014, 02:56 AM
The chart doesn't show anything close to dropping badly in January of 00 (@50k for that month is pretty good), as a matter of fact it actually goes up in February of 00 (88k according to that article I'd posted) and sells just as well during the 00 holiday season, as it did during the 99 season. Looking at 2001, the Playstation, N64 and Dreamcast are all trading places on best seller of the month throughout the year, though that chart doesn't show the PS2 kicking all sorts of ass.

Go look at Xbox 360 and PS3 sales numbers for their 1st year. You'll find that there wasn't a massive difference to what the DC (North America) was posting in 2000. It was certainly posting better numbers than the Playstation did in its 1st year.

http://vgsales.wikia.com/wiki/Xbox_360


According to that article I posted, the Dreamcast was pretty much selling like it should. Even the Playstation saw a massive dip in May of 2000. The DC most certainly didn't drop off of a cliff several months after being released in North America. It was doing okay in North America, it's just that Japan and Europe weren't holding up their end of the deal. It was selling better than the Wii U has so far, that's for sure.

http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?p=108859206
You can try to sugarcoat it all you want, but the fact remains that the DC's sales in 2000 in the US weren't good enough. Sure, a new system releasing early, it's understandable that the last-gen consoles would beat it for a while... but Sega needed better. They needed serious success, and didn't get it at all, as those sales numbers show. The monthly sales were not good (not awful, but not good), and then the holiday season went pretty badly as the PS2 wiped the floor with the competition. And yes, I wish the PS2 was on that chart; are specific numbers for it out there? Yearly I think we have... monthly is probably around somewhere, but I'm not sure if I've seen it, recently at least.

Also, as I say below, Sega's awful financial situation makes things very different between the Dreamcast and cases like the PS3 or 360. Sony and Microsoft could afford to wait for the profits to come back. Sony lost so much money on the PS3 through much of its life that they lost just as much money as all of their profits on the PS1 and PS2 through their whole lives up to that point! But Sony could afford to wait for a turnaround, and it eventually came. Of course now Sony's not in great shape, but even so they're still far better off than Sega was. And MS, of course, can and did throw away billions like it's nothing.

Also, I don't think that PS3 or 360 sales were ever actually as mediocre as Dreamcast sales. Wii U, yes. I've seen the charts showing how the DC and Gamecube are, launch-aligned, still ahead of the Wii U, I believe. But PS3 or 360? I doubt it, 360 especially! Do you have proof for that?


I wish I could find my old post. But, the total net profit/loss for the company is kind of an out-of-context number. You don't just the overall health of a business just on that. You also have to look at things like sales, and where the money is going. Sega wasn't necessarily losing money on the Dreamcast itself on a continual basis. They made a lot of one-time investments during the Dreamcast era (e.g. the launch of Seganet) that wouldn't have been recurring costs in 2002. They canceled the system before they could really get a return on these investments. Sega also sold off a good amount of assets in the last couple years before the Sammy merger. That nominally adds to their revenue but doesn't represent any improvement on their core business.

http://puu.sh/9bi4z/dbb1cca0ac.png
As I say below, I mostly agree here, most importantly on the point about abandoning the DC before it could get to the potential-profit phase being an issue. Of course any company which can choose would do that, stick with their system long enough to try to make some money off of it as costs come down and the userbase goes up later in its life, but Sega was too broke to do that with the DC, of course. And that's one of the major reasons why releasing the DC at all was kind of crazy... great for gamers, but financially crazy! They could not afford that system unless it'd been a massive hit like the PS2 which it was never going to be. But that's Sega, always taking chances.

Still though, overall profit or loss numbers are something people do pay a lot of attention to in the gaming business, so I absolutely do think that those numbers -- that Sega lost money for five years, and then made a small profit in the '02-'03 fiscal year -- matters. I think it's relevant that Sega's first profit in five years came in the first full year after they abandoned hardware -- clearly it was, at first, financially good for them to not be in the money-losing hardware business anymore. Of course Sega was never the same again after selling to Sammy, but for a little while after ending hardware they were still great...


I wish I could find a bit more information, I had an old link saved but it doesn't work anymore. I did find this (http://planetdc.segaretro.org/community/mailbag/mail048/index.html), dated October 27, 2001.

So yeah, I know I'm not misremembering, at least.
Interesting. It's really annoying that they canned the PS2 version and seem to have never given the PC version a first thought; I don't remember ever hearing about Evil Twin getting a US PC release, and I definitely followed PC gaming at the time!

As for Sega saying that DC games had to be done by October, so the third-party releases from November and December were all finished sooner? And NHL 2K2, released the next February, was too? I'd think that that game only released in February because it wasn't done the previous year!


The Xbox 360 was in third place (behind Wii and PS2) from the Wii launch in November 2006 until the following August. Nobody seemed concerned.
Well, Microsoft wasn't almost bankrupt. Sega's financial situation is the reason why they had to give up when they did, after all. Otherwise they of course would have stuck it out and tried to make some money off of the DC, as you normally try to do in the later years of a console's life after spending money to launch it earlier on... but they couldn't do that, so all they got was the losses with none of the later gains. Sega just couldn't afford to continue.

KnightWarrior
06-02-2014, 02:52 PM
I hated Sony that year

I wanted to bash alot of PS2's and PS1's

They wanted to kill Sega

zetastrike
06-02-2014, 03:05 PM
I hated Sony that year

I wanted to bash alot of PS2's and PS1's

They wanted to kill Sega

I'm getting tired of people saying Sony had Sega in their crosshairs from day one. All Sony did was release the PSX and market it properly. It's not like they decided to pick Sega up out of the crowd and beat on them specifically. Nintendo suffered a pretty massive blow to the ego too. Sega just made bad decision after bad decision during the mid 90s and broke the consumers' faith in them. That was their undoing.

sheath
06-02-2014, 06:23 PM
You need to read Revolutionaries at Sony. Also:
http://www.itproportal.com/2010/09/10/sony-celebrates-playstations-15th-birthday/


"We sold more than 130 million PS1s, went on to sell more than 146 million PS2s, put Sega out of the hardware business, established us as a household brand, [and] created a huge profit center for Sony Corporation," announced Peter Dille, senior vice president of marketing at Sony Computer Entertainment at the event.

Read more: http://www.itproportal.com/2010/09/10/sony-celebrates-playstations-15th-birthday/#ixzz33WG4BPBI



Then there is the little matter of Psygnosis, Eidos, Naughty Dog, Square, Working Designs, Bleem!, and who knows how many other developers that were "influenced" by Sony to become exclusive, or exclude Sega. I know, I know, all of these companies knew the internal workings of Sega, and their financials, and "saw the writing on the wall" and abandoned Sega's last to consoles while they were still selling reasonably well and had comparable userbases. Or, here's another one, the PS1 was just so darned easy to program they abandoned the Saturn (nevermind PS2 in this comparison).

There are lots of narrative "histories" out there that all praise Sony for being brilliant creative geniuses and completely ignore the many companies Sony has shut down through damn near illegal monopolistic means. Sega is really just the most obvious victim of Sony "establishing Playstation as a household brand." Does anybody remember Lik Sang?

zetastrike
06-02-2014, 06:51 PM
Then there is the little matter of Psygnosis, Eidos, Naughty Dog, Square, Working Designs, Bleem!, and who knows how many other developers that were "influenced" by Sony to become exclusive, or exclude Sega. I know, I know, all of these companies knew the internal workings of Sega, and their financials, and "saw the writing on the wall" and abandoned Sega's last to consoles while they were still selling reasonably well and had comparable userbases. Or, here's another one, the PS1 was just so darned easy to program they abandoned the Saturn (nevermind PS2 in this comparison).

There are lots of narrative "histories" out there that all praise Sony for being brilliant creative geniuses and completely ignore the many companies Sony has shut down through damn near illegal monopolistic means. Sega is really just the most obvious victim of Sony "establishing Playstation as a household brand." Does anybody remember Lik Sang?

And Sega could do nothing about it? None of their stupid decisions, like screwing over and lying to their own customers, had anything to do with their demise? It was all just mean old sony who wanted the themepark all to themselves? Wasn't it Bernie who burned the bridge with Working Designs?

Ken: That Sega, they've gotta go.

http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/sciencenotfiction/files/2010/11/dr-evil.jpg

zetastrike
06-02-2014, 07:02 PM
Here's few things Sega could've done differently in the 90s

1) After SoJ released the Mega CD, they could have, I don't know, made games for it? That would have given SoA something to push other than FMV.

2) Not waste money developing the Nomad, VR headset, activator

3) Either not bother with the 32X or support it like they promised. Either is better than what actually happened

4) Not botch the Saturn launch

5) During the Saturn days, hire marketing people who actually know how to sell things, not ones from the insane asylum

6) Not close down Renovation (they could have had them and WD bringing niche games over)

7) Get an affordable Genesis/CD combo unit out there

8) Have SoJ get off their asses and make a Sonic game for the Saturn.

People have to stop acting like Sega's fate was completely out of their hands once Sony decided to make a console....

sheath
06-02-2014, 07:12 PM
I wasn't dealing in such extremes as "it's all Sega's fault" or "it's all Sony's fault". You said specifically "All Sony did was release the PSX and market it properly. It's not like they decided to pick Sega up out of the crowd and beat on them specifically." This is incorrect. Sony absolutely, in the most obvious way, wanted no competition on the market. Sega was just one of the companies "in their crosshairs".

Could Sega have survived if it was a perfectly run International company? That is basically another topic. I don't know, if making Sega into the ideal organization would have meant they could even be the Sega that made all of those great, unique, or experimental games and hardware. I do know that Sony did everything in its power to make sure Sega and Nintendo not only lost, but could no longer compete.

spiffyone
06-02-2014, 07:30 PM
I wasn't dealing in such extremes as "it's all Sega's fault" or "it's all Sony's fault". You said specifically "All Sony did was release the PSX and market it properly. It's not like they decided to pick Sega up out of the crowd and beat on them specifically." This is incorrect. Sony absolutely, in the most obvious way, wanted no competition on the market. Sega was just one of the companies "in their crosshairs".

Didn't Sony specifically go after some Sega distribution partners in Europe? I seem to recall reading that somewhere.


Could Sega have survived if it was a perfectly run International company? That is basically another topic. I don't know, if making Sega into the ideal organization would have meant they could even be the Sega that made all of those great, unique, or experimental games and hardware..

Games, yes. And we probably would've gotten more of them. Hardware, no. Then again, their endless need for hardware experimentation is part of what got them in hot water to begin with. I'd rather have had the games myself, even if it meant no yummy looking CDX.

zetastrike
06-02-2014, 07:31 PM
Could Sega have survived if it was a perfectly run International company? That is basically another topic. I don't know, if making Sega into the ideal organization would have meant they could even be the Sega that made all of those great, unique, or experimental games and hardware. I do know that Sony did everything in its power to make sure Sega and Nintendo not only lost, but could no longer compete.

As much as it was bad for the company, I love Sega's hardware and games the way they are and wouldn't have it any other way. The problem is there needs to be a balance between risk taking and playing it safe. Sega and Nintendo are polar opposites when it comes to this, and look where they are now.

spiffyone
06-02-2014, 07:33 PM
Here's few things Sega could've done differently in the 90s

1) After SoJ released the Mega CD, they could have, I don't know, made games for it? That would have given SoA something to push other than FMV.

I've always been one with the thought that they shouldn't have released Sega CD in the West to begin with. It was a Japanese solution to a Japanese problem (that is, PC Engine CD and PC Engine as a whole outselling Mega Drive in that region). It was woefully unnecessary for the price sensitive West. It would've been better for them to have seen it not take off in the Japanese market (as happened) and just chalk it up to a failed experiment in that region alone. The money saved on not releasing it in the West could've gone to better things: more aggressive advertising, price cuts, and more software development for the stock Genesis/MegaDrive.

sheath
06-02-2014, 07:35 PM
Indeed, it seems like only anti-competitive megacorps with near monopolies in at least one industry, which should have been regulated by their respective governments if I understand anti-trust law correctly, can compete in the post 2001 game industry. Only such virulent companies can weather the nonsense that every international corporation has going on behind closed doors. At least, that is the history of the game industry so far. Screw up all you want as long as you have the money and influence to cover it up, if you don't be perfect or get out.


I've always been one with the thought that they shouldn't have released Sega CD in the West to begin with. It was a Japanese solution to a Japanese problem (that is, PC Engine CD and PC Engine as a whole outselling Mega Drive in that region). It was woefully unnecessary for the price sensitive West. It would've been better for them to have seen it not take off in the Japanese market (as happened) and just chalk it up to a failed experiment in that region alone. The money saved on not releasing it in the West could've gone to better things: more aggressive advertising, price cuts, and more software development for the stock Genesis/MegaDrive.

By 1992 this was definitely not a known outcome, Nintendo was even still promising their SNES CD-ROM add-on vaporware and the entire industry was buzzing about CDs. I have said it before in this bottomless pit that if Sega hadn't released the Sega CD they and their key third parties would have been even more unprepared than they already were for the 32-bit generation.

zetastrike
06-02-2014, 07:36 PM
I've always been one with the thought that they shouldn't have released Sega CD in the West to begin with. It was a Japanese solution to a Japanese problem (that is, PC Engine CD and PC Engine as a whole outselling Mega Drive in that region). It was woefully unnecessary for the price sensitive West. It would've been better for them to have seen it not take off in the Japanese market (as happened) and just chalk it up to a failed experiment in that region alone. The money saved on not releasing it in the West could've gone to better things: more aggressive advertising, price cuts, and more software development for the stock Genesis/MegaDrive.

I thought it did pretty well in Japan, considering your target customers for an add on are people who already have the console in question.

gamevet
06-02-2014, 07:45 PM
:horse: in 5.....4.....3.....2.....1

spiffyone
06-02-2014, 07:46 PM
I thought it did pretty well in Japan, considering your target customers for an add on are people who already have the console in question.

But it didn't really spur sales of the console in question, which was part of the point in releasing the add-on as well. That's what happened with PC Engine. It didn't really happen with Mega CD.

Again, IMHO, it should've just stayed in Japan, if it had to be released at all. The fact that Sega of America sold as many as they did when they had it all but forced upon them shows that during those days they could market just about anything to kids and have it sell well enough. But given the choice between add-on hardware or more investment in cartridge software (and the original hardware via advertising and price cuts), I'd go with the latter. A false choice? Not really. Sega only had so much money to throw around.

I feel similarly about 32X (should've never been released at all) and Sega Channel (a good idea, but too soon and/or should've been for Saturn instead).

A Black Falcon
06-02-2014, 09:23 PM
I've always been one with the thought that they shouldn't have released Sega CD in the West to begin with. It was a Japanese solution to a Japanese problem (that is, PC Engine CD and PC Engine as a whole outselling Mega Drive in that region). It was woefully unnecessary for the price sensitive West. It would've been better for them to have seen it not take off in the Japanese market (as happened) and just chalk it up to a failed experiment in that region alone. The money saved on not releasing it in the West could've gone to better things: more aggressive advertising, price cuts, and more software development for the stock Genesis/MegaDrive.

You do know that the Sega CD outsold the Turbo CD worldwide and sold the vast majority of its hardware sales in the West, yes? FMV was popular here, no matter how much people want to hate on that retroactively. The Sega CD almost certainly outsold the Saturn in the US. Releasing it was a fine idea which paid off for them for several years. It's the transition away from it, and the serious lack of SoJ software, that hurt the system... but even then, it wasn't a clear failure like the 32X or Saturn were. So no. FMV gave Sega something clearly different, and there was a market for it.


Here's few things Sega could've done differently in the 90s

1) After SoJ released the Mega CD, they could have, I don't know, made games for it? That would have given SoA something to push other than FMV.
Yeah, SoJ's failure to even semi-competently support the Sega CD with software was one of the system's biggest problems. It's fairly shocking that the situation was so bad that when it came time for the US release of the Sega CD, 10+ months after the Japaense release, there was still so little first-party software that the packin titles were all third-party! One of the packins was even already available in the US on Turbo CD. Things got better in 1993-1994, but not nearly better enough, and then SoJ ditched the system early, abandoning it completely development-wise at the end of '94. They didn't release nearly enough games for the system, and the ones they did release rarely really pushed the hardware. This needed to change.


2) Not waste money developing the Nomad, VR headset, activator
Good ideas indeed!


3) Either not bother with the 32X or support it like they promised. Either is better than what actually happened
Yeah, they had to either not release it, or support it for several years minimum with a software library at least as good as that it got during its first six months. What they did was unacceptable.


4) Not botch the Saturn launch
Not releasing the 32X would do wonders for this, of course, but there was more they could have done beyond that as well, of course -- not releasing at E3 with no warning, not ignoring SoA's concerns that the system was not good enough to do well in the Western market, etc.


5) During the Saturn days, hire marketing people who actually know how to sell things, not ones from the insane asylum
Sounds good! Sega's only bout of decent marketing for the Saturn was in later '96, that one time when it actually sold okay... but their '95 Saturn ads were weird, and '97... they hired Stolar, enough said.


6) Not close down Renovation (they could have had them and WD bringing niche games over)
Good idea, more niche games keeps fans happy and surely wouldn't cost Sega much.


7) Get an affordable Genesis/CD combo unit out there
This might have been a decent idea, but I don't think it was essential.


8) Have SoJ get off their asses and make a Sonic game for the Saturn.
Maybe instead of Chaotix, if you can the 32X...


People have to stop acting like Sega's fate was completely out of their hands once Sony decided to make a console....
Yeah, it's not like Sony was absolutely 100% destined to win! Sure, they had great hardware, a great price, and good marketing, but their moves were flawed too. Stolar's RPG/2d bans didn't make some hardcore gamers happy, their first 'mascot', "Polygon Man", was not exactly a success, and while they beat the Saturn, PS1 sales were not that great in the US until 1997, and the system only BARELY managed to avoid falling behind the N64 overall in the US (FF7 hype being one of the pushers that helped it hold the lead, probably). Sega DID have some chances, if they hadn't messed things up so terribly. With the right hardware and the right marketing, Sega could have done much, much better than they did. And the right hardware could have been there, we've discussed the possibilities there before here.


I thought it did pretty well in Japan, considering your target customers for an add on are people who already have the console in question.
Based on the numbers we know -- ~300,000-something Sega CDs sold in Japan overall, 2.7 million sold worldwide at the end of '94 -- I'd guess that attachment rates weren't too different between the US and Japan, remembering that the Genesis only sold 3.58 million there, versus ~20 million in the US...

gamevet
06-02-2014, 10:29 PM
You can try to sugarcoat it all you want, but the fact remains that the DC's sales in 2000 in the US weren't good enough. Sure, a new system releasing early, it's understandable that the last-gen consoles would beat it for a while... but Sega needed better. They needed serious success, and didn't get it at all, as those sales numbers show. The monthly sales were not good (not awful, but not good), and then the holiday season went pretty badly as the PS2 wiped the floor with the competition. And yes, I wish the PS2 was on that chart; are specific numbers for it out there? Yearly I think we have... monthly is probably around somewhere, but I'm not sure if I've seen it, recently at least.

Good enough for North America, but not good enough to support the whole company. The problem wasn't how SOA handled the Dreamcast. They had the advertising, the software and had sold nearly 1.4 million Dreamcasts during the 1st quarter.


Also, as I say below, Sega's awful financial situation makes things very different between the Dreamcast and cases like the PS3 or 360. Sony and Microsoft could afford to wait for the profits to come back. Sony lost so much money on the PS3 through much of its life that they lost just as much money as all of their profits on the PS1 and PS2 through their whole lives up to that point! But Sony could afford to wait for a turnaround, and it eventually came. Of course now Sony's not in great shape, but even so they're still far better off than Sega was. And MS, of course, can and did throw away billions like it's nothing.

That had nothing to do with what that conversation was about, before you started butting in. The conversation was about how Sega of America had handled the Dreamcast.

The Dreamcast was doing well enough in North America. Sega Sports titles were selling very well and continued to do so on the PS2 and Xbox when Sega moved on. The problem was that the other 2 regions weren't selling enough consoles to get anywhere near turning a profit and any profit that was made by SOA was being lost to the overall expenditures of the company.



Also, I don't think that PS3 or 360 sales were ever actually as mediocre as Dreamcast sales. Wii U, yes. I've seen the charts showing how the DC and Gamecube are, launch-aligned, still ahead of the Wii U, I believe. But PS3 or 360? I doubt it, 360 especially! Do you have proof for that?


The numbers for the 360 were on the webpage (http://vgsales.wikia.com/wiki/Xbox_360) I had posted above. The 360 sold 3.5 million units (North America) in its 1st year, with another 1.7 million in other regions and blah in Japan. The Dreamcast sold @ 1.48 million units from September of 1999 to December. It had sold over 2.25 million units (1 holiday season vs. 2 for the 360) by the 1 year mark (in North America) @ 1.4 million in Japan and @ 1.3 million in Europe. We know that 6 months later, Sega would pull the plug on Mar of 2001, with another 2+million unsold DCs sitting in the chain. That would mean that Sega had sold approximately 7.5 million Dreamcasts(@4 million in NA) by March of 2001.

The Xbox 360 had sold 10.9 million units worldwide after 2 years. The sales numbers actually dropped for the 360 during the 2nd year, with the release of the PS3.

According to this article, the DC had reached 4.5 million in North America and 5.9 worldwide by the end of 2000.

http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/story?id=99053


U.S. sales of Dreamcast, launched in the fall of 1999, totaled 4.5 million through December, running below the company’s plan to reach 7.5 million units by March 31, according to the Gartner Group, a research company based in San Jose, Calif.

North America did not reach the 7.5 million mark by March 31st and it was one day short of that date, when they discontinued production of the console.

A Black Falcon
06-02-2014, 11:53 PM
Good enough for North America, but not good enough to support the whole company. The problem wasn't how SOA handled the Dreamcast. They had the advertising, the software and had sold nearly 1.4 million Dreamcasts during the 1st quarter.
No, it wasn't good enough for North America.


That had nothing to do with what that conversation was about, before you started butting in. The conversation was about how Sega of America had handled the Dreamcast.

The Dreamcast was doing well enough in North America. Sega Sports titles were selling very well and continued to do so on the PS2 and Xbox when Sega moved on. The problem was that the other 2 regions weren't selling enough consoles to get anywhere near turning a profit and any profit that was made by SOA was being lost to the overall expenditures of the company.
The Dreamcast certainly was doing worse in the other two regions, but the idea that it was doing "well enough"... no way, it wasn't. It failed to meet sales projections, was still finishing behind last-gen console(s) through most of its life, and the PS2 demolished it in monthly sales from the second it released. Even the old Sam Pettus/SegaBase stuff makes it clear that the DC didn't do quite well enough in the US.

Looking at sales, US-only, I'm pretty sure that the DC sold below the Gamecube on a launch-aligned basis, and the Gamecube finished third that gen in the US. It could be a lot worse, certainly, but that's not great. And combined with the DC's lack of success elsewhere and Sega's finances, they couldn't survive that.


The numbers for the 360 were on the webpage (http://vgsales.wikia.com/wiki/Xbox_360) I had posted above. The 360 sold 3.5 million units (North America) in its 1st year, with another 1.7 million in other regions and blah in Japan. The Dreamcast sold @ 1.48 million units from September of 1999 to December. It had sold over 2.25 million units (1 holiday season vs. 2 for the 360) by the 1 year mark (in North America) @ 1.4 million in Japan and @ 1.3 million in Europe. We know that 6 months later, Sega would pull the plug on Mar of 2001, with another 2+million unsold DCs sitting in the chain. That would mean that Sega had sold approximately 7.5 million Dreamcasts(@4 million in NA) by March of 2001.

The Xbox 360 had sold 10.9 million units worldwide after 2 years. The sales numbers actually dropped for the 360 during the 2nd year, with the release of the PS3.

According to this article, the DC had reached 4.5 million in North America and 5.9 worldwide by the end of 2000.

http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/story?id=99053

North America did not reach the 7.5 million mark by March 31st and it was one day short of that date, when they discontinued production of the console.
Yeah, those 360 numbers are clearly well above what the DC sold... nice to see that data though, for sure.

j_factor
06-03-2014, 12:15 AM
The Dreamcast certainly was doing worse in the other two regions, but the idea that it was doing "well enough"... no way, it wasn't. It failed to meet sales projections, was still finishing behind last-gen console(s) through most of its life, and the PS2 demolished it in monthly sales from the second it released.

There's nothing wrong with a new console, post launch, getting outsold by an established console. That's typical. NES outsold Genesis, SNES outsold Playstation, PS2 outsold Xbox 360.

It's a bit premature, in January 2001, to judge monthly sales against the PS2, which had just come out four months prior. Even if you're looking in hindsight, the PS2 totally dominated that generation, and nobody else would ever touch it. So in light of that, it's silly to directly compare monthly sales, as if Sega was ever going to beat PS2. That's not a reasonable standard to hold Sega to. There were four consoles that generation. We're not talking about Sega "winning", we're talking about them doing "well enough".


Looking at sales, US-only, I'm pretty sure that the DC sold below the Gamecube on a launch-aligned basis, and the Gamecube finished third that gen in the US.

We went over this in a previous thread. It depends exactly where you put the cutoff point and is slightly complicated by Dreamcast launching in September while Gamecube launched in November, but the two are very very close. But Gamecube came out two years later, so the Dreamcast comes out ahead in that comparison. If Dreamcast had stayed on the market, and continued to sell in similar numbers, Gamecube sales wouldn't have caught up to it.

gamevet
06-03-2014, 12:42 AM
No, it wasn't good enough for North America.

4.5 million sold within 18 months isn't good enough?

That's ridiculous!



The Dreamcast certainly was doing worse in the other two regions, but the idea that it was doing "well enough"... no way, it wasn't. It failed to meet sales projections, was still finishing behind last-gen console(s) through most of its life, and the PS2 demolished it in monthly sales from the second it released. Even the old Sam Pettus/SegaBase stuff makes it clear that the DC didn't do quite well enough in the US.

No it didn't do quite well enough, because Sega's goal was set way too high for most consoles. Like I said below, even the 360 couldn't hit those sales projections in North America within 18 months. It was an unrealistic number to achieve.


Looking at sales, US-only, I'm pretty sure that the DC sold below the Gamecube on a launch-aligned basis, and the Gamecube finished third that gen in the US. It could be a lot worse, certainly, but that's not great. And combined with the DC's lack of success elsewhere and Sega's finances, they couldn't survive that.

The GC only sold 3.5 million units in North America (its most successful region) by January of 2003. That's a 14 month time-span and not much better than what the DC (North America) was doing within that same amount of time. It certainly couldn't hit 7.5 million in North America by the 18th month.

http://vgsales.wikia.com/wiki/Nintendo_GameCube



Yeah, those 360 numbers are clearly well above what the DC sold... nice to see that data though, for sure.

Not really. The 360 sold 8.3 million units within 18 months vs. 5.9 million (that number seems a little low for a console that supposedly sold 10 million) for the DC. That's not a massive gap. The PS2 was probably near 20 million within that same timeline. Even the 360 couldn't hit 7.5 million in North America within Sega's projections.

TrekkiesUnite118
06-03-2014, 01:04 AM
I wasn't dealing in such extremes as "it's all Sega's fault" or "it's all Sony's fault". You said specifically "All Sony did was release the PSX and market it properly. It's not like they decided to pick Sega up out of the crowd and beat on them specifically." This is incorrect. Sony absolutely, in the most obvious way, wanted no competition on the market. Sega was just one of the companies "in their crosshairs".

Could Sega have survived if it was a perfectly run International company? That is basically another topic. I don't know, if making Sega into the ideal organization would have meant they could even be the Sega that made all of those great, unique, or experimental games and hardware. I do know that Sony did everything in its power to make sure Sega and Nintendo not only lost, but could no longer compete.

News flash:

This is what all companies try to do. The sole point of a company is to make money. If you can take out your competition, you'll make more money obviously. It's not something evil that only Sony did, it's simply what all companies would like to see happen. Do you think if Sega had the chance they wouldn't have tried to eliminate Sony or Nintendo? You can bet your ass they would have done it. Sega was pretty much killing themselves during the mid 90's with bad marketing, and bad decisions. They were an easy target and all Sony had to do was make slightly better decisions and have better marketing.

Sega released a system that was hard to develop for. This isn't Revisionist history, it's a cold hard fact.
Sony on the other hand released a system that was easy to develop for. With that Sony won over Third Party developers. This isn't being anti-competitive, it's simply being smart and not making the same mistakes as your competitors.

Sega released a system that was $400.
Sony released a system that was $300.
This won over consumers. This isn't being anti-competitive, it's being smart and competitively pricing your system against your competitors.

As a result of those two strategies combined, the PS1 typically got games faster and the ports were typically better save for a few obvious examples that played to the Saturn's strengths. This further won over third party developers and consumers. There's nothing anti-competitive about this. Sony simply beat Sega at their own game that they played against Nintendo a few years earlier.

A Black Falcon
06-03-2014, 01:07 AM
For PS2 sales, here are detailed 2000-2007 sales:

http://web.archive.org/web/20110703164656/http://scei.co.jp/corporate/data/bizdataps2_e.html

And here's basic information for FY2006-2011.

http://scei.co.jp/corporate/data/bizdataps2_sale_e.html

I don't know why Sony seems to have gotten rid of the detailed data from the official site, but fortunately Archive.org backed it up!

gamevet
06-03-2014, 01:11 AM
News flash:

This is what all companies try to do. The sole point of a company is to make money. If you can take out your competition, you'll make more money obviously. It's not something evil that only Sony did, it's simply what all companies would like to see happen. Do you think if Sega had the chance they wouldn't have tried to eliminate Sony or Nintendo? You can bet your ass they would have done it. Sega was pretty much killing themselves during the mid 90's with bad marketing, and bad decisions. They were an easy Target and all Sony had to do was make slightly better decisions and have better marketing.

Sega released a system that was hard to develop for. This isn't Revisionist history, it's a cold hard fact.
Sony on the other hand released a system that was easy to develop for. With that Sony one over Third Party developers. This isn't being anti-competitive, it's simply being smart and not making the same mistakes as your competitors.

Sega released a system that was $400.
Sony released a system that was $300.
This one over consumers. This isn't being anti-competitive, it's being smart and competitively pricing your system against your competitors.

As a result of those two strategies combined, the PS1 typically got games faster and the ports were typically better save for a few obvious examples that played to the Saturn's strengths. This further won over third party developers and consumers. There's nothing anti-competitive about this. Sony simply beat Sega at their own game that they played against Nintendo a few years earlier.


Yeah!

Sony looked at the Saturn hardware and knew that they could price them out of the market. What company wouldn't do that?

Nintendo tried to keep other console manufacturers from competing with them, by threatening retail and 3rd party publishers and eventually got caught with an anti-trust lawsuit.

http://www.1up.com/features/trials-and-tribulations?pager.offset=1

sheath
06-03-2014, 01:23 AM
So here we are again, dead horse indeed, several points down the line arguing that every corporation is as anti-competitive as Sony and therefore Sony did nothing wrong. Right, whatever.

Technosoft did not enter the shooter market by garnering venture capital to put Capcom and Konami out of the business. Renovation did not start making games by purchasing a developer with the hottest properties at the time and making them exclusive. GameArts did not start out by securing capital to buy brands and developers away from other companies directly leading to their closure. Monolith did not make itself known by attempting to pay John Carmack to leave Id and make games for them exclusively. Do you see what I am saying here?

Are you picking up what I am putting down? Would any of you have the personal integrity to admit even once that you misread my post and my intent, even once? Sony, Microsoft, Intel, Nintendo, EA, Activision, these companies absolutely run differently, create differently, and focus differently than the original game companies did, which includes Sega in the 80s and 90s. If you can't see it with all of this "information" at your fingertips, I know for a FACT that I cannot help you.

Anybody viewing gaming history from the perspective of one of these anti-competitive conglomerates is always going to fail to understand the logic behind the more creative "losers" of years past.

A Black Falcon
06-03-2014, 01:54 AM
So here we are again, dead horse indeed, several points down the line arguing that every corporation is as anti-competitive as Sony and therefore Sony did nothing wrong. Right, whatever.

Technosoft did not enter the shooter market by garnering venture capital to put Capcom and Konami out of the business. Renovation did not start making games by purchasing a developer with the hottest properties at the time and making them exclusive. GameArts did not start out by securing capital to buy brands and developers away from other companies directly leading to their closure. Monolith did not make itself known by attempting to pay John Carmack to leave Id and make games for them exclusively. Do you see what I am saying here?

Are you picking up what I am putting down? Would any of you have the personal integrity to admit even once that you misread my post and my intent, even once? Sony, Microsoft, Intel, Nintendo, EA, Activision, these companies absolutely run differently, create differently, and focus differently than the original game companies did, which includes Sega in the 80s and 90s. If you can't see it with all of this "information" at your fingertips, I know for a FACT that I cannot help you.

Anybody viewing gaming history from the perspective of one of these anti-competitive conglomerates is always going to fail to understand the logic behind the more creative "losers" of years past.
You've got some thick rose-colored glasses on here.

- How is Nintendo not one of the "original game companies"? They've been in this industry as long or longer than most.
- Large companies, cutthroat business, etc. have existed in this industry from the beginning. There isn't a time when they weren't there.
- Headhunting, which you reference, has always been an issue. Wanting to avoid other companies knowing who worked on what is one of the major reasons why Atari in the 2nd gen era, and most Japanese publishers in the '80s and '90s, refused to allow real credits to appear in their games, after all!
- Sega is one of the large companies, just like Nintendo, EA, etc. Every time a publisher buys a developer, they're denying that companies' games to their rivals. Sure, you're trying to differentiate based on how evil companies have been by saying 'denying them games, buying brands, and trying to shut them down', and some HAVE been worse than others, but they all do it. And they all shut down studios too, firing people because games under-performed, etc. Do you SERIOUSLY think that, given a leading position, any of the major companies wouldn't do this kind of stuff? Of course they would! Any one of them. The only question is about opportunity, I think. Who had the position to be able to do it? Those are the ones who did. Capitalism is kind of cruel...
-As for trying to put others out of business, any company's goal is success. They want to succeed and make money. Sure, not all companies try to put their competition out of business, but it's normal practice for companies to try that, and some always have. I'm sure Sega had thoughts in that direction at times as well.

gamevet
06-03-2014, 01:55 AM
So here we are again, dead horse indeed, several points down the line arguing that every corporation is as anti-competitive as Sony and therefore Sony did nothing wrong. Right, whatever.

Technosoft did not enter the shooter market by garnering venture capital to put Capcom and Konami out of the business. Renovation did not start making games by purchasing a developer with the hottest properties at the time and making them exclusive. GameArts did not start out by securing capital to buy brands and developers away from other companies directly leading to their closure. Monolith did not make itself known by attempting to pay John Carmack to leave Id and make games for them exclusively. Do you see what I am saying here?

Are you picking up what I am putting down? Would any of you have the personal integrity to admit even once that you misread my post and my intent, even once? Sony, Microsoft, Intel, Nintendo, EA, Activision, these companies absolutely run differently, create differently, and focus differently than the original game companies did, which includes Sega in the 80s and 90s. If you can't see it with all of this "information" at your fingertips, I know for a FACT that I cannot help you.

Anybody viewing gaming history from the perspective of one of these anti-competitive conglomerates is always going to fail to understand the logic behind the more creative "losers" of years past.

Companies like Renovation and Monolith weren't big enough companies to force out the competition. They were just trying to establish themselves in the market. Sega certainly wasn't either. Wasn't Technosoft built upon former members of Konami?

Atari tried to push Activision out, as did MS with their Internet Explorer included in every PC, forcing Netscape out of existence. GM bought out Saturn motor vehicles and pretty much killed their production several years later. Larger companies do everything they can to take out the competition.

A Black Falcon
06-03-2014, 04:32 AM
There's nothing wrong with a new console, post launch, getting outsold by an established console. That's typical. NES outsold Genesis, SNES outsold Playstation, PS2 outsold Xbox 360.

It's a bit premature, in January 2001, to judge monthly sales against the PS2, which had just come out four months prior.
Looking at worldwide numbers, the PS2 had sold 6.4 million systems by the end of 2000 (remember, it launched in Japan early in the year), and was at 10.04 million by the end of March. Meanwhile, the best numbers we have for the DC are 5.9 million at the end of 2000, and 10-10.5 million overall. You do not need hindsight to see that it was crushing the Dreamcast; even with a later release date it caught up very quickly, and of course all the hype for a long time had been entirely focused on the stupid PS2.


Even if you're looking in hindsight, the PS2 totally dominated that generation, and nobody else would ever touch it. So in light of that, it's silly to directly compare monthly sales, as if Sega was ever going to beat PS2. That's not a reasonable standard to hold Sega to. There were four consoles that generation. We're not talking about Sega "winning", we're talking about them doing "well enough".
Ah, but the problem is, how well did Sega have to do in order to be able to stay in as a hardware manufacturer? I mean, fourth place wasn't cutting it. Would GC or Xbox-like 20-25 million overall worldwide sales numbers have been good enough? Given that they were on track to finish in fourth anyway, with numbers probably a bit under Nintendo's, I don't know if they'd even have reached 20 million. And I just don't think that that could have saved Sega. As I've said before, because of their finances they needed a big hit, not a 3rd or 4 place finish. If Sega had Nintendo money this wouldn't be an issue, just like how now the poor sales of the Wii U are not going to drive Nintendo under anytime soon. But Sega didn't have that, of course.


We went over this in a previous thread. It depends exactly where you put the cutoff point and is slightly complicated by Dreamcast launching in September while Gamecube launched in November, but the two are very very close. But Gamecube came out two years later, so the Dreamcast comes out ahead in that comparison. If Dreamcast had stayed on the market, and continued to sell in similar numbers, Gamecube sales wouldn't have caught up to it.
That's plausible, yeah. But the GC, with 21 million worldwide and 12 million in the US... as I say above, I don't see that kind of sales being enough. Sega could see where their sales were, and didn't think that was enough, and went third party. They weren't terrible, sure, and it was a very nice recovery from how poorly the Saturn had been regarded in the US, but it wasn't enough.

Of course, the early launch probably didn't help Sega. As I've said before, 1999... most people in the West didn't want a next-gen console yet. Sega was trying to start the generation early, but like most early-gen platforms, it didn't work out; the market wouldn't be ready for a while and by then more powerful systems were out. Sure, they were doing alright considering that, but near-broke Sega could not survive with alright, 4th-place numbers. Not with the kinds of losses they were making! If Sega was better with money this would be different. And on that note, Nintendo's focus on losing as little as possible on hardware looks pretty good when you look at how much Sega lost on the Saturn and DC, or Microsoft lost on the Xbox, or Sony on the PS3...


4.5 million sold within 18 months isn't good enough?

That's ridiculous!
Sega probably basically needed to sell more systems than they reasonably could sell in the timeframe they had. Seeing a path where the DC as it was actually does well enough to keep Sega alive as a first-party company is kind of hard... they'd need PS2 hype to not exist or something, pretty much, I think. And that wasn't going to happen. Sure the DC had better games in the first years of the generation, but people waited for or bought PS2s anyway because of the hype and the promise of future games. And then in '01 the PS2 got MGS2 and GTA3 and, yeah, was at 19.5 million sold by the time it'd been on the market for 18 months (Sept. '01, 18 months after the Japanese launch; see the links I posted earlier this page).


No it didn't do quite well enough, because Sega's goal was set way too high for most consoles. Like I said below, even the 360 couldn't hit those sales projections in North America within 18 months. It was an unrealistic number to achieve.
Sega probably had to set a too-high goal because anything less was doom. And on that note, here is one reason why I think Bernie Stolar's decision to sell the DC for only $200 in the US was a mistake -- the PS2 and Xbox showed that $300 was fine that gen, and Sega lost a lot of money on every Dreamcast they sold. That's not good in their state.


The GC only sold 3.5 million units in North America (its most successful region) by January of 2003. That's a 14 month time-span and not much better than what the DC (North America) was doing within that same amount of time. It certainly couldn't hit 7.5 million in North America by the 18th month.
You're right, the GC wasn't MUCH over the DC in the US, launch-aligned, up until the DC died off early. But it was above it, if only slightly. And the GC was 3rd place in the US that gen; even if it was the system's most successful region, the PS2 and Xbox did better.


Not really. The 360 sold 8.3 million units within 18 months vs. 5.9 million (that number seems a little low for a console that supposedly sold 10 million) for the DC. That's not a massive gap. The PS2 was probably near 20 million within that same timeline. Even the 360 couldn't hit 7.5 million in North America within Sega's projections.
Those DC sales numbers, a little low? Remember, in the US at least Jan.-Nov. sales in '01 were better than '00. Maybe not selling much in December countered that out, but still, it surely sold in the millions that year overall. Then the rest dribble out later on. But sure, maybe the 10 million number is wrong. Does that number actually come from some authoritative source, or is it, like, because some random internet article says so? Sega was so bad at being clear about how much their systems were actually selling... I believe the 10 million number unless it is proven wrong, though, because it does sound reasonable.

Guntz
06-03-2014, 04:56 AM
Even if Sony was no different from the other companies from a business standpoint, I've never liked Sony as a game console company on the grounds that they stepped into gaming as an outsider and instead of coming up with their own talent for good first party software, they just bought as many third parties as they could get their hands on. Nintendo and Sega however have always had in-house development teams, as well as external second parties. With Sony though, on PS1 at least, their first party line up was basically second party entirely. The lack of real first party presence has always made the PlayStation a generic appliance of video games. The console was largely carried by third parties, like a VHS or DVD player. Video games in general have really taken a downturn in originality ever since the original PS1.

As for the Dreamcast, I absolutely agree it was canceled too early. Sega lost some money on Dreamcast, but lost tons more by canceling it early. Didn't Sega do it because majority vote wanted to go third party only? Those in upper management probably used lacking DC sales as an excuse. What a horrible idea that was. They eventually had to be bought by Sammy through 2003 and 2004.

Even if the DC died early, I'll always love the games for it. It's still a great console even today.

Knuckle Duster
06-03-2014, 05:22 AM
Even if Sony was no different from the other companies from a business standpoint, I've never liked Sony as a game console company on the grounds that they stepped into gaming as an outsider and instead of coming up with their own talent for good first party software, they just bought as many third parties as they could get their hands on. Nintendo and Sega however have always had in-house development teams, as well as external second parties. With Sony though, on PS1 at least, their first party line up was basically second party entirely. The lack of real first party presence has always made the PlayStation a generic appliance of video games. The console was largely carried by third parties, like a VHS or DVD player. Video games in general have really taken a downturn in originality ever since the original PS1.

As for the Dreamcast, I absolutely agree it was canceled too early. Sega lost some money on Dreamcast, but lost tons more by canceling it early. Didn't Sega do it because majority vote wanted to go third party only? Those in upper management probably used lacking DC sales as an excuse. What a horrible idea that was. They eventually had to be bought by Sammy through 2003 and 2004.

Even if the DC died early, I'll always love the games for it. It's still a great console even today.

What's the difference between first and second party games if they're exclusive and funded by the platform seller, and why should it matter if it feels like a generic appliance for video games, since that's what consoles are in the first place? The only thing I see different with Sony is a willingness to discard or license out the rights to it's brands.

Video games have taken a downturn in originality ever since the original PS1 you say? So, from 1994-2000, the birth era of 3D gaming, games have suddenly declined in originality? Does this take into account the era from 1977-1984 when most games were arcade shooters, or 1985-1993 when mascots and 2d platformers were a thing?


Originality is bullshit. What matters is constant variety of a high quality. There's still plenty of that these days.

Barone
06-03-2014, 10:33 AM
Let's see what Evil Sony did to force Sega out of the the competition:
- Evil Sony of Japan released a expensive CD add-on for the Mega Drive in Japan with almost no games.
- Evil Sony of America invested tons of cash to be able to pull off a consistent wave of "interactive" B-movies for that expensive CD add-on in US, exposing its lack of color palettes to the max.
- Evil Sony of Japan offered little to no support for the CD add-on during its lifespan.
- Evil Sony hired a 3rd class developer in order to make some easy money by deteriorating its console-seller mascot's image with a game called "Sonic Spinball".
- Evil Sony of America spent tons of cash in a Multimedia Studio whose best outcome is that Jurassic Park point-and-click game with no mouse support.
- Evil Sony spent a lot of resources to develop a new add-on for the Genesis/Mega Drive, now using cartridges instead of CDs, despite having promoted the CD as the next big thing for years.
- Evil Sony dropped this new add-on just 6 months after its release, along with the CD add-on and Genesis/Mega Drive; making customers and retailers very happy.
- Evil Sony decided to pull off a "surprise" launch for its 5th gen console, with the launch line-up having bad frame rate and graphical glitches in its major titles.
- Evil Sony's 5th gen console was more expensive than its main competitor, despite delivering surprisingly lower video playback quality out of the box (given its experience with CD add-ons and FMV games) and also inferior 3D rendering performance.
- Evil Sony's 5th gen console was also harder to develop for when compared to its main competitor, say the developers.
- Evil Sony left companies with talented individuals like Lobotomy Software go under without much of a concern.
- Evil Sony... Oh, wait.

Kamahl
06-03-2014, 10:51 AM
Evil Sony of Japan also forgot to make a mascot game for it's 5th gen console, making instead a game about a flying jester and cancelled the puke inducing fish-eye lens game Sony of America was doing which would have at the very least been something.

HalfBit
06-03-2014, 12:04 PM
At least Evil Sony made a good 16-bit system we can all cherish.

sheath
06-03-2014, 07:48 PM
It is always a pleasure to see Internet forums present questionable business decisions, decisions that may have contributed to a company's fall in popularity, as exactly the same as intentional anti-competitive business tactics that purposefully shut companies down or took them out of multiplatform publishing. Whether or not you all actually believe what you are saying I will never know, but a decision not to release something, or to release something, is not the same as buying out everything the competition needs to stay on the market.

So, Technosoft or Game Arts would have done the exact same things as Atari, Sony, Microsoft, EA or Activision if they just had enough money to do so? What a dim view of the old game industry!

TrekkiesUnite118
06-03-2014, 08:34 PM
So, Technosoft or Game Arts would have done the exact same things as Atari, Sony, Microsoft, EA or Activision if they just had enough money to do so? What a dim view of the old game industry!

Yes, they would have. They're a company and they want to make money. If they had the resources and software sales to pull it off you bet your ass they would have become something on par with Capcom, Sega, EA, or Activision.

SEGA.GENESIS1989
06-03-2014, 09:21 PM
I sort of understand your position sheath. But in business large multinational corporations operate this way. Morality is chucked out the window in favor of profit. Corporations exist as profit maximizers and if they must dabble in anti-competitive business practices so be it. That is the risk that a corporation must take in order to survive and prosper. If a corporation does not at least try to knock their competitor to at least a weaker or suboordinate position, it risks being jousted off their pedestal and possibly right out of the industry altogether. To be quite honest, when SONY made it's debut with the Playstation, I hated the fact that SEGA was now in a subordinate position. But in hindsight, whose fault was it? SEGA looked blindly at the competitive gaming landscape and did not position itself well in the marketplace. One has to give credit to SONY for forging ahead and making the necessary partnerships and acquisitions in order to ensure that it's product reigned supreme.

One thing has to be said. I often here people argue that SEGA is not the SEGA we grew up with. Well, what's wrong with that? Corporations are expected to evolve over time. If you look at any industry, corporations rise and fall. And in order to prosper, a corporation must compete and be flexible to change.

Barone
06-03-2014, 09:37 PM
It is always a pleasure to see Internet forums present questionable business decisions, decisions that may have contributed to a company's fall in popularity
For your pleasure:

http://www.leftoverculturereview.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/brainsSegaCDAd.jpg
http://i483.photobucket.com/albums/rr196/MathUser/1993%20Magazine%20Scans/SegaVisionsIssue14-Aug-Sept1993_Pag.jpg
http://images.eurogamer.net/2013/usgamer/Sega-Activator.jpg
http://www.forsyard.com/images/1994/sonicAndKnucklesAd.jpg
http://www.forsyard.com/images/1994/virtuaRacingAd.jpg
http://www.leftoverculturereview.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/sega32x_ad.jpg
http://37.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lm99lfXv7r1ql1fdyo1_r1_1280.jpg


Those bastards at anti-competitive Sony!

zetastrike
06-03-2014, 09:43 PM
It is always a pleasure to see Internet forums present questionable business decisions, decisions that may have contributed to a company's fall in popularity, as exactly the same as intentional anti-competitive business tactics that purposefully shut companies down or took them out of multiplatform publishing. Whether or not you all actually believe what you are saying I will never know, but a decision not to release something, or to release something, is not the same as buying out everything the competition needs to stay on the market.

So, Technosoft or Game Arts would have done the exact same things as Atari, Sony, Microsoft, EA or Activision if they just had enough money to do so? What a dim view of the old game industry!

Sheath, as much as I like you, that's a really naive thought. Every game company would like to be the top dog. Sony, EA, and Activision had the means to do it, so they did. Sega didn't, partly because they were a small company and partly because they put themselves in an awful position. Nintendo was out of its league as well, but they were able to weather the storm thanks to not closing out the 4th gen by driving off a cliff. Once it was established that video games were a thing it was only a matter of time until the big electronics/software juggernauts like Sony and MS wanted a piece of that pie, and they want as close to the entire pie as they can get. With their bank accounts, it's theirs. I don't like it any more than you do, but it's just the way the world works. Capitalism 101.

sheath
06-03-2014, 10:45 PM
Sheath, as much as I like you, that's a really naive thought. Every game company would like to be the top dog. Sony, EA, and Activision had the means to do it, so they did. Sega didn't, partly because they were a small company and partly because they put themselves in an awful position. Nintendo was out of its league as well, but they were able to weather the storm thanks to not closing out the 4th gen by driving off a cliff. Once it was established that video games were a thing it was only a matter of time until the big electronics/software juggernauts like Sony and MS wanted a piece of that pie, and they want as close to the entire pie as they can get. With their bank accounts, it's theirs. I don't like it any more than you do, but it's just the way the world works. Capitalism 101.

I really am struggling here that most to all of this group really believes that every organization actually wants and expects to dominate the market. Nothing I have seen in business or organizational strategy suggests this, nothing I have seen in developer or publisher interviews suggests this. Wanting to make money and be able to make it to the next idea or game is_not the same as wanting to push all competition out of the market and be the only game in town.

Think about it for a minute, in the music industry do garage bands start out wanting to "make it big" or wanting to be the only band in the world? The only reason we are even having this discussion, as if all corporations want to monopolize their industry, is because monopolistic anti-competitive megacorps have spun their own history for over twenty years now. Competition is always good, and is regarded as beneficial by any legitimate company in any industry.


I sort of understand your position sheath. But in business large multinational corporations operate this way. Morality is chucked out the window in favor of profit. Corporations exist as profit maximizers and if they must dabble in anti-competitive business practices so be it. That is the risk that a corporation must take in order to survive and prosper. If a corporation does not at least try to knock their competitor to at least a weaker or suboordinate position, it risks being jousted off their pedestal and possibly right out of the industry altogether. To be quite honest, when SONY made it's debut with the Playstation, I hated the fact that SEGA was now in a subordinate position. But in hindsight, whose fault was it? SEGA looked blindly at the competitive gaming landscape and did not position itself well in the marketplace. One has to give credit to SONY for forging ahead and making the necessary partnerships and acquisitions in order to ensure that it's product reigned supreme.

One thing has to be said. I often here people argue that SEGA is not the SEGA we grew up with. Well, what's wrong with that? Corporations are expected to evolve over time. If you look at any industry, corporations rise and fall. And in order to prosper, a corporation must compete and be flexible to change.

I am not speaking against proper strategy and positioning, or even ensuring ones own position in the marketplace through acquisitions. I don't even intend to complain about the likelihood that Sony's acquisitions were well out of reach for any of the major players in the game industry at the time. My original point, which has already been conveniently forgotten, was that Sony actually did make it a point to force competition off the market. It was_not as simple as Sony being good at business and Sega being bad at business as was suggested.

I consider whether or not conglomerates like Sony or Microsoft are legitimate gaming companies, or whether Sega could have stayed in hardware and as experimental with everything if only they had managed things better, a different topic. Here we have a simple formula, some companies tried to "profit" by making unique or exceptionally well made hardware and software, and others stormed in with outside money and bought companies that produced while selling at a loss to force competition off the market. It is a stark difference that is so plainly documented I honestly cannot believe that we are claiming there is only the later and never the former.

TrekkiesUnite118
06-03-2014, 11:04 PM
Think about it for a minute, in the music industry do garage bands start out wanting to "make it big" or wanting to be the only band in the world?

This is a terrible analogy. Bands are artists, they're in it to make music. Companies are completely different things. They exist soley to make money. If a company doesn't make money, it dies. Plain and simple.



The only reason we are even having this discussion, as if all corporations want to monopolize their industry, is because monopolistic anti-competitive megacorps have spun their own history for over twenty years now. Competition is always good, and is regarded as beneficial by any legitimate company in any industry.

No, it's because it's the cold hard truth. You're just refuse to accept it because it's one more thing that goes against your narrative.

Barone
06-03-2014, 11:06 PM
"You must spread some Reputation around before giving it to TrekkiesUnite118 again." :(

gamevet
06-03-2014, 11:35 PM
I really am struggling here that most to all of this group really believes that every organization actually wants and expects to dominate the market. Nothing I have seen in business or organizational strategy suggests this, nothing I have seen in developer or publisher interviews suggests this. Wanting to make money and be able to make it to the next idea or game is_not the same as wanting to push all competition out of the market and be the only game in town.

Think about it for a minute, in the music industry do garage bands start out wanting to "make it big" or wanting to be the only band in the world? The only reason we are even having this discussion, as if all corporations want to monopolize their industry, is because monopolistic anti-competitive megacorps have spun their own history for over twenty years now. Competition is always good, and is regarded as beneficial by any legitimate company in any industry.


Once a company goes public, the company's founders have to answer to their stock holders. The stock holders want to see profit, or a reason why they need to hold onto their share of the company. The more value they see in a company, the more the shares' worth becomes. It becomes an ever growing monster, so much so that even the founders of said company can be ousted by their board members, like what happened to Steve Jobs and Tramiel.




I am not speaking against proper strategy and positioning, or even ensuring ones own position in the marketplace through acquisitions. I don't even intend to complain about the likelihood that Sony's acquisitions were well out of reach for any of the major players in the game industry at the time. My original point, which has already been conveniently forgotten, was that Sony actually did make it a point to force competition off the market. It was_not as simple as Sony being good at business and Sega being bad at business as was suggested.

Nintendo tried to do the same thing. They saw competition as a threat to their profit margins and at one point they brought up violent videogames to counter what Sega was doing with the Sega CD and Genesis. If Nintendo didn't get slapped with an anti-trust lawsuit, they could have very well bullied retail and 3rd party publishers from giving the Genesis the support it needed to become a strong player in the market.


I consider whether or not conglomerates like Sony or Microsoft are legitimate gaming companies, or whether Sega could have stayed in hardware and as experimental with everything if only they had managed things better, a different topic. Here we have a simple formula, some companies tried to "profit" by making unique or exceptionally well made hardware and software, and others stormed in with outside money and bought companies that produced while selling at a loss to force competition off the market. It is a stark difference that is so plainly documented I honestly cannot believe that we are claiming there is only the later and never the former.

Sony is an electronics and entertainment company. It wasn't just the videogame business that they have pushed their way into and forced the competition out of. They were already a small part of the industry when they were publishing videogames through Sony Imagesoft; it was only a matter of time before they expanded that role, one way or another. Sony would pretty much be another company that went under, if they had not pursued other options like entering the videogame console market.

Microsoft has always been a software 1st, hardware second company. The Xbox was their foot in the door to expanding beyond PC software and games. If MS was to continue to be a profitable company, they needed to expand beyond the PC realm. They did that by entering the videogame console market, as well as taking risks on the failed Zune. If the Windows market becomes irrelevant in another 10 years, MS has to have something else to fall back on to continue to stay in business.

Look at Blockbuster video. They stuck to their one product and had no outs when the video rental market became useless to the consumer. Had Blockbuster expanded beyond just their rental chains, they may have survived by having another product or service to support the company.






Those DC sales numbers, a little low? Remember, in the US at least Jan.-Nov. sales in '01 were better than '00. Maybe not selling much in December countered that out, but still, it surely sold in the millions that year overall. Then the rest dribble out later on. But sure, maybe the 10 million number is wrong. Does that number actually come from some authoritative source, or is it, like, because some random internet article says so? Sega was so bad at being clear about how much their systems were actually selling... I believe the 10 million number unless it is proven wrong, though, because it does sound reasonable.

A little low, if we are to believe that the DC had sold 4.5 million units in North America by January of 2001. The DC definitely sold more than 1.4 million units between Japan, Europe and the other territories outside of North America.

I'm thinking that the article is being a little too generous (probably more like between 3.5 and 4 million) about the sales of the DC in North America and not generous enough for the sales in other territories. According to what Kent says about his interview with Charles Bellfield (Dreamcast Icons video), he was told that Sega had more systems in the chain, than what they had sold (North America?) and that they were no longer making Dreamcasts. I got the impression that Bellfield was talking about worldwide consoles still in the chain being somewhere between 3.5 and 4 million, and that there were more consoles there, than what they had sold in North America at that time. According to the video, North America was expected to sell between 4 and 5 million (since Sega was supposedly pushing all of its chips towards the NA market) and the magic number of 7.5 million was for world-wide sales.

PMAg46zaRbs

The numbers between January and November 01 were slightly higher, because Sega was pretty much dumping the hardware during that year, with the price starting at $99, then $50 and eventually hitting $30 in early 02.

j_factor
06-04-2014, 01:36 AM
Looking at worldwide numbers, the PS2 had sold 6.4 million systems by the end of 2000 (remember, it launched in Japan early in the year), and was at 10.04 million by the end of March. Meanwhile, the best numbers we have for the DC are 5.9 million at the end of 2000, and 10-10.5 million overall. You do not need hindsight to see that it was crushing the Dreamcast; even with a later release date it caught up very quickly, and of course all the hype for a long time had been entirely focused on the stupid PS2.

I don't view gaming as a zero-sum game where one system's success "crushes" another's. N64 was a success, PSP was a success, and all three last-gen consoles were successful. PS2 sales numbers are neither here nor there.


Ah, but the problem is, how well did Sega have to do in order to be able to stay in as a hardware manufacturer? I mean, fourth place wasn't cutting it. Would GC or Xbox-like 20-25 million overall worldwide sales numbers have been good enough? Given that they were on track to finish in fourth anyway, with numbers probably a bit under Nintendo's, I don't know if they'd even have reached 20 million. And I just don't think that that could have saved Sega. As I've said before, because of their finances they needed a big hit, not a 3rd or 4 place finish. If Sega had Nintendo money this wouldn't be an issue, just like how now the poor sales of the Wii U are not going to drive Nintendo under anytime soon. But Sega didn't have that, of course.

I don't think they were on track to finish in fourth. There's many factors at play here.

At the simplest level, just look at the Gamecube-Dreamcast launch-aligned sales comparison again. They're almost even. But Gamecube came out two years later. GC's sales total in 2003 was similar to DC's in 2001; if Dreamcast remained on the market, it would have remained ahead by whatever amount it sold in 2002-2003. Gamecube would have had to outsell Dreamcast on a continual basis by a significant margin in order to catch up.

And that's just looking at sales numbers by themselves. Would Gamecube have sold the same number of units if it hadn't had Sega games like Monkey Ball, Sonic, PSO, and F-Zero GX? Would Capcom have given the Gamecube such support if Dreamcast were still in the picture?

I think Dreamcast would more likely have outsold Gamecube overall, and had a shot at outselling the Xbox too. In light of the fact that more people buy consoles towards the middle of a generation and Dreamcast was cut off rather early on, I think it's very possible that Dreamcast sales would have upticked a bit as that generation marches on. Also, in Japan, the DC wasn't very successful, but they had a good chance of improvement, especially with Virtua Fighter 4.


Sega probably had to set a too-high goal because anything less was doom. And on that note, here is one reason why I think Bernie Stolar's decision to sell the DC for only $200 in the US was a mistake -- the PS2 and Xbox showed that $300 was fine that gen, and Sega lost a lot of money on every Dreamcast they sold. That's not good in their state.

I agree with that, but also, if $200 was too cheap already, then they really shouldn't have dropped the price to $150 so quickly. That surely didn't help.

Knuckle Duster
06-04-2014, 02:03 AM
I really am struggling here that most to all of this group really believes that every organization actually wants and expects to dominate the market. Nothing I have seen in business or organizational strategy suggests this, nothing I have seen in developer or publisher interviews suggests this. Wanting to make money and be able to make it to the next idea or game is_not the same as wanting to push all competition out of the market and be the only game in town.

Think about it for a minute, in the music industry do garage bands start out wanting to "make it big" or wanting to be the only band in the world? The only reason we are even having this discussion, as if all corporations want to monopolize their industry, is because monopolistic anti-competitive megacorps have spun their own history for over twenty years now. Competition is always good, and is regarded as beneficial by any legitimate company in any industry.



I am not speaking against proper strategy and positioning, or even ensuring ones own position in the marketplace through acquisitions. I don't even intend to complain about the likelihood that Sony's acquisitions were well out of reach for any of the major players in the game industry at the time. My original point, which has already been conveniently forgotten, was that Sony actually did make it a point to force competition off the market. It was_not as simple as Sony being good at business and Sega being bad at business as was suggested.

I consider whether or not conglomerates like Sony or Microsoft are legitimate gaming companies, or whether Sega could have stayed in hardware and as experimental with everything if only they had managed things better, a different topic. Here we have a simple formula, some companies tried to "profit" by making unique or exceptionally well made hardware and software, and others stormed in with outside money and bought companies that produced while selling at a loss to force competition off the market. It is a stark difference that is so plainly documented I honestly cannot believe that we are claiming there is only the later and never the former.



Given the huge amount of juvenile, dogmatic sentimentality that cycles through the video game scene on forums like this one, I would be easily inclined to state that half of the meat heads discussing it probably don't know how business really works. Everything is a shallow zero-sum competition because they were conditioned that way by marketing departments, while being doped up on all that childhood magic.

A Black Falcon
06-04-2014, 02:48 AM
A little low, if we are to believe that the DC had sold 4.5 million units in North America by January of 2001. The DC definitely sold more than 1.4 million units between Japan, Europe and the other territories outside of North America.

I'm thinking that the article is being a little too generous (probably more like between 3.5 and 4 million) about the sales of the DC in North America and not generous enough for the sales in other territories. According to what Kent says about his interview with Charles Bellfield (Dreamcast Icons video), he was told that Sega had more systems in the chain, than what they had sold (North America?) and that they were no longer making Dreamcasts. I got the impression that Bellfield was talking about worldwide consoles still in the chain being somewhere between 3.5 and 4 million, and that there were more consoles there, than what they had sold in North America at that time. According to the video, North America was expected to sell between 4 and 5 million (since Sega was supposedly pushing all of its chips towards the NA market) and the magic number of 7.5 million was for world-wide sales.

PMAg46zaRbs

The numbers between January and November 01 were slightly higher, because Sega was pretty much dumping the hardware during that year, with the price starting at $99, then $50 and eventually hitting $30 in early 02.
I agree that 1.4 million as the Japan+PAL total as of January '01 does sound low, but if we can't believe news articles reporting what sounds like numbers they're getting from what is hopefully an authoritative source, what can we believe?

Of course, that 10.6 million total sold number could be wrong too. Is there any real proof behind it?

SEGA.GENESIS1989
06-04-2014, 02:52 AM
I really am struggling here that most to all of this group really believes that every organization actually wants and expects to dominate the market. Nothing I have seen in business or organizational strategy suggests this, nothing I have seen in developer or publisher interviews suggests this. Wanting to make money and be able to make it to the next idea or game is_not the same as wanting to push all competition out of the market and be the only game in town.

Think about it for a minute, in the music industry do garage bands start out wanting to "make it big" or wanting to be the only band in the world? The only reason we are even having this discussion, as if all corporations want to monopolize their industry, is because monopolistic anti-competitive megacorps have spun their own history for over twenty years now. Competition is always good, and is regarded as beneficial by any legitimate company in any industry.

I am not speaking against proper strategy and positioning, or even ensuring ones own position in the marketplace through acquisitions. I don't even intend to complain about the likelihood that Sony's acquisitions were well out of reach for any of the major players in the game industry at the time. My original point, which has already been conveniently forgotten, was that Sony actually did make it a point to force competition off the market. It was_not as simple as Sony being good at business and Sega being bad at business as was suggested.

I consider whether or not conglomerates like Sony or Microsoft are legitimate gaming companies, or whether Sega could have stayed in hardware and as experimental with everything if only they had managed things better, a different topic. Here we have a simple formula, some companies tried to "profit" by making unique or exceptionally well made hardware and software, and others stormed in with outside money and bought companies that produced while selling at a loss to force competition off the market. It is a stark difference that is so plainly documented I honestly cannot believe that we are claiming there is only the later and never the former.

Whether you are speaking about SONY, Microsoft, or SEGA each of these enterprises were created to derive revenue. SEGA did not simply want to create well made hardware or software. SEGA invested time and money into R&D in order to try and gain a foothold over the competition. If you believe that a corporation will happily coexist with a competitor at it's doorstop, you are sorely mistaken. Market share and potential revenue will dictate future behavior.

Titans do not simply work within a bubble and expect that their product or service will ward off the competition. They use every (legal) tool at their disposal to take gain market share and eliminate the competition.

A Black Falcon
06-04-2014, 03:15 AM
I don't view gaming as a zero-sum game where one system's success "crushes" another's. N64 was a success, PSP was a success, and all three last-gen consoles were successful. PS2 sales numbers are neither here nor there.
I'd say that there are two ways for a console to be a success.

1) It wins its generation. Winning systems clearly are successful -- Atari 2600, NES, SNES, PS1, PS2, Wii, GB, GBC, GBA, DS...

2) It is a profitable system for the first-party company. Even if a system didn't win, if it's profitable, they'd probably consider it successful -- Sega Master System (thanks to Europe) likely was this, and the Genesis definitely was. The Xbox 360 and Atari 7800 as well. There are more -- Game Gear and PSP most likely, etc.

If a system didn't do either of those things, it's not likely to be a success. It's not IMPOSSIBLE, probably, but it's much less likely.


I don't think they were on track to finish in fourth. There's many factors at play here.

At the simplest level, just look at the Gamecube-Dreamcast launch-aligned sales comparison again. They're almost even. But Gamecube came out two years later. GC's sales total in 2003 was similar to DC's in 2001; if Dreamcast remained on the market, it would have remained ahead by whatever amount it sold in 2002-2003. Gamecube would have had to outsell Dreamcast on a continual basis by a significant margin in order to catch up.

And that's just looking at sales numbers by themselves. Would Gamecube have sold the same number of units if it hadn't had Sega games like Monkey Ball, Sonic, PSO, and F-Zero GX? Would Capcom have given the Gamecube such support if Dreamcast were still in the picture?

I think Dreamcast would more likely have outsold Gamecube overall, and had a shot at outselling the Xbox too. In light of the fact that more people buy consoles towards the middle of a generation and Dreamcast was cut off rather early on, I think it's very possible that Dreamcast sales would have upticked a bit as that generation marches on. Also, in Japan, the DC wasn't very successful, but they had a good chance of improvement, especially with Virtua Fighter 4.
I think you're overrating the Dreamcast's potential sales here. A few things.

- The GC as it is sold better than the DC in the US on a launch-aligned basis, and it ended up at ~12.4 million sold in North America. The Xbox sold better than that, and the PS2 crushed them both. The DC would have been lucky to match the GC's North American total.

- Sure, Sega had an early lead, but they probably also would have released their next system sooner! The Wii released in late '06, but I can't see Sega waiting that long. The X360 released in late '05, and Sega probably would have been there at the latest, maybe even sooner because of how early the Dreamcast released.

- Once the GC and Xbox got going, and developers got a better handle on the PS2 than they had in its early years, the DC would have struggled even more to keep up visually, and this absolutely would have hurt it! People care about such things, and the huge difference in maximum polygon counts alone WOULD be noticed. Yeah, the DC when pushed can do nice things, but the GC or Xbox when pushed can do nicer things, and the PS2 can do more things even if they never have DC/GC/Xbox levels of image quality. This is another reason that Sega would be likely to release their next console (pretending that they somehow got the funding for such a thing, an unlikely scenario to be sure) early -- '04 or '05. The GC would have kept selling through '06 of course, as it did. And even if the GC was only slightly beating the DC on a monthly basis, it could have eventually made up that ground.

- On the other hand, Sega's game library for the GC/Xbox/PS2 in '01-'02 was pretty strong, and that would have been a fine lineup for the DC -- Super Monkey Ball, VF 4, US releases of Rez, Headhunter, and Shenmue II, a Western release of Space Channel 5 Part 2, ToeJam & Earl 3, Crazy Taxi 3, Beach Spikers, maybe a Skies of Arcadia 2 instead of the GC port, maybe a new Sonic game (or Billy Hatcher? That was '03, but it'd probably have been doable on DC), etc. But the DC had good games as it was, so that alone wouldn't mean all that much; it'd just say that the DC would indeed have continued to get a good first party library in '02 for sure, and maybe beyond that if Sega didn't fall apart as they did in reality.

- As for how much not having Sega would have hurt GC sales. Yeah, not having Sega would have hurt Nintendo a bit -- Sonic Adventure 2 Battle was a definite early success on the GC, and Super Monkey Ball as well -- but while it would have hurt Nintendo a bit, I doubt that it'd have been quite as bad as you think; it's more that Nintendo's audience was a natural audience for those kinds of games. But does it mean that those people were going to buy a DC? Not if, like me, they liked Sega games, but liked Nintendo games more... so like, I didn't buy a Dreamcast, but did get Sonic Adventure 2 Battle as one of my first Gamecube games. But yeah, this is a fair point for debate... it would have made an impact, sure. I'd just guess that it'd be a relatively small impact, because I think that it's more that Nintendo fans also turned out to often like Sonic games, more than that Sega fans were buying GCs after the DC died or something like that.

- The DC would need better Japanese and European sales than it seems to have gotten in order to match the Gamecube worldwide, too. If that 4.5/1.4 number at the end of '00 is even remotely close, then the DC's North American focus was even more pronounced than the Gamecubes'! Remember, the GC ended up selling 12.4 million in the US, 4 million in Japan, and 4.77 million in PAL territories. That's down in all regions vs. the N64, and particularly down in the US (N64 was 20.6/5.5/6.75 in US/JP/EU, so even though it declined in all regions the percentage of the total that was US sales went down), but it's still better than 4.5/1.4...


I agree with that, but also, if $200 was too cheap already, then they really shouldn't have dropped the price to $150 so quickly. That surely didn't help.
By that point Sega clearly had decided that they just wanted as many people as possible to have DC and that they'd just hope that software sales would be good enough to make up for the losses. Of course, they weren't. Sega needed to start with a higher price in the beginning.

j_factor
06-04-2014, 04:48 AM
The GC as it is sold better than the DC in the US on a launch-aligned basis, and it ended up at ~12.4 million sold in North America. The Xbox sold better than that, and the PS2 crushed them both. The DC would have been lucky to match the GC's North American total.

Gamecube was the only console to have a less successful launch than Dreamcast had. It looks (slightly) better on a launch-aligned basis is because it launched in November while Dreamcast launched in September. If it's 2003, you're not looking at launch-aligned sales. You're looking at current sales and total installed base.


Sure, Sega had an early lead, but they probably also would have released their next system sooner! The Wii released in late '06, but I can't see Sega waiting that long. The X360 released in late '05, and Sega probably would have been there at the latest, maybe even sooner because of how early the Dreamcast released.

I don't see Sega releasing another console after Dreamcast. Either they go third-party as they did, or maybe they partner with another company. A longer-lived Dreamcast would put them in a stronger negotiating position for whatever they decide to do.


Once the GC and Xbox got going, and developers got a better handle on the PS2 than they had in its early years, the DC would have struggled even more to keep up visually, and this absolutely would have hurt it! People care about such things, and the huge difference in maximum polygon counts alone WOULD be noticed. Yeah, the DC when pushed can do nice things, but the GC or Xbox when pushed can do nicer things, and the PS2 can do more things even if they never have DC/GC/Xbox levels of image quality. This is another reason that Sega would be likely to release their next console (pretending that they somehow got the funding for such a thing, an unlikely scenario to be sure) early -- '04 or '05.

The average consumer doesn't care about polygon counts. Graphics matter more on the developer side. But I don't think the DC was that weak that it would have been a Wii/WiiU type of situation, where it basically can't handle 90% of multiplatform games. I think Dreamcast was powerful enough to handle the Tony Hawks and games like Rayman 3 and basically any middleware-developed game that generation. So I don't think this would be a huge issue.


The GC would have kept selling through '06 of course, as it did. And even if the GC was only slightly beating the DC on a monthly basis, it could have eventually made up that ground.

Gamecube was still in stores and all, but it really didn't sell jack shit in 2006. Gamecube sales practically flatlined after Resident Evil 4. I clearly remember buying Chibi-Robo when it came out -- the Gamecube section at the store was pathetic, and Chibi-Robo was literally the only new game coming out at that time. Of course, Dreamcast sales would have taken a nosedive eventually too -- but I doubt it would have been two years earlier, during the generation's prime.


The DC would need better Japanese and European sales than it seems to have gotten in order to match the Gamecube worldwide, too. If that 4.5/1.4 number at the end of '00 is even remotely close, then the DC's North American focus was even more pronounced than the Gamecubes'! Remember, the GC ended up selling 12.4 million in the US, 4 million in Japan, and 4.77 million in PAL territories. That's down in all regions vs. the N64, and particularly down in the US (N64 was 20.6/5.5/6.75 in US/JP/EU, so even though it declined in all regions the percentage of the total that was US sales went down), but it's still better than 4.5/1.4...

Like I said, I think Dreamcast had a good shot at improving in Japan, particularly with Sakura Taisen and Virtua Fighter 4. 4 million is attainable. Europe, though, was probably a lost cause.

A Black Falcon
06-04-2014, 05:55 AM
Gamecube was the only console to have a less successful launch than Dreamcast had. It looks (slightly) better on a launch-aligned basis is because it launched in November while Dreamcast launched in September. If it's 2003, you're not looking at launch-aligned sales. You're looking at current sales and total installed base.
But if you put both lines on a graph and go out a year or more, the GC line is higher.


I don't see Sega releasing another console after Dreamcast. Either they go third-party as they did, or maybe they partner with another company. A longer-lived Dreamcast would put them in a stronger negotiating position for whatever they decide to do.
Weren't they thinking about what to do for a next console in the chance that they actually could release one, though? I mean, sure, it'd have required far more money than Sega could possibly have afforded to make, but they WERE thinking about it.


The average consumer doesn't care about polygon counts. Graphics matter more on the developer side. But I don't think the DC was that weak that it would have been a Wii/WiiU type of situation, where it basically can't handle 90% of multiplatform games. I think Dreamcast was powerful enough to handle the Tony Hawks and games like Rayman 3 and basically any middleware-developed game that generation. So I don't think this would be a huge issue.
Of course the average consumer cares at least somewhat about polygon counts. This is one reason why consoles have generations, after all; people like the better graphics of newer systems once they release. Sure, the average consumer doesn't care about the absolute best graphics, but the gap between the DC and the other systems, particularly in polygon count, is large enough that people could tell, and some games would definitely not have released on the DC because of its lacking hardware. The DC has less RAM and a much lower max polygon count than the other three systems, after all. I know that some people here like to claim that that's all fine and actually the DC could do graphics just as good as any on the other systems, but that's not accurate. It couldn't. And yes, consumers might not all notice... but seriously, Xbox vs. Dreamcast? Even average gamers would be able to see the difference. And it would hurt the DC with the hardcore for sure. And as for casuals, they were all going to buy PS2s anyway. MS, Nintendo, and Sega had to rely first and foremost on their own userbases (in MS's case, PC and N64 shooter fans), more so than casuals that gen...

But seriously, remember that recent argument here about the claim that the Gamecube wasn't powerful enough to run Burnout 3? I still say that that's wrong and of course a just about as good version could have ran on GC, but there are things about the systems that separate them, and the DC lags in pretty much all of those ways. A DC version of Burnout 3 would have to be much, MUCH more compromised than the Xbox version is, or a GC version would have to be (remember, even the Xbox version of Burnout 3 can't match the PS2 version's graphical effects, because of one of the PS2's only strength, particle effects). Burnout 1, yes. Burnout 3? It probably wouldn't have happened. And people notice when a system starts to miss out on lots of games -- this is one of the major reasons why the Wii slowed down to a stall after 2010, after all. What third-party support it had gotten earlier on mostly stopped, and Nintendo moved on to Wii U development, struggled badly with it, and ended up with a multi-year gap with very few game releases on either platform as a result. And at the same time Xbox 360 Kinect was a big (if temporary) hit, and the 360 dominated sales in the US for the next few years as a result. The GC is still the generation's overall winner... but the 360 (thanks to the US) and PS3 (thanks to Japan and Europe) have been eroding that down since 2011.


Gamecube was still in stores and all, but it really didn't sell jack shit in 2006. Gamecube sales practically flatlined after Resident Evil 4. I clearly remember buying Chibi-Robo when it came out -- the Gamecube section at the store was pathetic, and Chibi-Robo was literally the only new game coming out at that time. Of course, Dreamcast sales would have taken a nosedive eventually too -- but I doubt it would have been two years earlier, during the generation's prime.
I'm sure GC sales declined in 2006, but they declined a little bit more slowly than Xbox sales declined; after the 360's release in late '05 original Xbox sales plunged, and the GC actually outsold the Xbox for most or all of '06 from what I remember. Unfortunately it didn't do so by nearly enough to catch up to it in US sales, the Xbox won by several million, but the GC wore it down a bit at least. So yeah, even if the GC wasn't selling great in '06 for sure, it WAS selling something. As for games, there were few big titles on GC that year for sure, as the next generation phased in, but Zelda: Twilight Princess, released on GC in December '06, did sell over a million copies despite only being on the market for a few months.


Like I said, I think Dreamcast had a good shot at improving in Japan, particularly with Sakura Taisen and Virtua Fighter 4. 4 million is attainable. Europe, though, was probably a lost cause.
4 million in Japan, attainable... well, that'd be putting a LOT of pressure on VF4 succeeding, certainly! VF3 didn't do it. I know VF4 is a much more highly-regarded game, and it surely would have sold many DCs in Japan, but how many it's probably impossible to say for sure. Of course a DC version of VF4 likely wouldn't have had graphics quite as good as the arcade version, since that used the more powerful DC-based arcade system didn't it, but it'd probably have been good enough to be pretty good... though I don't know if it could have matched the PS2 version or not. As for Sakura Taisen, the DC had a bunch of those games as it is. How would that have helped it sell any more going forward? The series seemed to fade in popularity over time...

As for Europe, though, yeah, if it wasn't going to sell, it wasn't going to sell. Sony won over Europe in a HUGE way.

Mega Drive Bowlsey
06-04-2014, 06:51 AM
The reason Sony's PS2 sold like hotcakes in Japan upon it's release had nothing to do with games and everything to do with the fact that it had an inbuilt DVD Rom drive. Yep, back then in Japan DVD players were very expensive and buying a PS2 was actually cheaper than shelling out for a stand alone DVD player. The move from Sony may have been a masterstroke but it's also incredibly depressing and it wasn't just in Japan that this tactic worked wonders for them.

My own personal story about the fall of Sega starts after I'd left school in the year 2000 and started work at a local branch of HMV. I still lived at home at so I could spend most of my earnings on my beloved Dreamcast, buying games and accessories for it with the discount I got at work. Once we started stocking the PS2 upon it's release I was intrigued, I had been a huge fan of the PS1 and wondered what Sony could do with this new machine. It was given a bigger section of the shop to display it's wares than my Sega corner which I looked after and this annoyed me a bit. It started flying off the shelves and when I asked customers and friends what the big attraction was they very rarely mentioned the PS2's launch games, which were pretty weak at the start, but rather talked about the fact it played DVD's in good quality. Sega panicked, they started sending us DVD players to package and give away free alongside the Dreamcast to counter the PS2's raging success in a move that worried me greatly as it just smacked of desperation.

Months later, after the sales disaster for Sega that was Christmas 2000 (despite my best efforts!), I was on my break at work and reading my copy of the official Sega Dreamcast magazine where I read with horror the announcement that Sega were calling it a day and discontinuing production of the Dreamcast. I had heard rumours of course and didn't want to believe it but reading it there in black and white from the head of Sega himself was shocking to me. To call me upset and angry would be an understatement but I was not angry with Sega, oh no, why would I be? They'd given me such happiness over the years and games that I'll play until the day I die. No, my anger back then was directed at the fickle and tasteless gamesplaying public who, in their zombie like consumeristic trance like something out of a George Romero horror film, wanted something to watch DVD's on rather than a pure games machine like the Dreamcast.

That's how I felt back then anyway and it took me a long time to forgive Sony and eventually get a PS2 which, in later years, had some truly brilliant games. As for Sega of course they made mistakes over the years with hardware it has to be said. In my opinion they should have supported the Mega Drive right up until the end of the 90's, like the head of SOA Tom Kalinske wanted to do, because that machine had legs and it was something the public truly loved. Then they could have moved straight on to development of the Dreamcast thus bypassing entirely the 32X add-on and Sega Saturn console period, which were neither marketed nor designed well by Sega in my opinion. This way they would not have lost any of the public trust that they'd built up over the Mega Drive's glory years.

Well that is my perspective on what happened back then and I hope I didn't bore you all half to death! Sega and their beautiful Dreamcast, a machine second only to the Mega Drive in my book, was not beaten by rival companies with superior software but by a fucking DVD player! :D

GriskaGyoran
06-04-2014, 08:13 AM
Battling Sony in any market is a war of attrition that Sony has the resources to win. They had enough cash to basically force the PS3 into a success, never did like the thing myself. Sega could never have beat Sony and it's something I really hate to say. Sega simply didn't have the resources to beat the technology giant. Even if Sega had a technically superior console at a great cost, Sony could basically beat them into submission with a flood of advertisements, make special deals with developers, anything to beat Sega down back in 2000. However in the 3 years that the Dreamcast was out, I can honestly say I like it's library more than that of the PS2.

Kamahl
06-04-2014, 10:01 AM
Going back a bit to the whole "some companies just wanted to make good games" stuff, Activision started out exactly like that. They wanted games to be art and for programmers to be credited like artists.

You all know what they are now.

Also Sega could have handled Sony. Regardless of how big a juggernaut you're facing, if you're one of the top dogs and as long as you don't fuck up (and Sega did, horribly, 3 times in a row) you can manage. By the time the Dreamcast came out Sega wasn't a top dog, they were a badly injured dog with no legs to stand on.

FuturePrimitive
06-04-2014, 10:58 AM
Mega Drive Bowlsey, I agree with most of your points and enjoyed reading your post, since you were selling the Dreamcast at that time. In the new book, Console Wars, Tom Kalinske mentions how SEGA and Sony almost made a collaborative deal to make an advanced CD-based video game console. SEGA of America was all for it, but SEGA of Japan hesitated and declined to work with Sony.

The video game industry would be much different today if that deal happened. I'm almost certain that SEGA would still be making consoles today if they collaborated with Sony. That being said, the Dreamcast was and still is a wonderful system. Yet another SEGA console that didn't see its full potential.

sheath
06-04-2014, 11:20 AM
I'm fairly certain Activision changed ownership a couple of times before they finally became the "anti-EA" that they are today. I'm also pretty sure that I said some companies, back then, wanted to make enough money to make it to the next project and didn't have an end game of industry domination, which is true. Knuckle Duster is right that I shouldn't expect people, who insist on talking about business and industry, to actually know anything about it. This is a forum after all.

Here is my very simple rule of thumb. Whether you want corporations to be a-moral cash grabbing entities or not, there are different kinds of organizations with different focuses. If a company spends any measurable amount of its revenue buying up key assets that its competition needs to stay on the market, it is an anti-competitive company. You can find in these company's press releases and strategic alliances a focus on price fixing, dominating the manufacturing, retail and distribution channels, and preventing the competition from having key products (even for a short while). This is the focus of an anti-competitive corporation, you know from the beginning that they intend to dominate the industry, not just make a better widget and secure their position through strategic alliances.

Some companies spent most to all of their revenue on their next lineup of games and hardware and never even acquired smaller developers along the way. In fact, some companies supported smaller studios through out sourcing or funding their entire project without taking them over. Did these companies want more revenue? Absolutely. Did they make games and hardware with a clear view that these products would destroy the competition causing them to have to leave the market? I will leave that argument up to the legions of cynics. You will have an impossible time proving it with the primary sources or interviews.

The Gamecube and Xbox prove that everybody but Sony in the console business was going to lose money that generation whether they stayed on the market or not. This was not by accident, it was not because the PS2 was just that "jawsome", it was not because Sony had better games. Sony had secured its end game, market domination. Actually, I should say they achieved multiple end goals as they also wanted a media format they were directly invested in, or owned entirely, to dominate and they got that with DVD. Sony would have much preferred if they could have forced one of their own proprietary formats down everybody's throats though, because they want to dominate.

I'm not going to argue whether any of this was good or bad, most of you fail to acknowledge the concepts and have a very religious devotion to a massive multinational conglomerate that only wants your money. Well, that isn't quite true, they want your undying devotion too so you will only ever buy their next product and never consider the competition.

I will say that Sega was not going to stay on the console market, or keep its creative talent, after this for any reason. They simply had no alternate revenue stream to fall back on. Sega also never, ever, had the brand strength to dominate or weather an entire generation of losses and make a comeback. Consumers always saw Sega, outside of sports and Sonic, as the "generic" brand. Sega also lost their competitive "spirit," which drove them to make so many new IPs every year regardless of whether they would be massive sellers. Just look at the year on year releases by Sega through the 90s and compare that to their published record after 2001 for proof of what I say about Sega's focus as a 3rd party.

Now, by all means proceed to twist my words and project your blind devotion for one company on me by claiming I have a blind devotion to the old Sega.

Barone
06-04-2014, 11:53 AM
Knuckle Duster is right that I shouldn't expect people, who insist on talking about business and industry, to actually know anything about it. This is a forum after all.

I will leave that argument up to the legions of cynics. You will have an impossible time proving it with the primary sources or interviews.

I'm not going to argue whether any of this was good or bad, most of you fail to acknowledge the concepts and have a very religious devotion to a massive multinational conglomerate that only wants your money. Well, that isn't quite true, they want your undying devotion too so you will only ever buy their next product and never consider the competition.

Now, by all means proceed to twist my words and project your blind devotion for one company on me by claiming I have a blind devotion to the old Sega.
http://i429.photobucket.com/albums/qq12/xasurax113/Cool-Story-Bro-.jpg

Kamahl
06-04-2014, 11:56 AM
It's impossible to take you seriously when you insist we're somehow devoted to Sony. I've never owned a sony brand product in my life (EDIT: actually I had a PSP, forgot about it since it was only for a few months and then I sold it, never actually even saw the money)

What I do accept fully is that every company given enough reach will do anti-competitive bullshit. That doesn't mean their goal is to dominate the market, but it is that they want as much of it for themselves. This is true of any company selling *a platform*, or any big publisher. They might fail at it but they will try. Only exceptions are companies still run by founders who created the company with a vision and stick to it (and usually end up getting fired because the real owners are the shareholders).

"I'm also pretty sure that I said some companies, back then, wanted to make enough money to make it to the next project and didn't have an end game of industry domination, which is true."

Yes and apparently Sony was the only exception. Do you even listen to yourself? Nintendo did far worse anti competitive bullshit than Sony. Sony competed on merit throughout the whole 5th gen (after nintendo fucked them over, not the other way around), and 6th gen they rode the wave and used a much better media format they created for their machine which gave them a massive advantage over sega and nintendo (which would have had to pay for it, or create an alternative, business 101).

zetastrike
06-04-2014, 12:05 PM
Now, by all means proceed to twist my words and project your blind devotion for one company on me by claiming I have a blind devotion to the old Sega.

Yes, I'm a disciple of sony. It's not like I only own one PSX that I never touch, while I use my two Genesis, two Saturns, Sega CD, and Power Base Converter all the time. It's not like the only forum I use is centered on Sega, either. And I definitely don't simply understand how business/the capitalist world works.


I'm not going to argue whether any of this was good or bad, most of you fail to acknowledge the concepts and have a very religious devotion to a massive multinational conglomerate that only wants your money. Well, that isn't quite true, they want your undying devotion too so you will only ever buy their next product and never consider the competition.

Yeah, Sega had no interest in getting out money. They just wanted to entertain us and make our lives happier. Us paying them was only a side effect.

Mega Drive Bowlsey
06-04-2014, 12:13 PM
Mega Drive Bowlsey, I agree with most of your points and enjoyed reading your post, since you were selling the Dreamcast at that time. In the new book, Console Wars, Tom Kalinske mentions how SEGA and Sony almost made a collaborative deal to make an advanced CD-based video game console. SEGA of America was all for it, but SEGA of Japan hesitated and declined to work with Sony.

The video game industry would be much different today if that deal happened. I'm almost certain that SEGA would still be making consoles today if they collaborated with Sony. That being said, the Dreamcast was and still is a wonderful system. Yet another SEGA console that didn't see its full potential.

Yes indeed I know about the deal that almost happened between SEGA and Sony and I agree that had Tom Kalinske been listened to by SOJ and the deal been allowed to go ahead then it's almost certainly safe to say that SEGA would still be in the hardware market today. But hey, what happened happened and at least SEGA are making a profit now they are making games for everyone. It's my dream that they one day get back into the console market. Far fetched and not very practical in todays market I know but that's why it's a dream.

On a side note, Nintendo are far from safe these days and should know by now just how hard it is to compete with the financial juggernauts that are Sony and Microsoft. These companies can afford to keep throwing money at things to keep them going. If Nintendo had any sense they would follow SEGA and pull out of the hardware market while they're still a profitable company because they can't keep their WiiU going for much longer if all they have to throw at it is endless Mario spin-offs.

Nintendo have always played it safe and let other companies take the next generation leaps of faith. SEGA did far more in advancing hardware and software tech than Nintendo ever did. Case in point? The SEGA Mega CD add-on for the Mega Drive and the Dreamcast. Nintendo would never have dared to take the financial gamble to experiment with new hardware advancements like that. When they were working on their N64, SEGA were already working on the first 128bit console in the form of the Dreamcast. SEGA always led the field and, very sadly, ultimately paid the price for being continually ahead of their time. The Wii and the WiiU were both one generation behind in terms of hardware specs and capabilities when they were released by Nintendo, coincidence? No, I don't think so. They've made some wonderful games over the years I will admit but Nintendo as a company have never had the balls to lead the field.

SEGA.GENESIS1989
06-04-2014, 12:32 PM
Yeah, Sega had no interest in getting out money. They just wanted to entertain us and make our lives happier. Us paying them was only a side effect.

Hahahaha! That sentence made me laugh!



Going back a bit to the whole "some companies just wanted to make good games" stuff, Activision started out exactly like that. They wanted games to be art and for programmers to be credited like artists.

You all know what they are now.

Also Sega could have handled Sony. Regardless of how big a juggernaut you're facing, if you're one of the top dogs and as long as you don't fuck up (and Sega did, horribly, 3 times in a row) you can manage. By the time the Dreamcast came out Sega wasn't a top dog, they were a badly injured dog with no legs to stand on.

You are absolutely correct. But I don't necessarily think a business needs be one of the top dogs in order to be competitive. Sometimes the quality of a product or service is enough to win over consumers. But you#re right: In business, David can beat Goliath. I know this because I am currently in the process of doing just that. My competitor is a much larger enterprise with a larger pool of funds at their disposal. Worse still is that they have the mentality of a shark. As far as I can tell, the problem is that the are too big for their own good with an organizational structure that is rather clunky. That is their weakness. Where one person would suffice to complete the necessary task, they have hired three employees to complete the same amount of work.

As a small enterprise, I've streamlined the process as much as I can in order to (1.) save valuable time and energy for other pertinent tasks and (2.) derive higher profits to compete with the big dogs. A smart company does not only focus on their business alone. They must always survey the landscape, having one watchful eye on the competition, and observing what changes their competitors are implementing on a month by month basis in order to react accordingly. Sometimes oberving what actions a competitor has made in the past can help you avoid some of same pitfalls in the future.

I hate to say this but my end goal is not only to make as much money as I can but to also take them right out of their market at the most opportune time. I`ve adopted the approach of a hyena. Half my time is dedicated to marketing. The other half is focused on collecting information on the competition. Data that is later assessed and used to reorient my business in the short term. In the long term, this laborious exercise of compiling and assessing data will serve to damage the competition at the most opportune time.

Sure a corporation can behave in a naive manner and still be profitable in the interim. But eventually they will be swallowed up by a smarter, not necessarily larger, competitor.

Kamahl
06-04-2014, 12:49 PM
I was mostly saying that when you're a top dog, it doesn't matter if the other guy is a juggernaut, you're in a good position to fight back. To lose, you have to fuck things up, be slow to respond, etc...

In fact, just like you stated, it doesn't matter if it's a juggernaut actually. A smaller, nimbler company will screw you over just the same, if not more.

Point being, the one at the top is in an advantageous position. A loss is entirely his fault.

Of course, there are examples of extreme anti-competivie behaviour (the most glaring being microsoft vs netscape), what a lot of people forget about that war was that internet explorer was legitimately a better product (there's this fantasy that netscape was any good, I have no idea why). Netscape could have stayed in business, even in the face of a free, bundled competitor, had they actually competed.

You don't need any more proof than firefox. Switch business model, have a superior product, aggressive word-of-mouth marketing. Boom, the biggest juggernaut, at the top while doing anti-competitive bullshit, lost.

midnightrider
06-04-2014, 12:57 PM
On a side note, Nintendo are far from safe these days and should know by now just how hard it is to compete with the financial juggernauts that are Sony and Microsoft. These companies can afford to keep throwing money at things to keep them going. If Nintendo had any sense they would follow SEGA and pull out of the hardware market while they're still a profitable company because they can't keep their WiiU going for much longer if all they have to throw at it is endless Mario spin-offs.

They could probably survive off the handheld market though, so I'm not sure I'd say they should exit the hardware market, so much as the home console market.

sheath
06-04-2014, 02:29 PM
For the record, I wasn't calling everybody in this forum a Sony devotee, that actually would be silly. The ones who recite the "Sony came in and did nothing but good" journalist created narrative are the most suspect. It's like a creed they have to recite every time "Playstation" or "Sony" comes up.

If Sega had good brand recognition *and* an alternate source of revenue other than game consoles, they probably could have stayed in hardware. The main issue is, they had neither on a large enough scale.

Gogogadget
06-04-2014, 03:59 PM
I seem to remember that glorified DVD player being an excellent console for about.. 10 years.

gamevet
06-04-2014, 04:25 PM
My PS2 has played maybe 2 DVDs since I'd bought it, and one of those was Dragon's Lair. The PS3, however, has been my primary Blu-Ray player since 2006.

spiffyone
06-04-2014, 05:41 PM
By 1992 this was definitely not a known outcome, Nintendo was even still promising their SNES CD-ROM add-on vaporware and the entire industry was buzzing about CDs. I have said it before in this bottomless pit that if Sega hadn't released the Sega CD they and their key third parties would have been even more unprepared than they already were for the 32-bit generation.

Just because the industry was buzzing about CD-ROM doesn't necessarily mean that it was a smart business move for the West in '92. The West has always been more price sensitive than the Japanese market, something both Kalinske and Katz before him knew. The money sunk into development of that hardware, as well as manufacturing, distribution, and marketing of it, would have been better spent on Genesis/MegaDrive and/or Game Gear, IMHO.

As for being prepared for the 32-bit generation, Sega CD likely didn't have that much of an impact as you'd like to believe, and even if it did it still wasn't the right move for the West in '92 and therefore the company overall. If we go down that slippery slope of preparedness, then 32X was a good move because some of the tools Sega's teams developed for that add-on gave them a "jump" on Saturn development. I don't think anyone would agree with that overall, though.

spiffyone
06-04-2014, 05:44 PM
You do know that the Sega CD outsold the Turbo CD worldwide

Everyone knows that. The issue that I brought up is that it didn't in Japan, which was the primary market for the add-on, and that, in the Western markets it wasn't a good idea to release it when the money could've been better spent on making Genesis/MegaDrive (and Game Gear) even more competitive. Going with Sega CD took valuable resources away from money better spent elsewhere.

A Black Falcon
06-04-2014, 08:31 PM
Everyone knows that. The issue that I brought up is that it didn't in Japan, which was the primary market for the add-on, and that, in the Western markets it wasn't a good idea to release it when the money could've been better spent on making Genesis/MegaDrive (and Game Gear) even more competitive. Going with Sega CD took valuable resources away from money better spent elsewhere.

This is only potentially true if you pretend that FMV games don't matter and that the early '90s love of them should have been ignored by publishers even though people wanted those games and they would sell. Naturally, those would be foolish things to do for any company interested in making money and attracting more public attention in their systems. The Sega CD wasn't as successful as Sega wanted, but it was not a failure in the US. The problem with the Sega CD was that Sega of Japan never properly supported it and that the 32X and Saturn diverted resources from it later on. The problem was not that it existed in the first place.

Mega Drive Bowlsey
06-05-2014, 04:17 AM
I seem to remember that glorified DVD player being an excellent console for about.. 10 years.

I didn't say that the PS2 wasn't a great console in it's own right, it definitely proved itself with some great games over the years. I said that, when it was first released, it didn't beat the Dreamcast by having a better selection of games, far from it, it beat it by having the ability to play DVD's. Now you have to remember that when the PS2 was launched DVD's were still very new and exciting to people and large numbers of them initially bought the PS2 for that very reason where I live and no doubt in many places around the world. People certainly bought them for that reason in Japan. In the whole PS2 v Dreamcast debate a lot of people forget that if the battle had been fought purely on which decent games were available to the consoles then the Dreamcast would have easily held it's own and enjoyed a long life. Alas the battle was not fought on those terms and the Dreamcast was beaten by hardware not software.

Team Andromeda
06-05-2014, 08:59 AM
Now you have to remember that when the PS2 was launched DVD's were still very new and exciting to people and large numbers of them initially bought the PS2 for that very reason where I live and no doubt in many places around the world. People certainly bought them for that reason in Japan.

Japan maybe but the DC was selling poor in Japan long before the PS2 came out . In the end the PS2 won because SONY had all the hype and the major retail and 3rd party support - That's what killed SEGA Dreamcast , when people saw the likes of GT 3 and MGS 2 trailers and tech demo's you wanted the systems DC lacked that . Sad really :(

Majestic_Lizard
07-02-2014, 05:40 PM
Stolar had a lot to do with the success of the DC in North America. He brought back Sega sports, and the best selling North American titles for the DC were the sports titles from that division.
Nothing he did makes up for the fact that he announced the death of the Saturn prematurely, alienating 3rd party developers and leaving the company without capital for nearly a year before the DC was available. Stolar killed Sega for all intents and purposes.

Chilly Willy
07-02-2014, 06:26 PM
I didn't say that the PS2 wasn't a great console in it's own right, it definitely proved itself with some great games over the years. I said that, when it was first released, it didn't beat the Dreamcast by having a better selection of games, far from it, it beat it by having the ability to play DVD's. Now you have to remember that when the PS2 was launched DVD's were still very new and exciting to people and large numbers of them initially bought the PS2 for that very reason where I live and no doubt in many places around the world. People certainly bought them for that reason in Japan. In the whole PS2 v Dreamcast debate a lot of people forget that if the battle had been fought purely on which decent games were available to the consoles then the Dreamcast would have easily held it's own and enjoyed a long life. Alas the battle was not fought on those terms and the Dreamcast was beaten by hardware not software.

My brother bought a PS2 for two reasons: we had a PSX at the time and the PS2 was BC; and second, he wanted a DVD player. I eventually bought it from him for development use. I bought the ethernet/harddrive expansion for it, and got the linux package.

spiffyone
07-02-2014, 06:56 PM
Nothing he did makes up for the fact that he announced the death of the Saturn prematurely, alienating 3rd party developers and leaving the company without capital for nearly a year before the DC was available. Stolar killed Sega for all intents and purposes.

Oh, please. Saturn was practically dead before Stolar even joined the company. Hell, if it weren't for the move he made to have those three pack in games in '96/97 the console wouldn't have even sold as well as it did that holiday season (in which it was STILL outsold by N64 and PS1 by a hefty amount).

Face it: Saturn was not a viable system, business-wise. It was a money pit that Sega could ill afford during a time of downward trends in the arcade market (at the time a primary source of Sega's income).

Bernie made some bad moves, yes, but a lot of the worse moves were made before he even joined the company...and they were made by SoJ.

A Black Falcon
07-02-2014, 09:53 PM
Oh, please. Saturn was practically dead before Stolar even joined the company. Hell, if it weren't for the move he made to have those three pack in games in '96/97 the console wouldn't have even sold as well as it did that holiday season (in which it was STILL outsold by N64 and PS1 by a hefty amount).
I know Stolar apologists have to tell this to themselves because it's the only way to even begin to excuse how horrible everything Stolar did in '97 was, but this is absolutely, totally false. You even sort of admit it yourself! The Saturn sold okay holiday season '96. The bundle and NiGHTS worked, and people bought systems. Sales faded in early '97 as always, but holiday '96 showed that the Saturn could sell. But instead of trying again, Sega gave up and handed the US branch to someone who wanted Saturn dead, and he killed it.

As with all of the Stolar apologists, though, what you're ignoring is that the Saturn could have done just as well in '97 and '98 as it did in '95 and '96, if Sega had kept trying to sell it. They had games, they had a successful strategy the previous Christmas, all they needed to do was continue on that path. But instead, Stolar fired hundreds of people at Sega of America, shut down most game development there, cut the Saturn's marketing, did not issue a new bundle or two at any point in '97 to get consumers interested again, and completely gave up on the Saturn. Look at that Saturn sales chart again. The fact that in December '97 the Saturn had essentially no sales bump is SHOCKING given that it still was "alive" and a year before had gotten a half million sales! That's 100% completely Stolar's fault.

That is to say, praising Stolar for setting this up well for the Dreamcast ignores that he's one of the most responsible people for how bad things were at DC launch -- yes, the worst problems predate him (Saturn launch/32X era), but he made a bad situation immeasurably worse. Praising someone for starting to deal with a problem that they caused isn't great when the company would have been better off if they hadn't put themselves in as deep a hole in the first place.


Face it: Saturn was not a viable system, business-wise. It was a money pit that Sega could ill afford during a time of downward trends in the arcade market (at the time a primary source of Sega's income).
The Saturn and Dreamcast were both money pits, and Stolar made that pit deeper by tanking the Saturn in the US, significantly reducing earnings at a time when the company needed them, and by cutting the Dreamcast's price to only $200 before launch, helping to ensure that the DC would be just as bad of a money-losing financial disaster as the Saturn had been.


Bernie made some bad moves, yes, but a lot of the worse moves were made before he even joined the company...and they were made by SoJ.
I agree that the worst moves were made by SoJ before he joined, but he killed off a system that had just reached its highest peak. Why kill it just when you've finally had some success? It makes absolutely no sense!

j_factor
07-02-2014, 10:51 PM
Oh, please. Saturn was practically dead before Stolar even joined the company. Hell, if it weren't for the move he made to have those three pack in games in '96/97 the console wouldn't have even sold as well as it did that holiday season (in which it was STILL outsold by N64 and PS1 by a hefty amount).

That wasn't his move. That predates him.

I'm not sure I agree that "Stolar killed Sega", but he sure did a shitty job.

Obviously
07-02-2014, 11:39 PM
That wasn't his move. That predates him.

I'm not sure I agree that "Stolar killed Sega", but he sure did a shitty job.

It's a case of, "he didn't kill it but he certainly didn't not kill it."

sheath
07-02-2014, 11:47 PM
No, he Stolar actively killed the Saturn. He is on the record to say that the Saturn didn't have "very good games", and he is on the record saying he wanted every ounce of Sega's funds to to into the US Dreamcast launch. The Saturn as a respectable 3rd place game console after 1996 simply was not an option for Stolar, so he actively destroyed its chances at being so and wasn't even allowed to see through the Dreamcast launch.

gamevet
07-03-2014, 01:36 AM
You guys kill me.

Sega did not have the money to support the expensive Saturn for another 2 years, while trying to create studios and teams to support the DC. There would have been no DC, had Sega continued to pour dead money on a console that wasn't producing profits.

Sega putting out hardware that doesnt sell worth a shit for 10 months out of the year isn't realistic. They have bills to pay every month and if they aren't making profits 10 months out of the year, they're toast. People were let go, because Sega couldn't afford to keep paying them; That's the way every business operates when they're losing money.

j_factor
07-03-2014, 01:45 AM
You guys kill me.

Sega did not have the money to support the expensive Saturn for another 2 years, while trying to create studios and teams to support the DC. There would have been no DC, had Sega continued to pour dead money on a console that wasn't producing profits.

Sega putting out hardware that doesnt sell worth a shit for 10 months out of the year isn't realistic. They have bills to pay every month and if they aren't making profits 10 months out of the year, they're toast. People were let go, because Sega couldn't afford to keep paying them; That's the way every business operates when they're losing money.

Sega still turned a profit, albeit a small one, in the fiscal year ending 1997. Stolar's practices made Sega lose more money, not less.

gamevet
07-03-2014, 01:52 AM
Sega still turned a profit, albeit a small one, in the fiscal year ending 1997. Stolar's practices made Sega lose more money, not less.

It certainly wasn't from the Saturn hardware and software. And was it not SOJ that killed off the Genesis hardware and software that was earning profits?

Why yes it was!


http://www.sega-saturn.com/saturn/other/december-n.htm

Sega reported that their profit earnings for the 1996 fiscal year would be a paltry $46.1 million, as they would take a loss of @$60 million by dumping their 16-bit hardware.


The U.S. unit is already suffering accumulated losses of $215.5 million and Sega will use the extraordinary loss to erase the losses, Nakamura said. ``By erasing the unit's losses, we can get rid of obstacles in our Sega Saturn strategies,'' Nakamura said.

A Black Falcon
07-03-2014, 03:22 AM
That wasn't his move. That predates him.

I'm not sure I agree that "Stolar killed Sega", but he sure did a shitty job.

Oh right, I overlooked that bit of spiffyone's post. Kalinske is responsible for the 3-in-1. He actually tried to sell Saturns even though he disliked the system, and eventually succeeded.


It certainly wasn't from the Saturn hardware and software. And was it not SOJ that killed off the Genesis hardware and software that was earning profits?

Why yes it was!


http://www.sega-saturn.com/saturn/other/december-n.htm

Sega reported that their profit earnings for the 1996 fiscal year would be a paltry $46.1 million, as they would take a loss of @$60 million by dumping their 16-bit hardware.
Yes indeed, SoJ's bad decisions to release the Saturn early, release it with a too-expensive-to-make-and-too-hard-to-program-for design, release the 32X, and discontinue the Genesis early in the West were huge drags on Sega's console business, but then Stolar finished off what was left of Sega's market and killed it dead for 2 1/4 years. This, obviously, had a substantial negative impact on Sega's revenues. Stolar tried to compensate for this by cutting costs too (firing lots of people at SoA, etc.), but the loss of revenues and gamer attention was far, far worse.


You guys kill me.

Sega did not have the money to support the expensive Saturn for another 2 years, while trying to create studios and teams to support the DC. There would have been no DC, had Sega continued to pour dead money on a console that wasn't producing profits.
More revenues would have been bad for Sega? Really? How so?

And as for games, SoJ didn't need to do anything different by that point -- they had a solid Saturn library until mid '98, and enough to get by from then to Christmas when the DC was out. Of course the DC launch there was a debacle and it should have been pushed back into '99 (this would have been better for Sega overall by far! No need to change Saturn strategy in Japan to do this.), but that's another issue. Excepting Visual Concepts, most Dreamcast games Sega published were, of course, Japanese; it wasn't like the Genesis, with Kalinske's large first-party-published Western-developed library. Market the Saturn in 1997-1999, actually try to sell systems with new marketing campaigns and bundles, ship more copies of games (the super-limited releases of the '98 titles really shows how little Stolar cared...), release more of the Japan-exclusive Sega games in the West, and add some more Western-developed games as well. Sega did have some of these titles anyway in '97, such as Sonic R, Duke 3D, and Quake, but they needed more, and stuff from SoA itself.

Seriously, for SoA, what you're saying doesn't make sense. How does Stolar shutting down most Western game development (along with most SoA staff) in '97 help Sega? Just because he eventually got the deal for Visual Concepts later on? But Sega of America's other teams and contracted teams were good too, or had been! And anyway, I don't think there's an either/or here, unless you think that there is no possible way Sega could have made the Visual Concepts deal unless they had the money saved from shutting down most internal development and firing most internal staff back in '97 -- but the problem with this is, that spending would have brought in additional revenues, of course. Sega could probably have afforded that purchase anyway.


Sega putting out hardware that doesnt sell worth a shit for 10 months out of the year isn't realistic. They have bills to pay every month and if they aren't making profits 10 months out of the year, they're toast. People were let go, because Sega couldn't afford to keep paying them; That's the way every business operates when they're losing money.
What? Gaming industry sales always peak in November and December! Of course it's "realistic" to expect most of your sales in those two months -- that's when gaming companies SELL the most stuff, every year. This is still true.

Modelboard4
07-03-2014, 07:57 AM
only a personal opinion but the dreamcast was better than the ps2, i had a ps2 and it didn't inspire me, its an ugly thing as well, granted good software but it was more of the same, i don't think sales justify how good something is, the mastersystem was better graphically than the nes but was only big here in Europe and south america

gamevet
07-03-2014, 10:20 PM
Yes indeed, SoJ's bad decisions to release the Saturn early, release it with a too-expensive-to-make-and-too-hard-to-program-for design, release the 32X, and discontinue the Genesis early in the West were huge drags on Sega's console business, but then Stolar finished off what was left of Sega's market and killed it dead for 2 1/4 years. This, obviously, had a substantial negative impact on Sega's revenues. Stolar tried to compensate for this by cutting costs too (firing lots of people at SoA, etc.), but the loss of revenues and gamer attention was far, far worse.


More revenues would have been bad for Sega? Really? How so?

And as for games, SoJ didn't need to do anything different by that point -- they had a solid Saturn library until mid '98, and enough to get by from then to Christmas when the DC was out. Of course the DC launch there was a debacle and it should have been pushed back into '99 (this would have been better for Sega overall by far! No need to change Saturn strategy in Japan to do this.), but that's another issue. Excepting Visual Concepts, most Dreamcast games Sega published were, of course, Japanese; it wasn't like the Genesis, with Kalinske's large first-party-published Western-developed library. Market the Saturn in 1997-1999, actually try to sell systems with new marketing campaigns and bundles, ship more copies of games (the super-limited releases of the '98 titles really shows how little Stolar cared...), release more of the Japan-exclusive Sega games in the West, and add some more Western-developed games as well. Sega did have some of these titles anyway in '97, such as Sonic R, Duke 3D, and Quake, but they needed more, and stuff from SoA itself.

Seriously, for SoA, what you're saying doesn't make sense. How does Stolar shutting down most Western game development (along with most SoA staff) in '97 help Sega? Just because he eventually got the deal for Visual Concepts later on? But Sega of America's other teams and contracted teams were good too, or had been! And anyway, I don't think there's an either/or here, unless you think that there is no possible way Sega could have made the Visual Concepts deal unless they had the money saved from shutting down most internal development and firing most internal staff back in '97 -- but the problem with this is, that spending would have brought in additional revenues, of course. Sega could probably have afforded that purchase anyway.


.

I'm just going to lump this all together, because they are all have a symbiotic relationship.

I've already posted a link above that talked about Sega writing off $215 million in losses for SOA alone. The company may have shown a profit in 1996 by doing so, but the reality was that they were writing off losses by depreciating the value of the unsold assets.

The Saturn was creating loss earning revenue and would continue to do so, had they kept trying to stay in a price battle with Sony and Nintendo. SOA was shutting down studios that weren't producing profits and were a burden on their bottom line. Production of the Saturn had pretty much ceased and Sega was just trying to sell the left over stock they had sitting around for most of 1997 and from 1996. What CEO hasn't done these kind of reductions, when their company was losing money?

http://allgame.com/platform.php?id=26&tab=overview



Sega reported good initial sales for the Saturn but the Sony PlayStation and Nintendo 64 systems soon dominated the market. March of 1998, Sega of America had reported losses of $309 million.Sega continued to sell software for the Saturn but began concentrating on the release of the 128-bit Dreamcast system, which was scheduled for release in Japan on November 20, 1998, and in America during the autumn of 1999.




http://www.curmudgeongamer.com/2007/07/when-did-original-playstation-drop-in.html

This article was from Japan's perspective.



DRAWING SEGA INTO A PRICE WAR

After its launch, the PlayStation incorporated a number of potentially cost-cutting designs. As we've seen, parts count fell sharply, and there was a dramatic overall production cost reduction due to lower parts costs and fewer production processes. The greatest cost savings were realized not on the initial modest production volume, but on the much higher volume after sales of the unit started to soar.

The company took a substantial loss on the first model, which retailed for $399, but today the cost is a third of what it was then. The most strategic action in this respect was that sales revenues were not all plowed into profit, but were used in moves that would lower the retail price.

The retail price of the first model (SCPH-1000, launched in December 1994) was $399, the second model (SCPH-3000, released in July 1995) was $299, the third model (SCPH-3500, launched in March 1996) was $249, the fourth model (SCPH-5000, released in June 1996) was $199, and the fifth model (SCPH-7000, launched in November 1997) was $180. Needless to say, the fall in price led to expansion of the user base from die-hard game lovers to the general public.

There was another strategic purpose in slashing the price of the PlayStation: to draw Sega into a price war. In fact, Sony lowered the price in stages to make it easier for Sega to take up the challenge. Kutaragi predicted that Sega would have difficulty reducing the high cost of the Saturn, because the Saturn was a collection of parts supplied by different companies.

On November 22, 1994, the day the Saturn went on sale, Gotoh immediately acquired one and took it apart. He was astonished to discover how complex the structure was, with cables running all over the PCBs. It was an inconceivable structure for Gotoh, whose design imperatives were simplicity and ease of manufacture, and obviously much harder to manufacture than PlayStation's. If Sony reduced the price of PlayStation, to follow suit in order to Sega would have stay competitive, but Saturn's high manufacturing cost would then translate into huge losses for the company.

As expected, Sega took up Sony's challenge. When Sony reduced the price of PlayStation by $100 in June 1995, Sega began selling a set of Saturn hardware and software, with more than $100 off the price of the two bought a la carte, and subsequently reduced the hardware price by $100 from $449 to $349.

By the end of 1995, Sega's counteroffensive had defeated PlayStation. Although it was the year end, a time of peak demand, PlayStation did not have many best-selling software products. Sony found that PlayStation was outclassed by Saturn. "We were unprepared,'' Gotoh admits.

But Sony fought back. Sega could not help but retaliate against Sony's attempts to provoke a price war. In February 1998, Sega changed its policy and decided to no longer pursue volume by lowering the price of the Saturn. It was effectively a declaration of defeat in the battle against PlayStation. In the fiscal year ended March 1998, Sega wrote off the cumulative losses of its U.S. subsidiary and posted a loss of $4.3 billion, going into the red for the first time since going public in 1988.

Sega was so broke, that Okawa (CSK) lent the company $40 million to fund the Dreamcast and would eventually forgive their debts and give them his $600 million in shares (Sega and CSK) to keep the company going. There's no way Sega could have kept the DC going for as long as they did, without Okawa pretty much keeping them afloat.





What? Gaming industry sales always peak in November and December! Of course it's "realistic" to expect most of your sales in those two months -- that's when gaming companies SELL the most stuff, every year. This is still true.

So you say.

Sega of America releases the Saturn in May of 1995, even though it would be wiser to wait until the fall of that year, when they could actually sell consoles? They sit on a couple of hundred thousand Saturns, post 3 quarterly losses and can pound their chest when they finally have a good quarter in the 4th. None of that makes sense if it was all about just the 4th quarter of the year.

The Playstation and N64 were selling hundreds of thousands of consoles each month in 1997, while the Saturn was flat-lining. Expecting some miracle turnaround based on 2 months of the year is just piss-poor business management.

sheath
07-03-2014, 10:34 PM
Sega frequently released their top titles in the late Winter and Early Spring timeframe, actually all of the companies did. I can only guess that some of this is to prevent the titles from being swallowed whole by the so called "AAA" titles that Christmas season. The Saturn prelaunch was just that, and just a failed attempt to create a buzz since they couldn't drop the price right away. Summer time is a good season for game sales compared to, say, January-February when all of the consumerists are getting their new credit card bills, from what I've seen.

gamevet
07-03-2014, 10:48 PM
Sega frequently released their top titles in the late Winter and Early Spring timeframe, actually all of the companies did. I can only guess that some of this is to prevent the titles from being swallowed whole by the so called "AAA" titles that Christmas season. The Saturn prelaunch was just that, and just a failed attempt to create a buzz since they couldn't drop the price right away. Summer time is a good season for game sales compared to, say, January-February when all of the consumerists are getting their new credit card bills, from what I've seen.

I believe Sega (eventually was revealed that it was SOJ) did it, because they knew they had to sell as many Saturns as they could at that price, before eventually getting into a price battle with Sony in the coming fall and following winter months. I doubt they expected to only sell about 50K during that early launch window. Hey, I did get my Saturn in May of 1995.

sheath
07-03-2014, 11:07 PM
I believe Sega (eventually was revealed that it was SOJ) did it, because they knew they had to sell as many Saturns as they could at that price, before eventually getting into a price battle with Sony in the coming fall and following winter months. I doubt they expected to only sell about 50K during that early launch window. Hey, I did get my Saturn in May of 1995.

I haven't seen, or specifically payed attention to, any comments about the Saturn prelaunch other than the usual Tom Kalinske/Vic Ireland/Trip Hawkins contradictory accounts. It makes sense that SOJ would want to sell as many Saturns as possible before the Fall, but the usual narrative is that Sega was entirely shocked and surprised by the PS1's $300 price point. The only support for that opinion I have seen is that Sony announced the lower price after Sega announced the Saturn was already on some retail shelves that E3.

I am also sure that Sega thought they would sell reasonably well that summer, being the only next gen system on the market. Whether that be ~150k all summer or more isn't something I have seen anything on though. Sometimes just being on the shelves builds demand for that inevitable Christmas purchase though. I know I didn't care about the Saturn until I played a bunch of games at a neighbor's house. I played PS1 games at a friend's house too and neither interested me more than the Tower of Power was that year, until Sega Rally and Virtua Fighter 2 that is.

gamevet
07-03-2014, 11:30 PM
I haven't seen, or specifically payed attention to, any comments about the Saturn prelaunch other than the usual Tom Kalinske/Vic Ireland/Trip Hawkins contradictory accounts. It makes sense that SOJ would want to sell as many Saturns as possible before the Fall, but the usual narrative is that Sega was entirely shocked and surprised by the PS1's $300 price point. The only support for that opinion I have seen is that Sony announced the lower price after Sega announced the Saturn was already on some retail shelves that E3.

I am also sure that Sega thought they would sell reasonably well that summer, being the only next gen system on the market. Whether that be ~150k all summer or more isn't something I have seen anything on though. Sometimes just being on the shelves builds demand for that inevitable Christmas purchase though. I know I didn't care about the Saturn until I played a bunch of games at a neighbor's house. I played PS1 games at a friend's house too and neither interested me more than the Tower of Power was that year, until Sega Rally and Virtua Fighter 2 that is.

I don't see why Sega would be shocked, other than they probably thought Sony would try to maintain a model that produced profits. The short article I'd posted on the other page showed that Sony had already reduced the price of the Playstation to $299 in Japan, during June of 1995, and was getting into a price battle with Sega over there. SOJ probably decided it would be best to release the Saturn early, over here, before Sony could start under-cutting them.

j_factor
07-04-2014, 12:34 AM
The Playstation and N64 were selling hundreds of thousands of consoles each month in 1997, while the Saturn was flat-lining.

That's exactly the point, though. While PSX and N64 were selling great, and better than the previous year for PSX, the Saturn was flatlining. With Bernie Stolar in charge. That means he did a shitty job.

gamevet
07-04-2014, 01:36 AM
That's exactly the point, though. While PSX and N64 were selling great, and better than the previous year for PSX, the Saturn was flatlining. With Bernie Stolar in charge. That means he did a shitty job.

Bernie Stolar didn't take over until the end of March, 1997. He had nothing to do with the first 3 months of abysmal sales of the Saturn in 1997 and the horrible sales the console had for most of 1996.

He was not brought in to save the Sega Saturn. The console was already dead when Kalinske decided it was time to leave.

He was brought in to restructure SOA, re-establish relationships with 3rd party publishers, get retail back on Sega's side and prepare the company for its next console. Sega had no intentions of continuing the price battle with Sony and Nintendo, since the console was a money-pit for the company.

http://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/132517/the_rise_and_fall_of_the_dreamcast.php?print=1



In a phone call with Gamasutra, Stolar, currently running Getfugu, Inc, explained how it all started. "Saturn, as you know, was a failure. I was brought in to help restructure and rebuild Sega of America. When I started, there were over 300 people; I trimmed the company down to about 90 people."


"We had to change the attitude of retail to believe we were a serious player," said Stolar. "And because of the whole Saturn thing, retailers really hated Sega. It took me a lot of work to change their minds. I went to every retailer and told them this was going to be a great system, it was going to have a modem, it was going to have online play, this was the content it was going to have, and this was what it was going to look like. They all bought into that. They all trusted me. Plus, they really liked the team I put together. They felt this was the right team."

Majestic_Lizard
07-04-2014, 03:06 AM
In all fairness, there were many at Sega that did incredibly unwise things. Stolar was the worst, but there were others.

The issue with the Saturn was not that it was going to take off and be successful, but that it could have been just profitable enough to keep Sega afloat for the Dreamcast release. Instead, they were over 200 million dollars in debt when the DC came out and the writing was already on the wall.

The CEO of Sega of Japan, Isao Okawa, stated fairly unequivocally that the intention behind the DC was to be Sega's hardware swan song. He probably intended to support it with software longer than he did, but dropped dead of a heart attack. It essentially did exactly what it was intended to do and the people who took over Sega after Okawa didn't have enough imagination to pull any more profit out of the platform.

It might not be necessarily fair to say Stolar single-highhandedly killed Sega. It was more like Sega was an old lady with one foot in the grave and one foot on a banana peal and Stolar gave her just the push she needed at exactly the wrong time.

j_factor
07-04-2014, 04:41 AM
Bernie Stolar didn't take over until the end of March, 1997. He had nothing to do with the first 3 months of abysmal sales of the Saturn in 1997 and the horrible sales the console had for most of 1996.

The Saturn sold better in the first 3 "abysmal" months of 1997 than it did the rest of the year with him in charge, and much better in 1996. If that's horrible, then it was worse than horrible under Stolar.


He was not brought in to save the Sega Saturn. The console was already dead when Kalinske decided it was time to leave.

He was brought in to restructure SOA, re-establish relationships with 3rd party publishers, get retail back on Sega's side and prepare the company for its next console. Sega had no intentions of continuing the price battle with Sony and Nintendo, since the console was a money-pit for the company.

Pathetic levels of support for the previous console, followed by killing it prematurely and having literally nothing on the market for a year and a half, are not good ways to achieve those goals. You can't just say the Saturn was a money pit. What the hell happened in 1998-99? The Saturn being dead and buried didn't prevent Sega from taking a massive loss that year. Stolar's moves didn't help them financially.

Modelboard4
07-04-2014, 04:58 AM
just to add some fuel to the fire the Saturn failed for 4 things we all know about, 1 the 32x, 2 the Sega cd, 3 poor conversions of Daytona/VF and 4 Sony had the media attention

A Black Falcon
07-04-2014, 05:18 AM
I'm just going to lump this all together, because they are all have a symbiotic relationship.

I've already posted a link above that talked about Sega writing off $215 million in losses for SOA alone. The company may have shown a profit in 1996 by doing so, but the reality was that they were writing off losses by depreciating the value of the unsold assets.

The Saturn was creating loss earning revenue and would continue to do so, had they kept trying to stay in a price battle with Sony and Nintendo. SOA was shutting down studios that weren't producing profits and were a burden on their bottom line. Production of the Saturn had pretty much ceased and Sega was just trying to sell the left over stock they had sitting around for most of 1997 and from 1996. What CEO hasn't done these kind of reductions, when their company was losing money?

http://allgame.com/platform.php?id=26&tab=overview

http://www.curmudgeongamer.com/2007/07/when-did-original-playstation-drop-in.html

This article was from Japan's perspective.
I'm confused. How are articles showing how much money Sega was losing while Stolar was at the helm in any way helpful to your case that he did the right things? All it does is show how badly Sega did under his watch! Of course 1994-1996 mistakes were major causes of that crash during the Stolar era, but again, he killed off anything they could have salvaged from the situation, thus lowering revenues. He tried to compensate by temporarily boosting the size of Sega PC, but they weren't all that successful (Obsidian was a big failure for example), and this didn't help at all with keeping console-gamer attention, as he had no interest in trying to sell Saturns, as you see with the flatline of Saturn hardware under his watch.

Are you trying to say that Sega was in terrible shape (which they were) and Stolar's cost-cutting efforts were the right solution to that problem? As always, of course, the fact that Sega went under partway through the Dreamcast shows how that is wrong. I don't know if Sega could be saved or not, but we know Stolar's plan failed. And you're defending it anyway. This still makes little sense. Yes, cutting costs when in trouble is commonly done -- but if you're intending to continue to be relevant as a first-party company afterwards, you need to be very careful with how much, and as we see with Sega Stolar's plan was clearly not good one.

I know we've discussed this before, but essentially the question is, which is better?
1) Making more revenues but also spending more money in costs
2) Making very little revenues but also reducing costs

Stolar did #2 with the Saturn. It failed in the end. Why do you think #1, a plan that could have doubled or tripled or more US Saturn hardware sales if successful -- and 1996 sales showed that it COULD be a moderately successful third-place system -- would not have worked? Lots more Saturn hardware and software would certainly have sold in the US. It'd have been miles behind in third of course, and surely lost money, but would have sold a lot more Saturn hardware and probably wouldn't be quite as badly remembered by Western gamers. Sure most tuned out after the disastrous year 1995 was, but then abandoning the Saturn too (in mid '97, when Stolar took over, since sales show how little he cared about the year of releases after that) was the last straw.

Of course, it could be argued that Sega's Dreamcast strategy was essentially #1, and that failed too, but that only failed because Sega was out of money, and because of the disastrous Japanese launch that showed SoJ had learned absolutely nothing from the Saturn's disastrous US launch that they had forced on SoA. But for the Saturn Sega was not yet out of money in 1997, so it could have worked out, maybe. And I do think that it's too bad that Sega's main US studios had been shut down, so the DC had a much more Japanese-focused first-party library than the early '90s Sega systems had. Visual Concepts was pretty much the replacement there, and they did good work, but Sega's other internal and contracted teams were also important. Shutting that all down did not help Sega overall, I think. When you have nothing to sell, people will stop caring about you! And they did.


Sega was so broke, that Okawa (CSK) lent the company $40 million to fund the Dreamcast and would eventually forgive their debts and give them his $600 million in shares (Sega and CSK) to keep the company going. There's no way Sega could have kept the DC going for as long as they did, without Okawa pretty much keeping them afloat.
Yes, and? Sega's mistakes from 1994-on are why that happened, of course. That and the fading arcade market. This is the kind of thing that brought some to say that the DC should never have been released at all, because Sega was almost certainly doomed anyway. Stolar made things worse, but most of the damage had been done already. Still, making a very bad situation worse is, of course, terrible management.


So you say.

Sega of America releases the Saturn in May of 1995, even though it would be wiser to wait until the fall of that year, when they could actually sell consoles? They sit on a couple of hundred thousand Saturns, post 3 quarterly losses and can pound their chest when they finally have a good quarter in the 4th. None of that makes sense if it was all about just the 4th quarter of the year.
Are you being intentionally dense, or are you just arguing for the sake of arguing? Because of course you know that video game sales are many times higher in November and December than the rest of the year; see any game console sales chart ever, I know you've seen them.

As for games themselves, generally what companies do is release their biggest titles around the end of the year. If you release a big game earlier, you're either confident that it can sell anyway, or maybe you're making a mistake; plenty of games get delayed to release later in the year. Some releases early in the year are games that should have been out for Christmas but got delayed, though. With games you never know if they'll get done on time. I'm sure that hurts sales, but sometimes it's inevitable if the game just isn't done.

Anyway, as for Sega, yes, of course they should have released the Saturn in the fall, like Sony did! The May launch has always been regarded as a big mistake. Sega thought that releasing four months before Sony would help them build up a lead, but it didn't work out that way at all, because Sega's launch was poor and most people buy later in the year, and Sony ran away with it that holiday season. A September Saturn launch in the US with a $299 price and better software library would have HELPED overall 1995 Saturn hardware and software sales, not hurt them. Sure, Sega would lose more money on each sale, but blame that on SoJ's bad hardware design, and hope that the higher sales you would get would compensate for that with software sales. And with a drought-free 1995 schedule, you'd have a lot less griping about the thin release list that year, for sure! Release in September and the games would actually be ready. You know, this fact is one of the main reasons why the May launch is near-universally criticized! That Sega didn't tell retailers about the launch made things even worse, but their 'launch early and build up a lead over the summer' strategy was a complete failure, and that's not surprising at all because that's not when game sales peak, and they bungled the launch beyond that besides.


The Playstation and N64 were selling hundreds of thousands of consoles each month in 1997, while the Saturn was flat-lining. Expecting some miracle turnaround based on 2 months of the year is just piss-poor business management.
Yes, exactly. Compare 1996 Saturn sales to 1997 and 1998 to see why Bernie Stolar was such a disaster for Sega. As for the early part of the year, Kalinske was leaving and then Stolar was coming in and it's not a great time for game sales anyway, so it's understandable that Saturn sales fell. They'd have recovered later like they did the previous year had they had someone in charge who was willing to push the Saturn. And even as it is, Kalinske's last three months beat all but maybe one month of Stolar's entire time in charge! It's amusing that you keep claiming that this was inevitable, that the Saturn's collapse to a flatline exactly at the moment Kalinske left and Stolar took over would have happened anyway, etc., but the evidence goes entirely against you. There is not one reason to believe that what happened to the Saturn in '97 would have happened had Sega not given SoA to a person dedicated to killing his company's main revenue stream years before it could be replaced. 1996 and Jan.-Mar. '97 sales numbers clearly tell a very different picture.


The Saturn sold better in the first 3 "abysmal" months of 1997 than it did the rest of the year with him in charge, and much better in 1996. If that's horrible, then it was worse than horrible under Stolar.
Actually I think that December may have managed to just BARELY edge out March, but it's probably too close to call, which says all anyone could ever possibly need to know about how incompetent Bernie Stolar was.


Pathetic levels of support for the previous console, followed by killing it prematurely and having literally nothing on the market for a year and a half, are not good ways to achieve those goals. You can't just say the Saturn was a money pit. What the hell happened in 1998-99? The Saturn being dead and buried didn't prevent Sega from taking a massive loss that year. Stolar's moves didn't help them financially.
Well, not "literally nothing"; they did release a few PC and arcade games. But nothing on the home console market for ~15 months, yes, and nothing most gamers paid attention to in the 15 months before that too, because of how little Bernie cared about the Saturn, or Sega's continued existence. (Yes, Bernie always denied that his killing the Saturn early could possibly have hurt gamer opinions in a way that made convincing people to buy DCs harder. This is utterly absurd of course; there's no possible way it did not do exactly that.)


just to add some fuel to the fire the Saturn failed for 4 things we all know about, 1 the 32x, 2 the Sega cd, 3 poor conversions of Daytona/VF and 4 Sony had the media attention
I know many people blame it, but myself I don't think the Sega CD hurt the Saturn. Sega giving up on the Sega CD early hurt Sega, but the Saturn wasn't the only cause of that -- the 32X has to be a part of it as well. I certainly agree that the 32X and Virtua Fighter Saturn were big problems for Sega, though, along with the terrible US Saturn launch, and that Sega had Virtua Fighter as their big system-seller game for the Saturn, but VF just wasn't a big hit franchise in the West. That last point honestly is the most important one -- systems sell either because of lots of media and gamer hype, as with the PS2, or because of some game or games which push systems, like with Super Mario Bros. Virtua Fighter was Sega's top system seller for the Saturn, and it sold Saturns in Japan, but as I've said before, it just wasn't that here, and SoJ refused to admit that or adjust strategy! It hurt them a lot. As for media attention, a lot of that was because Sega took itself out with its own mistakes, though Sony making all the right moves early on helped a lot as well, for sure. But had Sega not messed up so badly, Sony wouldn't have found it quite as easy to get all that media attention, I think...

As for Daytona, I know a lot of people criticize Saturn Daytona, but I think it's perfectly fine. Great game.

gamevet
07-04-2014, 04:24 PM
The Saturn sold better in the first 3 "abysmal" months of 1997 than it did the rest of the year with him in charge, and much better in 1996. If that's horrible, then it was worse than horrible under Stolar.

No, it sold better in March and that was about it. It's rather silly to think that Stolar taking over the helm made sales suck in April, because he didn't throw out another freebee package for the Saturn. Toys R' Us had tons of those 3 free games discs still sitting around after the promotion officially ended, so that's not an excuse for sales dropping in April either.

You're assuming that sales were going to get better, based on the 500k units being sold in December of 1996. The Saturn benefitted from a supply shortage of Playstations and N64s that holiday season, but did not get that luxury during 1997. They could have thrown in Nights and Manxx-TT Superbike as the replacement titles and it wouldn't have made a difference. If someone wants to play Nights, they're going to go out and buy a Saturn. Judging by the sales numbers for August and September of 1996, Nights didn't help to shift units.

The real problem was retail deciding what product they are going to push and stock in their stores. The Saturn had 1/3 of the retail market (blame that on the early launch of 95) and the likelihood of those chains keeping continued support for the Saturn were getting less and less with each million N64 and Playstation consoles sold. Who's going to restock Saturns, when they've been sitting on unsold units for months and need the space for the other consoles that are selling at a brisk pace?




Pathetic levels of support for the previous console, followed by killing it prematurely and having literally nothing on the market for a year and a half, are not good ways to achieve those goals. You can't just say the Saturn was a money pit. What the hell happened in 1998-99? The Saturn being dead and buried didn't prevent Sega from taking a massive loss that year. Stolar's moves didn't help them financially.

Sega of America lost $215 million for the fiscal year 1996. Even if Sega managed to sell another 500k in 1997, they were still going to lose massive amounts of money if they had stayed the course they were on in 96.

Why don't we bring Europe into the discussion while we're at it. They were selling even less units than North America. Where was their effort?

http://www.sega-saturn.com/saturn/other/december-n.htm


Japanese game maker Sega Enterprises Ltd. slashed its annual profits forecast Friday due to problems with accumulated supplies of outdated gameplayers and losses at its U.S. subsidiary. Sega said it would swallow a substantial special loss in the current business year, which ends in March, to tackle the woes at U.S. unit Sega of America and to dispose of worldwide inventories of old-style 16-bit game players.

As a result of the anticipated $200 million special loss, the firm cut its forecast for net parent profits for 1996/97 by around two-thirds to $46.1 million from a November forecast of $139 million.

j_factor
07-04-2014, 04:35 PM
No, it sold better in March and that was about it. It's rather silly to think that Stolar taking over the helm made sales suck in April, because he didn't throw out another freebee package for the Saturn. Toys R' Us had tons of those 3 free games discs still sitting around after the promotion officially ended, so that's not an excuse for sales dropping in April either.

The three free games promotion had run its course by that point. They needed a new one.


You're assuming that sales were going to get better, based on the 500k units being sold in December of 1996. The Saturn benefitted from a supply shortage of Playstations and N64s that holiday season, but did not get that luxury during 1997.

There was not a supply shortage of Playstations in 1996. The console was over a year old and got outsold by the N64.


They could have thrown in Nights and Manxx-TT Superbike as the replacement titles and it wouldn't have made a difference. If someone wants to play Nights, they're going to go out and buy a Saturn. Judging by the sales numbers for August and September of 1996, Nights didn't help to shift units.

That's not how console sales work. Jet Set Radio Future wasn't an Xbox system seller when it released, but Xbox sales improved with the release of that bundle. The Saturn's three free games were all games that "didn't help to shift units" when they were new in 1995, yet the deal was a success.

Also the Saturn still sold better in August and September of 1996 than it did in August and September of 1997.


The real problem was retail deciding what product they are going to push and stock in their stores. The Saturn had 1/3 of the retail market (blame that on the early launch of 95) and the likelihood of those chains keeping continued support for the Saturn were getting less and less with each million N64 and Playstation consoles sold. Who's going to restock Saturns, when they've been sitting on unsold units for months and need the space for the other consoles that are selling at a brisk pace?

There was plenty of retail space to go 'round for the Saturn, with the 16-bit consoles being phased out and the death of the 3DO and Jaguar. The Saturn didn't need to sell huge numbers to maintain its place on store shelves, when stores were going from having to support 8 different platforms down to 3.

The Jaguar sold like absolute shit at every moment, yet as long as it was alive you could still find it in stores. Retail didn't dump it after a few months.


Sega of America lost $215 million for the fiscal year 1996. Even if Sega managed to sell another 500k in 1997, they were still going to lose massive amounts of money if they had stayed the course they were on in 96.

Once again: Stolar's actions didn't make them not lose massive amounts of money. You keep hammering on the fact that Sega was in a bad situation, but you have no argument that Stolar actually made things better.

A Black Falcon
07-04-2014, 05:57 PM
No, it sold better in March and that was about it. It's rather silly to think that Stolar taking over the helm made sales suck in April, because he didn't throw out another freebee package for the Saturn. Toys R' Us had tons of those 3 free games discs still sitting around after the promotion officially ended, so that's not an excuse for sales dropping in April either.
The only that's rather silly is that you STILL don't seem to understand, or are unwilling to learn (because it's been explained multiple times before), how and why game consoles sell. In April, you can see that the old bundle's impact was fading, as it'd been on the market for a while. What a competent company would do is start thinking about their next move -- what's the next bundle and ad campaign to use to increase sales again? I'm sure this is what Kalinske would have done had he stayed. Instead, Stolar killed the system off by cutting back on marketing, firing most SoA staff, never releasing another Saturn bundle, and at E3 '97 talking about what would be the Dreamcast and saying "Saturn is not our future", telling third-parties all they needed to know about whether they should bother supporting Saturn in the future -- don't. Of course this led to extremely low sales, but this was a product of Stolar's mismanagement, not some inevitable thing. Sales from mid '96 to March '97 show that it was in no way inevitable.


You're assuming that sales were going to get better, based on the 500k units being sold in December of 1996. The Saturn benefitted from a supply shortage of Playstations and N64s that holiday season,
I know it's already been said, but nope, the PS1 was not in short supply in 1996. In fact, the PS1 sold slowly up until FFVII's release in fall '97, while the N64 was the only one in short supply. It was not until FFVII hype amped up and the N64 hit a software drought that the PS1 finally sold better than the N64 (the N64 beat the PS1 in North America for ten straight months after its launch, remember), narrowly avoiding falling behind the N64 in North American hardware sales. There was plenty of room for Sega to sell systems in 1997 as well, and that would have allowed them to be relevant in 1998 as well.

Anyway, perhaps some people got a Saturn because of the N64 shortage at holiday '96, but most of those people probably just waited for an N64. And the PS1 was available, no big shortage.


but did not get that luxury during 1997. They could have thrown in Nights and Manxx-TT Superbike as the replacement titles and it wouldn't have made a difference. If someone wants to play Nights, they're going to go out and buy a Saturn. Judging by the sales numbers for August and September of 1996, Nights didn't help to shift units.
A Saturn bundle in April or May '97 with NiGHTS and Manx TT Superbike (and a 3D controller, hopefully, or perhaps some fighting game) would have been great! It'd have spiked up Saturn sales for sure. NiGHTS was one of the most popular Saturn games in the US, after all, and bundling it would have been a fantastic idea and certainly would have gotten attention and sales. Bundles bring interest that may not exist without the bundle -- j_factor's point here is a great one, that the 1996 bundle was of 3 games that had failed to be system sellers individually but were a very successful bundle in combination of the system.


The real problem was retail deciding what product they are going to push and stock in their stores. The Saturn had 1/3 of the retail market (blame that on the early launch of 95) and the likelihood of those chains keeping continued support for the Saturn were getting less and less with each million N64 and Playstation consoles sold. Who's going to restock Saturns, when they've been sitting on unsold units for months and need the space for the other consoles that are selling at a brisk pace?
As j_factor said, the Jaguar had no trouble finding shelf space through its life despite selling abysmally. Stores were going to stock the Saturn as long as it sold much at all and Sega still cared about and pushed the system.


Sega of America lost $215 million for the fiscal year 1996. Even if Sega managed to sell another 500k in 1997, they were still going to lose massive amounts of money if they had stayed the course they were on in 96.
But they lost massive amounts of money anyway! And as I said in my last post, this returns to the question of making more money and potentially losing more money, versus making less money and losing less money. You still have not presented an actual case for why Stolar's strategy, the latter of those two, was a good one. Please try.


Why don't we bring Europe into the discussion while we're at it. They were selling even less units [than North America. Where was their effort?

http://www.sega-saturn.com/saturn/other/december-n.htm
Sega had never been as successful in absolute terms in Europe as they had in the US, though. Sure, the Genesis (MD) had done okay there, but the Playstation was the first massively successful console in Europe, you know; as I think I've said before, it's entirely possible that the PS1's 40 million systems sold in Europe (equaling its North American total!) may have been more than ALL console sales for all system sales in Europe from the 3rd & 4th generations combined! So yeah, the Saturn didn't do great there, and it did sell quite a lot worse than the Genesis had, but I wouldn't be surprised if the percentage decline in sales from Genesis/MD to Saturn might have actually been less in Europe than the US -- a lot more Genesis systems sold in the US than anywhere else, after all.

Anyway, a better effort in the US would have helped sales in Europe some as well. Since the US was the larger market its stuff often got brought over to Europe, after all.

retrospiel
07-04-2014, 06:09 PM
PS1 didn't sell slowly. On what planet did you reside back in 1996?

Kalinske had bet everything on 32X and that was the reason why Saturn's (premature) launch and early years was such a disaster.

"We will outsell Saturn 10:1 with 32X" my ass.

gamevet
07-04-2014, 06:34 PM
The three free games promotion had run its course by that point. They needed a new one.



There was not a supply shortage of Playstations in 1996. The console was over a year old and got outsold by the N64.

There were still shortages. Both the N64 and Playstation were hot ticket items that holiday season. Some parents substitute items with something else, when they can't get the gift their child wants. I ended up with some stupid NASA toys, when my parents couldn't get us Star Wars action figures.




That's not how console sales work. Jet Set Radio Future wasn't an Xbox system seller when it released, but Xbox sales improved with the release of that bundle. The Saturn's three free games were all games that "didn't help to shift units" when they were new in 1995, yet the deal was a success.

That's exactly how it works. The Genesis exploded onto the market with Sonic the Hedgehog as the pack-in game. The NES started flying off the shelves with the Mario Bros. pack-in. Who cared about getting Altered Beast and Duck Hunt (Gyromite) when those consoles were introduced stateside. Mario Bros. was the pack-in game with the NES for a couple of years, yet that didn't stop the bundle from selling well.

Virtua Fighter 2 was the best selling game on the Saturn. What other pack-in were they going to come up with, to replace it?

The whole Jet Set Radio bundle was created to make the Xbox look more appealing than buying a basic PS2 for $20 less than the Xbox. MS had a lot of different bundles including Tetris Worlds/Clone Wars (like those were good titles) and even Lego Indiana Jones on the Xbox 360. It's funny you should mention the Xbox console, because it too was priced out of the market by Sony with their PS2. MS stopped making the Xbox just shy of 4 years after it came out and stopped 1st party support for the console that year.



Also the Saturn still sold better in August and September of 1996 than it did in August and September of 1997.

That wasn't the point.

The Saturn should have seen a substantial increase in sales with the release of Nights in late August of 1996. It had about the same increase in sales, as the system had in June of that year. What came out in June of 96?




There was plenty of retail space to go 'round for the Saturn, with the 16-bit consoles being phased out and the death of the 3DO and Jaguar. The Saturn didn't need to sell huge numbers to maintain its place on store shelves, when stores were going from having to support 8 different platforms down to 3.

The Jaguar sold like absolute shit at every moment, yet as long as it was alive you could still find it in stores. Retail didn't dump it after a few months.

Who said anything about dumping? They sat on the unsold units and eventually cleared them out a couple of years later. Tele-Games bought a bunch of unsold units at major discounts and sold them for years on their online service. That's how I got my boxed Jaguar.


Best Buy did the same thing with the Saturn and Dreamcast, with the Saturn eventually being discounted in the summer of 98 for @ $50 and the DC in late 2002 for @$30. A retailer isn't going to ask for more inventory, if the current stuff he has is just collecting dust. And even with a sudden increase in sales like what happened during the holidays of 96; they are going to very reluctant to purchase a large amount of inventory, after having the old stuff sitting around for most of 96.

As an owner of the Saturn from day 1, I can tell you from my own personal experience that retail wasn't paying Sega any favors. Copies of games were






Once again: Stolar's actions didn't make them not lose massive amounts of money. You keep hammering on the fact that Sega was in a bad situation, but you have no argument that Stolar actually made things better.

And you have no proof that he made it worse. The console sales numbers didn't take a prophet to see it coming. Even if Sega could have sold another 1 million units in 1997, it wouldn't have made much, if any, difference.

It's a well-known fact that Sega was losing money on every Saturn unit sold in North America, once they had started dropping the price below $400. Even they had sold (in 1997) just as many consoles as they had in 1996, how do you see a way where that could be any less of a loss year for them?

Stolar decided to start promoting the software, with deals like the buy 2 - get 1 free and promotional advertising for the games in magazines. Software sales were the only area where they could turn a profit. The games certainly weren't selling all that well on their own and the hardware was losing money with every sale.

The software that was released in 1997, was much better than what was available in 96, that's for sure.





But they lost massive amounts of money anyway! And as I said in my last post, this returns to the question of making more money and potentially losing more money, versus making less money and losing less money. You still have not presented an actual case for why Stolar's strategy, the latter of those two, was a good one. Please try.

They lost massive amounts of money, because they had all of that unsold inventory.

The losses would have been even greater, if he had not cut the staff down from 300 to 90.

Why has Nintendo posted massive losses for the past 2 years?



Sega had never been as successful in absolute terms in Europe as they had in the US, though. Sure, the Genesis (MD) had done okay there, but the Playstation was the first massively successful console in Europe, you know; as I think I've said before, it's entirely possible that the PS1's 40 million systems sold in Europe (equaling its North American total!) may have been more than ALL console sales for all system sales in Europe from the 3rd & 4th generations combined! So yeah, the Saturn didn't do great there, and it did sell quite a lot worse than the Genesis had, but I wouldn't be surprised if the percentage decline in sales from Genesis/MD to Saturn might have actually been less in Europe than the US -- a lot more Genesis systems sold in the US than anywhere else, after all.

Europe doesn't get any excuses. The Mega-Drive was more successful there, than it was in Japan.

They've had several titles that were localized for their region, that never made it stateside. What's their excuse for not being able to sell more units, especially considering that they weren't getting double teamed by Sony and Nintendo like SOA was?


Anyway, a better effort in the US would have helped sales in Europe some as well. Since the US was the larger market its stuff often got brought over to Europe, after all.

That better effort should have started on day 1. 2 years later is too little too late in the videogame industry.

A Black Falcon
07-04-2014, 06:54 PM
PS1 didn't sell slowly. On what planet did you reside back in 1996?
The PS1 only sold "well" compared to the Saturn. It did not sell well on absolute terms until fall of 1997, not in the US at least.

http://www.sega-16.com/forum/showthread.php?25207-N64-PS1-Saturn-DC-sales-US-NPD See the graph showing PS1/N64/Saturn(/DC) sales. Notice how PS1 sales are pretty low in North America, the only region shown there (and the one we are discussing here), from launch in September '95 until May of '96, and still only okay until the system finally hit the big time with its massive success in December '97, after FFVII particularly made everyone want a PS1. You'll also see how the N64 started out very strong, sold out in '96, and beat the PS1 for ten months straight before fading a bit.

I know things were different in Europe -- there I'm sure you'd see Sony dominate from the beginning, given how they utterly destroyed everyone in sales -- but in the US it wasn't like that.


Kalinske had bet everything on 32X and that was the reason why Saturn's (premature) launch and early years was such a disaster.

"We will outsell Saturn 10:1 with 32X" my ass.
I know you'll never, ever admit it, but 100% of the fault lies on SoJ. Kalinske did everything he could, but he couldn't entirely overcome SoJ's constant stupid decisions. (Yes, Kalinske and SoA did over-estimate how well the 32X would sell, but the 32X only existed in the first place because SoJ wanted a new Genesis model, remember! It's their fault. There would never have been a 32X if SoJ hadn't thought of the idea first.) That he managed to come up with a marketing strategy and bundle that sold a half million Saturns in holiday '96 was Kalinske's last success with the company, and it was a real one.

Majestic_Lizard
07-05-2014, 12:46 AM
There is an awful lot of black and white thinking going on here. The most ridiculous thing I'm reading is that for the Dreamcast to be sold, the Saturn had to be abandoned. That has never been the precedent. You didn't see Nintendo abandon the NES when the SNES was released. You didn't see Sony abandon the PS2 when the PS3 was released.

First of all, the Saturn had a product life cycle. Sega needed to get every penny out of it during that life cycle that it possibly could up until the release of the next console. The Saturn and the DC should have been sold concurrently for at least a year, just as the NES was sold concurrently with the SNES, PS1 was sold concurrently with PS2, etc. The Saturn was no threat to the DC in anyway.

By eliminating the Saturn prematurely, Stolar alienated software developers and diminished profit from Sega. His errors were so grave that Sega could not possibly have recovered from them, regardless of any actions beyond them. He also had a horrendous lack of insight. He said Tekken would never be a popular game and that Americans would never play role playing games. Sony got rid of Stolar for a reason, he was a clueless bumbling idiot. This fact is not a secret in the world. It is fairly well substantiated by reality.

gamevet
07-05-2014, 02:16 AM
There is an awful lot of black and white thinking going on here. The most ridiculous thing I'm reading is that for the Dreamcast to be sold, the Saturn had to be abandoned. That has never been the precedent. You didn't see Nintendo abandon the NES when the SNES was released. You didn't see Sony abandon the PS2 when the PS3 was released.

First of all, the Saturn had a product life cycle. Sega needed to get every penny out of it during that life cycle that it possibly could up until the release of the next console. The Saturn and the DC should have been sold concurrently for at least a year, just as the NES was sold concurrently with the SNES, PS1 was sold concurrently with PS2, etc. The Saturn was no threat to the DC in anyway.

Nintendo and Sony didn't need to abandon their consoles, because they were the top sellers of their generation. Microsoft, a company worth a hell of a lot more than Sony and Nintendo, had to abandon the expensive Xbox months before the release of the Xbox 360.

The losses incurred by Sega of America in 1996, were a pretty telling sign that the Saturn was not a profitable venture for Sega. The launch of the DC would not have been possible, without the financial backing of CSK.



By eliminating the Saturn prematurely, Stolar alienated software developers and diminished profit from Sega. His errors were so grave that Sega could not possibly have recovered from them, regardless of any actions beyond them. He also had a horrendous lack of insight. He said Tekken would never be a popular game and that Americans would never play role playing games. Sony got rid of Stolar for a reason, he was a clueless bumbling idiot. This fact is not a secret in the world. It is fairly well substantiated by reality.

That clueless bumbling idiot secured Mortal Kombat 3 to a 6 month exclusive for the Playstation. Sony's NFL Gameday pretty much put Madden on hiatus for a year and left the Playstation as the only next-gen platform in North America with an NFL franchise game. He would later buy Visual Concepts to create sports games for the Dreamcast, and those games proved to be the most successful for the console. He's been a part of 2 successful console launches in North America, which is far from being something a clueless bumbling idiot could do.

A Black Falcon
07-05-2014, 04:46 AM
Nintendo and Sony didn't need to abandon their consoles, because they were the top sellers of their generation. Microsoft, a company worth a hell of a lot more than Sony and Nintendo, had to abandon the expensive Xbox months before the release of the Xbox 360.
Microsoft lost a billion dollars a year on the original Xbox. They lost money in amounts which Sega could probably never have conceived of losing in their wildest dreams. It's on a whole different level from the Saturn or Dreamcast.

And anyway, Sega didn't need to abandon their console either. You don't abandon a system until you're close to the release of your next system. That's what every game company ever who stayed in the industry as an active first party, except for Bernie Stolar's Sega and crash-era Atari, has always done. There's a reason that those are the only exceptions.


The losses incurred by Sega of America in 1996, were a pretty telling sign that the Saturn was not a profitable venture for Sega. The launch of the DC would not have been possible, without the financial backing of CSK.
So? This is not an argument for your case. It's an argument against Sega continuing as a hardware manufacturer. Even if it was doomed, I think that releasing the Dreamcast was a noble effort... maybe lightning could have struck and it could have been a hit, you never know! Sure that didn't happen, but giving up before they even tried would have been worse.

Also of course, what, are you suggesting that if they hadn't ruined what shreds of Sega's Western mindshare had survived into 1997 because of Stolar that CSK wouldn't have given them that money? That's absurd, no way at all. The question is what would put Sega in comparatively better shape in the late '90s, Stolar's horrible plan or continuing to do what was possible to push the Saturn?


That clueless bumbling idiot secured Mortal Kombat 3 to a 6 month exclusive for the Playstation. Sony's NFL Gameday pretty much put Madden on hiatus for a year and left the Playstation as the only next-gen platform in North America with an NFL franchise game. He would later buy Visual Concepts to create sports games for the Dreamcast, and those games proved to be the most successful for the console. He's been a part of 2 successful console launches in North America, which is far from being something a clueless bumbling idiot could do.
Even a broken clock is right twice a day.

Also, it's EA's own inability to make a good Madden game that put Madden on hiatus for a year, no Sony. And while MK3 being on PS1 and not Saturn for six months surely helped the system a bit, the Genesis and SNES versions surely sold better, and ultimately the Saturn version of UMK3 is better anyway, even if it released later.

As for Visual Concepts, it's good he bought them, but if Sega had still had any of its previous internal teams still alive, instead of abandoning or shutting them all down in the mid '90s, they might not have been quite as essential... and I know that some of that is Kalinske's fault (the Sonic X-Treme debacle was under his watch...), but it's Stolar who dramatically downsized SoA itself.

spiffyone
07-05-2014, 05:58 PM
That wasn't his move. That predates him.

Egads. You're correct. That was Kalinske's move.

Still, it shows that whatever Sega tried wasn't moving Saturn's to the level that was needed to actively compete with PS1 and N64.


I'm not sure I agree that "Stolar killed Sega", but he sure did a shitty job.

Well, in all fairness, Saturn was a shitty system...or at least shitty on the business side of things. The games were superlative, IMO, but that hardware was nothing more than a money pit that really couldn't be consolidated into a smaller, less expensive, chipset.

spiffyone
07-05-2014, 06:04 PM
The PS1 only sold "well" compared to the Saturn. It did not sell well on absolute terms until fall of 1997, not in the US at least.

PS1 had the best launch of any system up to that point in time (later eclipsed by N64's launch, which itself was later eclipsed by Dreamcast's, which itself was later ecplipsed by PS2's).

It's absolutely wrong to state that the system didn't sell well in absolute terms. It was outselling its closest competition by about 2:1, was the best launch up to that point, and had a rather stellar holiday in '95 and '96. Yes, things really took off in '97, but that's besides the point. It was a hot selling system.

As for FFVII's impact on US sales, you are overstating its importance. It was an uber important release for Japan, but less so for the US overall. Frankly, the importance of the title as far as the US market is concerned for JRPGs has been overblown for years now. It sold as well as it did in the West due to Sony's handling of the publishing and marketing, and nothing more. Subsequent titles sold less on PS1, and non-Final Fantasy RPGs sold far less.
k
As for abandoning consoles (and this is not directed at you, but just in general): abandoning Genesis as they did, for however a length of time, was a bigger blow to Sega than abandoning Saturn was. And who's fault was the former?

gamevet
07-06-2014, 12:09 AM
Microsoft lost a billion dollars a year on the original Xbox. They lost money in amounts which Sega could probably never have conceived of losing in their wildest dreams. It's on a whole different level from the Saturn or Dreamcast.

That's because they were losing between $100 to $125 on every console sold. That's between $2.4 and $3 billion lost from sales of the console alone.

http://www.neowin.net/news/report-microsofts-xbox-division-has-lost-nearly-3-billion-in-10-years


http://vgsales.wikia.com/wiki/Xbox

If Sega has sold that many Saturns in 4 years, they probably would have lost a billion or so as well. They were never selling the console at a break-even price in North America; it could very well have been selling at a larger loss, considering how many processors were inside of the Saturn.

Just look at why the Dreamcast was discontinued. Sega had to start selling that system at a loss, and it was more streamlined than the Saturn.

http://www.polygon.com/2013/8/7/4599588/why-did-the-dreamcast-fail-segas-marketing-veteran-looks-back


So why did the system fail? "In essence, it was a pure matter of cost," replied Takezaki. "It was because we were forced into a discount war when we were already losing money on system sales. Sony [whose PlayStation 2 came out March 2000 in Japan] was part of the team that developed the DVD standard, and they could develop a system around that completely internally with their own chips. Sega, meanwhile, was buying everything from outside companies, so it was at a distinct cost disadvantage. We couldn't easily cut costs on manufacturing, the software wasn't selling the numbers it used to, and then we were forced to discount the system."


And anyway, Sega didn't need to abandon their console either. You don't abandon a system until you're close to the release of your next system. That's what every game company ever who stayed in the industry as an active first party, except for Bernie Stolar's Sega and crash-era Atari, has always done. There's a reason that those are the only exceptions.

You have to abandon hardware, when there is no way that it will earn your company a profit. Why is that so hard for you to understand?



So? This is not an argument for your case. It's an argument against Sega continuing as a hardware manufacturer. Even if it was doomed, I think that releasing the Dreamcast was a noble effort... maybe lightning could have struck and it could have been a hit, you never know! Sure that didn't happen, but giving up before they even tried would have been worse.

How is it not?

I'd like to see you come up with a good example of how they could have continued down that path of losses, by keeping the Saturn around after 1997.



Also of course, what, are you suggesting that if they hadn't ruined what shreds of Sega's Western mindshare had survived into 1997 because of Stolar that CSK wouldn't have given them that money? That's absurd, no way at all. The question is what would put Sega in comparatively better shape in the late '90s, Stolar's horrible plan or continuing to do what was possible to push the Saturn?

The Sega name didn't have Western Mindshare in 1997. Sony had taken over the 18-35 year old demographic with their Playstation brand, and Nintendo had its loyal fanbase. Their consumer awareness rating had hit rock-bottom at that point. The Genesis was well known as the sports gamer's console, along with the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise; Sega didn't continue that trend with the Saturn.



Also, it's EA's own inability to make a good Madden game that put Madden on hiatus for a year, no Sony. And while MK3 being on PS1 and not Saturn for six months surely helped the system a bit, the Genesis and SNES versions surely sold better, and ultimately the Saturn version of UMK3 is better anyway, even if it released later.

989 Sports' NFL Gameday was owning Madden for several years. I know I was buying NFL Gameday over Madden for quite some time, until Madden 99. I had bought Madden 98 for the Saturn ($8 on clearance) and was severely disappointed with its sprite based gameplay, while NFL Gameday 98 had polygon players on the field. 989 Sports earned quite a reputation back then, and not just with the NFL franchise.

MK3 on the PS1 was a nearly arcade perfect port; It was a win for Sony as a next-gen title. Sega's exclusive deal for UMK3 was a short-lived victory, because Midway turned around and released MK Trilogy shortly after it.




As for Visual Concepts, it's good he bought them, but if Sega had still had any of its previous internal teams still alive, instead of abandoning or shutting them all down in the mid '90s, they might not have been quite as essential... and I know that some of that is Kalinske's fault (the Sonic X-Treme debacle was under his watch...), but it's Stolar who dramatically downsized SoA itself.

There really wasn't any other option there. Sega had to downsize and restructure their internal development teams to reduce their overhead. Considering the poor output from the North American division with the Saturn, there's nothing to suggest that they were going to suddenly turn it around.

j_factor
07-06-2014, 12:33 AM
Just look at why the Dreamcast was discontinued. Sega had to start selling that system at a loss, and it was more streamlined than the Saturn.

http://www.polygon.com/2013/8/7/4599588/why-did-the-dreamcast-fail-segas-marketing-veteran-looks-back

You have to abandon hardware, when there is no way that it will earn your company a profit.

This contradicts your earlier praising of Bernie Stolar's handling of the Dreamcast launch, and his choice of price point in particular.

Bottom line, Bernie Stolar never brought Sega profitability. Not with his handling of the Saturn, not with his handling of the Dreamcast. And incidentally, not with his handling of SegaSoft and heat.net, either.

gamevet
07-06-2014, 12:58 AM
This contradicts your earlier praising of Bernie Stolar's handling of the Dreamcast launch, and his choice of price point in particular.

Bottom line, Bernie Stolar never brought Sega profitability. Not with his handling of the Saturn, not with his handling of the Dreamcast. And incidentally, not with his handling of SegaSoft and heat.net, either.

Not at all. Sell the razor at a loss, to sell the razorblades.

Tom Kelinske lowered the price of the Genesis ($149) below the costs to manufacture it to stimulate sales in North America and Europe. Stolar did the same by launching the DC at $50 below the cost to manufacture the console. When Sega lowered the price of the DC to $99 in 2001, to counter the sudden drop in sales because of the PS2, they started losing a lot of money per-unit sold. If the DC was hard to reduce the costs to manufacture in 2001, the chip-heavy Saturn was certainly losing even more at a price of $149 in 1997.

Sony had the ability to price out it's competition, be it MS (Xbox) or Sega, because most of the parts used in their consoles were manufactured within house.


http://www.curmudgeongamer.com/2007/07/when-did-original-playstation-drop-in.html



There was another strategic purpose in slashing the price of the PlayStation: to draw Sega into a price war. In fact, Sony lowered the price in stages to make it easier for Sega to take up the challenge. Kutaragi predicted that Sega would have difficulty reducing the high cost of the Saturn, because the Saturn was a collection of parts supplied by different companies.

EclecticGroove
07-06-2014, 01:12 AM
You have to abandon hardware, when there is no way that it will earn your company a profit. Why is that so hard for you to understand?


Not always true, but certainly is when you are not recouping the loss in any other way.

Sega was in that boat, and while people can argue all day about what if's the bottom line is that they just didn't have the money to keep making/selling at a loss and hope for a turnaround in sales.

MS was in the opposite boat with the oXbox. They lost money on that thing damn near forever but wrote it off as the price of busting into the console market. If they couldn't have soaked up that loss they would have pulled as well.

Had Sega been able to do the same, they could have soaked up the loss as long as they wanted in hopes of either turning the DC around, or keeping it on life support till they could push out a new system.

But as I said, that's meaningless conjecture as it was not possible for them at the time.

Majestic_Lizard
07-06-2014, 01:14 AM
One can't really get away with saying the Saturn was a money pit when you compare it to the Jaguar, 3DO, CD-I and other systems of that nature. It was not an ideal design, but it wasn't as terrible as people make it out to be. Consolidating it would not have been the goal. Just getting rid of the consoles would have been the goal.

The Saturn could never be as profitable as the Playstation from a design point of view. However, if not for the horrendous missteps of Sega CEOs it would have been a major contender. Much of what they did in the release of the Saturn amounted to flying the bird at their third party support.

The "Saturnday" fiasco was actually not Kalinske's fault. He actually advised against it as he knew that being first to market would be irrelevant without software at the time of launch. He was overridden by Sega of Japan. Kalinske oversaw the launch of the Saturn, but he was ham-stringed by corporate politics going on over in Japan. Kalinske also wanted a more simplistic design for the Saturn, using the CPU/GPU that was later used in the Nintendo 64. Again, Sega of Japan didn't listen to him.

Stolar arrived to a sinking ship and instead of plugging the holes, he shot a bazooka at the deck.

The Dreamcast did serve its purpose. It turned a profit and improved the Sega brand so that the intellectual brand and intellectual property rights would have some value.

gamevet
07-06-2014, 01:19 AM
Not always true, but certainly is when you are not recouping the loss in any other way.

Sega was in that boat, and while people can argue all day about what if's the bottom line is that they just didn't have the money to keep making/selling at a loss and hope for a turnaround in sales.

MS was in the opposite boat with the oXbox. They lost money on that thing damn near forever but wrote it off as the price of busting into the console market. If they couldn't have soaked up that loss they would have pulled as well.

Had Sega been able to do the same, they could have soaked up the loss as long as they wanted in hopes of either turning the DC around, or keeping it on life support till they could push out a new system.

But as I said, that's meaningless conjecture as it was not possible for them at the time.

Most certainly.

Not many companies can take massive losses on a product for extended periods of time, unless they have other means to keep the company afloat. Just look at the massive losses Sony had with the PS3, but they were a large enough company (@$96 Billion at it's peak, but now down to $18 Billion) to keep going with the money-pit console. The Xbox brand has never created a profit (on the whole) for MS, but they consider the losses as an investment for future profits and a means to a much larger arena than just a videogame console

A Black Falcon
07-06-2014, 01:26 AM
PS1 had the best launch of any system up to that point in time (later eclipsed by N64's launch, which itself was later eclipsed by Dreamcast's, which itself was later ecplipsed by PS2's).

It's absolutely wrong to state that the system didn't sell well in absolute terms. It was outselling its closest competition by about 2:1, was the best launch up to that point, and had a rather stellar holiday in '95 and '96. Yes, things really took off in '97, but that's besides the point. It was a hot selling system.
It was a "hot selling system" sort of in the same way that the Genesis was a "hot selling system" in 1990 -- it was beating its main next-gen rival, but being crushed by the still very popular last-gen consoles. And sales were only okay and not great, as the sales charts show.


As for FFVII's impact on US sales, you are overstating its importance. It was an uber important release for Japan, but less so for the US overall. Frankly, the importance of the title as far as the US market is concerned for JRPGs has been overblown for years now. It sold as well as it did in the West due to Sony's handling of the publishing and marketing, and nothing more. Subsequent titles sold less on PS1, and non-Final Fantasy RPGs sold far less.
It doesn't matter if later JRPGs sold less, I'm talking about FFVII and not those games. And FFVII was indeed a huge hit -- it sold over a million copies in the US alone in 1997, continued selling after that year, and ended up selling almost 10 million worldwide. That's big. SCEA's massive three-month-long ad campaign before the game launched was big as well, and succeeded in getting a lot of people interested in the PS1 because of how cool FFVII's FMV looked.

Of course there were other important releases as well, but that was one of the major turning points, particularly when the FFVII ad campaign was matched with an N64 software drought.


As for abandoning consoles (and this is not directed at you, but just in general): abandoning Genesis as they did, for however a length of time, was a bigger blow to Sega than abandoning Saturn was. And who's fault was the former?
Who's fault was abandoning the Genesis? Sega of Japan's of course! And while that was a big blow, and hurt Sega a lot, I don't know if it actually hurt Sega more than abandoning the Saturn did. I mean, Sega of Japan abandoned the Genesis in 1995, six years after the system's release in the US and seven after its Japanese release. But the Saturn? Stolar brought in its death with his hiring, at a time when the system wasn't even two years old yet in the US (2 1/2 years in Japan). And when Sega killed the Genesis they still had the Saturn to focus on, while when they killed the Saturn, they had nothing other than a handful of PC games, most of which were Saturn ports anyway.

spiffyone
07-06-2014, 11:20 AM
It was a "hot selling system" sort of in the same way that the Genesis was a "hot selling system" in 1990 -- it was beating its main next-gen rival, but being crushed by the still very popular last-gen consoles.

FYI, that happens every gen.

Remember when Dreamcast had the best launch of all time up to that point in time?

Guess what? It was still outsold by PS1.

Same deal for PS2 during it's launch. PS2 kept outselling 360, PS3, and, yes, even Wii, for the first few months to a year after their respective launches. And it goes back even further: NES outsold TG16, Genesis, and SNES, respectively, during each of those console's first year or so on market. Are you now going to say that none of those consoles sold well in their first few years? Ridiculous.


And sales were only okay and not great, as the sales charts show.

You and I must be reading different sales charts, then, because I see a system outselling it's closest competitor by a sizable amount, having a rather high selling launch, and increasing that over a period of time steadily.



It doesn't matter if later JRPGs sold less, I'm talking about FFVII and not those games.

It matters to my point that its importance has been grossly overstated over the years.


Who's fault was abandoning the Genesis? Sega of Japan's of course! And while that was a big blow, and hurt Sega a lot, I don't know if it actually hurt Sega more than abandoning the Saturn did. I mean, Sega of Japan abandoned the Genesis in 1995, six years after the system's release in the US and seven after its Japanese release. But the Saturn? Stolar brought in its death with his hiring, at a time when the system wasn't even two years old yet in the US (2 1/2 years in Japan). And when Sega killed the Genesis they still had the Saturn to focus on, while when they killed the Saturn, they had nothing other than a handful of PC games, most of which were Saturn ports anyway.

Yes, they had Saturn "to focus on". A console that wasn't going to earn profit for them, while abandoning, for a period of time, a console that was earning profit for them hand over fist. Abandoning Genesis as they did had to have been a bigger blow as they clearly abandoned a money earner for them. That was not the case with Saturn. If anything, cutting that cost was in their best interests.

A Black Falcon
07-06-2014, 05:44 PM
FYI, that happens every gen.

Remember when Dreamcast had the best launch of all time up to that point in time?

Guess what? It was still outsold by PS1.

Same deal for PS2 during it's launch. PS2 kept outselling 360, PS3, and, yes, even Wii, for the first few months to a year after their respective launches. And it goes back even further: NES outsold TG16, Genesis, and SNES, respectively, during each of those console's first year or so on market. Are you now going to say that none of those consoles sold well in their first few years? Ridiculous.
Um, did you already forget what quote you were replying to? That last "example" of yours was part of my proof!

Also, you're wrong. You are right that the PS2 outsold the PS3, 360, and Wii in December 2006, right after the PS3 and Wii launched, but by a year later it had fallen behind -- the Wii won December 2007, the 360 was second, and the PS2 third, not counting handhelds. And counting handhelds, the Nintendo DS won December 2006 AND December 2007. The DS is of course a 7th gen system, not 6th like the PS2. http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=229157 http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=137693

So yes, as I said, the Genesis did sell behind the NES until 1991 and Sonic pushed it ahead. That is a good example of how, like the 1993-1995 part of the 5th generation, most gamers weren't interested in moving on to the next generation yet in 1989-1990, then after that the main transition began.


You and I must be reading different sales charts, then, because I see a system outselling it's closest competitor by a sizable amount, having a rather high selling launch, and increasing that over a period of time steadily.
You definitely are looking at the chart pretty oddly, because it's quite clear from the chart that the PS1 didn't get really successful until 1997. 1995-1996 it sold okay, but going from what it did there to the insane sales of holidays 1997-1999, it was only a fraction of that. Of course systems often gain strength over time, that's expected, but there are usually reasons why those gains happen, and for Sony, FFVII was one of those reasons. Crash Bandicoot, in late '96 initially and then with sequels each of the next two years, was another one.


It matters to my point that its importance has been grossly overstated over the years.
No, it hasn't. You're just under-rating it.


Yes, they had Saturn "to focus on". A console that wasn't going to earn profit for them, while abandoning, for a period of time, a console that was earning profit for them hand over fist. Abandoning Genesis as they did had to have been a bigger blow as they clearly abandoned a money earner for them. That was not the case with Saturn. If anything, cutting that cost was in their best interests.
Once again, they had the Saturn focus on, and the Saturn was SOMETHING. Killing the Genesis was a huge mistake, but it was at a point three times longer into the system's life then when they killed the Saturn, and it was in favor of an actual console which existed and was being sold. It was a really dumb move SoJ pulled, there, but there was SOMETHING afterwards, at least. In comparison, when the Saturn was killed, Sega had nothing for over a year other than a handful of PC releases and those Saturn games Stolar shipped in such small quantities that most people forgot they existed... and then after that nothing but the occasional PC game for over another year until the Dreamcast released. It's obviously a far worse mistake on those grounds.

A Black Falcon
07-06-2014, 05:50 PM
Not at all. Sell the razor at a loss, to sell the razorblades.

Tom Kelinske lowered the price of the Genesis ($149) below the costs to manufacture it to stimulate sales in North America and Europe. Stolar did the same by launching the DC at $50 below the cost to manufacture the console. When Sega lowered the price of the DC to $99 in 2001, to counter the sudden drop in sales because of the PS2, they started losing a lot of money per-unit sold. If the DC was hard to reduce the costs to manufacture in 2001, the chip-heavy Saturn was certainly losing even more at a price of $149 in 1997.

Sony had the ability to price out it's competition, be it MS (Xbox) or Sega, because most of the parts used in their consoles were manufactured within house.


http://www.curmudgeongamer.com/2007/07/when-did-original-playstation-drop-in.html
Of course, Stolar's decision to drop the DC in price was a terrible one. By that point Sega could not afford those additional losses, and as I've said, the $300 prices of the PS2 and Xbox prove that price was NOT the consumer's first thought that generation, or at least that they thought that $300 was fine. Stolar's decision there threw away a lot of money and probably hastened Sega's end.

gamevet
07-06-2014, 07:12 PM
Of course, Stolar's decision to drop the DC in price was a terrible one. By that point Sega could not afford those additional losses, and as I've said, the $300 prices of the PS2 and Xbox prove that price was NOT the consumer's first thought that generation, or at least that they thought that $300 was fine. Stolar's decision there threw away a lot of money and probably hastened Sega's end.

And you thought continueing to sell (at a larger loss) the Saturn was a better idea?

Man, you have no clue. The original Xbox costed MS @ $325 per unit, when they were selling it for $300. And it continued to hold that high price when they were forced to drop it $249 and $199......

The PS2 and Xbox had DVD drives and both could be used as a DVD player. The Xbox also had a HDD to store media files. They had better percieved value at $300, than the DC had at $200 and Sega was forced to lower the price once sales came to a screeching halt.

What's next, you going to blame Stolar for the price of the DC in 2000?

Gogogadget
07-06-2014, 08:05 PM
The problem with huge price cuts is that you effectively price yourself too low, a console that is only $99 will not have that "wow look how cheap that is compared to the PS2 and Xbox!" thing going for it, but probably more of "it's probably that's cheap for a reason."

j_factor
07-06-2014, 08:31 PM
Not at all. Sell the razor at a loss, to sell the razorblades.

I might agree, if your reasoning wasn't so selective. Make up your mind.


Sony had the ability to price out it's competition, be it MS (Xbox) or Sega, because most of the parts used in their consoles were manufactured within house.

Which is why it was a foolish move of Sega to reject partnership with Sony. IIRC, Kalinske wanted to go ahead with that.

gamevet
07-06-2014, 09:09 PM
I might agree, if your reasoning wasn't so selective. Make up your mind.

My reasoning isn't selective.

The Saturn had way too much silicon on the board to ever be a console that could get into a price war with the competition. The DC's design was simple, yet powerful, like the Playstation and could be sold at a much more affordable price than the Saturn could. When the DC's price was dropped down to $150, Sega more than likely wasn't losing as much money as they were when they had to price the Saturn down to that same amount.

One price makes sense, while the other is financial suicide.




Which is why it was a foolish move of Sega to reject partnership with Sony. IIRC, Kalinske wanted to go ahead with that.

Or abandon the slapped together Saturn design before it ever hit the production line, continue on with the Genesis hardware and have better suited hardware to compete in 1997.

Zz Badnusty
07-06-2014, 11:03 PM
The Dreamcast brought the arcade home. Just like the Saturn before it, and the Genesis before that, and the Atari 5200 before that.

A Black Falcon
07-07-2014, 04:22 AM
My reasoning isn't selective.

The Saturn had way too much silicon on the board to ever be a console that could get into a price war with the competition. The DC's design was simple, yet powerful, like the Playstation and could be sold at a much more affordable price than the Saturn could. When the DC's price was dropped down to $150, Sega more than likely wasn't losing as much money as they were when they had to price the Saturn down to that same amount.

One price makes sense, while the other is financial suicide.
No, absolutely not. First, wasn't Sega losing more than the $50 you claim on each DC at launch? And later on they lost even more, as the price plunged as they tried and failed to sell enough systems to survive. I think you underestimate how much money was lost on DC hardware sales, and somehow aren't willing to consider that Sega's bad financial condition should be a factor here -- in the Saturn years Sega wasn't on the verge of bankruptcy yet! They were still profitable until 1996, after all.

Of course the Saturn's overly-expensive-to-make hardware design was awful, but Sega could better afford price cuts then than they could with the Dreamcast because of the different financial positions of the company at those times. Also of course, had they continued to sell Saturns, sold several million more systems in the US, and such, it'd have created a much better base to sell Dreamcasts from, and I would think it likely that US DC sales would have been higher as well as a result.


Or abandon the slapped together Saturn design before it ever hit the production line, continue on with the Genesis hardware and have better suited hardware to compete in 1997.
This idea I agree with, of course -- I've said this before as well, this is definitely what Sega should have done. Can the Saturn before launch, make a better system aimed for 1996 instead. This time one that's not overly expensive to make and dated in design, and that will have a chance of selling in your primary market, the US.

gamevet
07-07-2014, 12:25 PM
No, absolutely not. First, wasn't Sega losing more than the $50 you claim on each DC at launch? And later on they lost even more, as the price plunged as they tried and failed to sell enough systems to survive. I think you underestimate how much money was lost on DC hardware sales, and somehow aren't willing to consider that Sega's bad financial condition should be a factor here -- in the Saturn years Sega wasn't on the verge of bankruptcy yet! They were still profitable until 1996, after all.

No, SOJ wanted to make a little cash with each DC sold, adding the modem pretty much made it a break even sale @ $249, and when he publicly announced a price of $199, it infuriated the people at SOJ.

The stupid deals like paying consumers (I got a $100 check and a keyboard) the price of a Dreamcast, if they signed up to a 2 year deal with Sega Net\Earthlink is what killed a lot of profit earning potential for console, along with a sudden drop in interest towards the console and games shortly after the PS2 launched.


Of course the Saturn's overly-expensive-to-make hardware design was awful, but Sega could better afford price cuts then than they could with the Dreamcast because of the different financial positions of the company at those times. Also of course, had they continued to sell Saturns, sold several million more systems in the US, and such, it'd have created a much better base to sell Dreamcasts from, and I would think it likely that US DC sales would have been higher as well as a result.

SOA lost over $215 million in 1996. CSK pretty much covered the check, allowing Sega to appear to have profited by $39 Million. They had only sold 1.2 million Saturn's by the end of 1996, over a period of 19 months. They didn't have an existing userbase to keep Western 3rd party publishers interested, a deminishing interest from retailers, and a total lack of consumer awareness to keep going with the hardware.

Like I've said before; "The Saturn is my all-time favorite console." I've accepted that it wasn't the right hardware to fairly compete with what the competition was selling at the time, and nothing was going to change that.

spiffyone
07-07-2014, 03:50 PM
Also, you're wrong. You are right that the PS2 outsold the PS3, 360, and Wii in December 2006, right after the PS3 and Wii launched, but by a year later it had fallen behind

Did you even read what I posted? I specifically stated that PS2 outsold those (then) new gen consoles for the first couple of months to a year. What you've just stated doesn't contradict that. You're actually agreeing with me.


You definitely are looking at the chart pretty oddly, because it's quite clear from the chart that the PS1 didn't get really successful until 1997. 1995-1996 it sold okay, but going from what it did there to the insane sales of holidays 1997-1999, it was only a fraction of that.[/:QUOTE]

So something has to sell "insanely" in order for it to be "selling well"?

That seems an arbitrary criteria.

The fact is that PS1 was indeed "selling well" by anything other than that strange criteria you're holding onto. It was, again, the best launch up to that point in time. It was, again, outselling its closest competitor, its direct competitor by a sizable amount. By any metric other than "insane" sales of '97 it was "selling well". It just wasn't selling as well as it would later on, but let's not forget to give the devil its due here. It was selling well, quite well, and would later on sell extremely/insanely well.

[QUOTE]No, it hasn't. You're just under-rating it.

I'm rating it fairly. There seems to be this notion that the game "opened the gates for JRPG popularity", but that's not actually the case. Again, other non-FF JRPGs failed to gain anywhere near that sort of traction.


Once again, they had the Saturn focus on, and the Saturn was SOMETHING.

Saturn, by early '97 at the latest, was NOTHING in comparison to N64 and PS1. The writing was on the wall when the 3 game pack in failed to propel it past those two competitors.


Killing the Genesis was a huge mistake, but it was at a point three times longer into the system's life then when they killed the Saturn, and it was in favor of an actual console which existed and was being sold. It was a really dumb move SoJ pulled, there, but there was SOMETHING afterwards, at least. In comparison, when the Saturn was killed, Sega had nothing for over a year other than a handful of PC releases and those Saturn games Stolar shipped in such small quantities that most people forgot they existed... and then after that nothing but the occasional PC game for over another year until the Dreamcast released. It's obviously a far worse mistake on those grounds.

The difference is that Genesis was not losing money for Sega. They were, by that point, not selling the console at a loss, were readying to consolidate the hardware further to increase market potential at a lower price while still not selling for deep losses. In comparison, they were still selling Saturn at a deep loss when they decided to pull the plug there, with no consolidation of the hardware in sight to change that fact.

What's worse: cutting a sure money maker, or cutting a sure money loser? The former, of course.

sheath
07-07-2014, 04:51 PM
I thought the free Dreamcast with a SegaNet contract was awesome. If I recall, Sony execs called it a paradigm shift in console distribution. It's how I got my Sega Sports Dreamcast, and how my college roommate got my launch Dreamcast. The $15-20 a month in residual income is a lot better than a one time purchase at or below the console's cost also.

retrospiel
07-07-2014, 05:01 PM
There was a reason why Nintendo ultimately did not went through with their deal with Sony.

sheath
07-07-2014, 05:06 PM
Sony wanted 100% Royalty on all CDs sold and gave Nintendo their usual cart publishing empire. I'd say that would have gone badly for Nintendo.

Bottino
07-07-2014, 05:33 PM
Now Sony would have " saved " Sega ?

Man, i always get a kick of these revisionists bullshit discussions.

A Black Falcon
07-07-2014, 07:24 PM
Did you even read what I posted? I specifically stated that PS2 outsold those (then) new gen consoles for the first couple of months to a year. What you've just stated doesn't contradict that. You're actually agreeing with me.
Supplies of new consoles are usually limited at launch due to production reasons, sure. There's a difference between the early period and the high period of a system's success, for those that do succeed -- and for the PS1, it really hit that success point in '97. Maybe you could say something earlier, but it was mostly '97.


So something has to sell "insanely" in order for it to be "selling well"?

That seems an arbitrary criteria.
When we're talking about a system that ended up winning its generation, once it's the top-selling system (in monthly/yearly sales) is when it's clearly selling well! I'm not sure when the PS1 took that title, but it might have been '96 sometime... until the N64 released and beat it for ten months. Once the PS1 passed the N64 in monthly sales in mid '97 it became the clear leader in the US, and stayed there. In Japan it's somewhat similar -- the early '97 release of FFVII and announcement that DQ7 would be a PS1 exclusive sealed Sony's victory over Sega.


The fact is that PS1 was indeed "selling well" by anything other than that strange criteria you're holding onto. It was, again, the best launch up to that point in time. It was, again, outselling its closest competitor, its direct competitor by a sizable amount. By any metric other than "insane" sales of '97 it was "selling well". It just wasn't selling as well as it would later on, but let's not forget to give the devil its due here. It was selling well, quite well, and would later on sell extremely/insanely well.
Exactly, it wasn't selling anywhere near as it would in the next three years! The PS1 of 1995-1996 and the PS1 of 1997-2000 are very different platforms in terms of how successful they were.


I'm rating it fairly. There seems to be this notion that the game "opened the gates for JRPG popularity", but that's not actually the case. Again, other non-FF JRPGs failed to gain anywhere near that sort of traction.
Oh come on, this is absurd. The reason why everyone always points to FFVII being the key game in bringing the JRPG to the Western masses is because that is exactly what happened. The game sold many times better outside of Japan than any JRPG had before it, and after FFVII the size of teh JRPG market in the West was massively expanded. Sales increased, and with that game releases greatly increased too. This is why there are so many times more JRPGs released in the West on the PS1 and PS2 than there had been on the NES or SNES -- thanks to FFVII, the genre became widely popular in a way it definitely had not been before.

I'm not a FFVII fan myself and don't particularly care for the game, but that is what happened.


Saturn, by early '97 at the latest, was NOTHING in comparison to N64 and PS1.
Nope, absolutely wrong. The Saturn was nothing after Stolar killed it by neglect upon his hiring as SoA CEO, but before that it was most definitely something.


The writing was on the wall when the 3 game pack in failed to propel it past those two competitors.
This is one of the stupidest pieces of insane revisionist history in this thread! Kalisnske had to BEAT launch N64 and '96 PS1 sales in order for that 3 game pack to meet with your expectations? Seriously? That's beyond ludicrous! Look at the actual sales chart again, and notice how low the Saturn's numbers were until it increased in '96 thanks to better marketing, NiGHTS eventually getting attention, and the 3-in-1 bundle. Increasing things enough to finish in a close third-place finish, not far from Nintendo and Sony's sales, was a huge, huge accomplishment compared to what the Saturn had done in the US up to that point. All Sega needed to do was continue on the route they had gone on in '96, and the Saturn should have sold millions more in the US.


The difference is that Genesis was not losing money for Sega. They were, by that point, not selling the console at a loss, were readying to consolidate the hardware further to increase market potential at a lower price while still not selling for deep losses. In comparison, they were still selling Saturn at a deep loss when they decided to pull the plug there, with no consolidation of the hardware in sight to change that fact.

What's worse: cutting a sure money maker, or cutting a sure money loser? The former, of course.
Cutting the sure money maker is worse when you are at least replacing it with a thing which exists; yes, it' s a thing making much less money, and yes, it's a huge mistake, but at least the replacement product EXISTS and is a thing and makes revenues (even if it surely loses more than it makes) and people can see it on the shelves. But cutting a sure money loser in favor of absolutely NOTHING is obviously shockingly terrible strategy. You can't stay relevant as a videogame company when you are selling nothing and have abandoned yet another platform far before its time. There is no contest here, the second case is clearly a lot worse. They're both very bad mistakes, but the second is worse, and it's not close.


Sony wanted 100% Royalty on all CDs sold and gave Nintendo their usual cart publishing empire. I'd say that would have gone badly for Nintendo.
Indeed it would have. Sony would probably have eventually used its monopoly on CD royalties to essentially try to force Nintendo out of the market...

j_factor
07-07-2014, 10:30 PM
I thought the free Dreamcast with a SegaNet contract was awesome. If I recall, Sony execs called it a paradigm shift in console distribution.

That was a thing they were doing with PCs around that time. Sign up for two years of MSN or some other dial-up service, and get a big discount on a new computer. It was successful at the time, and it made perfect sense to adapt it to a console.

Of course, SegaNet shitting the bed and its customers being moved over to Earthlink probably didn't help Sega's profits.

gamevet
07-07-2014, 11:38 PM
This is one of the stupidest pieces of insane revisionist history in this thread! Kalisnske had to BEAT launch N64 and '96 PS1 sales in order for that 3 game pack to meet with your expectations? Seriously?



You might want to get your facts straight, before you call the guy stupid. Kalinske turned in his resignation on July 15, 1996 and left the company in September of 96. He stepped down from his leading role in July and remained on the board of directors until September 30th.

http://www.sega-16.com/2005/02/tom-kalinske-american-samurai/


Tired of having his toes stepped on at every turn, Tom Kalinske jumped off the industry Titanic that Sega had become. He quit on July 15, 1996, leaving Sega to flounder in his absence under the terrible guidance of Sega of Japan (though he remained on the board of directors until September 30, 1996).


That was a thing they were doing with PCs around that time. Sign up for two years of MSN or some other dial-up service, and get a big discount on a new computer. It was successful at the time, and it made perfect sense to adapt it to a console.

Of course, SegaNet shitting the bed and its customers being moved over to Earthlink probably didn't help Sega's profits.

It was a great idea, if they ever lasted long enough to see a return on the loss. I think Sega was thinking that more people would be interested in paying a monthly fee to play NFL2K2 and PSO Ver.2 online, but it really didn't get a ton of loyal subscribers for an extended amount of time. I maybe paid for a couple of months of NFL2K2's online service and a few months of PSO Ver.2 and then stopped paying for it. It was kind of cool to have a Sega-Net email address though; people would ask me if I had worked for Sega.

j_factor
07-08-2014, 12:00 AM
Shoichiro Irimajiri was the chairman and CEO of Sega of America from Kalinske's departure until Stolar was promoted. I wonder how much of what happened during that time was his doing, and how much was just Sega running on autopilot. Did Irimajiri come up with the 3 free games pack? Or did Kalinske come up with it and he just implemented it?

A Black Falcon
07-08-2014, 12:02 AM
You might want to get your facts straight, before you call the guy stupid. Kalinske turned in his resignation on July 15, 1996 and left the company in September of 96. He stepped down from his leading role in July and remained on the board of directors until September 30th.

http://www.sega-16.com/2005/02/tom-kalinske-american-samurai/
I didn't remember Kalinske left long before Stolar was hired... so substitute Sega for Kalinske in that sentence then, the meaning is essentially the same. When did the 3-in-1 pack start, anyway?


Shoichiro Irimajiri was the chairman and CEO of Sega of America from Kalinske's departure until Stolar was promoted. I wonder how much of what happened during that time was his doing, and how much was just Sega running on autopilot. Did Irimajiri come up with the 3 free games pack? Or did Kalinske come up with it and he just implemented it?
I am now wondering this as well.

j_factor
07-08-2014, 12:03 AM
Then substitute Sega for Kalinske, the meaning is the same. When did the 3-in-1 pack start, anyway?

It started in November of 1996.

gamevet
07-08-2014, 12:14 AM
Shoichiro Irimajiri was the chairman and CEO of Sega of America from Kalinske's departure until Stolar was promoted. I wonder how much of what happened during that time was his doing, and how much was just Sega running on autopilot. Did Irimajiri come up with the 3 free games pack? Or did Kalinske come up with it and he just implemented it?


Japan wasn't listening to him, so it's highly unlikely.

I had recently read somewhere, that SOJ had done a similar deal (earlier) in Japan and it was met with somewhat positive results. It wasn't something that created an extended amount of increased sales in Japan, just like it was for North America later.

A Black Falcon
07-08-2014, 01:06 AM
Japan wasn't listening to him, so it's highly unlikely.

I had recently read somewhere, that SOJ had done a similar deal (earlier) in Japan and it was met with somewhat positive results. It wasn't something that created an extended amount of increased sales in Japan, just like it was for North America later.
Uh, bundles only didn't create an extended amount of increased sales in the US because Stolar abandoned the Saturn, you know. Not for any other reason. The first bundle was a real success, and had they followed up on it (with a new bundle of newer games) the idea would surely have continued to work.

gamevet
07-08-2014, 01:15 AM
Uh, bundles only didn't create an extended amount of increased sales in the US because Stolar abandoned the Saturn, you know. Not for any other reason. The first bundle was a real success, and had they followed up on it (with a new bundle of newer games) the idea would surely have continued to work.

http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d76/Gamevet/LoneRanger3.jpg (http://s33.photobucket.com/user/Gamevet/media/LoneRanger3.jpg.html)

j_factor
07-08-2014, 01:45 AM
Of course one promotion isn't going to create "an extended amount of increased sales". That's just not what they do.

gamevet
07-08-2014, 02:10 AM
Sony and Nintendo didn't need to bundle games with their consoles during the 96 holiday season to sell units. People bought the N64 and gladly paid an extra $70+ for Super Mario 64 as well. There has never been a console bundle in the history of videogames, that needed to be replaced within months of its arrival. That is just a piss-poor excuse for why the Saturn stopped selling in January, February, March.....

Like I said before, Sega bundled Sonic the Hedgehog for over a year with the Genesis, and Nintendo bundled Super Mario Bros. for well over a year with the NES and sold very well. They also sold a console without a game for slightly less. Adding Nights, or whatever other game you can think of, wasn't going to magically create some massive boost in sales for the Saturn in the winter of 97. Nights, by itself should have generated a significant boost in Saturn sales during August and September, and that never happened.

j_factor
07-08-2014, 02:23 AM
Sony and Nintendo didn't need to bundle games with their consoles during the 96 holiday season to sell units. People bought the N64 and gladly paid an extra $70+ for Super Mario 64 as well.

And? You keep insisting on a false dichotomy, as if Sega needed to match N64 and Playstation sales, otherwise it might have well been zero. That's not the case. There's quite the excluded middle there.


There has never been a console bundle in the history of videogames, that needed to be replaced within months of its arrival.

That is not true at all. Many console bundles have had a limited life span. It's not always like SNES packing in Super Mario World for five years. The Xbox 360 and PS3 both went through quick rotations on various bundles. Xbox 360 even had specifically marked "Holiday" bundles a couple of years. The PS3's MGS4 bundle didn't last long, nor did the 40GB model of the console.


Like I said before, Sega bundled Sonic the Hedgehog for over a year with the Genesis, and Nintendo bundled Super Mario Bros. for well over a year with the NES and sold very well. They also sold a console without a game for slightly less. Adding Nights, or whatever other game you can think, of wasn't going to magically create some massive boost in sales for the Saturn into the winter of 97.

I never said massive boost. Once again, holiday 97 (and the year in general) was way worse than the previous year. That didn't have to be the case. If you think matching their '96 sales would have been a "massive boost", you are implicitly praising what they did in '96.

gamevet
07-08-2014, 02:45 AM
And? You keep insisting on a false dichotomy, as if Sega needed to match N64 and Playstation sales, otherwise it might have well been zero. That's not the case. There's quite the excluded middle there.

No, you and ABF are under the assumption that Saturn sales stalled because of interest waning for the bundle that they had on offer for the 96 holiday season.




That is not true at all. Many console bundles have had a limited life span. It's not always like SNES packing in Super Mario World for five years. The Xbox 360 and PS3 both went through quick rotations on various bundles. Xbox 360 even had specifically marked "Holiday" bundles a couple of years. The PS3's MGS4 bundle didn't last long, nor did the 40GB model of the console.

Sony still has the Uncharted 3 bundle from well over a year ago. You're trying to mix in 3rd party promotional holiday deals with official 1st party bundles. Those are not the same thing.




I never said massive boost. Once again, holiday 97 (and the year in general) was way worse than the previous year. That didn't have to be the case. If you think matching their '96 sales would have been a "massive boost", you are implicitly praising what they did in '96.

The holiday seasons were the only times that the Saturn had really showed any kind of decent sales worth taking notice of. The rest of the 19 months leading up to 1997 were pretty much horrible. If your console only sells 1.2 million units in 19 months, there's bigger problems than some stupid new bundle needed to generate sales.

A Black Falcon
07-08-2014, 04:27 AM
No, you and ABF are under the assumption that Saturn sales stalled because of interest waning for the bundle that they had on offer for the 96 holiday season.
That's half of the reason why, yes, but the other half is that Stolar quickly stopped any serious efforts to continue to sell Saturn systems. You've admitted this yourself too, such as wehn you said that he changed his focus to software over hardware. Of course, when you've given up on hselling hardware in the console wars, you've already lost. You can't focus only on software sales when you're in third place, you need to focus on selling hardware so as to increase the size of your userbase, and thus sell more software that way. This is basic stuff, which of course Stolar ignored because he was terrible at managing videogame companies.


Sony still has the Uncharted 3 bundle from well over a year ago. You're trying to mix in 3rd party promotional holiday deals with official 1st party bundles. Those are not the same thing.
Which 3rd party promotional holiday deals? Uncharted is a first-party Sony game, just like the three Saturn packins were for Sega.

There are some consoles which get third-party packins -- one that comes to mind immediately is the Star Wars Episode I Racer N64 bundle -- but bundling first-party titles is much, much more common because it costs the first party nothing.

Anyway, most video game console bundles are very short-lived things. They come and go, switching out every few months. Bundles which last and last and last, such as Wii Sports with the Wii, are very, VERY much the exceptions. Almost all bundles are short-lived things. I know you don't understand any of this stuff, because if you did you'd never defend Bernie Stolar, but try to learn!


The holiday seasons were the only times that the Saturn had really showed any kind of decent sales worth taking notice of.
Given that most video game sales are in holiday seasons, this is not a significant problem, so long as your holiday sales are good enough.

For example, in 2010 the Wii overcame mediocre sales through the entire year up to that point with a fantastic December and won the year for the fourth year in a row. A good holiday season sometimes is all you need.


The rest of the 19 months leading up to 1997 were pretty much horrible. If your console only sells 1.2 million units in 19 months, there's bigger problems than some stupid new bundle needed to generate sales.
I'm sure that many people thought this before holiday '96, that the Saturn would never sell, and they were proven wrong. The bundle, and public interest in NiGHTS, worked.

As for NiGHTS, yes, I know first-month sales didn't get a large bump, but the game is one of the more common US Saturn games, and got a lot of attention because it was a Sonic Team platformer (of sorts). Gamers knew about NiGHTS and were interested in it whether or not they had a Saturn, and I am sure that many of those people buying the 3-in-1 were also motivated by wanting to play NiGHTS. I'm sure it sold well that December, and I'd certainly consider it a significant contributing factor for the system's success that holiday.


Sony and Nintendo didn't need to bundle games with their consoles during the 96 holiday season to sell units. People bought the N64 and gladly paid an extra $70+ for Super Mario 64 as well.
The N64 had just released to massive hype, of course it didn't need a bundle yet. They would be available in its later years, though. As for the PS1, I don't know when Sony started bundling games with the system, but they did at some point, yes? You did always get a demo disc at least. Sony mostly relied on the large library of cheap games to drive interest, though... and it worked. Sega didn't have Sony's large library or a must-hyave game on the level of Mario 64, so they needed to do something different. Why are you creating a bizarre anti-reality where Sega can only continue if the Saturn is as successful as the N64 or PS1? That's complete nonsense, of course. The Saturn as a successful 3rd-place system would have been just fine. Sure Sega would still have lost a lot of money on it, but probably less than they did, and they'd have been much better set for success with the DC.


There has never been a console bundle in the history of videogames, that needed to be replaced within months of its arrival. That is just a piss-poor excuse for why the Saturn stopped selling in January, February, March.....
The Saturn stopped selling then because it wasn't the holidays anymore. N64 and PS1 sales declined greatly too! Sure Saturn sales then were low, but not as low as they got as soon as Stolar took over.


Like I said before, Sega bundled Sonic the Hedgehog for over a year with the Genesis, and Nintendo bundled Super Mario Bros. for well over a year with the NES and sold very well. They also sold a console without a game for slightly less. Adding Nights, or whatever other game you can think of, wasn't going to magically create some massive boost in sales for the Saturn in the winter of 97. Nights, by itself should have generated a significant boost in Saturn sales during August and September, and that never happened.
Sega never tried bundling in NiGHTS, so how do you know that it wouldn't have spurred new hardware sales? I think you're absolutely, completely wrong in that assumption! Yes, of course a NiGHTS bundle (with the 3d controller and probably another game too) would have sold systems! Packing in the closest thing you have to a system seller for the US, with the system? That'd be the Saturn equivalent of the Sonic or Mario bundles you mention there that were so successful.

Also, I addressed NiGHTS above. That's the kind of game which doesn't just sell only at launch, but continues to sell through the life of the system, as you see with many Nintendo titles -- there are plenty of Nintendo games with unimpressive first months, but which continue to sell and sell and eventually have high sales numbers. A quick ebay search finds more results for "Saturn Nights" in games than "Saturn Daytona"! The game sold quite well, obviously. It's got to be one of the best-selling Saturn games in the US, right up there with the 3-in-1 titles. The people who bought those 3-in-1s often then bought NiGHTS too, and it was surely a draw making the system more interesting looking. Packing it in would definitely have been a very good idea.

retrospiel
07-09-2014, 03:22 PM
Yes, a Nights bundle would have been a very good idea, but it would have changed almost nothing. I think everyone had already given up by then (post Tomb Raider / Resident Evil / Crash Bandicoot). It sure seemed like it.

PS1 came with a demo CD which was AWESOME. Saturn came with NOTHING. It should have included Clockwork Knight 1, that Panzer Dragoon Demo CD they sent out upon request to early adopters, and that Bootleg Sampler demo which became available in autumn and given out at random (i.e. with magazin subscriptions). Including nothing while PS1 came with that incredible demo disc full of games, tech demos, and apps was just sad.


KVQq6lYWII4

9T5hwKs7AuQ

2EKD7H3GkmA

nikwa_WswTs

j_factor
07-09-2014, 03:50 PM
PS1 came with a demo CD which was AWESOME. Saturn came with NOTHING. It should have included Clockwork Knight 1, that Panzer Dragoon Demo CD they sent out upon request to early adopters, and that Bootleg Sampler demo which became available in autumn. Including nothing while PS1 came with that incredible demo disc full of games, tech demos, and apps was just sad.

I don't think the Saturn ever came with nothing at all, but the inclusions were pretty weak, yeah. The initial $400 Saturn release had Virtua Fighter as a pack-in. They also had the Choice Cuts video disc, though I'm not sure if that came in the very first units or was added a bit later, but most Saturns sold in 1995 came with it. When they dropped the price of the Saturn, October 2, you could buy either the system with VF Remix for $349 or the "core pack" with no game for $299. At that point they included the demos for Bug! and Panzer Dragoon. I think the Bootleg Sampler came out in late November.

A Black Falcon
07-09-2014, 04:04 PM
I don't think the Saturn ever came with nothing at all, but the inclusions were pretty weak, yeah. The initial $400 Saturn release had Virtua Fighter as a pack-in. They also had the Choice Cuts video disc, though I'm not sure if that came in the very first units or was added a bit later, but most Saturns sold in 1995 came with it. When they dropped the price of the Saturn, October 2, you could buy either the system with VF Remix for $349 or the "core pack" with no game for $299. At that point they included the demos for Bug! and Panzer Dragoon. I think the Bootleg Sampler came out in late November.
Yeah, Sega usually had some kind of demo disc included with the Saturn, that or a Virtua Fighter game, up until the 3-in-1. They did not have nothing.

spiffyone
07-10-2014, 11:00 AM
Supplies of new consoles are usually limited at launch due to production reasons, sure. There's a difference between the early period and the high period of a system's success, for those that do succeed -- and for the PS1, it really hit that success point in '97. Maybe you could say something earlier, but it was mostly '97.

Every new gen console is outsold by the leading previous gen console seller for a few months up to a year. The only time that did not happen when NES launched, because of the Crash of the previous gens.


When we're talking about a system that ended up winning its generation, once it's the top-selling system (in monthly/yearly sales) is when it's clearly selling well!

So let's just ignore the fact that it had the best launch of any system to that point, was outselling its closest competitors by a hefty amount, etc.

No, sorry. Can't do that.


Exactly, it wasn't selling anywhere near as it would in the next three years! The PS1 of 1995-1996 and the PS1 of 1997-2000 are very different platforms in terms of how successful they were.

Not selling "as well" as it did later on does not negate the fact that it was still selling well initially.


Oh come on, this is absurd. The reason why everyone always points to FFVII being the key game in bringing the JRPG to the Western masses is because that is exactly what happened. The game sold many times better outside of Japan than any JRPG had before it, and after FFVII the size of teh JRPG market in the West was massively expanded. Sales increased, and with that game releases greatly increased too. This is why there are so many times more JRPGs released in the West on the PS1 and PS2 than there had been on the NES or SNES -- thanks to FFVII, the genre became widely popular in a way it definitely had not been before.

"Widely popular" my aching foot. Again, non-FF games did not sell anywhere near FFVII or subsequent FF numbers. It's fairer to state that FFVII increased the visibility of FF games in the West, and to a much lesser extent JRPGs as a whole, but not that it "opened the floodgates for JRPG 'popularity'" or any such nonsense that has been attributed to the game over the years.


Nope, absolutely wrong. The Saturn was nothing after Stolar killed it by neglect upon his hiring as SoA CEO, but before that it was most definitely something.

Ok, then, sure it was something. Something that wasn't selling well at all, something that was losing Sega mounds of money on each unit manufactured and sold, something that was a misstep overall for Sega.


This is one of the stupidest pieces of insane revisionist history in this thread! Kalisnske had to BEAT launch N64 and '96 PS1 sales in order for that 3 game pack to meet with your expectations? Seriously? That's beyond ludicrous!

This coming from the guy stating that PS1 "wasn't selling well" until '97....


Look at the actual sales chart again, and notice how low the Saturn's numbers were until it increased in '96 thanks to better marketing, NiGHTS eventually getting attention, and the 3-in-1 bundle. Increasing things enough to finish in a close third-place finish, not far from Nintendo and Sony's sales, was a huge, huge accomplishment compared to what the Saturn had done in the US up to that point. All Sega needed to do was continue on the route they had gone on in '96, and the Saturn should have sold millions more in the US.

Sega had been pouring money into Saturn for that length of time, and the best they could muster was a (quite distant) third place finish against two consoles that didn't even have ONE game packed in with hardware, respectively?

That does not bode well for Sega.

Could they have stayed the course? Sure. But at what cost? Saturn was bleeding money. Any further expenditures on that system would've led to more losses overall. That's part of the reason Stolar wanted to cut that hardware: his job was to stem the bleeding.


Cutting the sure money maker is worse when you are at least replacing it with a thing which exists; yes, it' s a thing making much less money, and yes, it's a huge mistake, but at least the replacement product EXISTS and is a thing and makes revenues (even if it surely loses more than it makes) and people can see it on the shelves. But cutting a sure money loser in favor of absolutely NOTHING is obviously shockingly terrible strategy. You can't stay relevant as a videogame company when you are selling nothing and have abandoned yet another platform far before its time. There is no contest here, the second case is clearly a lot worse. They're both very bad mistakes, but the second is worse, and it's not close.

The reality is that Genesis was making money hand over fist for Sega, and they cut it thereby taking away potential PROFITS from the company as a whole. With Saturn, as you state, they simply lost out on what? Potential revenues that were completely offset by the losses they were making. It was a money pit, whereas Genesis was a money EARNER. As such, cutting Genesis as they did was the worse move overall.

j_factor
07-10-2014, 11:31 AM
Could they have stayed the course? Sure. But at what cost? Saturn was bleeding money. Any further expenditures on that system would've led to more losses overall. That's part of the reason Stolar wanted to cut that hardware: his job was to stem the bleeding.

I have to say this once again, though: Stolar didn't do a good job of that. At all. Look at how much money Sega lost while he was in charge. Look at the failure of Heat.net, which was Stolar's baby. How much money did he spend creating and implementing that service?

gamevet
07-10-2014, 01:57 PM
Heat.Net was not Stolar's baby. Sega soft was a joint venture between CSK and Sega, and was founded in 1995.

Don't make me break out Tonto.



Yes, a Nights bundle would have been a very good idea, but it would have changed almost nothing. I think everyone had already given up by then (post Tomb Raider / Resident Evil / Crash Bandicoot). It sure seemed like it.

PS1 came with a demo CD which was AWESOME. Saturn came with NOTHING. It should have included Clockwork Knight 1, that Panzer Dragoon Demo CD they sent out upon request to early adopters, and that Bootleg Sampler demo which became available in autumn and given out at random (i.e. with magazin subscriptions). Including nothing while PS1 came with that incredible demo disc full of games, tech demos, and apps was just sad.


My launch Saturn came with Virtua Fighter, a demo of Panzer Dragoon (or was it mailed to me?) and the Choice Cuts CD. I registered the console and Sega was kind enough to send Sega Screams Vol.1, a Sub-pop music CD and Virtua Fighter Remix. They took care of the early adopters.

I believe I got my Playstation around January of 96. All it came with was a demo disc (dinosaur included) with Jumping Flash and ESPN Extreme sports.

gamevet
07-10-2014, 11:49 PM
That's half of the reason why, yes, but the other half is that Stolar quickly stopped any serious efforts to continue to sell Saturn systems. You've admitted this yourself too, such as wehn you said that he changed his focus to software over hardware. Of course, when you've given up on hselling hardware in the console wars, you've already lost. You can't focus only on software sales when you're in third place, you need to focus on selling hardware so as to increase the size of your userbase, and thus sell more software that way. This is basic stuff, which of course Stolar ignored because he was terrible at managing videogame companies.

I also said that they could no longer stay in a console price war with Sony and Nintendo. The drop in price to $149 (March 1997) was the back-breaker for the continuation of the Saturn. They had already lost any hope of gaining sales, when the N64 and Playstation had sold more units, between January to March of 1997, than the Saturn had sold from November 0f 96 to March of 97.

His choice was to feature the software, keep the current owners supplied with a solid library of games and to slowly sell the hardware to minimize the blow from the massive losses the console was causing with each sale.



Which 3rd party promotional holiday deals? Uncharted is a first-party Sony game, just like the three Saturn packins were for Sega.

There are some consoles which get third-party packins -- one that comes to mind immediately is the Star Wars Episode I Racer N64 bundle -- but bundling first-party titles is much, much more common because it costs the first party nothing.

You weren't paying attention to the discussion.

j_factor was talking about holiday specific bundles like the MGS4 bundle Sony had for the PS3 and the 3rd party holiday bundles that the Xbox 360 had. Yeah, MS made a deal to have (3rd party titles) like Lego Indiana Jones/ Kung Fu Panda as an alternate package to target family holiday shoppers that they might sway away from buying a Wii during that Christmas.


Anyway, most video game console bundles are very short-lived things. They come and go, switching out every few months. Bundles which last and last and last, such as Wii Sports with the Wii, are very, VERY much the exceptions. Almost all bundles are short-lived things. I know you don't understand any of this stuff, because if you did you'd never defend Bernie Stolar, but try to learn!

There's a big difference between having a special bundle for Christmas and one that a company uses for an extended period of time. There's a long list of game bundles that lasted at least a year with a console, going back as far as the Atari VCS with combat, TG-16 with Keith Courage, Genesis with Altered Beast, NES with Super Mario Bros./Duck Hunt Action Pack, Gameboy with Tetris and Colecovision with Donkey Kong.

The PS2, Xbox, Gamecube, Xbox 360, Saturn and PSP all had very limited promotional bundles, that were mostly introduced for the holidays. The Saturn 3 games deal was originally planned for just the 96 holiday season, but Sega decided to continue it because they had thought that it was the catalyst for the sudden surge in sales for the console that holiday season.

Don't give me any of this "I know you don't understand any of this stuff" garbage. You certainly have a lot to learn about marketing and consumer awareness (the Saturn definitely didn't have that) that you've constantly ignored when this subject has come up.



Given that most video game sales are in holiday seasons, this is not a significant problem, so long as your holiday sales are good enough.

For example, in 2010 the Wii overcame mediocre sales through the entire year up to that point with a fantastic December and won the year for the fourth year in a row. A good holiday season sometimes is all you need.

Most video game sales are not just in the holiday season. The N64 and Playstation saw much larger sales throughout the early parts of 1997, that far exceeded what they had sold during the 96 holiday season. The PS2 was selling as fast as Sony could put it on the shelves, following the fall launch they had the previous year. The demand for the Wii was insane for at least a year or 2 after it had launched and sales throughout the year following its first holiday season, far exceeded what they had sold the previous fall.



I'm sure that many people thought this before holiday '96, that the Saturn would never sell, and they were proven wrong. The bundle, and public interest in NiGHTS, worked.

As for NiGHTS, yes, I know first-month sales didn't get a large bump, but the game is one of the more common US Saturn games, and got a lot of attention because it was a Sonic Team platformer (of sorts). Gamers knew about NiGHTS and were interested in it whether or not they had a Saturn, and I am sure that many of those people buying the 3-in-1 were also motivated by wanting to play NiGHTS. I'm sure it sold well that December, and I'd certainly consider it a significant contributing factor for the system's success that holiday.

The first thing that you have to acknowledge, is that the people (usually) buying the hardware during the holiday season are parents, wives/husbands, friends and other relatives. It's rarely the person that is wanting the item that is going out and buying it during that time period. When a kid asks his parents for an N64 and they can't find one, they are going to make some kind of effort to buy something that is very close to that item, or give the person a gift card to do it on their own when it is available. They see the Saturn sitting there with 3 free games, the price is pretty good and they go ahead and buy that instead. My parents did the same thing when I ended up with NASA space toys, instead of the Star Wars action figures that I had asked for that Christmas.

Looking at that sales chart, you can clearly see that people that didn't get a Playstation or N64 during the 96 holiday season, went out and purchased those systems throughout 1997, while the same did not happen for the Saturn.

Yes, Nights sold alright. Still, it did not generate sales of the console from August to October of 1996. The game was bought by current owners (1996) and later owners of the system when if finally came to rest in 1998.



The N64 had just released to massive hype, of course it didn't need a bundle yet. They would be available in its later years, though. As for the PS1, I don't know when Sony started bundling games with the system, but they did at some point, yes? You did always get a demo disc at least. Sony mostly relied on the large library of cheap games to drive interest, though... and it worked. Sega didn't have Sony's large library or a must-hyave game on the level of Mario 64, so they needed to do something different. Why are you creating a bizarre anti-reality where Sega can only continue if the Saturn is as successful as the N64 or PS1? That's complete nonsense, of course. The Saturn as a successful 3rd-place system would have been just fine. Sure Sega would still have lost a lot of money on it, but probably less than they did, and they'd have been much better set for success with the DC.

I'm not creating some anti-reality where the Saturn had to be as successful as the N64 and PS1 to continue. It had to be successful enough to have a user-base that could sustain a constant push for software sales. It's not like every one of the 1.2 million Saturns sold up to March of 1997 was still in the homes of the people that had purchased the console. Just like not every Dreamcast sold up to the fall season of 2000 was in the homes of every person that had purchased that console. New console sales generate far more software sales than that of the old user-base.

Mario 64 was being praised as the best video game ever, and Tomb Raider (pretty much considered a Playstation title) was being hailed as one of the greatest games available for that generation of consoles. Nights was pretty much left in the dust by all of the hype being created for those 2 titles.



The Saturn stopped selling then because it wasn't the holidays anymore. N64 and PS1 sales declined greatly too! Sure Saturn sales then were low, but not as low as they got as soon as Stolar took over.


Exactly! The Saturn no longer had the luxury of sales created by a holiday rush. Unlike the N64 and PS1, the Saturn did not continue to sell very well after December of 1996. The N64 and PS1 were selling very well, during a time when sales are usually at their worst. Stolar taking over at the end of March had nothing to do with that. Get real!



Sega never tried bundling in NiGHTS, so how do you know that it wouldn't have spurred new hardware sales? I think you're absolutely, completely wrong in that assumption! Yes, of course a NiGHTS bundle (with the 3d controller and probably another game too) would have sold systems! Packing in the closest thing you have to a system seller for the US, with the system? That'd be the Saturn equivalent of the Sonic or Mario bundles you mention there that were so successful.

You're overlooking the fact that the Playstation and N64 didn't have to have any game bundled with those systems to sell well. Mario 64 and Tomb Raider propelled those consoles into the must have category, while Nights didn't do the same for the Saturn.


I addressed NiGHTS above. That's the kind of game which doesn't just sell only at launch, but continues to sell through the life of the system, as you see with many Nintendo titles -- there are plenty of Nintendo games with unimpressive first months, but which continue to sell and sell and eventually have high sales numbers. A quick ebay search finds more results for "Saturn Nights" in games than "Saturn Daytona"! The game sold quite well, obviously. It's got to be one of the best-selling Saturn games in the US, right up there with the 3-in-1 titles. The people who bought those 3-in-1s often then bought NiGHTS too, and it was surely a draw making the system more interesting looking. Packing it in would definitely have been a very good idea.

Yes, packing it in with the console would have been a good idea, but it wasn't enough to sell the console (that included 3 free games) during the 1st quarter of 1997. I've bought plenty of consoles without a game in the box, knowing full well that I had several games in my sights, that I had wanted to play. I ended up buying the Xbox 360 (even though I already had a PS3) because I wanted to play Bioshock and Mass Effect. MS didn't need to pack either of those games with the console, for me to consider buying it.

j_factor
07-11-2014, 12:55 AM
Heat.Net was not Stolar's baby. Sega soft was a joint venture between CSK and Sega, and was founded in 1995.

Heat.net didn't launch until 1997. SegaSoft wasn't just Heat.net, they were also a publisher and developer of PC games (including single-player games like The Space Bar), as well as Scud for Saturn. SegaSoft was controlled by Sega of America, and eventually became Sega.com. Heat.net was shut down in the same year that happened (in 2000), but they were two separate events.

gamevet
07-11-2014, 02:46 PM
Heat.net didn't launch until 1997. SegaSoft wasn't just Heat.net, they were also a publisher and developer of PC games (including single-player games like The Space Bar), as well as Scud for Saturn. SegaSoft was controlled by Sega of America, and eventually became Sega.com. Heat.net was shut down in the same year that happened (in 2000), but they were two separate events.

It wasn't just Sega's money though. CSK had resources behind Sega Soft and they just happened to be a company that provided IT services and software.

A Black Falcon
07-11-2014, 05:13 PM
On the subject of SegaSoft, I'm not sure what Stolar's role there was, but the effect of his stunningly idiotic (one of the stupider things done by a person in this industry) killing of the Saturn was to make SegaSoft, which unlike SoA he did not initially gut, much more important. SegaSoft supposedly existed from 1995 to 2000, but only released games from 1996-1998; I'm not sure what it was doing in '99-'00, but I presume that either Stolar finally got around to gutting SegaSoft too, or the people were moved to Dreamcast or Sega.com development.

So yes, SegaSoft did start releasing games before Stolar took the reigns, and stopped doing so while he was still in charge. But, because of what he did to the Saturn, for many gamers SegaSoft's games could have been something to fill that gap before the Dreamcast was ready -- something on a platform that hadn't been abruptly killed, the PC. Unfortunately for Stolar and SegaSoft, though, none of SegaSoft's games were particularly successful either, not before him (Rocket Jockey and Obsidian, from '96, didn't do as well as hoped), and not during (Plane Crazy, 10six, Flesh Feast, The Space Bar, PC Scud, etc...). If his hope was that he could make up for his brain-dead stupid treatment of the Saturn with PC games, it didn't work out at all, and the PC division was a failure as well. SegaSoft did also publish two Saturn games in '97, Saturn Scud and Three Dirty Dwarves, but that's it for console games.

You can see this when you look at how SegaSoft abruptly stopped releasing games in late 1998. Clearly it had lost too much money and was being abandoned. It was not replaced with anything. Sega had another PC division as well, Sega PC, which between '95 and '99 had published many PC ports of Saturn games, as well as a few PC ports of Genesis and Sega CD titles. This division was also scaled down in the late '90s, and as a result the number of PC games Sega released decreased dramatically in '99-'00. Sega was for a while no longer a major PC publisher as it had been through the Saturn era, and few Dreamcast games got PC ports in the West. Ironically Sega of Japan actually started making PC ports of its own in about '00, something it had not done before, but these games did not always come to the West -- PSO did not until Blue Burst, for example, and the PC versions of the Sakura Taisen games never did. Hundred Swords did release on PC (but not Dreamcast) in the US, though, and there were a few ports of Dreamcast games, such as Typing of the Dead, House of teh Dead 2, Sega Rally 2, and Sega GT (and also Sonic Adventure, albeit years later). Of course, eventually Sega would build back up its Western PC side, and now they are a major PC publisher thanks to owning the Total War and Football Manager teams (both very popular PC franchises, particularly in Europe), but it's too bad that they cut back on the PC in the West during the Dreamcast era. I know SegaSoft wasn't successful, but that doesn't mean that the PC should have been abandoned... unless the entire PC divisions had only ever been started as a stopgap measure to try to make some revenues at a time when Sega's home consoles were failing badly, and they ditched them in the DC era in the hopes that the Dreamcast would be more successful. I kind of suspect that that's what happened. Regardless, if that is so, it didn't work out that way, of course.


As for the other part of Sega's PC strategy, Heat.net, it failed as well, and thank goodness as I've said before! Heat.net, like the other pay online multiplayer services like MPlayer, failed; free online gaming won the day, except for the MMO genre where pay-by-game managed t ohold on. On the PC this is still how it works, but Microsoft managed to convince console gamers to pay for online gaming on the Xbox line; in the closed system of a console you can do that. But on the open platform of the PC it was a stupid, doomed effort, and as I've said before I was very glad back then to see Heat and MPlayer go down -- pay-service online gaming needed to die. Horrible concept. Online play should be free!

j_factor
07-11-2014, 10:19 PM
It wasn't just Sega's money though. CSK had resources behind Sega Soft and they just happened to be a company that provided IT services and software.

CSK owned Sega, so I'm not sure that's a meaningful distinction. I don't really know how the accounting worked as far as that went, though.

edit: The SegaSoft trademark was registered to Sega Enterprises, Ltd. http://www.inovia.com/products/directory/trademarks-number-75061263/segasoft-trademark-owned-by-sega-enterprises-ltd

gamevet
07-12-2014, 12:26 AM
CSK owned Sega, so I'm not sure that's a meaningful distinction. I don't really know how the accounting worked as far as that went, though.

edit: The SegaSoft trademark was registered to Sega Enterprises, Ltd. http://www.inovia.com/products/directory/trademarks-number-75061263/segasoft-trademark-owned-by-sega-enterprises-ltd

CSK owned a majority stock in Sega, but Sega Enterprises operated as a separate entity from CSK holdings. CSK obviously had the veto power over board decisions made by Sega members, yet there were several documented occasions where Sega board members and Chairman Isao Okawa butted heads over the Sega Saturn.

It was a joint venture between the two companies, so it's not like the CEO of Sega could can Sega Soft without the approval of their venture partner.

A Black Falcon
07-13-2014, 08:04 PM
CSK owned a majority stock in Sega, but Sega Enterprises operated as a separate entity from CSK holdings. CSK obviously had the veto power over board decisions made by Sega members, yet there were several documented occasions where Sega board members and Chairman Isao Okawa butted heads over the Sega Saturn.

It was a joint venture between the two companies, so it's not like the CEO of Sega could can Sega Soft without the approval of their venture partner.
If you own a majority of another company, you own that company. That's how it works.

I think my thoughts on the SegaSoft situation (in my last post) are far more important than this minor quibble... but seriously, if you own a company you own a company!

retrospiel
07-13-2014, 08:29 PM
My launch Saturn came with Virtua Fighter, a demo of Panzer Dragoon (or was it mailed to me?) and the Choice Cuts CD. I registered the console and Sega was kind enough to send Sega Screams Vol.1, a Sub-pop music CD and Virtua Fighter Remix. They took care of the early adopters.

I see. For European customers like me however things were quite different and just as I described. VF wasn't included but had to be bought separately. The Price was still DM 750 to 800 = 400-450 US Dollars (I'd have to look it up, not sure where I've put my original invoices from bitd). PlayStation was more affordable, had much more and better marketing, had a much broader library from day one (from 2D games to PC/arcade ports like DOOM and MK3 to Wipeout) and definitely offered the better value for the money. One of my best friends at school bought a PS1 at launch and we swapped consoles for a week or two at regular intervals.

Plus the gaming press really hated Sega at that point both for releasing shitty games and add-ons no one needed, as well as for trying to force magazines to rate their games better. It's really no surprise PlayStation was a hit with both gamers and the media.

gamevet
07-14-2014, 01:00 AM
If you own a majority of another company, you own that company. That's how it works.

Oh really?

Then explain to everyone why Square Soft released games like Crystal Chronicles on the Gamecube, several Final Fantasy titles on the GBA, other titles on the DS and Final Fantasy XIII on the Xbox 360. Then you have Psygnosis releasing the Wipeout games on the Saturn and N64. Sony must have ruled them with an iron fist, for such things to happen. :roll:


I think my thoughts on the SegaSoft situation (in my last post) are far more important than this minor quibble... but seriously, if you own a company you own a company!

Oh yes! Everything ABF posts is far more important that what everyone else has to say on a subject.

I didn't reply to your goofy comments of Sega Soft, because you were so far in left field on the subject. Sega Soft had titles like Bug Too! and Three Dirty Dwarves that were released on the Saturn in 1996.

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

The wiki article lists Okawa as one of the key people behind Segasoft.


Heat.Net was considered an outstanding service. The only problem was that its rewards program was exploited by crafty users that found a way to stay logged into games to earn rewards credits that created a loss on the $5-$10 monthly service fee. It really was a pioneer service that helped establish the ground-works for services like Xbox LIVE.


In June 2008, CNET hailed Heat.net as one of the greatest defunct websites in history.


http://web.archive.org/web/20080607211830/http://crave.cnet.co.uk/0,39029477,49296926-4,00.htm

j_factor
07-14-2014, 01:19 AM
Then explain to everyone why Square Soft released games like Crystal Chronicles on the Gamecube, several Final Fantasy titles on the GBA, other titles on the DS and Final Fantasy XIII on the Xbox 360. Then you have Psygnosis releasing the Wipeout games on the Saturn and N64. Sony must have ruled them with an iron fist, for such things to happen. :roll:

Sony doesn't own Square Enix.

I have always wondered why Psygnosis was allowed to release games on Saturn and N64, though... But if Sony wasn't in control, they wouldn't have changed their name to Sony Computer Entertainment Liverpool. I guess it's similar to how Sega games appeared on the NES and PC Engine. But I've never seen any interview or anything detailing the situation with Psygnosis games on other platforms. That's something I've always been curious about.

gamevet
07-14-2014, 01:31 AM
Sony doesn't own Square Enix.

I have always wondered why Psygnosis was allowed to release games on Saturn and N64, though... But if Sony wasn't in control, they wouldn't have changed their name to Sony Computer Entertainment Liverpool. I guess it's similar to how Sega games appeared on the NES and PC Engine. But I've never seen any interview or anything detailing the situation with Psygnosis games on other platforms. That's something I've always been curious about.

You're right. I had thought that Sony had owned much more than 18% of the company, before selling off their shares in the company this year. Square certainly gave Sony's consoles 1st priority during the 32-bit era and as well with the PS2. ;)

Psygnosis is a perfect example though.

A Black Falcon
07-14-2014, 02:38 AM
Oh really?

Then explain to everyone why Square Soft released games like Crystal Chronicles on the Gamecube, several Final Fantasy titles on the GBA, other titles on the DS and Final Fantasy XIII on the Xbox 360. Then you have Psygnosis releasing the Wipeout games on the Saturn and N64. Sony must have ruled them with an iron fist, for such things to happen. :roll:
If you really know so little that you think Sony ever owned -- majority owned -- Square... um, I have no words. You are wrong, of course, that's crazy.

As for Psygnosis, they were owned by Sony from the early '90s for sure, but for a while Sony allowed them independence. The Psygnosis that made those Saturn and N64 Wipeout games was absolutely a Sony subsidiary, so yes, Sony was allowing their games on other consoles. Of course, Sega had done that years earlier -- think of all of NEC's Sega-licensed games on the TG16/PC Engine, many of which also had Famicom releases as well of course (from Tengen, etc.). Sony finally cracking down on Psygnosis and forcing them to only develop for Sony consoles and only make what Sony wanted them to ended that for good; the only thing like it since are Microsoft-licensed or developed games on the GBA and DS, but as MS doesn't have a handheld they don't view handhelds as direct competition.

Anyway, to say it again, yes, Psygnosis was owned by Sony when they made those games. However, Sony at that point allowed Psygnosis its freedom to decide for itself what to make. Psygnosis wanted to develop for all the major platforms, and so they did, until ~1999 when Sony took a much more active role in Psygnosis, and told them that now they could only make what Sony wanted. This started Psygnosis on a downhill slide, in my opinion, that ended with their closure a couple of years ago after finishing the PS Vita Wipeout game. In between Psygnosis lost its name and just became another Sony studio.

Also, at the same time that they told Psygnosis to cancel their in-development N64 games (Wipeout 64 was not supposed to be their only N64 game), Sony also told Psygnosis that they could not develop PC games anymore -- and indeed, from that point on Psygnosis would never again develop a PC game. They were allowed to finish the two that were in development at the time, Lemmings Revolution and Rollcage Stage II, but they could not self-publish them, so they found another publisher to do it. In the US Rollcage Stage II also got renamed, so the US PC release is called "Death Track Racing" for some reason' Sony probably didn't let them use the real name on PC, just to be annoying. I don't really know why Sony did this, because Sony had, and still has, a PC division that makes online games so Sony making PC games was not some rare thing, but they did. The Lemmings franchise particularly would never be the same again.



Oh yes! Everything ABF posts is far more important that what everyone else has to say on a subject.
Your silly little inaccurate quibbles about who owns a company sure weren't of much importance.


I didn't reply to your goofy comments of Sega Soft, because you were so far in left field on the subject. Sega Soft had titles like Bug Too! and Three Dirty Dwarves that were released on the Saturn in 1996.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SegaSoft
SegaSoft did technically publish Bug Too, but I'm not sure why -- Sega PC, not SegaSoft, published all of the other Saturn-to-PC ports, as far as I know, and all of the Genesis and Sega CD to PC ports as well. It is pretty weird that their name is randomly on that one port (Bug Too), while every single other game they published on both Saturn and PC was an original title.

Remember, Sega PC, sometimes in concert with Expert Software, published many PC ports -- Sonic 3 & Knuckles, Ecco the Dolphin (Sega CD ver + 256 color graphics), Sonic CD, Virtua Fighter PC (Virtua Fighter Remix), Virtua Squad (Virtua Cop), Virtua Squad 2 (Virtua Cop 2), Virtua Fighter 2, Daytona USA, Daytona USA Deluxe (Daytona USA: Championship Circuit Edition), Sonic R, Bug!, Virtual-On, Sonic 3D Blast, Last Bronx, Panzer Dragoon, Sega Rally Championship, NBA Action '98, Sky Target, Sega Worldwide Soccer PC (Sega Worldwide Soccer '97)... all of those games got PC ports, none with SegaSoft mentioned, only "Sega PC". And all but the first three are Saturn games.

From the Dreamcast, the only games that got PC ports are Hundred Swords (where the PC version is the only version of the game released outside of Japan), Sakura Taisen 1, 2, 3, and 4 (Asia releases only), Phantasy Star Online (initially Asia-only; Western release was years later in the enhanced PSO: Blue Burst version, with episodes I, II (from the GC/Xbox release), and the BB-exclusive episode IV), Sega GT, Sega Rally Championship 2, Sonic Adventure DX (2003 release on PC), and that's pretty much it. As I said, they dramatically cut back on PC ports in the DC era.

But of course, none of that has anything to do with SegaSoft. SegaSoft and Sega PC were entirely different things. SegaSoft was an actual separate division, and it stopped releasing games at the end of 1998, as I said earlier, and has to have been at least partially shut down then, with some people going to Sega.com eventually. Sega PC was just a publishing label for PC ports of Sega's console games done by various internal or external teams.


The wiki article lists Okawa as one of the key people behind Segasoft.


Heat.Net was considered an outstanding service. The only problem was that its rewards program was exploited by crafty users that found a way to stay logged into games to earn rewards credits that created a loss on the $5-$10 monthly service fee. It really was a pioneer service that helped establish the ground-works for services like Xbox LIVE.
"Outstanding service" :lol: :lol: :lol:

No, no pay-to-play online service should ever be called "outstanding". It should only be called "a ripoff that no person should fall for unless they have no choice".


Sony doesn't own Square Enix.

I have always wondered why Psygnosis was allowed to release games on Saturn and N64, though... But if Sony wasn't in control, they wouldn't have changed their name to Sony Computer Entertainment Liverpool. I guess it's similar to how Sega games appeared on the NES and PC Engine. But I've never seen any interview or anything detailing the situation with Psygnosis games on other platforms. That's something I've always been curious about.
As I explain above, Sony took control in '99. They had owned Psygnosi for years but let them do their own thing for a while, but in '99 Sony changed and decided to make them a normal internal studio. I remember this well because it caused the cancellation of Psygnosis's other N64 games, and even more directly because of how it affected Lemmings Revolution and Rollcage Stage II, two games I was quite interested in back in '99, being a fan of both futuristic racing and Lemmings. I ended up buying Death Track Racing (Rollcage Stage II), but not Lemmings Revolution... I'd still like to play that game. It's got this cool 3d-tube design, so each level is a round tube that you can spin the camera around. Neat. From what I remember of the demo it plays well too. But because the release had to be outsourced, the game didn't do anywhere near as well as it should have -- I'm sure it got a fraction of the attention it would have had Psygnosis not been forced to abandon PC development before either of those two games even released. From what I remember, they had to convince Sony to let them release those two games... and they did, but that was it for the platform. Sad. It's tragic that Sony continues to sit on the Lemmings license, doing nothing of use with it!

Zz Badnusty
07-14-2014, 09:00 AM
But why is the Dreamcast the best console ever?

gamevet
07-14-2014, 11:04 PM
If you really know so little that you think Sony ever owned -- majority owned -- Square... um, I have no words. You are wrong, of course, that's crazy.

I've already admitted that was a mistake.

Sony pretty much bailed out Square, shortly after the abysmal failure of the Final Fantasy Movie, by purchasing 9 million shares of Square's stock. There were many an article posted back in the day that talked about Square's loyalty to Sony. Sony could have easily dumped their shares and left Square back in financial turmoil, but they did not do that.




As for Psygnosis, they were owned by Sony from the early '90s for sure, but for a while Sony allowed them independence. The Psygnosis that made those Saturn and N64 Wipeout games was absolutely a Sony subsidiary, so yes, Sony was allowing their games on other consoles. Of course, Sega had done that years earlier -- think of all of NEC's Sega-licensed games on the TG16/PC Engine, many of which also had Famicom releases as well of course (from Tengen, etc.). Sony finally cracking down on Psygnosis and forcing them to only develop for Sony consoles and only make what Sony wanted them to ended that for good; the only thing like it since are Microsoft-licensed or developed games on the GBA and DS, but as MS doesn't have a handheld they don't view handhelds as direct competition.

Anyway, to say it again, yes, Psygnosis was owned by Sony when they made those games. However, Sony at that point allowed Psygnosis its freedom to decide for itself what to make. Psygnosis wanted to develop for all the major platforms, and so they did, until ~1999 when Sony took a much more active role in Psygnosis, and told them that now they could only make what Sony wanted. This started Psygnosis on a downhill slide, in my opinion, that ended with their closure a couple of years ago after finishing the PS Vita Wipeout game. In between Psygnosis lost its name and just became another Sony studio.

Also, at the same time that they told Psygnosis to cancel their in-development N64 games (Wipeout 64 was not supposed to be their only N64 game), Sony also told Psygnosis that they could not develop PC games anymore -- and indeed, from that point on Psygnosis would never again develop a PC game. They were allowed to finish the two that were in development at the time, Lemmings Revolution and Rollcage Stage II, but they could not self-publish them, so they found another publisher to do it. In the US Rollcage Stage II also got renamed, so the US PC release is called "Death Track Racing" for some reason' Sony probably didn't let them use the real name on PC, just to be annoying. I don't really know why Sony did this, because Sony had, and still has, a PC division that makes online games so Sony making PC games was not some rare thing, but they did. The Lemmings franchise particularly would never be the same again.

Yes, Sony allowed Psygnosis to operate as an independent company, until they finally absorbed the company into the Sony family.

CSK (Okawa) allowed Sega to operate as an independent company, in which he offered financial backing and being the Chairman of the board. He would finally take complete control (President) of Sega in 2000, after the resignation of Hayao Nakayama and the short tenure (as president) of Shoichiro Irimajiri. It was not a case of CSK running Sega since 1984.


http://segaretro.org/Isao_Okawa



SegaSoft did technically publish Bug Too, but I'm not sure why -- Sega PC, not SegaSoft, published all of the other Saturn-to-PC ports, as far as I know, and all of the Genesis and Sega CD to PC ports as well. It is pretty weird that their name is randomly on that one port (Bug Too), while every single other game they published on both Saturn and PC was an original title.



It doesn't matter. SegaSoft was doing stuff before 1997.



"Outstanding service" :lol: :lol: :lol:

No, no pay-to-play online service should ever be called "outstanding". It should only be called "a ripoff that no person should fall for unless they have no choice".

You pay for online services one way or another. Every online multi-player fps has multiple map-packs that must be purchased for a player to stay active within the online gaming community of that particular game. Every MMO requires a monthly fee to stay online with the game and upgraded expansion packs add even more costs to playing the game.

Heat.Net set the groundwork for just about every online gaming service since its inception. The service garnered a lot of respect from the online gaming community within the PC world, even long after it was gone.

A Black Falcon
07-14-2014, 11:27 PM
I've already admitted that was a mistake.

Sony pretty much bailed out Square, shortly after the abysmal failure of the Final Fantasy Movie, by purchasing 9 million shares of Square's stock. There were many an article posted back in the day that talked about Square's loyalty to Sony. Sony could have easily dumped their shares and left Square back in financial turmoil, but they did not do that.
True, though Square ended up getting bought by Enix, so that clearly only helped so much.


Yes, Sony allowed Psygnosis to operate as an independent company, until they finally absorbed the company into the Sony family.

CSK (Okawa) allowed Sega to operate as an independent company, in which he offered financial backing and being the Chairman of the board. He would finally take complete control (President) of Sega in 2000, after the resignation of Hayao Nakayama and the short tenure (as president) of Shoichiro Irimajiri. It was not a case of CSK running Sega since 1984.
In both cases the subsidiary was still owned by the parent company even if they had their independence, though. Psygnosis might have been 'independent' until '99, but they were still part of Sony even so.


It doesn't matter. SegaSoft was doing stuff before 1997.
True.


You pay for online services one way or another. Every online multi-player fps has multiple map-packs that must be purchased for a player to stay active within the online gaming community of that particular game.
They do now, but back in the '90s most of those addon maps were free! A game might have one or two retail expansion packs, which often did add a lot of maps, but it's nothing like what you see now with the mountains of DLC games have. Most of the stuff you now pay for as DLC was free back in the '90s and early '00s. It'd either be free or included as a part of a $30 addon that you may or may not need to buy to stay competitive online, depending on which game you're talking about. Some games didn't have any pay expansions and just had only free stuff, of course. Paid DLC has completely changed gaming in this way, and it's sad when you look at how much stuff used to be free but now you have to pay for.


Every MMO requires a monthly fee to stay online with the game and upgraded expansion packs add even more costs to playing the game.
For MMOs, yes, MMOs have monthly fees, that or cash shops. They are expensive to run, and take huge numbers of hours to play, so people were convinced that paying for that was reasonable. But paying for online play in a normal PC is a completely different thing, and it was fantastic when all the stupid pay services died.


Heat.Net set the groundwork for just about every online gaming service since its inception. The service garnered a lot of respect from the online gaming community within the PC world, even long after it was gone.
Hah, were you ever a PC gamer? Or were you some crazy Heat or MPlayer devotee or something? Sorry, but most people agreed with me that paid online play on PC games is CRAZY unless there's a very good reason for it (ie: it's an MMO), and the paid services thankfully all failed as a result. Online PC gaming has been free, MMOs excepted, ever since -- and even some MMOs started ditching the monthly fees once they figured out good (or bad and explotative, depending on the game) cash shop models.

gamevet
07-15-2014, 12:01 AM
True, though Square ended up getting bought by Enix, so that clearly only helped so much.

Yes, but Sony had almost as much stock in Square (18.9 %) as CSK had in Sega at 22%. They weren't that far from owning a majority share in the company.

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


In August 2003, Sammy bought the outstanding 22% of shares that CSK had,

The only question is, was that 22% after CSK (Okawa) donated his majority share in Sega back to the company?



In both cases the subsidiary was still owned by the parent company even if they had their independence, though. Psygnosis might have been 'independent' until '99, but they were still part of Sony even so.

Yes, but CSK did not interfere with the normal operations of Sega, until Okawa became infuriated with how Nakayama was running the company into the ground. It was not a matter of how SOA was doing their job and Okawa eventually put the company's future in SOA's hands with the very last gasp of breath the Dreamcast had.




They do now, but back in the '90s most of those addon maps were free! A game might have one or two retail expansion packs, which often did add a lot of maps, but it's nothing like what you see now with the mountains of DLC games have. Most of the stuff you now pay for as DLC was free back in the '90s and early '00s. It'd either be free or included as a part of a $30 addon that you may or may not need to buy to stay competitive online, depending on which game you're talking about. Some games didn't have any pay expansions and just had only free stuff, of course. Paid DLC has completely changed gaming in this way, and it's sad when you look at how much stuff used to be free but now you have to pay for.

Blizzard did not give away the StarCraft expansion Broodwar for free.

Heat.Net was a match-making service and it did it quite well. The Saturn and Dreamcast's online play really needed a service like that to be more relevant than they were. Even the PS2's online service totally blew, because it lacked things like a friends list and other options that were readily available through Xbox Live.



For MMOs, yes, MMOs have monthly fees, that or cash shops. They are expensive to run, and take huge numbers of hours to play, so people were convinced that paying for that was reasonable. But paying for online play in a normal PC is a completely different thing, and it was fantastic when all the stupid pay services died.


Hah, were you ever a PC gamer? Or were you some crazy Heat or MPlayer devotee or something? Sorry, but most people agreed with me that paid online play on PC games is CRAZY unless there's a very good reason for it (ie: it's an MMO), and the paid services thankfully all failed as a result. Online PC gaming has been free, MMOs excepted, ever since -- and even some MMOs started ditching the monthly fees once they figured out good (or bad and explotative, depending on the game) cash shop models.

Those monthly fees for multiple MMOs wouldn't exist today, if a dedicated online match-making service like Heat.Net survived. Heat.Net might still be around today, if they didn't screw up the way degrees were awarded to players. There was also a free version of Heat.Net, that didn't offer the degrees awards. ;)

Yes, I've played online PC games in the early 2000's with titles like Star Wars: Galaxies and Unreal Tournament.

My current gaming platform of choice is PC. My current rig has an i5-2500k @ 4.7 Ghz with an EVGA GTX 780 Classified.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ewjvYFqWb2A

Occutell
07-15-2014, 12:28 AM
Broodwar was not a "Map pack add-on". It contained 3 new campaigns with 10 missions each, with one bonus level(Same as the original game, save for +1 level), and introduced at least 6 units which changed the meta game overall. Price is justifiable.

A better comparison would be the likes of DOOM. Final Doom was an expansion that really could be better considered "Mission/Map packs" and even then you're talking about a total of 32 WAD-levels added. Similar with Doom II master levels at 21 WAD-levels. At best in comparison you'd be lucky to get a map pack of 5 today in groups if you're lucky.(Doom expansions were not free though.)
--------
Outside of Halo, I never found a game that did matchmaking "right".
As for online cost, part of me is not so much concerned with the cost(although free is nice) as it is the accessibility.
P2P didn't used to matter in the 90's because we had mods and software tools included in with PC games.

Quake, UT ect... used to come full with tool suites and stand alone dedicated server software, allowing you to host your own instances of games or play SysAdmin. While mods are still somewhat prevalent today, dedicated server software is pretty much dead in most instances, so while most games are free to play online after purchase, once the developer goes down, or the service hosting this game goes down, the multiplayer is most likely going with it. Back then this wouldn't be a problem, just open up a config file, redirect the IP or related functions and you were good to go. You and your friends could LAN or IP play to heaven and beyond. Not so the case today which to me is a far bigger issue than Online play itself being free.

gamevet
07-15-2014, 12:36 AM
Broodwar was not a "Map pack add-on". It contained 3 new campaigns with 10 missions each, with one bonus level(Same as the original game, save for +1 level), and introduced at least 6 units which changed the meta game overall. Price is justifiable.

I didn't call it a map-pack add-on. It was an expansion, that also required the original game to play.

Occutell
07-15-2014, 12:51 AM
I didn't call it a map-pack add-on. It was an expansion, that also required the original game to play.

Which he didn't deny however


Most of the stuff you now pay for as DLC was free back in the '90s and early '00s. It'd either be free or included as a part of a $30 addon that you may or may not need to buy to stay competitive online, depending on which game you're talking about.

Paying for any expansion, stand alone or otherwise was common place. Most games prior didn't have any sort of post launch support outside of patches. Even then there were always exceptions, to the first statement, such as Doom ---> Ultimate Doom. If you owned an original copy of the former, you could download a patch that would upgrade your base game to the latter free of charge, otherwise you can just pick up Ultimate Doom stand alone.

A Black Falcon
07-15-2014, 12:59 AM
Yes, but Sony had almost as much stock in Square (18.9 %) as CSK had in Sega at 22%. They weren't that far from owning a majority share in the company.

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

The only question is, was that 22% after CSK (Okawa) donated his majority share in Sega back to the company?

Yes, but CSK did not interfere with the normal operations of Sega, until Okawa became infuriated with how Nakayama was running the company into the ground. It was not a matter of how SOA was doing their job and Okawa eventually put the company's future in SOA's hands with the very last gasp of breath the Dreamcast had.
This may be true, but it's just a fact, not something which supports one side of this debate or the other I think...


Blizzard did not give away the StarCraft expansion Broodwar for free.
But they did give away dozens of free maps for both Starcraft and Brood War. Any SC fan must remember Blizz's "Map of the Week" program! It gave you a free map officially from Blizzard every week for, like, a year at least. Pretty great. Now that kind of thing would be paid DLC in many games, of course. This was my point, though you don't seem to have paid attention to what I was actually saying -- as has been pointed out, I mentioned addons. Addons were for more than just a map pack.

The point is, most addons were not just multiplayer map packs; multiplayer map packs were more often than not free content. An addon was a new single player campaign, first and foremost, often with some kind of new content (like new units in RTS expansions, etc.). Of course multiplayer games would usually also have new multiplayer maps that rely on the new game features and/or tilesets as well, but you were not buying the addon just for a map pack as you do now, those were free. Lots of games in the late '90s had free, official downloadable content, generally in the form of maps, units, cars, or the like. You almost never had to pay for that stuff -- the only major exception I can think of is the The Sims series, which of course has always been centered around item-centric addons. But even there I think there used to be more free stuff than you see in newer The Sims games.


Heat.Net was a match-making service and it did it quite well. The Saturn and Dreamcast's online play really needed a service like that to be more relevant than they were. Even the PS2's online service totally blew, because it lacked things like a friends list and other options that were readily available through Xbox Live.
You didn't need to pay money to get fine matchmaking on the PC -- Microsoft's free Zone.com service on the PC was pretty good in the late '90s, for example, as was Blizzard's free Battle.net, and the many games that used Gamespy technology for free online play (and player hosting of servers).

I agree that XBLA's unified accounts were a popular idea, and you see that on the PC as well with Steam for example and the many annoying people who only buy PC games if they are available on Steam, but I personally have no problem with game-specific services. Having some kind of online service where you can see if friends are online in any game is great, but I can certainly understand how older consoles like the PS2 or Dreamcast could not have supported such a thing due to the resources it'd have taken... even now there are controversies over how much processor power outside-of-game apps should be able to use up on today's consoles like the PS4 and Xbox One.


Those monthly fees for multiple MMOs wouldn't exist today, if a dedicated online match-making service like Heat.Net survived. Heat.Net might still be around today, if they didn't screw up the way degrees were awarded to players. There was also a free version of Heat.Net, that didn't offer the degrees awards. ;)
I don't know what you're talking here about degrees, I guess I vaguely remember hearing the term in relation to Heat.net but never used it of course because it was a pay service, but seriously, no, it wasn't whatever that was that killed Heat. It was the attempt to force people to PAY for something which should be free, online gaming.

Heat.net and MPlayer in the '90s failed for this reason, and so did Microsoft a decade later when they tried to get PC gamers to pay to use Windows Live, just like how they managed to force console gamers to pay to use Xbox Live. The effort failed miserably, just as those past services had, and gamers were quite angry at Microsoft for trying to drag that stupid console idea, pay-to-play online services, onto the PC. Windows Live doesn't exist anymore in either pay or free forms because of the blowback from the push.

Overall Heat was fundamentally a bad idea, and PC gamers realized that and punished it for it. They did the same to Microsoft later on, and rightfully so.


As for paying to play MMOs, that dates at least to Ultima Online and probably earlier. Those games were considered separate from other games, due to the scale of online infrastructure required and because of the amount of time people have to play the games in order to keep up. MMOs and the rest of the online gaming market were separate and should not be combined.


Yes, I've played online PC games in the early 2000's with titles like Star Wars: Galaxies and Unreal Tournament.

My current gaming platform of choice is PC. My current rig has an i5-2500k @ 4.7 Ghz with an EVGA GTX 780 Classified.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ewjvYFqWb2A
That's nice, but most people very strongly disagree with you about the value of pay-to-play services on the PC.

A Black Falcon
07-15-2014, 01:09 AM
Quake, UT ect... used to come full with tool suites and stand alone dedicated server software, allowing you to host your own instances of games or play SysAdmin. While mods are still somewhat prevalent today, dedicated server software is pretty much dead in most instances, so while most games are free to play online after purchase, once the developer goes down, or the service hosting this game goes down, the multiplayer is most likely going with it. Back then this wouldn't be a problem, just open up a config file, redirect the IP or related functions and you were good to go. You and your friends could LAN or IP play to heaven and beyond. Not so the case today which to me is a far bigger issue than Online play itself being free.
Well, these two things go hand in hand together -- the main reason game companies stopped including IPX LAN, direct modem to modem, direct IP multiplayer is that by allowing those things, they let people get around their walled, often paid services. Of course they use excuses about how it helps limit cheating and hacking, and that may be true, but that's not the real main reason; the real main reason is to not allow people to play online anywhere other than in their service, for financial reasons (for games with some pay or cash shop component), or so that once the company releases the next game in the series they can shut down the previous games' online and force everyone to buy the next one whether they want to or not. Obnoxious, but financially beneficial!

gamevet
07-15-2014, 01:26 AM
I don't know what you're talking here about degrees, I guess I vaguely remember hearing the term in relation to Heat.net but never used it of course because it was a pay service, but seriously, no, it wasn't whatever that was that killed Heat. It was the attempt to force people to PAY for something which should be free, online gaming.

Heat.Net did not require everyone to pay for their online match-making service. The paying subscribers were offered degree points that they could use to get free games from SegaSoft. The non-paying players could use the service for match-making, without any of the bonus stuff the paying subscribers were offered. The paying subscribers abused the service, by finding ways to stay logged on and earn degrees, even while they were not physically playing a game online. It was the players that were abusing the rewards system that led to the downfall of Heat.Net. It wasn't the quality of the service, itself, that led to its downfall.



That's nice, but most people very strongly disagree with you about the value of pay-to-play services on the PC.
Who are these most people?

You'll constantly hear PC gamers bitching about EA's Origin and Ubisoft's U-Play being needed to play their games online, or play them at all. Steam is about as close to a unified service that is available on PC, yet it lacks a lot of the stuff that is available for the PSN and Xbox LIVE users on the consoles. Why do we need to have Battle-Net, U-Play and Origin to play our games on the PC, when a much more streamlined service could eliminate all of the headaches that these programs create?