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Thierry Henry
03-18-2018, 12:05 AM
http://i66.tinypic.com/21jdvue.jpg


http://www.thedreamcastjunkyard.co.uk/2018/03/an-interview-with-bernie-stolar.html

Leynos
03-18-2018, 02:51 AM
http://i66.tinypic.com/21jdvue.jpg


http://www.thedreamcastjunkyard.co.uk/2018/03/an-interview-with-bernie-stolar.html

Sure shows how out of touch and broke SOJ was. Honestly, if SOA ran SEGA as a whole SEGA might still be making consoles. Might be. At the very least Saturn and Dreamcast would have had a better run.

Mega Drive Bowlsey
03-18-2018, 09:22 AM
Interesting interview. I find it odd however that on the one hand Bernie says that when he took over the reins of SOA in 1996 the company was practically bankrupt, but then on the other hand he says that Sega could have spent more money on the Dreamcast. Well if they were just about bankrupt in '96 I'm amazed they were able to spend what they did on the system! Where Bernie thought Sega would get the extra money to throw at the Dreamcast is anyone's guess.

Team Andromeda
03-18-2018, 01:47 PM
Bernie would have done a far better job with the Saturn, but he overplays his role, just a little. The DC was always going to be online and SOJ we totally focused on the online part, the clue is in name the Bernie

Melf
03-18-2018, 06:08 PM
He may be embellishing a bit (many do), but the overall corporate atmosphere by 2000 seemed to be one of leaving hardware. The creative teams were on fire, and management was like "meh, we should just quit." SOJ wanted to sell the DC online only. For 1999, that's insane. They were in talks to sell to Microsoft, too.

Leynos
03-18-2018, 06:52 PM
Xbox was nearly fully BC with DC games and used a VMU. Also, Bernie had the same mindset as Steve Jobs when he returned to Apple. Apple was in serious financial trouble and the biggest reasons were multiple sku's on the market. Jobs wanted to reduce it down to 1-2 SKUs. SEGA same thing 8 systems out at once! He wanted to focus on DC. He had the right idea. SOJ was great at hiring innovative people to lead SOA but were stupidly stubborn to not listen to them.

bultje112
03-19-2018, 11:44 AM
Sure shows how out of touch and broke SOJ was. Honestly, if SOA ran SEGA as a whole SEGA might still be making consoles. Might be. At the very least Saturn and Dreamcast would have had a better run.

they made the right decision with the nec chip (and hitachi processor) though. far better than 3dfx was.

Greg2600
03-19-2018, 12:24 PM
Nice read. Definitely admire Bernie's fondness for his work at Sega of America. It should be no surprise though that money was the critical factor. Cool to know that Stolar wanted DVD and internal storage support eventually, essentially what the Xbox became.

Team Andromeda
03-19-2018, 04:00 PM
He may be embellishing a bit (many do), but the overall corporate atmosphere by 2000 seemed to be one of leaving hardware. The creative teams were on fire, and management was like "meh, we should just quit." SOJ wanted to sell the DC online only. For 1999, that's insane. They were in talks to sell to Microsoft, too.

The facts tell otherwise, Yeah ok by 2000 one could see it was almost the end, but SOJ did try their best. The fact was SEGA spent over $500 million on DC development before the system even hit retail, $70 million on just one project (Shenmue) those were HUGE numbers and not really a sign of 1) A corp was ready to pull out, 2) Didn't have money. Also, I very much doubt Star Wars Trilogy would have made much difference given the Arcade game didn't sell well and if HOTD II couldn't sell the DC, I very much doubt Jurassic Park The light gun game would have, never mind Bernie and SOA didn't even look to bring the official Light Gun to the USA:roll:. The DC was always going to be Online, that's where the part of the DC name came from, never mind the millions SEGA put in with setting up the Okawa servers and how also every Japanese DC game had online features, and it may have escaped Bernie but the very 1st game for the DC was a Model 3 port and that's to overlook the all but perfect Model 3 ports of Virtual On II, Virtual Striker and Get Bass, so I'm at a loss at most of Bernie comments over that to be honest....

Just a typical salesman, takes all the credit and blames the rest. Shame too as really he did a good job but the likes of No EA, Metal Gear Soild II, No Square or Enix hurt SEGA far more imo

Yharnamresident
03-26-2018, 03:16 PM
I finally got some time out of my not-busy day to read this.



Before signing with SEGA, I racked my brain on a way to salvage Saturn, but it was just too far gone and too expensive and difficult to develop for. SEGA was nearly bankrupt, they needed a new console and they needed it quick. The only options were to go big or go home.

The PS3 would like to have a word with you, Bernie.


Bigger players with bigger bank accounts entering the arena also played a role.

I can totally agree with Bernie here.


I also pushed hard for a dual joystick controller, similar to what we did at PlayStation.

Thats good to hear.


We were also in talks about Grand Theft Auto III, Warcraft: Online (as it was known at the time), Max Payne, and other titles coming to Dreamcast, and this would have helped tremendously.

Finally verified proof that GTA III might've been released for Dreamcast.


So yea he did a lot of good things for Sega, but the way he handled the Saturn is not good corporate actions and thats what finished off Sega. You can't just ditch hardware like that, you have to make it work. Like how did he see how Sega ditched the Sega CD and 32X, and not think "hmm maybe we shouldn't do that a 3rd time".

stu
03-26-2018, 07:35 PM
The PS3 would like to have a word with you, Bernie.


Yes and it cost Sony billions to bring the PS3 back up, which Sega plainly did not have. Like he said the company was near bankrupt and Dreamcast was obviously a last chance for Sega. Trying to make Saturn work would of used precious funds that would have possibly taken away from Dreamcast.

Yharnamresident
03-27-2018, 04:17 AM
Yes and it cost Sony billions to bring the PS3 back up, which Sega plainly did not have. Like he said the company was near bankrupt and Dreamcast was obviously a last chance for Sega. Trying to make Saturn work would of used precious funds that would have possibly taken away from Dreamcast.I don't see the problem with that. It does much more harm to ditch a console than trying to make it work. Even if they supported it until early 1999, that would've made a world of difference for Sega's reputation.

Its crazy talk to think releasing a new console would somehow make Sega financially healthy again, at least for the first couple years.

bultje112
03-27-2018, 06:51 AM
I don't see the problem with that. It does much more harm to ditch a console than trying to make it work. Even if they supported it until early 1999, that would've made a world of difference for Sega's reputation.

Its crazy talk to think releasing a new console would somehow make Sega financially healthy again, at least for the first couple years.

you don't understand much about money, do you? if you don't have money, you can't spend the money. this isn't the inflated us credit culture we are talking about. this is the real world.

stu
03-27-2018, 03:00 PM
I don't see the problem with that. It does much more harm to ditch a console than trying to make it work. Even if they supported it until early 1999, that would've made a world of difference for Sega's reputation.

Its crazy talk to think releasing a new console would somehow make Sega financially healthy again, at least for the first couple years.


The only place such a plan could worked was in Japan where Sega had a sizable Saturn userbase, however in the US and UK/Euro markets the Saturn was getting pwned by the Playstation and Sony had near unlimited funds.

We could of ended up in a situation where Sega could of bankrupted itself trying a foolhardy plan to save the Saturn and preventing them from ever launching the Dreamcast. From what I've read it sounds like we were lucky that Sega even bothered trying again after the failure of the Saturn. Sega bigwigs like co-founder David Rosen has been quoted as saying that he wanted Sega to quit consumer hardware after the Megadrive/Genesis.

Gryson
03-27-2018, 04:23 PM
Like he said the company was near bankrupt and Dreamcast was obviously a last chance for Sega. Trying to make Saturn work would of used precious funds that would have possibly taken away from Dreamcast.

Not disagreeing with your overall point, but this isn't quite the case. Sega was still in the black until the end of fiscal year 1998 (ending March, 1998). This graph shows accurate profits/losses:

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/7/77/Sega_Annual_Income%28Loss%29_1993-2004.svg/1200px-Sega_Annual_Income%28Loss%29_1993-2004.svg.png

But Sega wasn't really near bankrupt. They had enough assets to support them through a few bumpy years - they were, after all, a hugely successful company in the early and mid '90s. Their shares took a huge nose dive starting in 1998, though. Sega's Annual Reports (here (https://segaretro.org/Annual_reports)) don't make for fun reading, but they do spell out a clear picture of where the company was.

Sega definitely had no future in the Saturn. Its success in Japan had carried them through to 1997, and that's as far as it was going. Sega was very strongly focused on cutting their losses by 1998. Nakayama was out as president, and new president Shoichiro Irimajiri and CSK's Isao Okawa were drastically reducing inventory across the board to cut costs. There was heavy restructuring going on at Sega of America.

Some interesting quotes:


The 16-bit SegaGenesis, predecessor to the 32-bit SegaSaturn, contributed greatly to our spectacular business results from fiscal 1992 to fiscal 1994 and helped boost name recognition of the SEGA brand throughout the world. In hindsight, however, it was the very success of SegaGenesis in the U.S. market that ultimately resulted in the Companyís net loss in fiscal 1998. We placed too much emphasis on the then existing market and formulated what turned out to be an ineffective strategy for making the transition from the 16-bit SegaGenesis to the 32-bit SegaSaturn. In a sense, we became trapped by our own success.


SEGA also took aggressive steps during the year [1998] to dispose of unprofitable assets, including writing off inventories in preparation for the launch of the Companyís new home video game console, Dreamcast. Moreover, the Company made substantial write-downs of investments in and advances to its subsidiaries SEGA of America, Inc., and SEGA Ozisoft Pty. Ltd., in consideration of their financial conditions.

From Annual Report 1998 (https://segaretro.org/File:AnnualReport1998_English.pdf)

Clearly, their strategy was to cut losses. Overseas subsidiaries were overflowing with excess inventory that was costing money. In 1997, Sega had the following consoles on the market: Saturn, Genesis, Nomad, Game Gear, Pico. The new plan was to scrap all of this and basically hit the reset button with the Dreamcast.

There was absolutely no room in any of this to continue supporting the Saturn.

We are lucky we even got a Dreamcast. That probably came down to two things:

1) Sega's losses only really hit home once the Dreamcast was preparing to launch.
2) CSK founder Isao Okawa was a big supporter.

When Okawa died in 2001 and with Nakayama gone, Sega's hardware days were over. The CSK board saw Sega as a financial burden and almost immediately sold the company off to Sammy. End of story.

Yharnamresident
03-28-2018, 05:55 AM
you don't understand much about money, do you? if you don't have money, you can't spend the money. this isn't the inflated us credit culture we are talking about. this is the real world.But they were able to afford mass Dreamcast R&D at the exact same time they were killing the Saturn.


The only place such a plan could worked was in Japan where Sega had a sizable Saturn userbase, however in the US and UK/Euro markets the Saturn was getting pwned by the Playstation and Sony had near unlimited funds. The N64 was also a gimped console(about the same as the Saturn). You know how they were able to compete with PS1? Exclusives. The Saturn actually did that for a while with Nights, but they should've kept the ball rolling.

I've actually bought consoles for exclusives before. I remember I saw Minecraft on the 360 and I was like, "I have to try that no questions asked".


Heres the thing. I can't tell if you guys think:

- it was a horrible thing to kill the Saturn, but there were no other options whatsoever and Sega would soon be in its deathbed if they continued to support the Saturn
- you really think the Saturn should've been killed because it had no potential

stu
03-28-2018, 02:08 PM
The N64 was also a gimped console(about the same as the Saturn). You know how they were able to compete with PS1? Exclusives. The Saturn actually did that for a while with Nights, but they should've kept the ball rolling.

I've actually bought consoles for exclusives before. I remember I saw Minecraft on the 360 and I was like, "I have to try that no questions asked".

The N64 situation vs the PS1 less to do with exclusives and everything to do with the extraordinary brand loyalty that Nintendo had (and still has to a certain extent) also parents knew that Nintendo was the default name for gaming at the time, Sega blew most of their brand loyalty with the travesty that was 32x and the fucked up Saturn launch. By 1997 in the US and PAL markets things did not look healthy for the Saturn. Exclusives can only help so far.

A modern version that happened is probably the Wii U - no amount of exclusives was going to save that system and Nintendo killed it off in favor of the new system, in the form of the Switch.



Heres the thing. I can't tell if you guys think:

- it was a horrible thing to kill the Saturn, but there were no other options whatsoever and Sega would soon be in its deathbed if they continued to support the Saturn
- you really think the Saturn should've been killed because it had no potential


TBH for me its a combination of the 2. I think it was a horribly and tough decision to kill the Saturn, Sega knew it would piss off a lot of people, but at the same time they were bleeding money and losing market share, while the Playstation was plowing ahead. At the same time both Sega and the Saturn had a undeserved bad rep, both in the press and the industry, which was working against it, thus killing off a lot of the potential of the system.

So they obviously came to a decision that they needed to stop doing what they were doing and try something new while they still could.

Leynos
03-28-2018, 04:00 PM
Saturnday launch didn't help the system either. Only other time I saw a system announced at E3 the day of release was a revision of the Xbox 360 so it was fine.

Yharnamresident
03-29-2018, 10:51 AM
The N64 situation vs the PS1 less to do with exclusives and everything to do with the extraordinary brand loyalty that Nintendo had (and still has to a certain extent) also parents knew that Nintendo was the default name for gaming at the time, Sega blew most of their brand loyalty with the travesty that was 32x and the fucked up Saturn launch. By 1997 in the US and PAL markets things did not look healthy for the Saturn. Exclusives can only help so far.
I don't know how much I believe that. Like if there was no Mario 64, then I would subtract like 6 million N64s being sold in its lifetime. Subtract another 4 million for Ocarina of Time. So about 23 million N64s sold, about the same as the GameCube.

DISCLAIMER: that is nothing more than pure personal freehand estimating.



A modern version that happened is probably the Wii U - no amount of exclusives was going to save that system and Nintendo killed it off in favor of the new system, in the form of the Switch.
But they still gave it a 4 year lifespan, which is the bare minimum for any console, profitless(OG Xbox, Saturn) or potential-less(Wii U).

zyrobs
03-29-2018, 10:03 PM
I've met people who were catching up with their Saturn gaming in this decade because their family was specifically not buying it after the 32x fiasco.

Yharnamresident
03-30-2018, 06:57 AM
I've met people who were catching up with their Saturn gaming in this decade because their family was specifically not buying it after the 32x fiasco.

See thats the thing, Sega already had a not so good reputation after the 32X, but then their reputation took an even bigger blow when they gave the Saturn a 3 year lifespan. Who the hells gonna buy a Dreamcast after that?

gamevet
03-31-2018, 03:09 AM
See thats the thing, Sega already had a not so good reputation after the 32X, but then their reputation took an even bigger blow when they gave the Saturn a 3 year lifespan. Who the hells gonna buy a Dreamcast after that?

I don't believe that it is that simple. It was a matter of market awareness. The Saturn had a pretty decent impact in Japan, yet the Dreamcast bombed there, while the Saturn in North America didn't do all that well, yet the strongest region for the DC was in North America.

Leynos
03-31-2018, 03:42 AM
The marketing for Saturn in the US was abysmal. Japan got Segata Sanshiro and the US got a floating head and a stoner. Saturn was announced the day of release. Dreamcast in the US had a year plus of build up. Every magazine was hyping this thing up and I was following it. For me, nothing was ever hyped as well as the DC before launch. The visuals were just unreal at the time and then Bernie Stolar did the 9.9.99 ads you saw everywhere. Stores way before release had DC stuff everywhere. Then the ....it's thinking... ads were great. Post-release the marketing went downhill with a guy fucking a fish and old man naked ass. This was post-Bernie. DC set launch day records and for a couple months was selling well but that looming shadow of the unseen PS2 caught up to SEGA fast.

bultje112
03-31-2018, 04:05 AM
But they were able to afford mass Dreamcast R&D at the exact same time they were killing the Saturn.

The N64 was also a gimped console(about the same as the Saturn). You know how they were able to compete with PS1? Exclusives. The Saturn actually did that for a while with Nights, but they should've kept the ball rolling.

I've actually bought consoles for exclusives before. I remember I saw Minecraft on the 360 and I was like, "I have to try that no questions asked".


Heres the thing. I can't tell if you guys think:

- it was a horrible thing to kill the Saturn, but there were no other options whatsoever and Sega would soon be in its deathbed if they continued to support the Saturn
- you really think the Saturn should've been killed because it had no potential

their total r&d costs for dreamcast were 500 million dollars. that is very cheap. the ps2 cost billions in r&d. dreamcast development is imo one of the best r&d results ever done and a testament to how great sega were in developing hardware. cost-efficiency-results based the dreamcast was pound for pound the greatest system ever made.

Yharnamresident
03-31-2018, 09:31 AM
I don't believe that it is that simple. It was a matter of market awareness. The Saturn had a pretty decent impact in Japan, yet the Dreamcast bombed there, while the Saturn in North America didn't do all that well, yet the strongest region for the DC was in North America.Of course theres other variables. Like I've heard people in Japan where still satisfied with the Saturn when the Dreamcast launched, so it was kinda redundant to release the Dreamcast so soon.

Also let me reference Adam Koralik again. The guy grew up with Genesis in the early 90s, and then moved on to PS1/N64 during the mid 90s. When the Dreamcast was launching in 1999, he actually thought Sega took a break from making consoles during the 32-bit era, and they were coming back with the Dreamcast.




their total r&d costs for dreamcast were 500 million dollars. that is very cheap. the ps2 cost billions in r&d. dreamcast development is imo one of the best r&d results ever done and a testament to how great sega were in developing hardware. cost-efficiency-results based the dreamcast was pound for pound the greatest system ever made.Oh I can totally agree with that. And I kinda feel part of that reason was they copied the PS1 architecture.

Yharnamresident
04-01-2018, 06:44 PM
Let me mention one more thing.

His decision to purchase Visual Concepts was one of most ingenious business decisions ever.

EmperorIng
04-01-2018, 11:10 PM
An interesting read, even if he didn't go super into detail about company decisions made during his time. I used to hate Bernie Stolar for all of those lost localizations for the Sega Saturn (and anti-2D prejudice on the PS1), but as (now) a Saturn owner for 6 or so years it's hard to imagine what could have been done from a business perspective to make the system viable at the time he jumped in.

Leynos
04-01-2018, 11:43 PM
Bernie's personal opinions on Saturn were wrong but his business decision on Saturn was correct.

gamevet
04-02-2018, 11:35 AM
Of course theres other variables. Like I've heard people in Japan where still satisfied with the Saturn when the Dreamcast launched, so it was kinda redundant to release the Dreamcast so soon.

Also let me reference Adam Koralik again. The guy grew up with Genesis in the early 90s, and then moved on to PS1/N64 during the mid 90s. When the Dreamcast was launching in 1999, he actually thought Sega took a break from making consoles during the 32-bit era, and they were coming back with the Dreamcast.


Iíve said it many times when it came to talking about the Saturn, and Adam is a perfect example. There was no product awareness of the Saturn by the average consumer. My friends and family didnít know what a Saturn was, even during its time at retail. SEGA had no choice but to abandon the hardware after 3 years, even if it meant disappointing those who had bought the console.

Leynos
04-02-2018, 04:08 PM
In Japan, Saturn sold over 5 million. It was a huge hit there. Outside of Japan...what's a Saturn? (Tho I will say as I mentioned before I was very much aware of SS back then as it had a demo station in Toys R Us and my fave game store had an entire rack of US Saturn games) I did not own a Saturn until within the last decade.

gamevet
04-02-2018, 05:14 PM
In Japan, Saturn sold over 5 million. It was a huge hit there. Outside of Japan...what's a Saturn? (Tho I will say as I mentioned before I was very much aware of SS back then as it had a demo station in Toys R Us and my fave game store had an entire rack of US Saturn games) I did not own a Saturn until within the last decade.

People that read gaming magazines and interact with video games as their hobby would be aware of it. People that casually play video games and buy what their friends are buying wouldnít know anything about it. And the Saturnís situation was similar to that of the Dreamcast. It was a success in one region and bombed in the other major regions. Virtua Fighter sold Saturn in Japan and SEGA Sports sold Dreamcast in North America. Still, the Wii U was selling poorly and it was during that time that Nintendo posted its 1st losses as a company.

Leynos
04-02-2018, 06:12 PM
Yeah outside of the game stores as mentioned I never met anyone at the time with an SS. It was either PS1 or N64. I don't think it was until last gen it seemed that people mostly had more than 1 console as being the rule rather than the exception.

Yharnamresident
04-02-2018, 08:22 PM
Yeah outside of the game stores as mentioned I never met anyone at the time with an SS. It was either PS1 or N64. I don't think it was until last gen it seemed that people mostly had more than 1 console as being the rule rather than the exception.

I remember during the 6th generation, I didn't know a single person who had a GameCube, Dreamcast or OG Xbox. Yes, from 2000-2006.

gamevet
04-02-2018, 10:01 PM
Dreamcast maybe. I did network installations at homes and college dorms and I'd see GameCubes and N64s. I'm pretty sure that the OG Xbox saw a lot of LAN parties on college campuses.

Leynos
04-02-2018, 10:39 PM
I remember during the 6th generation, I didn't know a single person who had a GameCube, Dreamcast or OG Xbox. Yes, from 2000-2006.

I knew plenty and sold plenty. Hell in 2007 people was still buying Gamecube and Xbox games a lot where I was. Xbox and games were mainly bought by college kids for as mentioned above LAN parties. Gamecube sold mostly to moms and kids and Mario kart and Sonic games seemed to never stay in the store.

Mega Drive Bowlsey
04-03-2018, 11:31 AM
Over here the Saturn was very well known, what with the UK being a Sega stronghold and all, but the marketing and buzz for the PS1 was just unprecedented. My best friend and I were all set to upgrade to 32bit with the Saturn but then at the last minute he got a PS1 after being won over by Resident Evil. I followed suit as did most of our friends because, with money being very tight when I was growing up, it made sense for my friends and I to all have the same games system so we could swap games with each other. If I had stuck with the Saturn I would have literally been the only kid I knew who owned one. Compare that to the previous generation of games when we all had Sega Mega Drives!

Yharnamresident
04-03-2018, 01:42 PM
I knew a couple people with N64s. But it terms of 6th gen, where I lived it was complete PS2 territory.

j_factor
04-03-2018, 06:47 PM
I've never been clear on how killing the Saturn so early was done in order to move on to the Dreamcast. There was basically a two year gap in between. I get that they'd had too many platforms and all that. But you don't need to go down to zero. The Dreamcast needed to be their only system going forward; it didn't need the Saturn to have been dead for a long period of time before it came out.

In any case, regardless of how justified it might seem, I'm not convinced that ditching the Saturn the way they did actually benefited Sega financially to any great degree. They killed the Saturn and lost a bunch of money. How is everyone so sure that his actions eased Sega's losses rather than exacerbating them? It's entirely possible that the whole ordeal in sum cost the company more money than it saved. We'll likely never really know. I do think it's somewhat telling that he decided immediately upon joining Sega that the Saturn needed to be killed. Like he didn't do any real analysis, it was just a gut decision. He doesn't talk about working with an auditor or consulting firm, looking at financial projections, running models on different possible courses of action, etc.

That also means that he personally decided it in July 1996 (when he joined the company as a VP) though he wasn't actually in charge until March 1997. During the intervening period, the Saturn sold 500,000 units in one month and 1 million units in under six months. Those numbers aren't exactly impressive but they're substantially better than both before and after. Did Bernie make a fresh appraisal when he took the reins? Or did just have his mind made up back in the summer and nothing short of a miracle could've swayed him? It also really sounds like if Bernie had been put in charge right away, the Saturn wouldn't have sold those numbers and it would be an even bigger (and shorter-lived) failure. It would be reasonable to conclude that the Saturn would've been less of a failure without Bernie. Or even if he had been kept in the VP position for another year.

gamevet
04-03-2018, 10:01 PM
I've never been clear on how killing the Saturn so early was done in order to move on to the Dreamcast. There was basically a two year gap in between. I get that they'd had too many platforms and all that. But you don't need to go down to zero. The Dreamcast needed to be their only system going forward; it didn't need the Saturn to have been dead for a long period of time before it came out.

In any case, regardless of how justified it might seem, I'm not convinced that ditching the Saturn the way they did actually benefited Sega financially to any great degree. They killed the Saturn and lost a bunch of money. How is everyone so sure that his actions eased Sega's losses rather than exacerbating them? It's entirely possible that the whole ordeal in sum cost the company more money than it saved. We'll likely never really know. I do think it's somewhat telling that he decided immediately upon joining Sega that the Saturn needed to be killed. Like he didn't do any real analysis, it was just a gut decision. He doesn't talk about working with an auditor or consulting firm, looking at financial projections, running models on different possible courses of action, etc.

That also means that he personally decided it in July 1996 (when he joined the company as a VP) though he wasn't actually in charge until March 1997. During the intervening period, the Saturn sold 500,000 units in one month and 1 million units in under six months. Those numbers aren't exactly impressive but they're substantially better than both before and after. Did Bernie make a fresh appraisal when he took the reins? Or did just have his mind made up back in the summer and nothing short of a miracle could've swayed him? It also really sounds like if Bernie had been put in charge right away, the Saturn wouldn't have sold those numbers and it would be an even bigger (and shorter-lived) failure. It would be reasonable to conclude that the Saturn would've been less of a failure without Bernie. Or even if he had been kept in the VP position for another year.

They were spending more money than the Saturn was earning for Sega. Just the R&D behind the Netlink did not see a return in sales of the unit and the bundled Netlink Saturn. Sega was packing in 3 games with the Saturn, because they couldn't lower the price of the console any more. They had half the retail space and what places had the console were steadily shrinking its floor space down to make room for the better selling consoles. The Saturn was toast by 1997. A 500k sales boost during the 1996 holiday wasn't making a difference, and it too stalled by March of 1997.

j_factor
04-04-2018, 05:21 AM
They were spending more money than the Saturn was earning for Sega. Just the R&D behind the Netlink did not see a return in sales of the unit and the bundled Netlink Saturn. Sega was packing in 3 games with the Saturn, because they couldn't lower the price of the console any more. They had half the retail space and what places had the console were steadily shrinking its floor space down to make room for the better selling consoles. The Saturn was toast by 1997. A 500k sales boost during the 1996 holiday wasn't making a difference, and it too stalled by March of 1997.

The Netlink didn't sell because it was supposed to be a competitor to WebTV, but WebTV itself was kind of a flop. Many had predicted that it would rapidly gain popularity and spur a whole new market of similar devices. WebTV is more of a punchline today, but there really was tons of hype for it in the industry. It was believed it was going to be crucial to widespread adoption of the internet. In that environment, the Netlink wasn't a bad idea. If WebTV had really taken off like many predicted, the Netlink could've sold systems. The Netlink still provided value to the company, by serving as a sort of test run for the Dreamcast. In any case, the Netlink debuted in October of 1996, so whatever the R&D cost was, that money was already spent.

Anyway. I'm not saying the Saturn was in a good position. I just think that it sold enough units, and the Dreamcast was far enough away, that there were other options. Look at the Vita, which was in a similar situation with greatly diminished retail presence. Instead of being quickly abandoned, it stuck around, by being refocused to cater towards a core audience. Sega's distinct lack of other products in the meantime was all the more reason to pursue some other course. They basically had nothing at all on the consumer side in 1998. That isn't a good thing.

bultje112
04-04-2018, 07:06 AM
I've never been clear on how killing the Saturn so early was done in order to move on to the Dreamcast. There was basically a two year gap in between. I get that they'd had too many platforms and all that. But you don't need to go down to zero. The Dreamcast needed to be their only system going forward; it didn't need the Saturn to have been dead for a long period of time before it came out.

In any case, regardless of how justified it might seem, I'm not convinced that ditching the Saturn the way they did actually benefited Sega financially to any great degree. They killed the Saturn and lost a bunch of money. How is everyone so sure that his actions eased Sega's losses rather than exacerbating them? It's entirely possible that the whole ordeal in sum cost the company more money than it saved. We'll likely never really know. I do think it's somewhat telling that he decided immediately upon joining Sega that the Saturn needed to be killed. Like he didn't do any real analysis, it was just a gut decision. He doesn't talk about working with an auditor or consulting firm, looking at financial projections, running models on different possible courses of action, etc.

That also means that he personally decided it in July 1996 (when he joined the company as a VP) though he wasn't actually in charge until March 1997. During the intervening period, the Saturn sold 500,000 units in one month and 1 million units in under six months. Those numbers aren't exactly impressive but they're substantially better than both before and after. Did Bernie make a fresh appraisal when he took the reins? Or did just have his mind made up back in the summer and nothing short of a miracle could've swayed him? It also really sounds like if Bernie had been put in charge right away, the Saturn wouldn't have sold those numbers and it would be an even bigger (and shorter-lived) failure. It would be reasonable to conclude that the Saturn would've been less of a failure without Bernie. Or even if he had been kept in the VP position for another year.

of course they had to turn it down to zero, because whatever few resources sega had, needed to be spent on the dreamcast and development of games on dreamcast. any developed saturn game was another waste of money.

Yharnamresident
04-04-2018, 02:03 PM
(COMBINED POST)I've never been clear on how killing the Saturn so early was done in order to move on to the Dreamcast. There was basically a two year gap in between. I get that they'd had too many platforms and all that. But you don't need to go down to zero. The Dreamcast needed to be their only system going forward; it didn't need the Saturn to have been dead for a long period of time before it came out.

In any case, regardless of how justified it might seem, I'm not convinced that ditching the Saturn the way they did actually benefited Sega financially to any great degree. They killed the Saturn and lost a bunch of money. How is everyone so sure that his actions eased Sega's losses rather than exacerbating them? It's entirely possible that the whole ordeal in sum cost the company more money than it saved. We'll likely never really know. I do think it's somewhat telling that he decided immediately upon joining Sega that the Saturn needed to be killed. Like he didn't do any real analysis, it was just a gut decision. He doesn't talk about working with an auditor or consulting firm, looking at financial projections, running models on different possible courses of action, etc.

That also means that he personally decided it in July 1996 (when he joined the company as a VP) though he wasn't actually in charge until March 1997. During the intervening period, the Saturn sold 500,000 units in one month and 1 million units in under six months. Those numbers aren't exactly impressive but they're substantially better than both before and after. Did Bernie make a fresh appraisal when he took the reins? Or did just have his mind made up back in the summer and nothing short of a miracle could've swayed him? It also really sounds like if Bernie had been put in charge right away, the Saturn wouldn't have sold those numbers and it would be an even bigger (and shorter-lived) failure. It would be reasonable to conclude that the Saturn would've been less of a failure without Bernie. Or even if he had been kept in the VP position for another year.

The Netlink didn't sell because it was supposed to be a competitor to WebTV, but WebTV itself was kind of a flop. Many had predicted that it would rapidly gain popularity and spur a whole new market of similar devices. WebTV is more of a punchline today, but there really was tons of hype for it in the industry. It was believed it was going to be crucial to widespread adoption of the internet. In that environment, the Netlink wasn't a bad idea. If WebTV had really taken off like many predicted, the Netlink could've sold systems. The Netlink still provided value to the company, by serving as a sort of test run for the Dreamcast. In any case, the Netlink debuted in October of 1996, so whatever the R&D cost was, that money was already spent.

Anyway. I'm not saying the Saturn was in a good position. I just think that it sold enough units, and the Dreamcast was far enough away, that there were other options. Look at the Vita, which was in a similar situation with greatly diminished retail presence. Instead of being quickly abandoned, it stuck around, by being refocused to cater towards a core audience. Sega's distinct lack of other products in the meantime was all the more reason to pursue some other course. They basically had nothing at all on the consumer side in 1998. That isn't a good thing.

Thank you for saying all of this, this is exactly what I've been trying to say. Theres so many other poor selling consoles that they didn't just pull the plug on after 3 years. The GameCube, Vita, Wii U, even OG Xbox in Japan. I know many people didn't know the Saturn existed during the 5th gen, but killing it because of that reason seems like a false sense of resolving the problem.


of course they had to turn it down to zero, because whatever few resources sega had, needed to be spent on the dreamcast and development of games on dreamcast. any developed saturn game was another waste of money.You know what thats called? putting your eggs in one basket. If the Dreamcast doesn't succeed in bringing back a profit(which it didn't), then Sega is screwed(which it was). I know the Saturn wasn't gonna bring back a profit, but maybe some of those other systems they killed might've.

j_factor
04-04-2018, 03:05 PM
of course they had to turn it down to zero, because whatever few resources sega had, needed to be spent on the dreamcast and development of games on dreamcast. any developed saturn game was another waste of money.

How could they effectively spend their resources on a console well before it existed? They didn't really. Game development isn't really the issue. Sega of America was not hard at work developing a bunch of Dreamcast games. The purchase of Visual Concepts didn't go through until May 1999, and they had no other US-based development in the time leading up to that, not counting Segasoft. Of course they "could" have put out more games by contracting independent studios, but that's not necessary. If anything they should have done that to put out more Genesis games. All they had for 1997 was a few sports games and The Lost World. There was definitely a market there for more than that. Maybe they should've made an NFL 98 for Saturn but that's about it. Genesis was more worthwhile for that because the games could have smaller budgets. Even Game Gear might have been worth releasing a few more games for (beyond, again, The Lost World), because it was even cheaper.

Gryson
04-04-2018, 03:29 PM
I've never been clear on how killing the Saturn so early was done in order to move on to the Dreamcast. There was basically a two year gap in between. I get that they'd had too many platforms and all that. But you don't need to go down to zero. The Dreamcast needed to be their only system going forward; it didn't need the Saturn to have been dead for a long period of time before it came out.

In any case, regardless of how justified it might seem, I'm not convinced that ditching the Saturn the way they did actually benefited Sega financially to any great degree. They killed the Saturn and lost a bunch of money. How is everyone so sure that his actions eased Sega's losses rather than exacerbating them? It's entirely possible that the whole ordeal in sum cost the company more money than it saved. We'll likely never really know. I do think it's somewhat telling that he decided immediately upon joining Sega that the Saturn needed to be killed. Like he didn't do any real analysis, it was just a gut decision. He doesn't talk about working with an auditor or consulting firm, looking at financial projections, running models on different possible courses of action, etc.

That also means that he personally decided it in July 1996 (when he joined the company as a VP) though he wasn't actually in charge until March 1997. During the intervening period, the Saturn sold 500,000 units in one month and 1 million units in under six months. Those numbers aren't exactly impressive but they're substantially better than both before and after. Did Bernie make a fresh appraisal when he took the reins? Or did just have his mind made up back in the summer and nothing short of a miracle could've swayed him? It also really sounds like if Bernie had been put in charge right away, the Saturn wouldn't have sold those numbers and it would be an even bigger (and shorter-lived) failure. It would be reasonable to conclude that the Saturn would've been less of a failure without Bernie. Or even if he had been kept in the VP position for another year.

The Saturn was already in its death throes before Stolar became COO in 1997. It doesn't matter when he made up his mind that the Saturn was doomed - by the time he was in a position of power, it was already over. Between March 1997 (when Stolar became COO) and September 1997, the Saturn sold 50,000 units (source (https://www.neogaf.com/threads/retro-sales-age-thread.981407/)). He made his infamous comment "Saturn is not our future" at the end of June 1997, when clearly the Saturn was done for. Nothing he could have done would have changed the situation. Sega did manage to sell 1 million units in NA in 1996, but that was only by packing in 3 of their top titles and lowering the price of the console and the games.

In 1997, sales were stagnant, there were few 3rd party publishers interested in the system and a meager release lineup, and Sega was bleeding money from Sega of America. Together with that, there was a massive restructuring with Nakayama out in Japan and a shift towards cutting losses.

Stolar was in the unfortunate position of taking charge of a burning ship, and not surprisingly Sega fans have always focused on him as an easy target for the failure of the Saturn. But the unanswered question is: What specifically did Stolar do that caused the Saturn to fail? It's hard to see how that can be answered unless he had a time machine.

Melf
04-04-2018, 04:02 PM
Thank you for saying all of this, this is exactly what I've been trying to say. Theres so many other poor selling consoles that they didn't just pull the plug on after 3 years. The GameCube, Vita, Wii U, even OG Xbox in Japan. I know many people didn't know the Saturn existed during the 5th gen, but killing it because of that reason seems like a false sense of resolving the problem.

This is kind of a different scenario because Nintendo and MS had gobs of money in reserve, as well as high revenue from other streams (Game Boy, Windows, etc.) and could absorb the loss a lot longer than Sega could.

j_factor
04-04-2018, 05:21 PM
The Saturn was already in its death throes before Stolar became COO in 1997. It doesn't matter when he made up his mind that the Saturn was doomed - by the time he was in a position of power, it was already over. Between March 1997 (when Stolar became COO) and September 1997, the Saturn sold 50,000 units (source (https://www.neogaf.com/threads/retro-sales-age-thread.981407/)). He made his infamous comment "Saturn is not our future" at the end of June 1997, when clearly the Saturn was done for. Nothing he could have done would have changed the situation.

You're pointing out extremely low sales under Stolar as if that's not part of my point. Yes, sales were stagnant under Stolar, because he wasn't trying to sell the system. At no point was he making a good faith effort. It's circular to say that killing the system was the right decision because it died when he killed it. And that is exactly what happened. In an old thread we had found a graph of monthly sales. It was striking. March 1997 was the last month of any significant amount of sales and then it immediately flatlined. It apparently sold more units in the first three months of 1997 than in the entire rest of the year. I don't think that's a coincidence and I don't think Stolar was powerless. It's not normal for sales to just fall off a cliff like that, even for something that's not selling great to begin with.


Sega did manage to sell 1 million units in NA in 1996, but that was only by packing in 3 of their top titles and lowering the price of the console and the games.

Yes, the "only" reason they sold a million is because they were actually trying to sell the system and made a reasonably good play under Irimajiri (who was in charge at SOA in the interim). Stolar did not do anything like that at all, so they didn't sell anything. He couldn't even be bothered to put together an updated demo disc.


In 1997, sales were stagnant, there were few 3rd party publishers interested in the system and a meager release lineup, and Sega was bleeding money from Sega of America. Together with that, there was a massive restructuring with Nakayama out in Japan and a shift towards cutting losses.

As of the beginning of 1997, the release lineup looked promising, and it had a decent amount of third party support. The Saturn had its best sales at the end of '96, so it appeared (briefly) to be on the upswing. Publishers weren't dropping the Saturn in the immediate aftermath of that (relatively) good news. It wasn't until after Stolar took the reins that a bunch of games got canceled.


Stolar was in the unfortunate position of taking charge of a burning ship, and not surprisingly Sega fans have always focused on him as an easy target for the failure of the Saturn. But the unanswered question is: What specifically did Stolar do that caused the Saturn to fail? It's hard to see how that can be answered unless he had a time machine.

Perhaps this is really the crux of our disagreement. You (and many others, and not just here) seem to be portraying it as a sort of binary issue, like, it failed, true or false. And if true, the details aren't really important and it doesn't matter what was happening around the margins. I see it as more nuanced.

To be clear: Stolar didn't cause the Saturn to fail; he caused it to fail worse. He caused it to sell less than 10% of what it had sold under his immediate predecessor. Ultimately he caused it to be taken off the market sooner and have fewer releases, which is the real reason he's drawn so much ire from fans.

Gryson
04-04-2018, 05:56 PM
You're pointing out extremely low sales under Stolar as if that's not part of my point. Yes, sales were stagnant under Stolar, because he wasn't trying to sell the system. At no point was he making a good faith effort. It's circular to say that killing the system was the right decision because it died when he killed it. And that is exactly what happened. In an old thread we had found a graph of monthly sales. It was striking. March 1997 was the last month of any significant amount of sales and then it immediately flatlined. It apparently sold more units in the first three months of 1997 than in the entire rest of the year. I don't think that's a coincidence and I don't think Stolar was powerless. It's not normal for sales to just fall off a cliff like that, even for something that's not selling great to begin with.

It's a bit crazy to expect him to make a difference the first month he takes charge. Do you think he just pushes a few buttons and sees immediate results? Any plan he could put into action would take many months to see a significant change. Not to mention at significant cost.

What do you expect him to have done the month he was appointed COO that would have prevented the Saturn from selling abysmally?

Increase game development? We're talking many months / more than a year before there's a positive turnaround there.

Woo 3rd parties? Again, very slow turnaround before you have product in hand.

Advertising campaign? Stolar put a $25 million advertising campaign into action in Fall 1997 to little effect (Hard Stuff (https://segaretro.org/Hard_Stuff)). Advertising only goes so far when you don't have the killer software that the competition does.

What exactly are you claiming he did wrong in March 1997 to cause sales to drop, and what could he have done better to cause sales to increase the month he took charge?

Leynos
04-04-2018, 06:50 PM
PS1 had a pretty big year in 1997 that no one could compete with. Final Fantasy VII, FF tactics, Tekken 3, Castlevania SoTN, Crash 2, Grandia, Breath of Fire III,Tomb Raider II,Alundra, Need for Speed 2, Mega Man X4, Einhander,Klona,Mega Man Legends,G Darius,Tales of Destiny back when Tales series meant something and more. Saturn in Japan had many great games as well and even some on this list but not in the west. There was nothing Bernie could do.

gamevet
04-04-2018, 09:44 PM
The Netlink didn't sell because it was supposed to be a competitor to WebTV, but WebTV itself was kind of a flop. Many had predicted that it would rapidly gain popularity and spur a whole new market of similar devices. WebTV is more of a punchline today, but there really was tons of hype for it in the industry. It was believed it was going to be crucial to widespread adoption of the internet. In that environment, the Netlink wasn't a bad idea. If WebTV had really taken off like many predicted, the Netlink could've sold systems. The Netlink still provided value to the company, by serving as a sort of test run for the Dreamcast. In any case, the Netlink debuted in October of 1996, so whatever the R&D cost was, that money was already spent.

$400 for a Netlink bundle wasn't going to sell Saturns, and neither was the $200 Netlink by itself. I got a Netlink less than a year later for $90. It was hardly what i'd call a good internet experience. And, we are talking about an add-on device, and everyone knows how those go. It was money wasted that could have been used to maybe keep a hit game like Tomb Raider exclusive to Saturn.




Anyway. I'm not saying the Saturn was in a good position. I just think that it sold enough units, and the Dreamcast was far enough away, that there were other options. Look at the Vita, which was in a similar situation with greatly diminished retail presence. Instead of being quickly abandoned, it stuck around, by being refocused to cater towards a core audience. Sega's distinct lack of other products in the meantime was all the more reason to pursue some other course. They basically had nothing at all on the consumer side in 1998. That isn't a good thing.

It's funny that you mention the Vita. Sony pretty much killed it off in the USA, by calling it legacy hardware and ceasing sales of the handheld here. Meanwhile, they are still selling Vita systems and games in Japan. Doesn't that sound very similar to what happened with the Saturn?


You're pointing out extremely low sales under Stolar as if that's not part of my point. Yes, sales were stagnant under Stolar, because he wasn't trying to sell the system. At no point was he making a good faith effort. It's circular to say that killing the system was the right decision because it died when he killed it. And that is exactly what happened. In an old thread we had found a graph of monthly sales. It was striking. March 1997 was the last month of any significant amount of sales and then it immediately flatlined. It apparently sold more units in the first three months of 1997 than in the entire rest of the year. I don't think that's a coincidence and I don't think Stolar was powerless. It's not normal for sales to just fall off a cliff like that, even for something that's not selling great to begin with.

What was happening to the Saturn was already set in stone from the beginning. A poor launch, poor marketing and everybody wanted a PlayStation or N64. Who was going to buy the 3rd best (perceived) console in 1998? Sega selling 500K during the 1996 holiday season was likely because the other 2 consoles were selling out and people were finally moving on from their 16-bit consoles.



As of the beginning of 1997, the release lineup looked promising, and it had a decent amount of third party support. The Saturn had its best sales at the end of '96, so it appeared (briefly) to be on the upswing. Publishers weren't dropping the Saturn in the immediate aftermath of that (relatively) good news. It wasn't until after Stolar took the reins that a bunch of games got canceled.

The software it currently had on the market wasn't selling. Those games that were slated for 1997, were probably on the drawing board as early as 1995. I was buying brand new (really good titles) for $8 each from Best Buy in mid-1997. I'm talking about titles like Mega Man X4, Guardian Heroes, Marvel Super Heroes, Soviet Strike and Tempest 2000.



To be clear: Stolar didn't cause the Saturn to fail; he caused it to fail worse. He caused it to sell less than 10% of what it had sold under his immediate predecessor. Ultimately he caused it to be taken off the market sooner and have fewer releases, which is the real reason he's drawn so much ire from fans.

It would have been like bringing a bucket of water to a 3 alarm fire. The building was already burning to the ground by the 2nd quarter of 1997.

j_factor
04-04-2018, 10:10 PM
It's a bit crazy to expect him to make a difference the first month he takes charge. Do you think he just pushes a few buttons and sees immediate results? Any plan he could put into action would take many months to see a significant change. Not to mention at significant cost.

What do you expect him to have done the month he was appointed COO that would have prevented the Saturn from selling abysmally?

Increase game development? We're talking many months / more than a year before there's a positive turnaround there.

Woo 3rd parties? Again, very slow turnaround before you have product in hand.

Advertising campaign? Stolar put a $25 million advertising campaign into action in Fall 1997 to little effect (Hard Stuff (https://segaretro.org/Hard_Stuff)). Advertising only goes so far when you don't have the killer software that the competition does.

What exactly are you claiming he did wrong in March 1997 to cause sales to drop, and what could he have done better to cause sales to increase the month he took charge?

It's not difficult to not sell something if that's your intent. By constraining supply or distribution you can make sales dry up very fast. Don't get me wrong, there's no proof. We're not privy to the details of what was happening inside Sega, or what Stolar's first actions were when he assumed the mantle. But we do know that:
1. Stolar had already decided to kill the Saturn
2. He was promoted to COO in March
3. The following month, it sold close to nothing, which hadn't been the case (relatively speaking)
4. It never improved - it didn't substantially vary month-to-month as is the norm

In my mind that's a pretty strong circumstantial case, but YMMV. I've not seen any other explanation for why that happened to the Saturn, at that precise time. The Saturn not being a success in general doesn't explain it.

Gryson
04-04-2018, 10:52 PM
A large portion of the Saturn's sales in 1996 came in Nov/Dec due to the 3 free games bundle. This was a last ditch effort from Sega to get the Saturn in consumers' hands, since the N64 had just launched. The bundle ended at the end of 1996, so anybody interested in the Saturn at that time no doubt would have purchased it then.

Going into 1997, the N64 was taking off big time. As mentioned above, the PS1 had a huge release lineup in 1997, including FF7. The Saturn still didn't have any killer games coming out, at least not on the level of the N64's and PS1's.

In Feb 1997, only TWO games were released in NA for the Saturn!

The Saturn's mediocre library, lack of 3rd party support, perceived lack of future, cost, and a host of other factors led to its failure.

Nobody has offered a convincing reason for how Bernie Stolar was the cause of the Saturn's death. Frankly, it's ridiculous to say "Bernie Stolar was appointed COO in March 1997, and Saturn sales bottomed out in March 1997, therefore Bernie Stolar was responsible for the poor sales." Sales in March 1997 were decided way before he was on the scene. If that's not obvious, I'm really not sure what to say.

Leynos
04-04-2018, 11:12 PM
You can still get that 3 game pack sealed really cheap. Got mine for 15 bucks about 3-4 years ago.

gamevet
04-04-2018, 11:37 PM
It's not difficult to not sell something if that's your intent. By constraining supply or distribution you can make sales dry up very fast. Don't get me wrong, there's no proof. We're not privy to the details of what was happening inside Sega, or what Stolar's first actions were when he assumed the mantle. But we do know that:


How were they constraining supply?

Just look at the overall sales numbers for the Saturn in North America. It had one blip where it sold 500,000k during the 3 month 3 free games deal that holiday season. Sega of America thought that pushing it until March of 1997 would continue that sales trend.....and everything went back to a trickle.


Here's the chart to remind you. (http://www.sega-16.com/forum/showthread.php?25207-N64-PS1-Saturn-DC-sales-US-NPD)

j_factor
04-05-2018, 02:36 PM
A large portion of the Saturn's sales in 1996 came in Nov/Dec due to the 3 free games bundle.

Yes, absolutely. It may even have been more than half of all Saturns sold in the US. So, after seeing what works, wouldn't you try to do something similar again? That is, if your objective was actually to sell more systems. Not only did he not come out with a similar bundle, he didn't revise the Saturn's retail package in any way. He could have at least changed the included controller to the analog pad, and (to reiterate) compiled a newer demo disc. Those things aren't exactly expensive. If you can't be bothered to do even the little things, it really looks like you're just not even trying.


The bundle ended at the end of 1996, so anybody interested in the Saturn at that time no doubt would have purchased it then.

I wasn't thinking of it earlier, but the bundle actually lasted through March '97. Which... may at least partially explain some things. *slaps forehead*


Going into 1997, the N64 was taking off big time. As mentioned above, the PS1 had a huge release lineup in 1997, including FF7. The Saturn still didn't have any killer games coming out, at least not on the level of the N64's and PS1's.

In the earlier part of the year, which is generally a slow period across the board, the lineup compared decently I think. In the latter half of the year, Playstation and N64 releases were booming and Saturn was anemic in comparison, yes. But it's not quite so black and white. There were games that had the potential to make an impact, had they not been canceled, or left in Japan. And some games that did release here that could've done better in a better environment. But I digress. I think you're setting your sights way too high. I'm under no illusion that the Saturn would have been anywhere near the level of the N64 and PS1 even if Stolar had made a bunch of smart moves and done the best possible job. But there's a gigantic excluded middle between what the Saturn was doing and what the N64 and Playstation were doing. If the Saturn had in 1997 merely done similarly to the previous year, that's peanuts compared to the competition, but still vastly better than the way it went.


In Feb 1997, only TWO games were released in NA for the Saturn!

How many games were released for the N64 that month? Heh. I know the N64 had multiple months with only one or two releases, and a few with zero even. Honestly not even a big deal for February. When October only has a tiny number of releases, that's when you have a real problem.

Stolar was notorious - at the time - for his so-called AAA policy that intentionally curtailed the number of Saturn releases in favor of the "highest quality" games. He had a well-known disdain for 2D games and RPGs, that was noted before he even joined Sega, and those happen to be the Saturn's strengths. I can't find the quote right now, but I know he pushed GT Interactive to ensure the release of Courier Crisis and spoke positively of it. His idea of quality was suspect at best. This isn't just retrospective, people really were bitching about him at the time. And I'm pretty sure he's the only video game company executive to have been criticized by name in a rap song (https://genius.com/Del-the-funky-homosapien-proto-culture-lyrics).


The Saturn's mediocre library, lack of 3rd party support, perceived lack of future, cost, and a host of other factors led to its failure.

Well, yeah. But do you think Bernie helped or hindered those factors you mention?


Nobody has offered a convincing reason for how Bernie Stolar was the cause of the Saturn's death.

Well, he pretty much said so himself, didn't he?


Frankly, it's ridiculous to say "Bernie Stolar was appointed COO in March 1997, and Saturn sales bottomed out in March 1997, therefore Bernie Stolar was responsible for the poor sales." Sales in March 1997 were decided way before he was on the scene. If that's not obvious, I'm really not sure what to say.

April, not March, for the sales bottoming out. And he was already on the scene, having been executive VP for 9 months or so. He would've had access to internal company data during that time and gotten a feel for the company's operations and corporate structure. So upon being made COO, he didn't have to sit back and assess things. He already knew what he wanted to do and how to do it, and could act immediately. He couldn't make wholesale changes in an instant, of course. But there are both long term things and short term things. Operational decisions can have a pretty immediate effect. The upper management of a company is not solely limited to broad stroke decisions that have their impact sometime down the road.

Yharnamresident
04-05-2018, 03:41 PM
This is kind of a different scenario because Nintendo and MS had gobs of money in reserve, as well as high revenue from other streams (Game Boy, Windows, etc.) and could absorb the loss a lot longer than Sega could.If they can't afford to support the Saturn for 1.5 more years(which I don't think was the case), then thats a good sign they shouldn't even be thinking of releasing a new console.


PS1 had a pretty big year in 1997 that no one could compete with. Final Fantasy VII, FF tactics, Tekken 3, Castlevania SoTN, Crash 2, Grandia, Breath of Fire III,Tomb Raider II,Alundra, Need for Speed 2, Mega Man X4, Einhander,Klona,Mega Man Legends,G Darius,Tales of Destiny back when Tales series meant something and more. Saturn in Japan had many great games as well and even some on this list but not in the west. There was nothing Bernie could do.You don't see the connection?

"Saturn in Japan had many great games as well and even some on this list but not in the west"

"There was nothing Bernie could do"


a lot of you guys are saying the Saturn had to be killed because there was no resurrection. Well it was always gonna be in 3rd place, but the idea of Sega completely disappearing from the console market for 1.5 years is a horrible circumstance.

gamevet
04-05-2018, 04:23 PM
Thereís this thing overhead that begs to differ.

Leynos
04-05-2018, 05:53 PM
If they can't afford to support the Saturn for 1.5 more years(which I don't think was the case), then thats a good sign they shouldn't even be thinking of releasing a new console.

You don't see the connection?

"Saturn in Japan had many great games as well and even some on this list but not in the west"

"There was nothing Bernie could do"


a lot of you guys are saying the Saturn had to be killed because there was no resurrection. Well it was always gonna be in 3rd place, but the idea of Sega completely disappearing from the console market for 1.5 years is a horrible circumstance.

Most of those games in Japan were 3rd party. bernie can't force them to bring them over. Maybe publish a couple but wouldn't be much point when Saturn had almost zero shelf space in most major stores by 1997.

gamevet
04-05-2018, 06:12 PM
The software they had on the shelves wasnít selling, so why bother brings my more of it to collect dust?

j_factor
04-05-2018, 06:34 PM
How were they constraining supply?

Just look at the overall sales numbers for the Saturn in North America. It had one blip where it sold 500,000k during the 3 month 3 free games deal that holiday season. Sega of America thought that pushing it until March of 1997 would continue that sales trend.....and everything went back to a trickle.


Here's the chart to remind you. (http://www.sega-16.com/forum/showthread.php?25207-N64-PS1-Saturn-DC-sales-US-NPD)

Thanks for finding that old thread. But yeah, looking at that chart, the first three months of 1997 were bad, but April through November were so close to zero that the plot points are touching the axis line. There's the tiniest bump in December but it looks equal to January and definitely below March. As Chilly Willy said in his first post there (though slightly overstated), normally you sell in November and December and the rest of the year sucks. That's a pattern that generally holds true whether the system sells great or limps along, for everything from the PS2 to the N-Gage. The only exceptions tend to be things that are being phased out by the company (on purpose), like the 32x in 1995. I find it hard to believe that March being the Saturn's biggest sales month of the year happened purely because of natural and inevitable progression of broad market factors, as opposed to mismanagement or a deliberate cutting back.


The software they had on the shelves wasnít selling, so why bother brings my more of it to collect dust?

This is getting into a completely different argument, but, even if you discount the possibility of releasing more games at all (which I don't, obvs), they still weren't releasing the right games to do the best they could with a limited lineup. I actually really like Enemy Zero, but it had little hype (D wasn't a big hit to begin with), the gameplay is very unconventional, and it quite predictably got a mixed reception. Sega Touring Car was not a very well-known or well-liked arcade game, and the Saturn port has multiple technical issues; it wasn't a good look for the system and to this day has a bad reputation among fans. Winter Heat is pretty decent, but no one in their right mind was thinking "Decathlete, but winter" would be attention grabbing. These are the kinds of games that might be good for rounding out a bigger, robust lineup. They're not the kinds of games you should be prioritizing if you're only putting out a limited set.

Yharnamresident
04-05-2018, 07:33 PM
Most of those games in Japan were 3rd party. bernie can't force them to bring them over. Maybe publish a couple but wouldn't be much point when Saturn had almost zero shelf space in most major stores by 1997.Ok I can agree that the 3rd party games weren't much of a loss for north american Saturn. They would've helped but not by a whole lot.


Also I was surprised NiGHTs didn't generate any bump in that sales chart. Thats what I'd consider as a Saturn killer app.

Gryson
04-05-2018, 08:44 PM
I find it hard to believe that March being the Saturn's biggest sales month of the year happened purely because of natural and inevitable progression of broad market factors, as opposed to mismanagement or a deliberate cutting back.

But as you just said, the 3 game bundle deal ended at the end of March. That's why there's a decline after March.

As I brought up previously, Stolar did run a $25 million ad campaign at the end of 1997 (uncharacteristic of someone conspiring to kill off a console). Of course, as shown on that sales chart, the campaign was ineffective.

I think you're giving Stolar more credit than he deserves for the end of the Saturn. He was almost certainly neutered by Japan in every aspect. Remember that Japan had stepped in early in the life of the Saturn when things weren't going well (as Kalinske has so often talked about). Okawa began exerting his influence around then and was representing the interests of CSK. He was far more profit-focused than Nakayama had been. Stolar was COO of Sega of America in 1997, but he answered to CEO Irimajiri, who a year later would be appointed head of Sega. As CEO, Irimajiri is the one who would have been making decisions (or passing along decisions from Japan) that impacted the lifespan of the console. Stolar was 'only' COO - he oversaw things such as advertising, licensing, development, and such.

In addition to all of that, Sega of America was in a really bad place in 1997. A third of its employees were laid off that year. Sega heavily wrote down Sega of America in March 1998, indicating the value of the company had nosedived in 1997. They simply did not have the funds to do anything against their deep-pocketed rivals. I can only imagine the winter 1997 ad campaign was a last-ditch effort to liquidate product before Sega began wiping inventories across the board in March 1998.

There is simply nothing Stolar could have done to reverse the situation, and I haven't seen any good suggestions to the contrary. Bring more games from Japan? Sega did bring most of the games it published in Japan. Shining Force III was localized in July 1998, but obviously the book was closed by then. Sakura Taisen? As much as I love the game, it's a visual novel interspersed with very basic strategy game scenes. The visual novel genre has never done well here, and it would have cost a fortune to localize.

gamevet
04-05-2018, 09:06 PM
Do you know what also happened in March of 97? Sony dropped the price of the PS down to $149. This made it even more difficult for SEGA to get out of hole theyíd dug themselves into.

j_factor
04-05-2018, 11:42 PM
As I brought up previously, Stolar did run a $25 million ad campaign at the end of 1997 (uncharacteristic of someone conspiring to kill off a console). Of course, as shown on that sales chart, the campaign was ineffective.

That ad campaign was promoting software, not hardware. He just took out ads for some games they were releasing, they didn't really highlight the Saturn. A portion of it advertised Sega PC releases. A lot of the ads were also garbage (the Sonic R tv commercial, ugh) but that's beside the point.


But as you just said, the 3 game bundle deal ended at the end of March. That's why there's a decline after March.
...
There is simply nothing Stolar could have done to reverse the situation, and I haven't seen any good suggestions to the contrary.

I've already pointed to it in my earlier post but you have your own answer here: do another bundle. Even if it was just, like, NiGHTS and Fighting Vipers. Or something. Not only did he not do another bundle, he didn't do anything with the Saturn retail package at all. Just a plain jane Saturn in a box with the basic controller and the same demo disc from the beginning of the year. They were running a (kinda lame) promotion where you'd get some money back if you bought 3 of the games on a list. But there was no promotion of any sort (monetary or otherwise) for buying a console. Weak sauce.


Bring more games from Japan? Sega did bring most of the games it published in Japan.

Agreeing to fund the RAM cart for X-Men vs Street Fighter would have been a good move IMO. It wasn't even that expensive. They probably could have published Grandia, which was getting a good amount of attention in Western gaming press already. Bulk Slash isn't a well known game, but it has good graphics for the Saturn and plays well. It was by Hudson, but they didn't have a US division anymore and Sega published Saturn Bomberman, so probably easily doable. There were supposedly 4 games that were canceled by Working Designs after the E3 drama. So, no massive game changers of course, but there were some options.

gamevet
04-06-2018, 12:36 AM
Grandia wouldnít have arrived until fall of 1998. It wouldnít have happened.

stu
04-06-2018, 12:39 AM
That ad campaign was promoting software, not hardware. He just took out ads for some games they were releasing, they didn't really highlight the Saturn. A portion of it advertised Sega PC releases. A lot of the ads were also garbage (the Sonic R tv commercial, ugh) but that's beside the point.



I've already pointed to it in my earlier post but you have your own answer here: do another bundle. Even if it was just, like, NiGHTS and Fighting Vipers. Or something. Not only did he not do another bundle, he didn't do anything with the Saturn retail package at all. Just a plain jane Saturn in a box with the basic controller and the same demo disc from the beginning of the year. They were running a (kinda lame) promotion where you'd get some money back if you bought 3 of the games on a list. But there was no promotion of any sort (monetary or otherwise) for buying a console. Weak sauce.



Agreeing to fund the RAM cart for X-Men vs Street Fighter would have been a good move IMO. It wasn't even that expensive. They probably could have published Grandia, which was getting a good amount of attention in Western gaming press already. Bulk Slash isn't a well known game, but it has good graphics for the Saturn and plays well. It was by Hudson, but they didn't have a US division anymore and Sega published Saturn Bomberman, so probably easily doable. There were supposedly 4 games that were canceled by Working Designs after the E3 drama. So, no massive game changers of course, but there were some options.

Grandia would have appealed to existing owners of the Saturn and could of provided an alternative to FFVII on the Playstation for US Saturn gamers, problem is would Sega have had the marketing budget (or been prepared to spend the money) to give the game a suitable level of advertising?
Again funding the RAM cart would have pleased existing owners but would it have made people buy the Saturn?
As for the others I can't see an obscure Japenese robot battle game and a bunch of JRPGs as being system sellers tbh, which seems to be the crux of what your expectations of Stolar and what you wanted him to do. (Bulk Slash looks like a Japanese version of Iron Soldier or Metal Head to me) It seems to me like Sega were just trying to offload the stock of Saturn and the games at that point at the beginning of 1997, they had a good run for a few months but the momentum ran out. Also, imo people give way too much credibility to NiGHTS as a system seller, this may get me flamed, but I find the game over rated.

j_factor
04-06-2018, 12:52 AM
Grandia wouldnít have arrived until fall of 1998. It wouldnít have happened.

It came out in Japan in December of 1997. It needn't take quite that long.


Grandia would have appealed to existing owners of the Saturn and could of provided an alternative to FFVII on the Playstation for US Saturn gamers, problem is would Sega have had the marketing budget (or been prepared to spend the money) to give the game a suitable level of advertising?
Again funding the RAM cart would have pleased existing owners but would it have made people buy the Saturn?
As for the others I can't see an obscure Japenese robot battle game and a bunch of JRPGs as being system sellers tbh, which seems to be the crux of what your expectations of Stolar and what you wanted him to do.

No, not at all. Perhaps I should have responded to fewer things, to be clearer what my main point is. The only point I was making there was, if they wanted to localize more Japanese games, they had some decent options, it wasn't a barren wasteland. And I honestly think any of those games I mentioned would have been preferable to Sega Touring Car. But that's just an aside. Try re-reading my post without the last paragraph.

gamevet
04-06-2018, 01:26 AM
Itís just unrealistic expectations. Panzer Dragoon Saga came out in 1998 and had something like 3 batches shipped before demand died off. Best Buy had already dumped their Saturn inventory by January of 98. The pallets full of $99 Saturns were eventually lowered to $50 and gone a little over a month later. Toys Rí Us couldnít sell all of their Burning Rangers and Panzer Dragoon Saga copies, so they ended up being dumped at $20. It Iíd only known that places like eBay would come along, I would have bought several of each. Nobody was going to be carrying Saturn software for the occasional customer that would come along, when they could use that space for better selling games. EB Games carried those import Saturn fighters in 1998, along with Magic Knight Rayearth when it came out in August of 1998. I believe by then, Toys R Us were getting rid of inventory.

Leynos
04-06-2018, 02:57 AM
Can two companies publish the same game in the US? Sony published and maybe localized Grandia? I know they at least published.

Blades
04-06-2018, 04:09 AM
There's a lot of talk in this thread about deep pockets and unfair circumstances but there's only one answer to all the questions in this thread and that's the Saturn's bone-headed dual blade design. Its a miracle it survived as long as it did. The only thing the Saturn hardware could do that it's competitors couldn't was bleed developers, publishers, and fans' wallets alike. It survived as long as it did because of Sega's artistic vision and bizarre commitment to the Saturn until new blood came in and tried to clean up the ridiculous mess. On it's technical merits alone the Saturn would've died like, well, the Saturn-clone PC expansion card by Nvidia.

Japan loved the Saturn anyway because of the software they did get (often far earlier than us in the States).

If the Saturn kept selling in 1998 and onwards, that would've been business death for Sega and very unfair to the customers. They didn't have fresh software to support the sold hardware, everyone had already jumped ship, and a lot of garbage had already been published. There were plenty of people with already-sold Saturns, but how many owners bought Burning Rangers or Panzer Dragoon Saga?

Sure, we got some great games on it but that's not due to the Saturn. EVERY great game on the Saturn would've been technically better on the PSX.

It's a little sad because with competent hardware Sega's world-class internal divisions of the time probably would've made earth-shattering games like they did on the Model 2/3 arcade hardware.

Also, wtf was up with the Saturn's US commercials? They were the strangest commercials I'd ever seen for anything, all of them.

Mega Drive Bowlsey
04-06-2018, 08:24 AM
The Saturn was a strange beast. Certainly not a failure of a system by any stretch of the imagination, but the long, tall and the short of it is that by '96/'97 Sega were losing money hand over fist and could not compete anymore. Certainly not against money-no-object rivals like Sony. Sega had to put what was left of their eggs all into one basket in the form of the Dreamcast.

Leynos
04-06-2018, 08:35 AM
The Saturn was a strange beast. Certainly not a failure of a system by any stretch of the imagination, but the long, tall and the short of it is that by '96/'97 Sega were losing money hand over fist and could not compete anymore. Certainly not against money-no-object rivals like Sony.

It sold 9 million.5.7 of that in Japan. So less than 4 million in the west as a whole. It failed pretty hard. May as well say Wii U didn't fail at 13 million. SS sold less than 1/3 of N64. And don;t even try the tripe of 17. In no universe did that happen.

zyrobs
04-06-2018, 09:46 AM
Bringing over more games wasn't as simple as you make it sound. They needed a lot of work to localize titles, but more importantly they didn't have a big enough user base. Saturating that user base with tons of games means that less of each games are sold, so they end up losing money on each localization. Take Grandia for example. It would've come out around the same time as Panzer Dragoon Saga; if they localize both, then RPG fans will have a choice between buying one or the other. Therefore releasing both games would mean that their own software, PDS, would sell worse. And obviously they want their in-house titles to sell better.

They just didn't have enough consoles sold for it to be viable to push more games. What's the point of bringing over the RAM cart if it sells a thousand copies?

Gryson
04-06-2018, 10:19 AM
I've already pointed to it in my earlier post but you have your own answer here: do another bundle. Even if it was just, like, NiGHTS and Fighting Vipers. Or something. Not only did he not do another bundle, he didn't do anything with the Saturn retail package at all. Just a plain jane Saturn in a box with the basic controller and the same demo disc from the beginning of the year. They were running a (kinda lame) promotion where you'd get some money back if you bought 3 of the games on a list. But there was no promotion of any sort (monetary or otherwise) for buying a console. Weak sauce.

Sega press release from June 4, 1997:


SEGA LOWERS PRICE ON HARDWARE, SOFTWARE

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. -- (June 4, 1997) --
SegaTM of America today announced price drops on the Sega SaturnTM and Sega GenesisTM video game consoles and on hit Sega Saturn titles as part of a plan to continually offer consumers the best video gaming value. The price drop follows the May 31 completion of Sega's most successful promotions for the Sega Saturn: the "Three Free" game pack-in and the "Buy Two Get One Free" coupon offer.

The new hardware pricing structure is as follows:
Sega Saturn $149.99 ($50 reduction)
Sega Saturn with Game $169.99 ($60 reduction)
Sega Saturn Net Link Solution Pack $249.99 ($200 reduction)
Sega Saturn Net Link $ 99.99 ($100 reduction)
Sega Genesis $ 79.99 ($20 reduction)

Sega also reduced pricing on more than 30 Sega Saturn games into the range of $19.99 - $39.99, including top-ranked titles such as "NiGHTSTM" "Fighting VipersTM" "Virtua CopTM2" and "Sonic 3D BlastTM" Suggested retail pricing for new Sega Saturn games in 1997 will not exceed $49.99.

"As we've said since the beginning of this year, Sega is operating based on its own business plan and goals, with price reductions strategically timed to coincide with our annual product line-up and promotional calendar," said Bernard Stolar, COO, Sega of America. "Our new pricing structure will maintain the momentum we gained with our two previous consumer promotions, which helped boost Sega Saturn software sales up more than 120 percent over first quarter last year."

https://segaretro.org/Press_release:_1997-06-04:_Sega_Lowers_Price_on_Hardware,_Software

There were bundled Saturn deals in 1997, as well as significant price drops on software.

Also, note that the press release says the 3 free game deal ended May 31, not March.

But the 3 free game deal was undoubtedly a double-edged sword. Sega was most likely taking a loss on console sales then in the hope of recovering it through software sales, but by giving away three games, they were reducing the number of games that new owners would buy. Regardless, the 3 free game deal had obviously lost steam by May 1997, so I can't see that another mega bundle was going to have much effect.

Mega Drive Bowlsey
04-06-2018, 11:21 AM
It sold 9 million.5.7 of that in Japan. So less than 4 million in the west as a whole. It failed pretty hard. May as well say Wii U didn't fail at 13 million. SS sold less than 1/3 of N64. And don;t even try the tripe of 17. In no universe did that happen.

Well as far as I'm concerned it wasn't a failure. The love it receives today more than makes up for the fact that it was largely ignored in it's time. The Saturn is usually lumped alongside the 32X when people talk about Sega's failures and that is grossly unfair. The Saturn is loved today by many people so, it may have been a long time coming, but it finally had it's day. Whereas the Panasonic 3DO, the Philips CDI and the Atari Jaguar will never have their day and will always be considered huge failures.

Leynos
04-06-2018, 04:34 PM
Yes, it's loved by a small but vocal minority like us but that's irrelevant to say it didn't fail. It was a disaster for SEGA outside of Japan. There is loving the system but also recognizing it was a sales disaster.

Yharnamresident
04-07-2018, 03:06 PM
Sure, we got some great games on it but that's not due to the Saturn. EVERY great game on the Saturn would've been technically better on the PSX.
Its the same thing with PS2 vs Dreamcast, or PS3 vs 360, a console being easier to develop for doesn't mean its the most powerful.


It sold 9 million.5.7 of that in Japan. So less than 4 million in the west as a whole. It failed pretty hard. May as well say Wii U didn't fail at 13 million. SS sold less than 1/3 of N64. And don;t even try the tripe of 17. In no universe did that happen.For a console to be considered a success, it has to be successful in 2 out of the 3 main markets (North America, Europe, Japan). Thats why the 360, GameCube, N64, Genesis are considered successes despite doing lackluster or bombing in one region.


Regardless, the 3 free game deal had obviously lost steam by May 1997, so I can't see that another mega bundle was going to have much effect.But those 3 games were slightly niche-market arcade games, I'm kinda surprised that bundle worked as good as it did. Surely there was 3 games with much more mass market appeal that they could've used for another bundle. Like a Panzer Dragoon, 3D platformer, NiGHTS etc.

stu
04-07-2018, 03:14 PM
But those 3 games were slightly niche-market arcade games, I'm kinda surprised that bundle worked as good as it did. Surely there was 3 games with much more mass market appeal that they could've used for another bundle. Like a Panzer Dragoon, 3D platformer, NiGHTS etc.

Sorry but games like Daytona USA, VF2 and Virtua Cop are way more "mass Market" than either Panzer Dragoon or NiGHTS. Maybe Sega should of bundled Quake as a pack in or something, though I doubt it would of made much of difference.

Yharnamresident
04-07-2018, 03:59 PM
I'm sure people said something similar when they were bundling Altered Beast with the Genesis before switching it to Sonic 1.

Also I thought it was Virtua Fighter 1 and not Virtua Fighter 2 and that does make a difference IMO.

gamevet
04-07-2018, 04:18 PM
Virtua Fight 1 was packed in with the launch. SEGA sent me a free copy of Remix, because I had the version that was rushed to market.

stu
04-07-2018, 09:42 PM
I'm sure people said something similar when they were bundling Altered Beast with the Genesis before switching it to Sonic 1.

But that's one of the fundamental failures of the whole Saturn strategy, isn't it? There was no "Sonic 1" for the Saturn, no game with the same combination of marketability and technical showcase that would propel the system like Sonic 1 did for the Genesis. I certainly can't put either NiGHTS or PD at that level.
I sometimes wonder what would have happened if Sega had delayed Sonic 3/Sonic & Knuckles and moved the development of the game over to the Saturn instead of the Genesis. Used the extra time to totally rework the game and graphics, properly combine all the levels together and make it a Saturn showcase (that doesn't mean make it a 3D platformer, it could still have been a showcase being a side scroller) and got the game ready for a Saturn launch September 1995. I'm kinda thinking Sonic Mania-like, but back in 1995 instead of having to wait 20 years.



Also I thought it was Virtua Fighter 1 and not Virtua Fighter 2 and that does make a difference IMO.

I'm pretty certain it was VF2 that was included as one of the 3 games in the free pack.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/3-Free-Bundle-Sega-Saturn-VIRTUA-FIGHTER-2-COP-DAYTONA-USA-Near-Mint-disks/332552560584?epid=56244676&hash=item4d6dad5fc8:g:Gr4AAOSwXzNagbD-

Team Andromeda
04-08-2018, 06:33 AM
Grandia would have appealed to existing owners of the Saturn and could of provided an alternative to FFVII on the Playstation for US Saturn gamers, problem is would Sega have had the marketing budget (or been prepared to spend the money) to give the game a suitable level of advertising?
Again funding the RAM cart would have pleased existing owners but would it have made people buy the Saturn?
As for the others I can't see an obscure Japenese robot battle game and a bunch of JRPGs as being system sellers tbh, which seems to be the crux of what your expectations of Stolar and what you wanted him to do. (Bulk Slash looks like a Japanese version of Iron Soldier or Metal Head to me) It seems to me like Sega were just trying to offload the stock of Saturn and the games at that point at the beginning of 1997, they had a good run for a few months but the momentum ran out. Also, imo people give way too much credibility to NiGHTS as a system seller, this may get me flamed, but I find the game over rated.

The Saturn was dead and no games would have made any difference in 97, but what it would have done was to send a message out that SEGA really cared about its users and was committed to bringing out quality software too. Bernie stance was silly, SEGA was not only going to lose money but also more importantly it was going to lose consumers, when your message is donít bother with a Saturn get a PS or N64 instead, then those people will get use to their games and look ,more to buying A PS2 or Cube rather than a SEGA system.

SEGA should have brought the likes of Grandia to the west and The 4 Meg Cart as that was something the PS couldnít offer and showed off the system, sure it would have sold in tiny numbers, but it would have given the Saturn user a chance to show off their system for a change . Also games like Metal Slug, Dead or Alive, Gun Griffon II , Needed very little translation work and it would have been nice to have got Prince Crown brought over.

Itís not like the PS had its own killer app or Sonic game until say GT or MGS came out IMO .

Leynos
04-08-2018, 06:50 AM
Actually kinda of glad, Grandia came to PS1. Otherwise would have never played one of my favorite RPG series. Yes, I do now own the SS version as well. II is my favorite and will only accept the DC version.

Team Andromeda
04-08-2018, 07:33 AM
Virtua Fight 1 was packed in with the launch. SEGA sent me a free copy of Remix, because I had the version that was rushed to market.

I like the look of the original more myself , but it shows you how dull SOA were to go in May. Launching the Saturn in June with VF remix, Clockwork Knight 2, Bug , Panzer Dragoon would have been much better. But SOA were just hopeless at that stage even to the point of a redesign of the best pad going.

Gryson
04-08-2018, 11:55 AM
SEGA should have brought the likes of Grandia to the west

Grandia has been brought up several times in this thread, but there are some very clear reasons why it wasn't localized:

1) It wasn't developed or published by Sega in Japan. Could they have negotiated with Game Arts to localize it? Probably, but that would depend on when Sony approached them. Sony would eventually localize it for the PS1.

2) Panzer Dragoon Saga. This was (supposed to be) Sega's answer to Final Fantasy VII. In Japan, the game was finished in 1997, but they delayed the release until Jan 1998 because Grandia was such a hit. If they localized Grandia in 1998, they would have been releasing a 3rd party game to compete with their own 1st party game in NA. Not a good business decision.

3) They had limited localization resources, and they were working on both Panzer Dragoon Saga and Shining Force III in early 1998. Both of those were Sega titles, so they would have had priority over a 3rd party title.

A better criticism is "Why didn't Sega do more to promote Panzer Dragoon Saga?" After all, they spent all that money developing and then localizing it, only to publish 20,000 copies in NA. Well, it came out one month after Sega had announced the discontinuation of the Saturn in NA, at which point they had begun to write off all inventory. They were probably unwilling to risk investing money in production since Panzer Dragoon Saga had not done that well in Japan. It became just another write off.


Itís not like the PS had its own killer app or Sonic game until say GT or MGS came out IMO .

*cough*FF7*cough*

Team Andromeda
04-08-2018, 01:00 PM
Grandia has been brought up several times in this thread, but there are some very clear reasons why it wasn't localized:

1) It wasn't developed or published by Sega in Japan. Could they have negotiated with Game Arts to localize it? Probably, but that would depend on when Sony approached them. Sony would eventually localize it for the PS1.

2) Panzer Dragoon Saga. This was (supposed to be) Sega's answer to Final Fantasy VII. In Japan, the game was finished in 1997, but they delayed the release until Jan 1998 because Grandia was such a hit. If they localized Grandia in 1998, they would have been releasing a 3rd party game to compete with their own 1st party game in NA. Not a good business decision.

3) They had limited localization resources, and they were working on both Panzer Dragoon Saga and Shining Force III in early 1998. Both of those were Sega titles, so they would have had priority over a 3rd party title.

A better criticism is "Why didn't Sega do more to promote Panzer Dragoon Saga?" After all, they spent all that money developing and then localizing it, only to publish 20,000 copies in NA. Well, it came out one month after Sega had announced the discontinuation of the Saturn in NA, at which point they had begun to write off all inventory. They were probably unwilling to risk investing money in production since Panzer Dragoon Saga had not done that well in Japan. It became just another write off.



*cough*FF7*cough*

I never read Saga was delayed for Grandia and Sega should have brought it over and worse still the baboons at Sega America Also piss off the one Corp that would have translated Grandia and had a great working relationship with Game Arts.

Also I very much doubt a Japanese RPG is a single reason to buy a console for, never mind that FF7 is meant to be one of the most returned games ever.

Sega America and Europe were just hopeless and completely useless in the 32bit era

Gryson
04-08-2018, 02:30 PM
I never read Saga was delayed for Grandia and Sega should have brought it over and worse still the baboons at Sega America Also piss off the one Corp that would have translated Grandia and had a great working relationship with Game Arts.

That's from an interview with Akihiko Mukaiyama, which is discussed here: https://www.usgamer.net/articles/new-interview-reveals-the-high-expectations-that-doomed-classic-rpg-panzer-dragoon-saga

He talks about how much emphasis Sega was placing on Panzer Dragoon Saga. Grandia certainly would have been a competitor since it was 3rd party.


Also I very much doubt a Japanese RPG is a single reason to buy a console for, never mind that FF7 is meant to be one of the most returned games ever.

FF7 sold over 1 million copies in NA in its first 4 months, and about 10 million worldwide in the end. That's like the definition of a system seller.

Yharnamresident
04-08-2018, 05:10 PM
I'm pretty certain it was VF2 that was included as one of the 3 games in the free pack.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/3-Free-Bundle-Sega-Saturn-VIRTUA-FIGHTER-2-COP-DAYTONA-USA-Near-Mint-disks/332552560584?epid=56244676&hash=item4d6dad5fc8:g:Gr4AAOSwXzNagbD-No I was saying I originally thought it was Virtua Fighter 1 before you said it was Virtua Fighter 2, I did believe you when you said that. And thus it does make a big difference because it seems that 2nd game was a huge hit, like 9/10s across the board. But I still feel like those 2 other games (Daytona USA, Virtua Cop) were slightly niche market and could've been replaced with better games for an updated bundle.


The Saturn was dead and no games would have made any difference in 97, but what it would have done was to send a message out that SEGA really cared about its users and was committed to bringing out quality software too. Bernie stance was silly, SEGA was not only going to lose money but also more importantly it was going to lose consumers, when your message is donít bother with a Saturn get a PS or N64 instead, then those people will get use to their games and look ,more to buying A PS2 or Cube rather than a SEGA system.
Yea this is what me and j_factor were trying to say. From a morale standpoint, it was a horrible thing to do, and they should've tried to remain somewhat relevant in the console market before the Dreamcast was released. No matter how bad the situation is.



A better criticism is "Why didn't Sega do more to promote Panzer Dragoon Saga?" After all, they spent all that money developing and then localizing it, only to publish 20,000 copies in NA. Well, it came out one month after Sega had announced the discontinuation of the Saturn in NA, at which point they had begun to write off all inventory. They were probably unwilling to risk investing money in production since Panzer Dragoon Saga had not done that well in Japan. It became just another write off.
Judging by modern reception of the game, it had huge potential, not along the lines of a San Andreas but maybe a Shenmue(which sold a couple million).

Leynos
04-08-2018, 05:24 PM
https://i.imgur.com/TuWSrLc.jpg

Yharnamresident
04-08-2018, 06:43 PM
Nows a good time to ask this,

does it come in a CD case or is it cardboard demo disc style?

Leynos
04-08-2018, 08:42 PM
Cardboard demo disc style.

gamevet
04-08-2018, 09:33 PM
I like the look of the original more myself , but it shows you how dull SOA were to go in May. Launching the Saturn in June with VF remix, Clockwork Knight 2, Bug , Panzer Dragoon would have been much better. But SOA were just hopeless at that stage even to the point of a redesign of the best pad going.

SOA wasn't the one that decided to launch the Saturn early, that was SOJ's call. And VF Remix didn't come out until July in Japan and wasn't localized for North America until October.

Yes, the controllers for the NA Saturn were crap.

Gryson
04-08-2018, 09:48 PM
Yea this is what me and j_factor were trying to say. From a morale standpoint, it was a horrible thing to do, and they should've tried to remain somewhat relevant in the console market before the Dreamcast was released. No matter how bad the situation is.

Make no mistake - By 1998, most Sega execs / investors did not want to remain in the console market. The consumer hardware was seen as a liability and a burden on the otherwise healthy profits of Sega's other divisions (game centers, arcade machines, and software). Hardware was far too risky and involved an "all or nothing" approach, not to mention huge R&D costs. Following the examples of successful companies such as Konami and Capcom was seen as a healthier approach than messing around with console manufacturing. As I said previously, the Dreamcast was probably only released because so much money had already been invested, and it had a supporter in the form of Okawa. As far as I know, no work was ever even done on a Dreamcast successor, and that probably wouldn't have changed even if it had been more successful.

Sega's future as a console manufacturer really ended when Hayao Nakayama stepped down at the start of 1998. His vision brought Sega into console manufacturing and his departure marked the end of the classic Sega era. The guy gets unfair hate for some reason, but he really deserves the credit for creating the Sega we all know.

Leynos
04-08-2018, 11:52 PM
Well, Tom wanted to partner with Sony and starting to talk to them and proposed a spec sheet. SOJ told Tom to fuck off and that they were taking care of it. Sony used similar specs. So it's likely PS1 would not have happened and Metal Gear Solid and FFVII would have been Saturn games. The hate stems from SPJ being insanely stubborn multiple times for the worse. Tom was wished good luck by the man who previously held his job and no doubt Bernie the same. Then Moore. Tom and Bernie really had the ideas to push SEGA forward but SOJ didn't want to hear it.

stu
04-09-2018, 12:33 AM
SOA wasn't the one that decided to launch the Saturn early, that was SOJ's call. And VF Remix didn't come out until July in Japan and wasn't localized for North America until October.

Yes, the controllers for the NA Saturn were crap.

Thats right. Over the years I've read a lot of biased crap about how "stupid and dumb" SOA were and how they were solely responsible for Sega's failures with the Saturn, mostly it seems to revolve around the "early launch" of the Saturn, which as you said was SOJ's idea it also was a lot to do with the development and release of the 32X and yes the 32X was a stupid idea, but it was started in Japan, not the US.

If SOJ had stayed in charge of 32X we would of ended up with Mars, which was going a totally new machine to be called Genesis 2, and would have featured double the number of colors and a lower price - that was it, nothing else. SOA rightly thought that this would suck and offered an alternative plan, which of course became the 32X, tbh neither idea should have been implemented, but they did. Once that failed then SOJ basically started taking over the running of the US market and leaving the SOA management out in the cold, it was SOJ's decision to launch the Saturn early and their decision to dump the Genesis early and focus on the Saturn, thus handing the 16 bit market to Nintendo. Smart move SOJ! D'oh.

Yharnamresident
04-09-2018, 01:34 AM
Cardboard demo disc style.Damn. Well I shouldn't be surprised since most console bundles cheap out on the pack-in game, even as recent as the Switch.


As far as I know, no work was ever even done on a Dreamcast successor, and that probably wouldn't have changed even if it had been more successful.
Well Nintendo and Sega both acknowledged the same thing, that they couldn't compete with these huge tech and software companies that have much bigger bank accounts.


Once that failed then SOJ basically started taking over the running of the US market and leaving the SOA management out in the cold, it was SOJ's decision to launch the Saturn early and their decision to dump the Genesis early and focus on the Saturn, thus handing the 16 bit market to Nintendo. Smart move SOJ! D'oh.I heard when SoJ killed the Genesis in North America, thats what made Tom quit as president. The guy was heartbroken.

Yharnamresident
04-09-2018, 01:43 AM
Damn. Well I shouldn't be surprised since most console bundles cheap out on the pack-in game, even as recent as the Switch.


Go to 5:34

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lvKD9wXxgzg

gamevet
04-09-2018, 01:44 AM
Momma mia!

I believe the Wind Waker Wii U bundle also came with a downloadable version of the game.




I heard when SoJ killed the Genesis in North America, that's what made Tom quit as president. The guy was heartbroken.

Tom had already made up his mind about moving on, when he was asked to market an expensive console that he knew had too much silicon under the hood to compete. When he was brought in for the Genesis, he looked at the price to manufacture the unit and what kind of profit margins he could get. The Genesis was very inexpensive to manufacture, while the Saturn was not.

Leynos
04-09-2018, 01:56 AM
Funny because when I bought my Wii U it came with a hard copy of New Super Mario Bros U and it was the 32GB Wii U. I think Nintendoland launch bundle was a hard copy as well.

gamevet
04-09-2018, 02:30 AM
Funny because when I bought my Wii U it came with a hard copy of New Super Mario Bros U and it was the 32GB Wii U. I think Nintendoland launch bundle was a hard copy as well.

That's what I got when I'd purchased my used (boxed) Wii U off of Ebay.

Team Andromeda
04-09-2018, 06:46 AM
That's from an interview with Akihiko Mukaiyama, which is discussed here: https://www.usgamer.net/articles/new-interview-reveals-the-high-expectations-that-doomed-classic-rpg-panzer-dragoon-saga

He talks about how much emphasis Sega was placing on Panzer Dragoon Saga. Grandia certainly would have been a competitor since it was 3rd party.



FF7 sold over 1 million copies in NA in its first 4 months, and about 10 million worldwide in the end. That's like the definition of a system seller.

I see nothing that says SEGA deylayed Saga for Grandia. Also I didn't see many people buying a PS just for FF7 in the West, to me that was more for games like Metal Gear Soild and GT.

Team Andromeda
04-09-2018, 06:50 AM
Well, Tom wanted to partner with Sony and starting to talk to them and proposed a spec sheet. SOJ told Tom to fuck off and that they were taking care of it. Sony used similar specs. So it's likely PS1 would not have happened and Metal Gear Solid and FFVII would have been Saturn games. The hate stems from SPJ being insanely stubborn multiple times for the worse. Tom was wished good luck by the man who previously held his job and no doubt Bernie the same. Then Moore. Tom and Bernie really had the ideas to push SEGA forward but SOJ didn't want to hear it.

Sorry that's a compllete lie from TOM. The only Corp that was set to work with SONY was Nintendo

Team Andromeda
04-09-2018, 07:00 AM
Thats right. Over the years I've read a lot of biased crap about how "stupid and dumb" SOA were and how they were solely responsible for Sega's failures with the Saturn, mostly it seems to revolve around the "early launch" of the Saturn, which as you said was SOJ's idea it also was a lot to do with the development and release of the 32X and yes the 32X was a stupid idea, but it was started in Japan, not the US.

If SOJ had stayed in charge of 32X we would of ended up with Mars, which was going a totally new machine to be called Genesis 2, and would have featured double the number of colors and a lower price - that was it, nothing else. SOA rightly thought that this would suck and offered an alternative plan, which of course became the 32X, tbh neither idea should have been implemented, but they did. Once that failed then SOJ basically started taking over the running of the US market and leaving the SOA management out in the cold, it was SOJ's decision to launch the Saturn early and their decision to dump the Genesis early and focus on the Saturn, thus handing the 16 bit market to Nintendo. Smart move SOJ! D'oh.

You show me when it was SEGA Japan idea to go early, because I just don't buy it. The trouble was SOA was so confident that the 32x was sell in huge numbers, they didn't even factor in that it would flop and that would need to push the Saturn early in. In anything SOJ were dull for listening to SOA and sticking with the Mega Drive for so long, the system came out in 88 and should have been dropped in 95 and just leave software support to 3rd parties.

Even Sony dropped the PS after 6 years, while it moved to the PS2 and Nintendo only stuck with the SNES for 5 years. So why people expected SEGA to have support the MD for longer is quite beyond me.

Team Andromeda
04-09-2018, 07:07 AM
SOA wasn't the one that decided to launch the Saturn early, that was SOJ's call. And VF Remix didn't come out until July in Japan and wasn't localized for North America until October.

Yes, the controllers for the NA Saturn were crap.

I had my import copy of VF remix in June 1995 and also I don't Believe it was SOJ call, just is just lies and spin by TOM. Not that going early was what cost SEGA. What cost SEGA was a silly focus on 3 different systems and trying to support the Mega Drive, 32X and Saturn along with the Arcades all at the same time. A complete and utter shambles

Leynos
04-09-2018, 07:08 AM
Sorry that's a compllete lie from TOM. The only Corp that was set to work with SONY was Nintendo

How would you know? You don't. No reason to assume he was lying other than you making up some BS with an agenda.

Team Andromeda
04-09-2018, 07:27 AM
How would you know? You don't. No reason to assume he was lying other than you making up some BS with an agenda.

The wonderful mag that is EDGE did a making of the PS with interviews of all the key staff and after SONY were dropped by NCL the decision was made to go it alone, from the very top of SONY. Also SONY had it's own issues with its western staff. There were huge disagreements over the pricing of the PS, which lead to staff being fired in Canada and what made Olafsson resign from SONY. Maybe before you insult people, you do a little research.

Leynos
04-09-2018, 07:55 AM
You are assuming Tom said he was involved with PS1. Hardware companies were always talking with other companies back in the day all the time. Tom did talk to Sony and he did have a proposal but no one is saying the talks went very far,may have been nothing more than a phone call. SOJ shut it down. He never got involved with PS1. Just a proposal to partner with Sony. He isn't lying he wanted to work with them. You still have nothing to say he was lying.

Team Andromeda
04-09-2018, 08:56 AM
No I just go on facts. Sony R&D is done in Japan and in the early 90s their computer section was tiny and loocked into a contract with NCL. Tom could talk to who he wants, SONY Japan makes the Hardware and they were with NCL, not SEGA. After SONY were dropped and humiliated, the Top management said to go alone.

Never at any stage were SEGA offered the Hardware or were in talks with SONY Japan.

Team Andromeda
04-09-2018, 10:08 AM
And just to back it all up. Here part of the EDGE speical and where in printed form we see that SEGA was never offered the SONY chipset or were in talks with SONY Japan at any stage

https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1595/24347191612_16fb23d8ab_o.jpg

Gryson
04-09-2018, 10:41 AM
Well, Tom wanted to partner with Sony and starting to talk to them and proposed a spec sheet. SOJ told Tom to fuck off and that they were taking care of it. Sony used similar specs. So it's likely PS1 would not have happened and Metal Gear Solid and FFVII would have been Saturn games. The hate stems from SPJ being insanely stubborn multiple times for the worse. Tom was wished good luck by the man who previously held his job and no doubt Bernie the same. Then Moore. Tom and Bernie really had the ideas to push SEGA forward but SOJ didn't want to hear it.

You have to be careful with Kalinske's perspective, though. Keep in mind he wasn't really involved at all with R&D in Japan - the most he ever got was an occasional tour. His job, after all, was to sell consoles/games in NA.

The fact is that Sega was hugely proud of its hardware R&D division and had invested a lot into it. It just doesn't make sense for them, at their height, to partner with an unknown player in gaming. Kalinske's angle was focused on software sales in NA - a whole other story.

Only in hindsight does a Sony partnership seem somewhat viable.

Team Andromeda
04-09-2018, 11:58 AM
You have to be careful with Kalinske's perspective, though. Keep in mind he wasn't really involved at all with R&D in Japan - the most he ever got was an occasional tour. His job, after all, was to sell consoles/games in NA.

The fact is that Sega was hugely proud of its hardware R&D division and had invested a lot into it. It just doesn't make sense for them, at their height, to partner with an unknown player in gaming. Kalinske's angle was focused on software sales in NA - a whole other story.

Only in hindsight does a Sony partnership seem somewhat viable.

Well said, but looking over all that was all SONY R&D was done in Japan and the SONY computer arm back inthe 90s was locked into a deal with NCL. So there was never any prospect of SEGA working with SONY and its not like SEGA looked to SONY to help with any of its Tech, no Sony sound chip or even a CD player for the Mega CD. It's just the usual lies and spin from TOM.

And SONY had its own issues with its Western arm with the PS. Not just with Olafsson walking out over a bust up with SONY Japan over the pricing of the PS, but shutting down the Candian HQ, SONY Europe president (Steve Race) walking out and joined by the likes of Clyde Grossman along with a total rufferling of SONY US SCE disvion, with SONY Japan not at all happy with their handling of the PS project and even a big fight over the name of the system, with SONY America wanting to keep the PSX code name.

So all corps have their disagreements , not that many staff back up TOMs facts. Most people say SEGA Japan and America had a great working relationship, even some of the interviews on this very site back that up.

gamevet
04-09-2018, 12:39 PM
I had my import copy of VF remix in June 1995 and also I don't Believe it was SOJ call, just is just lies and spin by TOM. Not that going early was what cost SEGA. What cost SEGA was a silly focus on 3 different systems and trying to support the Mega Drive, 32X and Saturn along with the Arcades all at the same time. A complete and utter shambles

It still wasnít localized for North America until October. There wasnít enough time to get it done by June.


Donít be foolish. Tom Kalinske wouldnít have been stupid enough to launch a product without having 3rd party games ready and leaving retail with their pants down. Japan did the same thing with the Dreamcast. They launched it with 4 crappy title and limited supplies; it killed any momentum that system could of had in Japan. The fact that Bernie Stolarís launch of the DC totally nailed it why Japan looked like a bunch of idiots tells me all I needed to know.

Gryson
04-09-2018, 12:57 PM
Does a weak launch lineup really doom a console? The Genesis didn't pick up momentum until 2 years after its release when Sonic came out. The PS1 launch in Japan only had Ridge Racer and several other games which never even left Japan. The N64 launch in Japan had 3 games and nothing else available for 4+ months.

I don't know... I always hear all this talk about disastrous launches, but I'm not convinced it matters beyond early adopters. Sure, early impressions are always important, but consumers are quick to forget if the product is hot.

Team Andromeda
04-09-2018, 01:22 PM
Does a weak launch lineup really doom a console? The Genesis didn't pick up momentum until 2 years after its release when Sonic came out.

One only has to look at the Switch to see that is not the case . I think people forget just how dire the PS2 launch software was too

Team Andromeda
04-09-2018, 01:31 PM
It still wasnít localized for North America until October. There wasnít enough time to get it done by June.
.

Try you said the game didn't come out until July in Japan. VF Remix came out in May 1995 in Japan with the special 1 million sold promotion Saturn package and then on general sale in June 1995 in Japan.


Tom Kalinske wouldnít have been stupid enough to launch a product without having 3rd party games ready and leaving retail with their pants down

Really, How many 3rd party games did he have for the SEGA CD and the 32X? hardly any better than the Saturn. Tom totally cocked up the 32bit battle, with his belief that the 32X would outsell all other consoles on price alone.


Japan did the same thing with the Dreamcast. They launched it with 4 crappy title and limited supplies

That's Japan. How many wonderful titles did SONY have for the PS 1994 launch, the PS2 2000 Launch in Japan, Nintendo isn't any better with the low number of titles for the N64 in Japan, the Cube in Japan and and how many titles did Nintendo get out for the Switch launch. You seem to forget the pretty dire number of titles for the Mega Drive 1988 launch in Japan, or indeed the NEC PC Eng 87 Japan launch line up. Japan does things very differently for consoles launches

gamevet
04-09-2018, 02:02 PM
Try you said the game didn't come out until July in Japan. VF Remix came out in May 1995 in Japan with the special 1 million sold promotion Saturn package and then on general sale in June 1995 in Japan.

The source I read said July. The VF Wiki said April. That is moot though, because it had to be localized for the English speaking crowd, and that wasnít finished until October of 1995.




Really, How many 3rd party games did he have for the SEGA CD and the 32X? hardly any better than the Saturn. Tom totally cocked up the 32bit battle, with his belief that the 32X would outsell all other consoles on price alone. .

The 32X had a hell of a lot more titles than the early Saturn launch. It also sold a lot more units during its 1st quarter. A man with a Strategic Management degree from Harvard, and an MBA wouldnít do a stupid early launch like that. Japan could design some SEGA hardware, but when it came to selling it they sucked!




That's Japan. How many wonderful titles did SONY have for the PS 1994 launch, the PS2 2000 Launch in Japan, Nintendo isn't any better with the low number of titles for the N64 in Japan, the Cube in Japan and and how many titles did Nintendo get out for the Switch launch. You seem to forget the pretty dire number of titles for the Mega Drive 1988 launch in Japan, or indeed the NEC PC Eng 87 Japan launch line up. Japan does things very differently for consoles launches

Why are you bringing up the Japan launch of the PS?

The PS in North America had its software lineup right, and that is why they sold more units in the 1st week, than the Saturn was able achieve from May to September of 1995.

Team Andromeda
04-09-2018, 02:27 PM
The source I read said July.

The game was out in June 1995, like I said I had my import copy in June 95.


The 32X had a hell of a lot more titles than the early Saturn launch


Not really and not a huge amount of 3rd party games either. But I would say the launch software was better though.


Why are you bringing up the Japan launch of the PS

because you said this ... "Japan did the same thing with the Dreamcast. They launched it with 4 crappy title and limited supplies". You should know better than most, that Japan always sucks for having a number of titles with each system launch in that territory, the PS2 is one of the worst I could remember, not that it mattered and if looks at the Switch dire lauch line up, its clearly shows that even in the West you didn't need a big number of games, what did the Switch have 5 ? hardly better than the Saturn.

gamevet
04-09-2018, 03:23 PM
The game was out in June 1995, like I said I had my import copy in June 95.

And has nothing to do with the NA Saturn in June.





Not really and not a huge amount of 3rd party games either. But I would say the launch software was better though. I had a total of 3 titles to choose from at launch and had to wait a couple of months for other titles to arrive that summer. 32X launched with 6 titles and the audience didnít have to wait months for more games.




because you said this ... "Japan did the same thing with the Dreamcast. They launched it with 4 crappy title and limited supplies". You should know better than most, that Japan always sucks for having a number of titles with each system launch in that territory, the PS2 is one of the worst I could remember, not that it mattered and if looks at the Switch dire lauch line up, its clearly shows that even in the West you didn't need a big number of games, what did the Switch have 5 ? hardly better than the Saturn.

Yeah. The Dreamcast in Japan had a shitty launch, with the next big piece of software being Sonic Adventure. They needed a much better launch than that. That shit doesnít fly in the West.

The Switch launched with A Zelda title. One of the best selling franchises in console history.

Leynos
04-09-2018, 04:10 PM
Does a weak launch lineup really doom a console? The Genesis didn't pick up momentum until 2 years after its release when Sonic came out. The PS1 launch in Japan only had Ridge Racer and several other games which never even left Japan. The N64 launch in Japan had 3 games and nothing else available for 4+ months.

I don't know... I always hear all this talk about disastrous launches, but I'm not convinced it matters beyond early adopters. Sure, early impressions are always important, but consumers are quick to forget if the product is hot.
No. Every PlayStation system has had a weak launch lineup. US N64 launch 2 games. great games but 2 games and like Japan not another game for months. DS had a weak launch lineup. In the case of Switch, it NEEDED Botw. Without it, I highly doubt the Switch would have had as good first-year sales. The Wii U put Nintendo on such thin ice with consumers in general.

gamevet
04-09-2018, 04:21 PM
No. Every PlayStation system has had a weak launch lineup.

Not entirely true. The PlayStation got off to a hot start in North America with the release of NFL Game Day, which sold about 600k units. It also had MK3 for the holiday season. Battle Arena Toshiden was a turd, but everyone gushed over its 3D graphics and sound.

Leynos
04-09-2018, 04:39 PM
Not entirely true. The PlayStation got off to a hot start in North America with the release of NFL GameDay, which sold about 600k units. It also had MK3 for the holiday season.

Not talking sales. NFL Gameday a mediocre series was not a launch game. Launch games often sell well period. Why we got a Red Steel 2 on Wii but never a Red Steel 3. Doubtful we get a Knack 3 but Knack 2 made sense. NBA Jam was a PS1 launch game. Something SNES/Genesis owners had.That's not exactly stellar esp those awful ESPN extreme sports games. PS2 and Fantavision..wow amazing... PS3 had such a miserable launch the joke for months was PS3 had no games. PS4 Knack and a mediocre FPS. Xbox One had a pretty good launch lineup in comparison. Point is PlayStation never had strong launch lineups but it never hurt them. In PS2's case, it was mainly because it was such a cheap DVD player. Akihabara started selling PS2's with DVD's everywhere and The Matrix movie was the best selling software for it in Japan. A weak launch line up of games doesn't necessarily make or break a system but as I said. The switch did need BoTW. DS didn't have a strong lineup and not until 2005 did it even star to get compelling games. Just depends. Sony never had to worry too much.

Mega Drive Bowlsey
04-09-2018, 05:44 PM
Not entirely true. The PlayStation got off to a hot start in North America with the release of NFL Game Day, which sold about 600k units. It also had MK3 for the holiday season. Battle Arena Toshiden was a turd, but everyone gushed over its 3D graphics and sound.

I personally enjoyed the Battle Arena Toshinden games. They were fun in a really over-the-top campy way.

gamevet
04-09-2018, 05:55 PM
Not talking sales. NFL Gameday a mediocre series was not a launch game. Launch games often sell well period. Why we got a Red Steel 2 on Wii but never a Red Steel 3. Doubtful we get a Knack 3 but Knack 2 made sense. NBA Jam was a PS1 launch game. Something SNES/Genesis owners had.That's not exactly stellar esp those awful ESPN extreme sports games. PS2 and Fantavision..wow amazing... PS3 had such a miserable launch the joke for months was PS3 had no games. PS4 Knack and a mediocre FPS. Xbox One had a pretty good launch lineup in comparison. Point is PlayStation never had strong launch lineups but it never hurt them. In PS2's case, it was mainly because it was such a cheap DVD player. Akihabara started selling PS2's with DVD's everywhere and The Matrix movie was the best selling software for it in Japan. A weak launch line up of games doesn't necessarily make or break a system but as I said. The switch did need BoTW. DS didn't have a strong lineup and not until 2005 did it even star to get compelling games. Just depends. Sony never had to worry too much.

Battle Arena Toshiden and Ridge Racer weíre being played at kiosks all over the place. They made a huge impact, despite being very mediocre titles. And unlike the other consoles that blew their load at launch, the PlayStation has a constant flow of quality titles from launch to the end of December. NFL Gameday may have been a mediocre sports franchise by the time it got to PS2, but the launch title was so good that EA shelved Madden for a year to rebuild the engine. That really hurt the Saturn, because the only football game it had was Mike Ditka Football, and that game sucked.

Leynos
04-09-2018, 06:07 PM
Point is you don't need strong launch titles to have a good launch. As mentioned DS was pretty weak, a bad port of Mario 64 that controls terribly. PS2 ooh The Bouncer and Fantasvision. PS4 Knack an awful game paired with a mediocre game in Killzone. PSVita, however, had a decent lineup but didn't matter much. PS1, PS2, PS4, DS and others had promise on the horizon and good marketing. Also, have you played the original Madden 64? The most rushed piece of shit sports game ever. Half the uniforms are wrong. Stadiums were not the actual team's stadiums, just 1 generic one I remember. Almost no commentary. Just 1-2 words here and there.It was really bad. Seems EA struggled with Madden period those early years with 3D games.

Blades
04-09-2018, 06:08 PM
Did anyone play the launch game Kileak on PSX? That was my first experience of the PSX way back and it was...disappointing.

Gryson
04-09-2018, 06:34 PM
So what are your thoughts on the oft-repeated words of Tom Kalinske: The Saturn failed in NA because of its surprise early launch.

I've always found that a hard pill to swallow. Kalinske said the Saturn's future would have been different if he had more time to ready launch titles and advertising. I can't see what difference it would have made.

The PlayStation still would have been released. Sony still would have wooed the 3rd parties. Sega's library still would have been on the weaker side.

During that time, more so than any other, I was obsessed with console gaming and read pretty much every magazine out there. I never thought anything wrong with the Saturn's early launch. I wasn't a foolhardy early adopter, though, so I did wait until early 1996 before making a purchase. The only factor that I considered was the available games for each system (and those scheduled for release). The Saturn had some great games, but damn, I just couldn't get over the PlayStation's lineup from late 1995: Twisted Metal, Warhawk, Wipeout, Tekken, Jumping Flash, Destruction Derby, and then in early 1996 Resident Evil. Those games were hot, and some hold up pretty well today...

What would a few more months have bought Kalinske?

gamevet
04-09-2018, 06:38 PM
I played the lame Saturn game that was pretty much like Kileek.


Point is you don't need strong launch titles to have a good launch. As mentioned DS was pretty weak, a bad port of Mario 64 that controls terribly. PS2 ooh The Bouncer and Fantasvision. PS4 Knack an awful game paired with a mediocre game in Killzone. PSVita, however, had a decent lineup but didn't matter much. PS1, PS2, PS4, DS and others had promise on the horizon and good marketing. Also, have you played the original Madden 64? The most rushed piece of shit sports game ever. Half the uniforms are wrong. Stadiums were not the actual team's stadiums, just 1 generic one I remember. Almost no commentary. Just 1-2 words here and there.It was really bad. Seems EA struggled with Madden period those early years with 3D games.

Madden was still sprites on the other consoles, up til 98. The Saturn ended up with a crappy sprite based Madden for 98 though.

The 3DS had a lame launch lineup and a long dry spell after its launch. It did not sell well during its 1st year.

The original PlayStation had to have a strong launch, of it was going to establish Sony as a player in the console market. It wasnít just about the titles available the 1st week. It was about having a constant flow of good games heading towards the holiday rush.

Leynos
04-09-2018, 06:52 PM
3DS was overpriced that's why. Nintendo lowered the price later and Iwata took a 50% pay cut. Madden 64 was not sprites. I literally just watched a gameplay video. It was 3D models.

https://i.imgur.com/b7lAFFG.jpg

Also you seem to think I am saying any system can launch with a weak lineup and do well. Not what I am saying. I'm saying you don't absolutely have to in order to succeed. It doesn't hurt but it hasn't always been needed. Don;t know how I can make it more clear.

Gryson
04-09-2018, 07:04 PM
It's probably more useful to talk about an initial 6-month or even initial year lineup rather than a launch lineup.

Where it really becomes relevant is when there's immediate competition. I was thinking of the Genesis and how it didn't have strong 16-bit competition for the first two years. The 3DS also didn't have direct competition (it's largest competition was probably the DS...).

It's a lot harder to get a foothold against a competitor when your initial library is weak. Then time is your enemy.

Think about how different things would have been if Sony never entered the market and the Saturn had a 2 year head start on the N64...

stu
04-09-2018, 08:07 PM
You show me when it was SEGA Japan idea to go early, because I just don't buy it.


It seems to have been backed up by other people both at Sega and others in the industry so I am inclined to believe it. Michael Latham has been quoted as saying that the SOJ management team "bullied" the SOA team in to launching the Saturn early because they were afraid of the impact that the Playstation would have. Even Steve Race was quoted as saying that early release likely came from SOJ and he worked for Sony.


The trouble was SOA was so confident that the 32x was sell in huge numbers, they didn't even factor in that it would flop and that would need to push the Saturn early in.

Again the decision to go with an upgraded Genesis was SOJ's initial idea, Joe Miller simply tried to make it a worthwhile upgrade, otherwise we would of ended up with a Genesis with more colors and still sucking. You can lay the decision to plan such a stupid idea at SOJ's feet,






In anything SOJ were dull for listening to SOA and sticking with the Mega Drive for so long, the system came out in 88 and should have been dropped in 95 and just leave software support to 3rd parties.

Really? SO you would say that it was a great idea to drop the system that was providing SOA's main revenue stream and profits and go all in on a new, unproven and expensive system with no games and most importantly NO INSTALLED USER BASE??
WOW talk about shooting the goose that lays the golden egg.
You don't drop a successful product just because its old, you drop it because it stops selling. Go look at the PS1 and PS2 and even the Xbox360.
Also if Sega weren't interested in making Genesis games any more in 1995 what gives you the idea that 3rd parties would want to. Seriously?




. So why people expected SEGA to have support the MD for longer is quite beyond me.

Yeah silly Sony and Microsoft for supporting the PS3 and Xbox360 for so long. (Last of Us came out on PS3 in 2013 - that was SEVEN YEARS after the PS3 launched, Forza Horizon 2 was launched on Xbox360 in 2014, NINE YEARS after the Xbox360 launched!)

gamevet
04-09-2018, 09:28 PM
It's probably more useful to talk about an initial 6-month or even initial year lineup rather than a launch lineup.

Where it really becomes relevant is when there's immediate competition. I was thinking of the Genesis and how it didn't have strong 16-bit competition for the first two years. The 3DS also didn't have direct competition (it's largest competition was probably the DS...).

It's a lot harder to get a foothold against a competitor when your initial library is weak. Then time is your enemy.

Think about how different things would have been if Sony never entered the market and the Saturn had a 2 year head start on the N64...

Yeah, and I've always considered the 1st 3 months to be within the launch bubble, especially since most consoles are released during the holiday season, where the brunt of their sales happen.



I personally enjoyed the Battle Arena Toshinden games. They were fun in a really over-the-top campy way.

I'm just as guilty of liking the game for a short period of time. It was a cool fighting game for a bunch of people to play casually. It just wasn't a fighting game that would keep you coming back for months on end.





So what are your thoughts on the oft-repeated words of Tom Kalinske: The Saturn failed in NA because of its surprise early launch.

I've always found that a hard pill to swallow. Kalinske said the Saturn's future would have been different if he had more time to ready launch titles and advertising. I can't see what difference it would have made.

The PlayStation still would have been released. Sony still would have wooed the 3rd parties. Sega's library still would have been on the weaker side.

During that time, more so than any other, I was obsessed with console gaming and read pretty much every magazine out there. I never thought anything wrong with the Saturn's early launch. I wasn't a foolhardy early adopter, though, so I did wait until early 1996 before making a purchase. The only factor that I considered was the available games for each system (and those scheduled for release). The Saturn had some great games, but damn, I just couldn't get over the PlayStation's lineup from late 1995: Twisted Metal, Warhawk, Wipeout, Tekken, Jumping Flash, Destruction Derby, and then in early 1996 Resident Evil. Those games were hot, and some hold up pretty well today...

What would a few more months have bought Kalinske?

It would have brought more impact on the launch of the console if it was during the holiday quarter of the season, which starts ramping up around September. It also would have allowed Sega to be in as many retail stores as the competition. I believe the Saturn was not sold in Walmart, because they weren't one of the retail chains that was invited to the early launch. That's a big loss on its own.

Just look at the covers of these 3 magazines from September to December. The PlayStation is getting the most attention, because it's the newest console on the block for the holiday rush.


Two of the 4 issues feature the PlayStation on the cover, while the Saturn stuff is stuffed into a small corner.

http://www.sega-16.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=14072&d=1523319763







I couldn't find my November issue of 1995's EGM, but I did include January of 1996. Notice how they are now moving onto the next big thing for 1996, with the cover featuring the N64. Still, the January 96 issue also makes sure that you know they have a lot of PlayStation games covered as well.

http://www.sega-16.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=14073&d=1523319779



Next Gen was better about mixing it up, but even they had a PlayStation game as the headline in September. Notice how the December issue has a line at the top announcing 32 PlayStation games previewed.

http://www.sega-16.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=14074&d=1523319801

Gryson
04-09-2018, 09:59 PM
It seems to have been backed up by other people both at Sega and others in the industry so I am inclined to believe it. Michael Latham has been quoted as saying that the SOJ management team "bullied" the SOA team in to launching the Saturn early because they were afraid of the impact that the Playstation would have.

Can you provide a source for Michael Latham's quote? All I know is that he said SOJ "bullied" SOA into releasing the Saturn rather than sticking with the Genesis for longer (nothing about the timing of the release).

I'd be interested if you could provide any links or specific references to anybody (aside from Kalinske, of course) saying that the decision to release early came from SOJ. I don't have any reason to doubt it, but I don't think confirmation has ever been given.


Again the decision to go with an upgraded Genesis was SOJ's initial idea, Joe Miller simply tried to make it a worthwhile upgrade, otherwise we would of ended up with a Genesis with more colors and still sucking. You can lay the decision to plan such a stupid idea at SOJ's feet,

They tried something new and failed. Isn't that what Sega did best? You seem to have a pretty harsh attitude about it. I think Sega is awesome because they weren't afraid to innovate. Read Joe Miller's comments of love for the 32X to get some of this perspective. As he says, it was a great creation, but the timing was poor.


Really? SO you would say that it was a great idea to drop the system that was providing SOA's main revenue stream and profits and go all in on a new, unproven and expensive system with no games and most importantly NO INSTALLED USER BASE??
WOW talk about shooting the goose that lays the golden egg.
You don't drop a successful product just because its old, you drop it because it stops selling. Go look at the PS1 and PS2 and even the Xbox360.
Also if Sega weren't interested in making Genesis games any more in 1995 what gives you the idea that 3rd parties would want to. Seriously?

You're simplifying things quite a bit. As Michael Latham has said, there was pressure from retailers to get a new console out. Also, Genesis sales started to bottom out in 1994. Worldwide, 7.65 million units were sold in 1993, but only 3.91 million in 1994. I guess it's a matter of opinion, but it's hard to see how Sega, if they had released the Saturn one year later, could have stood a chance against an established Sony and a fresh Nintendo.

Regardless, Sega was known for innovating and pushing technology out quickly. That was their whole thing. Of course, it was a more successful strategy in the arcade, but... If you want conservative, you should probably go with Nintendo.

I, for one, celebrate Sega's wacky business decisions. If they wanted to play it safe, they never would have entered the hardware business as an underdog.

stu
04-10-2018, 12:26 AM
Can you provide a source for Michael Latham's quote? All I know is that he said SOJ "bullied" SOA into releasing the Saturn rather than sticking with the Genesis for longer (nothing about the timing of the release).

I'd be interested if you could provide any links or specific references to anybody (aside from Kalinske, of course) saying that the decision to release early came from SOJ. I don't have any reason to doubt it, but I don't think confirmation has ever been given.

I was referring to 2 quotes attributed to Latham in The Ultimate History of Video Games the 1st one is on Pg508, which seemed to relate back to late 1995 after the early launch of the Saturn and the discontinuation of all other systems.

The 2nd quote is on Pg517 and Latham indicates that SOJ was scared of what Sony was doing with the Playstation, he indicated that the SOA team wasn't and that Kalinske was ready "to go into battle"



They tried something new and failed. Isn't that what Sega did best? You seem to have a pretty harsh attitude about it. I think Sega is awesome because they weren't afraid to innovate. Read Joe Miller's comments of love for the 32X to get some of this perspective. As he says, it was a great creation, but the timing was poor.


My harsh attitude towards the Mars/32x project is due to what I have read on it. SOJ seemed to have started the project as a response to the Atari Jaguar of all things, of course it seems most of the industry didn't give Atari a hope in hell, so why did SOJ feel the need to come up with an additional system to ward of the supposed threat from Atari?

My personal opinion is that the 32X would have made sense if Sega had stuck to the original plan of a late 1995 launch, or if they had decided to ditch the Saturn as originally specced and developed something more powerful for 1996 (SH3/Nvidia NV2 based Saturn V08 possibly?). However I can't see the logic of coming out with 2 incompatible 32 bit systems within a timeframe of 6 months. I have no issue with innovative products, just with ones that introduce unnecessary redundancy and product confusion.



You're simplifying things quite a bit. As Michael Latham has said, there was pressure from retailers to get a new console out. Also, Genesis sales started to bottom out in 1994. Worldwide, 7.65 million units were sold in 1993, but only 3.91 million in 1994. I guess it's a matter of opinion, but it's hard to see how Sega, if they had released the Saturn one year later, could have stood a chance against an established Sony and a fresh Nintendo.

Regardless, Sega was known for innovating and pushing technology out quickly. That was their whole thing. Of course, it was a more successful strategy in the arcade, but... If you want conservative, you should probably go with Nintendo.

I, for one, celebrate Sega's wacky business decisions. If they wanted to play it safe, they never would have entered the hardware business as an underdog.

Pushing out new technology is one thing, but I still don't see any business reasoning for NOT keeping the Genesis along side the Saturn as a budget/1st time game system. I completely understand the need to "thin the herd" and getting rid of the Master System, Game Gear, 2 Genesis add-ons and Pico make perfect sense to me, but the Genesis still was drawing in customers and if they had continued to push the system then the profits from Genesis, even if they were substantially less than during the 92-94 boom period, would of still helped SOA's bottom line and lessened the pressure. Apparently Sega lost a lot of potential sales to Nintendo by the end of 1995 because they were concentrating on Saturn and not giving the Genesis some love. Nintendo reportedly owned Christmas 1995, making more money off their 16 bit system than Sony and Sega did on their 32 bit systems combined. Apparently Sega were so cash starved that they did not have either the inventory or new games to capitalize on the Genesis.

Team Andromeda
04-10-2018, 03:25 AM
And has nothing to do with the NA Saturn in June.

The point was the game was finished and not in July like you said. SEGA should have looked to go in June when Bug and Clockwork Knight II were also finished. It would have been a better line up.


I had a total of 3 titles to choose from at launch and had to wait a couple of months for other titles to arrive that summer.
Issues one had with the N64, the Snes just had 2 titles in Japan. With the Switch you had a grand total of 5 and it sold millions the world over. The MD in Japan only had 2 launch titles and like 6 in the USA. So why you make such a big deal of the Saturn or the DC I don't know.


Yeah. The Dreamcast in Japan had a shitty launch, with the next big piece of software being Sonic Adventure
I wouldn't call it crap at all. It had more titles than what the N64 or Snes, Game Cube launched with in Japan and you might think they were crap, but I very much liked VF3 and Pen Pen. But I will agree it took a long time for quality software to start to flow on the DC, but then again it was a issue for the Cube and PS2 so SEGA was hardly alone there


They needed a much better launch than that. That shit doesnít fly in the West.
Looking over that maybe explains why SEGA didn't bring out for nearly a year in the West. Its not like the N64 was held back on its USA launch with just 2 titles or the Switch with its grand total of 5 and looking over the Wii U port of Zelda, the Switch launch line up was a joke, same went for the Wii.
But guess what... it didn't matter. The Switch and Wii sold by the bucket load on their launches.

Team Andromeda
04-10-2018, 03:36 AM
Can you provide a source for Michael Latham's quote? All I know is that he said SOJ "bullied" SOA into releasing the Saturn rather than sticking with the Genesis for longer (nothing about the timing of the release).


Didn't someone here post an interview with Tom on how he was asked for a response to the failure of the 32X and the upcoming thread of SONY and his idea was to go early ?. Not tha,t SEGA Japan didn't kill the MD early. It supported the system for well over 8 years. People think Nintendo supported the Snes for longer, but they didn't as the Snes came 2 years after the Mega Drive and that's to overlook the low sales of latter AAA Mega Drive titles like Comic Zone, Vectorman 2 and the like. It was clear the Mega Drive user was looking to move on and was getting tired of the same old style 16 bit games.


Read Joe Miller's comments of love for the 32X to get some of this perspective. As he says, it was a great creation, but the timing was poor.

Yeah and he also says how SEGA Japan busted a gut to help SOA with the hardware and software. Not quite the picture TOM likes to paint


Also, Genesis sales started to bottom out in 1994. Worldwide, 7.65 million units were sold in 1993, but only 3.91 million in 1994.

Well said, 16 bit sales were in decline in 1994

https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7571/15692293292_777fcdf966_o.jpg

Leynos
04-10-2018, 03:45 AM
In the G4 Icons, SEGA in the video acknowledges the Dreamcast launch in Japan was a failure. Bernie took a whole different approach to the US launch and the US launch was a success.

bultje112
04-10-2018, 03:56 AM
the dreamcast could've been a much bigger initial success in japan if nec didn't have their chip problem. I've read that between 500,000 and 1 million systems more could've been sold in the first months if that hadn't happened. that would mean at least much bigger software sales for sega in their forst year, however when playstation 2 would be released in february of 2000 it would've been over no doubt for dreamcast in japan.

Yharnamresident
04-10-2018, 03:58 AM
Damn, I got a ridiculous rule of reading every post in this thread before replying, but you guys are making it hard.


I see nothing that says SEGA deylayed Saga for Grandia. Also I didn't see many people buying a PS just for FF7 in the West, to me that was more for games like Metal Gear Soild and GT.Pfft, GT2. Get it right.


You show me when it was SEGA Japan idea to go early, because I just don't buy it. The trouble was SOA was so confident that the 32x was sell in huge numbers, they didn't even factor in that it would flop and that would need to push the Saturn early in. In anything SOJ were dull for listening to SOA and sticking with the Mega Drive for so long, the system came out in 88 and should have been dropped in 95 and just leave software support to 3rd parties.
The SNES was still getting 1st-party games in 1998. If a console is still somewhat selling and is profitable(aka not OG Xbox), then you should keep supporting it until it stops.


So what are your thoughts on the oft-repeated words of Tom Kalinske: The Saturn failed in NA because of its surprise early launch.

I've always found that a hard pill to swallow. Kalinske said the Saturn's future would have been different if he had more time to ready launch titles and advertising. I can't see what difference it would have made.
It would have made a difference but not a significant difference. The 3 game bundle showed the console was capable of gaining momentum even after the botched launch.

Team Andromeda
04-10-2018, 04:01 AM
It seems to have been backed up by other people both at Sega and others in the industry so I am inclined to believe it.

Is that the best you can do? And I think his major issue with SOJ was them wanting to push VF II far more. You show me where its clear that SEGA Japan forced SOA to go early and even picked the date. I would imagine they were not happy with the 32X sales and asked what was the backup plan was,.


Again the decision to go with an upgraded Genesis was SOJ's initial idea
Thats never been in doubt... SEGA Japan was woried about the threat of the 3DO and Jaguar and the issues of Saturn delay . After flopped of the 3DO and when SOJ showed off the Saturn to the world, that was the moment for SOA to can the 32X project. They didn't and pushed ahead with it and totally believed in it.
Scott Bayless even confirms this and openly says SOA were stupid to push ahead with the 32X and even says how brilliant the guys at SOJ were; totally contradicting how Tom and some here make out SOJ and SOA didn't get along

https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1553/24182546874_bb5cc73686_o.jpg


Really? SO you would say that it was a great idea to drop the system that was providing SOA's main revenue stream

Yes really, you still manufacture the system and support it via 3rd parties flow line. Its the formula SONY, Nintendo and even MS have done over the years. Where you look so do ever more bundles, lower development fees, and still manufacturer and support the console, while you put all major game development and PR resources into the successor. I will have a bet that MS or SONY will be making very little In-House games or producing AAA games for either the PS4 or XBox One, when their successors are getting ready to go.

And again it's not like SOJ dropped the MD early, the MD came out in 88 and the Saturn in 1994 and yet SOJ were still making In-House games for the MD in 94 and 95. Contrast that with Nintendo when the Snes came out in 1990 and the N64 in 1996 (and that was only thanks to a delay) and wherein 1996, Nintendo barely made any In-House games for the Snes.

Leynos
04-10-2018, 04:57 AM
Not only did 1st party games release in 1998. Toys R Us by me still had a huge wall of brand new SNES games. They even had a wall of SNES Jr's in 1998 when I got my SNES. I also remember seeing Genesis 3 being sold at that time.

Team Andromeda
04-10-2018, 12:44 PM
Not only did 1st party games release in 1998. Toys R Us by me still had a huge wall of brand new SNES games. They even had a wall of SNES Jr's in 1998 when I got my SNES. I also remember seeing Genesis 3 being sold at that time.

Yep its myth that SOJ stopped Mega Drive production early, they still manufactured consoles and also made games for it, well into the mid 90s and beyond and its not like latter Mega Drive games were selling that great, I mean how well did Vectorman 2, Alien Soldier, Comic Zone, Adv of Batman Of Robin, Redzone, Ristar, Sonic 3D and so on sell ? Even the latter main Sonic title Sonic 3 and Sonic and Knuckles saw a big decline in sales compared the heyday of Sonic II. People forget the Mega Drive came out 2 years before the SNES, so its stands to reason that SEGA would be ready to go much sooner and it's not like Nintendo made that many In-House games for the Snes after the N64 hit in 1996 and if not for the delay with the chipset. Nintendo N64 would have come out in 1995, giving the Snes just a 5-year cycle

Team Andromeda
04-10-2018, 03:20 PM
the dreamcast could've been a much bigger initial success in japan if nec didn't have their chip problem. I've read that between 500,000 and 1 million systems more could've been sold in the first months if that hadn't happened. that would mean at least much bigger software sales for sega in their forst year, however when playstation 2 would be released in february of 2000 it would've been over no doubt for dreamcast in japan.

Yep, SEGA had at one stage 500,000 Pre orders in Japan, until NEC had their issues making the Power VR GPU . It was a shame, but I don't think it would have made that much difference in the end

Team Andromeda
04-10-2018, 03:28 PM
Pfft, GT2. Get it right.

.

Pfft nothing, but the time of 1999 I would have thought most people who were looking to get a PS would have got one. But seeing Gran Turismo in 1997 just made people want a PS imo (if they haven't already)


The SNES was still getting 1st-party games in 1998.

So SEGA was in 97 so your point is mute and also please bare in mind that the Mega Drive came out in 1988, and the Snes 2 years later. How many In-House games were Nintendo making after the N64 hit Japan, I can think of next to none and in the West Nintendo dropped the Snes like a stone after the N64 hit the USA. Contrast that to SEGA who even after the Saturn and 32X hit the USA was still making In-House software.

So before you insult people and also leave them utterly childish bad rep, at least try and get some of the facts right. Think you find SEGA supported the MD longer and that's to overlook the launch of the N64 with just 2 titles in the USA and 3 in Japan. Hardly an improvement over the Saturn, in fact, its worse be that for the USA launch or the Japanese launch of the Saturn.

Blades
04-10-2018, 06:19 PM
So before you insult people and also leave them utterly childish bad rep

Why do senior members (like me) not have this ability?!! BONUSKUN I SUMMON YOU

gamevet
04-10-2018, 07:58 PM
I believe he was warned about 2 pages ago. You canít fix stupid.


the dreamcast could've been a much bigger initial success in japan if nec didn't have their chip problem. I've read that between 500,000 and 1 million systems more could've been sold in the first months if that hadn't happened. that would mean at least much bigger software sales for sega in their forst year, however when playstation 2 would be released in february of 2000 it would've been over no doubt for dreamcast in japan.

They only had 200k preorders, and a good portion of that was from the day the console was announced. I think that a million is a bit generous. They could barely sell 1.5 million over the 3 years it was there, before they called it quits. The rest that they sold was the remaining inventory.

Yharnamresident
04-10-2018, 09:12 PM
Pfft nothing, but the time of 1999 I would have thought most people who were looking to get a PS would have got one. But seeing Gran Turismo in 1997 just made people want a PS imo (if they haven't already) I was hoping you would be able to recognize a satirical post. Me and my brother got a PS1 because of GT2, and played the game for years. But I do recognize I am the minority in that situation, a late arriver.




So before you insult people and also leave them utterly childish bad rep, at least try and get some of the facts right. Think you find SEGA supported the MD longer and that's to overlook the launch of the N64 with just 2 titles in the USA and 3 in Japan. Hardly an improvement over the Saturn, in fact, its worse be that for the USA launch or the Japanese launch of the Saturn.Who are you talking to? Me? I've never negged a single person on this board. Does anyone else think its time for Team Andromeda to get a paid vacation?




They only had 200k preorders, and a good portion of that was from the day the console was announced. I think that a million is a bit generous. They could barely sell 1.5 million over the 3 years it was there, before they called it quits. The rest that they sold was the remaining inventory.I've heard(from G4 Icons) that the lack of a DVD player was the biggest problem for Japan out of the 3 markets. They were super intrigued by DVDs.

gamevet
04-10-2018, 11:00 PM
I've heard(from G4 Icons) that the lack of a DVD player was the biggest problem for Japan out of the 3 markets. They were super intrigued by DVDs.

Yeah, they said the sales of DVDs nearly doubled once the PS2 arrived there. I guess the real question is: Did they really buy it just because it could play DVDs?

Gryson
04-10-2018, 11:23 PM
I was referring to 2 quotes attributed to Latham in The Ultimate History of Video Games the 1st one is on Pg508, which seemed to relate back to late 1995 after the early launch of the Saturn and the discontinuation of all other systems.

The 2nd quote is on Pg517 and Latham indicates that SOJ was scared of what Sony was doing with the Playstation, he indicated that the SOA team wasn't and that Kalinske was ready "to go into battle"

OK, so none of those quotes actually say anything about the early E3 launch:


I would absolutely defend the American management on that. Tom knew that the 16-bit business was going to be there. Paul Rioux knew it, and so did Shenobu Toyoda; but Japan refused to believe. They were convinced, and they would not listen to Tom [Kalinske]. They would not listen to Paul [Rioux]. They would listen to no one and they absolutely bullied the U.S. into launching the system. It very much compromised their ability to keep the 16-bit business.


I think Japan was scared of PlayStation; at least more than we were in the U.S. Tom was not afraid. Tom was ready to go to battle because Tom was used to hardware that wasnít necessarily the best in the market anyway.

So here's the question:

Can anybody provide a quote that says SOJ forced Kalinske to do the surprise E3 Saturn announcement? I thought that Kalinske himself had said this, but the more I look, the more it seems that this is the interpretation of various writers and Kalinske himself has never made the claim.

For example:


When we were going to launch it in the fall, I thought that was too early; I wanted to put it off until the following year.


Nakayama was so concerned over Sony launching a hardware platform that he wanted to beat them to the punch.

http://www.gameinformer.com/b/features/archive/2017/07/03/gi-classic-the-saturn-spiral.aspx

It seems that Kalinske is referring to the Fall 1995 launch as being too early. I have no doubt that SOJ wanted him to launch the system in 1995. However, nowhere can I find him make the claim that SOJ was responsible for him doing the surprise E3 launch.

On looking into it a bit, it seems that the source for it all is the Console Wars book by Harris. That's a bit of a shame, since I know Harris was a bit fast and loose with the facts. It's entirely possible he mistook Kalinske's discussion of being forced to launch the Saturn early as referring to the E3 surprise launch, rather than the general 1995 launch.

The reason I ask is because I've always found it odd that SOJ/Nakayama would make such a demand. Requiring a 1995 launch is one thing, but micromanaging a specific surprise launch date is unprecedented.

I always believed this was Kalinske himself trying to make a bold move at E3 to publicize the Saturn.

stu
04-11-2018, 12:49 AM
OK, so none of those quotes actually say anything about the early E3 launch:



So here's the question:

Can anybody provide a quote that says SOJ forced Kalinske to do the surprise E3 Saturn announcement? I thought that Kalinske himself had said this, but the more I look, the more it seems that this is the interpretation of various writers and Kalinske himself has never made the claim.

For example:





http://www.gameinformer.com/b/features/archive/2017/07/03/gi-classic-the-saturn-spiral.aspx

It seems that Kalinske is referring to the Fall 1995 launch as being too early. I have no doubt that SOJ wanted him to launch the system in 1995. However, nowhere can I find him make the claim that SOJ was responsible for him doing the surprise E3 launch.

On looking into it a bit, it seems that the source for it all is the Console Wars book by Harris. That's a bit of a shame, since I know Harris was a bit fast and loose with the facts. It's entirely possible he mistook Kalinske's discussion of being forced to launch the Saturn early as referring to the E3 surprise launch, rather than the general 1995 launch.

The reason I ask is because I've always found it odd that SOJ/Nakayama would make such a demand. Requiring a 1995 launch is one thing, but micromanaging a specific surprise launch date is unprecedented.

I always believed this was Kalinske himself trying to make a bold move at E3 to publicize the Saturn.


I checked on Sega-16's own interview with Kalinske and he said this:

http://www.sega-16.com/2006/07/interview-tom-kalinske/



Sega-16: It appears that time has vindicated you regarding your 1994 assessment that the 16-bit market was going to be viable well into 1996, and Nakayama seemed to have made the correct decision for Japan when he chose to discontinue everything in order to focus on the Saturn. However, do you think he should included America and Europe in his decision to discontinue the Genesis when it was still selling so well in those territories? Werenít they sort of putting all of their eggs in one basket by rushing the Saturn out over the much more established Genesis?
Tom Kalinske: Well, I felt that way. I felt that we were rushing Saturn. We didnít have the software right, and we didnít have the pricing right, so I felt we should have stayed with Genesis for another year. I recognize that our volumes would have gone down, but I think we would have been a much healthier company. We would have been more profitable, and I think the folks who appreciated video games would have appreciated that we were still doing a lot of great product on the 16-bit hardware.


Again it doesn't specifically relate to the May launch but it does indicate that he felt that SOJ were rushing the US/Euro launch of Saturn and the discontinuation of everything else, including Genesis.

I also found this:
http://gamesrelated.com/gamesrelated-interview-tom-kalinske/


Itís widely publicized that you were set against the Sega Saturn. Can you describe your concerns with the console at the time?
My team and I had several concerns, we didnít think the graphics provided enough of a difference to 16 Bit. 3-D wasnít good enough, but most importantly we didnít have a key clear hit title to drive the business at the time of the launch. Then the launch date was ordered by the Sega of Japan board to be June which was way too early. We didnít have enough hardware or software to launch then and I had been arguing that the Fall was too early and that we needed to keep Genesis alive longer until we could develop better software titles for Saturn, but I was overruled.
Of course people like TA are going to dismiss this as Kalinske "lying" again. But tbh we are never going to get an answer out of former SOJ people as they probably will not go on record as saying that they did order it.

gamevet
04-11-2018, 01:01 AM
Ah, you beat me to the punch Stu. ;)

I'll just add this.


http://articles.latimes.com/1996-07-16/business/fi-24544_1_sega-enterprises


Video game giant Sega Enterprises, struggling in the face of intense competition from Sony and Nintendo, announced Monday that the head of its U.S. unit, Tom Kalinske, will leave the company as part of a sweeping management shake-up.

Kalinske, a well-known figure in the video game business, will take a job Oct. 1 as head of Education Technology LLC, a Los Angeles-based start-up formed in March by Oracle Corp. Chairman and Chief Executive Larry Ellison and former junk bond king Michael Milken.

The new company aims to use various advances in computer technology and entertainment to improve education.

To replace Kalinske, Sega named Shoichiro Irimajiri, a director and an executive vice president of the Japanese parent company, to the posts of chairman and CEO of Sega of America, based in Redwood City, Calif. Sega of America Chairman Hayao Nakayama and co-Chairman David Rosen also resigned.

I think it's pretty obvious that Tom was stabbed in the back by SOJ. When Nakayam and Sega founder Rosen resign from the board on Tom's behalf, it's a no brainer that they didn't like how he was treated by Sega's board of directors.




O

It seems that Kalinske is referring to the Fall 1995 launch as being too early. I have no doubt that SOJ wanted him to launch the system in 1995. However, nowhere can I find him make the claim that SOJ was responsible for him doing the surprise E3 launch.

On looking into it a bit, it seems that the source for it all is the Console Wars book by Harris. That's a bit of a shame, since I know Harris was a bit fast and loose with the facts. It's entirely possible he mistook Kalinske's discussion of being forced to launch the Saturn early as referring to the E3 surprise launch, rather than the general 1995 launch.

The reason I ask is because I've always found it odd that SOJ/Nakayama would make such a demand. Requiring a 1995 launch is one thing, but micromanaging a specific surprise launch date is unprecedented.

I always believed this was Kalinske himself trying to make a bold move at E3 to publicize the Saturn.

You can start off by reading Melf's article about Tom here. http://www.sega-16.com/2005/02/tom-kalinske-american-samurai/


It's also been covered in other books like The Ultimate History of Video Games written by Kent.


There are many interviews that cover the subject as well.


http://www.seganerds.com/2015/05/11/former-sega-president-gives-his-thoughts-on-the-saturns-launch/


In what is still one of the most polarizing announcements in video game history, SEGA of America President Tom Kalinske announced that the SEGA Saturn was sitting on store shelves across the country for $399 on May 11, 1995, during the Electronic Entertainment Expo.

The decision, which Kalinske has said he was vehemently against as it alienated business partners and put undue stress on third-party developers, was particularly surprising because SEGA had previously announced the Saturn wouldnít ship until early September that year.

To mark the Saturnís 20th birthday, we talked to Kalinske to see if his feelings over SEGA of Japanís decision to release the system early have changed.

SEGA Nerds: This yearís E3 marks the 20th anniversary of SEGAís surprise announcement that the Saturn was available on store shelves. Your misgivings concerning that announcement have been well documented, but have your feelings about it changed over the years?

Kalinske: No, my feelings are the same, had we waited until we had more and better games, launching with all retailers instead of with a few, with marketing that could reach every player, we would have been much more successful, even if that meant waiting for a late October or November launch.

SEGA Nerds: If you had SOJís continued support, like you did earlier in your time with SEGA, what was your plan for the Saturn to compete against the Nintendo 64 and the new threat imposed by Sony with its PlayStation?

Kalinske: With very aggressive marketing that would have shown the benefits of Saturn vs other systems, with a complete line up of games, making it the only system a college age or older player would have wanted (of course younger players would then also want what big brother or older rockstar or athlete played on).

SEGA Nerds: Speaking of which, what do you think the long-lasting impact on the industry would have been if SEGA and Sony jointly developed and released a console?

Kalinske: Well, clearly SEGA would still be relevant and much stronger today had the alliance been approved by SEGA Japan. At that time, SEGA was much much stronger in developing game software, we actually were teaching Sonyís team how to program better games, splitting the loss from the combined Sony/SEGA hardware, would have saved SEGA a fortune. Lots would be different today had that deal been approved. Itís likely both Nintendo and Microsoft would be far weaker today.

SEGA Nerds: How different do you think the SEGA of today would have been?

Kalinske: A still dominant video game company jointly producing hardware with Sony, much stronger developer and marketer of video games.

So there you have it, folks. How do you think the Saturnís fortunes would have changed had SEGA waited to release the system until later in the year? Do you think a SEGA and Sony system would have been successful? Let us know what you think!


The decisions that were made would not be that of a person with an MBA that also attended at the Strategic Management Harvard Business School. Tom often talks about having all of his ducks in a row, before launching the Saturn. The early launch would go against everything that he had knowledge of before joining SEGA.

Team Andromeda
04-11-2018, 03:31 AM
I was hoping you would be able to recognize a satirical post. Me and my brother got a PS1 because of GT2

That's you, I think most people already bought a PS by the time of 1999 and GT2 and no dount a lot were looking more to the PS2 at that stage.


I've heard(from G4 Icons) that the lack of a DVD player was the biggest problem for Japan out of the 3 markets.

That's at the start and when the DVD players were said to be really expensive in Japan, which I can't see as Japan was said to be pretty reasonable for electronic equipment back in the day. I know people will point to a big increase in sales of DVD's in Japan at the time of the PS2, but I don't think the DC would have won if it had a DVD player. What really hurt the DC was issues like no EA and that devastating trailer of MGS 2 in E3 and the general impression and hype that the PS2 was more powerful than GOD and was able to push over 70 million polygons per second and handle Toy Story II in real time.

Maybe SEGA should have given its CPU a fancy name like Emotion engine, to give the impression of power.


Who are you talking to? Me? I've never negged a single person on this board.
Mistake the 1st part of that wasn't meant for you, sorry .

Team Andromeda
04-11-2018, 03:45 AM
I checked on Sega-16's own interview with Kalinske and he said this:

http://www.sega-16.com/2006/07/interview-tom-kalinske/




Again it doesn't specifically relate to the May launch but it does indicate that he felt that SOJ were rushing the US/Euro launch of Saturn and the discontinuation of everything else, including Genesis.

I also found this:
http://gamesrelated.com/gamesrelated-interview-tom-kalinske/


Of course people like TA are going to dismiss this as Kalinske "lying" again. But tbh we are never going to get an answer out of former SOJ people as they probably will not go on record as saying that they did order it.

That's hardly proof and one mans view on what happened . Why has none from SEGA Japan, SONY Japan or indeed SOA back up Toms claims of SEGA and SONY working together? and noone really backs up Toms claims of SEGA Japan being horrible to SEGA America..

Lets see here's SOA Scott Bayless

https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1553/24182546874_a9fef630e4_c.jpg

No SEGA Japan hate there, but praise. Maybe SOA Vice President of Tech Marty Franz will back Tom up

https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1673/24692912682_1c72509185_c.jpg


What's that a "Fantastic working relationship ". Maybe the late great Joe Miller will back Tom Up


Sega-16: So you got to choose which games you localized? It wasnít an issue of SOJ forcing titles on you.

Joe Miller: No [Laughs]Ö we got to choose. It was a thoughtfully negotiated process. We would make frequent trips over to Japan, and they would show us what they were doing; weíd show them what we were doingÖ weíd have honest, direct conversations about what we thought was going to work for our market and vice versa. Weíd ultimately end up taking a subset of what they were developing for localization and adaptation to our market. It certainly wasnít a matter of SOJ saying ďyouíre going to take these six titles or else.Ē It was very much a collaborative effort, certainly in the time period I was there and during the meetings that I participated in with SOJ.

Sega-16: Did you ever notice a change in the relationship as time went on? There has always been this controversy about the relationship between SOA and SOJ deteriorating towards the mid í90s.

Joe Miller: I can only speak from a personal perspective, based on my relationships and meetings, and I never saw a deteriorating side of that. There was a lot of consternation in the latter days, when we had the real issues surrounding the timing of the launch of Saturn and the competing platforms out there, what we were doing, and what our strategy was with respect to getting better 32X penetration with third parties, etc. We had many serious conversations, but we never lost the personal and professional respect that we had garnered during the salad days, the growth years when we were exceeding expectations and meeting or beating the numbers we had committed to. Iíd say that the rhetoric around the deteriorating relationship is probably overblown a little bit, based on what Iíve read. Nakayama-san and SOJ knew they had a strong, proven management team in place at SOA, and while everyone was concerned about growing the business, neither side lost confidence in the other.

But again, I was out by í97, so I canít speak for what might have transpired during Bernie Stolarís time or some of the other groups that came in after I left. I wouldnít try to represent that dynamic after my time. I continue to have a great deal of respect for SOJ. They were some of the hardest working, most capable group of co-workers with the deepest work ethic that Iíve had the pleasure to work with in my career.

Again No.. And where you have 3 different people at the very top of SOA all painting a totally different picture to TOM and how they all got on with SOJ and how hard working the staff at SOJ were

If TOM was so upset at being overrolled and dictated too, why did he not leave just after the Launch of the Saturn, rather than nearly 3 years latter. The man is a lair and trying to spin his was out of the mess he helped to make, a typical sales man

bultje112
04-11-2018, 03:55 AM
I believe he was warned about 2 pages ago. You canít fix stupid.



They only had 200k preorders, and a good portion of that was from the day the console was announced. I think that a million is a bit generous. They could barely sell 1.5 million over the 3 years it was there, before they called it quits. The rest that they sold was the remaining inventory.

actually dreamcast sold 2.32 million in japan in it's first 2 years. add another 500,000 - 1 million to it. maybe 1 million was being too optimistic but definitely 500,000.

Team Andromeda
04-11-2018, 03:59 AM
actually dreamcast sold 2.32 million in japan in it's first 2 years. add another 500,000 - 1 million to it. maybe 1 million was being too optimistic but definitely 500,000.

Yes it was 500,000 and confirmed by SEGA Japan.

Gryson
04-11-2018, 09:25 AM
I checked on Sega-16's own interview with Kalinske and he said this...

Thanks for looking into it. Again, no doubt that SOJ ordered Kalinske to launch before he wanted to - I think that's been documented well enough. But the surprise May launch is still a mystery.


When Nakayam and Sega founder Rosen resign from the board on Tom's behalf, it's a no brainer that they didn't like how he was treated by Sega's board of directors.

You might be jumping too far to a conclusion there. As the article says, it was a management shakeup. Around that time, Sega was laying off 90% of its American staff, and Nakayama was under serious pressure in Japan. Their resigning might reflect their frustration with the situation in general, or who knows what. But I'm not disagreeing with your point here - obviously, Kalinske was not happy with all that happened.


You can start off by reading Melf's article about Tom here. http://www.sega-16.com/2005/02/tom-kalinske-american-samurai/

It's also been covered in other books like The Ultimate History of Video Games written by Kent.

There are many interviews that cover the subject as well.

You might have misunderstood my question. I wasn't asking about the early launch of the Saturn (meaning, the Fall 1995 launch). It's fairly well documented that SOA was against this - they wanted more time to sell the Genesis and to prepare for the Saturn. That's what those "many interviews" you reference talk about.

What I was interested in is the particular May 1995 surprise E3 launch.

These two things seem to be conflated a lot, but (apparently) neither Kalinske nor his associates have ever said that SOJ ordered them to jump the gun on their scheduled launch and do a surprise announcement.

Anytime the surprise E3 launch is specifically brought up, Kalinske never says that SOJ forced him to do it (and he usually doesn't miss a beat when it comes to putting their decisions down). Instead, he always focuses on how he was in favor of a launch later than Fall 1995.

It does make me think that Kalinske had pressure to launch early, but that he himself was behind the specifics of the E3 surprise announcement.

But if anybody can provide a specific quote from Kalinske or associate clearing this up, that would be awesome.

stu
04-11-2018, 11:04 AM
Thanks for looking into it. Again, no doubt that SOJ ordered Kalinske to launch before he wanted to - I think that's been documented well enough. But the surprise May launch is still a mystery.


It does make me think that Kalinske had pressure to launch early, but that he himself was behind the specifics of the E3 surprise announcement.

But if anybody can provide a specific quote from Kalinske or associate clearing this up, that would be awesome.

I think you missed this part of my previous post. :)


I also found this:
http://gamesrelated.com/gamesrelated-interview-tom-kalinske/


http://www.sega-16.com/forum/images/misc/quote_icon.png Originally Posted by gamesrelated
Itís widely publicized that you were set against the Sega Saturn. Can you describe your concerns with the console at the time?
My team and I had several concerns, we didnít think the graphics provided enough of a difference to 16 Bit. 3-D wasnít good enough, but most importantly we didnít have a key clear hit title to drive the business at the time of the launch. Then the launch date was ordered by the Sega of Japan board to be June which was way too early. We didnít have enough hardware or software to launch then and I had been arguing that the Fall was too early and that we needed to keep Genesis alive longer until we could develop better software titles for Saturn, but I was overruled.

Gryson
04-11-2018, 11:09 AM
No, I didn't miss it. It's a good quote. But it's still about the Fall 1995 launch, not the surprise E3 launch, right? Am I missing something?

Team Andromeda
04-11-2018, 11:28 AM
You might be jumping too far to a conclusion there. As the article says, it was a management shakeup. Around that time, Sega was laying off 90% of its American staff, and Nakayama was under serious pressure in Japan. Their resigning might reflect their frustration with the situation in general, or who knows what. But I'm not disagreeing with your point here - obviously, Kalinske was not happy with all that happened.


It was more like with Nakayama resigning his position, Tom knew his time was up, as Nakayama-san was one of Tom's main backers in SOJ. If Tom was so unhappy with Japan's interference he would have walked just after the Saturn launched in the USA, just like Olafur Olafsson did with SONY America, after he had enough of SONY Japan issues over pricing and PR costs and left SONY just after the PS launched in the West.
SONY Japan did plenty of its own management shakeups in the West. In the same month that Tom walked, SONYs Vice Pesident Jim Whits walked too,

Its clear Tom knew nothing of Nakayama resigning as in the week before the news broke he gave an interview to EDGE knocking the N64, Cartridges PS and laughing for irony praising the Saturn and its tech lol. And its clear from Scot to Marty Franz to even Joe Miller, that SEGA America got on great with SEGA Japan, the Joe Miller interview is from this very site for yet more Irony.
And yet people choose to believe TOM :(

stu
04-11-2018, 11:56 AM
No, I didn't miss it. It's a good quote. But it's still about the Fall 1995 launch, not the surprise E3 launch, right? Am I missing something?

Oh ok, well the reason I re-quoted it was that he did specify that the SOJ board order a June launch date. Now I know that it was actually May of 1995 I assume though that he merely forgot the exact month (and the interviewer did not correct him either) these events were nearly 25 years ago and Kalinske is in his 70's so I'm prepared to give him the benefit of the doubt on that. Granted it does not prove anything conclusively.

He also covers the reasons for his departure from Sega:


What made you decide to leave Sega?

By 1995 it was clear that Nakayama-san couldnít continue to overrule his management team in Japan even though originally he had said that I could make the decisions for the US. I was being overruled, I disagreed with the launch of Saturn and at the same time Mike Milken and Larry Ellison were after me to join with them in using technology to improve education, which was and is a passion of mine, so I quit to help form what became Knowledge Universe.

gamevet
04-11-2018, 12:01 PM
Thanks for looking into it. Again, no doubt that SOJ ordered Kalinske to launch before he wanted to - I think that's been documented well enough. But the surprise May launch is still a mystery.



You might be jumping too far to a conclusion there. As the article says, it was a management shakeup. Around that time, Sega was laying off 90% of its American staff, and Nakayama was under serious pressure in Japan. Their resigning might reflect their frustration with the situation in general, or who knows what. But I'm not disagreeing with your point here - obviously, Kalinske was not happy with all that happened.



You might have misunderstood my question. I wasn't asking about the early launch of the Saturn (meaning, the Fall 1995 launch). It's fairly well documented that SOA was against this - they wanted more time to sell the Genesis and to prepare for the Saturn. That's what those "many interviews" you reference talk about.

What I was interested in is the particular May 1995 surprise E3 launch.

These two things seem to be conflated a lot, but (apparently) neither Kalinske nor his associates have ever said that SOJ ordered them to jump the gun on their scheduled launch and do a surprise announcement.

Anytime the surprise E3 launch is specifically brought up, Kalinske never says that SOJ forced him to do it (and he usually doesn't miss a beat when it comes to putting their decisions down). Instead, he always focuses on how he was in favor of a launch later than Fall 1995.

It does make me think that Kalinske had pressure to launch early, but that he himself was behind the specifics of the E3 surprise announcement.

But if anybody can provide a specific quote from Kalinske or associate clearing this up, that would be awesome.

You can listen to the interview that SEGA Nerds had with Tom. You can skip to the last 20 minutes of the interview, where he mentions being pressured by SOJ to launch early.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=tA-SUVeR0Z4

Gryson
04-11-2018, 12:50 PM
Oh ok, well the reason I re-quoted it was that he did specify that the SOJ board order a June launch date. Now I know that it was actually May of 1995 I assume though that he merely forgot the exact month (and the interviewer did not correct him either) these events were nearly 25 years ago and Kalinske is in his 70's so I'm prepared to give him the benefit of the doubt on that. Granted it does not prove anything conclusively.

Yeah, I certainly wouldn't hold him to any dates in an on-the-spot question asked during an interview. But if we go with that, then we have SOJ telling him to move up the launch from September.


You can listen to the interview that SEGA Nerds had with Tom. You can skip to the last 20 minutes of the interview, where he mentions being pressured by SOJ to launch early.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=tA-SUVeR0Z4

That does provide a pretty good picture of the situation. Still no word on E3 from him.

It does seem like he was first pressured to launch in Fall 1995, which he didn't like because he thought they could still get something out of the Genesis and the Saturn didn't have strong software support, and then he was pressured to move up the launch even more when it became apparent Sony was going to match them. I speculate the particulars of the E3 surprise announcement were his decisions, but I don't really think it had much effect. If he had to launch soon, I suppose he saw that as the best way possible.

It's interesting to speculate about the intentions of SOJ here. First, the Fall 1995 launch seems pretty clear to me: They thought it was important to gain a foothold as soon as possible because it was clear that Sony was a serious threat (based on the situation in Japan). Moving the launch into 1996 would have caused Sega to have to launch against Nintendo, with Sony having free reign throughout 1995. That has never been Sega's strategy, and I don't think they could have pulled it off (let's be honest, Sega never had the fan base that Nintendo did).

Why move the launch up even further at the last minute? I think Sega felt the threat from Sony quite strongly here. The PS1 was selling at a lower price in Japan (by $50), and perhaps they thought a head-to-head launch would be a disaster if the PS1 was priced lower. I think they were still hesitant about matching the PS1's price due to very high Saturn production costs. They had enough units ready to make it to market before the PS1, so they went for it, but that cost them.

One thing I find really lacking from Kalinske's interviews is that he only seems able to paint his Japanese colleagues as incompetents. He doesn't offer any particular insight. Here Joe Miller does provide a much better perspective. SOJ was certainly making tough decisions, and it's important to consider the factors behind those decisions at least somewhat. Unfortunately, most people just resort to simplistic arguments about what might or might not have happened "if only". That's something that Kalinske cannot be certain about, despite his insistence. In hindsight, we know Sega fucked up with the launch, but at the time, it was the first time that two evenly-matched consoles were being released head-to-head. I'm not convinced that Kalinske's plan to let Sony have their way in 1995 would have changed the ultimate outcome.

gamevet
04-11-2018, 01:08 PM
Yes, but he was in no way prepared to launch the console in May, which he does bring up in the interview. He talks about not having enough hardware for retail, and not enough good software ready. All of those things are not what a good business person would do. It was a totally amateur move by tech people with no real knowledge of how American marketing works.

Netflix has a series called the Toys that Made Us. The 3rd episode has Mattel, with Tom and his team talking about how they went about creating and marketing He-Man. You should check it out.

Gryson
04-11-2018, 01:46 PM
But how long do you wait until you have good software? Would waiting until 1996 to launch have improved the situation?

Another angle: What were the negative effects of the surprise launch? It pissed off retailers (only a select few received units, and apparently they didn't get any profit from selling the hardware). It confused consumers. It made Sega look panicked by Sony. Few units were actually available until months later.

What were the perceived benefits? Publicity. Establish a foothold first. Try to win over early adopters.

Obviously it didn't work out. But it's not necessarily black-and-white. Don't misunderstand, I'm not defending it by any means. Just considering motives.

Not only does Kalinske say he wasn't ready to launch in May, he also says he wasn't ready to launch in September. So how long should the launch have been put off? Does a good businessman really play the long game against Sony and Nintendo when odds are already not looking in your favor (expensive manufacturing, dwindling 3rd party support)?

stu
04-11-2018, 02:26 PM
One thing I find really lacking from Kalinske's interviews is that he only seems able to paint his Japanese colleagues as incompetents. He doesn't offer any particular insight. Here Joe Miller does provide a much better perspective. SOJ was certainly making tough decisions, and it's important to consider the factors behind those decisions at least somewhat. Unfortunately, most people just resort to simplistic arguments about what might or might not have happened "if only". That's something that Kalinske cannot be certain about, despite his insistence. In hindsight, we know Sega fucked up with the launch, but at the time, it was the first time that two evenly-matched consoles were being released head-to-head. I'm not convinced that Kalinske's plan to let Sony have their way in 1995 would have changed the ultimate outcome.

I think "incompetents" is probably too strong. From what I've read he joined Sega under the understanding that he would be running the US operation the way he wanted, yet when he brought his plans to the Japanese board all he got back was resistance and dissent, they thought he was nuts and pretty much said it. I'm not sure I would be real happy to be treated so poorly in my first meeting with the board and I'm sure that tainted his relationship from the start.

Here's a clip from Sega-16's interview to demonstrate my point



After about three months ó there was so much to do ó I figured I better go back to Japan and tell them what was on my mind. I go back to Japan, and I meet with Hayao Nakayama and the board at Sega, and I say ďlook, you guys have got this thing all wrong. You canít sell the Sega Genesis at $189.99,Ē which was ridiculous. I mean, back in those days that was really expensive. I told them ďyou canít have this title in there, called Altered Beast, because thatís not going to sell in Kansas. Also, you must develop software in the U.S., and youíre relying too much on Japanese software. Youíve got to really ramp up your efforts in the United States. Youíre also up against a competitor that owns 98% of the market, and they scared the hell out of all the other companies, and no oneís going to develop for you so long as they have an ironclad grasp of the third party community, so weíve got to somehow break that, and I have some ideas on that. One of them is: youíve got to advertise against Nintendo, you know, make fun of them. Ridicule Nintendo and make kids think that the NES is absolutely the uncoolest machine to own.Ē
There were a bunch of other stuff Iím not remembering right now, but I said that if we do all these things, we have a shot at being successful. Oh, and the other one was that weíve got to take Altered Beast out and put our own character in. There was a combined U.S./Japanese team working frantically on what became Sonic The Hedgehog, which wasnít called that at the time. I said that we have to put that in with the hardware, and that really pissed them off, because they said I was nuts to want to put our best software title in with the hardware. They felt we already stood to make no money on selling the hardware, particularly if we followed my advice and lowered the price. If we then have no margin on the hardware and we put in the best software title, which should have a 65-70% gross margin, then we were giving up all that profit as well. It made no sense whatsoever.
They said they didnít like anything I had told them and disagreed with all of it, 100%. They didnít agree that we should advertise against Nintendo, staff up the U.S. to develop software, reduce the price of the hardware, or put our best title in with the hardware, and I canít remember all the other stuff they didnít agree with. Basically, they didnít agree with any of it, and I thought that well, this was the shortest career anyone ever had! Thatís it, three months, and I have to go find another job. But at the door, as he was walking out, Nakayama turned and said ďbut we hired you to make all the decisions for the United States and Europe, and so, thatís what we want you to do, even though we think youíre crazy and donít agree with it, go ahead and do it.Ē


But how long do you wait until you have good software? Would waiting until 1996 to launch have improved the situation?

Another angle: What were the negative effects of the surprise launch? It pissed off retailers (only a select few received units, and apparently they didn't get any profit from selling the hardware). It confused consumers. It made Sega look panicked by Sony. Few units were actually available until months later.

What were the perceived benefits? Publicity. Establish a foothold first. Try to win over early adopters.

Obviously it didn't work out. But it's not necessarily black-and-white. Don't misunderstand, I'm not defending it by any means. Just considering motives.

Not only does Kalinske say he wasn't ready to launch in May, he also says he wasn't ready to launch in September. So how long should the launch have been put off? Does a good businessman really play the long game against Sony and Nintendo when odds are already not looking in your favor (expensive manufacturing, dwindling 3rd party support)?

I think between the 2 options the late 1995 date would of been more workable, maybe even after Playstation launched. If they could of had all the retailers on board and also more 3rd party games at the start and maybe VF2, Sega Rally and Virtua Cop at launch? (as well as VF Remix and maybe a reworked version of Daytona USA?) then I think the launch would of gone a whole lot better. Also killing the Genesis in 1995 was a dumb idea, get rid of everything else yes but keep the Genesis in the rotation with Saturn Also they should of done something about the price, they were prepared to take the hit with Genesis, so why not with Saturn?
Remember the Playstation had a lot of hype, but with the exception of Ridge Racer and Toshinden, what else did they have at launch that was really impressive?

Yharnamresident
04-11-2018, 07:13 PM
Of course people like TA are going to dismiss this as Kalinske "lying" again. But tbh we are never going to get an answer out of former SOJ people as they probably will not go on record as saying that they did order it.A better question would be,

have we heard anything from SoJ people from the Saturn days? like I know people from SoA have given countless interviews, like Tom and Bernie.


That's you, I think most people already bought a PS by the time of 1999 and GT2 and no dount a lot were looking more to the PS2 at that stage.My initial post wasn't serious, I totally agree that was the case.



That's at the start and when the DVD players were said to be really expensive in Japan, which I can't see as Japan was said to be pretty reasonable for electronic equipment back in the day. I know people will point to a big increase in sales of DVD's in Japan at the time of the PS2, but I don't think the DC would have won if it had a DVD player. What really hurt the DC was issues like no EA and that devastating trailer of MGS 2 in E3 and the general impression and hype that the PS2 was more powerful than GOD and was able to push over 70 million polygons per second and handle Toy Story II in real time.
Just watch G4 Icons: Dreamcast. The Japanese were hooked on DVDs like it was a second form of... coco puffs.

Also I got a feeling that people in Japan didn't/don't care much about EA, but its just speculation.



I think between the 2 options the late 1995 date would of been more workable, maybe even after Playstation launched. If they could of had all the retailers on board and also more 3rd party games at the start and maybe VF2, Sega Rally and Virtua Cop at launch? (as well as VF Remix and maybe a reworked version of Daytona USA?) then I think the launch would of gone a whole lot better. Also killing the Genesis in 1995 was a dumb idea, get rid of everything else yes but keep the Genesis in the rotation with Saturn Also they should of done something about the price, they were prepared to take the hit with Genesis, so why not with Saturn?
Remember the Playstation had a lot of hype, but with the exception of Ridge Racer and Toshinden, what else did they have at launch that was really impressive?

They likely were taking a hit with Saturn. Remember people often say it was stupid for the PS3 to cost $600, but they don't know that the PS3 actually cost $900 to manufacture at launch.

Leynos
04-11-2018, 08:31 PM
The one thing I never understood about early PS3 models is they had several different memory card readers. An abundance of USB ports. More than they needed at the time. They made it so 7 controllers can work at the same time. I bet most people forgot all about that. It just seems to me PS3 had way too much unnecessary stuff built in. Blu Ray and HDMI plus Wifi yes were the right choice and 360 lacked that but everything else seemed excessive. Don't forget PS3 had a rushed GPU in there since Sony nearly didn't use one..they were so arrogant about CELL they wanted to use the second one instead of a GPU. I'm not arguing against your piont about SEGA. Just going a bit off topic asking did PS3 need to cost 900 dollars to make? They could have shaved a couple hundred off.

gamevet
04-11-2018, 10:43 PM
The one thing I never understood about early PS3 models is they had several different memory card readers. An abundance of USB ports. More than they needed at the time. They made it so 7 controllers can work at the same time. I bet most people forgot all about that. It just seems to me PS3 had way too much unnecessary stuff built in. Blu Ray and HDMI plus Wifi yes were the right choice and 360 lacked that but everything else seemed excessive. Don't forget PS3 had a rushed GPU in there since Sony nearly didn't use one..they were so arrogant about CELL they wanted to use the second one instead of a GPU. I'm not arguing against your piont about SEGA. Just going a bit off topic asking did PS3 need to cost 900 dollars to make? They could have shaved a couple hundred off.

I have that 1st model. Basically you could use storage media to upload and view videos and photos from those media card slots. I still have a 2009 HP computer that has all of those storage media slots as well. It comes in handy when I want to put ROMs on an SD card for my SNES Super UFO Pro 8.

The machine has 4 USB ports for controllers, along with the PS2 chipset for backwards compatibility. I've rarely used the BC part, because PS2 games look like ass on a 1080p display. Sony meant for the PS3 to be able to run linux and be some sort of super computer, but that really didn't make sense for their business needs, so they eventually dropped that feature. I've been getting notices on a lawsuit I could join, because of that feature being taken away.





But how long do you wait until you have good software? Would waiting until 1996 to launch have improved the situation?

The reason that SOA agreed to make the 32X, was because SOJ did not believe that the Saturn would be ready by fall of 1994. SOA put their resources behind getting 3rd party support for the 32X and were relying on Japan to provide games for the 32X as well. That put SOA a year behind on putting together Western 1st and 3rd party support for the Saturn. It also didn't allow them to talk to retailers to make arrangement for shelf space for their new console. The PlayStation had games like Twisted Metal, Wipeout, Destruction Derby, NFL Game Day and War Hawk ready for the West during the 1995 holiday season. SOA pretty much had to rely on whatever was available from the in house Japanese teams, because they were too busy with the 32X.


Another angle: What were the negative effects of the surprise launch? It pissed off retailers (only a select few received units, and apparently they didn't get any profit from selling the hardware). It confused consumers. It made Sega look panicked by Sony. Few units were actually available until months later.

I've already shown you one of the negative effects. Sega blew their momentum with the media, by launching a console during the slowest time of the year. Those magazine covers I'd put up on the other page were hyping up PlayStation and N64, while the Saturn was just getting small little snippets of attention. The 1st rule of marketing is product awareness. If the customer isn't being bombarded with information about your product, there's a good chance that they won't even know that it exists.

Then there's the retail side. Say you own a business and you are selling your friends product on your store shelves. Just 5 years earlier, that friend begged you to give them shelve space you slowly gave in and were rewarded with good sales from that product. So, now your friend that you did the favor for, stabs you in the back and doesn't even tell you that he has a newer product he's bringing out. You then find out that the guy across the street has it on his shelves. Wouldn't you think that your supposed friend just used you and then treated you like shit in return? There were a lot of business friendships destroyed by that move. The people that Tom and his associates because friends with, were now not wanting to even talk to them. They didn't appreciate being left out and in return, the greeted Sony with open arms onto their shelves.


What were the perceived benefits? Publicity. Establish a foothold first. Try to win over early adopters.

Obviously it didn't work out. But it's not necessarily black-and-white. Don't misunderstand, I'm not defending it by any means. Just considering motives.

The only reason I see for SOJ wanting to launch it early, was to sell it for as long as possible at $400. They couldn't do it with a competitor in the market at the same time. They probably knew that Sony would eventually price them out of the market.




Not only does Kalinske say he wasn't ready to launch in May, he also says he wasn't ready to launch in September. So how long should the launch have been put off? Does a good businessman really play the long game against Sony and Nintendo when odds are already not looking in your favor (expensive manufacturing, dwindling 3rd party support)?

Like I'd said above. SOA lost a year of getting ready for the Saturn in the West because of the whole 32X fiasco. That's on Japan for misleading them into believing that they wouldn't have the Saturn ready for a Japan launch until 1995. I think it also caught EA off guard, because they did not have a Madden game ready for the 1995 holiday season. Some think that maybe NFL Gameday made them start the project over, but judging by the screen shots that I'd seen in the fall of 1995, EA was still working on the project and wasn't even close to ready to launch a next gen Madden that year. I believe Sony also caught SOJ off guard with their 1994 launch of the PlayStation in Japan. I got my Saturn during that surprise launch in May of 1995 and I just happened to stumble upon it while shopping at a Toys R' Us that week. I had access to Japanese games for the Saturn, through Game Fan Magazine's Die Hard Gamer store in Plano Texas. There was not a whole lot of Japanese games to play either, and was pretty shocked at just how slow the flow of games coming out for it was. I ended up purchasing the Japanese version of Wing Arms in September of that year, for the low, low, price of $79. That should give you a pretty good idea of just how barren the software available for the Saturn was from the Japanese launch in 1994, to September of 1995. I had to by Myst of all games!


Sega-16's own Kim(ble)Justice has a cool video on the subject.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZZg9AgSWeyA

Blades
04-12-2018, 01:32 AM
I've been getting notices on a lawsuit I could join, because of that feature being taken away.

I've been getting those for mine too. I never joined.

The launch PS3 being as kitted out as it was was the prime reason I chose it over the competition. Even though it was expensive, there was nothing better for a brand new HD display (as I had) than the PS3. It really was eye-popping to see PS3/PS2/PS1 games as well as blu-rays all delivered by one machine in full HD.

One of the first games I got for it was Sonic '06 though...

Leynos
04-12-2018, 01:43 AM
Didn't get a PS3 or 360 until 2012, the same year I got my first HDTV. I will get 4k when everyone else has 12k holo TV's :P

Yharnamresident
04-12-2018, 04:30 AM
The one thing I never understood about early PS3 models is they had several different memory card readers. An abundance of USB ports. More than they needed at the time. They made it so 7 controllers can work at the same time. I bet most people forgot all about that. It just seems to me PS3 had way too much unnecessary stuff built in. Blu Ray and HDMI plus Wifi yes were the right choice and 360 lacked that but everything else seemed excessive. Don't forget PS3 had a rushed GPU in there since Sony nearly didn't use one..they were so arrogant about CELL they wanted to use the second one instead of a GPU. I'm not arguing against your piont about SEGA. Just going a bit off topic asking did PS3 need to cost 900 dollars to make? They could have shaved a couple hundred off.I totally agree. The first PS3 models had way too much stuff crammed into it, like the Saturn.

But they started stripping away stuff with the late model fat PS3s, which I own. The same thing should've been done with Saturn. Like either the cartridge slot or the built-in memory should've been removed.

Team Andromeda
04-12-2018, 05:22 AM
]The reason that SOA agreed to make the 32X, was because SOJ did not believe that the Saturn would be ready by fall of 1994. SOA put their resources behind getting 3rd party support for the 32X and were relying on Japan to provide games for the 32X as well. That put SOA a year behind on putting together Western 1st and 3rd party support for the Saturn. It also didn't allow them to talk to retailers to make arrangement for shelf space for their new console.

The only trouble with that is, was in April 1994 SEGA Japan showed off the Saturn and gave the 1994 Nov date, that was the time to kill the Project, but like Scott Bayless confirmed SOA pushed ahead with the 32X and that it was their call. Given the Saturn and 32X used the SH-2 port the planned 32X games up to the Saturn, wouldn't have been that big of a deal and given that all the main 8 bit and 16 bit SEGA games came from SEGA Japan, it was even more silly for SOA to think they could do it on their own in terms of software, given they had just one In-House team, while they completely screwed up the other (Sega Multi Media studio).


That's on Japan for misleading them into believing that they wouldn't have the Saturn ready for a Japan launch until 1995

That's just sheer nonsense, what next NCL lied to the world about the N64 planned 1995 street date?, does that explain why the N64 only launched with 2 games in the USA in 1996. What about SONY, they mislead the gaming world with the delay of the PS3. Systems get delayed or at times one things it might not hit their planned street dates.


I believe Sony also caught SOJ off guard with their 1994 launch of the PlayStation in Japan.

Really, I thought SOA were in talks with SONY, after all Tom was best chums with SONY. Maybe SEGA America should have told SOJ of SONY plans for a console and they were making one in 94 *rolls eyes*

Team Andromeda
04-12-2018, 05:38 AM
But how long do you wait until you have good software? Would waiting until 1996 to launch have improved the situation?
?

Looking over its all from TOM and no other source. I take it with a pinch of salt that the May date was SOJ idea, given he's a proven lair and spinner. All I would say was in June or July 95 the Saturn would have had more that enough decent software for a launch. VF Remix, Clockwork Knight 1 and II, Panzer Dragoon, Astal, Daytona USA, Pebble Beach Golf, Shinobi, Bug would have been ready and they were more than decent titles.

Too much is made of 1) The Price of the Saturn. 2) The low number of titles ready for launch. Given the low number of titles the N64 shipped with in the USA (just 2) , or even the Genesis for irony , or how not matter the cost of the unit, the lacking software line up The PS2 creamed Dreamcast sales in the US and PS3 with its ridiculous price tag sold loads at launch too. They were of course genuine issues, but far bigger issues was SOJ not looking to get a AAA Sonic game ready for the Saturn, or in how the 32X and Saturn split SEGAs development resources and PR too thinly and that cost them consumer and retail support, from which they were never able to recover.

Leynos
04-12-2018, 05:45 AM
https://i.imgur.com/JDujBrd.gif

Team Andromeda
04-12-2018, 09:15 AM
https://i.imgur.com/JDujBrd.gif

Truth hurts eh. Tom is a proven liar and if one is told to rush a release of a console through, why take the time to redesign the pad, the console front end, and logo, and colour. That's one thing SONY naild from day 1, All PS consoles looked the same, used the pad design, the same colour, same logo and even boot up sequence.
The baboons at SOA messed around with the Saturn pad, and even had to chnage the Saturn colour, logo , front end and boot for the worse. Don't tell me SEGA Japan told them too

Lets see what SOA Scott Bayless had to say on the 32X. Its so very telling...

https://farm1.staticflickr.com/796/40693958614_6a67ff2382_c.jpg

gamevet
04-12-2018, 11:28 AM
Showing a small quote from the story and not presenting the full content of the article is misleading. You had posted an article on the other page that had a qoute from Tom ďit made us look greedyĒ that he had said, about both the 32X and Saturn releasing around the same time. Tom was expecting more software from Japan for 32X and they pretty much dropped it to support the Saturn in Japan. Tom wasnít lying.

Team Andromeda
04-12-2018, 12:08 PM
Showing a small quote from the story and not presenting the full content of the article is misleading. You had posted an article on the other page that had a qoute from Tom ďit made us look greedyĒ that he had said, about both the 32X and Saturn releasing around the same time. Tom was expecting more software from Japan for 32X and they pretty much dropped it to support the Saturn in Japan. Tom wasnít lying.

I thought you read RetroGamer(its from a printer issue too btw) , Scott paints a totally different picture to TOM and I've also shown 3 different interviews of key SOA staff all staying they got on great with SEGA Japan. Looking over all that, if SEGA Japan wanted to kill the Mega Drive early in, why would they ask SOA to design and build a powerful add-on that simply wouldn't function or even power on unless it was hooked up to a Mega Drive? :roll:

And people have the cheek to call me clueless

stu
04-12-2018, 02:39 PM
A better question would be,

have we heard anything from SoJ people from the Saturn days? like I know people from SoA have given countless interviews, like Tom and Bernie.


TBH I have not seen any quotes from SOJ management talking about what happened during the Saturn days. The only quote I have seen recently is from Hayao Nakayama presumably regarding the Genesis launch, from the book "Mega Drive Collected Works"




The Mega Drive was far inferior to the NES in terms of diffusion rate and sales in the Japanese market, though there were ardent Sega users. But in the US and Europe, we knew Sega could challenge Nintendo. We aimed at dominating those markets, hiring experienced staff for our overseas department in Japan, and revitalising Sega of America and the ailing Virgin group in Europe.

Then we set about developing killer games.

And to be perfectly honest I feel this statement smacks of arrogance where they shamelessly take credit for all the hard work and decisions that the teams at both SOA and SOE made, many of which it sounds like SOJ were in direct conflict over ever going up against Nintendo and trying to "dominate those markets" if SOJ had been in charge that would have never happened, look at how pathetic their performance was in Japan. Frankly outrageous imo.





They likely were taking a hit with Saturn. Remember people often say it was stupid for the PS3 to cost $600, but they don't know that the PS3 actually cost $900 to manufacture at launch.

I don't think Sega's costs were ever anything as high as with PS3's ridiculous costs. One rumored quote I recall seeing what that the Saturn had a cost to Sega of approx $450.00 which means they were losing approx $50 per machine.


The only trouble with that is, was in April 1994 SEGA Japan showed off the Saturn and gave the 1994 Nov date, that was the time to kill the Project, but like Scott Bayless confirmed SOA pushed ahead with the 32X and that it was their call. Given the Saturn and 32X used the SH-2 port the planned 32X games up to the Saturn, wouldn't have been that big of a deal and given that all the main 8 bit and 16 bit SEGA games came from SEGA Japan, it was even more silly for SOA to think they could do it on their own in terms of software, given they had just one In-House team, while they completely screwed up the other (Sega Multi Media studio).

That's just sheer nonsense, what next NCL lied to the world about the N64 planned 1995 street date?, does that explain why the N64 only launched with 2 games in the USA in 1996. What about SONY, they mislead the gaming world with the delay of the PS3. Systems get delayed or at times one things it might not hit their planned street dates.


So answer me this then, MrKnowItAll.

If SOJ had told SOA that they were going to launch Saturn in 1994 in Japan and 1995 in the US/Europe, why did SOJ approve the manufacturing of the 32X? (the factories were under the control of SOJ - the Japanese parent company) and why did SOJ go ahead and launch it in Japan in December of 1994, where they had a pathetically small number of MD owners and more hilariously after the launch of Saturn (d'oh!)?

32X was unveiled in June 1994, 2 months after SOJ announced the Saturn. You mean to say that SOJ purposely continued to manufacture a system that they knew they weren't ever going to support and after they had already announced a 2nd 32bit system?? HAHA how hilarious that is!!

gamevet
04-12-2018, 03:36 PM
I thought you read RetroGamer(its from a printer issue too btw) , Scott paints a totally different picture to TOM and I've also shown 3 different interviews of key SOA staff all staying they got on great with SEGA Japan. Looking over all that, if SEGA Japan wanted to kill the Mega Drive early in, why would they ask SOA to design and build a powerful add-on that simply wouldn't function or even power on unless it was hooked up to a Mega Drive? :roll:

And people have the cheek to call me clueless


Itís printed you fool.

You are clueless. Those dumbasses in Japan released the 32X and the Saturn in 1994. Thatís downright stupid. Then they dropped software support almost immediately after releasing the 32X. Itís like burning money.

And Baylessí role in the company is not the same as Kalinskeís. His interactions with Japan were not the same as that of Tomís. Bayless does not meet with the board like Tom did. And Rosen left the board almost immediately after Tom resigns, because he objects to how the board treated the main that brought Sega huge growth.

And Bayless left SEGA in 1994, so that story doesnít add up. He was interviewed by SEGA-16 too. http://www.sega-16.com/2012/03/interview-scot-bayless/

Iím wasting my time with you. Common sense is not on your side.

Leynos
04-12-2018, 04:30 PM
^ Can't rep.


I thought you read RetroGamer(its from a printer issue too btw) , Scott paints a totally different picture to TOM and I've also shown 3 different interviews of key SOA staff all staying they got on great with SEGA Japan. Looking over all that, if SEGA Japan wanted to kill the Mega Drive early in, why would they ask SOA to design and build a powerful add-on that simply wouldn't function or even power on unless it was hooked up to a Mega Drive? :roll:

And people have the cheek to call me clueless
https://i.imgur.com/ygKxcIp.gif

zyrobs
04-12-2018, 05:48 PM
And people have the cheek to call me clueless

Says the guy who thinks a single step, fixed function color blending is an alpha channel, and wants to measure the polygons/sec speed of a sprite plotter in MIPS.

stu
04-12-2018, 06:32 PM
Itís printed you fool.

You are clueless. Those dumbasses in Japan released the 32X and the Saturn in 1994. Thatís downright stupid. Then they dropped software support almost immediately after releasing the 32X. Itís like burning money.

And Baylessí role in the company is not the same as Kalinskeís. His interactions with Japan were not the same as that of Tomís. Bayless does not meet with the board like Tom did. And Rosen left the board almost immediately after Tom resigns, because he objects to how the board treated the main that brought Sega huge growth.

And Bayless left SEGA in 1994, so that story doesnít add up. He was interviewed by SEGA-16 too. http://www.sega-16.com/2012/03/interview-scot-bayless/

Iím wasting my time with you. Common sense is not on your side.


LOL you made a great point Gamevet. As usual TA is cherry picking his quotes from that article. It just so happens that I also have that issue and since TA is so fond of pulling screen grabs out of his ass trying desperately to prove himself right I have gone ahead and scanned the article in and have got some very interesting screengrabs.

Here is the 1st screen grab:

http://i66.tinypic.com/rcipeb.jpg


As you can see Bayless goes through and explains the rationale for developing the 32X and CONFIRMS that there was uncertainty that the Saturn would launch in 1994 and that it stems from Nakayama's own lack of confidence in get the machine ready for launch and shows that Kalinske WAS telling the truth.

Here's the 2nd screen grab with 4 colored sections that I've highlighted for importance:

http://i67.tinypic.com/2jdmlwx.jpg

The yellow highlighted section basically confirms that SOA themselves were "uncertain" when the Saturn would launch in the US, because of the uncertainty of the Japanese launch, so they felt that pushing on with 32X development would be best since they were trying their best to keep hold of their Genesis user base. Again showing that Kalinske was right

Now for the Red section and ooh its a doozy. :D As you can see SOA has committed a ton of resources to supporting the 32X because of SOJ's dithering and secrecy over the Saturn launch suddenly and BOOM! SOJ drops the bombshell on SOA and announces that the Saturn would launch in 1994 after all.

So in effect it WAS SOJ who wrecked all the work that SOA had invested in 32X and left them holding the problem and trying to make the best of it. It also shows up TA's stupid cherry picking for what it is.

The Green section shows that the 32X was actually very successful at launch and sold through its entire allocation of 600,000 units "with ease".

Hey TA how long did it take the Saturn to sell 600,000 units in the US??
Proves Kalinske right that price was important when selling a new machine in the US.


Finally we have the 3rd screengrab and it shows that Kalinske was essentially screwed over by SOJ and put in an impossible position and that Bayless agrees.



http://i63.tinypic.com/10dh3l0.jpg

There is one highlighted section and as you can see it shows that Bayless actually thinks that Kalinske was put in an impossible position. What exactly was he supposed to do? The option to can the product had come and gone and he was left holding the baby and he couldn't publicly admit that 32X was a mistake. Bayless actually sympathizes with Kalinske's situation!


So as you can see TA has merely been cherry picking and trying to smear Kalinske as a liar when in fact he was telling the truth on a lot of the points regarding the Saturn launch and SOJ's complicity in screwing over SOA.

Leynos
04-12-2018, 06:48 PM
LOL you made a great point Gamevet. As usual TA is cherry picking his quotes from that article. It just so happens that I also have that issue and since TA is so fond of pulling screen grabs out of his ass trying desperately to prove himself right I have gone ahead and scanned the article in and have got some very interesting screengrabs.

Here is the 1st screen grab:

http://i66.tinypic.com/rcipeb.jpg


As you can see Bayless goes through and explains the rationale for developing the 32X and CONFIRMS that there was uncertainty that the Saturn would launch in 1994 and that it stems from Nakayama's own lack of confidence in get the machine ready for launch and shows that Kalinske WAS telling the truth.

Here's the 2nd screen grab with 4 colored sections that I've highlighted for importance:

http://i67.tinypic.com/2jdmlwx.jpg

The yellow highlighted section basically confirms that SOA themselves were "uncertain" when the Saturn would launch in the US, because of the uncertainty of the Japanese launch, so they felt that pushing on with 32X development would be best since they were trying their best to keep hold of their Genesis user base. Again showing that Kalinske was right

Now for the Red section and ooh its a doozy. :D As you can see SOA has committed a ton of resources to supporting the 32X because of SOJ's dithering and secrecy over the Saturn launch suddenly and BOOM! SOJ drops the bombshell on SOA and announces that the Saturn would launch in 1994 after all.

So in effect it WAS SOJ who wrecked all the work that SOA had invested in 32X and left them holding the problem and trying to make the best of it. It also shows up TA's stupid cherry picking for what it is.

The Green section shows that the 32X was actually very successful at launch and sold through its entire allocation of 600,000 units "with ease".

Hey TA how long did it take the Saturn to sell 600,000 units in the US??
Proves Kalinske right that price was important when selling a new machine in the US.


Finally we have the 3rd screengrab and it shows that Kalinske was essentially screwed over by SOJ and put in an impossible position and that Bayless agrees.



http://i63.tinypic.com/10dh3l0.jpg

There is one highlighted section and as you can see it shows that Bayless actually thinks that Kalinske was put in an impossible position. What exactly was he supposed to do? The option to can the product had come and gone and he was left holding the baby and he couldn't publicly admit that 32X was a mistake. Bayless actually sympathizes with Kalinske's situation!


So as you can see TA has merely been cherry picking and trying to smear Kalinske as a liar when in fact he was telling the truth on a lot of the points regarding the Saturn launch and SOJ's complicity in screwing over SOA.
OH YEAH! Super Hang-On causes teen pregnancies! The babies are born with a 8 bit defect face!
Thanks TOM! SOA ruining everything AGAIN!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=29&v=CuWMbcPlmfs

Blades
04-12-2018, 10:51 PM
Let's keep things objective and not personal. You may not agree with TA but he's handling himself better than the rest of you IMO.

gamevet
04-12-2018, 11:05 PM
Let's keep things objective and not personal. You may not agree with TA but he's handling himself better than the rest of you IMO.

No, he is not!

I take offense to someone that bends the truth to make someone look bad. He's calling Tom Kalinske a liar, yet he's spreading lies by choosing a line that fits his narrative, even though the rest of the interview goes totally against the very line he was trying to use to discredit Tom's claims.

gamevet
04-12-2018, 11:13 PM
LOL you made a great point Gamevet. As usual TA is cherry picking his quotes from that article. It just so happens that I also have that issue and since TA is so fond of pulling screen grabs out of his ass trying desperately to prove himself right I have gone ahead and scanned the article in and have got some very interesting screengrabs.

Here is the 1st screen grab:



As you can see Bayless goes through and explains the rationale for developing the 32X and CONFIRMS that there was uncertainty that the Saturn would launch in 1994 and that it stems from Nakayama's own lack of confidence in get the machine ready for launch and shows that Kalinske WAS telling the truth.

Here's the 2nd screen grab with 4 colored sections that I've highlighted for importance:



The yellow highlighted section basically confirms that SOA themselves were "uncertain" when the Saturn would launch in the US, because of the uncertainty of the Japanese launch, so they felt that pushing on with 32X development would be best since they were trying their best to keep hold of their Genesis user base. Again showing that Kalinske was right

Now for the Red section and ooh its a doozy. :D As you can see SOA has committed a ton of resources to supporting the 32X because of SOJ's dithering and secrecy over the Saturn launch suddenly and BOOM! SOJ drops the bombshell on SOA and announces that the Saturn would launch in 1994 after all.

So in effect it WAS SOJ who wrecked all the work that SOA had invested in 32X and left them holding the problem and trying to make the best of it. It also shows up TA's stupid cherry picking for what it is.

The Green section shows that the 32X was actually very successful at launch and sold through its entire allocation of 600,000 units "with ease".

Hey TA how long did it take the Saturn to sell 600,000 units in the US??
Proves Kalinske right that price was important when selling a new machine in the US.

Finally we have the 3rd screengrab and it shows that Kalinske was essentially screwed over by SOJ and put in an impossible position and that Bayless agrees.




There is one highlighted section and as you can see it shows that Bayless actually thinks that Kalinske was put in an impossible position. What exactly was he supposed to do? The option to can the product had come and gone and he was left holding the baby and he couldn't publicly admit that 32X was a mistake. Bayless actually sympathizes with Kalinske's situation!


So as you can see TA has merely been cherry picking and trying to smear Kalinske as a liar when in fact he was telling the truth on a lot of the points regarding the Saturn launch and SOJ's complicity in screwing over SOA.

Yeah, it's like a totally botched crime. It's not a coincidence that Nakayama and Rosen immediately dropped from the board of directors with Tom's departure. It's like when OJ murdered Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman, and his family friends parted ways with him. They knew the crime was committed and they wanted nothing to do with those involved. Tom could have been an asshole and just walked away, but he decided to stay to help his friends (which includes Nakayama) make the best of the bad situation SOJ had left the company in.

I'd rep you if I could. ;)

Leynos
04-12-2018, 11:17 PM
I dunno how I feel putting a guy fired from a video game company in the same paragraph as murder victims. Maybe compare it more with when Jeff Gerstmann was fired from Gamespot for his honest review of Kane and Lynch a bunch of staff and his friends quit Gamespot.

gamevet
04-12-2018, 11:20 PM
He was not fired; He resigned. And I was not referring to Tom with that comment. I was referring to SOJ, that pretty much killed the Western console market for Sega.

Gryson
04-12-2018, 11:22 PM
have we heard anything from SoJ people from the Saturn days? like I know people from SoA have given countless interviews, like Tom and Bernie.

Sure. there are several books published in the 90s in Japan on Sega. I have them all, but obviously it's way too much to translate. They don't talk specifically about Tom Kalinske or Bernie Stolar, though, but rather focus on Sega's overall business strategies.


And to be perfectly honest I feel this statement smacks of arrogance where they shamelessly take credit for all the hard work and decisions that the teams at both SOA and SOE made, many of which it sounds like SOJ were in direct conflict over ever going up against Nintendo and trying to "dominate those markets" if SOJ had been in charge that would have never happened, look at how pathetic their performance was in Japan. Frankly outrageous imo.

I think your viewpoint is a bit biased. Even in the early 90s, Nakayama has been quoted as saying that his focus has been on the American market (discussed in aforementioned books). He never really expected to compete against Nintendo in Japan. He invested huge resources in the American market, including hiring the BEST staff that he could. Even when the Sega board was against Kalinske's ideas, Nakayama OKed them. Many of the strategies he initiated were responsible for the success of the Genesis in the US, including launching the Genesis themselves, developing Sonic (designed entirely for the American market), building up SOA to be self-sufficient in terms of game development, and so on. While Kalinske portrays an environment of jealousy and conflict, the general portrayal on the Japanese side is one of cooperation: SOJ was committed to supporting their biggest market in every way possible. Credit is due in equal share to both sides for the Genesis, at least.

gamevet
04-12-2018, 11:27 PM
I think your viewpoint is a bit biased. Even in the early 90s, Nakayama has been quoted as saying that his focus has been on the American market (discussed in aforementioned books). He never really expected to compete against Nintendo in Japan. He invested huge resources in the American market, including hiring the BEST staff that he could. Even when the Sega board was against Kalinske's ideas, Nakayama OKed them. Many of the strategies he initiated were responsible for the success of the Genesis in the US, including launching the Genesis themselves, developing Sonic (designed entirely for the American market), building up SOA to be self-sufficient in terms of game development, and so on. While Kalinske portrays an environment of jealousy and conflict, the general portrayal on the Japanese side is one of cooperation: SOJ was committed to supporting their biggest market in every way possible. Credit is due in equal share to both sides for the Genesis, at least.

Yeah, Nakayama was in full support of the West, that's why he brought in Kalinske. But, it got to a point where he was getting pressured by the board to let Japan have more control over the decisions for the West, and that included launching the Saturn early in those regions.

Leynos
04-12-2018, 11:31 PM
He was not fired; He resigned. And I was not referring to Tom with that comment. I was referring to SOJ, that pretty much killed the Western console market for Sega.

Um, no dude Jeff was fired. He has spoken candidly he was fired. Or did you mean Tom? Either way should not bring up a real tragedy trying to relate it to video games.

gamevet
04-12-2018, 11:38 PM
Um, no dude Jeff was fired. He has spoken candidly he was fired. Or did you mean Tom? Either way should not bring up a real tragedy trying to relate it to video games.

I was never talking about Jeff. I was talking about SOJ pretty much killing Sega's Western console market with their poor decisions that sabotaged the region.

Leynos
04-12-2018, 11:48 PM
Ah ok but still. Video game politics vs real tragedy should not be compared. Anyway moving on. I agree with SOJ being idiots.

Blades
04-12-2018, 11:53 PM
Sure. there are several books published in the 90s in Japan on Sega. I have them all, but obviously it's way too much to translate. They don't talk specifically about Tom Kalinske or Bernie Stolar, though, but rather focus on Sega's overall business strategies.



I think your viewpoint is a bit biased. Even in the early 90s, Nakayama has been quoted as saying that his focus has been on the American market (discussed in aforementioned books). He never really expected to compete against Nintendo in Japan. He invested huge resources in the American market, including hiring the BEST staff that he could. Even when the Sega board was against Kalinske's ideas, Nakayama OKed them. Many of the strategies he initiated were responsible for the success of the Genesis in the US, including launching the Genesis themselves, developing Sonic (designed entirely for the American market), building up SOA to be self-sufficient in terms of game development, and so on. While Kalinske portrays an environment of jealousy and conflict, the general portrayal on the Japanese side is one of cooperation: SOJ was committed to supporting their biggest market in every way possible. Credit is due in equal share to both sides for the Genesis, at least.

So what happened with the Saturn on Japan's end? The Saturn was a success in Japan so were they suddenly just blind to markets outside of Japan?

Gryson
04-13-2018, 12:57 AM
So what happened with the Saturn on Japan's end? The Saturn was a success in Japan so were they suddenly just blind to markets outside of Japan?

I don't have an answer for this beyond speculation, but...

I'm always confused by people saying the Mega Drive was a failure in Japan, but the Saturn was a success. The Saturn sold only 2 million more units in Japan than the Mega Drive did (3.58 million vs 5.75 million). The gaming market was also growing during that time, and when you compare total consoles sold across all companies, the Mega Drive in Japan actually did better against the SNES up to 3/1994 than the Saturn did against the PS1 and N64 up to 3/1999.

Sega very much so needed the American market to survive, simply because it had invested so many resources into SOA. When SOA went down, they took the rest of the company with them. I don't think it has anything to do with being blinded by success. It's a simple story: their product wasn't as good as the competition, they weren't as successful in gaining developer support, and they had a series of missteps as discussed here. Even Nintendo isn't immune to these kinds of fuck-ups. The difference is that Nintendo has the resources to survive, and Sega never did.

Yharnamresident
04-13-2018, 02:41 AM
They were of course genuine issues, but far bigger issues was SOJ not looking to get a AAA Sonic game ready for the Saturn, or in how the 32X and Saturn split SEGAs development resources and PR too thinly and that cost them consumer and retail support, from which they were never able to recover.Yea that was a major problem. Sonic was on-fire in the mid 90s, but theres no killer app Sonic game for the Saturn?


Um, no dude Jeff was fired. He has spoken candidly he was fired. Or did you mean Tom? Either way should not bring up a real tragedy trying to relate it to video games.It was a dark comparison, but it still did the job of demonstrating what he was trying to say.



I'm always confused by people saying the Mega Drive was a failure in Japan, but the Saturn was a success. The Saturn sold only 2 million more units in Japan than the Mega Drive did (3.58 million vs 5.75 million). The gaming market was also growing during that time, and when you compare total consoles sold across all companies, the Mega Drive in Japan actually did better against the SNES up to 3/1994 than the Saturn did against the PS1 and N64 up to 3/1999.
Thats like a 1/3 more sales, and it wasn't given a huge lifespan like the Mega Drive was given. Also I heard the software sales vs hardware sales were a better ratio than the PS1s, but too lazy to verify this so take it with a grain of salt.

Team Andromeda
04-13-2018, 05:22 AM
If SOJ had told SOA that they were going to launch Saturn in 1994 in Japan and 1995 in the US/Europe

They didn't just tell SOA, they told the world, even EDGE knew Mag knew in was coming in Winter 1994

https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4089/5106769317_39d9495c3c_b.jpg

https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1404/5107364780_915d470301_b.jpg


why did SOJ approve the manufacturing of the 32X?

Why indeed if SEGA Japan like you say... wanted to kill the MD off early?.

Team Andromeda
04-13-2018, 05:42 AM
LOL you made a great point Gamevet. As usual TA is cherry picking his quotes from that article. It just so happens that I also have that issue and since TA is so fond of pulling screen grabs out of his ass trying desperately to prove himself right I have gone ahead and scanned the article in and have got some very interesting screengrabs.


All I'm doing is posting a quote from the key people of SEGA and none of them back up Tom's claims for SEGA Japan being horrible to SEGA America, in fact the complete opposite. Scott even says the 32X was their baby, their call and how SOA should have killed it the day we they knew the Saturn would hit its November Yeah, sure system launch dates were in doubt, but that's the case with new Hardware. The PC Eng FX was meant to ship in 1993, the PS3 was meant to ship in 2005 and the N64 in 1995. So console launch dates are always in doubt, even from corps with much bigger resources than SEGA.


You and some here make out that SEGA Japan killed the MD off early and wanted to punish SOA for doing better than Japan. If that was the case why summon SOA for their input in how to prolong the lifespan of the Mega Drive with the 32X, why not just kill the MD outright and why no just close down SOA completely, hand over the distribution rights to the 3rd party, like Nintendo in Europe. Far better, easier and cheaper to have done that, that to listen to SOA and how the 32X would be massmarket due to price.

Tom is very much like Robbie Bach. Did wonders with one generation of Hardware, complete misunderstood and totally cocked up the next gen of hardware, from which both SEGA and now MS never recovered, but at least MS had billions in the bank to stick with the XBox One and make sure if did ok inthe end.

stu
04-13-2018, 02:52 PM
All I'm doing is posting a quote from the key people of SEGA and none of them back up Tom's claims for SEGA Japan being horrible to SEGA America, in fact the complete opposite.

How many times did any of those SOA staff have to go in front of the entire SOJ board and have their plans ridiculed, like Kalinske did?


You and some here make out that SEGA Japan killed the MD off early .

So I guess what you are saying is that both the interviewer here and Michael Latham are liars now as well?
http://www.sega-16.com/2005/02/interview-michael-latham/



Sega-16: Many people think that Sega made a huge mistake in discontinuing the Genesis in 1995, and feel there was plenty of life left in the 16-bit market at the time. Do you agree?
Michael Latham: Yes, I agree. Nintendo was always better at phasing their systems out than us. I believe there was a fear that people wouldnít upgrade to the new system if we kept doing stuff on the Genesis, which was wrong, but also I can tell you the retailers also played a role in this belief, so it wasnít just Segaís bad call.



The rest? Thats fine, you believe whatever BS that allows you to give SOJ the free pass that you're doing.

Fact is, if SOJ hadn't wholly fucked up the whole Saturn development cycle then Nakayama would never have gotten scared of the Jaguar (:rofl: ) and would never of made the call to SOA to start development on the 32X. If SOJ and had been up front and kept SOA fully in the loop regarding the Saturn's development and given them accurate information regarding its release and not hidden critical details on their launch plans SOA could of made development plans better You will never admit it but all this could of been avoided if SOJ had communicated better and treated SOA like an equal partner.

Anyway I've made my points and shown what I want to show. Now I know you like to have the last word. Go ahead dude.

Team Andromeda
04-13-2018, 04:31 PM
How many times did any of those SOA staff have to go in front of the entire SOJ board and have their plans ridiculed, like Kalinske did?

By all accounts once, when SOA asked them to draw up the plans for what would become the 32X.


So I guess what you are saying is that both the interviewer here and Michael Latham are liars now as well
Quite obviously, when SEGA was still manufacturing the Mega Drive even after the Saturn had hit both Japan and the USA and still producing or publishing software for it too. And his main issue was over Eternal Champions. I wouldn't say too much when the game was totally outsold by both Street Fighter II and Mortal Kombat on the MD, the Mega CD version was a complete flop and given the Saturn was set to have MK III and near Arcade perfect versions of SF II series along with some of the best 3D fighters going. I highly doubt Eternal Champions on the Saturn would have done anything speical or help the system out in sales, when the MD version was outsold even by Mortal Kombat and the Mega CD flopped with out a trace. I think SOJ were right not to really see the need for Eternal Champions on the Saturn, don't tell me that would have made you love the Saturn over the PS and the game would have outsold VF, VF2 and Tekken 1 and II.


The rest? Thats fine, you believe whatever BS
How many systems did Nintendo make before the SNES, One wasn't it. So not much of a record to go on and that's to overlook SEGA actually supported its system for longer, I'll remind you ther MD hit Japan in 88 and the only reason Nintendo had to support the SNES for longer was the delay in the N64 and it missing the 95 date.
How many In-House titles did Nintendo make for the Snes in 97 and 98 in the USA?. Nintendo actually got a worse record of dropping systems like a stone, just ask any N64 DD, Wii U, Virtual Boy owner. Hell, I even think Atari supported the 2600 for longer 1970s well into the 1990s, Take that SEGA and Nintendo. Credit also goes to NEC too, 87 untill 1994 and still making software for the system after the PC Eng FX. Nintendo just gave the SNES 6 years before it brought outs its new machine, not different to SEGA, even NEC beat them both.


Take care, Dude !

Yharnamresident
04-13-2018, 07:14 PM
How many systems did Nintendo make before the SNES, One wasn't it. So not much of a record to go on and that's to overlook SEGA actually supported its system for longer, I'll remind you ther MD hit Japan in 88 and the only reason Nintendo had to support the SNES for longer was the delay in the N64 and it missing the 95 date.
How many In-House titles did Nintendo make for the Snes in 97 and 98 in the USA?. Nintendo actually got a worse record of dropping systems like a stone, just ask any N64 DD, Wii U, Virtual Boy owner. Hell, I even think Atari supported the 2600 for longer 1970s well into the 1990s, Take that SEGA and Nintendo. Credit also goes to NEC too, 87 untill 1994 and still making software for the system after the PC Eng FX. Nintendo just gave the SNES 6 years before it brought outs its new machine, not different to SEGA, even NEC beat them both.
You left out the NES because it was getting 1st party games in 94.

64DD and Virtual Boy, those were obvious bombs that I think even the people that owned them didn't care they were dropped.

The Wii U was dropped in a somewhat shameful way.

I originally thought this game came out in 1998, but the SNES was pretty late to the 16-bit market so I feel thats why it was only given a 6 year lifespan. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kirby%27s_Dream_Land_3

zyrobs
04-13-2018, 10:31 PM
So what happened with the Saturn on Japan's end? The Saturn was a success in Japan so were they suddenly just blind to markets outside of Japan?

In Japan the Megadrive did very poorly and was past its prime, so they were eager to kill it. And the Saturn was launched in the holiday season with what was the single most popular video game in the region, Virtua Fighter. So by early 1995 they shipped over a million consoles, as a result SOJ got high on its own supply and wanted SOA to launch the Saturn immediately, despite the fact that they didn't have enough units to sell anywhere, didn't have enough games ready for the region, and they didn't have time to inform the retailers about the launch - let alone handle the logistics of shipping units (that they didn't have) for them.

zyrobs
04-13-2018, 10:42 PM
I don't have an answer for this beyond speculation, but...

I'm always confused by people saying the Mega Drive was a failure in Japan, but the Saturn was a success. The Saturn sold only 2 million more units in Japan than the Mega Drive did (3.58 million vs 5.75 million). The gaming market was also growing during that time, and when you compare total consoles sold across all companies, the Mega Drive in Japan actually did better against the SNES up to 3/1994 than the Saturn did against the PS1 and N64 up to 3/1999.

Megadrive was on market in Japan from 1988 to late 1994 (they haven't made more Japanese units after that, only overseas ones).
Saturn was on the market from late 1994 to late 1998. Given the time on the market in mind, the Saturn sold 2.5x better than the Megadrive in Japan.

But more importantly, the Megadrive was getting destroyed in sales by the Famicom and Super Famicom. They were just not comparable. The Saturn however was said to be outselling them in Japan. I don't have actual numbers to back this up, it's just an anecdote... but it would explain why it made the Saturn's performance significantly more impressive. They were going toe to toe with what was considered the most important game company in the country, when a few years before they were the underdogs. It's like how the Xbox went from distant second with the OG model, to market leader with the 360 (and then giving it all up by focusing the Kinect instead of getting good exclusives).

Gryson
04-14-2018, 12:04 AM
Megadrive was on market in Japan from 1988 to late 1994 (they haven't made more Japanese units after that, only overseas ones).
Saturn was on the market from late 1994 to late 1998. Given the time on the market in mind, the Saturn sold 2.5x better than the Megadrive in Japan.

But more importantly, the Megadrive was getting destroyed in sales by the Famicom and Super Famicom. They were just not comparable. The Saturn however was said to be outselling them in Japan. I don't have actual numbers to back this up, it's just an anecdote... but it would explain why it made the Saturn's performance significantly more impressive. They were going toe to toe with what was considered the most important game company in the country, when a few years before they were the underdogs. It's like how the Xbox went from distant second with the OG model, to market leader with the 360 (and then giving it all up by focusing the Kinect instead of getting good exclusives).

I don't understand... if you don't have the numbers, why are you making such strong claims?

First, the Saturn effectively sold through 1999. The Saturn was discontinued in NA in 3/1998, but support continued in Japan (see here (https://www.nytimes.com/1998/03/14/business/international-business-sega-enterprises-pulls-its-saturn-video-console-us-market.html)). The last Shining Force game, for example, was released right before the Dreamcast launched.

We can easily break down sales in Japan for the MD and Super Famicon up to 3/1994:

MD: 3.45 million
SFC: 11.7 million

So the MD sold 30% the number of units as the SFC up to that point.

Now let's break down sales for the Saturn, PS1, and N64 up to 3/1999:

Saturn: 5.75 million
PS1: 15.26 million
N64: 4.3 million

So the Saturn sold 29% the number of units as the PS1 and N64 combined.

If we're talking number of consoles sold, the MD and Saturn performed at an equal level. Yes, the Saturn sold 2 million more in a slightly shorter period, but the market was growing rapidly at that point (as seen in the overall increase in console sales).

So, please explain to me why "the Megadrive was getting destroyed in sales" yet the Saturn was so successful? Where does this come from?

PS: The MD sold 1 million units in Japan 1.5 years after its release.

(same old source for sales (https://www.neogaf.com/threads/retro-sales-age-thread.981407/))

Team Andromeda
04-14-2018, 01:26 AM
You left out the NES because it was getting 1st party games in 94.

I think I covered that with its 1 system. Nintendo brought out hardly anything after the N64 hit Japan and not much in the USA thats for sure, other than say RARE baseball game. Correct me if I'm wrong, SEGA brought out World Series Baseball in 98 for the Mega Drive/Genesis and again correct me if I'm wrong that the Genesis launched in the USA in 89?.


64DD and Virtual Boy, those were obvious bombs that I think even the people that owned them didn't care they were dropped.
So was the 32X, but again SEGA supported the unit for longer. So Nintendo isn't such a wonderful corp. And its support of the Wii U was also dire with little more than 5 years support, Hell SEGA support the Saturn and Mega CD for longer. So no, Nintendo are one of the worst when it comes to supporting a console

Team Andromeda
04-14-2018, 01:33 AM
I don't understand... if you don't have the numbers, why are you making such strong claims?

First, the Saturn effectively sold through 1999. The Saturn was discontinued in NA in 3/1998, but support continued in Japan (see here (https://www.nytimes.com/1998/03/14/business/international-business-sega-enterprises-pulls-its-saturn-video-console-us-market.html)). The last Shining Force game, for example, was released right before the Dreamcast launched.

We can easily break down sales in Japan for the MD and Super Famicon up to 3/1994:

MD: 3.45 million
SFC: 11.7 million

So the MD sold 30% the number of units as the SFC up to that point.

Now let's break down sales for the Saturn, PS1, and N64 up to 3/1999:

Saturn: 5.75 million
PS1: 15.26 million
N64: 4.3 million

So the Saturn sold 29% the number of units as the PS1 and N64 combined.



So, please explain to me why "the Megadrive was getting destroyed in sales" yet the Saturn was so successful? Where does this come from?

PS: The MD sold 1 million units in Japan 1.5 years after its release.

(same old source for sales (https://www.neogaf.com/threads/retro-sales-age-thread.981407/))

Well, thanks for proving that not even SEGA Japan killed off the MD early, even in Japan that's been claimed. And I think the trouble would be when it came to software sales, that's where most of the money was to be made and I very much doubt any MD title in Japan was selling better than Saturn software in 96 and beyond. There comes a point when software sales become so low, one looks to move on like SEGA did with the move with the DC, where even in Japan Saturn sales were getting lower all the time. SONY after having the best selling console ever looked to move on after just 6 years to the PS2 and even though the PS2 is still the best selling console of all time, it had just 6 years before SONY looked to move on and if not for a delay with the PS3, it would have been just 5 years.

So why people single out SEGA I don't know.

Leynos
04-14-2018, 04:33 AM
I think I covered that with its 1 system. Nintendo brought out hardly anything after the N64 hit Japan and not much in the USA thats for sure, other than say RARE baseball game. Correct me if I'm wrong, SEGA brought out World Series Baseball in 98 for the Mega Drive/Genesis and again correct me if I'm wrong that the Genesis launched in the USA in 89?.


So was the 32X, but again SEGA supported the unit for longer. So Nintendo isn't such a wonderful corp. And its support of the Wii U was also dire with little more than 5 years support, Hell SEGA support the Saturn and Mega CD for longer. So no, Nintendo are one of the worst when it comes to supporting a console

SEGA supporting systems too long is pretty much a big reason they went broke. Nintendo showed they are smarter about handling things that are not making them money. Nintendo never lost that much money on Wii U. Mostly in the black. When they did hit red didn't hurt Nintendo all that much, still it wasn't helping them either. 3DS carried them through those 4 years.They are loaded with money because they don't like losing it so they won't support a failed system for to long or too many at once. Because SEGA sucked at handling their finances. You don't stay in business for 129 years by being foolish with money. They supported Wii U as long as it made sense financially. Longer than Wii U deserved really. Now Switch is the fastest selling system in the US ever and at least through March the fastest selling system ever in the first year. So it was the right thing to abandon Wii U. Nintendo didn't want to make SEGA's mistake of supporting too many systems at once. Stretch yourself way too thin. SEGA up to 8 systems they supported at once. That's just stupid. Like it or not SEGA was dumb with supporting things too long and too much and they are no longer making consoles because of it. Nintendo business wise is and was much smarter and are still making consoles because of it.

Yharnamresident
04-14-2018, 10:41 PM
In Japan the Megadrive did very poorly and was past its prime, so they were eager to kill it. And the Saturn was launched in the holiday season with what was the single most popular video game in the region, Virtua Fighter. So by early 1995 they shipped over a million consoles, as a result SOJ got high on its own supply and wanted SOA to launch the Saturn immediately, despite the fact that they didn't have enough units to sell anywhere, didn't have enough games ready for the region, and they didn't have time to inform the retailers about the launch - let alone handle the logistics of shipping units (that they didn't have) for them.All of that sounds believable.

But it makes me wonder why the Mega Drive didn't pick up in Japan even after Nintendo lost its monopoly. Or did that happen much later in Japan?


I don't understand... if you don't have the numbers, why are you making such strong claims?

First, the Saturn effectively sold through 1999. The Saturn was discontinued in NA in 3/1998, but support continued in Japan (see here (https://www.nytimes.com/1998/03/14/business/international-business-sega-enterprises-pulls-its-saturn-video-console-us-market.html)). The last Shining Force game, for example, was released right before the Dreamcast launched.That article is from early 1998, thats no proof that the Saturn was still supported good in 1999. Also it says the Saturn sold 5 million in Japan by early 1998, thats within 3.25 years so you can't say the Saturn wasn't a success.

I'd imagine if they didn't release the Dreamcast so early, the Saturn would've hit 7 million in Japan which is a very respectable number.




We can easily break down sales in Japan for the MD and Super Famicon up to 3/1994:

MD: 3.45 million
SFC: 11.7 million

So the MD sold 30% the number of units as the SFC up to that point.

Now let's break down sales for the Saturn, PS1, and N64 up to 3/1999:

Saturn: 5.75 million
PS1: 15.26 million
N64: 4.3 million

So the Saturn sold 29% the number of units as the PS1 and N64 combined.

If we're talking number of consoles sold, the MD and Saturn performed at an equal level. Yes, the Saturn sold 2 million more in a slightly shorter period, but the market was growing rapidly at that point (as seen in the overall increase in console sales).
It doesn't matter how good the competition is doing. Like most people consider the OG Xbox a success in North America(which it was), how much did that sell compared to the PS2 in North America?



So was the 32X, but again SEGA supported the unit for longer. So Nintendo isn't such a wonderful corp. And its support of the Wii U was also dire with little more than 5 years support, Hell SEGA support the Saturn and Mega CD for longer. So no, Nintendo are one of the worst when it comes to supporting a consoleBut they still didn't fall out drop the Wii U. I don't know which was the worst market for the Wii U, but it wasn't given a 3 year lifespan in that market.


Nintendo never lost that much money on Wii U. Mostly in the black. When they did hit red didn't hurt Nintendo all that much, still it wasn't helping them either. 3DS carried them through those 4 years.Yea the 3DS was absolutely a golden goose. I think they even sold the hardware at a profit, some of the specs are lower than the PSP's like the resolution and I think RAM.

Leynos
04-14-2018, 11:10 PM
Resolution yes because of the 3D but not ram. 3DS base has 128MB of Ram. base PSP is 32MB and PSP2000 is 64MB.

Team Andromeda
04-15-2018, 05:15 AM
But they still didn't fall out drop the Wii U. I don't know which was the worst market for the Wii U, but it wasn't given a 3 year lifespan in that market.


Nintendo dropped it like a stone, how many Wii U games did Nintendo make after the Switched launched?. And 3 years, well the Saturn, Mega Drive Mega CD did better. So no, Nintendo hardly have a better track record at all.

Team Andromeda
04-15-2018, 05:22 AM
SEGA supporting systems too long is pretty much a big reason they went broke. Nintendo showed they are smarter about handling things that are not making them money.

Nintendo knows when to totally drop a system when it not working out and also are much better at handling their cash when it comes to PR spends and game investment or selling consoles at a profit. SEGA was too loss with its cash both in the West and Japan and did just silly things like trying to support the Mega Drive, Master system II, Mega CD, Saturn, 32X and 32X CD, Game Gear and then the Arcades all at the same time, complete madness and a sure way to bleed money and make sure your resources (which were nothing to that of SONY or Nintendo) are split and no focused . It didn't get much better after the Saturn, where you had SOA and SOJ developing 2 totally different chipsets for the Saturn successor, that alone was just madness a way to bleed money and where you never would see that happen at Nintendo or SONY.

Mind you thats why I love SEGA, they did what Nintendo doesn't and were just so mad and creative back in the day, but it cost them dear in the end.

Gryson
04-15-2018, 11:20 AM
All of that sounds believable.

But it makes me wonder why the Mega Drive didn't pick up in Japan even after Nintendo lost its monopoly. Or did that happen much later in Japan?

It's funny that you say the guy with absolutely no evidence to support his claims sounds believable ;)


That article is from early 1998, thats no proof that the Saturn was still supported good in 1999. Also it says the Saturn sold 5 million in Japan by early 1998, thats within 3.25 years so you can't say the Saturn wasn't a success.

When did I ever say the Saturn wasn't a success? That's a large misinterpretation of my point, which was: It makes no sense to call the Mega Drive a failure and the Saturn a success, since they performed similarly. The "success" of a console is so much more than the number of units sold, anyway. Ultimately, that's a poor metric and better off ignored. The Mega Drive was continuously supported and continued to sell for 6+ years in Japan and had many hit titles that sold over 100,000 copies. That it didn't do as well as other consoles is irrelevant (which seems to be the exact point you're making? so I guess you agree?).

Frankly, the whole idea that Sega of Japan suddenly wrote the American market off because the Saturn was doing well in Japan is pure speculation and quite ridiculous at that. Sega absolutely depended on the American market since they had invested so much into it (remember, SOA employed a whopping 2000 people at its height).

Leynos
04-15-2018, 01:13 PM
The bullshit never stops flowing from TA's little fingers. It's astounding. It's fine you liked SEGA because they supported systems too long but they are no longer in the console business because of that. Not exactly a good thing in the longrun now is it.

Yharnamresident
04-16-2018, 03:32 AM
Nintendo dropped it like a stone, how many Wii U games did Nintendo make after the Switched launched?. And 3 years, well the Saturn, Mega Drive Mega CD did better. So no, Nintendo hardly have a better track record at all.Imagine if Nintendo discontinued it in mid-2015. Then it'd be the same as what Sega did with the Saturn.


It's funny that you say the guy with absolutely no evidence to support his claims sounds believable ;)Well welcome to my world



When did I ever say the Saturn wasn't a success? That's a large misinterpretation of my point, which was: It makes no sense to call the Mega Drive a failure and the Saturn a success, since they performed similarly. The "success" of a console is so much more than the number of units sold, anyway. Ultimately, that's a poor metric and better off ignored. The Mega Drive was continuously supported and continued to sell for 6+ years in Japan and had many hit titles that sold over 100,000 copies. That it didn't do as well as other consoles is irrelevant (which seems to be the exact point you're making? so I guess you agree?).
Its good you are challenging convection, which should be done often, but I think most people would agree the Saturn performed a lot better given the circumstances.

Team Andromeda
04-16-2018, 04:34 AM
Imagine if Nintendo discontinued it in mid-2015. Then it'd be the same as what Sega did with the Saturn.

SEGA didn't discontinue the Saturn after 4 years, it still kept on manufacturing the unit even after the DC, I think you'll find and remind me again how many Games Nintendo brought to the Wii U after the Switch launched.

Team Andromeda
04-16-2018, 04:44 AM
The bullshit never stops flowing from TA's little fingers. It's astounding. It's fine you liked SEGA because they supported systems too long but they are no longer in the console business because of that. Not exactly a good thing in the longrun now is it.

I don't like SEGA for supporting its systems for long at all. I'm just making the point, that unlike whats claimed.. Nintendo has a poor record of their own when it comes to supporting consoles that don't sell well or take off and Nintendo hardly supported the Snes for long either. People can highlight the likes of Killer Instinct, Donkey Kong or Yoshi Island but those games came 4 years into the Snes life cycle, even less if we go on the USA launch of the Snes . 4 years into the life cycle of the MD SEGA was making Sonic II, Streets Of Rage II, Ecco and God knows how many more titles.
And when it comes to Nintendo add-ons they have a worse record than even SEGA with the 32X, with the N64 DD dropped after less than a Year, does it get better for systems ? .. Not Really the Wii U dropped after less than 5 years, the Cube dropped after 5 years, the Virtual Boy dropped after little more than a year and even the Mighty Snes was replaced after little more than 6, no better than SEGA.

Still keep up with the insults and leaving bad rep, and sticking up for Nintendo for even more irony..

gamevet
04-17-2018, 09:47 AM
That is so wrong. The SNES was launched in 1990 in Japan. DKC3 came out in 1996.

Team Andromeda
04-17-2018, 12:00 PM
That is so wrong. The SNES was launched in 1990 in Japan. DKC3 came out in 1996. The Mega Drive launched in Japan in 88, ristar came out in Japan in 1995, that's 7 years and a year better than DCK 3; Rare weren't a In House team either. One day You get the facts right..

gamevet
04-17-2018, 01:20 PM
The Mega Drive launched in Japan in 88, ristar came out in Japan in 1995, that's 7 years and a year better than DCK 3; Rare weren't a In House team either. One day You get the facts right..


You mentioned Donkey Kong Country mister Get Your Facts Straight. Way to own yourself.

Gryson
04-17-2018, 02:42 PM
Sega was still trying to push sales of the Genesis in NA through 1996. There is a quote from Nakayama in a Japanese newspaper article from the time saying he wanted to sell 1 million Genesis units in NA in 1996. As with the SNES by that time, it was a budget-priced system designed as a low-barrier entry to gaming. To facilitate this, he had Sega of Japan port Virtua Fighter 2 to the Genesis (released only in NA and EU).

Virtua Fighter 2 Genesis was released in NA in January 1997.

And then, of course, there is Sonic 3D Blast, for which development began after the NA release of the Saturn. It was later ported to the Saturn, but was originally designed as only a Genesis title.

It is often misunderstood that when Sega shifted game development focus to the Saturn, it meant they were killing the Genesis off. That wasn't the case. The Genesis was still advertised, Sega still produced and published games for it, and it still sold decently.

Team Andromeda
04-17-2018, 05:22 PM
You mentioned Donkey Kong Country mister Get Your Facts Straight. Way to own yourself.

I talked about it, becasue people highlight those games as proof of Nintendo Supporting the Snes for longer. But if you compare the timeline of each machine to the In-House games. It doesn't hold up. Like I said 4 years into the MD life SEGA was making Sonic II, SOR and some 7 years SEGA was making Ristar. 7 years into the Snes life what In-House games were Nintendo making?

Team Andromeda
04-17-2018, 05:23 PM
Sega was still trying to push sales of the Genesis in NA through 1996. There is a quote from Nakayama in a Japanese newspaper article from the time saying he wanted to sell 1 million Genesis units in NA in 1996. As with the SNES by that time, it was a budget-priced system designed as a low-barrier entry to gaming. To facilitate this, he had Sega of Japan port Virtua Fighter 2 to the Genesis (released only in NA and EU).

Virtua Fighter 2 Genesis was released in NA in January 1997.

And then, of course, there is Sonic 3D Blast, for which development began after the NA release of the Saturn. It was later ported to the Saturn, but was originally designed as only a Genesis title.

It is often misunderstood that when Sega shifted game development focus to the Saturn, it meant they were killing the Genesis off. That wasn't the case. The Genesis was still advertised, Sega still produced and published games for it, and it still sold decently.

That right and the facts, but we know here people rather believe the rubbish from TOM.

Yharnamresident
04-17-2018, 08:40 PM
I'll be on the side of Tom. Just look at the guy, spiffy as hell.

https://i.imgur.com/g9lE9qR.jpg

Gryson
04-17-2018, 09:02 PM
Why the need to take sides :lol:

Kalinske is definitely worthy of respect!

What's that pic from? I'm so curious.

gamevet
04-17-2018, 11:14 PM
I talked about it, becasue people highlight those games as proof of Nintendo Supporting the Snes for longer. But if you compare the timeline of each machine to the In-House games. It doesn't hold up. Like I said 4 years into the MD life SEGA was making Sonic II, SOR and some 7 years SEGA was making Ristar. 7 years into the Snes life what In-House games were Nintendo making?

Mentioning the 1st Donkey Kong Country is totally wrong. You should be mentioning Super Mario RPG, Donkey Kong Country 3 and Street Fighter Alpha 2; All manufactured and published by Nintendo. Nintendo also introduced the SNES Jr. in 1997.

stu
04-18-2018, 01:09 AM
Mentioning the 1st Donkey Kong Country is totally wrong. You should be mentioning Super Mario RPG, Donkey Kong Country 3 and Street Fighter Alpha 2; All manufactured and published by Nintendo. Nintendo also introduced the SNES Jr. in 1997.


Yep, we can also add Kirbyís Dream Land 3 to that list.
Released in the US November 27, 1997
And in Japan March 27, 1998

But TA is going to say that they aren't "inhouse" and therefore don't count. Guaranteed.

Blades
04-18-2018, 04:32 AM
Mentioning the 1st Donkey Kong Country is totally wrong. You should be mentioning Super Mario RPG, Donkey Kong Country 3 and Street Fighter Alpha 2; All manufactured and published by Nintendo. Nintendo also introduced the SNES Jr. in 1997.

To be fair, none of those are in-house. The same thing is happening with the 3DS now IMO.

Team Andromeda
04-18-2018, 05:08 AM
Yep, we can also add Kirbyís Dream Land 3 to that list.
Released in the US November 27, 1997
And in Japan March 27, 1998

But TA is going to say that they aren't "inhouse" and therefore don't count. Guaranteed.

Oh Dear, we can't. Hal are not an In-House team. Please take the time to read. That's to overlook how in 1996 SEGA brought out Virtua Fighter 2, Vectorman 2, World Series Baseball in 96. I think that counts for 8 years or 7 years (for the USA) of Software support if we're going to go on Published titles
And you still claim SEGA killed the MD early lol

Team Andromeda
04-18-2018, 05:17 AM
Mentioning the 1st Donkey Kong Country is totally wrong. You should be mentioning Super Mario RPG, Donkey Kong Country 3 and Street Fighter Alpha 2; All manufactured and published by Nintendo. Nintendo also introduced the SNES Jr. in 1997.


Nice list, shame none of them are In-House Nintendo games, looking over SF2 never came to the USA, but hey I guess its ok for Nintendo to drop its system in the USA like a stone in the USA, just not SEGA. I'll remind you that DKC3 and Super Mario RPG came 6 years into the SNES life cycle. 6 years into the MD life cycle we were still getting the likes of Streets of Rage 3, Sonic 3, Sonic & Knuckles and all In-House tiles too. So no sorry Nintendo aren't better.

Leynos
04-18-2018, 05:29 AM
Nintendo Published. Nintendo IP. It's 1st party support. Get over it.

Team Andromeda
04-18-2018, 05:43 AM
Nintendo Published. Nintendo IP. It's 1st party support. Get over it.

That's the cop out. People today slag off MS for its lack of In-House titles and Teams. And we go on Published then SEGA was publishing games in 96 and 97. That's some 9 years of support, hardly killing a system early. Nintendo onthe another hand...

Blades
04-18-2018, 08:35 AM
Nintendo Published. Nintendo IP. It's 1st party support. Get over it.

Published is certainly not developed. That's like saying ABBA is still around because their label publishes new music.

Original development resources are the strongest and most expensive kind of support for a video game console, and naturally tapers off as the console gets older.

Ken
04-18-2018, 09:23 AM
Oh Dear, we can't. Hal are not an In-House team. Please take the time to read. That's to overlook how in 1996 SEGA brought out Virtua Fighter 2, Vectorman 2, World Series Baseball in 96. I think that counts for 8 years or 7 years (for the USA) of Software support if we're going to go on Published titles.

The examples you listed for Sega arenít in-house either. The Genesis port of Virtua Fighter 2 was developed by Gaibrain (http://www.mobygames.com/company/gaibrain) and the World Series Baseball games on the Genesis as well as Vector Man 2 were developed by BlueSky Software (http://www.mobygames.com/company/bluesky-software-inc). I was going to list Super Famicom Wars and Fire Emblem Thracia 776, but since both were made by Intelligent Systems, you probably wonít count those either. In that case, there is Sutte-Hakkun which was developed by Nintendoís R&D 2 division (http://www.mobygames.com/game/snes/sutte-hakkun/credits). The game has a few different iterations that were released from 1997 to 1999. Also, there was Wrecking Crew 98, which was developed by EAD (http://www.mobygames.com/game/snes/wrecking-crew-98).

Team Andromeda
04-18-2018, 09:36 AM
The examples you listed for Sega arenít in-house either. The Genesis port of Virtua Fighter 2 was developed by Gaibrain (http://www.mobygames.com/company/gaibrain) and the World Series Baseball games on the Genesis as well as Vector Man 2 were developed by BlueSky Software (http://www.mobygames.com/company/bluesky-software-inc). I was going to list Super Famicom Wars and Fire Emblem Thracia 776, but since both were made by Intelligent Systems, you probably wonít count those either. In that case, there is Sutte-Hakkun which was developed by Nintendoís R&D 2 division (http://www.mobygames.com/game/snes/sutte-hakkun/credits). The game has a few different iterations that were released from 1997 to 1999. Also, there was Wrecking Crew 98, which was developed by EAD (http://www.mobygames.com/game/snes/wrecking-crew-98).


That's why I said if we go on Published. Like I said the MD came out in 88 and in 1995 SEGA Japan made Ristar In-House. I take that to be 7 years. What In-House games did Nintendo bring out for the Snes in 1997 in Japan or 98 in the USA, because Ristar came out in Japan and the USA?

And no Intelligent Systems aren't In-House, so they don't count, neither does RARE . So what games were Nintendo making for the SNES in 1997. Just In-House please

Ken
04-18-2018, 09:54 AM
That's why I said if we go on Published. Like I said the MD came out in 88 and in 1995 SEGA Japan made Ristar In-House. I take that to be 7 years. What In-House games did Nintendo bring out for the Snes in 1997 in Japan or 98 in the USA, because Ristar came out in Japan and the USA?

And no Intelligent Systems aren't In-House, so they don't count, neither does RARE . So what games were Nintendo making for the SNES in 1997. Just In-House please

The Mega Drive came out in October 29, 1988 in Japan and Ristar came out Febuary 17, 1995, that's 6 years not 7. As for in-house games made by Nintendo that was released in 1997 and beyond, I already mentioned Sutte-Hakkun and Wrecking Crew 98.

gamevet
04-18-2018, 10:03 AM
To be fair, none of those are in-house. The same thing is happening with the 3DS now IMO.



Square and Nintendo collaborated on Super Mario RPG. Nintendo licenced SFA 2 from Capcom, developed the new compression chip for the cart and published it; I donít know who developed it though. And not all SEGA and Nintendo games are in house.

Team Andromeda
04-18-2018, 10:13 AM
I already mentioned Sutte-Hakkun and Wrecking Crew 98.

Wrecking wasn't In-House and neither was it brought to the USA. And if you're going to dig out a game like Sutte-Hakkun which was not only an add-on game but again only came out in Japan you're getting very desperate and even then its just 2 titles
Seeing as the Mega Drive came out in 1988 and even in 1995 were having Virtual Fighter 32X, Ristar, Metal Head, The Ooze coming out for the system in 1995 Garfield some 7 years of In-House support. so a little better than Nintendo. I would think SEGA also wins out for volume of Published games too

So no Sorry, Nintendo isn't better at all, in fact, they were worse.

And please don't be over pedantic over the date , its a little bit pathetic But I guess when one is clutching at straws. Because in the end SEGA did support the Mega Drive for a long time with Hardware and software.

Team Andromeda
04-18-2018, 10:48 AM
Square and Nintendo collaborated on Super Mario RPG. Nintendo licenced SFA 2 from Capcom, developed the new compression chip for the cart and published it; I donít know who developed it though. And not all SEGA and Nintendo games are in house.

That's still not In-House. MS and Bioware worked together on Mass Effect, at no stage were Bioware an In-House MS Team. SEGA licensed the rights to Advanced Daisenryaku for the Saturn, Not class that as In-House SEGA game . SEGA didn't just make an extra chip for the Mega Drive, they went full circle and made a 32Bit Add-On for their 16 it system.
That is not a move you do, if you are looking to kill off the MD.

Ken
04-18-2018, 10:57 AM
Wrecking wasn't In-House and neither was it brought to the USA. And if you're going to dig out a game like Sutte-Hakkun which was not only an add-on game but again only came out in Japan you're getting very desperate and even then its just 2 titles
Seeing as the Mega Drive came out in 1988 and even in 1995 were having Virtual Fighter 32X, Ristar, Metal Head, The Ooze coming out for the system in 1995 Garfield some 7 years of In-House support. so a little better than Nintendo. I would think SEGA also wins out for volume of Published games too

So no Sorry, Nintendo isn't better at all, in fact, they were worse.

And please don't be over pedantic over the date , its a little bit pathetic But I guess when one is clutching at straws. Because in the end SEGA did support the Mega Drive for a long time with Hardware and software.

I guess you're right about Wrecking Crew 98, looking over the credits, most of the work was done by Pax Softnica with people from EAD mainly being in the special thanks section. Even though Sutte-Hakkun originally was released on the Satellaview, it did get a retail cartridge release on the Super Famicom in 1999.

Gryson
04-18-2018, 11:00 AM
This discussion of in-house development is a bit irrelevant, in my opinion. The companies have many development resources at their disposal. If they develop a game using one of their 1st party studios or if they outsource it to a 2nd party studio or daughter company, they are still producing it and publishing it. Sega and Nintendo both produced and published games on their 16-bit consoles throughout 1996.

Blades
04-18-2018, 11:17 AM
Square and Nintendo collaborated on Super Mario RPG.

You're right, I forgot it was a collaboration.


This discussion of in-house development is a bit irrelevant, in my opinion.

I think it's relevant. It's not a hard-and-fast rule, but usually a game developed in-house will run better, possibly play better, and fit the console better, especially in the days of bespoke hardware like the Genesis and Saturn. These days it matters much less.

See no further than Virtua Racing on Saturn. Sure, it's a Sega property but was developed by people who hate Virtua Racing and tried to ruin it as much as they could.

Gryson
04-18-2018, 11:28 AM
That's true, of course, but the point being discussed here is "Did Sega/Nintendo support their 16-bit consoles at such and such time?" And whether they used an in-house development team is irrelevant for answering that question.

It was also typically not a black-white division between in-house or not. In many cases, design was handled in-house and programming was outsourced (Sonic 3D Blast, for example).

Also, by 1996, development resources and know-how for 16-bit consoles were much more established, so it was safer to outsource.

stu
04-18-2018, 11:44 AM
See no further than Virtua Racing on Saturn. Sure, it's a Sega property but was developed by people who hate Virtua Racing and tried to ruin it as much as they could.

Is there an interview that shows that they tried to ruin it? I seem to recall that VR on the Saturn actually got some favorable reviews, the main criticisms were that it wasn't a straight conversion and more of a console orientated remake of the game, also that Sega Rally made the game look graphically outdated.

Blades
04-18-2018, 12:43 PM
Is there an interview that shows that they tried to ruin it? I seem to recall that VR on the Saturn actually got some favorable reviews, the main criticisms were that it wasn't a straight conversion and more of a console orientated remake of the game, also that Sega Rally made the game look graphically outdated.

No, but it was awful. It had insane difficulty, awful impossible physics (anyone remember how the car spins out???), and ran awfully.

gamevet
04-18-2018, 12:50 PM
Time Warner delivered a crappy version of VR.




Nice list, shame none of them are In-House Nintendo games, looking over SF2 never came to the USA, but hey I guess its ok for Nintendo to drop its system in the USA like a stone in the USA, just not SEGA. I'll remind you that DKC3 and Super Mario RPG came 6 years into the SNES life cycle. 6 years into the MD life cycle we were still getting the likes of Streets of Rage 3, Sonic 3, Sonic & Knuckles and all In-House tiles too. So no sorry Nintendo aren't better.

Street Fight Alpha 2 most definitely did come out in the US, and it had Nintendoís decompression chip inside of the cart. It was Nintendo that published it here.

Leynos
04-18-2018, 01:26 PM
Published is certainly not developed. That's like saying ABBA is still around because their label publishes new music.

Original development resources are the strongest and most expensive kind of support for a video game console, and naturally tapers off as the console gets older.
HAL may as well be 1st party. they don't make games for anyone else and at that time Iwata was one of the devs. Kirby is a Nintendo IP. So is DK. It's Nintendo's IP so SNES was getting Nintendo game support up to 1998.

Team Andromeda
04-18-2018, 02:52 PM
HAL may as well be 1st party. they don't make games for anyone else and at that time Iwata was one of the devs. Kirby is a Nintendo IP. So is DK. It's Nintendo's IP so SNES was getting Nintendo game support up to 1998.

ClapHands only make games for Sony, they are hardly a In House team . Sonic is Sega IP and yet TT were able to make a Sonic game in 96, So try again.

gamevet
04-18-2018, 10:39 PM
Wrong!

HAL is a subsidiary of Nintendo and a 1st party developer.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_video_game_developers#H


Travelers Tale is a developer for whomever will pay them.

Team Andromeda
04-19-2018, 05:09 AM
Wrong!

HAL is a subsidiary of Nintendo and a 1st party developer.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_video_game_developers#H


Travelers Tale is a developer for whomever will pay them.

LOL, Wikipedia said it, so it must be true. Looking over that HAL is a Private corp and was totally independent of Nintendo in 1990. I mean today SEGA is a subsidiary of SAMMY, that wasn't the case in the 1990s. Sonic was IP of SEGA, So was SEGA Sports and we getting Sonic games in 1996 and a Sega Sports games too in 1996.
Not bad for a console that 1st launched in 1988. How many games did Nintendo bring out for the Snes after September 1996 in the USA?( Only Nintendo In-House games too bt)

Its not just NEC and Atari who supported their systems for longer, its hard to be SNk Neo Geo lifespan. So sorry Nintendo aren't better at all, infact they are worse than SEGA nevermind NEC or SNK

Yharnamresident
04-19-2018, 05:21 AM
Why the need to take sides :lol:

Kalinske is definitely worthy of respect!

What's that pic from? I'm so curious.I got no idea why Kalinske was in that pic, but I found it fitting since he was with a Japanese man: https://news.mynavi.jp/article/20100325-Moonshoot/


That's why I said if we go on Published. Like I said the MD came out in 88 and in 1995 SEGA Japan made Ristar In-House. I take that to be 7 years. What In-House games did Nintendo bring out for the Snes in 1997 in Japan or 98 in the USA, because Ristar came out in Japan and the USA?

And no Intelligent Systems aren't In-House, so they don't count, neither does RARE . So what games were Nintendo making for the SNES in 1997. Just In-House pleaseThe argument shouldn't be who was making games for their console for the longest time-span in terms of years, it should be who was still making games for their console while the 16-bit market was being phased out

Team Andromeda
04-19-2018, 07:47 AM
The argument shouldn't be who was making games for their console for the longest time-span in terms of years, it should be who was still making games for their console while the 16-bit market was being phased out

To a point yes, but one also has to factor in the SNES coming out 2 years later and how NEC brought out the PC Eng in 87 and SEGA brought out the MD in 88. Yet even in 95 and 96 SEGA was still producing software for the MD and in 1995 making a number of In-House games for the Mega Drive. I think people forget the SNES didn't even make into the USA until 1991, unlike the MD which hit the USA in 89.
How many games was Nintendo making for the SNES in 1997 in the USA, the answer is not many? and also people forget that if not for a year delay to the Hardware, the N64 would have launched in 1995.

gamevet
04-19-2018, 09:33 AM
LOL, Wikipedia said it, so it must be true. Looking over that HAL is a Private corp and was totally independent of Nintendo in 1990. I mean today SEGA is a subsidiary of SAMMY, that wasn't the case in the 1990s. Sonic was IP of SEGA, So was SEGA Sports and we getting Sonic games in 1996 and a Sega Sports games too in 1996.
Not bad for a console that 1st launched in 1988. How many games did Nintendo bring out for the Snes after September 1996 in the USA?( Only Nintendo In-House games too bt)

Its not just NEC and Atari who supported their systems for longer, its hard to be SNk Neo Geo lifespan. So sorry Nintendo aren't better at all, infact they are worse than SEGA nevermind NEC or SNK

They are a subsidiary of Nintendo. Theyíve created Nintendo franchises like Super Smash Brothers and Kirby. Travelers Tales have created nothing but what they were asked to do.


http://www.hallab.co.jp/eng/sp/works/detail/002731/

HAL was nearly bankrupt when Nintendo came in and HAL signed up as an exclusive developer for Nintendo. They are every bit 1st party.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/waypoint.vice.com/amp/en_us/article/ne3mjd/hal-laboratory-metal-slader-glory-nintendo-history