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Gryson
03-18-2019, 03:57 PM
I've written a new article with some very interesting info that I've translated about the Sony-Sega partnership that never happened:

Sega and Sony: New Insight into the Partnership That Never Came to Be (https://mdshock.com/2019/03/18/sega-and-sony-new-insight-into-the-partnership-that-never-came-to-be/)

Thoughts?

Leynos
03-18-2019, 04:38 PM
This isn't really new but still interesting. Tom said this in multiple interviews some time ago. A few years ago on a YouTube interview was my first exposure to the news and mentioned more in-depth about this and spec sheets and such. It's another what if and easy for some to speculate it would have sold like the PS1 but given SEGA's marketing in the US...maybe not, then again I don't know if he was gone by then. I'm sure TA will come in and say Tom is a liar again and was all his fault Saturn failed tho. As a SEGA fan yes I'd love to see that marriage happen but in reality, I'm not convinced it would have been for the better as a whole for the industry. PS1 needed to happen to grow the market like it did. I'm not sure it would have been the success PS1 was but let's say that it was. Their next system I don't think would be the Dreamcast as DC was a response to everything that went wrong with Saturn. So SEGA like Sony and Nintendo have done after a huge success...be arrogant and not try as hard the next time. SEGA was poor at managing money anyway. May have ended up out of the console biz anyway just a little later.

Gryson
03-18-2019, 04:46 PM
Trust me, this is new. This goes way beyond the few tidbits Kalinske has thrown out over the years.

highlandcattle
03-18-2019, 05:20 PM
Nice article. Love your website this what the internet was made for! You can wonder where is NAMCO now? Not in a better or worse state then SEGA. So in hindside it wouldn't have made a big difference.

Team Andromeda
03-18-2019, 05:26 PM
This isn't really new but still interesting. Tom said this in multiple interviews some time ago. A few years ago on a YouTube interview was my first exposure to the news and mentioned more in-depth about this and spec sheets and such. It's another what if and easy for some to speculate it would have sold like the PS1 but given SEGA's marketing in the US...maybe not, then again I don't know if he was gone by then. I'm sure TA will come in and say Tom is a liar again and was all his fault Saturn failed tho. As a SEGA fan yes I'd love to see that marriage happen but in reality, I'm not convinced it would have been for the better as a whole for the industry. PS1 needed to happen to grow the market like it did. I'm not sure it would have been the success PS1 was but let's say that it was.

Its not hard to prove TOM lies. For starters, he sites one of the reasons for him leaving SEGA was the turning down of SONY hardware, yet he left in 1997 and only really left because his main backer at SEGA Japan, Nakayama-san was stepping down. If you're upset over SOJ turning down SONY's hardware, the moment to have stepped down was in 1993 and join up with your best mates at SONY not leave some 3 years after the Saturn 1st launched. That's to overlook noone has ever back up Tom's claims be that inside SEGA America, SEGA Japan or anyone from SONY. Maybe that's because the only one that was offered real SONY hardware was Nintendo and 'if' SEGA America did know of the SONY hardware then it would have known the tech spec's and that forget the Saturn, the 32X wouldn't have a chance with what SONY was working on .



But in EDGE's making of the PlayStation, the moment Nintendo dropped SONY, the order from the very top came to 'chart their own course' and work alone and that was way back in 1991 so no hope for SEGA's follow up to the Mega Drive. Phil Harrison even joked and laughed saying how SONY used SEGA to gain knowledge on CD-Rom development. He said when SEGA was pushing Ground Zero Texas, he was secretly showing off prototype PS Hardware that was the size of an Office photocopier. So much for a friendship with SEGA America

https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1595/24347191612_16fb23d8ab_o.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/D6tHPJ)2016-01-18_08-56-53 (https://flic.kr/p/D6tHPJ) by Mega Drive (https://www.flickr.com/photos/27368881@N00/), on Flickr

Leynos
03-18-2019, 08:00 PM
Nice article. Love your website this what the internet was made for! You can wonder where is NAMCO now? Not in a better or worse state then SEGA. So in hindside it wouldn't have made a big difference.

Well another thing is Nintendo tried to buy Namco in 2003 but they got Monolith out of it instead. Tho I'd say Namco or Bamco is in a better place despite being merged. They are making a lot of well seelling quality games. SEGA I just can't think of much outside Yakuza & Atlus.

Melf
03-18-2019, 09:03 PM
I think that Paramount representative who died of a heart attack was actually Gulf + Western’s founder and chairman, Charles Bluhdorn. G+W owned Paramount and Sega at the time.

gamevet
03-18-2019, 09:40 PM
Its not hard to prove TOM lies. For starters, he sites one of the reasons for him leaving SEGA was the turning down of SONY hardware, yet he left in 1997 and only really left because his main backer at SEGA Japan, Nakayama-san was stepping down. If you're upset over SOJ turning down SONY's hardware, the moment to have stepped down was in 1993 and join up with your best mates at SONY not leave some 3 years after the Saturn 1st launched. That's to overlook noone has ever back up Tom's claims be that inside SEGA America, SEGA Japan or anyone from SONY. Maybe that's because the only one that was offered real SONY hardware was Nintendo and 'if' SEGA America did know of the SONY hardware then it would have known the tech spec's and that forget the Saturn, the 32X wouldn't have a chance with what SONY was working on .



But in EDGE's making of the PlayStation, the moment Nintendo dropped SONY, the order from the very top came to 'chart their own course' and work alone and that was way back in 1991 so no hope for SEGA's follow up to the Mega Drive. Phil Harrison even joked and laughed saying how SONY used SEGA to gain knowledge on CD-Rom development. He said when SEGA was pushing Ground Zero Texas, he was secretly showing off prototype PS Hardware that was the size of an Office photocopier. So much for a friendship with SEGA America


WTF does Phil Harrison know?

Kalinski knew that there was no money from hardware sales and wanted to have Sony absorb some of the costs. I don't doubt that he and Olaf didn't try to pursue that.

Leynos
03-18-2019, 10:06 PM
https://i.imgur.com/BqIPye1.gif

gamevet
03-18-2019, 11:47 PM
I don't want to go there. The horse has been beaten to death.

Team Andromeda
03-19-2019, 05:08 AM
WTF does Phil Harrison know?

Kalinski knew that there was no money from hardware sales and wanted to have Sony absorb some of the costs. I don't doubt that he and Olaf didn't try to pursue that.

Harrison was head of SONY Software development, so knew quite a lot, was one of the longest-serving members of staff, from the original staff and was part of the Software group with the PS, PS2, PS3
Olaf was never head of R&D since SONY America never had an R&D division, and even Olaf had enough of the SONY Japanese paymasters after he resigned over the pricing of the PS and SONY Japan sutting down SONY Canada, just after the launch of the system until 1995 and so Olaf resigned


If SEGA America and SONY America were looking to share hardware and tech, why did SEGA America request the SH-2's and not the MIPS CPU's of the PS design? or look to want the Saturn to use a Motorola CPU lol

Tom not only spins over SONY, he spins over SEGA America and Japan not getting on, it's been backed up by key staff at the time, like how Scott Bayless, Marty Fran and the late great Joe Miller never back up Tom's claims of working with SONY Hardware, much like none of them ever back up his claims over a bad working relationship and the same goes for the Key SEGA Europe staff that were Nick, Barry and Mark; none of them say that SEGA had a chance to work with SONY and all say SEGA Japan were a wonderful team to work with.
.
If TOM was so unhappy with SEGA Japan over not going for the SONY Spec he worked on and then forcing the Saturn launch may day on him, why did he wait until mid-1997 to resign, some 3 years later? I think the only reason Tom left was becasue his main backer at SOJ was stepping down

highlandcattle
03-19-2019, 08:11 AM
Well another thing is Nintendo tried to buy Namco in 2003 but they got Monolith out of it instead. Tho I'd say Namco or Bamco is in a better place despite being merged. They are making a lot of well seelling quality games. SEGA I just can't think of much outside Yakuza & Atlus.

I was just looking at the release list on SEGA's website and apparently they only have one game planned with a fixed date. How strange is that?

gamevet
03-19-2019, 11:32 AM
Harrison was head of SONY Software development, so knew quite a lot, was one of the longest-serving members of staff, from the original staff and was part of the Software group with the PS, PS2, PS3
Olaf was never head of R&D since SONY America never had an R&D division, and even Olaf had enough of the SONY Japanese paymasters after he resigned over the pricing of the PS and SONY Japan sutting down SONY Canada, just after the launch of the system until 1995 and so Olaf resigned


If SEGA America and SONY America were looking to share hardware and tech, why did SEGA America request the SH-2's and not the MIPS CPU's of the PS design? or look to want the Saturn to use a Motorola CPU lol

Tom not only spins over SONY, he spins over SEGA America and Japan not getting on, it's been backed up by key staff at the time, like how Scott Bayless, Marty Fran and the late great Joe Miller never back up Tom's claims of working with SONY Hardware, much like none of them ever back up his claims over a bad working relationship and the same goes for the Key SEGA Europe staff that were Nick, Barry and Mark; none of them say that SEGA had a chance to work with SONY and all say SEGA Japan were a wonderful team to work with.
.
If TOM was so unhappy with SEGA Japan over not going for the SONY Spec he worked on and then forcing the Saturn launch may day on him, why did he wait until mid-1997 to resign, some 3 years later? I think the only reason Tom left was becasue his main backer at SOJ was stepping down

I shouldn’t even respond to this, but your Tom Kelinske BS is getting old. You can’t even get the date right, about when he resigned. He resigned near the beginning of 1996 and remained for about 6 months to allow
SEGA of America to transition to new leadership. David Rosen wouldn’t have left the board, if Kalinske was lying. That’s been documented to death.

Harrison was not a part of Sony software around 1992-1993, when this whole thing would have happened. There was no Sony video game division in Europe back then either, but there was Sony Imagesoft in North America that worked closely with SEGA to distribute CD software.

Melf
03-19-2019, 11:40 AM
Kalinske resigned in July 1996. Nakayama and Rosen also stepped down that month (http://articles.latimes.com/1996-07-16/business/fi-24544_1_sega-enterprises). I doubt they both would have left if Kalinske was lying. And Nick Alexander mentioned the problems with working with SOJ. Its treatment of SOE with the Game Gear was the whole reason he left the company.


Sega-16:Former SOA president Tom Kalinske told us about the internal competition between the American and Japanese branches of the company, and how there was a certain level of resentment by Japan over America’s success. What was your relationship with Japan like? How involved were they in the decision-making process?
Nick Alexander: The relationship between Sega Europe (SOE) and SOJ was complex and at times very challenging. The best example would be the Game Gear. Japan was very keen to achieve bigger numbers for this system. However, we had a negative gross margin from memory of -11%. Every one that we sold we lost more money. In order to sell more than originally planned we would have to reduce the price, increase the marketing, or increase the value of packs. All of these would increase our loss per unit even further. I had a long debate with Japan about this which culminated in the instruction to sell more units but not increase the losses. Clearly impossible if Japan would not reduce its price to us, which it would not. It was at this point that I decided to move on.

Sega-16: Was there ever any situation where the rivalry between the American and Japanese branches affected Europe specifically?

Nick Alexander: Our skills were in marketing, sales and distribution, theirs were in product design and development. This was not always understood. This inevitably led to some disagreement and confusion. I suspect that we had similar issues to the ones that Tom Kalinske had to deal with at SOA.

gamevet
03-19-2019, 12:19 PM
I believe that the July date was when his resignation was made public. Did he not make it known behind closed doors 6 months prior, that he was leaving? I know that he already had a job lined up when he left, so it wasn’t like this was some sort of immediate decision.

*Edit. Just checked out. He remained on the board until September, so it appears that July was when he let them know he was leaving.

MushaAleste
03-19-2019, 12:53 PM
Great article! A predatory and deeply psychopathic outfit as Sony would have destroyed Sega in the end anyway. It was smart for nintendo and Sega to turn Sony down.

Gryson
03-19-2019, 03:20 PM
I think that Paramount representative who died of a heart attack was actually Gulf + Western’s founder and chairman, Charles Bluhdorn. G+W owned Paramount and Sega at the time.

Nice! Thanks for the info. For anybody else that's interested:

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


Kalinske resigned in July 1996. Nakayama and Rosen also stepped down that month (http://articles.latimes.com/1996-07-16/business/fi-24544_1_sega-enterprises). I doubt they both would have left if Kalinske was lying. And Nick Alexander mentioned the problems with working with SOJ. Its treatment of SOE with the Game Gear was the whole reason he left the company.

Rather than get sidetracked on this "Tom is a liar" stuff, let's get to the real point. The point that Kalinske has continuously focused on is: Was the Japanese management of Sega incompetent? There are so many quotes from him alluding to and outright stating that they were incompetent that I don't think it's necessary to list them here. He cycles through the same several stories: the Sega-Sony partnership, the SGI deal, the Saturn launch, etc. All intended as examples of not just differences, but incompetency.

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


I played the part of coordinator between San Francisco and Tokyo. There were always differences and problems; my time was spent on that. Tom was great, he did a hell of a job, but it wasn’t always easy for him to understand the decisions in Japan, and there they couldn’t always appreciate necessities like cutting the retail price of the machine. After the Genesis, Sega of America was interested in developing peripherals, while Sega of Japan wanted to move on. It wasn’t necessarily a friction, but there was a lot of going back and forth, helping to resolve issues with the ultimate aim of achieving what both arms of the company wanted.

What we're talking about are the kind of differences and misunderstandings that you would expect in any international company. The same can be said for the quote from Nick Alexander. Who would ever doubt that in a worldwide company composed of thousands of employees that the main office wouldn't make decisions that sparked disagreement and resentment?

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

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

gamevet
03-19-2019, 05:35 PM
Yeah, SEGA made the right choice. We saw what happened to Psygnosis.

Team Andromeda
03-20-2019, 04:59 AM
Kalinske resigned in July 1996. Nakayama and Rosen also stepped down that month (http://articles.latimes.com/1996-07-16/business/fi-24544_1_sega-enterprises). I doubt they both would have left if Kalinske was lying. And Nick Alexander mentioned the problems with working with SOJ. Its treatment of SOE with the Game Gear was the whole reason he left the company.

Nakayama stepped down 1st and Tom followed and you're list issues that all will have subsidiaries will have, not least Tom with issues over what game would be packed in with the Genesis. SONY America had battles with SONY Japan over the pricing of the PS and the name, with SONY America wanting to keep the PS-X name. Nick didn't leave SOE till 94, quite a number of years after the GG hit Europe and in the interview with a UK gaming mag in 1995, he sighted his love of Journalism and music, no more long Haul's to Japan, less pressure as the reason for him stepping down. In the same interview mind, he also praised the worth ethic of SOJ & America,(how Japan busted a gutt to get more Mega Drive and Sonic stock for Easter rush) and that the 32X would go on to dominate the sales .

All bosses will have pressures of hitting targets and worries over costs. If Nick really felt that was the reason, why stay on untill 94 when the GameGear launched in 91 in Europe.

Leynos
03-20-2019, 05:03 AM
http://i.imgur.com/JDujBrd.gif

Team Andromeda
03-20-2019, 05:21 AM
I shouldn’t even respond to this, but your Tom Kelinske BS is getting old. You can’t even get the date right, about when he resigned. He resigned near the beginning of 1996 and remained for about 6 months to allow
SEGA of America to transition to new leadership. David Rosen wouldn’t have left the board, if Kalinske was lying. That’s been documented to death.

Harrison was not a part of Sony software around 1992-1993, when this whole thing would have happened. There was no Sony video game division in Europe back then either, but there was Sony Imagesoft in North America that worked closely with SEGA to distribute CD software.

I small genuine mistake (like you haven't made mistake), Harrison, not only joined SONY in the early 90's , he was the one charged with getting developers on board the system in Europe, the man who was showing off the SONY hardware and where Archer Maclean gave the famous interview to Edge where he said, he seen the 'future of gaming'. Harrsion told EDGE that SONY screwed with SEGA and only used them to help get some development known how on CD development and while SEGA was boasting about Ground Zero Texas, Harrion laughed and said he and a small team were showing off developers SONY's PS Hardware and asking them to become developers for SONY Platform and leave SEGA and Nintendo


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

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


And remind me again why did Olaf leave SONY?. I think resigned after bust-ups with SONY Japan over pricing and such bust up's made SONY Japan fire SONY America's Jim Whims at pretty much the same time as Tom leaving SEGA. Its not just SEGA that will have heated issues over pricing and costs

zyrobs
03-20-2019, 05:51 AM
Can't we ban this guy already?

Team Andromeda
03-20-2019, 06:04 AM
Can't we ban this guy already?

Only having a debate (on topic too). Genuine sorry if that offends you.

Mega Drive Bowlsey
03-20-2019, 06:31 AM
Only having a debate (on topic too). Genuine sorry if that offends you.

Yes but it's the same old tired debate over and over again, ad infinitum in every single Sega/Sony/Nintendo thread. We get it, you hate Tom Kalinske. Although he didn't have an eye for quality games per se, he was a master of marketing tactics and did Sega a whole lot of good in the early 90's. I'm a big fan of his. Did he get everything right? Hell no, but then hindsight is a wonderful thing. We can agree to disagree regarding Kalinske, but my advice to you is to just change the record once in a while TA, people will thank you for it.

Team Andromeda
03-20-2019, 06:54 AM
We get it, you hate Tom Kalinske. Although he didn't have an eye for quality games per se, he was a master of marketing tactics and did Sega a whole lot of good in the early 90's. I'm a big fan of his..

You see this is what I dislike. I don't hate Tom K all the time I dislike the fact that he lies and spins over the Saturn. I've praised him and SEGA America for doing a far better job with the Mega CD than SEGA Japan and for standing up to SOJ over Sonic and using it in a pack title (one of the best moves and Tom using his skill as a sales person)
This Topic is actually about what sort of Hardware SEGA was offered, is it not ?

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

Unless you or other's can prove otherwise via staff from SEGA or SONY who were at key positions at the time? I genuinely like to read it, but sorry I think there's little factual evidence that can back up Tom claim of a possible partnership with SONY making the Hardware for SEGA's next console.

Mega Drive Bowlsey
03-20-2019, 07:24 AM
You see this is what I dislike. I don't hate Tom K all the time I dislike the fact that he lies and spins over the Saturn. I've praised him and SEGA America for doing a far better job with the Mega CD than SEGA Japan and for standing up to SOJ over Sonic and using it in a pack title (one of the best moves and Tom using his skill as a sales person)
This Topic is actually about what sort of Hardware SEGA was offered, is it not ?

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

Unless you or other's can prove otherwise via staff from SEGA or SONY who were at key positions at the time? I genuinely like to read it, but sorry I think there's little factual evidence that can back up Tom claim of a possible partnership with SONY making the Hardware for SEGA's next console.

I'm not arguing anything or trying to prove anything to you. I'm not interested in all these alternate history 'what if' scenarios involving Sega. What happened, happened. All I'm trying to say is that people are getting tired of these endless debates where you just keep repeating yourself over and over again, page after page of the same argument that never goes anywhere or convinces anyone of anything. I'm not saying you're wrong or right, I'm just asking you to please not turn every Sega/Sony/Nintendo thread into a 35 page long diatribe. Lighten up a bit, yeah? :)

zyrobs
03-20-2019, 07:38 AM
Maybe they never mentioned the Sega/Sony deal because it was a strictly confidential, internal matter. Or because it would have seriously hammered public perception in both of them at the time. Or because it was one of the 101 experiments they tried that never got off the ground. Do not underestimate how polite Japanese people are especially when it comes to a cause - they expect to be given their body and soul to it, and that means they are not allowed to say certain things.


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

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

Team Andromeda
03-20-2019, 07:45 AM
I'm not interested in all these alternate history 'what if' scenarios involving Sega. What happened, happened. A

I can get that, but this topic thread really is all about 'what if'. EDGE has done 2 features on the making of the PS and its journey of creation with key members of the Japan staff. I've seen quite a few interviews with Scott Bayless, and a couple with Marty Franz or Joe Miller and Mike Brogan: All key technical people at SEGA America or Europe at the time. We've seen an interview with the main person in charge of all SEGA's consumer and Arcade hardware for over 30 years of SEGA's Hardware, with Hideki Sato. None say SEGA had a chance to work with SONY hardware to power SEGA's consoles

And yet one is expected to believe only Tom's recount of events? That's my issues. I like to see proof from key people at SEGA or SONY in the late 80's and early 90's that can back up Tom's claims until then, they are just claims and not facts

Team Andromeda
03-20-2019, 07:56 AM
Does that rule out the fact that they could have had deals with each other? No it doesn't, perhaps they were even more shocked because Sony went ahead on their own without a partnership and without any experience. .

The timing is key Hideki Sato wasn't just shocked SONY was to enter the market (it had been rumoured) he was shocked the tech spec's. That's points to SEGA Japan learning of the specs near the end of the PS development cycle when most of the key tech spec had been settled on. If SEGA had been working with SONY prior, then one would imagine SEGA would know what spec's SONY was aiming for, what sort of components would be used and get a gage of a spec that could be offered and how to supply the console pipeline development.

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


Maybe they never mentioned the Sega/Sony deal because it was a strictly confidential, internal matter

At the time maybe, not now otherwise, we wouldn't know of Tom's recollection. But console development isn't cheap and I'm sure SEGA Japan would have taken an interest why SEGA America was spending loads of its dosh on a confidential, internal matter with-in SEGA America if it really was working with SONY America. That's then to overlook Sony America had no R&D and the Japanese staff made it quite clear to EDGE, in their features, that after Nintendo did the dirty there were told to go it alone from the very top of SONY Japan, the then president.

And why did Miller not talk of a SONY partnership, or Scot Bayless or Marty Fran; who have in the pasted talk of various projects SEGA were working on or how SGI offered SEGA the N64 chipset? Never did one ever talked of a SONY possible deal?

Gryson
03-20-2019, 10:04 AM
From this new interview, it feels to me that SOJ had their pride hurt by Sony. And that could have been why they turned down Kalinske's attempt at joint development, out of spite. So Sony announcing they'll go their own way would have indeed been shocking.

Why do you think their pride was hurt? They had preliminary discussions that never resulted in anything. I didn't translate this part, but Sato says that such discussions of partnerships happened every so often from different companies and almost never resulted in anything. I think Sega would have liked to partner with Sony due to the hardware/manufacturing advantages, but not if the terms weren't clear and balanced.


(lots and lots of poorly structured text)

This is probably too much work to correct, but I think you are not understanding the basic concepts of what Kalinske has suggested.

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

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

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

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

Were Kalinske, Olafsson, and Schulhoff way out of their element? Likely. I think it must have been very hard for someone like Kalinske to not be in full control of the company and not be in the loop on things that were going on in Japan.

Team Andromeda
03-20-2019, 11:00 AM
Why do you think their pride was hurt? They had preliminary discussions that never resulted in anything. I didn't translate this part, but Sato says that such discussions of partnerships happened every so often from different companies and almost never resulted in anything. I think Sega would have liked to partner with Sony due to the hardware/manufacturing advantages, but not if the terms weren't clear and balanced.



This is probably too much work to correct, but I think you are not understanding the basic concepts of what Kalinske has suggested.

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

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

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

That's entirely believable, and really, given the lack of details, what is there to disagree with?

The trouble with that set of events was Olafsson already knew of the PS and that team were locked into a deal with Nintendo and that would exclude SEGA Japan from working with SONY and why I would put to you SEGA Japan went to the likes of JVC for the Mega CD drive.
But more to the point there's the real issue of no one inside SEGA or SONY supporting Tom's recollection of events, that's more of the issue; Donald Trump might like to paint a different picture to history, doesn't mean he's right... just because he's said so

And just look at the PlayStation. The name was kept from the SNES PlayStation system the PS logo the same colour as the Super Famicom, The grills on the side much like the Super Famicom, The Colour of the system the same and the PS Joypad almost the exact same button layout.
Its screams Nintendo and nothing at all to do with SEGA at almost every level

Gryson
03-20-2019, 11:15 AM
The trouble with that set of events was Olafsson already knew of the PS and that team were locked into a deal with Nintendo and that would exclude SEGA Japan from working with SONY and why I would put to you SEGA Japan went to the likes of JVC for the Mega CD drive.
But more to the point there's the real issue of no one inside SEGA or SONY supporting Tom's recollection of events, that's more of the issue; Donald Trump might like to paint a different picture to history, doesn't mean he's right... just because he's said so

And just look at the PlayStation. The name was kept from the SNES PlayStation system the PS logo the same colour as the Super Famicom, The grills on the side much like the Super Famicom, The Colour of the system the same and the PS Joypad almost the exact same button layout.
Its screams Nintendo and nothing at all to do with SEGA at almost every level

What? Any discussions between Sega and Sony occurred after Sony broke off with Nintendo. Your statement about Olafsson doesn't make sense.

That fact that nobody else has confirmed Kalinkse's statements doesn't negate them. If anything, it just shows how minor/undeveloped the ideas were. But that doesn't contradict what he's said. He's never claimed it was some grand, fully-developed plan that they worked on for months.

To be blunt, unless you have concrete evidence (and by now it's clear that you don't), please stop accusing Tom Kalinske of having fabricated his statements about trying to partner with Sony.

It really, really does not contribute to the discussion.

If anything, you should take issue with Kalinske saying this was "the stupidest decision in the history of business." Trying to refute him with baseless accusations isn't going to get you anywhere.

Team Andromeda
03-20-2019, 02:09 PM
What? Any discussions between Sega and Sony occurred after Sony broke off with Nintendo. Your statement about Olafsson doesn't make sense.

Thank for you just debating and all in nice good faith. What I would put to you if this was at the time of the deal broke off (in 91) Then in the Edge Feature on the making of PS (conducted with various SONY staff) the decision not to work with anyone at all, was made by Ohga (SONY Japan then president) who said we (SONY) must chart our own course in 1991. So that would have put pay to any hope SEGA would have had of working with SONY.

When I look at the PS, its seems a BIG Fu*k You! to Nintendo..

SONY kept the name of the system and pretty much ripped off the look of the Super Famicom and went hell for leather to upstage Nintendo. If you or other's can show and point to interviews of how SEGA could have for various SEGA or SONY staff, then fair enough. I don't think Tom was being straight that's all, on this matter, much like Tony Blair can still say Iraq had weapons of Mass Destruction :). I liked what Tom did with the Mega CD, quite a lot of what he did with the Mega Drive and tbh if he had stayed on, Working Designs would have still be on the Saturn and I'm sure Tom would have green light a Saturn Translation of Grandia. This isn't just about hating on Tom (I hate Bernie Stolar and Scoichiro Irimajiri far more tbh)

It's just on a point of truth and how really is telling the truth. I get (and I am sorry) that people hate my guts and want me banned for not liking Tom, but by the same token I happen to like SEGA Japan and credit Hayao Nakayama for giving me the SEGA I loved; and while I'm not happy with the equally stuck record of 'SEGA Japan blamed for everything' I don't call for bans or hate on others. I look to defend Sega Japan and just point out why I think it's wrong, not true or faith. In this case, I don't think SOJ is to blame

I don't see the evidence that shows SEGA could have had SONY make its console Hardware for the 32bit generation, that's all. But there's always a smoking gun somewhere

Team Andromeda
03-20-2019, 02:25 PM
To be blunt, unless you have concrete evidence (and by now it's clear that you don't), please stop accusing Tom Kalinske of having fabricated his statements about trying to partner with Sony.

It really, really does not contribute to the discussion.

If anything, you should take issue with Kalinske saying this was "the stupidest decision in the history of business." Trying to refute him with baseless accusations isn't going to get you anywhere.

To be blunt you really think this is true?

https://i.imgur.com/M2W4nLj.jpg

Can you point to any interview with Joe Miller that could back up?

Leynos
03-20-2019, 02:44 PM
Can't we ban this guy already?

Agreed

zyrobs
03-20-2019, 05:08 PM
Why do you think their pride was hurt? They had preliminary discussions that never resulted in anything. I didn't translate this part, but Sato says that such discussions of partnerships happened every so often from different companies and almost never resulted in anything. I think Sega would have liked to partner with Sony due to the hardware/manufacturing advantages, but not if the terms weren't clear and balanced.

I was referring to the part where they sat down to talk about joining forces to beat Nintendo. Then the Sony guy starts talking about his last vacation in Sweden or that time he was allowed to conduct an orchestra, and he keeps changing the subject every single time he is asked about working together. That deal would've meant a lot to Sega since it could've allowed them to beat their arch-rival Nintendo, and the Sony guy treats the whole discussion as a joke.

It feels just insulting, really.

Mega Drive Bowlsey
03-20-2019, 05:44 PM
Thank for you just debating and all in nice good faith. What I would put to you if this was at the time of the deal broke off (in 91) Then in the Edge Feature on the making of PS (conducted with various SONY staff) the decision not to work with anyone at all, was made by Ohga (SONY Japan then president) who said we (SONY) must chart our own course in 1991. So that would have put pay to any hope SEGA would have had of working with SONY.

When I look at the PS, its seems a BIG Fu*k You! to Nintendo..

SONY kept the name of the system and pretty much ripped off the look of the Super Famicom and went hell for leather to upstage Nintendo. If you or other's can show and point to interviews of how SEGA could have for various SEGA or SONY staff, then fair enough. I don't think Tom was being straight that's all, on this matter, much like Tony Blair can still say Iraq had weapons of Mass Destruction :). I liked what Tom did with the Mega CD, quite a lot of what he did with the Mega Drive and tbh if he had stayed on, Working Designs would have still be on the Saturn and I'm sure Tom would have green light a Saturn Translation of Grandia. This isn't just about hating on Tom (I hate Bernie Stolar and Scoichiro Irimajiri far more tbh)

It's just on a point of truth and how really is telling the truth. I get (and I am sorry) that people hate my guts and want me banned for not liking Tom, but by the same token I happen to like SEGA Japan and credit Hayao Nakayama for giving me the SEGA I loved; and while I'm not happy with the equally stuck record of 'SEGA Japan blamed for everything' I don't call for bans or hate on others. I look to defend Sega Japan and just point out why I think it's wrong, not true or faith. In this case, I don't think SOJ is to blame

I don't see the evidence that shows SEGA could have had SONY make its console Hardware for the 32bit generation, that's all. But there's always a smoking gun somewhere

Nobody hates you and nobody wants you banned for liking Tom Kalinske, that's ludicrous. Also nobody 'blames Sega of Japan for everything', at least I don't! (sigh) This is the last time I get involved in these 'debates' as those of you who seem to have the biggest problem with TA, and these debates going around and around in frigging circles, seem to be the same people instigating and inciting these 'debates' in the first place. Have fun! I'm off to get drunk and play games. ;)

Blades
03-20-2019, 06:23 PM
Very interesting article. Always love hearing from Sato-san. Is this information from the Japanese retrospective on Sato that was translated a few months ago?

Gryson
03-20-2019, 07:35 PM
I was referring to the part where they sat down to talk about joining forces to beat Nintendo. Then the Sony guy starts talking about his last vacation in Sweden or that time he was allowed to conduct an orchestra, and he keeps changing the subject every single time he is asked about working together. That deal would've meant a lot to Sega since it could've allowed them to beat their arch-rival Nintendo, and the Sony guy treats the whole discussion as a joke.

It feels just insulting, really.

Yeah, I see what you mean. Well, the only reason both sides met was because Sega chairman Okawa set it up, so there's a real possibility that Ohga wasn't at all interested and was just doing his friend a favor. Of course, the whole story of how he almost bought Sega ten years before makes it sound like he was trying to remind Sega of its place relative to Sony.


Very interesting article. Always love hearing from Sato-san. Is this information from the Japanese retrospective on Sato that was translated a few months ago?

This is from the same 100+ page interview he did last year. It really is one of the best treasure troves of Sega lore ever documented, but it's a bit of a slog to get through.

Team Andromeda
03-21-2019, 04:28 AM
Of course, the whole story of how he almost bought Sega ten years

No doubt various corps had a look at SEGA when Gulf Western put it up for Sale. That would just be a standard business practice



This is from the same 100+ page interview he did last year. It really is one of the best treasure troves of Sega lore ever documented, but it's a bit of a slog to get through.

So why Sato-san so surprised at the SONY tech? If like, we are led to believe Tom meet not only with Sony Japan, but SEGA Japan to offer a SONY made a console for SEGA?. Can you provide an interview or quote from Joe Miller that even comes close to backing Tom up? I saw more than 2 interviews with Joe, that confirm he and SOA had the N64 chipset (and also with the makers of the hardware too) and that he wasn't quite happy that it was turned down by SEGA Japan, but nothing on working with SONY what so-ever.

gamevet
03-21-2019, 09:49 AM
There was no PlayStation prototype between the announcement of Nintendo teaming up with Phillips and Ken approaching the Sony brass with his hardware pitch for the PS. I doubt there was a prototype in 1992, considering what he was proposing at the time had never been done before.

Gryson
03-21-2019, 10:17 AM
There was no PlayStation prototype between the announcement of Nintendo teaming up with Phillips and Ken approaching the Sony brass with his hardware pitch for the PS. I doubt there was a prototype in 1992, considering what he was proposing at the time had never been done before.

There was a prototype in mid-1992, at least according to Kutaragi in the book Revolutionaries at Sony. It was completely different from what they had been working on with Nintendo.

Kutaragi says that from mid-1991 (Nintendo debacle) to mid-1992, he was completely consumed by the legal aspects of the case, but that his team secretly worked on a stand-alone prototype during that time.

At the mid-1992 meeting to decide the fate of the project (either continue trying to work with Nintendo, go solo, or give up), he presented the working prototype to Ohga and the other Sony execs, and that's when Ohga gave the go-ahead to proceed independently.

By early/mid-1993, they were showing real-time demos running on the hardware to large crowds of developers, including the famous T-Rex demo. Developers were speechless at how amazing it looked, but they said it wouldn't be possible to make games for. Jump to October 1993 - Virtua Fighter comes out from Sega in arcades, and suddenly developers understand the potential of 3D and begin to sign up with Sony.

Anyway, that's just a quick summary from the book. I highly recommend checking it out, considering how cheap it is.

gamevet
03-21-2019, 11:18 AM
Wasn’t that prototype using a stand in 3D processor, until he get approval for the million gate graphics processor that ended up in the real prototype?

Team Andromeda
03-21-2019, 11:34 AM
There was a prototype in mid-1992, at least according to Kutaragi in the book Revolutionaries at Sony. It was completely different from what they had been working on with Nintendo.

Kutaragi says that from mid-1991 (Nintendo debacle) to mid-1992, he was completely consumed by the legal aspects of the case, but that his team secretly worked on a stand-alone prototype during that time.

At the mid-1992 meeting to decide the fate of the project (either continue trying to work with Nintendo, go solo, or give up), he presented the working prototype to Ohga and the other Sony execs, and that's when Ohga gave the go-ahead to proceed independently.

By early/mid-1993, they were showing real-time demos running on the hardware to large crowds of developers, including the famous T-Rex demo. Developers were speechless at how amazing it looked, but they said it wouldn't be possible to make games for. Jump to October 1993 - Virtua Fighter comes out from Sega in arcades, and suddenly developers understand the potential of 3D and begin to sign up with Sony.

Anyway, that's just a quick summary from the book. I highly recommend checking it out, considering how cheap it is.

Yep, Ken told EDGE this was the case

Team Andromeda
03-22-2019, 05:46 AM
Anyway, that's just a quick summary from the book.

:). What about this scenario Gryson. What about if it was true about Olaf Olafsson Tom and Joe meeting up and coming up with tech spec's. Who's to say Olaf wasn't just playing along with SEGA and pretending to go along with Tom; while in full knowledge of what SONY Japan was up too. That way he would have SEGA tech specs and could relate back to his paymasters at SONY Japan of SEGA's spec's giving SONY all the knowledge they ever needed to completely blow up any concept or console SEGA could come up with.

Business is full of backstabbing and a pretty ruthless place none more so than Nintendo who backstabbed the likes of SONY, Argonaut software and DMA Design

gamevet
03-22-2019, 09:42 AM
Speaking of back stabbing. Sony purged several of SEGA of America’s executives to manage SOA.

Team Andromeda
03-22-2019, 11:13 AM
Speaking of back stabbing. Sony purged several of SEGA of America’s executives to manage SOA.

They did the same with SEGA Europe PR staff too . Mind you I would imagine SEGA done the same over the years, I remember SEGA purging some of Namco's staff, I'm sure SEGA looked to take on some of Atari staff too
and were all remember the days when SEGA wouldn't allow staff to use their real names in the end credits for fear of being headhunted lol and of course SEGA did backstab 3DFX

gamevet
03-22-2019, 11:44 AM
SEGA did hire Atari executives.

Gryson
03-22-2019, 02:21 PM
Speaking of back stabbing. Sony purged several of SEGA of America’s executives to manage SOA.

Pretty much business as usual, although it didn't work out for them! Steve Race (of $299 fame), the main guy who Sony poached, didn't last beyond mid-1995.

The stories of conflict between Kutaragi / Japanese management and Sony of America are incredible. They really show company internal conflict (nothing like what we see with Sega):


American management came to raise objections and reject everything that was decided in Japan and eventually insisted that they would handle all matters concerning the market in the United States. As Kutaragi put it, "Our intentions and their judgments were at cross purposes every time."

The reason things had come to such a juncture is that authority over the U.S. market did not reside in Japan at the time. From the beginning, the Sony of America subsidiary included SEPC (Sony Electronic Publishing Company, New York), which... was given responsibility for licensing activities and marketing, as well as sales, for the PlayStation in the U.S. market. The problem was that the president of SEPC raised objections time and again to the actions taken in Japan.

First he objected to the color of the console. [He] insisted that gray was unacceptable in the U.S. market, and that the console must be white. Neither did he like the design or the logo mark. Their approach was to object to everything on grounds such as the results of market research: "We can't accept such an unusual controller. The design is too small for American hands." What is more, they insisted that they would set the U.S. list price themselves and they disapproved of the name PlayStation. The "Play" in PlayStation, they said, was reminiscent of "Playboy" and might be misconstrued. With one issue after another, the criticism was relentless.

Regardless of how many problems arose, there could be no resolution, because SCEI in Japan and the Sony of America subsidiary SEPC were under different chains of management authority. As Kutaragi relates, "Moreover, the adversary was the president of Sony of America. I was just another employee." Kutaragi and the president of SEPC held completely different perceptions of the game business... People in the United States were making comments like "You people don't have the ability. There's no place for Sony in the game market. It's Sega that will survive in the U.S." The president of SEPC continually counseled even Ohga that Sony should cooperate with Sega. In fact, newspapers in the U.S. on May 20, 1993, gave extensive coverage to an SEPC announcement that it would offer software for the Sega platform.

The two sides were in particular disagreement concerning policy on software pricing. The Japanese wanted to lower software prices. But the American side insisted that prices must be raised. Why were opinions so divided? U.S. executive management were all veterans of the game industry, and they decided everything based on existing models and past knowledge and experience. But the PlayStation represented the repudiation and overthrow of the status quo in the game industry.

Kutaragi appealed to Ohga himself time and again that unless responsibility for the U.S. market were consolidated in Japan, the business couldn't possibly be successful.

As quickly as possible, SCEI must bring responsibility for the U.S. market under the SCEI management umbrella so it could create a structure in which it could decide on the marketing and licensing of its own products. To forge ahead in the U.S. market, they must completely wrest control of the PlayStation away from Sony of America.

...Maruyama carefully assessed the likelihood that U.S. management would respect the intentions of management in Japan. He concluded that it would be impossible for managers steeped in the conventions of the game industry, and he decided to replace the lot except for a select few. In January of 1997 [book says 1997, but was actually Jan 1996], Sony established subsidiary SCEI America in San Francisco, simultaneously replacing most of the managers and launching a new management team. Maruyama comments: "We swept the organization clean of all the old obstacles. We realized that we had to manage our own business."

"Success overseas became possible only because these changes were made," declares Kutaragi.

Team Andromeda
03-22-2019, 02:45 PM
The stories of conflict between Kutaragi / Japanese management and Sony of America are incredible. They really show company internal conflict (nothing like what we see with Sega):

All corp will have some infighting. I remember EDGE reporting on various bust-up's between SCEE,SCEI and SCEA with the likes of SCEE not happy with having to wait for their Performance Analyser on the PS2 and meant to have been peed off with Konami getting one (to help with MGS 2) before SCEE.
And let's all remember why Olaf Olafsson left SONY in 1995. He had enough of fighting SONY Japan over pricing and didn't just leave SONY, but the industry altogether . NEC America and Japan were meant to have busts ups and SNK Japan and America bust-ups with the think of legend

Gryson
03-22-2019, 03:06 PM
Olafsson resigned in Feb 1996. He was probably forced out.

Published Feb 5, 1996:


Foster City, Cal.--Olaf Olafsson has resigned as chairman of Sony's Technology Strategy Group after four months. No successor has been named.

At the same time, Martin Homlish, president of Sony Computer Entertainment America, is changing jobs. He will return to Sony Electronics, in Park Ridge, N.J., the consumer electronics unit, where he will oversee a pair of new business ventures yet to be named, the company said. According to a spokesman, he chose not to move his family to northern California, where the computer entertainment unit is based.

His duties have been assigned to Shigeo Maruyama, who was named chairman of Sony Computer Entertainment America, a new post.*

This is exactly what Maruyama is referring to when he says "We swept the organization clean."

Referring to Martin Homlish, "...he chose not to move his family to northern California" is code language for "We fired him from his post but let him hang on doing something else."

Olafsson probably didn't want to take a demotion, since he was young and promising and could easily land a better job.

Edit: Here's an interesting article on how to tell if a CEO was actually fired: https://corpgov.law.harvard.edu/2017/06/08/retired-or-fired-how-can-investors-tell-if-the-ceo-left-voluntarily/


*https://www.thefreelibrary.com/Olafsson+leaves+Sony.-a017930817

Team Andromeda
03-22-2019, 03:31 PM
Olafsson resigned in Feb 1996. He was probably forced out.

Published Feb 5, 1996:



This is exactly what Maruyama is referring to when he says "We swept the organization clean."

Referring to Martin Homlish, "...he chose not to move his family to northern California" is code language for "We fired him from his post but let him hang on doing something else."

Olafsson probably didn't want to take a demotion, since he was young and promising and could easily land a better job.



He had enough of the fighting with SONY Japan over the price . And you are right SONY did clean out a lot of staff. They closed down SONY Canada and fired SONY America's mouth piece Jim Whims and also got rid of SONY Europe then-President Steve Race along with Clyde Grossman with SONY Japan having enough of the high spending on PR and selling console at a huge loss by both Sony America and Europe. It was also reported that SONY Japan was enraged with the E6 1996 price cut, that they knew nothing about or approved.

But I would imagine that happens with most subsidiaries or local outlets; All will think they know best and all will be under huge cost pressures from HQ

Team Andromeda
03-25-2019, 06:50 AM
For a bit of fun, Here's the last Interview Tom gave EDGE in the same month he left SEGA. I like how he contradicts himself over the N64 Hardware (when remember TOM you were offered it 1st) and over Cartridges (when remember Tom the 32X used carts) Listen to Tom in Retrogamer he also left SEGA because the Saturn didn't offer the internet (when remember Tom it did and you're prasing it here) on btw Atari did have wide spead 3rd party support and also was hugely successful untill the Crash. Tom doesn't even know his video game industry :p

https://i.imgur.com/V718S2g.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/h1RES03.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/aWip6mC.jpg?1

gamevet
04-12-2019, 01:39 AM
Atari didn't have licensed 3rd party support, it had companies that managed to make cartridges that didn't provide profit for Atari. Nintendo used a lockout chip to prevent outside publishers from releasing garbage games, and 3rd party publishers were forced to pay Nintendo for the rights to publish games on their console. That's a huge difference from what you are implying.

https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/9amg87/how-third-party-game-devs-reverse-engineered-their-way-onto-your-consoles-nintendo-sega-atari

Leynos
04-12-2019, 02:29 AM
Atari didn't have licensed 3rd party support, it had companies that managed to make cartridges that didn't provide profit for Atari. Nintendo used a lockout chip to prevent outside publishers from releasing garbage games, and 3rd party publishers were forced to pay Nintendo for the rights to publish games on their console. That's a huge difference from what you are implying.

https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/9amg87/how-third-party-game-devs-reverse-engineered-their-way-onto-your-consoles-nintendo-sega-atari


doesn't even know his video game industry :p





lol

Da_Shocker
04-21-2019, 07:17 PM
You can't just ban TA for being massively annoying. He hasn't violated the TOS. But back on topic this was indeed an interesting read. What I got from it was that SoJ had already had discussions with Sony in Japan before Tom. Tom didn't know anything about it so he made the suggestion to them and was shot down. Sony seemed to ultimately wanted to gobble up Nintendo or Sega eventually.

I don think Japan was incompetent but they didn't seem to interested in actually learning how the American and Europeans market work. The story about the Game Gear was very telling to me. Japan was hell bent on no selling the GG to a lower price to SoE. Prices are extremely important in these markets. I remember reading Next Generation Issue 03 (still got it) that said the Saturn sold out on launch day at 200K units at 44,800 yen which is an eye watering 469 usd with no game included. That is $808.15 in 2019 if anyone wants to know. Notice how the PSx was launched in the US at 299.99. Also look at how the Nintendo 64 was released at 199.99. They seemed to get it that other countries were particularly price sensitive.

gamevet
04-21-2019, 08:19 PM
Pretty much what you said Da_Shocker is spot on.

Kalinske had to convince SOJ to pack-in Sonic the Hedgehog and lower the price of the Genesis, and they'd bent to his will. Then along comes the surprise 1994 launch of the Saturn in Japan, totally derailing SOA's plans for the 32X.

I have no doubts that Olaf and Tom had discussions about an alliance between Sony and Sega. Sony had invested money into Digital Pictures and did fund SOA's Multimedia Studio. There was already an American partnership between the 2 companies.

Gryson
04-21-2019, 08:52 PM
I don think Japan was incompetent but they didn't seem to interested in actually learning how the American and Europeans market work. The story about the Game Gear was very telling to me. Japan was hell bent on no selling the GG to a lower price to SoE. Prices are extremely important in these markets. I remember reading Next Generation Issue 03 (still got it) that said the Saturn sold out on launch day at 200K units at 44,800 yen which is an eye watering 469 usd with no game included. That is $808.15 in 2019 if anyone wants to know. Notice how the PSx was launched in the US at 299.99. Also look at how the Nintendo 64 was released at 199.99. They seemed to get it that other countries were particularly price sensitive.

Japanese management always accepted that they didn't know the foreign markets - that's why they built up the foreign daughter companies and hired locals to run them (this was very exceptional for Japanese companies at the time - compare with Nintendo!). Japan did not "sell" their products to the foreign branches. It was all one company. Japan manufactured the consoles, so they had to consider the bottom line: if we sell this console for this price, will we be able to profit from it? It was a simple formula: they had a prediction for how many games would be sold per console, and if the profit from that didn't exceed the loss on the hardware, then it was a bad business move. Sega's weakness was always in manufacturing, and that is reflected in the high cost they were paying for the hardware. Read more here:

http://www.sega-16.com/forum/showthread.php?33506-Hideki-Sato-on-the-Sega-Saturn-(incredible-new-interview)


Then along comes the surprise 1994 launch of the Saturn in Japan, totally derailing SOA's plans for the 32X.

Not sure where you're getting your info, but there was no surprise launch of the Saturn in Japan. There's a very clear written record (newspapers, magazines, pretty much everywhere) dating back to September 1993 that stated the Saturn would launch by the end of 1994 for around 50,000 yen. It's kind of hard to hide a new console launch. Sega was coordinating with dozens of third party developers around the world. Trust me, everybody knew at least a year in advance when the Saturn was going to come out.

gamevet
04-21-2019, 11:54 PM
Japanese management always accepted that they didn't know the foreign markets - that's why they built up the foreign daughter companies and hired locals to run them (this was very exceptional for Japanese companies at the time - compare with Nintendo!). Japan did not "sell" their products to the foreign branches. It was all one company. Japan manufactured the consoles, so they had to consider the bottom line: if we sell this console for this price, will we be able to profit from it? It was a simple formula: they had a prediction for how many games would be sold per console, and if the profit from that didn't exceed the loss on the hardware, then it was a bad business move. Sega's weakness was always in manufacturing, and that is reflected in the high cost they were paying for the hardware. Read more here:

http://www.sega-16.com/forum/showthread.php?33506-Hideki-Sato-on-the-Sega-Saturn-(incredible-new-interview)

Yeah, and what he's saying there supports why Bernie Stolar said that the Saturn wasn't the future of Sega. Sega was losing money on every console sold and didn't have software sales to overcome those losses. The Saturn didn't have a future, and some members here seemed to believe that Stolar sabotaged it, when in fact, he was cutting the albatross from around Sega's neck.



Not sure where you're getting your info, but there was no surprise launch of the Saturn in Japan. There's a very clear written record (newspapers, magazines, pretty much everywhere) dating back to September 1993 that stated the Saturn would launch by the end of 1994 for around 50,000 yen. It's kind of hard to hide a new console launch. Sega was coordinating with dozens of third party developers around the world. Trust me, everybody knew at least a year in advance when the Saturn was going to come out.

SOJ told SOA that they didn't think that the Saturn would be ready for a 1994 launch. SOJ launched the Saturn on November 22nd, one day after the launch of the 32X in North America. SOJ also delayed the launch of the 32X until December of that year.

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


In January 1994, Sega began to develop an add-on for the Genesis, the Sega 32X, which would serve as a less expensive entry into the 32-bit era. The decision to create the add-on was made by Nakayama and widely supported by Sega of America employees.[6] According to former Sega of America producer Scot Bayless, Nakayama was worried that the Saturn would not be available until after 1994 and that the recently released Atari Jaguar would reduce Sega's hardware sales. As a result, Nakayama ordered his engineers to have the system ready for launch by the end of the year.[6] The 32X would not be compatible with the Saturn, but Sega executive Richard Brudvik-Lindner pointed out that the 32X would play Genesis games, and had the same system architecture as the Saturn.[31] This was justified by Sega's statement that both platforms would run at the same time, and that the 32X would be aimed at players who could not afford the more expensive Saturn.[6][32] According to Sega of America research and development head Joe Miller, the 32X served a role in assisting development teams to familiarize themselves with the dual SH-2 architecture also used in the Saturn.[33] Because both machines shared many of the same parts and were preparing to launch around the same time, tensions emerged between Sega of America and Sega of Japan when the Saturn was given priority.


McFerran, Damien (2010). "Retroinspection: Sega 32X". Retro Gamer. No. 77. pp. 44–49. Scot Bayless: The 32X call was made in early January [1994] ... There's a part of me that wishes the Saturn had adopted the 32X graphics strategy, but that ship had sailed long before the greenlight call from Nakayama.

It's a pretty well known story around here.

Team Andromeda
04-22-2019, 05:58 AM
That is $808.15 in 2019 if anyone wants to know. Notice how the PSx was launched in the US at 299.99. Also look at how the Nintendo 64 was released at 199.99. They seemed to get it that other countries were particularly price sensitive.

Not always. Lets remember $599 for the PS3 and in Europe Nintendo had to slash the price of the N64 by £100 less than a month in (Microsoft also had to do the same for the OG Xbox too ) and I seem to remember Nintendo having to slash the price of the 3DS and selling it at a loss (a 1st for Nintendo) due to poor sales. The launch price of PS in the USA and Canada made SONY Japan utterly mad and made SONY Japan close down its HQ in Canda and replace a lot of the USA top Staff at the time.

Subsidiary or evenn Local branches will always be under cost pressures, not just Internationally either. My mate's father had to go on the sick and was in Hospital for over a month with stress, with the pressure of being a manager for the local branch of a huge Supermarket chain in the UK (UK owned too) and having to always handle the cost vs price issues of his local branch compared to others across the country and handling the pressure from HQ

Its not just in the video game industry either. I see the much the same played out on the car industry and also the high price of the Yen used too (when it suits a corp)

Team Andromeda
04-22-2019, 06:21 AM
SOJ told SOA that they didn't think that the Saturn would be ready for a 1994 launch. SOJ launched the Saturn on November 22nd, one day after the launch of the 32X in North America. SOJ also delayed the launch of the 32X until December of that year.

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

Slighty selective quoting of the Retrogamer feature :) some used to make out that Saturn was hidden from SEGA America and that SOA didn't get Saturn development kits until 95 (none of which, was quite true) Sure SOJ was worried about Hardware delays, the same happened with Nintendo (RARE said they had to make KI on the SNES because of N64 Hardware delays and it was all last min) that happens, even with SONY had to delay the PS3 by over a year; a system that also was difficult to develop for, cost a fortune on launch, had poor launch line up (but somehow only the Saturn gets called out for those issues)

The moment the 32X project should have been killed off was in April or more so in June 1994 . In April 1994 SEGA Japan showed off the completed Saturn chipset and design to the Press and officially announced the system would launch in Japan in Fall 94 And by the June Toyko gameshow 1994 we then had an exact street date and price too, So that's really when the 32X should have been dropped Even Scott, told retrogamer that the 32X should have been killed off, when SOJ got their 94 launch date. I would have loved to seen how Star Wars, Doom and Virtual Racing would have run on the Saturn if the same 32X Teams were put on Saturn versions and to me I didn't mind SEGA America's call to call early (it was nice see Hardware dates getting getting close to each other) I just think the launch date should have been July/Aug... when Bug, Virtual Fighter Remix and ClockworkKnight II were ready to go.

https://live.staticflickr.com/1158/5107722230_7229ec160c_o.jpg

Gryson
04-22-2019, 11:11 AM
SOJ told SOA that they didn't think that the Saturn would be ready for a 1994 launch. SOJ launched the Saturn on November 22nd, one day after the launch of the 32X in North America. SOJ also delayed the launch of the 32X until December of that year.

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

It's a pretty well known story around here.

I don't really care what Wikipedia or Scot Bayless (a technical director on the other side of the world) have to say: it is a cold, hard fact that the Saturn had a clear launch date for over a year and met that date. I don't care if Scot Bayless or some other SOA employee was surprised that the Saturn launched when it did. Note that NOWHERE have you justified your statement that the Saturn had a "surprise 1994 launch in Japan" (your own words).

Here is a list of near-monthly comments published in Beep! MD in Japan describing the launch date of the Saturn. All of this info comes directly from Sega's corporate office. Keep in mind that publication date is actually one month ahead of when it was actually published:


Beep MD 11/93: “The Saturn is planned to go on sale next November… The price will be under 50,000 yen.”

Beep MD 3/94: “The Saturn will go on sale this autumn. The price has not yet been decided.”

Beep MD 4/94: Interview with the Saturn product manager Hideki Okamura: “The Saturn development is on schedule for launching in November of this year. Our target price is under 49,800 yen.”

Beep MD 5/94: “Preparations for the Saturn’s launch this fall are proceeding steadily.”

Beep MD 6/94: “The Saturn’s launch in November is quickly approaching, and the Mega Drive’s power-up booster “Genesis Super 32X” is planned to go on sale around the same time as the Saturn.” Quote from Okamura: “We are on target for our November launch.”

Beep MD 7/94: “Saturn release data: Nov. 1994.” “The 32X will be launching around the same time as the Saturn this autumn.”

Beep MD 9/94: “The target release date for both the Saturn and 32X will be in November.”

Beep MD 10/94: “Only two months until the launch of both the Saturn and 32X!” Quote from Okamura: “The project is proceeding on schedule for a launch sometime in November.”

The same info was published in every other gaming publication and newspaper.

Honestly, at this point, I think you'd have to be dense to argue that there was a "surprise 1994 launch of the Saturn in Japan."

zyrobs
04-22-2019, 11:35 AM
You guys are mixing facts again. The "surprise launch" fiasco on the Saturn refers to the early American launch. That's what destroyed them, since it pissed off everyone who supported the 32x by killing it off in half a year, and it pissed off every store that Sega could not supply with Saturns at launch due to logistics issues.

If they keep the 32x alive for all of 1995, launch the Saturn at 1995 Xmas, then keep the 32x on life support till 1996 (or replace it and the genesis altogether with the Neptune), then they'd be much better off. That was the plan. But SOJ sold 1 million Saturns in 3 months due to Virtua Fighter, and wanted to launch the Saturn as early as possible in America, and it ruined them.

Gryson
04-22-2019, 12:17 PM
You guys are mixing facts again. The "surprise launch" fiasco on the Saturn refers to the early American launch. That's what destroyed them, since it pissed off everyone who supported the 32x by killing it off in half a year, and it pissed off every store that Sega could not supply with Saturns at launch due to logistics issues.

If they keep the 32x alive for all of 1995, launch the Saturn at 1995 Xmas, then keep the 32x on life support till 1996 (or replace it and the genesis altogether with the Neptune), then they'd be much better off. That was the plan. But SOJ sold 1 million Saturns in 3 months due to Virtua Fighter, and wanted to launch the Saturn as early as possible in America, and it ruined them.

I don't think he's mixing facts here. As I recall, Scot Bayless (or someone else at SOA) did claim that the Saturn launched in Japan earlier than they had thought it would, which caused everybody's attention to go to that and wonder "Why should I buy an add-on when Japan already has a next gen console?" But that must be a misunderstanding on Bayless's part, since the Saturn launch in Japan was never a surprise (perhaps a surprise for him, though).

Also, it's pretty clear that the 32X was effectively dead a few months after it came out. Magazines were initially positive, but following that there were a lot of comments along the lines of "There are no big titles on the horizon - is Sega already abandoning the 32X?" Sega would have been in a tight financial position if they tried to rely on the 32X alone in 1995. Regardless, the 32X wasn't intended to compete or replace the Saturn. It was always Sega's intention to split the market (Genesis - 32X - Saturn), but the early death of the 32X may have prompted the early release of the Saturn in NA.

axel
04-22-2019, 01:05 PM
I don't think he's mixing facts here. As I recall, Scot Bayless (or someone else at SOA) did claim that the Saturn launched in Japan earlier than they had thought it would, which caused everybody's attention to go to that and wonder "Why should I buy an add-on when Japan already has a next gen console?" But that must be a misunderstanding on Bayless's part, since the Saturn launch in Japan was never a surprise (perhaps a surprise for him, though).

Also, it's pretty clear that the 32X was effectively dead a few months after it came out. Magazines were initially positive, but following that there were a lot of comments along the lines of "There are no big titles on the horizon - is Sega already abandoning the 32X?" Sega would have been in a tight financial position if they tried to rely on the 32X alone in 1995. Regardless, the 32X wasn't intended to compete or replace the Saturn. It was always Sega's intention to split the market (Genesis - 32X - Saturn), but the early death of the 32X may have prompted the early release of the Saturn in NA.

That's how it sounds to me too, Bayless was simply clueless about the timeline, lack of communication.

The 32X as it happened was doomed to failure, but if it had gotten some AAA titles and the release of a standalone Neptune I think it could have done fine until 1996, of course it's hard to do all that when your best programmers and engineers are busy trying to get decent performance out of the Saturn...

gamevet
04-22-2019, 01:21 PM
I don't really care what Wikipedia or Scot Bayless (a technical director on the other side of the world) have to say: it is a cold, hard fact that the Saturn had a clear launch date for over a year and met that date. I don't care if Scot Bayless or some other SOA employee was surprised that the Saturn launched when it did. Note that NOWHERE have you justified your statement that the Saturn had a "surprise 1994 launch in Japan" (your own words).

Here is a list of near-monthly comments published in Beep! MD in Japan describing the launch date of the Saturn. All of this info comes directly from Sega's corporate office. Keep in mind that publication date is actually one month ahead of when it was actually published:



The same info was published in every other gaming publication and newspaper.

Honestly, at this point, I think you'd have to be dense to argue that there was a "surprise 1994 launch of the Saturn in Japan."

The ONLY reason SOA was approached by SOJ with a stop gap system (which became the 32X) was because they did not believe that they would have the Saturn ready for that launch date. Like Tom said, SEGA looked greedy by releasing both hardware around the same time. Looking at the software that was available for the Saturn, compared to 32X clearly points towards a rushed Saturn launch, with a rushed version of Virtua Fighter being one of the few games available for it. The North American early launch barely had a lineup either and I had a really hard time finding a Japanese game to play, let alone North America for the 4 1st months I owned it.

Gryson
04-22-2019, 01:42 PM
The ONLY reason SOA was approached by SOJ with a stop gap system (which became the 32X) was because they did not believe that they would have the Saturn ready for that launch date. Like Tom said, SEGA looked greedy by releasing both hardware around the same time. Looking at the software that was available for the Saturn, compared to 32X clearly points towards a rushed Saturn launch, with a rushed version of Virtua Fighter being one of the few games available for it. The North American early launch barely had a lineup either and I had a really hard time finding a Japanese game to play, let alone North America for the 4 1st months I owned it.

That's not at all true. There are many statements to the contrary, from both the heads of Sega Enterprises and Sega of America. The 32X came about because a $400 console was a hard sell in the American market. There was a vast install base of Genesis systems, but owners weren't buying many games becase the next generation was looming. The 32X was a way to stimulate sales within this user base.

Honestly, it's a bit ridiculous to suggest that Sega couldn't get the Saturn to market by 1994 despite beginning development in 1992, but they could get the 32X to market in 10 months??

You have zero evidence to suggest that the Saturn wasn't ready to launch in Japan in Nov. 1994. Give it up. You're misunderstanding something fundamental about the history here.

axel
04-22-2019, 02:45 PM
That's not at all true. There are many statements to the contrary, from both the heads of Sega Enterprises and Sega of America. The 32X came about because a $400 console was a hard sell in the American market. There was a vast install base of Genesis systems, but owners weren't buying many games becase the next generation was looming. The 32X was a way to stimulate sales within this user base.

Based on what I've seen published here I tend to agree but that still makes little sense, when have you ever seen a company release two brand new home consoles at the same time? It never happened before or again because it is an idiotic strategy. At some point communication must have broken down because there is no way a company like Sega would have planned for something like that.

Team Andromeda
04-22-2019, 02:49 PM
I don't think he's mixing facts here. As I recall, Scot Bayless (or someone else at SOA) did claim that the Saturn launched in Japan earlier than they had thought it would, which caused everybody's attention to go to that and wonder "Why should I buy an add-on when Japan already has a next gen console?" But that must be a misunderstanding on Bayless's part, since the Saturn launch in Japan was never a surprise (perhaps a surprise for him, though).


The improved Saturn specs to counter the PS, did make some inside SEGA Japan and America think it wouldn't make it to the market in 1994, but come the summer of 1994 it was clear to all that SEGA Japan was going to hit in Nov 94. You couldn't be in any doubt after the Toyko game show in 1994
I also have no big issue with the early launch of the Saturn, I was always sick of the long wait and gap between the Japanese domestic launch to the west. I just feel SEGA picked the wrong month to go early. It would have made more sense to go in late July or early Aug 1995 when Bug, Virtual Fighter Remix and Clockwork Knight II were all ready to go

Scott even says himself, that SOA should have killed the 32X inthe spring of 94

https://live.staticflickr.com/796/40693958614_b5da124014_o.jpg

Team Andromeda
04-22-2019, 03:02 PM
The 32X came about because a $400 console was a hard sell in the American market. There was a vast install base of Genesis systems, but owners weren't buying many games becase the next generation was looming. The 32X was a way to stimulate sales within this user base..

It wasn't just the price, it was also SEGA very worried (even though now its sounds silly) about the 3DO (given its EA links) and the Jaguar; People can laugh at it now, but many developers (including id) were talking the Jaguar up and how for the planned price, it was going to be a great console with solid 3D and a 2D chipset 2nd to none.
I also remember like you say.. so many were all for the 32X (even most of the press and developers) but SONY showed people were ready to dump their 16 bit systems, wanted something new and were willing to pay for it and just killed, any real chance the 32X might have had

If the 32X had come out in 1993, things could well have been so very different mind. I myself would have rathered seen SEGA go with the original plan of a CD based and Cart based Saturn (Jupiter). So at least that way you had a much cheaper system to sell and could share development resources and at a later date those who bought the Jupiter could have added a CD-Rom drive, when the costs of CD drive really started to come down in price in 1996 and thanks to the Cart inside the Saturn users could play any of their Jupiter cart games too.

axel
04-22-2019, 04:40 PM
It wasn't just the price, it was also SEGA very worried (even though now its sounds silly) about the 3DO (given its EA links) and the Jaguar; People can laugh at it now, but many developers (including id) were talking the Jaguar up and how for the planned price, it was going to be a great console with solid 3D and a 2D chipset 2nd to none.
I also remember like you say.. so many were all for the 32X (even most of the press and developers) but SONY showed people were ready to dump their 16 bit systems, wanted something new and were willing to pay for it and just killed, any real chance the 32X might have had

If the 32X had come out in 1993, things could well have been so very different mind. I myself would have rathered seen SEGA go with the original plan of a CD based and Cart based Saturn (Jupiter). So at least that way you had a much cheaper system to sell and could share development resources and at a later date those who bought the Jupiter could have added a CD-Rom drive, when the costs of CD drive really started to come down in price in 1996 and thanks to the Cart inside the Saturn users could play any of their Jupiter cart games too.

So basically -- one system to compete with Atari/3DO and a second system to compete with Sony/Nintendo?
That just doesn't make sense. I'm not disagreeing with you because you've done your research, but wow what a crazy hardware strategy.

Gryson
04-22-2019, 05:53 PM
Based on what I've seen published here I tend to agree but that still makes little sense, when have you ever seen a company release two brand new home consoles at the same time? It never happened before or again because it is an idiotic strategy. At some point communication must have broken down because there is no way a company like Sega would have planned for something like that.

Well, it was a convoluted situation. I don't think communication ever broke down. Both the American and Japan sides were working together closely on it, and both seemed sold on the idea. The problem was really the cost of the hardware.


It wasn't just the price, it was also SEGA very worried (even though now its sounds silly) about the 3DO (given its EA links) and the Jaguar; People can laugh at it now, but many developers (including id) were talking the Jaguar up and how for the planned price, it was going to be a great console with solid 3D and a 2D chipset 2nd to none.


This doesn't really make sense, though. I know Bayless said that Nakayama was worried about the Jaguar, but that's exactly what the Saturn was going to overcome. I think there was likely some context missing from what Bayless reported. I mean, imagine it's Jan. 1994. Sega has been working on the Saturn for 2 years. It has a planned release date of Nov. 1994. Nakayama is worried about competition from the Jaguar, so what does he do? He decides to order the development of a new console/add-on at the last minute?! That makes no sense when you already have the Saturn in the pipeline about ready to go. A 10-month complete turnaround on a console (even an add-on) was a bit extreme.

I think it's much more likely that Nakayama was responding to SOA's concern about the Saturn's cost:

SOA: "We can't sell a $400 console!"
Nakayama: "Well, we've got to sell something! The Jaguar is going to kill our momentum."

Regardless, Nakayama has clearly stated that the 32X came about because of SOA's concerns about the cost of the Saturn. This has been supported by people like Shinobu Toyoda and Hideki Sato. The 32X was seen as a cheaper option to stimulate sales from the many Genesis owners.



So basically -- one system to compete with Atari/3DO and a second system to compete with Sony/Nintendo?
That just doesn't make sense. I'm not disagreeing with you because you've done your research, but wow what a crazy hardware strategy.

It doesn't make sense because that wasn't their strategy.

gamevet
04-22-2019, 11:26 PM
That's not at all true. There are many statements to the contrary, from both the heads of Sega Enterprises and Sega of America. The 32X came about because a $400 console was a hard sell in the American market. There was a vast install base of Genesis systems, but owners weren't buying many games becase the next generation was looming. The 32X was a way to stimulate sales within this user base.

Honestly, it's a bit ridiculous to suggest that Sega couldn't get the Saturn to market by 1994 despite beginning development in 1992, but they could get the 32X to market in 10 months??

You know good and well that the hardware design Sega had in 1992 was nothing like the final product. It was Sega experimenting. And do you really believe that Joe Miller came up with the idea of the 2 SH2 chips in the 32X?


You have zero evidence to suggest that the Saturn wasn't ready to launch in Japan in Nov. 1994. Give it up. You're misunderstanding something fundamental about the history here.

I was looking through all of my EGM magazines from 1993 to the 1st quarter of 1995. The reports about the hardware were all over the place. Even the hardware specs and speculations about Sega making the Saturn compatible with the 32X were being mentioned. In all of those magazines I saw one time where the launch of the Saturn in Japan for the fall of 1994 was mentioned and that was the May 1994 issue of EGM, which means Ed had heard of it somewhere around March of that year. The 1994 CES had final specs and the infamous artist rendition of what the console would look like, and if I'm not mistaken, there was mention (in a later issue) of devs finally getting to see kits for it @ mid 1994.

Joe Miller (in this Sega-16 interview) does give a hint that they were caught off guard by as much as 12 months about being ready for the Saturn.

http://www.sega-16.com/2013/02/interview-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. I’d say that the rhetoric around the deteriorating relationship is probably overblown a little bit, based on what I’ve 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.

One of the stories that hasn’t been told is that the 32X actually helped development teams that had been successful on Genesis make the step up to the Hitachi SH-2 – dual SH-2s in that case – and there were a bunch of routines, a collection of tools and compilers that were created to support 32X development that were adapted and ported over to Saturn. The early launch meant that we had to accelerate all of that in the pipeline as well – all the cross-development tools, all the documentation – and get developers ramped up 6, 8, 12 months earlier than we had expected or intended

The mention of 12 months makes it pretty obvious what he was talking about.

Da_Shocker
04-22-2019, 11:36 PM
How on earth did Sega feel that Atari was a threat? Given how the 5200 and 7800 pretty much bombed out all of the sudden they were supposed gain some sort of momentum with the Jaguar? Which had lackluster first party games and very little 3rd party support.

Gryson
04-22-2019, 11:45 PM
You know good and well that the hardware design Sega had in 1992 was nothing like the final product. It was Sega experimenting. And do you really believe that Joe Miller came up with the idea of the 2 SH2 chips in the 32X?

edit: Saturn design was mostly finalized by autumn 1993 (the decision to use two chips was made in Sept. 1993: see here (http://www.sega-16.com/forum/showthread.php?33527-The-Story-of-the-Hitachi-SH-2-and-the-Sega-Saturn)). Development of Panzer Dragoon began in late 1993.


I was looking through all of my EGM magazines from 1993 to the 1st quarter of 1995. The reports about the hardware were all over the place. Even the hardware specs and speculations about Sega making the Saturn compatible with the 32X were being mentioned. In all of those magazines I saw one time where the launch of the Saturn in Japan for the fall of 1994 was mentioned and that was the May 1994 issue of EGM, which means Ed had heard of it somewhere around March of that year. The 1994 CES had final specs and the infamous artist rendition of what the console would look like, and if I'm not mistaken, there was mention (in a later issue) of devs finally getting to see kits for it @ mid 1994.

Joe Miller (in this Sega-16 interview) does give a hint that they were caught off guard by as much as 12 months about being ready for the Saturn.

http://www.sega-16.com/2013/02/interview-joe-miller/



The mention of 12 months makes it pretty obvious what he was talking about.

Gamevet, I do not care what EGM says. I just posted straight, unadulterated evidence from the most accurate Sega magazine ever, Beep! Mega Drive, which clearly demonstrates that the Saturn was scheduled (from Oct.1993) to launch in Nov. 1994 and it met that schedule. You're not going to find a more accurate source, so don't bother looking. For fuck's sake, they have direct quotes from the Saturn product manager throughout 1994 constantly stating that it's going to be released Nov. 1994. And you're still arguing that there was a surprise launch?! Because EGM didn't report on it?!?

And seriously, Joe Miller is talking about the early US launch in that quote. He specifically says that they were porting tools over to the Saturn from the 32X, but they had to speed it up because it launched earlier than expected (IN THE US).

willful ignorance
(noun)
The practice or act of intentional and blatant avoidance, disregard or disagreement with facts, empirical evidence and well-founded arguments because they oppose or contradict your own existing personal beliefs.


How on earth did Sega feel that Atari was a threat? Given how the 5200 and 7800 pretty much bombed out all of the sudden they were supposed gain some sort of momentum with the Jaguar? Which had lackluster first party games and very little 3rd party support.

Take that with a grain of salt... it's third-hand info remembered way after the fact by one guy. But the context of the comment was immediately after the Jaguar's launch.

Sega's management was much more worried about the PC market in North America. That's likely the dominant factor in why the 16-bit market dried up in 1994. You can see Kalinske trying to downplay the size of the PC market in old interviews. Kind of funny.

gamevet
04-23-2019, 01:02 AM
edit: Saturn design was mostly finalized by autumn 1993 (the decision to use two chips was made in Sept. 1993: see here (http://www.sega-16.com/forum/showthread.php?33527-The-Story-of-the-Hitachi-SH-2-and-the-Sega-Saturn)). Development of Panzer Dragoon began in late 1993.

That supports what I'd said and was just 4 months before the 1994 CES where a decision was made for the 32X.




Gamevet, I do not care what EGM says. I just posted straight, unadulterated evidence from the most accurate Sega magazine ever, Beep! Mega Drive, which clearly demonstrates that the Saturn was scheduled (from Oct.1993) to launch in Nov. 1994 and it met that schedule. You're not going to find a more accurate source, so don't bother looking. For fuck's sake, they have direct quotes from the Saturn product manager throughout 1994 constantly stating that it's going to be released Nov. 1994. And you're still arguing that there was a surprise launch?! Because EGM didn't report on it?!?

I researched EGM, because they were the mouthpiece of information being leaked to North America. Quarterman called the $299 price of the PlayStation 6 months before E3, yet somehow SEGA was supposedly blindsided by it.


And seriously, Joe Miller is talking about the early US launch in that quote. He specifically says that they were porting tools over to the Saturn from the 32X, but they had to speed it up because it launched earlier than expected (IN THE US).

12 months from the early US launch would be May of 1994 and 6 months would be November of 1994. That doesn't add up to the planned September 1995 North American launch. He was talking about the 1994 launch of PlayStation that put pressure on SEGA to launch the Saturn weeks prior in Japan.


willful ignorance
(noun)
The practice or act of intentional and blatant avoidance, disregard or disagreement with facts, empirical evidence and well-founded arguments because they oppose or contradict your own existing personal beliefs.

Presume

verb
1.
suppose that something is the case on the basis of probability.
"I presumed that the man had been escorted from the building"

Team Andromeda
04-23-2019, 03:06 AM
So basically -- one system to compete with Atari/3DO and a second system to compete with Sony/Nintendo?
That just doesn't make sense. I'm not disagreeing with you because you've done your research, but wow what a crazy hardware strategy.

SEGA was looking into a spiced up Mega Drive very early in, I remember reading stories of the GigaDrive (the 32bit Mega Drive) before the Mega Drive itself, even launched in the UK; Mean Machines (Uk gaming mag) even thought the Mega CD was the planned GigaDrive at one stage, due to the use of dual 16-Bit CPU's
NEC was always looking to improve their system and when they got worried about the planned Mega Drive they came up with the Super Grafx and so like SEGA had two main systems support (and also a CD add on) and market at the same time, the only diff was they were both 8-bit and the NEC couldn't handle it, much like SEGA. The PC Super Grafx was a complete and utter flop and it is a system that still to this day doesn't make much sense, much like the 32X. All becasue the time they hit market was all wrong and the predicted threats never materialised

Sometimes it can work out though, when Nintendo got wind of the PSP, they had to act quickly and came up with the DS and as ARM told EDGE, that wasn't quite the original plan of Nintendo's or the true planned to follow up to the GBA, but Nintendo was worried about the news SONY would be coming into the Handheld markets and had to act very fast to try and counter it and in true Nintendo style, they made it work.

Team Andromeda
04-23-2019, 05:05 AM
How on earth did Sega feel that Atari was a threat? Given how the 5200 and 7800 pretty much bombed out all of the sudden they were supposed gain some sort of momentum with the Jaguar? Which had lackluster first party games and very little 3rd party support.

It's easy to say and think like that now, but I remember looking backinto the period of when The Jaguar was getting the hype it was widely covered in all the all main gaming press and I remember the head of both Dixsons and Virgin Iteraiment saying that if the Jaguar had a Nintendo or SEGA badge on it, it would clean up at retail and Dixons at the time was the UK biggest electrical retailer. People were taking notice, more so with the planned price of the Jaguar and its very decent spec. I was more worried about the 3DO and that seems mad at the time. But to me, EA really helped make the Mega Drive and almost any MD game they made was class and to see their former Boss set up 3D0 and EA being behind the Project in a huge way (with each 3DO game planned to have a 5 million dollar budget) got me slightly worried.

SEGA was also worried over Atari patients too and paid out one of the most ridiculous settlements I can remember in the video game industry and also gave Atari access to nearly all its IP other than SONIC.
I'm amazed that SEGA's lawyers saw fit to recommend an out of court settlement with a huge Payout, SEGA buying a load of Atari shares too and allowing Atari to use SEGA IP.

Team Andromeda
04-23-2019, 05:25 AM
This doesn't really make sense, though. I know Bayless said that Nakayama was worried about the Jaguar, but that's exactly what the Saturn was going to overcome. I think there was likely some context missing from what Bayless reported. I mean, imagine it's Jan. 1994. Sega has been working on the Saturn for 2 years. It has a planned release date of Nov. 1994. Nakayama is worried about competition from the Jaguar, so what does he do? He decides to order the development of a new console/add-on at the last minute?! That makes no sense when you already have the Saturn in the pipeline about ready to go. A 10-month complete turnaround on a console (even an add-on) was a bit extreme..


Bayless and SEGA Japan staff said that SEGA was worried about the Jaguar and 3DO, more so as the Saturn project might have to be delayed beyond 1994, because SEGA was so badly caught out with the PS spec's and that SONY was coming to the market. I can see why SEGA would be worried that the 3DO and Jaguar could have all the next-gen market to themselves in 1994 and early 95, while it looked to counter the SONY specs. SEGA was always looking at threats, I mean you more than anyone should know about the planned Giga Drive; which was a Mega Drive with better spec and more colour's, which SEGA Japan was pushing for while SEGA West was more looking at the SVP and add-ons as a better route.
SEGA was also worried about the price of the Saturn double speed CD drives and lots of memory was so costly back in 1994. I much rathered the plan of a Saturn with-out the 2Mb of Ram and CD Drive to slash costs, to go along with the CD based Saturn

There is no doubt that the Saturn was planned for fall 1994 even at the very early stage.
Hitachi and SEGA held a press conference in Japan of Spring 1993 to announce their partnership and where the SH-2 was shown off for the planned system launch of 94 (it was no more specific than that) . I think what messed all that plan up was the news in November of that year (1993) of SONY's shock news and mighty spec, to which SEGA had to try and counter and came up with the dual SH-2 design and the need to beef up the number of sprites the VDP1 could handle (so the Saturn could push more polygons). That was no doubt the main issues SEGA were dealing with and why SOJ called up SOA in January 1994 to try and come with counter plans.

Team Andromeda
04-23-2019, 07:53 AM
Take that with a grain of salt... it's third-hand info remembered way after the fact by one guy. But the context of the comment was immediately after the Jaguar's launch.

Sega's management was much more worried about the PC market in North America. That's likely the dominant factor in why the 16-bit market dried up in 1994. You can see Kalinske trying to downplay the size of the PC market in old interviews. Kind of funny.

Take it from Scott Bayless.

https://i.imgur.com/xogE1io.jpg


Also, I don't think SEGA were worried about the PC at all. They set up the likes of SEGA Soft and in Japan set up a dictated PC division (which went on to become Smilebit) and ported quite a number of Arcade titles, Mega Drive/Mega CD and Saturn titles to the PC and also looked to do deals with Nvidia's 3D card, hell Sonic X was in development for the PC at one stage too

axel
04-23-2019, 03:35 PM
The more I read on this site the more I'm left scratching my head at Sega's decisions in the 1990s. The Jaguar never sold well. Even if it had, who cares when you have a much more powerful system already in the works? Why was there a rush to create a Genesis add-on to compete with a console few people owned?

The common narrative is that the 32X was a response to the SNES add-on chips and the fact that Virtua Racing was so expensive, to me that makes a lot more sense than this idea that the Jaguar had to be stopped at all costs.

Gryson
04-23-2019, 06:13 PM
The more I read on this site the more I'm left scratching my head at Sega's decisions in the 1990s. The Jaguar never sold well. Even if it had, who cares when you have a much more powerful system already in the works? Why was there a rush to create a Genesis add-on to compete with a console few people owned?

The common narrative is that the 32X was a response to the SNES add-on chips and the fact that Virtua Racing was so expensive, to me that makes a lot more sense than this idea that the Jaguar had to be stopped at all costs.

If you're interested, check out Keith Stuart's history in Sega Mega Drive/Genesis: Collected Works. He has interviews with the top people in both Japan and the US and they all say that the 32X came about because there were worries that the Saturn would be priced too high for the American market. Scot Bayless wasn't that high up on the food chain so he probably didn't have the full picture there.

I've actually been in the process of writing an article on the history of the 32X with some newly-translated sources, so I think that will dispel some of this confusion.

Leynos
04-23-2019, 06:19 PM
Wait, what? The 32X was a response to the Jaguar? What next PS4 was a response to the Ouya because both controllers had a touchpad? Was SEGA really that fucking stupid?

Gryson
04-23-2019, 06:24 PM
:shock:

Leynos
04-23-2019, 07:04 PM
Fine I will look at TA's post. I have him on ignore so I only saw who you quoted. It just seems really wierd anyone esp SEGA gave any serious thought to Atari in 1993 as being a threat.Also, I believe PS4 touchpad was insurance take in case Wii U succeeded much like Sixaxis to Wii motion controls but that's pretty obvious. Tho I typically call it the select-tangle since that seems to be it's only real purpose. (Still prefer it over a giant cumbersome tablet)

Da_Shocker
04-23-2019, 08:05 PM
The Jaguar did indeed have a great price point but the software was NEVER there. The best games seems to be PC ports and or games inspired by Sega (Super Burnout) and Nintendo (Atari Karts). It lasted 3 years and there was less than 50 games released. 3DO was not a mass market device. Maybe it would have fared better with VCD built in at 699. I just find it hard to believe that the 32X was created to counter 2 massively flawed systems compared to simply releasing an add on because your new system is going to be 399.99.

axel
04-23-2019, 11:04 PM
The thing is the 32X did not have that low of a price either, it was a $160 but you needed to have a Genesis already. For casuals and people who were just getting into gaming and wanted a budget system a Genesis+32X didn't save them any money, a Jaguar alone was probably cheaper. Sure it was a bargain if you already owned a Genesis but Genesis owners who were willing to invest in a brand-new add-on in 1994 are the kind of people who were likely to purchase whatever console Sega put out at the time.

At the end of the day it still makes no sense to release two home consoles at the same time.

Blades
04-24-2019, 12:28 AM
I've actually been in the process of writing an article on the history of the 32X with some newly-translated sources, so I think that will dispel some of this confusion.

Yesssssssssssss

Team Andromeda
04-24-2019, 04:20 AM
If you're interested, check out Keith Stuart's history in Sega Mega Drive/Genesis: Collected Works. He has interviews with the top people in both Japan and the US and they all say that the 32X came about because there were worries that the Saturn would be priced too high for the American market. Scot Bayless wasn't that high up on the food chain so he probably didn't have the full picture there.

I've actually been in the process of writing an article on the history of the 32X with some newly-translated sources, so I think that will dispel some of this confusion.

He was was SEGA Senior America technical director, only one down form Joe and run SOA techncial dept . Also Marty Fran told Retro gamer, not only it was he who asked for thr SH2's but SEGA was worried over the Jag, also confirmed by SEGA Europe Barry Jefro.

Maybe you need better sources for the article. Because its looks quite clear SEGA were worried over the Jag that is backed up my not just Scott, but by Barry Jeffro, Marty Franz's and I think even Joe Miller (in one interview with I think Retro) I would imagine that not only was SEGA worried about the Jag, 3DO but also maybe even the planned SNES CD which was meant to have a 32Bit CPU and some amazing tech (none of which really proved to be true) bu

I also find it very puzzling why you think SEGA were worried about the PC. When SEGA America set up SEGASoft, Started to port its Mega Drive and Mega CD games to Window's 95, SEGA Japan set up a dedicated PC Line in SEGA Japan and also SEGA made the TerraDrive and also allowed Amstrad to use the Mega Drive technology in its Amstrad MEGA PC and did a deal with Nivda, for the Diamond Edge 3D card for the PC and infact Both SEGA and Nivda even looked to work on a system together

Team Andromeda
04-24-2019, 04:24 AM
Fine I will look at TA's post. I have him on ignore so I only saw who you quoted. It just seems really wierd anyone esp SEGA gave any serious thought to Atari in 1993 as being a threat.Also, I believe PS4 touchpad was insurance take in case Wii U succeeded much like Sixaxis to Wii motion controls but that's pretty obvious. Tho I typically call it the select-tangle since that seems to be it's only real purpose. (Still prefer it over a giant cumbersome tablet)

I like to deal on facts and look to see when a number of people tell the say story (rather than a single individual or some internet chat) Sega was worried over the Jag and 3D0, I bet it was even worried over the SNES CD too
. And since your bring up the Wii , both Sony and MS were worried about it and motion controls eating into their market, Hence why we go Move and MS own add-on disaster, that was Kinect.

Team Andromeda
04-24-2019, 07:42 AM
The Jaguar did indeed have a great price point but the software was NEVER there. The best games seems to be PC ports and or games inspired by Sega (Super Burnout) and Nintendo (Atari Karts).


SEGA was worried before the system came out. The Jag tech was impressive a lot of people and the planned £199 price point had some in SEGA worried. Michel Ancel was a huge fan of the Hardware and Rayman led development on the Jag. John Carmack, one of the best programmers around then (never mind now) said its the best Hardware he had ever seen and the Jaguar CRY colour mode the best thing around and how he wished it was on the PC. The Jaguar was impressing a lot of people, little did most know how dire Atari was in or how it would mess up the launch so bad and come out with an advertising campaign that would have peed off most of the top Japanese developers, which its heavy push on USA.

I'm amazed to this day that 1) SEGA was worried over the Jag and 2) SEGA Paid out its ridiculous settlement to Atari when SEGA should have played hardball and just watch Atari go bankrupt and it wasn't even like it was just SEGA using the 9 pin patient, Neo Geo, Commodore, Amstrad/Sinclair and a host of others were too.

axel
04-24-2019, 12:53 PM
I'm amazed to this day that 1) SEGA was worried over the Jag and 2) SEGA Paid out its ridiculous settlement to Atari when SEGA should have played hardball and just watch Atari go bankrupt and it wasn't even like it was just SEGA using the 9 pin patient, Neo Geo, Commodore, Amstrad/Sinclair and a host of others were too.

I am too and today it looks comical, your competitor has put out a joke of a console so you respond with your own half-baked add-on? This is one time where the truth is stranger than fiction.

Team Andromeda
04-24-2019, 01:46 PM
I am too and today it looks comical, your competitor has put out a joke of a console so you respond with your own half-baked add-on? This is one time where the truth is stranger than fiction.

But people didn't know it would go to be a joke of a console, the Jaguar did on paper sound like a very nice system. I bet SEGA wasn't just worried about the Jaguar or the 3DO, but also the planned SNES CD Drive and the planned NEC ironman console (which would later go on to become the PC-FX) who knows manybe even the planned Neo Geo Star lol
Like I said too, I'm amazed that SEGA thought it would be a good move to pay Atari close to $100 million dollars and allow Atari access to its IP other than Sonic. I would have played hardball or at the very least just take old MD stock off the market and make all new Mega Drive come with a custom port, rather than pay Atari and give them the right to use my beloved SEGA IP.

But competition can not only bring out the best in corps, but the worst just looked at Kinect or more so NEC PC SuperGraxf; A system made to try and counter the MD only to be a lesser mans PC-Eng, never mind Mega Drive. SEGA had a gun-ho attitude of they'll just try anything and if it didn't work so what. I bet it was a great place to work, but a nightmare for SEGA's cash flow and investors

Leynos
04-24-2019, 02:35 PM
Few people even knew it existed back then and yes those who did were far and few. Atari was already a name that carried little to no weight by 93 esp since it wasn't really Atari anymore. Everything after 2600 was a major flop and made no dent. There was no real hype before of after it's release. It had some crappy ads of "Do the Math" but they didn't run that often while Genesis & SNES ads were constant that I recall

axel
04-24-2019, 02:59 PM
But people didn't know it would go to be a joke of a console, the Jaguar did on paper sound like a very nice system. I bet SEGA wasn't just worried about the Jaguar or the 3DO, but also the planned SNES CD Drive and the planned NEC ironman console (which would later go on to become the PC-FX) who knows manybe even the planned Neo Geo Star lol
Like I said too, I'm amazed that SEGA thought it would be a good move to pay Atari close to $100 million dollars and allow Atari access to its IP other than Sonic. I would have played hardball or at the very least just take old MD stock off the market and make all new Mega Drive come with a custom port, rather than pay Atari and give them the right to use my beloved SEGA IP.

But competition can not only bring out the best in corps, but the worst just looked at Kinect or more so NEC PC SuperGraxf; A system made to try and counter the MD only to be a lesser mans PC-Eng, never mind Mega Drive. SEGA had a gun-ho attitude of they'll just try anything and if it didn't work so what. I bet it was a great place to work, but a nightmare for SEGA's cash flow and investors

I don't see the Kinect being the same kind of error, trying to match a feature of a popular console is much different than scrambling to build an add-on to counter what was essentially vaporware. The Jag is OK on paper but even at launch it would have seemed obvious that Atari was a shadow of its former self and the console had next to no third party support, well I guess hindsight is always 20/20.

Even if the Jaguar had sold well I still don't think the 32X would have been the way to counter it, the Saturn (or any other standalone console) would have been much better.

Team Andromeda
04-24-2019, 03:54 PM
I don't see the Kinect being the same kind of error, trying to match a feature of a popular console is much different than scrambling to build an add-on to counter what was essentially vaporware. The Jag is OK on paper but even at launch it would have seemed obvious that Atari was a shadow of its former self and the console had next to no third party support, well I guess hindsight is always 20/20.

At the time I couldn't see why SEGA would be worried over the Jag. I guess that with the full launch of the Jaguar set for spring 1994 and possible delays to Saturn in 1994 Maybe SEGA top brass was worried of SONY getting the upper hand in Japan and how the Jaguar could have 1994 all to its self with a price point close to that of the ageing 16 bit consoles and spec's that totally blew them out of the water and then there was all the talk of other systems, like the SNES CD, Neo Star and NEC's Iron man and 3D0 bulldog (M2). With the Jaguar I also remember talk of Time Warner looking to take more a controlling stake in Atari (to add to its stock it already owned) that could have meant some serious money, how the Williams was going to use the Jag Hardware in the Arcades and that MK III would be exclusives to the Jaguar (for next gen systems) most of it was bull and hot air, but I guess some inside SEGA was worried. There again with the Saturn, I never saw the sense in the 32X at all. I also remember talk of a Spiced up Mega Drive in 1990 (forget Jan 1994) Mean Machines and CVG both reported on the GigaDrive and that was before the Mega Drive had even launched in the UK


I could see The Wii motion controls was just a fad, but SONY and Microsoft had to act and bring out their own motion controls and MS went down the route of making an Add-On.

Where was the sense in Kinect and where was MS Europe and MS Japan?; who would fully know most houses in Europe and Japan, simply wouldn't have the space to use the system proper On so many levels it was a stupid, ill-planned and pointless add-on, very much like SEGA's horrible Activator. At least SONY move allowed players input via buttons and at last provided its worth with SONY VR. Kinect was utter crap on the 360 and also helped kill any chance the Xbox One might have had vs the PS4, more so with adding over £100 compared to the price of the more powerful PS4.
I do also struggle to see the sense and logic with NEC's PC Eng Super Grafx, the N64 DD never made much sense to me or the Virtual Boy; which I thought was day one looked and was a joke.

axel
04-24-2019, 05:29 PM
At the time I couldn't see why SEGA would be worried over the Jag. I guess that with the full launch of the Jaguar set for spring 1994 and possible delays to Saturn in 1994 Maybe SEGA top brass was worried of SONY getting the upper hand in Japan and how the Jaguar could have 1994 all to its self with a price point close to that of the ageing 16 bit consoles and spec's that totally blew them out of the water and then there was all the talk of other systems, like the SNES CD, Neo Star and NEC's Iron man and 3D0 bulldog (M2). With the Jaguar I also remember talk of Time Warner looking to take more a controlling stake in Atari (to add to its stock it already owned) that could have meant some serious money, how the Williams was going to use the Jag Hardware in the Arcades and that MK III would be exclusives to the Jaguar (for next gen systems) most of it was bull and hot air, but I guess some inside SEGA was worried. There again with the Saturn, I never saw the sense in the 32X at all. I also remember talk of a Spiced up Mega Drive in 1990 (forget Jan 1994) Mean Machines and CVG both reported on the GigaDrive and that was before the Mega Drive had even launched in the UK


I could see The Wii motion controls was just a fad, but SONY and Microsoft had to act and bring out their own motion controls and MS went down the route of making an Add-On.

Where was the sense in Kinect and where was MS Europe and MS Japan?; who would fully know most houses in Europe and Japan, simply wouldn't have the space to use the system proper On so many levels it was a stupid, ill-planned and pointless add-on, very much like SEGA's horrible Activator. At least SONY move allowed players input via buttons and at last provided its worth with SONY VR. Kinect was utter crap on the 360 and also helped kill any chance the Xbox One might have had vs the PS4, more so with adding over £100 compared to the price of the more powerful PS4.
I do also struggle to see the sense and logic with NEC's PC Eng Super Grafx, the N64 DD never made much sense to me or the Virtual Boy; which I thought was day one looked and was a joke.

There's a reason we have so many articles and videos of "worst consoles of all time", you take one look at these things and wonder WTF they were thinking. The systems you listed at the beginning though, I'm not sure how many of them could have been the reason behind the 32X. Let's say a SNES CD had launched, Sega already had a CD-ROM add-on, they would have been ahead of the curve in that case. I never even heard of the Neo Star or NEC Iron Man, again it's hard to believe they were scrambling to rush a system out the door in response to products that didn't exist.

I remember trying the Virtual Boy in a store when it came out, I had neck and eye strain after only a few minutes, I would not have taken it home even if it were free. Argonaut Games (the team behind the Super FX chip) have said they already had a full color virtual reality system ready to go but Nintendo insisted on building their red and black torture device.

Leynos
04-24-2019, 06:12 PM
Let's not forget Turbo CD is before SEGA CD.

gamevet
04-24-2019, 08:46 PM
Nobody cared about the Turbo CD in North America. I rolled my eyes when they were trying to sell the Turbo-Duo for $300.

Leynos
04-24-2019, 09:56 PM
Nobody cared about the Turbo CD in North America. I rolled my eyes when they were trying to sell the Turbo-Duo for $300.

That wasn't the point. Point it came out before SEGA CD so SEGA CD wasn't so ahead of the curve as someone claimed.

gamevet
04-24-2019, 10:36 PM
Gotcha!

axel
04-24-2019, 10:56 PM
That wasn't the point. Point it came out before SEGA CD so SEGA CD wasn't so ahead of the curve as someone claimed.

Uh... did you see the full sentence?
"Let's say a SNES CD had launched, Sega already had a CD-ROM add-on, they would have been ahead of the curve in that case."

Nowhere in my post did I say the Sega CD launched prior to the Turbo CD.

Leynos
04-24-2019, 11:00 PM
Uh... did you see the full sentence?
"Let's say a SNES CD had launched, Sega already had a CD-ROM add-on, they would have been ahead of the curve in that case."

Nowhere in my post did I say the Sega CD launched prior to the Turbo CD.

But since something released a CD add on before SEGA they were in no way ahead of the curve. Just on the curve.

Team Andromeda
04-25-2019, 01:22 AM
. Let's say a SNES CD had launched, Sega already had a CD-ROM add-on, they would have been ahead of the curve in that case. I never even heard of the Neo Star or NEC Iron Man, again it's hard to believe they were scrambling to rush a system out the door in response to products that didn't exist.


How much bull was written about the SNES CD? most of it, we now know to be utter crap (thanks to hindsight). I kept on reading how it was going to have a spec that blew away the Mega Drive and Mega CD combo with a 32Bit CPU and added Video processors and it just turned out to be little more than a basic CD drive. The Neo Star was meant to be SNK 32Bit system (not sure how much was ever based on fact) I used to read a lot about NEC's Ironman in mag's like EDGE, CVG they showed the hardware and that 3D game running on it, with streamed backgrounds.
Something had SEGA spooked with the need to rush a system out in the west, that rules the PS, Ironman tbh, but maybe some were worried about the Jaguar and the 3DO; which also was going to have it's own super powerful add on with Bulldog, which would also be a separate system too (the M2)

I can't see it being the PC since SEGA was already working on the format and looking to increase its presence on the format and that at the time, PC were hugely expensive, which would price out most of SEGA's audience (in terms of the mainstream) the Mega CD and Mega Drive had most of the basic power to beat the SNES, you had the SVP chip to counter the Super FX too and so that leaves the Jaguar and the planned upgrade to 3DO the Bulldog, or a possible planned Philips CDi II (which was also said to be in development with 3D tech from Argonaut ) It was just a crazy time, and easy to look back and laugh, but if I said to you in the late 90's that Apple would be worth more than Microsoft, that NVidia would be the best selling 3D card and that 3DFX would be no more, one would have LOL ...

I never saw the point or the merit in the 32X myself at all, it sounded a mess right from the start. From day one I never saw the point in the Virtual Boy or the N64 DD. The N64 DD drive should have just been a CD Add on and the Virtual Boy looked a joke, was a joke and a terrible system to use and play on.
I'm amazed that Nintendo allowed that pile of crap to hit retail. It was a great time mind,each month you seemed to have news on a new planned system or Arcade board, it really was exciting times

Team Andromeda
04-25-2019, 07:32 AM
That wasn't the point. Point it came out before SEGA CD so SEGA CD wasn't so ahead of the curve as someone claimed.

Not many cared for the PC Eng in the USA, so any add On to the base system would have a tall ladder to climb. But in just the same way the Mega CD drastically looked to improve on the PC Eng CDROM2 tech and features, most were speculating on the SNES CD improving apon on the Mega CD, looking to add a new faster CPU and even talk of 32Bit CPUs being used...

I saw the 3DO as a main threat only down to Trip, EA and the number of developers 3DO said they had sent development kits too. Most of it typical Trip talk and hype, but there you go..

Somthing had SEGA spooked and made it rush out a 32 bit system. I never saw the need or point to the 32X myself. Atari was a joke and given than SEGA Japan was all for the Saturn (who housed the best development talent inside SEGA) made the Saturn the only choice That and the cartridge format was a massive step backwards, when it was so clear optical based media was the future.

On those scores alone the 32X made no sense.

axel
04-25-2019, 12:14 PM
How much bull was written about the SNES CD? most of it, we now know to be utter crap (thanks to hindsight). I kept on reading how it was going to have a spec that blew away the Mega Drive and Mega CD combo with a 32Bit CPU and added Video processors and it just turned out to be little more than a basic CD drive. The Neo Star was meant to be SNK 32Bit system (not sure how much was ever based on fact) I used to read a lot about NEC's Ironman in mag's like EDGE, CVG they showed the hardware and that 3D game running on it, with streamed backgrounds.
Something had SEGA spooked with the need to rush a system out in the west, that rules the PS, Ironman tbh, but maybe some were worried about the Jaguar and the 3DO; which also was going to have it's own super powerful add on with Bulldog, which would also be a separate system too (the M2)

I can't see it being the PC since SEGA was already working on the format and looking to increase its presence on the format and that at the time, PC were hugely expensive, which would price out most of SEGA's audience (in terms of the mainstream) the Mega CD and Mega Drive had most of the basic power to beat the SNES, you had the SVP chip to counter the Super FX too and so that leaves the Jaguar and the planned upgrade to 3DO the Bulldog, or a possible planned Philips CDi II (which was also said to be in development with 3D tech from Argonaut ) It was just a crazy time, and easy to look back and laugh, but if I said to you in the late 90's that Apple would be worth more than Microsoft, that NVidia would be the best selling 3D card and that 3DFX would be no more, one would have LOL ...

I never saw the point or the merit in the 32X myself at all, it sounded a mess right from the start. From day one I never saw the point in the Virtual Boy or the N64 DD. The N64 DD drive should have just been a CD Add on and the Virtual Boy looked a joke, was a joke and a terrible system to use and play on.
I'm amazed that Nintendo allowed that pile of crap to hit retail. It was a great time mind,each month you seemed to have news on a new planned system or Arcade board, it really was exciting times

From what I saw it looked like Nintendo had realized early on their CD-ROM add-on was never going to happen, they ran feature length propaganda pieces in Nintendo Power comparing cartridges to space shuttles and CDs to snails. If they were making fast paced games with lots of animation they might have had a point, for the kind of games Nintendo usually makes I doubt it would have been that bad.

The comeback of Apple is one of the reasons I question Sony's statement of "you can't compete with us, we own the factories." Apple produces no hardware on their own, they outsource everything to companies like Foxconn and charge a premium for it, yet they still make plenty of money. Microsoft does the same with their hardware, even the Switch is made from generic off the shelf parts. Sony may have had some advantages building their own drives and what not but it hardly meant they were unbeatable.

gamevet
04-25-2019, 03:01 PM
Sony hasn’t used their own hardware since PS2. The Cell processor in the PS3 was partially owned by IBM and the GPU by NVidia. The PS5 will likely be all AMD, like the PS4.

I guess Sony figures out that having someone else handle R&D was more efficient than doing it themselves.

Leynos
04-25-2019, 04:43 PM
Cell tech was in the 360 CPU as well, No one has made fully custom hardware since 4-5th gen. Everything since has used something from AMD/ARM/Nvidia. 3DS uses ARM and Pica. Vita used an iPad GPU. Typically all three companies take something existing and modify it. PS5 is using Ryzen Zen 2 and an AMD GPU. The Switch uses a stock Nvidia Tegra X1. Devs now want familiarity rather than learn something completely new.

Team Andromeda
04-25-2019, 05:07 PM
Sony hasn’t used their own hardware since PS2. The Cell processor in the PS3 was partially owned by IBM and the GPU by NVidia. The PS5 will likely be all AMD, like the PS4.

I guess Sony figures out that having someone else handle R&D was more efficient than doing it themselves.

Even the PS and PS2 did use outside hardware. The PS CPU was MIPS and its GPU was developed along with Toshiba. Toshiba would then also help develop the PS2 CPU.

Team Andromeda
04-25-2019, 05:15 PM
From what I saw it looked like Nintendo had realized early on their CD-ROM add-on was never going to happen, they ran feature length propaganda pieces in Nintendo Power comparing cartridges to space shuttles and CDs to snails.

There was part of me that thought that, only for the SNES Playstation to be shown off to the world a few years back and if you said to me SEGA had developed an Internet ready Saturn as standard in the 90's I would have laughed, only for someone to show off the SEGA Pluto
So you can never really tell. I've also heard and read a lot about the Add On Cart for Saturn that would power Virtual Fighter 3 on the Saturn and push a ton of polygons. To me, it was bullcrap, never real and was people getting mixed messages over SEGA's actual planned 4- MEG cart add on. But who knows, maybe one day, we will find out.
I would also love to see what Sonic Adv running on the Saturn actually looked like, before being moved to Dreamcast production mid 1997.

gamevet
04-25-2019, 05:42 PM
Even the PS and PS2 did use outside hardware. The PS CPU was MIPS and its GPU was developed along with Toshiba. Toshiba would then also help develop the PS2 CPU.

Yes, but Sony was still fabricating the EE, with Toshiba handling fab as well. Sony would eventually make it a system on a chip, while later PS3s were just a node shrink.

Team Andromeda
04-25-2019, 05:55 PM
Yes, but Sony was still fabricating the EE, with Toshiba handling fab as well. Sony would eventually make it a system on a chip, while later PS3s were just a node shrink.

Yep. It's little known that Toshiba actually manufactured the PS GPU too. I remember SONY saying it was spending over $100 million to open a plant along with Toshiba to manufacture the emotion engine., back in the day
I seem to remember SONY, in the end, buying out Toshiba semiconductor business a few years; Though I could be well wrong, but seem to remember Bloomberg running the story

GameUser-16-32-128
04-25-2019, 08:45 PM
The 90's was an exciting time to be a gamer. Nowadays, all that excitement is lost IMO. Times have changed quickly!

Team Andromeda
04-27-2019, 06:53 AM
Here's the interview with John and when you had one of the most respected programmers saying that about the Jaguar, along with rumours of Time Warner looking to react to SONY of entering the console game and looking to invest in Atari to add to its stake in Atari Arcade. Maybe that's why SEGA got a little spooked

https://i.imgur.com/czgpn3Z.jpg

axel
04-29-2019, 11:27 PM
Here's the interview with John and when you had one of the most respected programmers saying that about the Jaguar, along with rumours of Time Warner looking to react to SONY of entering the console game and looking to invest in Atari to add to its stake in Atari Arcade. Maybe that's why SEGA got a little spooked



I think Carmack was just trying to sell people on buying Doom for the Jaguar, even he knew it was crap, couldn't even play music while running the game engine, not to mention tons of stuff had to be removed like enemies, textures, sections of levels, etc. The resolution, frame rate and lighting are better than the 32X but even that might speak more to the 32X version being rushed.

Blades
04-29-2019, 11:53 PM
I always did wonder why id put all their effort into making the first home port of Doom on the Jag of all platforms. It really did use the expanded color space of the Jag to its benefit, possibly the only Jag game to do so, and it's a big improvement over the colors on PC. I guess there just wasn't anything else out there in 1993-1994.

zyrobs
04-30-2019, 04:34 AM
I think that to Carmack, it was the challenge itself, and the excitement of being able to code on such a different type of hardware, that could rival much more expensive PCs graphically speaking. All the cut content was due to lack of memory, and the missing music was because they used 99% of the hardware, sound chip included, to run the engine. That tells you where his priorities lied - pushing the hardware to the limit, not making a game. The Jaguar was just simply the first console that was potentially strong enough.

Leynos
04-30-2019, 06:21 AM
Doom on Jag sucks badly. 32X version looks good but the music is shit on it. SNES version is what it looks like to be 70% blind but it sounds so so good. Wasn't easy to play Doom on a console then.

Team Andromeda
04-30-2019, 07:29 AM
I think Carmack was just trying to sell people on buying Doom for the Jaguar, even he knew it was crap, couldn't even play music while running the game engine, not to mention tons of stuff had to be removed like enemies, textures, sections of levels, etc. The resolution, frame rate and lighting are better than the 32X but even that might speak more to the 32X version being rushed.

Tbh I would expect any developer to talk up their game and want it to sell. John Carmack is doing far more than that and he's clearly heaping praise on the Jaguar and likes the Hardware and he wasn't the only respected developer to do so at the time. So with that and the Jaguar planned price point of less than £200 could have been what got SEGA so spooked. But like I said, even if all that may have been true the 32X still made no sense given SOJ made the best games inside SEGA and they were all for and behind the Saturn and also I saw any Cart base system as a huge step backwards from obvious optical media.

BTW, Don't think I'm Carmack biggest fan. I still resent his mandate that the Saturn version of Doom couldn't use the Hardware of the VDP 1 and II to do anything more than drawing the screen and robbed all us Saturn ownerns of the best looking version of Doom running at 60 fps


Yes, and no, we were given the PC and PlayStation data, but initially, I wanted to use the Saturn’s hardware to its max potential, and wrote a render engine to display the PC levels drawing the walls with the GPU, the problem I came across, was apparently John Carmack wasn’t happy about this, he wanted it to look exactly the same as the PC version, but it looked a lot nicer, and was running full screen at 60fps, he said it had to be drawn using the CPU, and not the GPU, he even suggested I used the two DSPs on the Saturn to render the screen, but as they only have 4KB, and if I remember correctly, as it’s been a very long time since I used one, 2KB code space and 2KB data space, doing it this way to render a complete screen full of game, would have been a huge memory bandwidth bottleneck, so I ignored that, and did it using the two SH2s to render the screen, each of the two CPUs splitting the draw time, doing a line each of the walls or floors, and to save time having to reduce the PC levels to fit into the Saturn’s memory, we decided to use the Playstation levels as they had a smaller memory footprint than the PC ones, so it made sense to convert the PlayStation levels, I was quite happy with the end result, as the SH2s ran at 33Mhz and 28Mhz respectively, and I remember playing doom on a 33Mhz PC and it having to play in a stamp sized display to play at a reasonable rate, where as the Saturn was pretty much full screen but this isn’t dissing John Carmack, he’s a very talented coder and clever bloke all round, it’s more me being proud of what speed I got out of two relatively slow cpu

While John Carmack loved using the custom tech of the Jaguar; to me, that just was rank hypocrisy

zyrobs
04-30-2019, 08:09 AM
The type of math processors used in the Jaguar were new to the consumer industry at the time, and they rivalled the performance of a substantially more expensive PC type of hardware on 2-3 chips. Even x86 CPUs switched from CISC to RISC + x86 decoding frontend around that time.

In that context, the Jaguar was indeed exciting.

Blades
05-01-2019, 03:34 AM
3DO and 32X used RISC too, not exclusive to the Jag.

But yes, Jag (and later 32X) was probably the earliest console that could somewhat handle the Doom engine, and the added color space was a bonus.

Team Andromeda
05-01-2019, 04:57 AM
3DO and 32X used RISC too, not exclusive to the Jag.

But yes, Jag (and later 32X) was probably the earliest console that could somewhat handle the Doom engine, and the added color space was a bonus.

When the Jaguar and 3DO were announced there was no 32X (were are in early 93) and it became clear that the 3DO would simply price its self out of the 'Toy' market SEGA and Nintendo was in. The Jaguar tech spec was impressing a lot of people and at a guess, the planned price point of £200 had SEGA a little worried. To point into some sort of context the Mega Drive its self would cost £170 at that time in 1993; for not a lot more, would have a system that destroys the MD tech spec. Of course, in the end, the Jaguar would go on to cost £40 more than its planned £199 price point, much like how the 32X came in £20 more than its planned price point of £150

It also shouldn't be overlooked how well the CD32 did on its launch in Europe, if Only Commodore had a bit more money and better support on the world stage. But the CD32 was a rather nice CD based system with a nice price point too. I would imagine all these were factors in SEGA being worried rivals would eat into its 16-bit market share, more so with people at the time people were getting a little bored and the market being saturated with 16bit software.

For me the 32X was silly knee jerk reaction by SOJ. A call that never should have been made and a system that never should have been carried on by SOA. All focus and In-House software should have been on the Saturn along with doing great deals and bundled with Mega Drive Hardware.
Looking back too, instead of having part of the Sonic Team waste their time on Knuckles Chaotix. That team should have been working on an early Sonic game for Saturn to go along with a Saturn port of Sonic CD.

axel
05-01-2019, 03:11 PM
For me the 32X was silly knee jerk reaction by SOJ. A call that never should have been made and a system that never should have been carried on by SOA. All focus and In-House software should have been on the Saturn along with doing great deals and bundled with Mega Drive Hardware.
Looking back too, instead of having part of the Sonic Team waste their time on Knuckles Chaotix. That team should have been working on an early Sonic game for Saturn to go along with a Saturn port of Sonic CD.

Bottom line is that you release one home console at a time, not two. If the Saturn was looking too expensive then they should have gone back and redesigned it, not come up with a band aid solution for the Genesis. Don't get me wrong I think the 32X is about the coolest add on ever but it made no financial sense, especially considering the timing.

zyrobs
05-01-2019, 03:54 PM
They couldn't redesign the Saturn because they were out of time. The Megadrive was dead in Japan, Sony was launching the Playstation, and Nintendo was launching the N64 in a year (it turned out to be two years but they did not knew that).

But that's not saying that the 32x should have existed.

axel
05-01-2019, 07:35 PM
They couldn't redesign the Saturn because they were out of time. The Megadrive was dead in Japan, Sony was launching the Playstation, and Nintendo was launching the N64 in a year (it turned out to be two years but they did not knew that).

But that's not saying that the 32x should have existed.

They were only "out of time" because they insisted on releasing everything in November 1994. It was a self-imposed deadline and I think they would have been fine waiting a bit longer. But, hindsight is 20/20.

zyrobs
05-02-2019, 05:36 AM
The deadline wasn't self imposed. They simply had no console selling in numbers in Japan, and Sony was a serious threat that they had to try to counter.

Team Andromeda
05-02-2019, 07:10 AM
Bottom line is that you release one home console at a time, not two. If the Saturn was looking too expensive then they should have gone back and redesigned it, not come up with a band aid solution for the Genesis. Don't get me wrong I think the 32X is about the coolest add on ever but it made no financial sense, especially considering the timing.

Any CD based system in 1994 was going to cost a lot of money. But to me the only people who buy Hardware on day 1, are the die hards and the people who will pay loads of money to get a system on day one. I wasn't a fan of the Jupiter project, but that made far more sense to me, than the 32X.

Team Andromeda
05-02-2019, 07:13 AM
They were only "out of time" because they insisted on releasing everything in November 1994. It was a self-imposed deadline and I think they would have been fine waiting a bit longer. But, hindsight is 20/20.

The thing was in Japan you had SONY and NEC ready to go in 94 and also Nintendo looking to go in 1995 (before the delay) SEGA Japan couldn't really wait and didn't need too. It should also be remembered that the Mega Drive came out in 88. 6 years lifespan for any console is more than enough imo

gamevet
05-02-2019, 02:51 PM
Any CD based system in 1994 was going to cost a lot of money. But to me the only people who buy Hardware on day 1, are the die hards and the people who will pay loads of money to get a system on day one. I wasn't a fan of the Jupiter project, but that made far more sense to me, than the 32X.

Eh, the SEGA CD was selling for $99 in 1993 and it had it’s own hardware in addition to the CD drive. The Saturn had way to much silicon under its hood to be cost effective. It was already guaranteed to lose more money per unit sold, than the competition.

Gryson
05-02-2019, 03:08 PM
Eh, the SEGA CD was selling for $99 in 1993 and it had it’s own hardware in addition to the CD drive. The Saturn had way to much silicon under its hood to be cost effective. It was already guaranteed to lose more money per unit sold, than the competition.

Uh, source? It's a bit hard to believe a new Model 2 Sega CD was selling for $99 in 1993. The Model 2 was released in mid-1993 with a $300 price tag.

Team Andromeda
05-02-2019, 03:14 PM
Eh, the SEGA CD was selling for $99 in 1993 and it had it’s own hardware in addition to the CD drive. The Saturn had way to much silicon under its hood to be cost effective. It was already guaranteed to lose more money per unit sold, than the competition.

The Saturn was shipping with a double speed drive and over 2MB of ram... That was not cheap in 1994 and was reflected in the price of the PS, Saturn and PC Engine FX. Even a double speed PC CD Drive in 94 cost over £100 and that was just a drive with no extra Hardware or more system RAM. CD drives and RAM in the mid 90's were not cheap. The Mega CD on its launch cost more than the Saturn and took years and a complete redesign to get the price down below £200 and even then in 94 a Mega CD was costing over £140 for just the unit.

It usually takes a year and more, before one sees the big price drops on brand new next gen hardware

gamevet
05-02-2019, 06:46 PM
Uh, source? It's a bit hard to believe a new Model 2 Sega CD was selling for $99 in 1993. The Model 2 was released in mid-1993 with a $300 price tag.

My dates are a little off. The model 2 launched in October of 1993 with a suggested retail price of $229, which I believe was in place to help move the unsold model 1 units. I recall getting mine in very late 1993 (with Lunar:TSS) for $149 and I believe by early spring of 1994, they were dropped down to $99.


The Saturn was shipping with a double speed drive and over 2MB of ram... That was not cheap in 1994 and was reflected in the price of the PS, Saturn and PC Engine FX. Even a double speed PC CD Drive in 94 cost over £100 and that was just a drive with no extra Hardware or more system RAM. CD drives and RAM in the mid 90's were not cheap. The Mega CD on its launch cost more than the Saturn and took years and a complete redesign to get the price down below £200 and even then in 94 a Mega CD was costing over £140 for just the unit.

It usually takes a year and more, before one sees the big price drops on brand new next gen hardware

The Sega CD launched in 1991, when ROM drives (was it really a ROM drive?) were still pretty new. It also had an additional 12Mhz 68K CPU, a processor for hardware scaling, 6Mbit of system RAM, several other chips and a motorized drive door. The 1993 drive was super cheap to manufacture and was selling for 1/3rd of the price by December. Adding a double speed drive shouldn't double the price of a ROM drive, especially when you consider that Sony could sell the PlayStation at a lean $300.

Just look at the difference in the boards between the Saturn and PlayStation. It doesn't take a genius to see that one is a lot harder and more expensive to manufacture.

http://www.sega-16.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=14925&d=1556835144


http://www.sega-16.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=14924&d=1556835130

Gryson
05-02-2019, 07:39 PM
In late '93 when Sega was considering both the Saturn and Jupiter systems (differing only in the presence/absence of the CD-ROM drive), the estimated retail price difference was going to be $100.

In 1997, it is estimated that the PS1's CD-ROM "subsystem" cost $48.50, and that's for a drive manufactured by Sony:

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


My dates are a little off. The model 2 launched in October of 1993 with a suggested retail price of $229, which I believe was in place to help move the unsold model 1 units. I recall getting mine in very late 1993 (with Lunar:TSS) for $149 and I believe by early spring of 1994, they were dropped down to $99.

Do you have any proof of this? I couldn't find any weekly ads from the time, but I browsed through the listings from Dec. 1994 issues of both GamePro and EGM and all retailers had prices for Model 2 systems between $200 and $230. Other system prices were accurate from what I know. Listings for Genesis units were $80-100. I'm pretty skeptical that you could walk into a retailer and purchase a Sega CD for $99 in early spring 1994.

Da_Shocker
05-02-2019, 11:13 PM
Aint know way in hell could SEga go back and redesign the Saturn. Now what they could've done is actually given 3rd party support way better development tools that were more on par with what Sony was doing.

Team Andromeda
05-03-2019, 01:21 AM
My dates are a little off. The model 2 launched in October of 1993 with a suggested retail price of $229, which I believe was in place to help move the unsold model 1 units. I recall getting mine in very late 1993 (with Lunar:TSS) for $149 and I believe by early spring of 1994, they were dropped down to $99.

I still have most of my Gamefan and EGM mag's from the time (Gamefan was my fav mag at the time)

Here's EGM September 1993

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

and then Gamefan September 1994

https://i.imgur.com/m1SsdkX.jpg

So the Mega CD/SEGA CD was quite expensive in 1993 and 1994 .


The 1993 drive was super cheap to manufacture and was selling for 1/3rd of the price by December. Adding a double speed drive shouldn't double the price of a ROM drive, especially when you consider that Sony could sell the PlayStation at a lean $300.

CD drivers we exensive and also the RAM those systems needed and you saw that in the price. With the, Saturn, FX, Neo Geo coming in at over 40,000, even SONY with its huge manufacturing plants and part inventor on the CD drive had to ask 39,800 Yen on launch.

gamevet
05-03-2019, 11:19 AM
That second ad is not from September 1994. It’s not even showing the newer clamshell model that launched in October of 1993 for $229. My cousin sold his SNES in December of 1994, got a Genesis and my aunt got him a SEGA CD for $99. He wanted one, after seeing all of the games I’d brought home with me, along with the SEGA CD. I most certainly did not pay $229 for it and had it for quite some time.

I looked through all of my EGM and Gamefan magazines from October 1993 to December 1994. People weren’t even advertising selling prices for the SEGA CD in the later half of 1994, and had moved on. There were still plenty of ads for Working Designs SEGA CD games, along with reviews for upcoming games.

TA, I don’t know why you are trying to deflect by bringing up RAM prices for the Saturn. Your original point on why the Saturn was more expensive was because of the CD drive, while I pointed out that the CD drive wasn’t the main reason. The Saturn only has 512KB more RAM than the PlayStation and the SEGA CD, itself, has 756KB of RAM. Even with the 68k, scaling hardware, 1Mb of ROM and 6Mb of RAM, SEGA was selling the SEGA CD for $229 in October of 1993.

But, if you want a more apples to apples comparison, the Jag CD used a Philips 2x speed CD drive, came with 2 games and was sold for $150 in September of 1995. I doubt Atari got a better deal on double speed CD Rom drives with only 20,000 units, over what SEGA got for orders in the millions.

Gryson
05-03-2019, 02:56 PM
That second ad is not from September 1994. It’s not even showing the newer clamshell model that launched in October of 1993 for $229. My cousin sold his SNES in December of 1994, got a Genesis and my aunt got him a SEGA CD for $99. He wanted one, after seeing all of the games I’d brought home with me, along with the SEGA CD. I most certainly did not pay $229 for it and had it for quite some time.

I looked through all of my EGM and Gamefan magazines from October 1993 to December 1994. People weren’t even advertising selling prices for the SEGA CD in the later half of 1994, and had moved on. There were still plenty of ads for Working Designs SEGA CD games, along with reviews for upcoming games.

You're really going to insist that Sega released the Sega CD Model 2 in the latter half of 1993 for $229 and within 6 months dropped the price to $99? Really? Because something about your cousin?

You must not have looked very hard at those ads. Here is a brief selection:

GamePro 12/94:

http://u.cubeupload.com/gryson/GamePro129401.jpg

http://u.cubeupload.com/gryson/GamePro129402.jpg

EGM 11/94:

http://u.cubeupload.com/gryson/EGM119402.jpg

http://u.cubeupload.com/gryson/EGM119401.jpg

Prices from $219 to $229. All other system prices listed there are accurate. There are many more ads showing this, but I think the point is clear. Retailers were selling the Sega CD for over $200 at the end of 1994. I don't really care what you remember your cousin paying for his.

gamevet
05-03-2019, 03:06 PM
I said my cousin got his for $99 in December of 1994. That’s 14 months after the $229 launch of the SEGA CD2.

Also, I’ve been sick all week, so I haven’t had the luxury of nerding out for hours through my magazines after work to prove a silly point. I’d spent about an hour briskly looking through EGM and Gamefan yesterday, and there was no way I was going to drag out a 50 pound bin to look through my Gamepro issues. I haven’t even had the energy to play a fuckin’ game.

Gryson
05-03-2019, 03:38 PM
If you aren't sure, can you refrain from stating as fact that the Sega CD's drive was super cheap to manufacture? That doesn't seem to be the case at all.

And you said, last page:


The model 2 launched in October of 1993 with a suggested retail price of $229, which I believe was in place to help move the unsold model 1 units. I recall getting mine in very late 1993 (with Lunar:TSS) for $149 and I believe by early spring of 1994, they were dropped down to $99.

By the way, you were the one to initiate discussion of this "silly point". And I agree - it's silly to suggest that the Sega CD was $99 in 1994.

Also, all of these scans are readily available online:

https://retrocdn.net/Category:Electronic_Gaming_Monthly_scans

Took about 3 minutes to find the necessary info.

Blades
05-03-2019, 08:32 PM
The Sega CD was bizarre itself. Sega stopped internally accepting bids for new Sega CD software in late 1993, a few months after the Sega CD2 launched in Japan. What was the point of redesigning the hardware then??!

The PSX was easier to manufacture, but I don't think it would've thrived as it did if Sony had to buy everything instead of manufacturing in-house like Sega did. Sony was huge back then. The custom-designed fast (inaccurate) GPU in the PSX was the smoking gun. The engineering and architecture of the PSX won the market, not anything else IMO, just like the Genesis. The things Saturn was good at didn't matter.

Team Andromeda
05-04-2019, 03:29 AM
That second ad is not from September 1994. It’s not even showing the newer clamshell model that launched in October of 1993 for $229. My cousin sold his SNES in December of 1994, got a Genesis and my aunt got him a SEGA CD for $99. He wanted one, after seeing all of the games I’d brought home with me, along with the SEGA CD. I most certainly did not pay $229 for it and had it for quite some time.

I looked through all of my EGM and Gamefan magazines from October 1993 to December 1994. People weren’t even advertising selling prices for the SEGA CD in the later half of 1994, and had moved on. There were still plenty of ads for Working Designs SEGA CD games, along with reviews for upcoming games.

TA, I don’t know why you are trying to deflect by bringing up RAM prices for the Saturn. Your original point on why the Saturn was more expensive was because of the CD drive, while I pointed out that the CD drive wasn’t the main reason. The Saturn only has 512KB more RAM than the PlayStation and the SEGA CD, itself, has 756KB of RAM. Even with the 68k, scaling hardware, 1Mb of ROM and 6Mb of RAM, SEGA was selling the SEGA CD for $229 in October of 1993.


All CD-based system needed RAM to store and hold the data and in the early '90s that was very expensive and that was reflected in the high cost of all CD-based systems around in the mid to early 90's. CD drive and RAM was not cheap in those days.
Maybe you need to flick through those EGM mag's again and you might be surprised at the list price of the SEGA CD because with the greatest of respect, yes it's from September 1994 .

https://i.imgur.com/hY4Tk0X.jpg

gamevet
05-04-2019, 10:31 PM
That image you posted TA was not from that issue, even if you are showing me the cover. It never showed the old image of the SEGA CD Model 1 in the ad.


If you aren't sure, can you refrain from stating as fact that the Sega CD's drive was super cheap to manufacture? That doesn't seem to be the case at all.

And you said, last page:



By the way, you were the one to initiate discussion of this "silly point". And I agree - it's silly to suggest that the Sega CD was $99 in 1994.

Yes, and I also said I was a little off on my date with my initial comment. I damn sure know my Aunt didn't pay $229 for a Sega CD in December of 1994. They were lower middle class.


Also, all of these scans are readily available online:

Took about 3 minutes to find the necessary info.

Why look at scans, when I readily have EGM and Gamefan Magazines readily available in order on my shelf? Like, I said, I was pretty ill and it was tough enough to even look through my mags for an hour, before having to rest. Thursday was the 1st time I'd turned on my computer that week. The only other response I made was from my phone, while at work.

With that being said, using Chips & Bits as a reliable source for pricing is just wrong. Those ass monkeys were trying to sell the Sega CD in March of 1996 for $229. Are you even familiar with that company's history?

December 1995
http://www.sega-16.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=14945&d=1557019127

March 1996
http://www.sega-16.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=14944&d=1557019154

And, look at the price of the Atari Jaguar CD, that also came with 2 free games. It's amazing how Atari could somehow sell a CD unit with a 2X speed Philips CD player along with 2 games for ($150) so cheap. They have must have had some magic deal with Philips to get that CD drive for their device for so cheap. There's no way Sega was paying more than a $100 for the CD ROM drive in the Saturn by 1995, and why was the 32X (with its 2 CPU setup) more expensive than the Jag CD? I think that the answer is pretty clear.

Gryson
05-04-2019, 11:20 PM
With that being said, using Chips & Bits as a reliable source for pricing is just wrong. Those ass monkeys were trying to sell the Sega CD in March of 1996 for $229. Are you even familiar with that company's history?

Which is why I posted other ads that confirm it... And there are more, but I think the point is made. You, on the other hand, have yet to present a single piece of evidence to support a $99 price tag on the Sega CD in 1994 (and no, your aunt being lower middle class is NOT evidence).

It is truly amazing how many times on this forum I have seen you presented with clear evidence contrary to what you're saying, yet you simply refuse to acknowledge that you are wrong. It's almost impressive, in a twisted sort of way.

Edit: Just because I'm curious how you're going to explain away all of this:

JCPenney 1994 Christmas catalog (p. 591):

http://u.cubeupload.com/gryson/JCPenneyChristmas94.jpg

http://www.wishbookweb.com/FB/1994_JCPenney_ChristmasCatalog/#590

I did find a Toys R Us catalog from Christmas 1995 that shows the Sega CD at $99. Maybe you've got your years confused?

gamevet
05-05-2019, 02:05 AM
I'm not going to try explain it away.

I can say with most certainty that I'm not confusing years, because I sold off my entire Sega CD collection to Die Hard GameClub in August of 1995, to buy an Action Replay and the import version of Wing Arms for my Saturn. DHG gave me a pitiful $30 in credit towards my Sega CD2 and a woeful $15 for Snatcher.

Black_Tiger
05-05-2019, 03:04 AM
I bought a CDX for $400 CAD in July of 1994.

Team Andromeda
05-05-2019, 05:18 AM
That image you posted TA was not from that issue, even if you are showing me the cover.

I do some times wonder what's the point. You've yet to post a document that shows the list price of a SEGA CD below $99 and all CD-based systems at that time cost a lot of money, even the Duo which was based on old tech.

Let's have a look at June 1994 Gamefan

https://i.imgur.com/6v2jhae.jpg







And in the UK in March 1994 this was the price one had to pay for the Mega CD (and mail order made it cheaper too)

https://i.imgur.com/7qhCN4H.jpg


Not cheap at all. Unless you want to post links mid-1995 when shops were looking to sell discounted stock

Blades
05-05-2019, 05:49 AM
I don't really know who's arguing which side, but for the sake of reference here's a post made on February 13, 1994 in rec.games.video.3do.


The Jaguar will drop to $200 around June. The Sega CD is currently priced
at $225 or so, and the Genesis itself is $80-$90.


Like, I said, I was pretty ill and it was tough enough to even look through my mags for an hour, before having to rest. Thursday was the 1st time I'd turned on my computer that week. The only other response I made was from my phone, while at work.

Sorry to hear that.

Team Andromeda
05-05-2019, 06:00 AM
The Sega CD was bizarre itself. Sega stopped internally accepting bids for new Sega CD software in late 1993, a few months after the Sega CD2 launched in Japan. What was the point of redesigning the hardware then??!


That can't be true or was it just in the USA? Core was happily making a new software in 1994 with the announcement of Soul Star and BC racers. You also had Eternal Champions, the USA release of Lunar II, The Adventures of Batman & Robin, Dracula Unleashed, Flink, Fahrenheit, coming late 1994 to 1995.

Team Andromeda
05-05-2019, 07:43 AM
And in keeping in the thread, maybe magazine speculation like this is what got SEGA spooked and made that call

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

https://i.imgur.com/5jnfqVX.jpg

gamevet
05-05-2019, 12:29 PM
I do some times wonder what's the point. You've yet to post a document that shows the list price of a SEGA CD below $99 and all CD-based systems at that time cost a lot of money, even the Duo which was based on old tech.

Let's have a look at June 1994 Gamefan



Dude, I was pointing out that whatever Chips & Bits ad you had posted, did not match how it appeared in that month's issue of EGM, nothing more.


You still haven't acknowledged the point I had brought up about Atari's Jag CD having a 2X speed drive, bundled with 2 games and it was only $150. It came out around the time when the US Saturn was originally planned to launch. 2x speed CD ROM drives were actually getting phased out for quad speed drives (PC) in 1995.

https://www.nytimes.com/1994/12/13/science/cd-rom-review-cd-rom-s-to-get-better-and-faster-but-even-so-they-may-not-survive.html


"By the end of 1995, most computers will ship with quad-speed drives," said Bruce Ryon, an analyst at Dataquest Inc., a market research company in San Jose, Calif. "Most of the manufacturers have stopped making double-speed drives already."

Team Andromeda
05-05-2019, 12:42 PM
You still haven't acknowledged the point I had brought up about Atari's Jag CD having a 2X speed drive, bundled with 2 games and it was only $150. It came out around the time when the US Saturn was originally planned to launch. 2x speed CD ROM drives were actually getting phased out for quad speed drives (PC) in 1995.

You haven't brought up any documentation to back up the $99 price point, so its a little rich But at a guess it could be because like you say Chip and Pints are rubbish or it could also have been because the Jaguar CD was also dead on arrival and no doubt shops looking to offload stock at rock bottom prices. I mean, I picked up my Jaguar in 1995 from Rumblows for £50 with the shop looking to sell off stock (ok it had serious money issues too lol) . You could have a point with Chip and Pints, But Gameloft or what about DieHard, also from June 1994

https://i.imgur.com/imTr4AF.jpg

Quite clear the SEGA CD wasn't $99 in 1993, much less 1994. But less me guess... all the shops are wrong and you are right.

Gryson
05-05-2019, 12:42 PM
gamevet, what are you trying to argue? That the Saturn's CD-ROM drive was not expensive?

Could you tell us how much it cost then? For the drive subsystem (including the SH1 and RAM).

gamevet
05-05-2019, 01:02 PM
gamevet, what are you trying to argue? That the Saturn's CD-ROM drive was not expensive?

Could you tell us how much it cost then? For the drive subsystem (including the SH1 and RAM).

TA’s arguement was that the Saturn was expensive, because of the CD drive. I pointed out that it wasn’t an issue for Sony, and they were able to sell their PS for $300. SEGA was not paying a $100 more for CD technology; they were paying $100+ more for the Saturn, because of all of the silicon they had put behind the design of the console. There was no way for them to downscale all of that later in the console’s life.

Team Andromeda
05-05-2019, 01:12 PM
TA’s arguement was that the Saturn was expensive, because of the CD drive. I pointed out that it wasn’t an issue for Sony, and they were able to sell their PS for $300. SEGA was not paying a $100 more for CD technology; they were paying $100+ more for the Saturn, because of all of the silicon they had put behind the design of the console. There was no way for them to downscale all of that later in the console’s life.

CD drives were expensive in the early 90's . SONY was not only part inventor of the CD, it also had a huge manufacturing capacity, but even with that and SONY taking a hit on the price, the PS cost a hell of a lot of money. You tried to counter that with a price point of $99 dollars for the SEGA CD in 94 and yet again couldn't back it up., Why did the NEC FX system cost so much money (more at launch than even the Saturn in Japan) with far less tech inside than the Saturn, why did the CD ROM2 cost so much more than the base PC Engine, when it had next to no extra hardware inside, and one look at the Duo shows CD systems weren't cheap.

And maybe you'll can back up the $99 price point of the SEGA CD in 93/4 with some sort of documentation?

Gryson
05-05-2019, 01:40 PM
TA’s arguement was that the Saturn was expensive, because of the CD drive. I pointed out that it wasn’t an issue for Sony, and they were able to sell their PS for $300. SEGA was not paying a $100 more for CD technology; they were paying $100+ more for the Saturn, because of all of the silicon they had put behind the design of the console. There was no way for them to downscale all of that later in the console’s life.

Well, Sega was undoubtedly paying more for its CD-ROM system than Sony, simply because it was buying all of its parts from outside companies, while Sony was manufacturing its own parts. Sega also used a brand new RISC processor and 2x the cache for its drive. It must have been costly. But of course it's not the only reason why the Saturn was more expensive than the PlayStation. It's just one of many.

gamevet
05-05-2019, 02:20 PM
CD drives were expensive in the early 90's . SONY was not only part inventor of the CD, it also had a huge manufacturing capacity, but even with that and SONY taking a hit on the price, the PS cost a hell of a lot of money. You tried to counter that with a price point of $99 dollars for the SEGA CD in 94 and yet again couldn't back it up., Why did the NEC FX system cost so much money (more at launch than even the Saturn in Japan) with far less tech inside than the Saturn, why did the CD ROM2 cost so much more than the base PC Engine, when it had next to no extra hardware inside, and one look at the Duo shows CD systems weren't cheap.

Single speed CD drives were expensive in the early 90's, but that was not the case by the mid 90s. Atari managed to build a double speed CD drive for their Jag using a drive built by Philips. They certainly didn't pay $150 for it.


And maybe you'll can back up the $99 price point of the SEGA CD in 93/4 with some sort of documentation?

Obviously that was proven by the JcPenney ad that was posted by Gryson, which is way more reliable than those crappy resellers like Chips & Bits. I was already moving away from that and focusing on a more modern CD drive like the Jag CD. That subject is dead.


Well, Sega was undoubtedly paying more for its CD-ROM system than Sony, simply because it was buying all of its parts from outside companies, while Sony was manufacturing its own parts. Sega also used a brand new RISC processor and 2x the cache for its drive. It must have been costly. But of course it's not the only reason why the Saturn was more expensive than the PlayStation. It's just one of many.

Yeah, they're paying more, but it's certainly not 100% more. Sony gets theirs for say @$50, while Sega gets theirs from someone like Philips for @$75-$85.

Sony was also using a RISC processor as well and it wasn't even that new. They fucked up by letting Hitachi make promises they couldn't keep and were forced into using a double CPU setup, because of the SH-2's lack of power compared to the old MIPS 3000A used in the PlayStation. Those Hitachi CPUs had to be pretty expensive on their own, considering that they were a new product. Anybody know how much a single SH-2 costed in 1994?

Blades
05-06-2019, 03:39 AM
Single speed CD drives were expensive in the early 90's, but that was not the case by the mid 90s. Atari managed to build a double speed CD drive for their Jag using a drive built by Philips. They certainly didn't pay $150 for it.

To be fair that Philips drive was absolute garbage.


That can't be true or was it just in the USA? Core was happily making a new software in 1994 with the announcement of Soul Star and BC racers. You also had Eternal Champions, the USA release of Lunar II, The Adventures of Batman & Robin, Dracula Unleashed, Flink, Fahrenheit, coming late 1994 to 1995.

Japan. Here's the source (EGM Dec 1993). It makes sense considering Sega's giant push for the Saturn at all costs.

https://woxkgg.by.files.1drv.com/y4m0tcAGpZP_MdnRVfModck_gmn1hoYwCvKDVrPR8_SS36H8Qh N87VdiQzHRddOVWi4ZE2T7XytmuESYQo7EIyYsej8fyEzKnEEb UqLCe0EdS8JfG6_C6DuOanEuERjuHLscOBgnjGR6zNbFaHJ57c qAwl5Np51a3aMrM9s-2fvABSH4EIsFdi3aHa3OAe0x4Xk-LT7L4_KdoJFXDOsYHmjcw?width=1084&height=1440&cropmode=none


Sony was also using a RISC processor as well and it wasn't even that new. They fucked up by letting Hitachi make promises they couldn't keep and were forced into using a double CPU setup, because of the SH-2's lack of power compared to the old MIPS 3000A used in the PlayStation. Those Hitachi CPUs had to be pretty expensive on their own, considering that they were a new product. Anybody know how much a single SH-2 costed in 1994?

I'd like to know this as well.

Team Andromeda
05-06-2019, 05:21 AM
Single speed CD drives were expensive in the early 90's, but that was not the case by the mid 90s. Atari managed to build a double speed CD drive for their Jag using a drive built by Philips. They certainly didn't pay $150 for it.


CD systems and the Ram needed adding hugely to the price. Like you usual, if you say something, you think it's true, but can never back it up with factual information, not once have you be able to verify the SEGA CD 99$ price point. On the one hand, you look to rubbish Chip and Pints only to then use them for your argument, you really couldn't make it up


Seriously, Why did the Neo Geo CD cost 49,800 yen on its launch or why did The PC-FX 47,000 yen on its launch, what they packed more tech than the Saturn?
The PS wasn't cheaper either launching at 39,000 yen compared to the Saturn's 44,800 yen (just a £30 difference ).

Team Andromeda
05-06-2019, 05:28 AM
Japan. Here's the source (EGM Dec 1993). It makes sense considering Sega's giant push for the Saturn at all costs.



Japan is really what I meant to say because there was still software coming in the West late in hence why I listed them.
To me, SEGA Japan never really bothered with the Mega CD and were a huge part of the reason why the system never took off. We should have had plenty of SEGA scaler coin-ups on the system: like I said many a time, I also thought moving PS IV from the Mega CD to the Mega Drive was a complete kick in the teeth, for Mega CD owners and showed SOJ cared little for the format. It's to SOA credit that they made the system worth owning and were the ones who really showed off what the system could do, with Batman Returns
Just a shame SOA got so caught up with the FMV fad.

Gryson
05-06-2019, 10:37 AM
To be fair that Philips drive was absolute garbage.



Japan. Here's the source (EGM Dec 1993). It makes sense considering Sega's giant push for the Saturn at all costs.

I'd like to know this as well.

Please... never believe anything written in those EGM gossip columns. They are absurdly inaccurate and clearly made up 90% of the time (just look at the second one on there - which is silly because Sega officially released the near-final Saturn specs in October '93).

But the important point here is that SOA was largely independent when it came to the Sega CD. They didn't want Japanese developed titles. Why would they? It's the same old story: Their profit margins were higher on their own titles, and they thought those titles were easier to market in NA.

Of the 30 Mega CD titles that were developed in Japan in 1993, only 11 were released outside of Japan. Of those 11, only about 3 were of any real importance to the system's library. The 11, by the way, are:

Final Fight CD
Panic!
Android Assault
Silpheed
Keio Flying Squadron
Sonic CD
Vay
Lethal Enforcers
Dark Wizard
The Third World War
Mansion of Hidden Souls

So if you're Japanese Sega management, what's the point in spending a lot of money to develop more games like Panic! that SOA might not even choose to localize (remember, they had choice in the matter), and even if they do, they almost certainly won't advertise much. The MD market in Japan was at least big enough to sustain new titles in 1994, but the same can't really be said for the Mega CD market.

If you want to see the many, many unlocalized Mega CD games, go to the Wiki page and sort by JP release date to find titles only released in Japan:

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

zyrobs
05-06-2019, 12:21 PM
Please... never believe anything written in those EGM gossip columns. They are absurdly inaccurate and clearly made up 90% of the time (just look at the second one on there - which is silly because Sega officially released the near-final Saturn specs in October '93).

Sega was actually marketing the Saturn as a 64bit machine in Japan (because it had 2x32bit cpus). Hideki Sato mentions in an interview that this was a cheap way of doing it. So at least that specific EGM rumour was correct.

It's also true, as far as I know, that they dried up the Sega CD games by 1994 in an effort to push everyone to the Saturn.

Team Andromeda
05-06-2019, 12:39 PM
Sega was actually marketing the Saturn as a 64bit machine in Japan (because it had 2x32bit cpus). Hideki Sato mentions in an interview that this was a cheap way of doing it. So at least that specific EGM rumour was correct.

It's also true, as far as I know, that they dried up the Sega CD games by 1994 in an effort to push everyone to the Saturn.

Quiet correct. 64 bit is clearly shown on the game flyer that came with launch Saturn in Japan . I wouldn't say SOJ was killing off the Mega CD early in an effort to get the teams on the Saturn (SEGA Japan teams were still working on Mega Drive software for 94 and 95), but more because of the dreadful user base of the Mega CD in Japan. Imo All SEGA In-House teams should have only been working on the Saturn early 1994 onwards

Gryson
05-06-2019, 03:51 PM
Sega was actually marketing the Saturn as a 64bit machine in Japan (because it had 2x32bit cpus). Hideki Sato mentions in an interview that this was a cheap way of doing it. So at least that specific EGM rumour was correct.

It's also true, as far as I know, that they dried up the Sega CD games by 1994 in an effort to push everyone to the Saturn.

The EGM column isn't correct - it says that Sega is "miffed" that the press is alternately calling it a 32-bit and 64-bit machine. Sega is 100% guilty of causing that, though. In old interviews, you'd get one person from Sega talking about the 64-bit Saturn, and then the next calling it a 32-bit machine. That's not really a rumor, though. The rumor part is the 64-bit GPU. In other words, Quarterman couldn't figure out why it was listed as both 32-bit and 64-bit in the media, and he made up some story to explain it.

It's not clear that Sega cancelled a bunch of Mega CD games in 1993 because of the Saturn (as EGM says). Truth is, there probably just wasn't much Mega CD development going on. It's not really surprising that Sega ended development of Mega CD games then, since the console was not very successful and the Saturn was commanding everybody's focus. I mean, if you're a producer, do you want to work on a new Mega CD game that nobody's going to buy since the Saturn has already been announced, or do you want to work on a next-generation title that will push your company forward?

My main point was that the EGM gossip thing is notoriously inaccurate and most of it seems very made up. People have even written about this:

https://kotaku.com/the-best-video-game-rumors-from-the-early-90s-1699492611


Having worked closely with former EGM editors in the past, my understanding is that Quartermann was a mixture of legitimate scuttlebutt about the games industry, wishful thinking about what could happen (sometimes, it would actually come true), and complete bullshit.

Regardless, it's true that Sega didn't release more Mega CD titles beyond 1994, but Japanese developers were developing almost exclusively for the Japanese market at that point, so it's not like continued development would have helped the Sega CD in foreign markets.

gamevet
05-06-2019, 05:20 PM
CD systems and the Ram needed adding hugely to the price. Like you usual, if you say something, you think it's true, but can never back it up with factual information, not once have you be able to verify the SEGA CD 99$ price point. On the one hand, you look to rubbish Chip and Pints only to then use them for your argument, you really couldn't make it up


Seriously, Why did the Neo Geo CD cost 49,800 yen on its launch or why did The PC-FX 47,000 yen on its launch, what they packed more tech than the Saturn?
The PS wasn't cheaper either launching at 39,000 yen compared to the Saturn's 44,800 yen (just a £30 difference ).


1st off, your writing is a clusterfuck.

2nd, I’m not the dude that was trying to use Chips & Bits for anything, other than to prove that those morons were still trying to sell the SEGA CD for $229 in 1996.

3rd, I thought that SEGA was already dropping the price of the SEGA CD by the end of 1994, but was mistaken. Big fucking deal.

4th, you have to be dumb if you think the Neo Geo CD was expensive because of it’s CD drive. That’s like saying that the Wondermega was expensive because it had a CD drive.

And finally. The PlayStation also has a CD drive and was only $300. No fucking way was SEGA paying an extra $100 over Sony to have a CD drive in the Saturn. The CD drive motor and lens were not expensive items by 1995, especially considering that the CD drive companies had already moved on to quad speed drives by then.

Team Andromeda
05-07-2019, 08:45 AM
1st off, your writing is a clusterfuck.

2nd, I’m not the dude that was trying to use Chips & Bits for anything, other than to prove that those morons were still trying to sell the SEGA CD for $229 in 1996.



I wonder why you look to belittle Chips and even call then morons; only to then use them for the pice of the Jaguar CD. Simple facts were that even with in your own words a basic bare bones double CD drive, The Jaguar CD on its launch cost $150 and £149. Even the boss of Atari at the time talked openly of why the Jaguar didn't come with CD as standard. So even having a basic CD drive added way over £100 to a console list price. Over £100 is a lot of money now, never mind 1995 (taking into account inflation)

https://i.imgur.com/Zha8Q6T.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/ZPwP0MK.jpg


you have to be dumb if you think the Neo Geo CD was expensive because of it’s CD drive.

You had to factor in, not only the CD drive but also the huge of ammount of RAM that system needed, which wasn't cheap.


No fucking way was SEGA paying an extra $100 over Sony to have a CD drive in the Saturn
Couple of things overlooking the launch price war SONY America started that SEGA could ill match and overlooking how the Saturn had double the Video Ram, double the CD buffer Ram, 32k for saves (when a PS memory card on it's own was £30) and was 2nd only to the Neo Geo CD for in terms of RAM in a CD based console system. SONY had the also had the huge advantage of its manufacturing capacity. All those would be factors, you go on about the twin SH-2's being the reason, when the PC FX cost more on launch and shipped with a basic V810 CPU and a chipset in part based on the Super Grafx and let is still cost a lot of money, not helped by the price of the CD drive and Ram needed.

No doubt you'll dimisss this, but here's what an ex SGL member John Edelson had to say and in his opinion, the CD drive was the most expensive component of a system in 1995 and has a owner of Neo Geo CD, PC Eng Duo, 3DO, Sega Saturn at the time I could understand that

https://i.imgur.com/YLa5kH8.jpg


I think its quite clear that in the early to mid 90's, putting a CD drive in your system was far more expensive than putting in a Cartridge port.

Leynos
05-07-2019, 02:24 PM
How much time do you seriously waste in a huff rushing to your magazine corner look for said magazine lay it out thinking "ha I got him" to then take a bunch of pictures? Then the next time someone posts and they still refute your post. Was it worth that time and effort?

gamevet
05-07-2019, 04:48 PM
The sad part is, I’m not even going to bother reading it.

Gryson
06-01-2019, 01:21 PM
New info about the Sony-Sega partnership!

Yesterday, an interview (https://www.4gamer.net/games/999/G999905/20190525015/) with former SOA vice president Shinobu Toyoda was published (in Japanese). The topic of the interview is primarily the events covered in Blake Harris's Console Wars.

Most of the interview doesn't reveal much new. In that very Japanese way, Toyoda doesn't directly contradict Console Wars, but he does say a lot between the lines.

He praises Sega president Hayao Nakayama quite a bit.

He says, "If you had to choose the one thing that made Sega successful, it would be Sonic. Without Sonic, there would be no Sega or SOA."

He goes on to say that when Yuji Naka was convinced by Mark Cerny to not quit Sega but rather go to STI, Nakayama was on board with the idea: "Nakayama didn't simply consent to Yuji Naka going to America, he said that if it meant holding on to Naka, then Naka could take 10 staff of his choosing with him."

But most importantly, Toyoda talks about the Sega-Sony partnership. That makes him the third person to do so (after Kalinske and Sato). Here is the quote:


There were discussions with Ken Kutaragi and the Sony engineering staff about the joint development of Sega’s next game console. Sony was first working with Nintendo, but they couldn’t reach an agreement and parted ways. After that, Sony wasn’t entirely against a partnership, but they started to consider entering the game market on their own. The president of Sony of America at that time was Mickey Schulhof, and he had a lot of influence within the company. At a Sony board meeting, he proposed, ‘Rather than developing a next generation console on our own, I think we should partner with Sega. How about giving it a try?’

The reason was that Sony of America had worked with Sega on FMV games such as Night Trap.

The two companies held a series of meetings to discuss the development of a next generation console, with Ken Kutaragi representing the Sony side and R&D head Hideki Sato representing the Sega side. Unfortunately, they failed to reach an agreement within half a year, and discussions ended. The Sony side argued that the next generation console should be fully focused on 3D graphics, while the Sega side argued that it should also have the capacity to do 2D sprite graphics.

Because Sega was so familiar with the state of the game industry and Sato understood well the feelings of game developers, I think that Sega judged that a sudden, complete shift to 3D games would be too difficult. However, the neophyte Sony—well, ‘neophyte’ might be a bit impolite, but they were entering from another industry, and they were able to pursue what they considered ideal game development without any preconceived fears.

It's a relief to have an account from someone at SOA that provides much more detail than Kalinske's account that "Sega said not a chance. Why would it want to share a platform with Sony?" It sure seems to be the case that Sega put some effort into this.

Team Andromeda
06-01-2019, 01:55 PM
New info about the Sony-Sega partnership!

Yesterday, an interview (https://www.4gamer.net/games/999/G999905/20190525015/) with former SOA vice president Shinobu Toyoda was published (in Japanese). The topic of the interview is primarily the events covered in Blake Harris's Console Wars.

Most of the interview doesn't reveal much new. In that very Japanese way, Toyoda doesn't directly contradict Console Wars, but he does say a lot between the lines.

He praises Sega president Hayao Nakayama quite a bit.

He says, "If you had to choose the one thing that made Sega successful, it would be Sonic. Without Sonic, there would be no Sega or SOA."

He goes on to say that when Yuji Naka was convinced by Mark Cerny to not quit Sega but rather go to STI, Nakayama was on board with the idea: "Nakayama didn't simply consent to Yuji Naka going to America, he said that if it meant holding on to Naka, then Naka could take 10 staff of his choosing with him."

But most importantly, Toyoda talks about the Sega-Sony partnership. That makes him the third person to do so (after Kalinske and Sato). Here is the quote:



It's a relief to have an account from someone at SOA that provides much more detail than Kalinske's account that "Sega said not a chance. Why would it want to share a platform with Sony?" It sure seems to be the case that Sega put some effort into this.

You really think that article is credible?. Looking over how it was meant to be TOM and his good mate Olf that wanted to make a console, I single out some glaring oddities ...

1) Night Trap had nothing to do with SONY: SONY never published the game, never held the game rights to the game, or developed the game.2) SONY Imagesoft was set up before the SNES, never mind the Mega CD even came out and was set up way back inthe late 80's and most NES fans will bang on about how amazing Solstice was on the NES
3)Why would SONY need SEGA to provide sprite power, when the PS it's self could handle over 4000 sprite's and other corps outside SEGA could provide sprite power (not least Flair) |Still it's nice to see at least someone other than Tom make out that SEGA could have worked with SONY... and yeah without SONIC the Mega Drive would never sold as well as it did.

Gryson
06-01-2019, 02:04 PM
You really think that article is credible?. Looking over how it was meant to be TOM and his good mate Olf that wanted to make a console, I single out some glaring oddities ...

1) Night Trap had nothing to do with SONY: SONY never published the game, never held the game rights to the game, or developed the game.2) SONY Imagesoft was set up before the SNES, never mind the Mega CD even came out and was set up way back inthe late 80's and most NES fans will bang on about how amazing Solstice was on the NES
3)Why would SONY need SEGA to provide sprite power, when the PS it's self could handle over 4000 sprite's and other corps outside SEGA could provide sprite power (not least Flair) |Still it's nice to see at least someone other than Tom make out that SEGA could have worked with SONY... and yeah without SONIC the Mega Drive would never sold as well as it did.

No, you're absolutely right. Shinobu Toyoda certainly isn't a credible witness to this history. I'm not sure why YOU weren't interviewed instead.

Team Andromeda
06-01-2019, 06:04 PM
No, you're absolutely right. Shinobu Toyoda certainly isn't a credible witness to this history. I'm not sure why YOU weren't interviewed instead.

So Sony Imagesoft was set after the Mega CD came out, and SONY published Night Trap...

Team Andromeda
06-01-2019, 06:13 PM
No, you're absolutely right. Shinobu Toyoda certainly isn't a credible witness to this history. I'm not sure why YOU weren't interviewed instead.

So Sony Imagesoft was set up after the Mega CD came out, and SONY published, or developed Night Trap? Is that was you're saying

Gryson
06-01-2019, 07:46 PM
... Seriously? He was spontaneously talking about something that he probably hasn't thought about in over 20 years. Cut the guy some slack. Anyway, Night Trap was about the only famous Mega CD FMV game in Japan, and he's probably just using that to illustrate FMV games.

I have no idea what you're going on about otherwise, though.

His points corroborate what Sato said about working with Kutaragi, and you're stuck on some tangential comment about Night Trap.

It is unbelievable how much faith you put into Edge Magazine of all things, and when we finally get the freaking vice president of SOA to talk about these things, you dismiss him outright as not credible.

Is it too much to ask you to refrain from posting in my threads?

Leynos
06-01-2019, 08:56 PM
No, you're absolutely right. Shinobu Toyoda certainly isn't a credible witness to this history. I'm not sure why YOU weren't interviewed instead.

Sadly I can't rep you for this but I want to. You got a genuine laugh out of me. Well done sir.

Blades
06-02-2019, 04:08 AM
Poor TA.

I still don't understand why Sega used quads in all their 3D hardware up to the Dreamcast, when almost everyone else was using triangles. Were quads just first in general 3D hardware?

Team Andromeda
06-02-2019, 06:33 AM
Poor TA.

I still don't understand why Sega used quads in all their 3D hardware up to the Dreamcast, when almost everyone else was using triangles. Were quads just first in general 3D hardware?

SEGA used Quads in their Arcade boards, so I just guess it's what SEGA's designers were used too and at the time everyone held up Model 1 and 2 as the Pinnacle of gaming 3D. Didn't Joe Miller also say that SEGA and NVidia were in talks to develope hardware (at the time NVidia used quads too)

Team Andromeda
06-02-2019, 07:01 AM
... Seriously? He was spontaneously talking about something that he probably hasn't thought about in over 20 years.

That's why I said there are some discrepancies One doesn't need Google to know that Night Trap was nothing to do with SONY and that SONY Imagesoft started life on the NES system. You and I know would that, just from being well into gaming 20 years ago or not

Why would Ken Kutaragi and Phil lie to EDGE magazine, why would Hideki Sato lie when he looked back (I think you even linked the interview) where he thought 4000, hardware sprites would be enough, until SONY stunned the world with the PS.
Also speaking of EDGE at the Japanese launch of the Saturn, EDGE was invited to spend 2 days inside SEGA Japan to get all the info on the system and speak to staff and here's what a SEGA staff member said at the time (not now, looking back)

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




I say its very clear SEGA Japan wasn't offered the chipset and basically knew nothing of the PS chipset or SONY plans...were caught off guard and with their pants down and rushed to add a 2nd CPU and beef up the VDP1 to handle more than double the planned number of sprites.
In just the same way you put your side of the debate, I put mine and don't do it to wind you up or blindly defend SEGA Japan , but to me SEGA showed all the signs of a corp that knew next to nothing of what SONY was up too and embarrassingly saw Atari and 3DO as more of a threat than SONY

axel
06-02-2019, 11:05 AM
Quads were a holdover from the days of hardware designed to scale and distort sprites, which is essentially what the Saturn is doing. On Sega's powerful arcade hardware this was fine but on consumer hardware in 1994 it meant a huge drop in performance. Quads are great for artists and animators when rendering time is a non-issue but much slower for a CPU, for one thing the triangle is always a single plane and second it's easy to divide it into smaller triangles, whereas dividing a triangle into quads usually means at least 3 quads for 1 triangle.

I can think of a few examples where quads might be better, maybe you just want a tiled plane or walls and floors along straight lines, for everything else it's worse.

zyrobs
06-02-2019, 11:09 AM
Poor TA.

I still don't understand why Sega used quads in all their 3D hardware up to the Dreamcast, when almost everyone else was using triangles. Were quads just first in general 3D hardware?

There were interviews about that. The gist of it is that nobody at the company knew how to do 3d (read: a UV mapped triangle renderer) at all, except Yu Suzuki, and they couldn't pull him off the arcade division to help. So they tried using stretchy sprites to approximate 3d.

There's also no evidence whatsoever that they changed anything on the VDP1; we have hardware docs and revisions in official documents back to late 1993 / early 1994. The only video hardware revisions we've seen is adding end codes and High Speed Shrink to the VDP1, to make it a tiny bit faster in some scenarios. HSS is a form of hardware mipmapping where the console only samples every 2nd pixel of the sprite, while end codes will terminate the sampling of the texture on a given position of a given line, to speed up cases where a part of the sprite is transparent. These are helpful but not game changing. And the VDP1/2 interaction runs extremely deep, I doubt they could have redesigned it thoroughly and then get engineering samples ready by 1994 Q2 (earliest Saturn chip dates are from spring/summer).

The more likely story is that they looked at getting a more powerful main CPU, and came across the dual cpu mode in the SH2 and decided on that. In other words, they changed to main CPU to a dual SH2 to improve the 3d performance of the machine, which technologically inept journalists would then confuse with the two VDPs that already were in, and report it as "THEY ARE ADDING A SECOND VIDEO CHIP".

axel
06-02-2019, 04:23 PM
I don't see any evidence the processor was changed either, based on interviews it seems like they decided on dual SH-2s fairly early in the process. I think the whole idea that Sega changed the Saturn late in development in response to the PSX is just an urban legend that got picked up by the press early on and has been repeated ever since.

Leynos
06-02-2019, 04:34 PM
Dreamcast used quads as well? Forgive me I don't follow this stuff as close as others. I thought back then SEGA was pushing that the DC could push 3 million Polygons per second for their marketing hyped to developers and Games Journalists.

zyrobs
06-03-2019, 02:55 AM
Dreamcast used quads as well? Forgive me I don't follow this stuff as close as others. I thought back then SEGA was pushing that the DC could push 3 million Polygons per second for their marketing hyped to developers and Games Journalists.

Dreamcast used triangles, but it had a tile based deferred rendering setup. It broke up the screen to a number of small tiles which could fit on fast internal cache, wrote the polygons to that first, and then flushed the tile to framebuffer. This was a more efficient setup (phones today all use tiled rendering, and desktop videocards started doing it too), but it made it difficult to do certain effects because you couldn't see past the edge of each tile. There were some other differences compared to most common hardware at the time (different floating point standard, different z buffering, order-independent transparency, I think), but I was told that Sega's devkits hidden away all of that and basically allowed you to work the machine as a traditional setup, up to I think DX6 feature level.

Also IIRC Sega asked NEC to customize the PowerVR2 to have things like palette support, but I don't know the exact details. It wouldn't surprize me if it could also do quads, at least without deformation (even if it was internally breaking them up to two triangles).

Blades
06-03-2019, 04:49 AM
There were interviews about that. The gist of it is that nobody at the company knew how to do 3d (read: a UV mapped triangle renderer) at all, except Yu Suzuki, and they couldn't pull him off the arcade division to help. So they tried using stretchy sprites to approximate 3d.

But Yu Suzuki designed the Model 1/2 boards that also used quads.

From what I can piece together, quads are also used in 3D modeling for film (and still are). Apparently meshing for lighting is one of the things that makes more sense with quads than triangles (at least when modeling directly). That said, quads are less efficient, which was critical for the Saturn as it was developed in an era where every polygon counted.

Another bizarre "quirk" of the Saturn rendering pipeline I've heard about is that it uses "forward rendering," instead of the industry standard "backward rendering." This means that instead of rendering by scanline, the Saturn renders everything by polygon. This means it overdraws a bunch of polygons you never even see, eroding it's polygon-pushing count even further.

zyrobs
06-03-2019, 05:23 AM
But Yu Suzuki designed the Model 1/2 boards that also used quads.

From what I can piece together, quads are also used in 3D modeling for film (and still are). Apparently meshing for lighting is one of the things that makes more sense with quads than triangles (at least when modeling directly). That said, quads are less efficient, which was critical for the Saturn as it was developed in an era where every polygon counted.

Yu Suzuki was too busy with the arcade division, which was too important to pull off from that. And from what I understand he didn't design the Model 1/2 boards themselves but miniaturized the Lockheed Martin military grade renderers to fit into an arcade board. That's not to say that he couldn't have done better on the Saturn, but we don't know how much he could and could not do. The strength of the Model 1/2 lied in how much sheer bandwidth it had - which was the weakness of the Saturn, it had so little bandwidth for polygons.

The Hideki Sato interviews confirmed that they went with sprites because they did not know how to do 3d (perhaps did not even have time to get into it), so they modified the sprite display to be deformable so it could draw 3d.


Another bizarre "quirk" of the Saturn rendering pipeline I've heard about is that it uses "forward rendering," instead of the industry standard "backward rendering." This means that instead of rendering by scanline, the Saturn renders everything by polygon. This means it overdraws a bunch of polygons you never even see, eroding it's polygon-pushing count even further.
That's what forward rendering means. It means you take a texture and draw it at a given size, which is inefficient if the target size is smaller. If you had a 32x32 texture shrank down to 16x16, you were still processing 32x32 pixels (or maybe 16x32 - looking at the transparency overdraw artifacts, I think it may have skipped unused lines, but I'm not sure), and that was a waste of time.
What everything else did was UV mapping aka backwards rendering, which means you first calculate the size of the target polygon, and then from the U and V texture coordinates, you calculate the texture pixels that go at a given pixel. The advantage is that you do not waste pixels when drawing. It also means you can animate textures by only modifying the UV coordinates, this was most useful for reflections. Not that the VDP1 had the speed to do reflections.

Additionally the quad rendering meant that if the two sides of the quad were not equal, then some pixels would get overdrawn, as the textures were processed line by line, and if you for example collapsed a quad to a triangle, then the collapsed corner gets every pixel of that corner drawn into it multiple times. Although I think you could potentially get around that issue with clever use of end codes, but that would open up holes at the seams.

Team Andromeda
06-03-2019, 07:24 AM
There's also no evidence whatsoever that they changed anything on the VDP1; we have hardware docs and revisions in official documents back to late 1993 / early 1994.

There is that interview with Hedkia Sato where he said that originally he thought 4000 hardware sprites (funnily enough the same as the PS 2D) was enough for the Saturn 3D, but upon seeing the PS spec's he had to change that, and also added a 2nd CPU and where he also said that SH-2 had a function to support such a feature


based on interviews it seems like they decided on dual SH-2s fairly early in the process.

All the early spec leaks said the Saturn was to have a Hitachi CPU running at 27 Mhz, no talk whatsoever of dual CPU's. That spec's changed from just the timeline of EDGE issue 1 to EDGE issue 4.
But to be fair SEGA Kazuhiro Hamanda (Cheif section design chief of the Saturn) told EDGE that early tech demo showed a single CPU wasn't enough to handle a 3D world and SEGA felt it had to go with 2 CPU's. So who knows, what SEGA would have done differently without SONY joining in the console race.

Team Andromeda
06-03-2019, 07:33 AM
Yu Suzuki was too busy with the arcade division, which was too important to pull off from that. And from what I understand he didn't design the Model 1/2 boards themselves but miniaturized the Lockheed Martin military grade renderers to fit into an arcade board. That's not to say that he couldn't have done better on the Saturn, but we don't know how much he could and could not do.

SEGA developed Model 1 their self's (and it kind of showed with Saturn like levels of multi processors joined together lol) it was with Model 2 and 3 that Lockheed Martin came onboard. I also remember that some mags were saying that because Model 3 could also use quads that gave it a performance gain over the Dreamcast, given they thought you need double the triangle polygon to equal a quad.
Mad days lol. Btw Did Namco's System 21 and 22 used quads? and many mags, even some developers like CORE said that the PS also used distorted sprites (but in a different way) but had the 66 Mips of the Geometry engine to give more than enough grunt to push more polygons.

Team Andromeda
06-03-2019, 07:38 AM
I don't see any evidence the processor was changed either, based on interviews it seems like they decided on dual SH-2s fairly early in the process. I think the whole idea that Sega changed the Saturn late in development in response to the PSX is just an urban legend that got picked up by the press early on and has been repeated ever since.

Well here's what Hideki Sato said


it seemed like we were finally nearing completion. Then, the final PlayStation was revealed. It supported 300,000 polygons. Well, that was ultimately a bunch of lies, but… When you compared the Saturn with the PlayStation, we were completely missing something. The response that I chose was to add another SH processor, so we ended up with two SH-2s. By chance, the SH supported two-way cascaded data transfer. You could add a second processor and connect them in a cascade and get multi-CPU performance. When you get to about the PlayStation 3, multi-processors had become common, but the Saturn was the first home console to use multi-processors. So I added a second SH-2, but I felt that the ‘impact’ was still weak. Well, the SH-2 is a 32-bit processor, and we had two of them, so we could call the Saturn a 64-bit machine. It’s a dirty way of getting to 64-bits. But we revealed the CD-ROM-based Saturn using 64-bits as our sales point.

bpguimaraes23
06-03-2019, 09:51 AM
There were interviews about that. The gist of it is that nobody at the company knew how to do 3d (read: a UV mapped triangle renderer) at all, except Yu Suzuki, and they couldn't pull him off the arcade division to help. So they tried using stretchy sprites to approximate 3d.

There's also no evidence whatsoever that they changed anything on the VDP1; we have hardware docs and revisions in official documents back to late 1993 / early 1994. The only video hardware revisions we've seen is adding end codes and High Speed Shrink to the VDP1, to make it a tiny bit faster in some scenarios. HSS is a form of hardware mipmapping where the console only samples every 2nd pixel of the sprite, while end codes will terminate the sampling of the texture on a given position of a given line, to speed up cases where a part of the sprite is transparent. These are helpful but not game changing. And the VDP1/2 interaction runs extremely deep, I doubt they could have redesigned it thoroughly and then get engineering samples ready by 1994 Q2 (earliest Saturn chip dates are from spring/summer).

The more likely story is that they looked at getting a more powerful main CPU, and came across the dual cpu mode in the SH2 and decided on that. In other words, they changed to main CPU to a dual SH2 to improve the 3d performance of the machine, which technologically inept journalists would then confuse with the two VDPs that already were in, and report it as "THEY ARE ADDING A SECOND VIDEO CHIP".

It makes sense. I've seen some people with engineering expertise suggest that the second pool of slow ram was added late based on the motherboard design.

bpguimaraes23
06-03-2019, 10:04 AM
But Yu Suzuki designed the Model 1/2 boards that also used quads.

From what I can piece together, quads are also used in 3D modeling for film (and still are). Apparently meshing for lighting is one of the things that makes more sense with quads than triangles (at least when modeling directly). That said, quads are less efficient, which was critical for the Saturn as it was developed in an era where every polygon counted.

Another bizarre "quirk" of the Saturn rendering pipeline I've heard about is that it uses "forward rendering," instead of the industry standard "backward rendering." This means that instead of rendering by scanline, the Saturn renders everything by polygon. This means it overdraws a bunch of polygons you never even see, eroding it's polygon-pushing count even further.

From my understanding, those quads used in 3D modeling are broken into triangle on a hardware level.

As for why the arcade boards used quads, my completely uneducated speculation is that because 3D games at that time had low polygon budgets, so they thought making box shaped cars and houses would be easier with quads?

zyrobs
06-03-2019, 05:23 PM
Quads have some real world uses. NVidia's first card (NV1) used quads, but that's not what made it great: it allowed for, I think, 9-point deformable quads. Basically you have the 4 corners, plus one point between each corner, plus one in the middle. You could deform all of those points and the chip would render these distortions fine. So you could make more smoothly curved surfaces with far less polygons than with triangles. Of course, that never really caught up, they ditched their half-complete second card, and then made a fully DirectX/OpenGL compatible card with the NV3, and eventually ended up dominating the market with the Geforce.


It makes sense. I've seen some people with engineering expertise suggest that the second pool of slow ram was added late based on the motherboard design.

The extra ram is connected to an interface chip that controls the SH2s in dual chip mode, plus they have some of the last IC numbers on the board. So it would make sense that the two chips were added as an after thought.
I think it was a bad choice, they should've gone with adding 2MB fast ram instead. But maybe it made sense from a price point of view.

Team Andromeda
06-07-2019, 12:41 PM
The extra ram is connected to an interface chip that controls the SH2s in dual chip mode, plus they have some of the last IC numbers on the board. So it would make sense that the two chips were added as an after thought.
I think it was a bad choice, they should've gone with adding 2MB fast ram instead. But maybe it made sense from a price point of view.

I think the interview with Sato-san makes it clear it was added after learning of the SONY spec. I really don't think Sato-san is a man to point score and given he worked on every SEGA console ever made, I think he's the highest authority on what happened about all aspects of the Saturn design (and also to blame for some of its shortcomings) . BTW does anyone know if Konami Cobra Board and Namco's system 21 and 22 used Quads or triangles, they all had some nice 3D graphics for the time

axel
06-07-2019, 04:53 PM
I think the interview with Sato-san makes it clear it was added after learning of the SONY spec. I really don't think Sato-san is a man to point score and given he worked on every SEGA console ever made, I think he's the highest authority on what happened about all aspects of the Saturn design (and also to blame for some of its shortcomings) . BTW does anyone know if Konami Cobra Board and Namco's system 21 and 22 used Quads or triangles, they all had some nice 3D graphics for the time

No idea what the Konami board actually uses but the IBM system it is based on was advertised as being able to do points, lines, triangles, rectangles and quads: https://www-01.ibm.com/common/ssi/cgi-bin/ssialias?infotype=dd&subtype=sm&htmlfid=897/ENUS7043-140

As for Namco see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bp6aHkZD2Wg

Team Andromeda
06-08-2019, 04:12 AM
No idea what the Konami board actually uses but the IBM system it is based on was advertised as being able to do points, lines, triangles, rectangles and quads: https://www-01.ibm.com/common/ssi/cgi-bin/ssialias?infotype=dd&subtype=sm&htmlfid=897/ENUS7043-140

As for Namco see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bp6aHkZD2Wg

So not just SEGA then, thanks for the info

axel
06-08-2019, 12:33 PM
So not just SEGA then, thanks for the info

Nintendo DS can also do quads natively. But it isn't obligatory and I think most (if not all) games use triangles. Or at least, I can't think of a DS game that is quads only.

Team Andromeda
06-09-2019, 02:56 AM
Nintendo DS can also do quads natively. But it isn't obligatory and I think most (if not all) games use triangles. Or at least, I can't think of a DS game that is quads only.

Never knew that, thanks very much for the info

axel
06-09-2019, 10:05 AM
Never knew that, thanks very much for the info

The math for higher order polygons is not that complex but the question is why would you want to use them? For some topologies it can be advantageous, but for nearly everything else triangles are much simpler and can still generate every shape. The exception is a circle, which might take a lot of triangles, but a lot of early 3D titles use sprites for circles anyway.

Leynos
06-09-2019, 01:43 PM
Dreamcast up through the last generation It was cool to see a sphere in a game and see how smooth it was or wasn't. By late last gen, it was starting to look darn good. Now it seems easy for devs with current power in PC/consoles. There is a sequence in VanQuish where these robots that are spheres roll up and they look pretty flawless and being impressed by them at the time.

Team Andromeda
06-09-2019, 04:45 PM
The exception is a circle, which might take a lot of triangles, but a lot of early 3D titles use sprites for circles anyway.

I guess that explains why the Saturn version of WLS 98 is better the Saturn had the advantage for polygon footballs :)