PDA

View Full Version : SEGA Saturn a Historical Revisionism



SegaAMD
12-22-2019, 03:38 PM
By SegaAMD

When we talk about the fifth generation and look for history we come across a very simplistic view-SEGA's mistakes and how amazing Sony was- but this narrative only gained momentum when the generation was almost over and was consolidated after Sega's out from console market as a manufacturer.

In the world we live in, there is always a war of narratives and, as in a war, the winner makes its narrative prevail and, in these circumstances, the adversary is demonized. To better understand for example a war between two kingdoms, regardless of who wins, the winner will pinate himself as GOOD and the loser as Bad. In politics, we see this happening to a greater or lesser extent.

My goal is to bring a different point of view, because the dominant point of view is always the same, as a SEGA fan I don't like it when other Sega fans replicate the dominant and accepted narrative.

What this topic intends is not to make a negationism because the facts cannot be changed but a historical revisionism and try at least among us to consolidate this alternative point of view.


About SEGA mistakes

there is no SEGA mistake, just decisions

in fact Sega, Nintendo and Sony had their strategies and each strategy was correct, as Sony's strategy prevailed over the others it was constituted that it got it right and that the others got it wrong. in other words Sony's commercial success turned other competitor's decisions into mistakes. if for some reason Nintendo's strategy prevails, today we would be talking about Sony's mistakes.


The market before and after Playstation

The playstation has revolutionized the market, but just as every revolution doesn't mean it was a good thing, the console's proponents say that thanks to Sony consoles, they've come to be seen as electronics rather than toys and the market has reached profit levels where it arrived, This is quite true, but along with the advent of playstaion, the speed of arcade death has accelerated, games have become increasingly disposable, the search for different hardware is over, the controls are now copies of the playstation control and a setback for using 4 Buttons Instead of 6 buttons, old sprite games gave way to 2d games made from polygons, the industries gradually broke with their classic roots.

The SEGA after Saturn

Sega itself relented the pressure and in Dreamcast now imitated the playstation console using 4-button front controls, cross-shaped D-pad, as if it were little, if we enter today on the SEGA website it partially accepts that it was wrong with saturn but emphasizes that the competition was very powerful.

Conclusion:

I myself have sent SEGA suggestions not to go in the way of the market doing and continuing its story, but I'm not sure if anyone inside has read it. In any case, those who lived at that time can feel what a SEGA Saturn was a amazing console.

Leynos
12-22-2019, 06:18 PM
https://i.imgur.com/XSTB9W8.gif

axel
12-22-2019, 08:37 PM
The problems with the Saturn were evident from day one, it had one of the worst launches of any console in history (and it was coming right on the heels of the 32X, another failure). Sony is by no means perfect but they were able to capitalize on mistakes from their rivals. A lot of the other things you mention would have happened anyway:

-Arcades had been in decline for a decade and were only temporarily bolstered by one on one fighters and titles like Daytona USA in the early 90s.
-The market wanted 3D games not 2D sprites, look at Sega's own arcade division, they had already figured this out a couple years earlier.
-6 button pads were never the standard. The only reason they caught on for awhile was the popularity of Capcom fighters. Other than that I see no advantage.

SegaAMD
12-23-2019, 11:52 AM
The problems with the Saturn were evident from day one, it had one of the worst launches of any console in history (and it was coming right on the heels of the 32X, another failure). Sony is by no means perfect but they were able to capitalize on mistakes from their rivals. A lot of the other things you mention would have happened anyway:



no way we ordinary consumers could predict that Saturn would fail in the west, only industry people could foresee that as Sony has already entered the market receiving the 3DO legacy and making many temporary exclusivity deals, basically Sega was unarmed with only your firsty party games, that in the long run would certainly translate into low sales.

axel
12-23-2019, 06:41 PM
no way we ordinary consumers could predict that Saturn would fail in the west, only industry people could foresee that as Sony has already entered the market receiving the 3DO legacy and making many temporary exclusivity deals, basically Sega was unarmed with only your firsty party games, that in the long run would certainly translate into low sales.

No one can predict the future but Sega's strategy looked bizarre even in 1995. We had just seen a series of ads for upgrading the Genesis with the 32X or Sega CD and then here comes another brand new Sega console, the first thing my friends and I thought was that the Saturn had to be a consolidation of their previous hardware, a Genesis+CD+32X all in one. What other impression would you get by looking at it? It's even got a cart slot and a CD drive! Then we found out it really was a new system and not compatible with anything else, too bad for people who invested in those add-ons. Meanwhile what happened to Neptune?

I didn't even know anything about the Playstation at the time or which system might be easier to program. I just knew I wasn't going to spend hundreds of dollars on Sega's new console when they were already getting a reputation of not supporting their own hardware and the early titles were lacking. Where was the blue hedgehog? The only 5th gen console I bought was the N64, which was a reversal for me since I had favored the Genesis over the SNES.

Leynos
12-29-2019, 12:17 AM
No one can predict the future but Sega's strategy looked bizarre even in 1995. We had just seen a series of ads for upgrading the Genesis with the 32X or Sega CD and then here comes another brand new Sega console, the first thing my friends and I thought was that the Saturn had to be a consolidation of their previous hardware, a Genesis+CD+32X all in one. What other impression would you get by looking at it? It's even got a cart slot and a CD drive! Then we found out it really was a new system and not compatible with anything else, too bad for people who invested in those add-ons. Meanwhile what happened to Neptune?

I didn't even know anything about the Playstation at the time or which system might be easier to program. I just knew I wasn't going to spend hundreds of dollars on Sega's new console when they were already getting a reputation of not supporting their own hardware and the early titles were lacking. Where was the blue hedgehog? The only 5th gen console I bought was the N64, which was a reversal for me since I had favored the Genesis over the SNES.

So, something else Nintendo ripped off from SEGA.:p A confusing new console. Is it a new add on or a new console? No one is quite sure in 2011 when they unveiled Wii U. Many just thought it was a new controller for Wii.

axel
12-29-2019, 01:02 AM
So, something else Nintendo ripped off from SEGA.:p A confusing new console. Is it a new add on or a new console? No one is quite sure in 2011 when they unveiled Wii U. Many just thought it was a new controller for Wii.

LOL yes the Wii U is a great comparison, another train wreck of a console launch with confusing marketing. To the Wii U's credit at least it had some very good 1st party titles, the fact that several of them sold millions on the Switch shows the hardware was the real problem.

WarmSignal
12-29-2019, 01:20 AM
I think the image of the Wii U was already tainted even when it became clear that this was a new console. It was another Wii. Personally, I love the Wii but most did not have a fond perception of it. Another Wii meant another gimmick based and under powered console that wasn't going to get the mainline games. One could draw a parallel to the 32x and Saturn. People thought, oh another 32 bit SEGA console, only it's way more expensive and still doesn't have any strong titles launching with it. Why do I want this? Hey look, the other guys are getting all of the interesting games.

I imagine the sentiment was quite similar between these two series of console launches.

axel
12-29-2019, 05:41 PM
I think the image of the Wii U was already tainted even when it became clear that this was a new console. It was another Wii. Personally, I love the Wii but most did not have a fond perception of it. Another Wii meant another gimmick based and under powered console that wasn't going to get the mainline games. One could draw a parallel to the 32x and Saturn. People thought, oh another 32 bit SEGA console, only it's way more expensive and still doesn't have any strong titles launching with it. Why do I want this? Hey look, the other guys are getting all of the interesting games.

I imagine the sentiment was quite similar between these two series of console launches.

That's true. I think the Wii U got a bad reputation because it looked even weaker than it was, especially when it was sold bundled with New Super Mario Bros U. Which isn't a bad game but it's so similar to the other installments in the series it's hardly a reason to buy a new system. There were rumors it was no more powerful than a PS3. If it had launched with Mario 3D World, Mario Kart 8, Smash, BotW etc it might have been different.

At the time of the Saturn I felt like there were so many tech products coming out I wanted to wait and see what happened. I had just watched the Jaguar, 3DO, CD-i and 32X all fail miserably. PCs were being sold with Pentium processors, CD drives, sound cards and a new OS called "Windows 95", maybe that was going to be the new gaming platform? (Turned out it wasn't, at least not for awhile). So I had no incentive to be an early adopter.

SegaAMD
12-29-2019, 09:14 PM
Nintendo wii U or xbox one are excellent examples, some users say: Microsoft made mistakes on xbox one or nintendo made mistakes on Wii U.

No mistakes, just decisions, it's the results that tell you if the company got it right or wrong.

I have already debated with people who were in favor of DRM / Family sharing and in their view it was positive even for the consumer, but as DRM / Family sharing was demonized by youtubers it is not known what their intentions were in doing so in the end. DRM is gone, so did Sega Saturn, which had its main characteristics demonized by opinion makers.


Honestly, to this day, I find it unfair to see how Sega Saturn was cornered and as if it was still little to see all the blame being thrown at SEGA in what is today called Sega's mistakes.

Greg2600
12-31-2019, 01:49 AM
Listen to the interviews with Kalinkse and Nilsen.....Nakayama ruined the company. He hired Kalinske, praised almost everything he did, all the while he was literally pounding tables and screaming at his Japanese executives. Nintendo never did this. Japan and America worked in perfect cooperation. As a result, the SOJ execs and engineers went out of their way to refuse any outside ideas for the good of the company. The Megadrive was a failure in Japan, while it was gangbusters in North America and Europe. Nakayama would routinely shame his workers over this, real good leadership. Meanwhile, SOA led the company from doormat to champs. How are they rewarded? The immensely profitable Genesis/MD line has support pulled, and SOJ ignores the potential Sony 32-bit partnership. Yes, the Saturn DID become the first and only SEGA console to "win Japan," but it was a disaster everywhere else. Nakayama clearly screwed over Kalinske with the ridiculous early launch. There's no other way to interpret that as a SOJ knife in the back, whether he just went along with it or whatever. That single-handedly ruined the company's stance with retailers in the United States (the most important game market in the world), and they never recovered it. Dreamcast was DOA due to this, despite what people say. You can say what you want about the 32X and SegaCD, blah blah, but a proper 32-bit disc-based system launch would have wiped a lot of that away. Particularly if it were a well supported system like a SEGA Playstation would have been.

gamevet
12-31-2019, 01:47 PM
Launching the Saturn in North America without an NFL game was a huge mistake on its own. Clearly SOA was caught off guard with the launch of the Saturn.

SegaAMD
12-31-2019, 02:39 PM
N64 took too long to receive an NFL, there is no mistake in that.
RE1 exclusive on the Playstation did much more harm to Saturn than a NFL, Sega had no game to compete.

Greg2600
12-31-2019, 03:51 PM
Launching the Saturn in North America without an NFL game was a huge mistake on its own. Clearly SOA was caught off guard with the launch of the Saturn.

Kalinske infamously was "ordered" to do that Saturn announcement by Nakayama. I wouldn't necessarily point to any one game or series, as Playstation had just as lackluster a launch lineup as Saturn for that first season. Not having ONE platform-based Sonic title seemed absurd though. The problem was that nearly every 3rd party title came out much later on Saturn than Playstation. Now, were there contracts wherein Sony paid the publisher $$$ to get it earlier? Probably. Bigger reason was that Saturn was a horrid system to develop on, which delayed released beyond PSX and PC, not to mention SNES in some cases.

Following the launch fiasco, SEGA lost a good # of retailers, and there was a quick procession of highly successful talent at SOA out of the company. Several wound up at Sony. The SNES was still going strong at the time, Nintendo didn't let up until the N64 was about 2 years old. That kept publishers and retailers happy, not to mention revenue. Genesis had its cord cut far too early.

Team Andromeda
12-31-2019, 05:21 PM
The original launch date was September wasn't it ? Please tell us what NFL game came out for the Saturn then ? .Not that the Mega Drive or PS2 launched in the USA with a NFL games, but hey never mind.

Let's all remember the 32X was the 1st system out of SEGA and SONY to get FIFA and Doom

The fact were SEGA America were too sure the 32x would win and also couldn't handle a sequel to Sonic on their own .

And Nintendo was ruthless with its America staff , never mind how the poor staff at Nintendo Europe were treated .UK call staff sacked with out even a notice .... In Nintendo the Japanese always call the shots ...

Greg2600
12-31-2019, 06:16 PM
The original launch date was September wasn't it ? Please tell us what NFL game came out for the Saturn then ? .Not that the Mega Drive or PS2 launched in the USA with a NFL games, but hey never mind.

Let's all remember the 32X was the 1st system out of SEGA and SONY to get FIFA and Doom

The fact were SEGA America were too sure the 32x would win and also couldn't handle a sequel to Sonic on their own .

And Nintendo was ruthless with its America staff , never mind how the poor staff at Nintendo Europe were treated .UK call staff sacked with out even a notice .... In Nintendo the Japanese always call the shots ...

There were no NFL 3D games in 1995 on any major platform, unless we count the 3DO. The 32X was simply Kalinske's hope to keep the Genesis alive, but SOA did not have the budget to develop those games along with the coming Saturn.

Team Andromeda
12-31-2019, 06:28 PM
There were no NFL 3D games in 1995 on any major platform, unless we count the 3DO. The 32X was simply Kalinske's hope to keep the Genesis alive, but SOA did not have the budget to develop those games along with the coming Saturn.

Unless we count Quarter back Club NFL. Still doesn't change the fact that even if the Saturn was rushed out , the planned launch date was September 1995 and even then still no NFL came from SEGA America ....

gamevet
12-31-2019, 09:38 PM
There were no NFL 3D games in 1995 on any major platform, unless we count the 3DO. The 32X was simply Kalinske's hope to keep the Genesis alive, but SOA did not have the budget to develop those games along with the coming Saturn.

No, the PlayStation had NFL Gameday. You'd think that it was 2D, by the looks of the players on the field, but it was all 3D modeled stadiums. EA cancelled their Madden game that season and wouldn't have a Madden game until 1996. Not having Madden really hurt the Saturn in the West.


The original launch date was September wasn't it ? Please tell us what NFL game came out for the Saturn then ? .Not that the Mega Drive or PS2 launched in the USA with a NFL games, but hey never mind.



SOA could have certainly worked with EA to ensure that they had a Madden game ready for the fall of 1995. Let's not forget that Joe Montana football was designed by EA for the Genesis.

Me personally, doesn't believe that Sega of America was planning on having the Saturn in 1995. Tom even said in interviews the previous year, that they had the hardware, but it was way too expensive to market. SOA was expecting the Saturn to come out much later. Marketing a $400 console was just insane, but my crazy ass bought one in May of 1995.

Leynos
01-01-2020, 01:43 AM
I think it was 1998 when Gameday finally made the players 3D modeled. As for Madden 96 on PS1. Here is footage of it. Seems entirely isometric.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LY8NEdbXzyU

gamevet
01-01-2020, 02:12 AM
I was not impressed with the move to 3D players for NFL Gameday or Madden during that generation. You can clearly see that the 1st NFL Gameday was a superior product, and even Madden 98 on the Saturn was pretty pathetic in comparison.

XvZZMz7SUoA

Leynos
01-01-2020, 02:39 AM
Yup. Madden on N64 was pretty bad as well. Team names were just the city. Colors and uniforms were wrong. Not even sure they got the NFL license. Maddens transition to 3D was a rocky one to say the least.

gamevet
01-01-2020, 03:06 AM
Madden on the N64 got a proper game in Madden 99. It was a superiour game to that of the Playstation version, and was an instance where you could clearly see that the N64 was superior 3D hardware.


0F30E8mwCNY

The limits of the cartridge were on full display though, with missing commentary, along with the lack of opening FMV video.

4HmfO2y9ays

Team Andromeda
01-01-2020, 05:06 AM
SOA could have certainly worked with EA to ensure that they had a Madden game ready for the fall of 1995. Let's not forget that Joe Montana football was designed by EA for the Genesis.



SO we go from SEGA to now EA?. Trouble was SEGA was too busy having the likes of EA, Core even id software work on the 32X. Quarterback Club was quite decent on the 32X but it should have been for the Saturn. Even with the so-called rushed date; Lets remember the interview with Tom K where he said he was asked for a response and came up with the decoy date SEGA America offerings in September 1995 was rubbish anyway


SOA was expecting the Saturn to come out much later. Marketing a $400 console was just insane,

So many used to make out the Saturn was hidden from SEGA America and there are always worries if Hardware will make it on time, let's remember the N64 was meant to come out in 1995 or the PS3 in 2005.
I wouldn't even say too much but SEGA America was the 1st to show off the Saturn in January CES of 1994, it was more than clear than the Saturn would actually hit its street date of 1994. Yeah the price was crazy, but SONY Japan wasn't happy with the launch price of PS in the USA and staff paid with their jobs, never mind being hard to programme for, poor launch software, insane launch price and no NFL game never held back the PS3 and the N64 sold quite well despite not an easy system to develop on, crazy prices for games and again no NFL game for launch.

If SEGA wasn't so busy trying to take market share and games development off its own platforms and just had one system to develop for, sell and push to 3rd parties. SEGA would have been in a much better place

Gryson
01-01-2020, 10:52 AM
Me personally, doesn't believe that Sega of America was planning on having the Saturn in 1995.

Yes, I think we can safely say that. The 32X is sorely misunderstood - it was never intended to "extend the life of the Genesis" or be a "stopgap" or anything like that. Nakayama's words at the time make it clear that the company, on both sides of the Pacific, considered the 32X to be America's next-generation Sega console, at least for several years. This would make everybody happy. Kalinske wouldn't have to market an expensive console and he would be in control of the platform, and Japan could focus its efforts on developing Saturn games for its own market. They all believed that cost was the critical factor in the US market, and that low-cost would win out even with the trade-off of low performance.

That all changed as the 32X approached launch and it was clear as day that the system would fail. Kalinske was envisioning a system that would have dozens of third-party developers and even a stand-alone version (Neptune), a system that would easily carry Sega for several years and hold its own against competitors. However, the 32X failed to interest almost any devs, got trashed by the gaming press, and had low public opinion from the beginning.

The backlash was enormous. Suddenly, SOA found itself without a clear plan. It had just expended a huge amount of money and effort on the 32X, on development and marketing, and it was left completely dry. To make matters worse, the PlayStation was doing very well in Japan and was garnering a lot of support from developers in the US. Sega had almost no US-centric Saturn games in the pipeline. It had put all of its effort into 32X games for the US market.

The decision was made to launch the Saturn in the US (Kalinske's words indicate he was in agreement with this as it was the only viable choice at the time - it's the May limited launch that he thought was too early). To not do so would probably have meant conceding a large part of the US market to Sony. Sega then had to re-write its marketing strategy, suddenly spinning the 32X as a cheap stepping stone into the 32-bit generation and focusing attention onto the Saturn (after having just done their best to draw attention away from the Saturn). Of course, nothing could fix the fact that Sega had no Saturn games ready for the US and its Japanese lineup wasn't going to win out against the PlayStation. To make matters worse, as Kalinske has said, SOA's developers had no idea how to program the Saturn and it took them a while playing catch-up. By then history was written.

Team Andromeda
01-01-2020, 11:01 AM
The decision was made to launch the Saturn in the US (Kalinske's words indicate he was in agreement with this as it was the only viable choice at the time - it's the May limited launch that he thought was too early). To not do so would probably have meant conceding a large part of the US market to Sony. Sega then had to re-write its marketing strategy, suddenly spinning the 32X as a cheap stepping stone into the 32-bit generation and focusing attention onto the Saturn (after having just done their best to draw attention away from the Saturn). Of course, nothing could fix the fact that Sega had no Saturn games ready for the US and its Japanese lineup wasn't going to win out against the PlayStation. To make matters worse, as Kalinske has said, SOA's developers had no idea how to program the Saturn and it took them a while playing catch-up. By then history was written.

I doubt programming for the 32X was that much easier than the Saturn, Given you had the dual SH-2's and also had to work with the Mega Drive CPU, Soundboard and also its GPU. Also if one looks at the software that came out from SOA in September 1995 it wasn't great and no NFL game at all,so even if SOA didn'tr rush the Saturn launch it wouldn't have been any better, more so for a NFL game . The day Sega Japan showed off the Saturn and told the world it was launch in Nov 94 was the day all work on the 32X should have stopped.

I get that SEGA thought its price would be a winner for the 1st couple of years against the Saturn or PS but it was a horribly bad call. That's all it was a bad call and lots of corps make a terrible bad call.

gamevet
01-01-2020, 03:10 PM
SO we go from SEGA to now EA?. Trouble was SEGA was too busy having the likes of EA, Core even id software work on the 32X. Quarterback Club was quite decent on the 32X but it should have been for the Saturn. Even with the so-called rushed date; Lets remember the interview with Tom K where he said he was asked for a response and came up with the decoy date SEGA America offerings in September 1995 was rubbish anyway

I'm not going to get into your Tom bs, because it's just that.

SOA would not be putting resources behind the 32X, if they really believed that the Saturn was going to be out in North America in 1995. I believe that they thought that it would launch in Japan during 1995 and come to the West about a year later. Japan needed the Saturn, because their Mega-Drive was a failure, while it was quite the opposite in the West. It's pretty odd that id Software would be working on the 32X version of DOOM, but would not have a hand in the Saturn version. You'd think that SOA would have been preparing DOOM for their flagship console, if they had known about a 1995 release date in their region. They certainly wouldn't be launching the 32X around the same time as the Saturn in Japan. It was just plain stupid on Japan's part.

EA played a huge part in the success of the Genesis in the West. It sure as hell should have been ready for the Saturn at launch. Developers should have had dev kits for the Saturn well before 1994.




So many used to make out the Saturn was hidden from SEGA America and there are always worries if Hardware will make it on time, let's remember the N64 was meant to come out in 1995 or the PS3 in 2005.

You do realize that you just contradicted yourself with that statement right?



I wouldn't even say too much but SEGA America was the 1st to show off the Saturn in January CES of 1994, it was more than clear than the Saturn would actually hit its street date of 1994. Yeah the price was crazy, but SONY Japan wasn't happy with the launch price of PS in the USA and staff paid with their jobs, never mind being hard to programme for, poor launch software, insane launch price and no NFL game never held back the PS3 and the N64 sold quite well despite not an easy system to develop on, crazy prices for games and again no NFL game for launch.


Sega of America was not the 1st to show off the Saturn. It was SOJ at the June 1994 Tokyo Toy Show, which featured a wooden mockup of the console. SOA would not announce it until CES 1995 and a release date on Saturday (Saturnday) of September 1995.

Nintendo's core audience wasn't sports gamers. It's core audience was Nintendo's own franchises. Sony pretty much took Sega's (western) core sports audience with the release of NFL Gameday and their other 989 sports titles. Sega had no answer to that, other than World Wide Soccer and World Series Baseball, and nobody cared about Soccer in North America at the time.


If SEGA wasn't so busy trying to take market share and games development off its own platforms and just had one system to develop for, sell and push to 3rd parties. SEGA would have been in a much better place

Uh....yeah! That's what I and Gryson have been saying. The 32X was a road block to that happening.

Greg2600
01-01-2020, 04:51 PM
There was quite a bit of internal SOA disagreement about the 32X and Neptune. Al Nilsen tried to kill the project numerous times. He knew that SOA and other devs simply didn't have the resources to properly support the 32X, not with the Saturn on the horizon. He was also of the belief it was better for the bottom line to sell software over hardware, which of course, it was. Whether that meant moving to onboard chipsets like the SVP I'm not sure, because obviously that didn't occur.

Was the 32X a roadblock for the Saturn? I don't agree. They had already snuffed development on that platform with more than enough time to bang out first party stuff on the Saturn. They failed. No primary Sonic title, no follow ups to successful games like Ecco, Streets of Rage, Toe Jam and Earl, Strider, Phantasy Star, etc. Once again, most of the 3rd party games came out months if not a full YEAR after PC and PS1 versions did. The Saturn had a massive Japanese following, but almost none of that was translated/sold in USA or Europe. These things required money. SOA had none, because Japan had forced them to cut the Genesis off, and ruined them with a Saturn launch mess. Even the SEGA arcade ports on the Saturn were mostly buggy and all-around bad.

Yet again, none of that would have mattered had SOJ done what was BEST for the company and accepted the Sony deal.

Gryson
01-01-2020, 06:40 PM
There was quite a bit of internal SOA disagreement about the 32X and Neptune. Al Nilsen tried to kill the project numerous times. He knew that SOA and other devs simply didn't have the resources to properly support the 32X, not with the Saturn on the horizon. He was also of the belief it was better for the bottom line to sell software over hardware, which of course, it was. Whether that meant moving to onboard chipsets like the SVP I'm not sure, because obviously that didn't occur.

Was the 32X a roadblock for the Saturn? I don't agree. They had already snuffed development on that platform with more than enough time to bang out first party stuff on the Saturn. They failed. No primary Sonic title, no follow ups to successful games like Ecco, Streets of Rage, Toe Jam and Earl, Strider, Phantasy Star, etc. Once again, most of the 3rd party games came out months if not a full YEAR after PC and PS1 versions did. The Saturn had a massive Japanese following, but almost none of that was translated/sold in USA or Europe. These things required money. SOA had none, because Japan had forced them to cut the Genesis off, and ruined them with a Saturn launch mess. Even the SEGA arcade ports on the Saturn were mostly buggy and all-around bad.

Yet again, none of that would have mattered had SOJ done what was BEST for the company and accepted the Sony deal.

First, FYI, Al Nilsen left Sega before the 32X was even a concept in anybody's mind. He left Sega for Viacom in 1993; the 32X was first conceptualized in January 1994. Yes, I know he said he "killed" the 32X four times, but he must have been talking about some unknown precursor projects.

I think you underestimate the amount of time required to develop on a radically new platform like the Saturn. Just ask Chris Senn. Most decent projects seemed to be averaging 1.5 years. Panzer Dragoon started development in mid-late 1993. Sonic Team finished S&K in Oct 1994 and then took almost two years to release NiGHTS (July, 1996). And that was in Japan, at the heart of Saturn development. Kalinske has said (I think in the old 1Up interview) that SOA's developers had a hard time keeping up with the Saturn hardware and that's why they released so few games.

Also, sad to see this "Japan bogeyman" stuff still persist on this forum. SOA never had as much independence as it did from the end of 1990 to the end of 1994. Nakayama basically gave Kalinske carte blanche to do the 32X at great cost to Japan (dozens of Japanese developers were assigned to develop 32X games for SOA, diversion of resources for 32X hardware manufacturing limited the number of Saturns that could be produced for Japan launch, etc.). Nakayama and Kalinske were both fully on board with the 32X for reasons stated in my previous post. Nakayama also never "cut the Genesis off" - he continued to praise the high sales of the Genesis throughout 1995 and 1996 and pledged more support for it.

As for getting side tracked on that Sony business, I direct you here: https://mdshock.com/2019/03/18/sega-and-sony-new-insight-into-the-partnership-that-never-came-to-be/

gamevet
01-01-2020, 09:03 PM
The update in June 2019 confirms that Tom wasn't lying.



Then-vice president of Sega of America, Shinobu Toyoda, recently made the following statements about the possible Sega-Sony partnership:

ďThere were discussions with Ken Kutaragi and the Sony engineering staff about the joint development of Segaís next game console. Sony was first working with Nintendo, but they couldnít reach an agreement and parted ways. After that, Sony wasnít 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, ĎRather than developing a next generation console on our own, I think we should partner with Sega. How about giving it a try?í

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

Gryson
01-01-2020, 10:01 PM
The update in June 2019 confirms that Tom wasn't lying.

Right, but as we've already been over, TA thinks that Toyoda is lying because he mistakenly says Night Trap was a Sony game :daze:

Team Andromeda
01-02-2020, 08:45 AM
The update in June 2019 confirms that Tom wasn't lying.

Like one pointed out before there are so many wrong facts than that interview it's hard to take it seriously. Looking over the dates are completely wrong.
SONY didn't have anything to do with Night Trap

Team Andromeda
01-02-2020, 09:07 AM
Also, sad to see this "Japan bogeyman" stuff still persist on this forum. SOA never had as much independence as it did from the end of 1990 to the end of 1994. Nakayama basically gave Kalinske carte blanche to do the 32X at great cost to Japan (dozens of Japanese developers were assigned to develop 32X games for SOA, diversion of resources for 32X hardware manufacturing limited the number of Saturns that could be produced for Japan launch, etc.). Nakayama and Kalinske were both fully on board with the 32X for reasons stated in my previous post. Nakayama also never "cut the Genesis off" - he continued to praise the high sales of the Genesis throughout 1995 and 1996 and pledged more support for it.


The jump to 3D was huge and a big learning curve for a lot of developers and teams even on the PS. Nintendo had to look to British developers to help them learn how to make 3D games. I think most European developers were more up to speed thanks to the 3D work done on the PC and microcomputers I get why the 32X was call was made and also why so many thought it was a winner (given its power and price) but when SEGA Japan showed off the final design of the Saturn and told the press than it would launch in Nov 1994 with VF that was the time for all 32X games and even Mega Drive games to be moved up to 32Bit Saturn production.

SEGA would have lost to SONY no matter what, but I think a SEGA focused and united on Platform could have really taken the fight to Nintendo and be a strong number 2. Also, any subsidiary local branch will have disagreements. My Line manager is always facing a battle to keep to her budget. In the gaming industry, local people will feel they know their local market better There's plenty of infighting in SONY and Nintendo. Howard Lincoln told EDGE that Nintendo America hated the N64 DD and wanted to go for CD but NCL didn't take any notice, never mind how Hiroshi Yamauchi fired some of his own family in Nintendo. Yamauchi ruled Nintendo with an iron fist SONY too there's plenty of fighting an ex SONY member said that moral in SONY Europe is at all-time low thanks to job cuts and being ignored while SONY America more and more calls the shots for the PS5.
That's to overlook the huge disagreements with SONY America and North America and Japan over the pricing and naming of the PS, which lead to SONY Japan shiting down SONY Canadian firing the then President of SONY America Steve Race along with Clyde Grossman. All of which made Olaf Olafsson walk

But who cares when you're number one?

gamevet
01-02-2020, 12:19 PM
Like one pointed out before there are so many wrong facts than that interview it's hard to take it seriously. Looking over the dates are completely wrong.
SONY didn't have anything to do with Night Trap

Sony and SEGA funded Digital Pictures to bring the VHS tape based game to CD.

Sony Imagesoft is in the opening splash screen of a lot of those games. They were quite obviously invested with SEGA and the SEGA CD.

3v2Mslzch5U

Team Andromeda
01-02-2020, 01:04 PM
Sony and SEGA funded Digital Pictures to bring the VHS tape based game to CD.
.

I would expect better from you, you're a SEGA man and should know who published Night Trap on the Mega CD. SONY didn't fund, publish or have anything to do with Night Trap at all And if not for a bust-up with of all people SONY. Night Trap would never have come to a SEGA system and instead would have been on the SNES CD/PlayStation.That's to overlook how he was also wrong on when Sony Imagsoft was set up much less that Ground Zero Texas was far from their 1st game or even their 1st Mega CD game.

One doesn't have to be a barrister to rip that interview apart for its error's, inconsistencies and contradictions

gamevet
01-02-2020, 02:21 PM
Sonyís money allowed Tom Zito to form Digital Pictures. When Sony partnered with SEGA, they allowed SEGA to publish Night Trap, while Sony Imagesoft publisher Sewar Shark. The Sony Imagesoft logo appeared in many of the Digital Pictures SEGA CD titles, whether Sony published them or not.

And right from Tom Zito, comes the facts about how Digital Pictures came to be, with Sonyís money. Digital Pictures was signed on as a 1st party developer for Sony Imagesoft.

yhIttcRZAhc

Greg2600
01-02-2020, 04:34 PM
We can run around and around in circles on this. SEGA was not a major player in retail or entertainment beyond it's arcade business when SOA was restructured for the Genesis launch. Thanks to SOA's talented team (some Nintendo poached), who understood how to better treat partners than the Monopoly Men at the Big N, some great Japanese-driven programming, and one hell of a console, they shocked the gaming world. However, they remained a company that was not steeped in McScrooge level money, like Nintendo or the new dog, Sony. SOA guys did their job, they saw Sony as a potentially incredible partner. Were there BTS business issues in Japan that may have prevented that? Potentially, however, SOJ could STILL have gone forward with it. Should they have considered the SGI chipset that eventually powered the N64? Probably, especially considering the hardware they put in the Saturn was initially less powerful than the Playstation, which they further confounded by adding a 2nd CPU that barely anything used. The forced early USA launch....disastrous. The Saturn was too expensive, because Sony could manufacturer cheaper and absorb hardware losses easier. I'm not painting anyone here as bad guys, but the Saturn was a giant bust for SEGA despite doing so well in Japan. That was mainly due to poor choices by SOJ. It is what it is. Maybe SEGA Playstation would have been a huge hit, and Sony releases the PS2 on it's own anyhow, leaving SEGA in the wind. Well, they wound up blowing in the wind anyway after the Dreamcast bombed...

SegaAMD
01-02-2020, 05:34 PM
We are doing revisionism here, I think it feeds this idea of ​​mistakes and success, and looking for the culprits is foolish, the decisions are neutral and only after a while can they be translated as mistakes or success.


almost every source we have is from SOA generally blaming SOJ and being exempt, we know that in the real world this is not how it works we need to hear both sides to have a better judgment on the topic, and as SOJ has hardly ever issued sources, interviews and the like, so it certainly won't be possible to have a complete understanding.

The history is written about the winners' optics, for who don't know, there were internal issues at Sony and a lot of division about the playstation but after a while it was clear that the playstation would triumph over its competitors and the console was surrounded by a circle of positivity that even paved the arrival of the PS2. Minimal changes in saturn or N64 strategy plus a better response from the public would change everything, so Playstation issues would become apparent, the internal squabbles, the hardware issues and today we would be talking about Sony's bugs that were there but as the console thrived there was no reason why talk about them.

Gryson
01-02-2020, 05:36 PM
We can run around and around in circles on this. SEGA was not a major player in retail or entertainment beyond it's arcade business when SOA was restructured for the Genesis launch. Thanks to SOA's talented team (some Nintendo poached), who understood how to better treat partners than the Monopoly Men at the Big N, some great Japanese-driven programming, and one hell of a console, they shocked the gaming world. However, they remained a company that was not steeped in McScrooge level money, like Nintendo or the new dog, Sony. SOA guys did their job, they saw Sony as a potentially incredible partner. Were there BTS business issues in Japan that may have prevented that? Potentially, however, SOJ could STILL have gone forward with it. Should they have considered the SGI chipset that eventually powered the N64? Probably, especially considering the hardware they put in the Saturn was initially less powerful than the Playstation, which they further confounded by adding a 2nd CPU that barely anything used. The forced early USA launch....disastrous. The Saturn was too expensive, because Sony could manufacturer cheaper and absorb hardware losses easier. I'm not painting anyone here as bad guys, but the Saturn was a giant bust for SEGA despite doing so well in Japan. That was mainly due to poor choices by SOJ. It is what it is. Maybe SEGA Playstation would have been a huge hit, and Sony releases the PS2 on it's own anyhow, leaving SEGA in the wind. Well, they wound up blowing in the wind anyway after the Dreamcast bombed...

Almost everything you've said is from the perspective of hindsight, though.

I find the history here much more compelling when taken in its proper context - trying to understand the motives, the environment, the reasons why decisions were made. Unfortunately, Tom Kalinske, unquestionably an important figure in Sega's history, doesn't really promote that approach. He wants to tell a simple story of good guys and bad guys, but the real history never fits into that kind of narrative. Regardless, it has become clear over the years that Kalinske has a chip on his shoulder, but there isn't much support for most of his statements (see Sega founder David Rosen's comments on the matter in Collected Works).

None of us is truly capable of knowing whether a lot of these decisions were good or bad, because we don't know how the alternative would have turned out (if an alternative even existed). If Sega had partnered with Sony, would they both have benefited? Or, as Nintendo feared, would Sony have used Sega's name as a springboard to jump into and dominate the market? Don't trust anybody that says they know how things would have turned out. Anyway, it's far more interesting to discover the justifications for the decisions that were made. In this case, Sega had apparently sound justification for discontinuing talks with Sony (justification that Kalinske conveniently leaves out of his narrative - instead, he portrays it as incompetence).

The same is true for the Saturn design. In early 1993, it seemed like the correct approach. Very few outside of Sony thought 3D graphics would dominate the next console generation. I mean, SOA wanted to use the 68020 as the Saturn's CPU. In hindsight, yeah, it turned out that Sony had the right approach and the resources to see it through. But can we conclusively say that bad decisions were being made? I don't think so. The best was done with the options that were available.

axel
01-02-2020, 07:52 PM
Hindsight is 20/20 but even in early 1993 it should have been obvious 3D was coming and quickly. Sega should have known that better than anyone considering Virtua Racing was a big hit and they were working on Virtua Fighter and Daytona USA, not to mention Sega VR. The SNES had Starfox in February of 1993. On the PC side, Wolfenstein 3D was already out and Doom had just been announced. No matter how much you liked 2D games you had to know things were changing.

To me the problem with the 32X/Saturn situation was that Sega released two incompatible home systems at the same time. No other company has tried that before or since. Much like an army trying to fight two wars, resources were spread thin by trying to support two platforms. They needed to have some level of compatibility between the two, kind of like how in the early days of the GBC you could buy games that would run on GB, GBC or even SGB with additional features on the newer platforms.

I'm picturing it like if you bought a game for the 32X it might run in 256 colors with gouraud shading, you put the same cart (plus a CD) into your Saturn and now it's thousands of colors, a higher framerate, textures and better audio. That way people could buy the 32X knowing it's going to get lots of new games and there's an upgrade path to the Saturn whenever they want. Obviously both consoles would have had to be redesigned to make this feasible. But that way you can sell to both the high and low end of the market.

stu
01-02-2020, 08:13 PM
The update in June 2019 confirms that Tom wasn't lying.


Like one pointed out before there are so many wrong facts than that interview it's hard to take it seriously. Looking over the dates are completely wrong.
SONY didn't have anything to do with Night Trap


A former exec from Sony has independently confirmed that there were negotiations between Sony and Sega, but that Sony were the ones that walked away.


Quote"Shuji Utsumi, former vice president of product acquisition for SCEA, who worked with Kutaragi on the potential partnership with Sega, said in an interview for a recent Polygon documentary on PlayStationís 25th anniversary that Sony decided itíd be the one backing out this time ó and it did so early in the process. Utsumi said when Kutaragi would come back from meetings with Sato and Segaís U.S. department, he was already telling coworkers he likely wouldn't take the offer. ďHe didnít in the end.Ē
ďFrom there, we started to look at what we had to do in order to pursue making a system ourselves ó what were the challenges, what were the costs, and what we needed to do. We started to plan from there,Ē said Utsumi."

https://www.polygon.com/features/2019/12/6/20999590/the-history-of-playstation-was-almost-very-different/

Apparently this is also covered in this documentary regarding the 25th anniversary of the PlayStation.

https://www.polygon.com/videos/2019/12/2/20992087/war-stories-playstation-25th-anniversary-tekken-final-fantasy-7

gamevet
01-02-2020, 09:22 PM
It certainly confirms that a meeting with Kataragi and SOA did happen though. And it certainly sounds like there was more than one meeting.

gamevet
01-02-2020, 09:47 PM
I'm picturing it like if you bought a game for the 32X it might run in 256 colors with gouraud shading, you put the same cart (plus a CD) into your Saturn and now it's thousands of colors, a higher framerate, textures and better audio. That way people could buy the 32X knowing it's going to get lots of new games and there's an upgrade path to the Saturn whenever they want. Obviously both consoles would have had to be redesigned to make this feasible. But that way you can sell to both the high and low end of the market.

I think at one point, Sega of Japan had thought about making the 32X compatible with the Saturn. Yeah, there was speculation that there was going to be a cart only Saturn, along with a CD version, but who knows. The cart slot seems a bit overkill for memory storage.

Gryson
01-02-2020, 10:52 PM
Hindsight is 20/20 but even in early 1993 it should have been obvious 3D was coming and quickly. Sega should have known that better than anyone considering Virtua Racing was a big hit and they were working on Virtua Fighter and Daytona USA, not to mention Sega VR. The SNES had Starfox in February of 1993. On the PC side, Wolfenstein 3D was already out and Doom had just been announced. No matter how much you liked 2D games you had to know things were changing.

No matter how obvious these things might seem in hindsight, at the time that absolutely was not the case. I'm not stating this as my opinion - it's what has been extensively documented in the book "Revolutionaries at Sony." The president of Namco, the company that was right up there with Sega in advancing 3D games, said in early-mid 1993 that there was no way that next gen home consoles would be able to do 3D games at a sufficient level. This only changed when two things happened: 1) Virtua Fighter was released in Oct 1993 and showed that simple polygons could be used for more than racing games and such, and 2) The PlayStation working prototype was finally shown to devs at the end of 1993. Before then, almost no developers thought the PlayStation would be able to handle the kind of graphics Kutaragi claimed it would be able to. There are many first-hand quotes in the book attesting to this. Check it out. Sega wasn't living in some kind of 2D bubble, they simply did not have a "visionary" like Kutaragi who had the support to make his vision reality.


A former exec from Sony has independently confirmed that there were negotiations between Sony and Sega, but that Sony were the ones that walked away.


Thanks for pointing this out. I'm going to update my article. Combined with Hideki Sato's account, I have a suspicion that neither side was really into the deal but met anyway to test the waters.


It certainly confirms that a meeting with Kataragi and SOA did happen though. And it certainly sounds like there was more than one meeting.

We have multiple Sega people saying that the meetings went on for 6 months. It was mostly Kutaragi and Sato meeting to discuss possible hardware plans.

stu
01-02-2020, 11:18 PM
It certainly confirms that a meeting with Kataragi and SOA did happen though. And it certainly sounds like there was more than one meeting.


It does, but it won't stop TA from sticking his fingers in his ears, closing his eyes and saying "LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA I CAN'T HEAR YOU LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA!!!!!!!"

*paraphrasing what TA is going to do*

Leynos
01-02-2020, 11:24 PM
It does, but it won't stop TA from sticking his fingers in his ears, closing his eyes and saying "LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA I CAN'T HEAR YOU LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA!!!!!!!"

*paraphrasing what TA is going to do*

And TA goes LALALALALA he's got the look!

zyrobs
01-02-2020, 11:37 PM
I think at one point, Sega of Japan had thought about making the 32X compatible with the Saturn. Yeah, there was speculation that there was going to be a cart only Saturn, along with a CD version, but who knows. The cart slot seems a bit overkill for memory storage.

I'm sure they never considered 32x compatibility at any point, given that the hardware was mostly finalized by the time they thought of the 32x (by which I mean 1993 Xmas thereabouts but I could be wrong about the 32x timeline). In Japan, the Megadrive was selling very badly, and already had 2-3 systems worth of backwards compatibility tacked on. So they wanted to start from a new, clean state, and then expand it like the Megadrive was with the Mega CD. This made sense since they wouldn't be losing any users from the Megadrive side, but it was a killer in the US side of things. The 32x just made things worse.

The cart slot on the Saturn had everything in it that the Megadrive was missing to make it possible to expand the system. They had to make the Mega CD and the 32x both extremely overcomplicated due to the Megadrive not having the hardware connections to have its video upgradable properly. So the Saturn had every necessary connection for future upgrades. However this made the slot have almost twice as many pins, which ultimately made the slot too unreliable for anything.
They really should've went with serial inputs instead of massive parallel ones. Could've cut down the pin count to maybe two fifths of what it ended up with.

I have no idea if it ever came up at Sega, but they could have made a converter cart to load Megadrive games on the Saturn. They would've had to put the Megadrive hardware in the cart itself (the single-chip Genesis 3 hardware would have been suitable for this), plus add a small MCU and a boot rom to translate inputs, and maybe a signal encoder to convert the chips output to digital video input that the cart slot allowed for. Probably would've cost less than a Genesis 3 once you factor in that it needs no controllers included.

I think, if the idea ever came up, it got shot down due to the unreliability of the cart slot especially if you built a tower of lock-on carts on it ("Genesis converter", plus Sonic & Knuckles, plus Sonic 3), and consumers expecting it to run Mega CD and 32x carts too. I wonder if the 32x part could have been "emulated" by the Saturn part, since it uses the same CPU and the VDP1 (or even the VDP2) could have been substituted for the dumb framebuffer. Sega CD would definitely have been a no-no.

Such a converter cart could be an interesting homebrew project. Get one of those mini PCs to emulate the Megadrive, and see if you can hook it up with the Saturns video input, and to handle controller data packets coming from the Saturn side.

gamevet
01-03-2020, 12:46 AM
The Saturn also had a rear expansion bay that was used for VCD playback. I don't know if could do much beyond that though.

stu
01-03-2020, 01:25 AM
Thanks for pointing this out. I'm going to update my article. Combined with Hideki Sato's account, I have a suspicion that neither side was really into the deal but met anyway to test the waters.


You're welcome. Its pretty clear that both Sega and Sony wanted different things. From reading what you have on your site its clear that Sega wanted to focus on 2D and didn't think that Sony knew what they were talking about, having no experience in video games. Sony on the hand wanted to focus entirely on 3D and had the vision and the technical knowhow to achieve the hardware side of things, however they chronically lacked the in house software development that Sega had. To sum up the potential tie-up were doomed to failure as neither side could come to agreement.
I suspect that Kutaragi was probably prototyping the Playstation hardware in secret "behind closed doors" even while meeting with Sega. After all in poker, if you can take a look at your adversary's hand while keeping your own out of sight, it gives you an obvious advantage.

gamevet
01-03-2020, 01:36 AM
It was said that Sony wasn't interested in going it alone with their own hardware and that Kataragi was looking for an opportune time to deliver his hardware proposal to the Sony brass. i do believe he was playing along to test the waters, before he sprung his hardware proposal to Sony.

axel
01-03-2020, 02:30 AM
No matter how obvious these things might seem in hindsight, at the time that absolutely was not the case. I'm not stating this as my opinion - it's what has been extensively documented in the book "Revolutionaries at Sony." The president of Namco, the company that was right up there with Sega in advancing 3D games, said in early-mid 1993 that there was no way that next gen home consoles would be able to do 3D games at a sufficient level. This only changed when two things happened: 1) Virtua Fighter was released in Oct 1993 and showed that simple polygons could be used for more than racing games and such, and 2) The PlayStation working prototype was finally shown to devs at the end of 1993. Before then, almost no developers thought the PlayStation would be able to handle the kind of graphics Kutaragi claimed it would be able to. There are many first-hand quotes in the book attesting to this. Check it out. Sega wasn't living in some kind of 2D bubble, they simply did not have a "visionary" like Kutaragi who had the support to make his vision reality.

Thanks, I didn't know that. I still say Sega should have seen it coming though. They knew as much or more about 3D games than anyone else at the time.


And TA goes LALALALALA he's got the look!

LOL!! I have nothing against TA but that's funny AF.


I'm sure they never considered 32x compatibility at any point, given that the hardware was mostly finalized by the time they thought of the 32x (by which I mean 1993 Xmas thereabouts but I could be wrong about the 32x timeline). In Japan, the Megadrive was selling very badly, and already had 2-3 systems worth of backwards compatibility tacked on. So they wanted to start from a new, clean state, and then expand it like the Megadrive was with the Mega CD. This made sense since they wouldn't be losing any users from the Megadrive side, but it was a killer in the US side of things. The 32x just made things worse.

The cart slot on the Saturn had everything in it that the Megadrive was missing to make it possible to expand the system. They had to make the Mega CD and the 32x both extremely overcomplicated due to the Megadrive not having the hardware connections to have its video upgradable properly. So the Saturn had every necessary connection for future upgrades. However this made the slot have almost twice as many pins, which ultimately made the slot too unreliable for anything.
They really should've went with serial inputs instead of massive parallel ones. Could've cut down the pin count to maybe two fifths of what it ended up with.

I have no idea if it ever came up at Sega, but they could have made a converter cart to load Megadrive games on the Saturn. They would've had to put the Megadrive hardware in the cart itself (the single-chip Genesis 3 hardware would have been suitable for this), plus add a small MCU and a boot rom to translate inputs, and maybe a signal encoder to convert the chips output to digital video input that the cart slot allowed for. Probably would've cost less than a Genesis 3 once you factor in that it needs no controllers included.

I think, if the idea ever came up, it got shot down due to the unreliability of the cart slot especially if you built a tower of lock-on carts on it ("Genesis converter", plus Sonic & Knuckles, plus Sonic 3), and consumers expecting it to run Mega CD and 32x carts too. I wonder if the 32x part could have been "emulated" by the Saturn part, since it uses the same CPU and the VDP1 (or even the VDP2) could have been substituted for the dumb framebuffer. Sega CD would definitely have been a no-no.

Such a converter cart could be an interesting homebrew project. Get one of those mini PCs to emulate the Megadrive, and see if you can hook it up with the Saturns video input, and to handle controller data packets coming from the Saturn side.

Yeah you're right they likely never thought of compatibility. The 32X was developed quickly, they just took the SH-2s because it's what they were using already and Hitachi was giving them a discount. The adapter with a Genesis 3 built-in is an interesting idea. I think a Game Gear adapter could have been cool too but maybe not enough demand. Or at least put more compilations of SMS/Genesis games onto CDs.

TrekkiesUnite118
01-03-2020, 03:22 AM
I'm sure they never considered 32x compatibility at any point, given that the hardware was mostly finalized by the time they thought of the 32x (by which I mean 1993 Xmas thereabouts but I could be wrong about the 32x timeline). In Japan, the Megadrive was selling very badly, and already had 2-3 systems worth of backwards compatibility tacked on. So they wanted to start from a new, clean state, and then expand it like the Megadrive was with the Mega CD. This made sense since they wouldn't be losing any users from the Megadrive side, but it was a killer in the US side of things. The 32x just made things worse.

The cart slot on the Saturn had everything in it that the Megadrive was missing to make it possible to expand the system. They had to make the Mega CD and the 32x both extremely overcomplicated due to the Megadrive not having the hardware connections to have its video upgradable properly. So the Saturn had every necessary connection for future upgrades. However this made the slot have almost twice as many pins, which ultimately made the slot too unreliable for anything.
They really should've went with serial inputs instead of massive parallel ones. Could've cut down the pin count to maybe two fifths of what it ended up with.

I have no idea if it ever came up at Sega, but they could have made a converter cart to load Megadrive games on the Saturn. They would've had to put the Megadrive hardware in the cart itself (the single-chip Genesis 3 hardware would have been suitable for this), plus add a small MCU and a boot rom to translate inputs, and maybe a signal encoder to convert the chips output to digital video input that the cart slot allowed for. Probably would've cost less than a Genesis 3 once you factor in that it needs no controllers included.

I think, if the idea ever came up, it got shot down due to the unreliability of the cart slot especially if you built a tower of lock-on carts on it ("Genesis converter", plus Sonic & Knuckles, plus Sonic 3), and consumers expecting it to run Mega CD and 32x carts too. I wonder if the 32x part could have been "emulated" by the Saturn part, since it uses the same CPU and the VDP1 (or even the VDP2) could have been substituted for the dumb framebuffer. Sega CD would definitely have been a no-no.

Such a converter cart could be an interesting homebrew project. Get one of those mini PCs to emulate the Megadrive, and see if you can hook it up with the Saturns video input, and to handle controller data packets coming from the Saturn side.

I think Sega of Japan found it more worthwhile to just port their popular Genesis games to the Saturn. That gave them a second chance to make money off of them in their home market. Most of those ports (Phantasy Star Collection, Mickey and Donald Collection, etc.) all seem to work by just recompiling the main game code for the Saturn hardware, and then loading the actual Genesis ROMs into memory and using them for accessing all the game data. VDP1 and VDP2 are actually compatible with Genesis tile formats so it seems that at least some kind of compatibility was built in mind to make this kind of porting easier.

Quackshot even fully ports over the Genesis' region jumper logic. So if you write the values for a US System in the Saturn's Memory for where those region values would be in the Genesis memory map (0XFFF0C & 0xFFF1C become 0x002FFF0C & 0x002FFF1C), Quackshot will load up in English on the Saturn with only the map screen having a minor issue as the ported code doesn't know how to draw the English map location names.

Team Andromeda
01-03-2020, 04:54 AM
Sonyís money allowed Tom Zito to form Digital Pictures.


Digital Pictures brought out Night Trap on the Mega CD thanks to SEGA picking up the game and only after Tom gave up all hope of ever getting a Snes CD development kit and so looked to SEGA
I even posted you the making of Night Trap how it was actually finished on the Nemo and Tom didn't want the game to come out on the Mega CD due to poor colour palette.
Really for Night Trap, one needs to thank Hasbro and then SEGA. nothing at all do with SONY.

Team Andromeda
01-03-2020, 04:59 AM
It does, but it won't stop TA from sticking his fingers in his ears, closing his eyes and saying "LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA I CAN'T HEAR YOU LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA!!!!!!!"

*paraphrasing what TA is going to do*

From a man who can't get dates right? A man who doesn't know who actually published Night Trap, when SONY Imagiesoftware was actually set up and better yet a man who makes out SEGA needed to look for SONY for 2D?. 2D was hardly SEGA's or the Saturn weak points; If I said such thinks I bet you'll be the 1st to ridicule me, point how the correct timelines, who published Night Trap, never mind list SEGA's great 2D systems.



And if it's all so true, when SEGA Japan looked to America for help, with the 32X tech. Why didn't Joe Miller look to the SH2's and not say we're working with SONY and put SONY tech inside the 32X.
That's to overlook the 3 key technical people at SEGA America at the time; Marty, Bayless and Miller never once said the SEGA was able to work with SONY. Not that it seems working with SONY would have been good for SEGA at all. If SONY wanted to control who mastered the CD.
SEGA would have been infact a 3rd party on its own branded machine, while SONY looked to take the lion share of software royalties to make up for their hardware losses.
Fairplay to NCL for telling SONY where to go on that one...

Looking at how great NVidia tech would turn out, its a shame SEGA didn't stick with those guys looking back with hindsight

Team Andromeda
01-03-2020, 05:12 AM
No matter how obvious these things might seem in hindsight, at the time that absolutely was not the case. I'm not stating this as my opinion - it's what has been extensively documented in the book "Revolutionaries at Sony." The president of Namco, the company that was right up there with Sega in advancing 3D games, said in early-mid 1993 that there was no way that next gen home consoles would be able to do 3D games at a sufficient level. This only changed when two things happened: 1) Virtua Fighter was released in Oct 1993 and showed that simple polygons could be used for more than racing games and such, and 2) The PlayStation working prototype was finally shown to devs at the end of 1993. Before then, almost no developers thought the PlayStation would be able to handle the kind of graphics Kutaragi claimed it would be able to. There are many first-hand quotes in the book attesting to this. Check it out.


I think EDGE covered it the best, with a detailed feature and interview with the people who actually worked on the system and made the Playsation including Ken . It seems clear after Nintendo turned down SONY. SONY went alone and didn't look to worth with anyone else.
Hard to belive interviews from people who don't know who published Night Trap compared to Ken Kutaragi or Hideki Sato?. Sato-san couldn't have been more clear and owned up to SEGA Japan getting caught with their pants down with the PlayStation and who only casue of action was to thrown in another SH-2


https://i.imgur.com/wfhVe93.jpg

zyrobs
01-03-2020, 10:06 AM
The Saturn also had a rear expansion bay that was used for VCD playback. I don't know if could do much beyond that though.

It had digital video input like the normal cart slot, the MPEG decoding worked through that, it was blasting the bits directly to the VDP2 as an external background (the normal cart slot can also do this). But it was only connected to the SH1 chip programmability wise, and the SH1 does a bunch of hardware checks on the cart so you can't just stick anything in there, you have to "mimic" the MPEG card hardware to some level. However it also allows for loading patches to the SH1 microcode. The Satiator works that way.



I think Sega of Japan found it more worthwhile to just port their popular Genesis games to the Saturn. That gave them a second chance to make money off of them in their home market. Most of those ports (Phantasy Star Collection, Mickey and Donald Collection, etc.) all seem to work by just recompiling the main game code for the Saturn hardware, and then loading the actual Genesis ROMs into memory and using them for accessing all the game data. VDP1 and VDP2 are actually compatible with Genesis tile formats so it seems that at least some kind of compatibility was built in mind to make this kind of porting easier.

Quackshot even fully ports over the Genesis' region jumper logic. So if you write the values for a US System in the Saturn's Memory for where those region values would be in the Genesis memory map (0XFFF0C & 0xFFF1C become 0x002FFF0C & 0x002FFF1C), Quackshot will load up in English on the Saturn with only the map screen having a minor issue as the ported code doesn't know how to draw the English map location names.

It's not like it was the first time they re-released their older games to make a buck, wasn't one of the Phantasy Star games a Master System title released on a Megadrive cart to begin with?
Hardware wise the VDP1/2 is indeed a distant cousin of the Megadrive so it makes sense it is compatible. There is at least one thing the Saturn can't do though, and that's Highlight mode.

stu
01-03-2020, 12:59 PM
Digital Pictures brought out Night Trap on the Mega CD thanks to SEGA picking up the game and only after Tom gave up all hope of ever getting a Snes CD development kit and so looked to SEGA
I even posted you the making of Night Trap how it was actually finished on the Nemo and Tom didn't want the game to come out on the Mega CD due to poor colour palette.
Really for Night Trap, one needs to thank Hasbro and then SEGA. nothing at all do with SONY.

That last bit is patently false. Sony was involved with Tom Zito and Digital Pictures long before the Mega CD was even a thing. Sony's involvement dates back to 1991 with the Nintendo/Sony Playstation, if you had bothered to check Sega-16 you'd know that.

Quote: "Itís ironic that although people automatically associate Zitoís games with the Sega CD, his first attempt at bringing his ďinteractive televisionĒ to consoles was with Nintendo, not Sega. In 1991, Nintendo announced its ďPlay Station,Ē which would play both SNES cartridges and Sonyís own 680 meg Super Disc. The deal had originally been drawn up in 1988, and by now plans were already being drawn up to secure content for the add-on. In addition to Trilobyteís 7th Guest, Zitoís games were being considered, specifically Sewer Shark. Mickey Schulhof, chairman of Sony U.S.A. and Peter Gruber, head of Columbia Pictures, were so fascinated by the footage of the game they had seen that they were looking to buy the company that had created it. When Zito was informed of the visit, he hopped on a plane and went to New York. He had already purchased back the rights to both titles when the Control-Vision project died, and he was itching to finally bring them to market. Schulhof signed him as a developer for the Nintendo Playstation, and Zito formed Digital Pictures so he could begin updating both Night Trap and Sewer Shark.

http://www.sega-16.com/2008/03/developers-den-digital-pictures/

As we know Sony went on to publish Sewer Shark on the MegaCD. They were heavily involved with the company from the start, they almost bought it ffs.



From a man who can't get dates right? A man who doesn't know who actually published Night Trap, when SONY Imagiesoftware was actually set up and better yet a man who makes out SEGA needed to look for SONY for 2D?. 2D was hardly SEGA's or the Saturn weak points; If I said such thinks I bet you'll be the 1st to ridicule me, point how the correct timelines, who published Night Trap, never mind list SEGA's great 2D systems.

LOL WUT. WTF are you on about? Its been covered that Sega didn't think that 3D would be important in consoles back then, they were proven totally wrong by Sony, Sega had to hastily improve the Saturn to try and bring the spec up, if they hadn't the Saturn would of ended up a slightly faster 3DO or Jaguar. Kutaragi had the vision and Sony had the hardware capability to bring about 3D graphics in consoles.



And if it's all so true, when SEGA Japan looked to America for help, with the 32X tech. Why didn't Joe Miller look to the SH2's and not say we're working with SONY and put SONY tech inside the 32X.
That's to overlook the 3 key technical people at SEGA America at the time; Marty, Bayless and Miller never once said the SEGA was able to work with SONY. Not that it seems working with SONY would have been good for SEGA at all. If SONY wanted to control who mastered the CD.
SEGA would have been infact a 3rd party on its own branded machine, while SONY looked to take the lion share of software royalties to make up for their hardware losses.
Fairplay to NCL for telling SONY where to go on that one...

So what you are saying is that unless any of those guys said that it happened, then everyone else is a LAIR!! Riiight OK.




Looking at how great NVidia tech would turn out, its a shame SEGA didn't stick with those guys looking back with hindsight

Good Lord .. Finally, something we can agree on.

SegaAMD
01-03-2020, 01:09 PM
I have already looked closely at SEGA and Sony's strategies through reverse engineering of events, and the biggest difference I saw was that Sony braced itself for a war, while Sega was just running its course. At that time in real time it was hard to know that they had fallen into a trap;

Toshinden was created to detonate Virtua Fighter, it was made from the ground up with the purpose in mind to obsolete VF1 and succeeded as Sega had to rush and launch VF Remix and give away to those who had bought VF1, there were many other aggressive strategies.
But saturn only died in the west when the N64 arrived, the success was overwhelming and only talked about it in the magazines, without spotlight Saturn was ignored, ps1 and N64 polarized. finally Stolar pulled the plug, when in fact he should have waited for the N64 hype to pass.

Gryson
01-03-2020, 01:24 PM
This is the full translated account of what Shinobu Toyoda said concerning Night Trap and Sony:


At the time [of the Sega CDís release], Sonyís American division had invested greatly in FMV games. However, Sony was in a bind because they didnít have any way to see a return on their investment. Then, Sega and Sony made a deal to jointly develop four FMV games, with Sega publishing two of them. One of those was Night Trap, which would later be the center of a big controversy.

So yes, according to Toyoda, Sony was involved with Night Trap's development. Sega took over publishing responsibilities.


https://www.4gamer.net/games/999/G999905/20190525015/

zyrobs
01-03-2020, 01:26 PM
Don't forget that the NVidia tech only turned out as it did because their deal with Sega fell through. They were a serious contender back in 95-96, but they couldn't demo working hardware when the Sega execs visited, and they got dropped on the spot. Nvidia then had to concentrate on the PC market and got successful there due to aggressive OEM distribution (and 3dfx making all the wrong decisions).

SegaAMD
01-03-2020, 01:36 PM
LOL WUT. WTF are you on about? Its been covered that Sega didn't think that 3D would be important in consoles back then, they were proven totally wrong by Sony, Sega had to hastily improve the Saturn to try and bring the spec up, if they hadn't the Saturn would of ended up a slightly faster 3DO or Jaguar. Kutaragi had the vision and Sony had the hardware capability to bring about 3D graphics in consoles.




Everything is wrong, even with the topic trying to clear these biases we still see standard repetitions, Sony good and smart, Sega bad and dumb.

Saturn was made to bring the arcade home, and the arcades were Model-2 games 3d at low fps, CPS2 and MVS games that explains Saturn's 2D / 3D emphasis from the start, in addition Saturn would bring RPGs and FMV games. And it managed to accomplish the mission there is no reason to deny it. Jaguar had a simple 3D view, which was to add 3D elements to 2d games, Saturn was far beyond that view in every way.

So what was the problem? Many, the first was the deconstruction of arcade style games and Tomb raider helped with that, there was no time to complete the objectives, there was controversy over the duration of games where arcade games were criticized for their short duration.

There is nothing special about Kutaragi, he just risked and that could have been his end, but the public response was positive and accidentally made Kutaragi the icon he is. But the Playstation project goes beyond Kutaragi.

if Saturn's proposal worked out right, Kutaragi would be considered the biggest asshole in the industry today. So you need to understand these points since there is so much more to the PS1 project than just 3D.

stu
01-03-2020, 02:08 PM
Everything is wrong, even with the topic trying to clear these biases we still see standard repetitions, Sony good and smart, Sega bad and dumb.

Saturn was made to bring the arcade home, and the arcades were Model-2 games 3d at low fps, CPS2 and MVS games that explains Saturn's 2D / 3D emphasis from the start, in addition Saturn would bring RPGs and FMV games. And it managed to accomplish the mission there is no reason to deny it. Jaguar had a simple 3D view, which was to add 3D elements to 2d games, Saturn was far beyond that view in every way.

So what was the problem? Many, the first was the deconstruction of arcade style games and Tomb raider helped with that, there was no time to complete the objectives, there was controversy over the duration of games where arcade games were criticized for their short duration.

There is nothing special about Kutaragi, he just risked and that could have been his end, but the public response was positive and accidentally made Kutaragi the icon he is. But the Playstation project goes beyond Kutaragi.

if Saturn's proposal worked out right, Kutaragi would be considered the biggest asshole in the industry today. So you need to understand these points since there is so much more to the PS1 project than just 3D.

Really? Well I'm sorry but I'm kind of tired reading revisionist BS written by people trying to rewrite history making out that Sega's strategy was not a failure, the actual results speak for themselves, they had their plans but unfortunately for Sega, Sony had THEIR plans. If you want to write fan fiction then please go ahead. I'm only interested in knowing what actually happened. You can downplay Kutaragi and his place in video game history as much as you like, just like you can downplay the significance of 3D being introduced more prominently in the 5th gen systems. The fact is, without Kutaragi, the Playstation would have never of been released, Sega would likely have dominated that generation and things would have been very different now, BUT that didn't happen

I've read Revolutionaries at Sony, Game Over and a lot of online and other print media on what happened, from a variety of people who do actually know because they actually worked for the companies involved.
They say that "History is written by the victors" Sega didn't start out to fail, but they got outsmarted by another company. Deal with it!

Gryson
01-03-2020, 02:52 PM
Saturn was made to bring the arcade home, and the arcades were Model-2 games 3d at low fps, CPS2 and MVS games that explains Saturn's 2D / 3D emphasis from the start, in addition Saturn would bring RPGs and FMV games. And it managed to accomplish the mission there is no reason to deny it. Jaguar had a simple 3D view, which was to add 3D elements to 2d games, Saturn was far beyond that view in every way.

I suggest reading up what's been written about the Saturn development. Probably the best place to start is Hideki Sato's comments:

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

When the guy who made the Saturn admits that they added 3D support in response to the PlayStation, you can't just dismiss it. That doesn't mean Sega was stupid or out of touch with reality or anything like that. The context of mid-1992, when the architecture of the Saturn first took shape, was that 3D graphics were still not widely considered to be feasible on home consoles.

I don't think any of this paints Sega in a bad light. They were still able to adapt the Saturn well enough to handle 3D. However, there were side effects: higher cost and more difficult development. Kutaragi's prescience and persistence gave Sony a clear edge.

gamevet
01-03-2020, 02:58 PM
Digital Pictures brought out Night Trap on the Mega CD thanks to SEGA picking up the game and only after Tom gave up all hope of ever getting a Snes CD development kit and so looked to SEGA
I even posted you the making of Night Trap how it was actually finished on the Nemo and Tom didn't want the game to come out on the Mega CD due to poor colour palette.
Really for Night Trap, one needs to thank Hasbro and then SEGA. nothing at all do with SONY.

Bob Zito (Tomís brother) worked for Sony. If you had actually bothered to watch the Digital Pictures video Iíd posted, you wouldnít come off sounding like an ignorant asshole. Sony funded Tom Zito to form Digital Pictures and Sony signed DP as a 1st party developer for Sony Imagesoft.

Sony letting SEGA publish Night Trap has nothing to do with Sony pretty much owning a portion of Digital Pictures. Sony opted to publish Sewer Shark, which if you ask me, was a much better decision than publishing Night Trap. Night Trap was a dud until Nintendo made the public aware of the title, while SEGA decided that Sewar Shark would become the pack-in game for the redesigned SEGA CD.


It does, but it won't stop TA from sticking his fingers in his ears, closing his eyes and saying "LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA I CAN'T HEAR YOU LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA!!!!!!!"

*paraphrasing what TA is going to do*

TrekkiesUnite118
01-03-2020, 03:11 PM
It's not like it was the first time they re-released their older games to make a buck, wasn't one of the Phantasy Star games a Master System title released on a Megadrive cart to begin with?
Hardware wise the VDP1/2 is indeed a distant cousin of the Megadrive so it makes sense it is compatible. There is at least one thing the Saturn can't do though, and that's Highlight mode.

The first Phantasy Star rerelease though is a little different. That's just the Master System ROM on a Genesis cart and it just takes advantage of the backwards compatibility with the Master System to work. It's no an actual port or anything.

On Saturn they really went nuts with it in Japan. Everyone got Sonic Jam, but in Japan they also got Phantasy Star 1/2/3/4, Quackshot, Castle of Illusion, Columns, Thunder Force 2/3/4/AC, etc. Supposedly Shining Force 1 and 2 were being converted at one point as well but were cancelled like most of Sega's late Saturn projects with the arrival of the Dreamcast.

zyrobs
01-03-2020, 03:23 PM
The first Phantasy Star rerelease though is a little different. That's just the Master System ROM on a Genesis cart and it just takes advantage of the backwards compatibility with the Master System to work. It's no an actual port or anything.

On Saturn they really went nuts with it in Japan. Everyone got Sonic Jam, but in Japan they also got Phantasy Star 1/2/3/4, Quackshot, Castle of Illusion, Columns, Thunder Force 2/3/4/AC, etc. Supposedly Shining Force 1 and 2 were being converted at one point as well but were cancelled like most of Sega's late Saturn projects with the arrival of the Dreamcast.

Yeah, that's what I meant, they packaged the actual SMS rom in a special cart.

For the Saturn they also had two Master System compilations released. I forgot their titles, I think it was Sega Ages Memorial Selection 1 and 2.

Plus they ported so many arcade scaler titles too, since again the hardware was very close. Outrun, Space Harrier, Power Drift, Galaxy Force, Afterburner... But they never did Super Hang-on which was my personal favourite of the bunch.

SegaAMD
01-03-2020, 03:32 PM
When the guy who made the Saturn admits that they added 3D support in response to the PlayStation, you can't just dismiss it. edge.


It doesn't matter, it only became important because Saturn later flopped. I will tell a truth that will leave Sega-16 thinking, The PS1 was also a 2D console in a certain period, only changed to 3D after Kutaragi see VF1. Lab problems are not important, because the real Saturn was the one that was released, and the real Playstation was the one that was released.

yes I read, but honestly is need to do a chronology, I know Hideki Sato told the truth but we need to place the statement in time, I feel he speaks of a very old period and in laboratory situations we have no exact notion of time.

Let's try to situate things: the atari jaguar was released in nov 1993, 3DO in october 1993, starfox superFX 21 Feb 1993, Virtua Racing and Model 1 In August 1992, in 1991 the first news of a new SEGA console, that would later become Saturn appeared, the Playstation is described as having its originated in 1992. Philips CDI is from 1991.

We can say that the one that came with 3D in mind first was 3DO but it was already on the minds of all companies, including Nintendo, history tells us that Kutaragi only decided on 3D after seeing Virtua Fighter so Kutaragi saw VF1 still prototyped in 1992 with some kind of behind the scenes access.

Gryson
01-03-2020, 03:40 PM
OK.

zyrobs
01-03-2020, 05:00 PM
history tells us that Kutaragi only decided on 3D after seeing Virtua Fighter so Kutaragi saw VF1 still prototyped in 1992 with some kind of behind the scenes access.

Nah, that's what I thought too, but it wasn't like that. He went with the 3d route despite it not being decided upon. When VF1 came out, it impressed everyone and made it clear that the work he is doing is going in the right direction.

gamevet
01-03-2020, 05:06 PM
Yeah, Ken started working on his 3D chip after the Nintendo PlayStation deal fell through. He would later present the design to Sony, who finally gave the green light for the company to make their own console.

SegaAMD
01-03-2020, 05:52 PM
Nah, that's what I thought too, but it wasn't like that. He went with the 3d route despite it not being decided upon. When VF1 came out, it impressed everyone and made it clear that the work he is doing is going in the right direction.

I understand he was already going with 3D, Virtua Fighter only showed that he was in the right direction.

In Japan, Saturn's differential over the Playstation is obscure, but revolves around 2D features, so Saturn sold so well, making the Super-32X unnecessary. Predicting that 2D didn't favor the playstation, Sony approved a 50 million marketing campaign that with Nintendo's Project Reality elevated 3D games over 32-bit 2D, although games like DKC on super Nes show that 2D was still wanted. there was a deconstruction of the potential of 2D graphics.

stu
01-03-2020, 11:26 PM
This is the full translated account of what Shinobu Toyoda said concerning Night Trap and Sony:



So yes, according to Toyoda, Sony was involved with Night Trap's development. Sega took over publishing responsibilities.


https://www.4gamer.net/games/999/G999905/20190525015/

Thanks for posting that. It proves quite conclusively that Sony had invested heavily in Digital Pictures. I also believe that it is from this joint deal between Sega and Sony that the discussions regarding a future system came from initially. I would of repped you but apparently I need to give some to someone else 1st.


Don't forget that the NVidia tech only turned out as it did because their deal with Sega fell through. They were a serious contender back in 95-96, but they couldn't demo working hardware when the Sega execs visited, and they got dropped on the spot. Nvidia then had to concentrate on the PC market and got successful there due to aggressive OEM distribution (and 3dfx making all the wrong decisions).

If had Nvidia just listened to Sega and dropped their boneheaded quad system and adopted triangles as the primary primitive then Sega would of probably given them more time to fix the issues with the initial tap out of the chip, but Nvidia's boneheaded CTO insisted on quads, like the NV1 was so great. :roll::lol:

The chip failing to work was just the final straw for the Sega management. Its a major shame as from what I read the system would have been quite powerful and flexible for the time (1995-1996 time period IIRC). It would of been a heck of a lot cheaper to manufacture as the GPU also contained the sound hardware also.

zyrobs
01-04-2020, 01:47 AM
If had Nvidia just listened to Sega and dropped their boneheaded quad system and adopted triangles as the primary primitive then Sega would of probably given them more time to fix the issues with the initial tap out of the chip, but Nvidia's boneheaded CTO insisted on quads, like the NV1 was so great. :roll::lol:

The chip failing to work was just the final straw for the Sega management. Its a major shame as from what I read the system would have been quite powerful and flexible for the time (1995-1996 time period IIRC). It would of been a heck of a lot cheaper to manufacture as the GPU also contained the sound hardware also.

IIRC the NV1 supported triangles just fine, though it has been a while since I read the programming manual. But it didn't have the fillrate for them, and to get better looking graphics you had to take advantage of its 9-point surface renderer (4 corners, 4 sides, and a center, it could draw a perfectly curved half-pipe with 1 primitive).

At the time, it was really up in the air how 3d accelerators would end up working, Nvidia was doing their 9-point QTMs, Microsoft was working on tiled rendering, and so on. Triangles ended up dominant because hardware speed ended up improving at an explosive rate, and suddenly it was viable to brute force everything with triangles.

gamevet
01-04-2020, 02:20 AM
Thanks for posting that. It proves quite conclusively that Sony had invested heavily in Digital Pictures. I also believe that it is from this joint deal between Sega and Sony that the discussions regarding a future system came from initially. I would of repped you but apparently I need to give some to someone else 1st.

Yeah, I couldn't rep him either. Sony clearly invested in Digital Pictures and through its teaming up with Sega, allowed Sega to publish the game. Sony Imagesoft was more interested in Sewer Shark, and would later publish DP's Ground Zero.

Here's a quote from that article that explains whey SEGA was the publisher of Night Trap.


"However, although Sony made an investment, there was no way to recover it, so Sega and Sony were working together to create four video games, two of which were contracted to be sold by Sega. One of them was "Night Trap," which was a big controversy later . "

Team Andromeda
01-04-2020, 05:14 AM
That last bit is patently false. Sony was involved with Tom Zito and Digital Pictures long before the Mega CD was even a thing. Sony's involvement dates back to 1991 with the Nintendo/Sony Playstation, if you had bothered to check Sega-16 you'd know that.


One knows about the PlayStation; Nintendo were the ones who turned it down not SEGA. Actually sorry to correct you the Mega-CD actually came out in '1991' and if you actually bothered to read what I post, I said if not for the bust-up with SONY and Nintendo Night Trap would never have come to the Mega CD. We've had this debate before, I've seen the making of Night Trap and the story of DP or Smart TV as it 1st started out


It was covered years ago in Retro I've posted it before when Gamevet said the Night Trap wasn't finished before the Mega CD version

SONY didn't publish it or bring it Mega-CD, SonyImaginesoft 1st games were on Nintendo systems, not SEGA. Its the SEGA ex that's all over the place for facts here...


Sega had to hastily improve the Saturn to try and bring the spec up

Yes, So if SEGA had seen what actually SONY was working on and so the story goes SEGA Japan turned them down. Why was SEGA Japan caught so-off with the 3D spec?


Its been covered that Sega didn't think that 3D would be important in consoles back then

So why would SEGA look to SONY for 2D sprites then?. That's to overlook it was actually NEC who didn't 3D would be important. 3D was always going to be part of the Saturn (Core told EDGE is 3D was better was amazing way back in 1993)
just SEGA Japan looked to do it with sprites. Even the call for the 32X was about getting better 3D from the Mega Drive. I would put to you 3D polygons was going to feature.


So what you are saying is that unless any of those guys said that it happened

You would expect the 3 key technical people at SEGA America to actually know about what Tech was around SEGA at the time. Nothing from them and nothing at all from SONY, not even Ken.


Good Lord .. Finally, something we can agree on.

It's nice, but in that Interview and the one, Joe gave with another. He only ever talked over the possibility of working with N.Vidia, 3DO M2 and Silicon graphics, nothing at all about SONY.

Team Andromeda
01-04-2020, 05:21 AM
Yeah, Ken started working on his 3D chip after the Nintendo PlayStation deal fell through. .


Actually he didn't. Alongside the PS he started designing/working on a 3D chip for gaming systems even before Nintendo deal fell through has he the told EDGE
Very much like how the OG Xbox started life out with just a few staff, working on a project almost in secret and long before it was proposed to any the top brass.

gamevet
01-04-2020, 02:38 PM
Yeah, that's right. When Nintendo dumped the Nintendo/Sony Playstation, Ken looked at it as an opportunity to show his 3D chip concept to Sony. He still didn't have a completed chip though.






It was covered years ago in Retro I've posted it before when Gamevet said the Night Trap wasn't finished before the Mega CD version

SONY didn't publish it or bring it Mega-CD, SonyImaginesoft 1st games were on Nintendo systems, not SEGA. Its the SEGA ex that's all over the place for facts here...



I didn't say that the game wasn't finished. :wtf:

I said that the game wasn't finished (not talking about NEMO) until Sony funded Digital Pictures and then worked with Sega to bring it to the SEGA CD. The game that was on the Nemo was just a bunch of footage on a VHS tape, with the console providing a digital overlay for the controls. DP worked with Sony to bring it to the Nintendo PlayStation, then SEGA and Sony worked with DP to bring it to the SEGA CD when Nintendo dumped Sony. Without Sony Funding Digital Pictures. Night Trap would still be a bunch of scenes on videotape How is this so hard for you to understand?

stu
01-05-2020, 12:06 AM
Yes, So if SEGA had seen what actually SONY was working on and so the story goes SEGA Japan turned them down. Why was SEGA Japan caught so-off with the 3D spec?


Please try and understand these 2 very simple, but very important facts:

AT NO POINT DID SONY SHOW SEGA THE SPECS OF THE PLAYSTATION!

SONY AT NO POINT OFFERED SEGA THE PLAYSTATION CHIPSET!

These talks between Sega and Sony were preliminary, to see if they could work together and build a spec for a new console, Sega did not show Sony the Saturn and Sony DID NOT show Sega the PlayStation.

Is that clear enough for you?

Sega of Japan told Sony that they wanted to focus on 2D and wasn't interested in working with Sony. Ken Kutaragi of Sony wanted to focus on 3D and felt that 2D only was old hat, he also didn't give a fuck about working with Sega and wanted Sony to chart its own course.
So they disagreed and any chance of a partnership went POOF! :rip:

Had they come to an agreement and both companies signed off on a joint venture agreement, then I'm sure Sega would of seen what Sony was working on. But that never happened.

See that's not too hard, is it?



So why would SEGA look to SONY for 2D sprites then?. That's to overlook it was actually NEC who didn't 3D would be important. 3D was always going to be part of the Saturn (Core told EDGE is 3D was better was amazing way back in 1993)
just SEGA Japan looked to do it with sprites. Even the call for the 32X was about getting better 3D from the Mega Drive. I would put to you 3D polygons was going to feature.

What the heck are you babbling about FFS?? Sega didn't look to Sony for 2D, where the heck did you get that from?? The original spec of the Saturn was developed to focus primarily on 2D sprites, 3D wasn't a focus until Sega realised what Sony was working on. I'm not even going to bother with the rest of your post. Got games to play!!

Now you can chop my post up in to nonsensical snippets and cherry pick your nonsensical (and largely illegible) responses like you normally do.



Without Sony Funding Digital Pictures. Night Trap would still be a bunch of scenes on videotapeHow is this so hard for you to understand?

I know what you mean, it gets really tiresome having to explain things to TA..lol

Mega Drive Bowlsey
01-05-2020, 02:52 AM
I originally posted that video 'The History of Digital Pictures' in the Mega CD section a couple of years ago, and it's as clear as day that Sony did indeed help Tom Zito with the task of converting the old VHS footage of Night Trap, and presumably Sewer Shark, on to digital media. Sony had a good software partnership with Sega and produced games for both the Mega Drive and Mega CD under the Sony Imagesoft label. This does not mean however that Sony ever had any serious intention of going a step further and developing a hardware partnership with Sega. Stu is quite correct, Ken Kutaragi always wanted Sony to chart it's own course and the rest is history.

stu
01-05-2020, 02:57 AM
I originally posted that video 'The History of Digital Pictures' in the Mega CD section a couple of years ago, and it's as clear as day that Sony did indeed help Tom Zito with the task of converting the old VHS footage of Night Trap, and presumably Sewer Shark, on to digital media. Sony had a good software partnership with Sega and produced games for both the Mega Drive and Mega CD under the Sony Imagesoft label. This does not mean however that Sony ever had any serious intention of going a step further and developing a hardware partnership with Sega. Stu is quite correct, Ken Kutaragi always wanted Sony to chart it's own course and the rest is history.


Thanks :)

turboxray
01-05-2020, 03:55 AM
I myself have sent SEGA suggestions not to go in the way of the market doing and continuing its story, but I'm not sure if anyone inside has read it.
Wait what? Who are you? Why would anyone at Sega listen to some Sega fan?????

Mega Drive Bowlsey
01-05-2020, 04:04 AM
Wait what? Who are you? Why would anyone at Sega listen to some Sega fan?????

Good point. I mean I consider myself to be a huge Sega fanboy, but if the top brass at Sega had listened to some of my ideas over the years they'd probably have gone bust a long time ago! :D

Team Andromeda
01-05-2020, 04:55 AM
Please try and understand these 2 very simple, but very important facts:

AT NO POINT DID SONY SHOW SEGA THE SPECS OF THE PLAYSTATION!

SONY AT NO POINT OFFERED SEGA THE PLAYSTATION CHIPSET!

These talks between Sega and Sony were preliminary, to see if they could work together and build a spec for a new console, Sega did not show Sony the Saturn and Sony DID NOT show Sega the PlayStation.

Is that clear enough for you?


Tell that to Tom K because that's not what Retrogamer in one of his last interviews. Not just talks with his chum, but a full list of spec and breakdown of the so-called planned system, along with Joe Miller present.


What the heck are you babbling about FFS?? Sega didn't look to Sony for 2D

It's in one interview with Toyoda-san that was linked on facebook. but maybe it was writing mistake and meant to read 3D.


I know what you mean, it gets really tiresome having to explain things to TA

Next, you'll be giving credit to Nintendo for the Playstation and not SONY.

Team Andromeda
01-05-2020, 05:31 AM
I didn't say that the game wasn't finished. :wtf:

Who said


Not even close. The filming was completed right around the time that Hasbro killed the project. The only playable part of Night Trap, was a 5 minute demo called Scene of the Crime. It didn't have any of the traps that you see in the game, much beyond just showing the changing room scenes. The demo was shot over a weekend.

stu
01-05-2020, 04:20 PM
Tell that to Tom K because that's not what Retrogamer in one of his last interviews. Not just talks with his chum, but a full list of spec and breakdown of the so-called planned system, along with Joe Miller present.

LOL, right then prove it. Post the FULL interview and show where he said that he had a full breakdown of specs of the PlayStation from Kutaragi or some other Sony exec. Full interview means everything, no tiny little block from where you can cherry pick.

In all the other interviews he's given Kalinske has said the he and the Sony US execs discussed what they would like to see in a prospective joint console, HE'S NEVER CLAIMED TO HAVE ANY KNOWLEDGE OF THE PLAYSTATION OR THAT SEGA WERE OFFERED THE SYSTEM FROM THOSE MEETINGS.




Next, you'll be giving credit to Nintendo for the Playstation and not SONY.

LOL I'm not the one that thinks that just because Kalinske and Sony US execs discussed possible console specs and took those possible console specs to their respective parent companies in Japan to consider, that it means somehow he is claiming he had knowledge of the Playstation, that was being developed in secret in Japan, because he's never claimed that. You see I can actually understand context in an interview.

gamevet
01-05-2020, 05:16 PM
He has poor comprehension skills. Remember his comment about Pixie Dust, as if it was an actual thing?

Leynos
01-05-2020, 08:51 PM
He has poor comprehension skills. Remember his comment about Pixie Dust, as if it was an actual thing?

Was he confusing it with Angel Dust?

gamevet
01-05-2020, 09:33 PM
Was he confusing it with Angel Dust?

Someone at Sega made a joke about how they got an effect to work on the Saturn. The guy said Pixie Dust (jokingly laughs), and somehow TA took that as some code name for a programming trick.

Leynos
01-05-2020, 09:46 PM
Outta reps but lol that is funny!

stu
01-05-2020, 11:13 PM
He has poor comprehension skills. Remember his comment about Pixie Dust, as if it was an actual thing?


LOL that's true, I'd forgot about that! :rofl::rofl:


Here's the interview.

https://i.ibb.co/6mm048p/Sonic-r-interview.jpg (https://ibb.co/6mm048p)

Basically, John Burton of TT was asked how they got the misting in effect on the game and he sarcastically answered "Angel Dust" TA thought he was serious ...lol :rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl:

SegaAMD
01-05-2020, 11:27 PM
I mean I consider myself to be a huge Sega fanboy, but if the top brass at Sega had listened to some of my ideas over the years they'd probably have gone bust a long time ago! :D

what ideas would those be?

Team Andromeda
01-06-2020, 05:18 AM
LOL, right then prove it. Post the FULL interview and show where he said that he had a full breakdown of specs of the PlayStation from Kutaragi or some other Sony exec. Full interview means everything, no tiny little block from where you can cherry pick..

Always me, that needs to post interviews ALL The Bloody time. I get you hate me and that I uspet you. But I'm not going to troll throgh over 200 Retrogamer Magazines; since sadly my Flickr account has been limited and lots of my old scans deleted.

Team Andromeda
01-06-2020, 05:23 AM
He has poor comprehension skills. Remember his comment about Pixie Dust, as if it was an actual thing?

Coming from the man who said Night Trap wasn't finished and can't tell the difference between a 'fully finished and funded' game to 'proof of concept' game It's quite ironic.

stu
01-06-2020, 02:18 PM
.

Always me, that needs to post interviews ALL The Bloody time. I get you hate me and that I uspet you. But I'm not going to troll throgh over 200 Retrogamer Magazines; since sadly my Flickr account has been limited and lots of my old scans deleted.


That's right, get defensive and pretend that everyone is against you. Blah Blah Blah!

EDIT

You know what? Don't bother posting it, since its so hard for you.

I've found the interview and have posted the whole thing below, with comments.

https://i.ibb.co/rM4fmTZ/Kalinske-Interview-pg1.jpg (https://ibb.co/rM4fmTZ) https://i.ibb.co/pzd4t6R/Kalinske-Interview-pg2.jpg (https://ibb.co/pzd4t6R)

gamevet
01-06-2020, 05:47 PM
Heíll just say that Tom is lying, even though it has been confirmed by Tomís right hand man. Oh, and that guy canít get his facts straight, because Sony never owned a part of Digital Pictures, so his confirmation of Tomís story isnít true either.

I think that TA just has an obsession with Japan, and anything said against it is blasphemy to him.

stu
01-06-2020, 06:10 PM
Heíll just say that Tom is lying, even though it has been confirmed by Tomís right hand man. Oh, and that guy canít get his facts straight, because Sony never owned a part of Digital Pictures, so his confirmation of Tomís story isnít true either.

I think that TA just has an obsession with Japan, and anything said against it is blasphemy to him.


Probably, or he'll bleat on about how Joe Miller never mentioned the Sony-Sega meeting, even though the subject was never brought up in any interviews with Miller and sadly he died back in 2014, thus ending any opportunity of asking about his thoughts. Arguing with TA is like listening to a broken pull string kids doll.


*static* Tom is a lair!! *static*
*static* Joe Miller never mentions Sony *static*
*static* Tom is a lair!! *static*
*static* Joe Miller never mentions Sony *static*
*static* Tom is a lair!! *static*
*static* Joe Miller never mentions Sony *static*
*repeats endlessly*

Gryson
01-06-2020, 07:15 PM
Heíll just say that Tom is lying, even though it has been confirmed by Tomís right hand man. Oh, and that guy canít get his facts straight, because Sony never owned a part of Digital Pictures, so his confirmation of Tomís story isnít true either.

I think that TA just has an obsession with Japan, and anything said against it is blasphemy to him.

Regardless of this TA nonsense, let's be clear: Kalinske's account is kind of odd. Not "lying" odd, but more "clueless" or "naive" odd.

He says that he and Olaf put together a spec sheet and took it to Kutaragi, and that Kutaragi thought it was good and was on board.

None of that jives with these other accounts, though.

It seems much more likely that Kutaragi graciously humored them but, as we know, had no intentions of doing anything with Sega. I mean, here's a guy who put his heart and soul into this project for several years, and here come along two marketing executives from across the ocean with their 'spec sheet,' and he has to at least humor them because Michael Schulhof put in a word with his boss Norio Ohga. So he humors them and meets with Hideki Sato (who was asked by his boss, who happens to know Ohga), and both Kutaragi and Sato go through the motions but aren't hot on anything the other is saying. Both go back and tell their bosses "no way."

Meanwhile, Kalinske is convinced that there is some conspiracy at play. I don't think he's lying, he just seems willfully clueless as to how the business works.

gamevet
01-06-2020, 08:38 PM
I'm sure there was a language barrier as well. I've no doubt that Kutaragi led them on just to see what their angle was and get a measure of what kind of hardware he had to aim for besting. Maybe Sony of Japan already knew that Sega of Japan was going to reject the offer, but they just wanted to see what kind of answer they'd get this time.

I just think that TA sees the Saturn as his favorite console and he lets his passion for the hardware get the best of him. The Sony thing never came to fruition, so no harm, no foul.

stu
01-06-2020, 09:59 PM
Regardless of this TA nonsense, let's be clear: Kalinske's account is kind of odd. Not "lying" odd, but more "clueless" or "naive" odd.

He says that he and Olaf put together a spec sheet and took it to Kutaragi, and that Kutaragi thought it was good and was on board.

None of that jives with these other accounts, though.

It seems much more likely that Kutaragi graciously humored them but, as we know, had no intentions of doing anything with Sega. I mean, here's a guy who put his heart and soul into this project for several years, and here come along two marketing executives from across the ocean with their 'spec sheet,' and he has to at least humor them because Michael Schulhof put in a word with his boss Norio Ohga. So he humors them and meets with Hideki Sato (who was asked by his boss, who happens to know Ohga), and both Kutaragi and Sato go through the motions but aren't hot on anything the other is saying. Both go back and tell their bosses "no way."

Meanwhile, Kalinske is convinced that there is some conspiracy at play. I don't think he's lying, he just seems willfully clueless as to how the business works.

I think clueless is a bit strong tbh. Kalinske's job was to sell products, not to build them, his "spec sheet" may have been nothing more than a wish list of features that he and the Sony US guys would like to see in this joint system.
That why it sounds so dumb when a certain person accuses Kalinske of claiming that he magically got a hold of the exact specs for PlayStation.
What Kalinske was referring to was more likely nothing more than a wish list that maybe was fleshed out with more concrete technical details by the US side R&D departments at each respective company.

It also doesn't specifically say he took it to Kutaragi, but to Sony, which could mean anything, possibly presented to the management teams of both companies as a smaller part of the overall group of meetings.

It certainly clear, like you said, that both sides just politely humored each other before they both said "no deal". Its quite clear from reading about Kutaragi that he was very single minded and had a very specific vision about what he wanted to create and wasn't about to allow that to be diluted by adding a partner to it, I'm sure that Sato over at Sega was much of the same mindset. Kutaragi also was still angered by the whole debacle with Nintendo which I'm sure was a factor in wanting no outside hardware partners.

As for the whole "conspiracy" that Kalinske alluded to, well like gamevet said, language probably was a factor and I'm sure that the way Japanese companies are run is probably not entirely the same as the way he is used to in the US, it may also indicate some bitterness over how it ended which might of colored his view.

Beyond this subject of Kalinske and the Sony/Sega meeting, I would be really interested to know what Shinobu Toyoda knew regarding much of that time period (the early launch of Saturn etc) specifically whether the decision to launch early came from Japan like Kalinske says or whether it was a US management decision, like I believe SOJ staff has said.

Gryson
01-06-2020, 11:13 PM
It also doesn't specifically say he took it to Kutaragi, but to Sony, which could mean anything, possibly presented to the management teams of both companies as a smaller part of the overall group of meetings.

He's said it elsewhere (https://www.usgamer.net/articles/sega-and-sony-almost-teamed-up-on-a-console):


Sega of America and Sony were both convinced that the next platform had to use optical discs. We had been working on this CD-ROM attachment to the Genesis, which we knew really wasnít adequate, but it taught us how to make games on this format. We had the Sony guys and our engineers in the United States come up with specs for what this next optical-based hardware system would be. And with these specs, Olafsson, Schulhof and I went to Japan, and we met with Sonyís Ken Kutaragi. He said it was a great idea, and as we all lose money on hardware, let's jointly market a single system Ė the Sega/Sony hardware system Ė and whatever loss we make, we split that loss.

Next, we went to [Sega president] Nakayama and the Board at Sega, and they basically turned me down. They said, 'thatís a stupid idea, Sony doesnít know how to make hardware. They donít know how to make software either. Why would we want to do this?' That is what caused the division between Sega and Sony and caused Sony to become our competitor and launch its own hardware platform.

How do we interpret that statement from the new interviews that have come out?

We have someone from the Sony side saying Kutaragi wasn't interested and shot down the idea early on.

We have two people from the Sega side saying that they approached the idea seriously but couldn't work it out.

Kalinske wants us to believe that Kutaragi wanted to partner up but Nakayama shot down the idea without considering it. It really doesn't seem that any of that was true, though.



As for the whole "conspiracy" that Kalinske alluded to, well like gamevet said, language probably was a factor and I'm sure that the way Japanese companies are run is probably not entirely the same as the way he is used to in the US, it may also indicate some bitterness over how it ended which might of colored his view.

Beyond this subject of Kalinske and the Sony/Sega meeting, I would be really interested to know what Shinobu Toyoda knew regarding much of that time period (the early launch of Saturn etc) specifically whether the decision to launch early came from Japan like Kalinske says or whether it was a US management decision, like I believe SOJ staff has said.

Let's not forget the David Rosen quote from Collected Works, which I love to throw around here:


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 wasnít always easy for him to understand the decisions in Japan, and there they couldnít 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 wasnít 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.

So yes, it seems to be the case that Kalinske struggled to understand decisions that were made at the head office. We have to remember that he was used to being in (relatively) complete control from the previous two companies he worked at (Mattel and Matchbox).

As for the early launch (do we mean the planned September 95 launch or the limited May 95 launch? both are 'early' in my opinion), Toyoda doesn't mention it.

He does mention one anecdote concerning Sega VR:


At SOA, the thought was that VR was going to be the future, so we started to focus research efforts on it. We spent about $6 million. However, in the end, the results of our research revealed: 'With the currently available CPU power, we won't be able to meet player's expectations while maintaining cost balance. It is not recommended to continue the project.' When Nakayama heard, he turned red in the face... not as red as a lobster (laughs), and said angrily 'You spent how many millions on that answer?!' But I think it was good that we stopped when we did. With the momentum that Sega had at the time, if we had continued, we would have lost tens of millions of dollars.

stu
01-07-2020, 12:19 AM
He's said it elsewhere (https://www.usgamer.net/articles/sega-and-sony-almost-teamed-up-on-a-console):



How do we interpret that statement from the new interviews that have come out?

We have someone from the Sony side saying Kutaragi wasn't interested and shot down the idea early on.

We have two people from the Sega side saying that they approached the idea seriously but couldn't work it out.

Kalinske wants us to believe that Kutaragi wanted to partner up but Nakayama shot down the idea without considering it. It really doesn't seem that any of that was true, though. :

Well in the interview on Sega-16 in 2006 he said this:


Thatís a good question, and you have to remember that this was the very beginning of the optical medium in terms of a video game experience, and none of us knew what the hell we were doing! I mean, it was really an experiment, a great learning experience. One of the interesting things to me is that one of our strongest partners in developing for that platform was Sony. And Sony didnít have a hardware division (at least for video games) at the time. They had a software division run by Olaf Olafsson (http://www.timewarner.com/our-company/management/senior-corporate-executives/olaf-olafsson/), who was a great partner to us. They spent lots of money developing games for the Sega CD (probably more than we did), we gave them technical help Ė a lot of it; we loaned them people, and there was really this wonderful collaborative effort. We each benefited from each otherís work, and I think thatís one of the things that has been forgotten in video game industry lore or history: that this very strong bond existed back then between the two companies. In fact, taking it to the next step, at one point Olaf, Mickey Schulhoff (former Sony of America CEO), and I discussed that since we had such a great relationship from working on the Sega CD, why donít we take what weíve learned from our software developers Ė their input Ė and use it as the criteria for what the next optical platform ought to be?
So we got all that and put it together so that it wasnít just pure engineeringese (jargon) but something that people could understand. I remember we had a document that Olaf and Mickey took to Sony that said theyíd like to develop jointly the next hardware, the next game platform, with Sega, and hereís what we think it ought to do. Sony apparently gave the green light to that. I took it to Sega of Japan and told them that this was what we thought an ideal platform would be, at least from an U.S. perspective, based on what weíve learned from the Sega CD, and our involvement with Sony and our own people. Sega said not a chance. Why would it want to share a platform with Sony? Sega would be much better off just developing its own platform, and itís nice that we had some ideas on what that platform ought to be and theyíd consider it, but the company would be developing its next platform itself." :

Each interview Kalinske gives, the general gist is the same: Kalinske, Schulhoff and Olafson got with their respective R&D people and drew up a specsheet/wishlist document. They took it to SOJ and Sony Japan and showed it to each group, Sony Japan said sounds great (probably humoring him) SOJ tells him no. All 3 interviews are mostly the same account for Kalinske.
As for the inconsistances with the other accounts, well Toyoda's account mostly jives with what Kalinske said, except that in Toyoda's account both sides refused to move forward, due to the 2D or 3D emphasis issue. Maybe Kalinske's mind is hazy on some of the details? I don't know. These events were a pretty long time ago and he ain't getting any younger.
As for what the Sony exec said, its crystal clear that Kutaragi wasn't interested in a partnership, so if he did say "hey great idea" to Kalinske, he was either politely humoring him, on orders from higher ups at Sony Japan (most likely) or outright lying to him to make Kalinske think he had a deal when in fact he was just stringing him along to try and mess with a competitor.






Let's not forget the David Rosen quote from Collected Works, which I love to throw around here:



So yes, it seems to be the case that Kalinske struggled to understand decisions that were made at the head office. We have to remember that he was used to being in (relatively) complete control from the previous two companies he worked at (Mattel and Matchbox).

As for the early launch (do we mean the planned September 95 launch or the limited May 95 launch? both are 'early' in my opinion), Toyoda doesn't mention it.

He does mention one anecdote concerning Sega VR:

Yes I was referring May 95 launch, I thought that the September 1995 was supposed to be the "official" launch date for the US launch, I don't recall one being planned for any later than that.

Its a shame that it is not covered, I would be very interested to hear his version of events, if nothing else than confirm or deny either account of whose idea it was.

zyrobs
01-07-2020, 01:46 AM
TA has been called out on his bullshit again and again and again. At one point he considered the Saturn VDP2 blending to be an alpha channel, and MIPS to be a polygon benchmark.

You guys should just put him on ignore.

Team Andromeda
01-07-2020, 09:16 AM
That's right, get defensive and pretend that everyone is against you. Blah Blah Blah!


No, not at all. The point is if I was going to post you the 4 different and full interviews done with Retrogamer over the course of the magazine that would be a huge undertaking. Just to give some examples Tom went from saying it got from no more advanced that talks with Olaf, to a full system spec and approved by SONY Japan, To the project started before the Sega CD, to then after it (I'll look over how Tom also told Retrogamer giving Sonic read shoes was his idea). So it is a big undertaking more so has 2 of my scans of Retro with Tom, have now been deleted via Flicker since you know have to pay for the site or there's a set limit for free hosting (that's really the truth)

My old Retro Mag's stand at over 7ft high in the garage and Tom hasn't done a major interview with Retro since 2014

https://i.imgur.com/x3sS95P.jpg








So since now we're only going to deal in facts and want the full interviews or articles posted on this matter or Digital Pictures. Great, I see you assert that Digital Pictures had funding off SONY for Night Trap on the PS. I simply read that Mr Tom Zito was very good friends with Olfa Olafsson and when Mr Olafsson said the PS is happing, Tom set up Digital Pictures and also signed up to become a PS developer, but didn't have investment from SONY at the start up.
I love the back story of Night Trap so much and also the game. So please post your article or interview that states/show when SONY made the investment into Digital Pictures and got the ball rolling for Night Trap to live

It also be nice if you can provide any interview with either Olaf Olafsson, Ken Kutaragi or the late great Joe Miller, confirming SEGA and SONY were set to work together.
I look forward to your interviews and articles. and no not being funny here, genuinely interested

Team Andromeda
01-07-2020, 09:28 AM
I just think that TA sees the Saturn as his favorite console and he lets his passion for the hardware get the best of him.

True, but how many here let their passion for Genesis get the better of them and still to this day hold a grudge against SEGA Japan for killing it off early; which isn't factually correct either.

Gryson
01-07-2020, 08:33 PM
Yes I was referring May 95 launch, I thought that the September 1995 was supposed to be the "official" launch date for the US launch, I don't recall one being planned for any later than that.

Its a shame that it is not covered, I would be very interested to hear his version of events, if nothing else than confirm or deny either account of whose idea it was.

Well, as I've often said, the evidence strongly indicates that Saturn was not meant to launch in the US in 1995. It's all connected to the 32X. If you consider what the 32X was meant to be, rather than what it became, I think the picture really becomes more complete and less "what were they thinking?!"

The most informative thing I've ever read about the 32X was from a company speech that Nakayama gave in mid-1994 in Japan. It outlined the whole company strategy in regards to each market. I don't have access to the source now, but I can accurately summarize. Nakayama said that due to the perception that the Saturn was too expensive to sell in the US, the decision had been made to split the markets: the US market would be focused exclusively on "Mars" (as it was then called) and Japan would be focused on the Saturn. SOA had proven itself capable of independently managing game development without Japan's help, Nakayama said, and this would free up Japan to focus on the Saturn. More so than ever before, the 32X signified Nakayama's willingness to let SOA be independent.

Kalinske didn't want the Saturn. After the Saturn was officially announced in September 1993 with a high price tag and a 12/1994 release date, Kalinske is quoted in a September 1993 issue of Computer Trade Weekly: "It's a question of being able to launch the machine at the right price and I'm not interested in marketing any machine over £350. Unfortunately, I don't think that's a problem we're going to be able to solve this year or next." He didn't want the product, he thought it wasn't marketable, and he made his voice heard (and heard publicly). Nakayama was obviously in a bind, and the solution he proposed was what evolved into the 32X at the hands of SOA's engineers. Scot Bayless described Marty Franz's original design for the 32X as "powerful," but to meet the price goal it was pruned down to its final state. Kalinske put his full effort (and a large chunk of money) behind marketing the 32X and appealing to developers; Nakayama set aside a large group of developers in Japan to make games for it, and the same was happening at SOA.

Kalinske and Nakayama weren't stupid. They didn't go to all of this effort to promote the 32X for a quick buck before the Saturn launched. That's not how the console market works. The huge cost of hardware R&D and manufacturing make it a slow game where losses are recouped over years. As Nakayama said, the 32X was meant to be much more. It was meant to carry the US market for the near future.

Why, then, was the Saturn launched in the US in 1995, apparently in contradiction to all of this?

Simply because the 32X was a colossal failure. Kalinske couldnít get developers on board, the games they made in-house were no good, the press was taking a hot shit on it all, and the public generally wasnít interested (well, I bought one, at least).

The first hints of a September 1995 Saturn launch started to appear soon after the 32X release. I can only speculate that Nakayama stepped in at this point and made it clear that something had to be done or a portion of the 32-bit US market would be ceded to Sony without a fight. That something was damage control in the form of rushing the Saturn to market.

The specifics here arenít so interesting in my opinion. A May 1995 limited release or a September 1995 release donít really change the underlying story: SOA didnít have any games in the pipeline to win over the US market. The entire successful strategy of the Genesis was to develop US-centric games by US developers and market them aggressively. None of that happened with the Saturn. Segaís own developers had to play catch up after the 32X, and the 3rd party developers were going to Sony. There is just no indication that SOA was planning for a 1995 Saturn launch from day one. After the 32X failure, it all seems like one big knee-jerk reaction.

stu
01-08-2020, 12:05 AM
Well, as I've often said, the evidence strongly indicates that Saturn was not meant to launch in the US in 1995. It's all connected to the 32X. If you consider what the 32X was meant to be, rather than what it became, I think the picture really becomes more complete and less "what were they thinking?!"

The most informative thing I've ever read about the 32X was from a company speech that Nakayama gave in mid-1994 in Japan. It outlined the whole company strategy in regards to each market. I don't have access to the source now, but I can accurately summarize. Nakayama said that due to the perception that the Saturn was too expensive to sell in the US, the decision had been made to split the markets: the US market would be focused exclusively on "Mars" (as it was then called) and Japan would be focused on the Saturn. SOA had proven itself capable of independently managing game development without Japan's help, Nakayama said, and this would free up Japan to focus on the Saturn. More so than ever before, the 32X signified Nakayama's willingness to let SOA be independent.

Kalinske didn't want the Saturn. After the Saturn was officially announced in September 1993 with a high price tag and a 12/1994 release date, Kalinske is quoted in a September 1993 issue of Computer Trade Weekly: "It's a question of being able to launch the machine at the right price and I'm not interested in marketing any machine over £350. Unfortunately, I don't think that's a problem we're going to be able to solve this year or next." He didn't want the product, he thought it wasn't marketable, and he made his voice heard (and heard publicly). Nakayama was obviously in a bind, and the solution he proposed was what evolved into the 32X at the hands of SOA's engineers. Scot Bayless described Marty Franz's original design for the 32X as "powerful," but to meet the price goal it was pruned down to its final state. Kalinske put his full effort (and a large chunk of money) behind marketing the 32X and appealing to developers; Nakayama set aside a large group of developers in Japan to make games for it, and the same was happening at SOA.

Kalinske and Nakayama weren't stupid. They didn't go to all of this effort to promote the 32X for a quick buck before the Saturn launched. That's not how the console market works. The huge cost of hardware R&D and manufacturing make it a slow game where losses are recouped over years. As Nakayama said, the 32X was meant to be much more. It was meant to carry the US market for the near future.

Why, then, was the Saturn launched in the US in 1995, apparently in contradiction to all of this?

Simply because the 32X was a colossal failure. Kalinske couldnít get developers on board, the games they made in-house were no good, the press was taking a hot shit on it all, and the public generally wasnít interested (well, I bought one, at least).

The first hints of a September 1995 Saturn launch started to appear soon after the 32X release. I can only speculate that Nakayama stepped in at this point and made it clear that something had to be done or a portion of the 32-bit US market would be ceded to Sony without a fight. That something was damage control in the form of rushing the Saturn to market.

The specifics here arenít so interesting in my opinion. A May 1995 limited release or a September 1995 release donít really change the underlying story: SOA didnít have any games in the pipeline to win over the US market. The entire successful strategy of the Genesis was to develop US-centric games by US developers and market them aggressively. None of that happened with the Saturn. Segaís own developers had to play catch up after the 32X, and the 3rd party developers were going to Sony. There is just no indication that SOA was planning for a 1995 Saturn launch from day one. After the 32X failure, it all seems like one big knee-jerk reaction.

Well that was certainly an excellent and insightful post and I tend to agree on all your points, (I would also like to add that I am definitely a fan of your website, it has a lot of fascinating info, great job) I do certainly believe that SOA were right on 1 thing and that was that the western markets (US and Europe/UK) were a lot more price sensitive than the Japanese markets. However its obvious that the 32X was not the answer and tbh I personally felt that the US and Europe were getting the short end of the stick when they announced it.
IIRC the 32X was announced around April 1994, however the problem was that the gaming magazines of the time were already talking a lot about the Saturn and hyping up its arrival well before we ever heard of the 32X (I'm from the UK and a lot of the Sega magazines here were publishing a lot of early, but sometimes inaccurate, information on the Saturn - as early as July 1993 on one magazine I believe - Mean Machines Sega-September 1993 issue was out around the end of July)

I'm not sure if this was the same in the US, but when they finally announced the 32X I was actually quite turned off by it. Also in addition I'd been obviously hearing a lot about the development of the PlayStation as well by that point. :)

I think there should of been a lot more communication certainly between SOA and SOJ, considering the importance of the US to Sega and taken in to consideration the price sensitivity more seriously while the Saturn was being developed and put together.

I also think Sega seriously underestimated how savvy and smart their fans were back then and how much information the magazines of the time were already printing about the Saturn, over year before even the Japanese launch date, let alone the US and PAL launches.

I can see your point of view on why you feel the specifics of the early launch really aren't important, things weren't going to be dramatically better going in September except for the obvious things (like more stock supply, more games available at launch, getting the system in to more stores etc). The absolute failure of the 32X had already screwed Sega already, the US division had no US developed games available and regardless of when they launched they had to launch at a price that was going to be unpopular and doubly worse faced a system that was priced lower and already had the perception (although not necessarily true) of being better in the form of the PlayStation.

Finally, I'm kind of curious given everything you said, when do you think Sega had originally planned to release the Saturn the west, assuming that the 32X had been a success? Summer 1996?

They would of had a hard time choosing a good time to launch the Saturn considering that the Nintendo 64 was coming out that year.
An other factor that would of weighed on Sega would of been how successful/unsucessful the PlayStation had been, with the low priced competition the Sony system would of faced from the 32X.

SegaAMD
01-08-2020, 12:37 AM
In my interpretation, the 32X project is what it should be, a smooth transition between Genesis and Saturn, Saturn would be aimed at the hardcore audience and 32X would be for casual consumers, I never liked that kind of strategy giving consumers lots of options because it generates so much. confusion MK2 for exemple; I think the idea was that 32X would replace Genesis after a while when the base was big so it would be merged into Mega Drive to form a new product, a kind of Mega-DUO-CD, merger is the natural way of an add-on, we see that in PC-engine, where the CD-add-on was very successful and later incorporated into the PC-engine Duo.

But the 32X failed mainly because it did not represent the expected jump generational leap. the competition was fierce, Donkey Kong was a phenomenon, we had Playstation pre-marketing and the project reality lies. The 32X was stuck in the middle of it, flop would not be long in coming, Tom Kalinske negotiated the product as the future of SEGA and retailers accepted, but the 32X had many pre-production issues and eventually coincided with the Japanese release of Saturn.

then 32X was brought to Japan, but as the Japanese public bought a lot of Saturn, SEGA quickly halted 32X to avoid confusion and Saturn became the focus on both continents.

axel
01-08-2020, 01:15 AM
Well, as I've often said, the evidence strongly indicates that Saturn was not meant to launch in the US in 1995. It's all connected to the 32X. If you consider what the 32X was meant to be, rather than what it became, I think the picture really becomes more complete and less "what were they thinking?!"

The most informative thing I've ever read about the 32X was from a company speech that Nakayama gave in mid-1994 in Japan. It outlined the whole company strategy in regards to each market. I don't have access to the source now, but I can accurately summarize. Nakayama said that due to the perception that the Saturn was too expensive to sell in the US, the decision had been made to split the markets: the US market would be focused exclusively on "Mars" (as it was then called) and Japan would be focused on the Saturn. SOA had proven itself capable of independently managing game development without Japan's help, Nakayama said, and this would free up Japan to focus on the Saturn. More so than ever before, the 32X signified Nakayama's willingness to let SOA be independent.

Kalinske didn't want the Saturn. After the Saturn was officially announced in September 1993 with a high price tag and a 12/1994 release date, Kalinske is quoted in a September 1993 issue of Computer Trade Weekly: "It's a question of being able to launch the machine at the right price and I'm not interested in marketing any machine over £350. Unfortunately, I don't think that's a problem we're going to be able to solve this year or next." He didn't want the product, he thought it wasn't marketable, and he made his voice heard (and heard publicly). Nakayama was obviously in a bind, and the solution he proposed was what evolved into the 32X at the hands of SOA's engineers. Scot Bayless described Marty Franz's original design for the 32X as "powerful," but to meet the price goal it was pruned down to its final state. Kalinske put his full effort (and a large chunk of money) behind marketing the 32X and appealing to developers; Nakayama set aside a large group of developers in Japan to make games for it, and the same was happening at SOA.

Kalinske and Nakayama weren't stupid. They didn't go to all of this effort to promote the 32X for a quick buck before the Saturn launched. That's not how the console market works. The huge cost of hardware R&D and manufacturing make it a slow game where losses are recouped over years. As Nakayama said, the 32X was meant to be much more. It was meant to carry the US market for the near future.

Why, then, was the Saturn launched in the US in 1995, apparently in contradiction to all of this?

Simply because the 32X was a colossal failure. Kalinske couldnít get developers on board, the games they made in-house were no good, the press was taking a hot shit on it all, and the public generally wasnít interested (well, I bought one, at least).

The first hints of a September 1995 Saturn launch started to appear soon after the 32X release. I can only speculate that Nakayama stepped in at this point and made it clear that something had to be done or a portion of the 32-bit US market would be ceded to Sony without a fight. That something was damage control in the form of rushing the Saturn to market.

The specifics here arenít so interesting in my opinion. A May 1995 limited release or a September 1995 release donít really change the underlying story: SOA didnít have any games in the pipeline to win over the US market. The entire successful strategy of the Genesis was to develop US-centric games by US developers and market them aggressively. None of that happened with the Saturn. Segaís own developers had to play catch up after the 32X, and the 3rd party developers were going to Sony. There is just no indication that SOA was planning for a 1995 Saturn launch from day one. After the 32X failure, it all seems like one big knee-jerk reaction.

This makes the most sense of anything I've read, and to an extent Nakayama was right. Japan was ready for the Saturn, the USA was not and had a huge base of Genesis owners who could keep buying software. But I bet the logic was the Genesis was pretty old at that point, the lack of palettes was becoming more apparent with games like Mortal Kombat, Nintendo had all these games coming out with extra CPUs in the carts, Sega had already tried that with VR but it cost $100, so an add-on seemed like a better idea.

For the 32X/Neptune to be profitable I would guess they'd need it to sell for at least two years, if not three. When have you ever seen a console replaced faster than that? The Mega Drive came out almost exactly three years after the Master System. Nintendo released the GBC in 1998, GBA in 2001 and NDS in 2004. Note each of these consoles is also backwards compatible with the previous version.

A Saturn in 1996 would have lost some ground to the PSX but at least it would have had a much stronger line-up of games at launch. Get a 3D Sonic out at the same time as Mario 64, show off the better texture quality and audio of the Saturn, maybe it could have gone differently.

In the end I think Sega underestimated the popularity of the Genesis in North America. Another add-on was not necessary, the hardware was more than capable of handling good games for another year.

gamevet
01-08-2020, 02:11 AM
So since now we're only going to deal in facts and want the full interviews or articles posted on this matter or Digital Pictures. Great, I see you assert that Digital Pictures had funding off SONY for Night Trap on the PS. I simply read that Mr Tom Zito was very good friends with Olfa Olafsson and when Mr Olafsson said the PS is happing, Tom set up Digital Pictures and also signed up to become a PS developer, but didn't have investment from SONY at the start up.
I love the back story of Night Trap so much and also the game. So please post your article or interview that states/show when SONY made the investment into Digital Pictures and got the ball rolling for Night Trap to live

It also be nice if you can provide any interview with either Olaf Olafsson, Ken Kutaragi or the late great Joe Miller, confirming SEGA and SONY were set to work together.
I look forward to your interviews and articles. and no not being funny here, genuinely interested

I gave you a Digital Pictures video from Wrestling with Gamers, that used several interviews and magazine articles, which he quoted the sources of, to tell the story.

This SEGA Bits interview with Tom Zito was one of his sources. Zito even covers hearing about Sony thinking that Cinemaware was involved with Sewer Shark, and Sony was trying to buy that company. Thatís when Tom called his brother Bob (who worked for Mickey) to ask what was going on at Sony.

Skip ahead to about the 27 minute mark, where Zito starts to talk about that event.

hH-Lc5bUxuE

zyrobs
01-08-2020, 02:12 AM
That's a good writeup that makes a lot of sense, though I still believe that the early Saturn launch was due to SOJ pressure. Even with the 32x bombing, there's no way Tom would've knee-jerked into launching the Saturn on the spot, with no units to sell and so few games. I recall there was at least one interview supporting that his hand was forced.

Black_Tiger
01-08-2020, 08:55 AM
That's a good writeup that makes a lot of sense, though I still believe that the early Saturn launch was due to SOJ pressure. Even with the 32x bombing, there's no way Tom would've knee-jerked into launching the Saturn on the spot, with no units to sell and so few games. I recall there was at least one interview supporting that his hand was forced.

Although the early launch was earlier than the originally announced date, it wasn't exactly a knee jerk reaction. Leading up to the early launch Sega advertised the Saturn on TV in Canada heavier than any console or video game had ever been. Some of the many different ads included the weird art film stuff they would push for a while.

Leynos
01-08-2020, 04:11 PM
In more recent years Segata Sanshiro kinda became a meme within SEGA and classic gaming fans. SEGA never used him outside Japan but do you guys think he would have worked in US advertising? Sure anything is better than purple Kratos and stoner guy (seriously wtf were those ads?) but I don't know if Segata would have fit US/Western advertising at that time. Maybe a similar concept with Chuck Norris? Fuck if I know.

SegaAMD
01-08-2020, 05:53 PM
Advertising like this was done in Japan is ineffective, just like Sega's comparisons at the time of Genesis, it's better to pay for a review or a reviewer to unfairly criticize the competition. It is much more effective. Having control of opinion makers is critical to the success of a platform.

gamevet
01-08-2020, 08:05 PM
Eh, the SEGA Scream ads became pop culture. I had non gaming friends that would do the SEGA scream.

Magazine reviews was such a small part of gaming, and most of its audience already owned a console or 2. Advertising and viral marketing were more affective in the mid to late 90s.

Team Andromeda
01-09-2020, 03:44 PM
So any more real info on SONY paying for Night Trap?

Team Andromeda
01-09-2020, 03:51 PM
Well, as I've often said, the evidence strongly indicates that Saturn was not meant to launch in the US in 1995. It's all connected to the 32X. If you consider what the 32X was meant to be, rather than what it became, I think the picture really becomes more complete and less "what were they thinking?!"

The most informative thing I've ever read about the 32X was from a company speech that Nakayama gave in mid-1994 in Japan. It outlined the whole company strategy in regards to each market. I don't have access to the source now, but I can accurately summarize. Nakayama said that due to the perception that the Saturn was too expensive to sell in the US, the decision had been made to split the markets: the US market would be focused exclusively on "Mars" (as it was then called) and Japan would be focused on the Saturn. SOA had proven itself capable of independently managing game development without Japan's help, Nakayama said, and this would free up Japan to focus on the Saturn. More so than ever before, the 32X signified Nakayama's willingness to let SOA be independent.

Kalinske didn't want the Saturn. After the Saturn was officially announced in September 1993 with a high price tag and a 12/1994 release date, Kalinske is quoted in a September 1993 issue of Computer Trade Weekly: "It's a question of being able to launch the machine at the right price and I'm not interested in marketing any machine over £350. Unfortunately, I don't think that's a problem we're going to be able to solve this year or next." He didn't want the product, he thought it wasn't marketable, and he made his voice heard (and heard publicly). Nakayama was obviously in a bind, and the solution he proposed was what evolved into the 32X at the hands of SOA's engineers. Scot Bayless described Marty Franz's original design for the 32X as "powerful," but to meet the price goal it was pruned down to its final state. Kalinske put his full effort (and a large chunk of money) behind marketing the 32X and appealing to developers; Nakayama set aside a large group of developers in Japan to make games for it, and the same was happening at SOA.

Kalinske and Nakayama weren't stupid. They didn't go to all of this effort to promote the 32X for a quick buck before the Saturn launched. That's not how the console market works. The huge cost of hardware R&D and manufacturing make it a slow game where losses are recouped over years. As Nakayama said, the 32X was meant to be much more. It was meant to carry the US market for the near future.

Why, then, was the Saturn launched in the US in 1995, apparently in contradiction to all of this?

Simply because the 32X was a colossal failure. Kalinske couldnít get developers on board, the games they made in-house were no good, the press was taking a hot shit on it all, and the public generally wasnít interested (well, I bought one, at least).

The first hints of a September 1995 Saturn launch started to appear soon after the 32X release. I can only speculate that Nakayama stepped in at this point and made it clear that something had to be done or a portion of the 32-bit US market would be ceded to Sony without a fight. That something was damage control in the form of rushing the Saturn to market.

What amazing games came out on the The 2nd Of September 1995? Even with out the early launch SEGA America offerings were not the best be that on the 32X or Saturn .

And does one really believe TOM had to tell SGI want to do next and where Nintendo was .... Never mind he should have been demoted on the spot for helping out SEGA rival LOL

Gryson
01-09-2020, 05:46 PM
Finally, I'm kind of curious given everything you said, when do you think Sega had originally planned to release the Saturn the west, assuming that the 32X had been a success? Summer 1996?

I think that would have depended on how successful the 32X was. In the best case scenario, the 32X is adopted by users and developers and maintains a hold on the market for several years. The Saturn isn't needed until sales start to slow.

A big reason for the confusion with what I see as the true purpose of the 32X (that is, as the main console of the US market) is that Sega, once they realized the product was a dud, shifted their stance and started calling it a transitional device and what not. That type of language only came about quite late in the campaign once the Saturn was announced for 1995. Sega had to backtrack and explain why it decided to release two consoles within a year, in apparent self-competition. That "transitional device" language is damage control.


What amazing games came out on the The 2nd Of September 1995?

That's my point... Did you read what I wrote? The Saturn was not originally meant to launch in 1995. There were no games ready.

Team Andromeda
01-09-2020, 06:41 PM
I think that would have depended on how successful the 32X was. In the best case scenario, the 32X is adopted by users and developers and maintains a hold on the market for several years. The Saturn isn't needed until sales start to slow.

A big reason for the confusion with what I see as the true purpose of the 32X (that is, as the main console of the US market) is that Sega, once they realized the product was a dud, shifted their stance and started calling it a transitional device and what not. That type of language only came about quite late in the campaign once the Saturn was announced for 1995. Sega had to backtrack and explain why it decided to release two consoles within a year, in apparent self-competition. That "transitional device" language is damage control.



That's my point... Did you read what I wrote? The Saturn was not originally meant to launch in 1995. There were no games ready.

Tom says the original launch date for the Saturn was the 2nd September 1995. So what amazing games did SEGA America bring out in Sep 1995?

axel
01-09-2020, 09:33 PM
I think that would have depended on how successful the 32X was. In the best case scenario, the 32X is adopted by users and developers and maintains a hold on the market for several years. The Saturn isn't needed until sales start to slow.

A big reason for the confusion with what I see as the true purpose of the 32X (that is, as the main console of the US market) is that Sega, once they realized the product was a dud, shifted their stance and started calling it a transitional device and what not. That type of language only came about quite late in the campaign once the Saturn was announced for 1995. Sega had to backtrack and explain why it decided to release two consoles within a year, in apparent self-competition. That "transitional device" language is damage control.



That's my point... Did you read what I wrote? The Saturn was not originally meant to launch in 1995. There were no games ready.

That strategy really hurt Sega, people who paid full price for a 32X were pissed to see it going for $20 in the bargain bin with a new system about to come out, people who had been on the fence about the 32X were left wondering if the Saturn would be a transition for something else. It was confusing at best, meanwhile Sony is hyping up their first console and Nintendo is producing a string of surprisingly good SNES titles late in its lifespan.

This is where having some level of compatibility would have helped a lot. Imagine if a title like Chaotix had been released as a Genesis game, then it could be sold to a much larger audience with a note on the box that says "works on all Genesis/Mega Drive systems, and if you upgrade to the 32X you get more colors and 3D bonus stages." Then do the same thing with games like Ristar, Sonic 3D Blast, etc. That way they could keep saying "of course we support the 32X" with minimal investment.

gamevet
01-10-2020, 07:11 PM
You would have ended up with a bunch of 2D 32x games with that strategy.

axel
01-10-2020, 08:16 PM
You would have ended up with a bunch of 2D 32x games with that strategy.

Which would have been fine IMO. Get a few good 2D games published, like a new Sonic/Chaotix, a couple one on one fighters, whatever is easy to enhance. Any game that sold well would have given more people an incentive to upgrade to the 32X/Neptune to see the extra features. All of the 1st party Genesis games going forward could have had 32X enhancements, even if it was something minor like extra colors and a bonus stage. Then when it's time to re-release Genesis games on the Saturn, you release the enhanced versions. That way you have continuity between your product lines, versus one looking like a band-aid solution to be quickly forgotten.

gamevet
01-10-2020, 08:55 PM
What you are describing is pretty much what SOJ presented to SOA, before SOA said that it was a bad idea and came up with the 32x.

axel
01-11-2020, 12:47 AM
What you are describing is pretty much what SOJ presented to SOA, before SOA said that it was a bad idea and came up with the 32x.

Yup and in the long run SOJ was right. The 32X we got was much better technologically but it meant spreading resources very thin. If you start with the idea of enhanced ports you can start putting 32X-specific features into games as soon as the specs are finalized, then when the console launches you have a library of compatible software (you could still make exclusive 3D titles too.)

gamevet
01-11-2020, 01:26 AM
That makes no sense at all. Nobody is going to pay for a console upgrade, just for more colors. I was at least interested in 32X, until information on the Saturn and PlayStation started arriving. I would have much rather had Sega stay the course with enhanced carts for the Genesis, then either choice. It would have been much cooler to have the Saturn launch with an arcade perfect port of Star Wars arcade, along with Space Harrier and Shadow Squadron. Give us a pumped up version of Knuckles Chaotix on Saturn and get North American titles ready for a 1995 launch of the Saturn.

Heresy Dragon
01-11-2020, 03:49 AM
The problem was that nearly every 3rd party title came out much later on Saturn than Playstation. Now, were there contracts wherein Sony paid the publisher $$$ to get it earlier? Probably. Bigger reason was that Saturn was a horrid system to develop on, which delayed released beyond PSX and PC, not to mention SNES in some cases.
I agree with all of your points except this one, Greg2600. The Saturn was not a horrid system to develop for. Developers were used to having to learn the hardware to create games for it, which is the approach SEGA took with the Saturn. However, through the use of C and development libraries, Sony made the PS1 much easier to make games for that developers got used to that method and saw Saturn development as more challenging in comparison. If there's an easier way to do something, humans will take that approach instead. Why spend months learning the Saturn system architecture when you could have created at least one full game and had it released on the PS1 instead? Hence Sony got most games first. If it was just that the hardware was difficult to work with, then both PS2 and PS3 would have been flops because those systems had really strange hardware.

Team Andromeda
01-11-2020, 03:58 AM
Yup and in the long run SOJ was right. The 32X we got was much better technologically but it meant spreading resources very thin. If you start with the idea of enhanced ports you can start putting 32X-specific features into games as soon as the specs are finalized, then when the console launches you have a library of compatible software (you could still make exclusive 3D titles too.)

That's why the Jupiter project was the better idea (well for me) and the one that SEGA America/Europe and Japan should have backed. You have a much cheaper main system and where it doesn't split developer resources or pipelines; it's basically the same system only one with less main Ram and a CD drive. It could have been a lot like the early days of PC-CD ROM on the Dos. You have the CD versions with all the bells and whistles or the cut back floppy version, buts its still same game using the same engine and mostly the same resources
Like how you had a slightly cut back 15 floppy version of Returns To Zork or the CD Rom version. And anyone who would have bought the Jupiter would have the ability to upgrade when CD-Rom costs came really down and all their games would work on the Saturn. So wouldn't feel so ripped off either. I also felt that with the Mega CD SEGA should have looked into buying CORE design, but foolishly SEGA allowed US Gold to invest in CORE before Edios came along to buy them outright


I also feel that when SEGA Japan launched the Multi-Tap in Japan when Victory Goal came out. SEGA should have ported Revenge Of Death Adder and Arabian Fight has a double package to show off not only the 2D might but supports the Multi-Tap with 4 player action

Heresy Dragon
01-11-2020, 04:14 AM
Nakayama also never "cut the Genesis off" - he continued to praise the high sales of the Genesis throughout 1995 and 1996 and pledged more support for it.

Given that SEGA was bleeding money by focusing on and supporting so many systems at once, Nakayama did cut off support for the Genesis and all other SEGA platforms in 1996 so that the company could focus on the Saturn (as outlined in Sam Petus' book). Unfortunately this had the opposite effect Nakayama intended. By cutting off support for all legacy hardware, he cut off all financial income from these still viable sources, and shunned consumers who still played these systems. Look at what Nintendo did: they supported the SNES until 1998. SEGA could have done something similar with the Mega Drive while still cutting support for less profitable systems like the 32X and outdated ones like the Master System. But, since the Saturn was doing so well in Japan, he thought that would be enough to keep the company afloat. Unfortunately, Japan is only a small market in comparison to the US, where the Genesis was still going strong.

Heresy Dragon
01-11-2020, 04:29 AM
I'm picturing it like if you bought a game for the 32X it might run in 256 colors with gouraud shading, you put the same cart (plus a CD) into your Saturn and now it's thousands of colors, a higher framerate, textures and better audio. That way people could buy the 32X knowing it's going to get lots of new games and there's an upgrade path to the Saturn whenever they want. Obviously both consoles would have had to be redesigned to make this feasible. But that way you can sell to both the high and low end of the market.

Great idea, axel. That was the kind of thing I thought SEGA were attempting to do during this period, but obviously it turned out differently. It wouldn't have been too hard to implement though, given the 32X and Saturn shared the same VDPs.

Team Andromeda
01-11-2020, 04:36 AM
Unfortunately this had the opposite effect Nakayama intended. By cutting off support for all legacy hardware, he cut off all financial income from these still viable sources, and shunned consumers who still played these systems. Look at what Nintendo did: they supported the SNES until 1998.

One needs to bear in mind that the Snes launched 2 years after the Mega Drive and also if not for a year delay for the N64 hardware, Nintendo support for the Snes would have ended sooner. The Mega Drive came out in 88 or 89 in the USA. Come 1996/7 it really time to stop developing on the system more so why you had warehouses full of unsold carts with the 16-bit market oversaturated.

I think people were more than ready to move on myself

Heresy Dragon
01-11-2020, 05:35 AM
Simply because the 32X was a colossal failure.

That's not entirely true. I've read that the launch of the 32X and its run into the holiday season of 1994 was considered successful at the time. It was only after the holidays when there was a dearth of games for the system that things began to look grim for the 32X. It's quite possible this prompted Nakayama's decision to launch the Saturn early to, as you say, catch the 32-bit market before it was ceded to Sony.

Thank you for the insightful post, BTW.

zyrobs
01-11-2020, 07:48 AM
I agree with all of your points except this one, Greg2600. The Saturn was not a horrid system to develop for. Developers were used to having to learn the hardware to create games for it, which is the approach SEGA took with the Saturn. However, through the use of C and development libraries, Sony made the PS1 much easier to make games for that developers got used to that method and saw Saturn development as more challenging in comparison. If there's an easier way to do something, humans will take that approach instead. Why spend months learning the Saturn system architecture when you could have created at least one full game and had it released on the PS1 instead? Hence Sony got most games first. If it was just that the hardware was difficult to work with, then both PS2 and PS3 would have been flops because those systems had really strange hardware.

The Saturn was difficult to develop for even if you spent months on "figuring it out", the VDP1/2 combination had a dozen gotchas where turning on one useful mode meant that you had to turn off 3 other necessary functions. Like, you want to put a polygon behind a background - but this requires you to force palette mode sprites which means you have to precalculate the colour of every pixel of every texture, and any shading whatsoever is only possible due to a hardware bug and requires *even more* precalculated pixel colours. Per texture.

It was an interesting technical challenge to get the best looking graphics given all the limitations, and it did give us some very impressive looking games that only looked the way they did because they took advantage of the Saturns strengths (Panzer Dragoons, Guardian Heroes, Radiant Silvergun). But as a console to develop games for, it sucked.

Also didn't help that the PSX GPU was up to 6 times faster *and* did not have any limitation on what effects you can do in what mode, except for the memory cost.


Great idea, axel. That was the kind of thing I thought SEGA were attempting to do during this period, but obviously it turned out differently. It wouldn't have been too hard to implement though, given the 32X and Saturn shared the same VDPs.

The 32x and Saturn VDPs were nothing alike. I think it's kind of a stretch to even call the 32x VDP as a VDP. What could it do, beyond filling rectangular areas with a given byte value?

Heresy Dragon
01-11-2020, 08:17 AM
The Saturn was difficult to develop for even if you spent months on "figuring it out", the VDP1/2 combination had a dozen gotchas where turning on one useful mode meant that you had to turn off 3 other necessary functions. Like, you want to put a polygon behind a background - but this requires you to force palette mode sprites which means you have to precalculate the colour of every pixel of every texture, and any shading whatsoever is only possible due to a hardware bug and requires *even more* precalculated pixel colours. Per texture.

It was an interesting technical challenge to get the best looking graphics given all the limitations, and it did give us some very impressive looking games that only looked the way they did because they took advantage of the Saturns strengths (Panzer Dragoons, Guardian Heroes, Radiant Silvergun). But as a console to develop games for, it sucked.

Also didn't help that the PSX GPU was up to 6 times faster *and* did not have any limitation on what effects you can do in what mode, except for the memory cost.

How do you know this? Have you developed for the Saturn yourself?

I only ask because there were many developers out there, such as AM2 and Lobotomy, who created games that were graphically excellent. I don't doubt that the Saturn was challenging to work with, but how come some developers produced what some people call "miracles" while others couldn't? To me, that suggests developers whose games were lacklustre graphically probably didn't put in the time to learn the machine like people such as AM2 and Lobotomy probably did.

Of course, having good development libraries later on helped developers produce better games later in the system's life, but initially you had to understand how the machine worked at a hardware level to be able to produce something good. And, given the PS2 and PS3 were similar nightmares to program for, how come developers never gave up with those systems but they did with the Saturn? Is this simply because Sony provided better support for their developers?


The 32x and Saturn VDPs were nothing alike. I think it's kind of a stretch to even call the 32x VDP as a VDP. What could it do, beyond filling rectangular areas with a given byte value?

Sorry, I meant the SH2s.

Heresy Dragon
01-11-2020, 08:23 AM
One needs to bear in mind that the Snes launched 2 years after the Mega Drive and also if not for a year delay for the N64 hardware, Nintendo support for the Snes would have ended sooner. The Mega Drive came out in 88 or 89 in the USA. Come 1996/7 it really time to stop developing on the system more so why you had warehouses full of unsold carts with the 16-bit market oversaturated.

I think people were more than ready to move on myself

As Tom Kalinske has said, the Genesis only really started taking off in the West in 1991, which meant that by 94/95 it still had some life and potential left in it. The system still had a strong user base - SEGA could have continued making Genesis games for a few more years while they rolled out the Saturn in Japan and later in the West.

Moreover, the PS2 came out in 2000 and the last game released for it was in 2014, so there is precedence for consoles surviving beyond the generation they were created as part of.

zyrobs
01-11-2020, 09:28 AM
How do you know this? Have you developed for the Saturn yourself?

I only ask because there were many developers out there, such as AM2 and Lobotomy, who created games that were graphically excellent. I don't doubt that the Saturn was challenging to work with, but how come some developers produced what some people call "miracles" while others couldn't? To me, that suggests developers whose games were lacklustre graphically probably didn't put in the time to learn the machine like people such as AM2 and Lobotomy probably did.

Of course, having good development libraries later on helped developers produce better games later in the system's life, but initially you had to understand how the machine worked at a hardware level to be able to produce something good. And, given the PS2 and PS3 were similar nightmares to program for, how come developers never gave up with those systems but they did with the Saturn? Is this simply because Sony provided better support for their developers?

Plenty of (official) documentation is available, as well as many devkits, if you want to check how the hardware works. Some hardware problems you have to work around are:
- VDP1 is slow
- You can only do transparency or gouraud shading with RGB colour polygons
- you can only put polygons behind backgrounds, or make them transparent on a background, if you use palette colours (but then you have no sprite transparency or shading)
- gouraud shading with palettes works through a hardware bug, but limits you to 127 shading steps maximum, and you have to pre-calculate the shaded colours in the palette. With max 2048 colours, this limits what you can put lightning on.
- any high-res mode forces you to use 8-bit colours, making any shading impractical
- sprite to background transparency will make every sprite between the two objects disappear (they have been overwritten before)
- the VDP2 can do many backgrounds, but only two can rotate+scale, only two can scale, the last two can only do 256 colours max, and if you use the 2nd rotating background you cannot use any of the scrolling ones - so it's either 1 rotating + 2 scaling + 2 scrolling BG or 2 rotating BG, total

So you can use either polygon transparency or background transparency, but not both. If you use polygon transparency, you can only use low-res polygons, and you can't put polygons behind/under backgrounds, the entire framebuffer has 1 priority. Unless you mix RGB and 16-bit palette sprites, but even then you can only put palette sprites behind/under backgrounds, and you can't mix those with transparent polygons - but you can make them transparent to backgrounds, but this will erase any other polygons between the polygon and the background, and you can only use shading with them if you pre-calculate their shaded palette entries (all the shading does is increase the pixel value from -128 to +127, put the shaded colours in those palette entries and you get lightning)Ö If you want to use high-res, even medium res, you then only have 8-bit palette polygons, so 256 colours max, unless you want to put a sprite behind/above a background, or make them transparent - then you have to sacrifice colour fidelity for transparency enable bits or priority bits and now you are talking 128 or 64 colours max... And if you want to make big 3d games, you need as much texture space as possible, so you limit yourself to 4-bit Colour Look-Up Table textures (which is not the same as a palette, the palette is on the VDP2, the CLUTs are VDP1 virtual palettes of a sort...). Oh, gouraud shading needs to be pre-calculated and uploaded as a shading table to VRAM, even if you are in 15-bit mode.

And you use quads which means you either need to build special optimized models with minimal triangles, and/or convert textures so they look right on quads that have two corners coalesced to make a triangle. Oh and you can't use UV texturing, so every texture has to be separately loaded as a grid of a sort. Also if you make a quad with two sides inverted, you can draw a bowtie, but any shading you use can get screwed up if you start drawing concave quadrilaterals.

Meanwhile the developer tools include a C compiler for SH2, some basic tools to read the CD, and two books on all the VDP1 functions and VDP2 registers (580 pages total).

This is not even getting into the CPU sides of either console, which would be just more of the same. Point is, the Saturn was fundamentally limited in what it could output graphically, even if you did as much as you could to push the CPUs to the limit. Developers like Lobotomy and AM2 poured their hearts and souls into it to get the amount of graphics they got, despite the limitations of the hardware - what they pulled out in the limited time they had did amount to nothing short of a miracle.

Figuring out how to push the system on the CPU side means nothing if your GPU is broken.

Gryson
01-11-2020, 09:42 AM
It would have been much cooler to have the Saturn launch with an arcade perfect port of Star Wars arcade, along with Space Harrier and Shadow Squadron. Give us a pumped up version of Knuckles Chaotix on Saturn and get North American titles ready for a 1995 launch of the Saturn.

Just imagine if Sega had known that the Saturn would be selling for $299 right after launch in Oct 1995, or $249 in March 1996, or $200 in May 1996. In the end, the whole concern about price came to nothing. Granted, in early 1994, it was unimaginable that Sega would sell the Saturn for under $400 (launch price in Japan was ~$450).


Given that SEGA was bleeding money by focusing on and supporting so many systems at once, Nakayama did cut off support for the Genesis and all other SEGA platforms in 1996 so that the company could focus on the Saturn (as outlined in Sam Petus' book). Unfortunately this had the opposite effect Nakayama intended. By cutting off support for all legacy hardware, he cut off all financial income from these still viable sources, and shunned consumers who still played these systems.


As Tom Kalinske has said, the Genesis only really started taking off in the West in 1991, which meant that by 94/95 it still had some life and potential left in it. The system still had a strong user base - SEGA could have continued making Genesis games for a few more years while they rolled out the Saturn in Japan and later in the West.

This isn't supported by the facts. Bear with me. First, Sam Pettus's book is not reliable. He wrote it at a time when not many sources were available and he used almost no Japanese sources. In reality, Nakayama continued to support the Genesis until he stepped down. The evidence of this is plentiful. When the Genesis sold really well during the 1995 holiday season (surprising everybody), he is quoted in a Japanese newspaper as saying that Sega will be putting renewed efforts into the Genesis. In 1996, he is quoted saying he dedicated a Japanese development team to the Genesis, and they ported Virtua Fighter 2, which was released at the start of 1997. SOA continued to publish Genesis titles in 1997. Sega Channel, which was a pet project of Nakayama, continued until the end of 1998 (in 1997 he is quoted as saying that it finally, to his great satisfaction, turned a profit), and the Nomad sold until 1999. Japan developed the Genesis 3 and licensed it to Majesco in 1998. The Genesis sold at least 1 million units in 1997. NPD game sales data from 1995/1996 suggests that even though the SNES had DKC that sold hugely, the Genesis matched it spread out through its (primarily sports) titles.

None of that fits into an interpretation where Sega cut off support for the Genesis early on. The Genesis was undeniably still recognized as a point of profit for the company.

SOA even produced more Genesis games in 1996 than Saturn games (where by 'produce' I mean they developed in-house or contracted with a US developer and then published).


That's not entirely true. I've read that the launch of the 32X and its run into the holiday season of 1994 was considered successful at the time. It was only after the holidays when there was a dearth of games for the system that things began to look grim for the 32X. It's quite possible this prompted Nakayama's decision to launch the Saturn early to, as you say, catch the 32-bit market before it was ceded to Sony.

Thank you for the insightful post, BTW.

Let me be clear - when I say the 32X was a failure, I don't mean how many units it sold at launch. I mean as a source of profit for the company. Hardware sales ultimately don't mean anything, since the company sold the hardware at cost. Profit was entirely derived from game sales. By the time of the 32X launch, Sega would have likely known that the 32X was not going to be successful, simply because it did not get almost any 3rd party support. The company probably had a good sense of what games would be sold up to a year in advance, and they would have been able to see that the 32X was not going to be able to turn a profit. They could have doubled down on it and put their own development efforts behind it full blast in the hopes that 3rd parties jumped on later, but the writing was on the wall by then.

Team Andromeda
01-11-2020, 10:33 AM
As Tom Kalinske has said, the Genesis only really started taking off in the West in 1991, which meant that by 94/95 it still had some life and potential left in it. The system still had a strong user base - SEGA could have continued making Genesis games for a few more years while they rolled out the Saturn in Japan and later in the West.

Even SEGA Japan was still making software for the Mega Drive in 1995. That still doesn't change the fact that the Snes/Famicom came out nearly 2 years after the Mega Drive and so it should stand to reason that is got 2 more years support after the Mega Drive, more so with a delay to N64 Hardware making Nintendo take out a 2 page add in magazines and how Dinoraurs will fly, after the planned launch date of 1995 had to be put back. The Mega Drive came out in 88 and the Saturn in 94. That's a longer main system life span tham the PS had (given the PS2 came out in 2000 and the PS in 94) and the same life span as the PS2 and even that was because BluRay delayed the PS3 by a year.

Not that there was much of a market in 1995/6. Despite a huge user base games like Comix Zone, The Ooze just didn't sell in great numbers and even Sonic saw huge declines in sales by the time of S&K. 6 to 7 years is more than enough for any console before you look to release its successor.

Team Andromeda
01-11-2020, 10:46 AM
This is not even getting into the CPU sides of either console, which would be just more of the same. Point is, the Saturn was fundamentally limited in what it could output graphically, even if you did as much as you could to push the CPUs to the limit. Developers like Lobotomy and AM2 poured their hearts and souls into it to get the amount of graphics they got, despite the limitations of the hardware - what they pulled out in the limited time they had did amount to nothing short of a miracle.

Figuring out how to push the system on the CPU side means nothing if your GPU is broken.

I think more credit should be given to developers that pushed the system as well. Team Ninja more or less out did Virtual Fighter II and also Tekken with Dead Or Alive. Climax did some really amazing stuff in Dark Saviour, very impressive given there was such a small team and it was an early game. Zoom did some super impressive stuff with Zero Divide. Game Arts Grandia was so impressive, more so given the lack of any polygon folding or break up, Lemon did some nice stuff with Scorcher and where in the hell did Cynus come from with Savaki????

But probably the best example was Radiant Silvergun; A game that pushed the Saturn hard and all from a team of 6 people in little over a year and where the modelling tools, were downloaded off the internet for free. Treasure not only showed the world what the system could do, but also showed up so many bigger teams. It was like Treasure giving other developers the 2 fingers

Gryson
01-11-2020, 11:35 AM
Bored, so some simple analysis of NPD sales data for Top 25 games from May 1996 (https://www.neogaf.com/threads/new-monthly-gaf-feature-top25-a-decade-ago-may-1996.105999/):

Number of games on Top 25 list:

SNES: 5
Genesis: 10

Cumulative number of games sold to-date for games in Top 25:

SNES: 1.79 million
Genesis: 3.21 million

Genesis was well alive and healthy in the middle of 1996. I think people are deceived by the few really strong titles that the SNES had (e.g. DKC). Genesis was overall doing well and continuing to be supported and promoted heavily (https://segaretro.org/Press_release:_1996-11-12:_Sonic_the_Hedgehog_returns_to_Sega_Genesis_wit h_the_need_for_speed_in_%22Sonic_3D_Blast%22) by Sega into 1997.

Team Andromeda
01-11-2020, 12:27 PM
Bored, so some simple analysis of NPD sales data for Top 25 games from May 1996 (https://www.neogaf.com/threads/new-monthly-gaf-feature-top25-a-decade-ago-may-1996.105999/):

Number of games on Top 25 list:

SNES: 5
Genesis: 10

Cumulative number of games sold to-date for games in Top 25:

SNES: 1.79 million
Genesis: 3.21 million

Genesis was well alive and healthy in the middle of 1996. I think people are deceived by the few really strong titles that the SNES had (e.g. DKC). Genesis was overall doing well and continuing to be supported and promoted heavily (https://segaretro.org/Press_release:_1996-11-12:_Sonic_the_Hedgehog_returns_to_Sega_Genesis_wit h_the_need_for_speed_in_%22Sonic_3D_Blast%22) by Sega into 1997.

A massive userbase advantage and only 5 titles in the charts and most of them by 3rd parties. Looking over it's shows SEGA didn't kill off the Mega Drive early . I wounder how many PS2 games were in the charts even after the PS3 and 360 launched .

I see for that even in the 1st quarter of 2007 the PS 2 sold more games than the PS 3 or 360 and 4 of the best selling games for the whole of 2007...One wonders why SONY brought out the PS3, so soon after the PS2 ..

axel
01-11-2020, 01:31 PM
That makes no sense at all. Nobody is going to pay for a console upgrade, just for more colors. I was at least interested in 32X, until information on the Saturn and PlayStation started arriving. I would have much rather had Sega stay the course with enhanced carts for the Genesis, then either choice. It would have been much cooler to have the Saturn launch with an arcade perfect port of Star Wars arcade, along with Space Harrier and Shadow Squadron. Give us a pumped up version of Knuckles Chaotix on Saturn and get North American titles ready for a 1995 launch of the Saturn.

Trying to support three home consoles at once is what doesn't make sense, once you go down that road you have to compromise somewhere. I'm not saying the 32X should have been JUST more colors. I'm saying to economize resources they should have made either the 32X games playable on the Genesis in more limited form (just like Gameboy games that get enhanced on the SGB/GBC) or build 32X compatibility into the Saturn. I think the first option is better because making the Saturn backward compatible would have meant dropping features to include a modified cart slot, 32X VDP and Z80. But I agree none of these are ideal.


Just imagine if Sega had known that the Saturn would be selling for $299 right after launch in Oct 1995, or $249 in March 1996, or $200 in May 1996. In the end, the whole concern about price came to nothing. Granted, in early 1994, it was unimaginable that Sega would sell the Saturn for under $400 (launch price in Japan was ~$450).

That wasn't by design though -- Sony was cutting prices aggressively so they had no choice.

Leynos
01-11-2020, 01:52 PM
If I had my way with SEGA back then, 32X never would have existed and Saturn's cart slot would also play Genesis games and the CD drive BC with SCD if at all possible. Then again I'd also want the Saturn to be much easier hardware to develop for. Better marketing. No surprise launch. Sorry just stating the obvious. I won't lie tho when I first got my Saturn I tried to put a Genesis cart in it.

Gryson
01-11-2020, 02:16 PM
That wasn't by design though -- Sony was cutting prices aggressively so they had no choice.

Right. Initially, with how much Sega was losing on each unit sold, they had to sell something like 5 games per console to break even. That only got worse as they dropped price, although eventually they developed a Saturn that was cheaper to manufacture. But yeah, they would've had to have a really strong showing to survive the price war with Sony.

Also, that reminds me of something I think Ken Kutaragi said - he said that Sony could have dropped the price of the PlayStation so low at launch that it would have immediately knocked Sega out of the competition, but that he didn't think it was necessary so they (relatively) slowly dropped price and allowed Sega to keep pace.

Team Andromeda
01-11-2020, 02:26 PM
Right. Initially, with how much Sega was losing on each unit sold, they had to sell something like 5 games per console to break even. .

What was the best selling game in 2007, in the USA? I think it was Madden on the PS2.
So why did SONY rush out the PS3 in 2006? More so given SONY was losing so much per PS3 sold. That's to look over how even SONY couldn't support both the PS Vita and PS4 with software, while SEGA was expected to support the Mega Drive, Master System, Game Gear, Arcades, 32 X, 32X CD and Sega Saturn

turboxray
01-11-2020, 02:32 PM
Bored, so some simple analysis of NPD sales data for Top 25 games from May 1996 (https://www.neogaf.com/threads/new-monthly-gaf-feature-top25-a-decade-ago-may-1996.105999/):

Number of games on Top 25 list:

SNES: 5
Genesis: 10

Cumulative number of games sold to-date for games in Top 25:

SNES: 1.79 million
Genesis: 3.21 million

Genesis was well alive and healthy in the middle of 1996. I think people are deceived by the few really strong titles that the SNES had (e.g. DKC). Genesis was overall doing well and continuing to be supported and promoted heavily (https://segaretro.org/Press_release:_1996-11-12:_Sonic_the_Hedgehog_returns_to_Sega_Genesis_wit h_the_need_for_speed_in_%22Sonic_3D_Blast%22) by Sega into 1997.
Okay.. Ms. Pacman that came out in 1991 for the Genesis... sold 13,000 copies in 1996?! What?
Sports games are a poor indication of system's 'life' IMO. I knew of a LOT of teens that had a Genesis and only played sports games - nothing else. They weren't gamers, or representative of the systems audience.

Gryson
01-11-2020, 02:45 PM
Okay.. Ms. Pacman that came out in 1991 for the Genesis... sold 13,000 copies in 1996?! What?
Sports games are a poor indication of system's 'life' IMO. I knew of a LOT of teens that had a Genesis and only played sports games - nothing else. They weren't gamers, or representative of the systems audience.

Ms Pac Man was one of those budget titles that sold for $20 or less and was always selling high. Majesco even re-released it at some point.

I'm not sure what definition of 'life' you mean. Specifically, I mean that the Genesis was continuing to turn a profit for Sega in 1996 and that Sega continued to support and promote it. Sports games were pretty much the heart of Genesis sales going back to 1993. They'd always be dominating the sales charts. That was, after all, SOA's main marketing strategy.

turboxray
01-11-2020, 03:02 PM
I'm not sure what definition of 'life' you mean. Specifically, I mean that the Genesis was continuing to turn a profit for Sega in 1996 and that Sega continued to support and promote it. Sports games were pretty much the heart of Genesis sales going back to 1993. They'd always be dominating the sales charts. That was, after all, SOA's main marketing strategy.
I mean technically, sure. I just don't consider 'sports' only consumer audience to be representative of the main stream system audience - regardless of their purchasing power. It's no different than the CoD only players of the PS3/360 era. If it a system is 'alive' but the general demographic is reduced to budget and sports consumers.. what is that really indicating? That doesn't tell me the system is strong, it tells me it's dying. And yes, there's going to be kids 'stuck' with retro systems at the tail end of its life, but a two year overlap in new tech? Technically, 3 or so if you count 3DO. The only thing keeping it from tanking sharply is the limited disposable income of kids and teens. The envy and desire is always going to be the new stuff. Alive and healthy, is not what I would describe the Genesis in 1996 (nor the SNES). Some profit still left in it? Sure. But I would say more like on life support, because things this like don't have nice linear tapper offs.

Gryson
01-11-2020, 03:09 PM
I mean technically, sure. I just don't consider 'sports' only consumer audience to be representative of the main stream system audience - regardless of their purchasing power. It's no different than the CoD only players of the PS3/360 era. If it a system is 'alive' but the general demographic is reduced to budget and sports consumers.. what is that really indicating? That doesn't tell me the system is strong, it tells me it's dying. And yes, there's going to be kids 'stuck' with retro systems at the tail end of its life, but a two year overlap in new tech? Technically, 3 or so if you count 3DO. The only thing keeping it from tanking sharply is the limited disposable income of kids and teens. The envy and desire is always going to be the new stuff. Alive and healthy, is not what I would describe the Genesis in 1996 (nor the SNES). Some profit still left in it? Sure. But I would say more like on life support, because things this like don't have nice linear tapper offs.

I use the language "alive and healthy" to counter claims that Sega discontinued development and promotion of the Genesis in 1994 or 1995 (or whatever the particular claim might be). The Genesis sold more than 1 million units in 1996 in the US.

Of the Genesis games listed on the linked NPD data, only 2 are sports games. These are outsold overall by Mortal Kombat 3, Vectorman, Toy Story, X-Men 2, and others. It's subjective, but that doesn't really seem like the system is on life support to me. The system and games were still selling well.

gamevet
01-11-2020, 03:48 PM
Trying to support three home consoles at once is what doesn't make sense, once you go down that road you have to compromise somewhere. I'm not saying the 32X should have been JUST more colors. I'm saying to economize resources they should have made either the 32X games playable on the Genesis in more limited form (just like Gameboy games that get enhanced on the SGB/GBC) or build 32X compatibility into the Saturn. I think the first option is better because making the Saturn backward compatible would have meant dropping features to include a modified cart slot, 32X VDP and Z80. But I agree none of these are ideal.


You would of had to fit a sprite based version of a game and a polygon version of a game on the same cart. The carts would have been expensive. Corpse Killer could get away with having the Sega CD and 32X game on the same disc, because of how much can be stored on CD.



I use the language "alive and healthy" to counter claims that Sega discontinued development and promotion of the Genesis in 1994 or 1995 (or whatever the particular claim might be). The Genesis sold more than 1 million units in 1996 in the US.

Of the Genesis games listed on the linked NPD data, only 2 are sports games. These are outsold overall by Mortal Kombat 3, Vectorman, Toy Story, X-Men 2, and others. It's subjective, but that doesn't really seem like the system is on life support to me. The system and games were still selling well.

It is May, so you're not going to see a ton of Hockey or Football games on the charts in the spring.

axel
01-11-2020, 09:55 PM
You would of had to fit a sprite based version of a game and a polygon version of a game on the same cart. The carts would have been expensive. Corpse Killer could get away with having the Sega CD and 32X game on the same disc, because of how much can be stored on CD

I agree 3D games wouldn't work. But take something like Comix Zone, adding a lot of colors could really enhance the visuals. Or Ristar. Maybe add a 3D bonus stage just like Chaotix but keep the rest in 2D. I have no way of knowing if that would have helped but considering what did happen it's hard to believe things could have gone worse.

Heresy Dragon
01-11-2020, 10:24 PM
Even SEGA Japan was still making software for the Mega Drive in 1995. That still doesn't change the fact that the Snes/Famicom came out nearly 2 years after the Mega Drive and so it should stand to reason that is got 2 more years support after the Mega Drive, more so with a delay to N64 Hardware making Nintendo take out a 2 page add in magazines and how Dinoraurs will fly, after the planned launch date of 1995 had to be put back. The Mega Drive came out in 88 and the Saturn in 94. That's a longer main system life span tham the PS had (given the PS2 came out in 2000 and the PS in 94) and the same life span as the PS2 and even that was because BluRay delayed the PS3 by a year.

Not that there was much of a market in 1995/6. Despite a huge user base games like Comix Zone, The Ooze just didn't sell in great numbers and even Sonic saw huge declines in sales by the time of S&K. 6 to 7 years is more than enough for any console before you look to release its successor.


The last PS1 game released was in 2005, not 2000. The PS3 came out in 2007, not 2014, when the last PS2 game was released. These consoles had much longer lifespans than you believe. Just because a successor is released, doesn't mean that that console dies on that day. As you said, games were still released for the Mega Drive after 1995 even though the Saturn was already out and the new console generation had started, meaning the Mega Drive wasn't "dead" just because SEGA was now supporting the Saturn.

Yes, the Saturn and PS1 were the main consoles come 1995, but that doesn't mean there weren't people still playing their Mega Drives and SNESs during this time - it was just a smaller market, much like the Master System and NES were while the Mega Drive and SNES were the main consoles during the early 90s. Me and many of my friends got our Master Systems in 1991 or 92 and there were still huge selections of games for sale for the system in the shops until the mid 90s. There's no reason SEGA couldn't have done something similar with the Mega Drive too until the late 90s.

Heresy Dragon
01-11-2020, 10:31 PM
Also, that reminds me of something I think Ken Kutaragi said - he said that Sony could have dropped the price of the PlayStation so low at launch that it would have immediately knocked Sega out of the competition, but that he didn't think it was necessary so they (relatively) slowly dropped price and allowed Sega to keep pace.

That just shows how arrogant Ken Kutaragi could be. Visionary he might have been at the time, but he sure knew how to piss people off. It's a small wonder Sony accepted his proposal for them to make their own console based on his design of the PS1.

axel
01-11-2020, 10:52 PM
The last PS1 game released was in 2005, not 2000. The PS3 came out in 2007, not 2014, when the last PS2 game was released. These consoles had much longer lifespans than you believe. Just because a successor is released, doesn't mean that that console dies on that day. As you said, games were still released for the Mega Drive after 1995 even though the Saturn was already out and the new console generation had started, meaning the Mega Drive wasn't "dead" just because SEGA was now supporting the Saturn.

Yes, the Saturn and PS1 were the main consoles come 1995, but that doesn't mean there weren't people still playing their Mega Drives and SNESs during this time - it was just a smaller market, much like the Master System and NES were while the Mega Drive and SNES were the main consoles during the early 90s. Me and many of my friends got our Master Systems in 1991 or 92 and there were still huge selections of games for sale for the system in the shops until the mid 90s. There's no reason SEGA couldn't have done something similar with the Mega Drive too until the late 90s.

Is there a list of the last first-party games by console? Third parties tend to keep going much longer, like how Tectoy kept making SMS games until 1997 or Ubisoft just published a new Wii game a couple months ago. With first parties it's usually over within 2-3 years after the next generation comes out.

The PS2 may be the exception to the rule because it's still the best selling console of all time, I felt like I saw it everywhere. Also the Neo Geo had 14 years of first-party support, but not really your typical console.

gamevet
01-12-2020, 12:21 AM
I agree 3D games wouldn't work. But take something like Comix Zone, adding a lot of colors could really enhance the visuals. Or Ristar. Maybe add a 3D bonus stage just like Chaotix but keep the rest in 2D. I have no way of knowing if that would have helped but considering what did happen it's hard to believe things could have gone worse.

Again, asking people to buy a slightly upgraded Genesis, just to get more colors doesn't make sense at all. Who is that audience?

Say this supposed console was $150. Would you have been willing to spend that for a slight upgrade over the hardware you already have?

If you ask me, Sega should have done something simular to what Nintendo did with the N64. They put out StarFox 64 with the RAM jumper and then released games that supported the extra RAM. Sega could have put out Virtua Racing with an included (more powerful) SVP cartridge, and then released games that supported that cartridge interface. Another band aid console, or expensive add-on wasn't needed.

axel
01-12-2020, 12:37 AM
Again, asking people to buy a slightly upgraded Genesis, just to get more colors doesn't make sense at all. Who is that audience?

Say this supposed console was $150. Would you have been willing to spend that for a slight upgrade over the hardware you already have?

If you ask me, Sega should have done something simular to what Nintendo did with the N64. They put out StarFox 64 with the RAM jumper and then released games that supported the extra RAM. Sega could have put out Virtua Racing with an included (more powerful) SVP cartridge, and then released games that supported that cartridge interface. Another band aid console, or expensive add-on wasn't needed.

No I wouldn't but that isn't what I'm suggesting lol. I'm not saying to make any change to the 32X as it was. I'm saying once it was designed every new first party Genesis game should have had a few 32X-specific features. That way it doesn't come off looking like a temporary band-aid solution and Sega can legitimately claim they are standing behind their products. It would have cost a bit more per game to do this, but to introduce a new system and then drop it months later damages a company's reputation.

gamevet
01-12-2020, 12:45 AM
No I wouldn't but that isn't what I'm suggesting lol. I'm not saying to make any change to the 32X as it was. I'm saying once it was designed every new first party Genesis game should have had a few 32X-specific features. That way it doesn't come off looking like a temporary band-aid solution and Sega can legitimately claim they are standing behind their products. It would have cost a bit more per game to do this, but to introduce a new system and then drop it months later damages a company's reputation.

Yes, but there is no way that the Genesis is going to handle anything remotely close to Star Wars Arcade, short of making a seperate program with a sprite based version of the game. You're basically going to have to have 2 seperate programs on the same cart. It's not like Rogue Squadron on the N64, where those that have the RAM expansion pack will get a higher resolution version of the game, because it has the added higher res textures on the cart.

Black_Tiger
01-12-2020, 01:56 AM
You might be able toget away with a reasonable sized bi-compatible rom if all of the assets are Genesis spec and the 32X mode adds additional layering or objects or scales/rotates Genesis assets. Even just adding 32X sound samples would go a long way for Genesis games.

zyrobs
01-12-2020, 03:17 AM
I mean technically, sure. I just don't consider 'sports' only consumer audience to be representative of the main stream system audience - regardless of their purchasing power. It's no different than the CoD only players of the PS3/360 era. If it a system is 'alive' but the general demographic is reduced to budget and sports consumers.. what is that really indicating? That doesn't tell me the system is strong, it tells me it's dying. And yes, there's going to be kids 'stuck' with retro systems at the tail end of its life, but a two year overlap in new tech? Technically, 3 or so if you count 3DO. The only thing keeping it from tanking sharply is the limited disposable income of kids and teens. The envy and desire is always going to be the new stuff. Alive and healthy, is not what I would describe the Genesis in 1996 (nor the SNES). Some profit still left in it? Sure. But I would say more like on life support, because things this like don't have nice linear tapper offs.

Things like CoD and sports games can be system sellers. Xbox 360 had nothing but military shooters plus Idolmaster and Lost Planet for its first few years, and the new Fifa when the PS2 came out made everyones jaws drop to the floor. When the first "nextgen" showcase demos came out for the PS3/X360 generation, it was a demo video of Madden. Even for the Genesis, one of Tom Kalinskes tactic for gaining the US market was adopting more sports titles.

Team Andromeda
01-12-2020, 07:12 AM
The last PS1 game released was in 2005, not 2000. The PS3 came out in 2007, not 2014, when the last PS2 game was released. These consoles had much longer lifespans than you believe. Just because a successor is released, doesn't mean that that console dies on that day. As you said, games were still released for the Mega Drive after 1995 even though the Saturn was already out and the new console generation had started, meaning the Mega Drive wasn't "dead" just because SEGA was now supporting the Saturn.

Yes, the Saturn and PS1 were the main consoles come 1995, but that doesn't mean there weren't people still playing their Mega Drives and SNESs during this time - it was just a smaller market, much like the Master System and NES were while the Mega Drive and SNES were the main consoles during the early 90s. Me and many of my friends got our Master Systems in 1991 or 92 and there were still huge selections of games for sale for the system in the shops until the mid 90s. There's no reason SEGA couldn't have done something similar with the Mega Drive too until the late 90s.

Let's not go on the last game , but let's look at when a corps launches its successor console . You really expect SONY In House Teams to be working on PS4 games next year ?

Team Andromeda
01-12-2020, 07:15 AM
Things like CoD and sports games can be system sellers. Xbox 360 had nothing but military shooters plus Idolmaster and Lost Planet for its first few years, and the new Fifa when the PS2 came out made everyones jaws drop to the floor. When the first "nextgen" showcase demos came out for the PS3/X360 generation, it was a demo video of Madden. Even for the Genesis, one of Tom Kalinskes tactic for gaining the US market was adopting more sports titles.

Sports games were an appeal before Tom joined SEGA. That's to over look how SEGA Europe made sport a big part of its appeal with sponsoring F1 and the English Premiership and how the Mega Drive in the UK had most sports covered even Cricket and Snooker

axel
01-12-2020, 09:56 AM
Yes, but there is no way that the Genesis is going to handle anything remotely close to Star Wars Arcade, short of making a seperate program with a sprite based version of the game. You're basically going to have to have 2 seperate programs on the same cart. It's not like Rogue Squadron on the N64, where those that have the RAM expansion pack will get a higher resolution version of the game, because it has the added higher res textures on the cart.

I'm aware of that, that's why I suggested Chaotix instead since it started out as a Genesis title (Sonic Crackers) and presumably the engine could run entirely on the 68k. Then take Genesis titles like Ristar or Comix Zone (which have great graphics already) and give them extra colors, visual effects and sound channels. I agree it wouldn't work for a game like Star Wars or Virtua Fighter.

All I'm suggesting is a way to keep software coming out for the 32X at minimal cost so more resources can go toward the Saturn. The main problem with the 32X was that it didn't get a lot of games. Making a new 32X game was expensive but if you're going to make a Genesis game anyway just give it a few extra enhancements and now you've got another 32X title, which can be sold to a much bigger audience. Cutting 32X support months after release and switching to the Saturn when it also had very few games was a disaster.

SegaAMD
01-12-2020, 11:24 AM
no matter what strategy you make for Saturn and 32X, they would fail one way or another.

Sony debuted in the console market with about 20 attitudes that allowed it to lead the industry, I'll start with the two that I think are main and definitive:

1- Sony had strong third party support, devs who supported 3DO chose PS1 (they had choosen) as the console that had better royalities and development kits, nothing that SEGA could do could change that as both SEGA and Nintendo saw third parties as a necessary evil, but the SEGA's goals have always been to privilege its first party games over third party games.

2-The second measure was Sony's purchase of temporary exclusivity, the year was 1995 so temporary exclusivity was basically total exclusivity, how many people didn't think tomb raider was exclusive to PS1 marketing.

These two measurements made Saturn in its first year an unattractive console and people aren't to blame, the major third party releases had been confiscated by ps1, and when the N64 came in 1996 with Mario 64, Saturn was forgotten, it was seen by the public as an unnecessary console, This is perspective creation and once created it is difficult and reversing. .

as Saturn was too expensive to manufacture and export. Sega decides to discontinue the console in the west and focus only on the japanese market. that was the biggest mistake ever they should have insisted and should not have listened to Bernie Stolar who demanded a new console to be able to market.

gamevet
01-12-2020, 01:10 PM
I'm aware of that, that's why I suggested Chaotix instead since it started out as a Genesis title (Sonic Crackers) and presumably the engine could run entirely on the 68k. Then take Genesis titles like Ristar or Comix Zone (which have great graphics already) and give them extra colors, visual effects and sound channels. I agree it wouldn't work for a game like Star Wars or Virtua Fighter.

All I'm suggesting is a way to keep software coming out for the 32X at minimal cost so more resources can go toward the Saturn. The main problem with the 32X was that it didn't get a lot of games. Making a new 32X game was expensive but if you're going to make a Genesis game anyway just give it a few extra enhancements and now you've got another 32X title, which can be sold to a much bigger audience. Cutting 32X support months after release and switching to the Saturn when it also had very few games was a disaster.

People didnít buy a 32x to get enhanced Genesis games. 36 Great Holes (cues cheesy 80's porn music) with Fred Couples is a good example of a game that pissed off 32x owners, because it looked like any other golf game on the Genesis. Like I said, nobody would pay $150 to get a prettier looking Genesis game.

Team Andromeda
01-14-2020, 05:19 AM
I'm aware of that, that's why I suggested Chaotix instead since it started out as a Genesis title (Sonic Crackers) and presumably the engine could run entirely on the 68k. Then take Genesis titles like Ristar or Comix Zone (which have great graphics already) and give them extra colors, visual effects and sound channels. I agree it wouldn't work for a game like Star Wars or Virtua Fighter..

Sonic X also started out as a Mega Drive title. SEGA was just so silly back then. Ok while STI was making a Next-Gen Sonic title (which would take time) it really should have had the Sonic Team Japan who was working on Chaotix instead make a Sonic Game early in for the Saturn. To make sure it had Sonic games to go, like how it had different teams make Sonic on the Mega Drive and Mega CD. Comix Zone was a stunning title, but really should have been a launch Saturn title with 24Bit colour backgrounds, 2 player mode and a CDDA soundtrack

And its easy to say now, but I also wanted SEGA to buy out CORE in 1994, but bloody US Gold bought them instead. Given how amazing CORE Design on the Mega CD, most of CORE all for SEGA too. I so wanted SEGA to have been the one's more so as SEGA Europe didn't have a In-House team at that stage.

gamevet
01-14-2020, 10:51 AM
Could you imagine how different the early years of Saturn would have been if they owned Core? They would of had Tomb Raider exclusive to the console.

zyrobs
01-14-2020, 11:09 AM
Could you imagine how different the early years of Saturn would have been if they owned Core? They would of had Tomb Raider exclusive to the console.

They did have Tomb Raider as an exclusive for 6 months.

gamevet
01-14-2020, 11:32 AM
Yeah, I know. SEGA should have locked that up.

I remember going to Electronics Boutique hoping to buy the Saturn version of Tomb Raider and it not being there. Sony supposedly got a week or so head start on the game, with the Saturn game either being delayed a couple of weeks, or purposely in short supply. I ended up getting it for PlayStation instead.

Team Andromeda
01-14-2020, 12:28 PM
Could you imagine how different the early years of Saturn would have been if they owned Core? They would have had Tomb Raider exclusive to the console.

Yeah and it's not looking back with the benefit of hindsight either. With CORE amazing work on the Mega CD I wanted SEGA to buy them before ThunderHawk II made it to the Saturn, never mind Tomb Raider.
Still back in those days I wanted SEGA to buy Tiburon after their work on Madden and Soviet Strike, Lobotomy and also Zyrinx and Lemon.


Speaking of Tomb Raider Would really like to have seen how well Tomb Raider II was running on the Saturn too. I remember Jason Gosling (Tomb Raider II Saturn coder) saying how it was much improved over the 1st game on Saturn and he was enjoying using the latest version of the SGL (think it was version 1.3) in 96 not long before SONY bought the rights

Black_Tiger
01-14-2020, 01:58 PM
I would like to even just see how the original Tomb Raider would have turned out if they continued pushing hard on it and polishing it instead of switching priority to the Playstation version.

Fighting Force was already impressive in its early state.

Wools
01-15-2020, 06:03 AM
The problems with the Saturn were evident from day one, it had one of the worst launches of any console in history (and it was coming right on the heels of the 32X, another failure). Sony is by no means perfect but they were able to capitalize on mistakes from their rivals. A lot of the other things you mention would have happened anyway:

-Arcades had been in decline for a decade and were only temporarily bolstered by one on one fighters and titles like Daytona USA in the early 90s.


I disagree with these 2 sentiments.

The Saturn launched with Virtua Fighter and it was an excellent port of the Arcade game, I wouldn't call that launch as one of the worst console launches of all time!

Also, the idea that the Arcade was in decline and effected the Saturn is only partially true. I would argue that the Arcades were still front and centre in the hardcore gamers mind so having an Arcade perfect port was still a boon and that translated into sales. If you look at the Virtua Fighter, Tekken, Sega Rally and Time Crisis sales and critical reception during the 32-bit era, that shows the Arcades were still important in the home market. However, during the end of the 90's, Sony and their developers really started to make more of the medium with unique genres and refinments to exisiting genres that took full advantage of the 32-bit power. This is where Sega got caught out and had little in the way of unique experiances that weren't directly inherited from the Arcade. This of course changed with the Dreamcast but by then, it was far too late in the mainstream publics perception of Sega.

God, I miss that era the more as time goes on. :(

gamevet
01-15-2020, 10:30 AM
The arcades were in the decline in North America. You wouldnít see an arcade in every mall, like you did the previous decade. Virtua Fighter was not a big hit in North America, and I doubt that most of the people that played Virtua Fighter 2 had never even played it in arcades, because arcades had shrunk even more by 1995. Iíd never even played SEGA Rally in an arcade, before playing it on Saturn. It would be many years later, where Iíd play it at a Dave and Busters.

Virtua Fighter wasnít close to being arcade perfect, but it still had all of the charm and fun of the arcade game. I played it daily for over a month after I got my Saturn.

Team Andromeda
01-15-2020, 10:51 AM
Sega Rally was massive in the Arcades and on the Saturn . On its Pal release the Saturn version was the fastest selling CD ROM game ever in the UK. Tekken 1, 2, 3 sold millions of units, Virtual Cop , Time Crisis will all big hitters too. Daytona USA was a rushed port and that's what hurt it's sales and I wouldn't really expect a Rally game to do well In the USA, in the UK you had Arcade cabs every where

Arcade gaming still had its fans and carried a lot of weight untill the late 90s

axel
01-15-2020, 11:41 AM
I disagree with these 2 sentiments.

The Saturn launched with Virtua Fighter and it was an excellent port of the Arcade game, I wouldn't call that launch as one of the worst console launches of all time!

Also, the idea that the Arcade was in decline and effected the Saturn is only partially true. I would argue that the Arcades were still front and centre in the hardcore gamers mind so having an Arcade perfect port was still a boon and that translated into sales. If you look at the Virtua Fighter, Tekken, Sega Rally and Time Crisis sales and critical reception during the 32-bit era, that shows the Arcades were still important in the home market. However, during the end of the 90's, Sony and their developers really started to make more of the medium with unique genres and refinments to exisiting genres that took full advantage of the 32-bit power. This is where Sega got caught out and had little in the way of unique experiances that weren't directly inherited from the Arcade. This of course changed with the Dreamcast but by then, it was far too late in the mainstream publics perception of Sega.

God, I miss that era the more as time goes on. :(

The port was not that good, hence why Sega was handing out copies of VF Remix only months later.
You're right about hardcore gamers but they weren't that big of a group. By the mid '90s most people had moved on from arcades because everyone already had a console at home and overall it cost less, in the arcade you would spend $1 every few minutes. If you lived in an area where the arcades were still popular I envy you but that wasn't common, look at the sales numbers. In Japan it was different and the Saturn did much better there.

Black_Tiger
01-15-2020, 11:47 AM
The arcades were in the decline in North America. You wouldnít see an arcade in every mall, like you did the previous decade. Virtua Fighter was not a big hit in North America, and I doubt that most of the people that played Virtua Fighter 2 had never even played it in arcades, because arcades had shrunk even more by 1995. Iíd never even played SEGA Rally in an arcade, before playing it on Saturn. It would be many years later, where Iíd play it at a Dave and Busters.

Virtua Fighter wasnít close to being arcade perfect, but it still had all of the charm and fun of the arcade game. I played it daily for over a month after I got my Saturn.

That wasn't the case in Vancouver at least. Not only were dedicated arcades going strong and cabs were everywhere, movie theatres and mall began setting up larger arcade sections than ever.

Even the arcades at mainstream malls were bringing in imports from Japan. The biggest mall in Metro Vancouver built a new entertainment themed expansion and the the biggest businesses were a new theatre and a massive multi-level arcade.

https://604now.com/playdium-metrotown-burnaby/amp/

Wools
01-15-2020, 12:25 PM
The arcades were in the decline in North America. You wouldnít see an arcade in every mall, like you did the previous decade. Virtua Fighter was not a big hit in North America, and I doubt that most of the people that played Virtua Fighter 2 had never even played it in arcades, because arcades had shrunk even more by 1995. Iíd never even played SEGA Rally in an arcade, before playing it on Saturn. It would be many years later, where Iíd play it at a Dave and Busters.

Sad to hear that the Arcade was in decline in the US. There's no question that Arcades didn't have the same cultural relevance as they did in the 1970's - 80's, but they were the place to experience bleeding edge graphics in the UK and seemed to still have that thrill in the mid to late 90's.


Sega Rally was massive in the Arcades and on the Saturn . On its Pal release the Saturn version was the fastest selling CD ROM game ever in the UK. Tekken 1, 2, 3 sold millions of units, Virtual Cop , Time Crisis will all big hitters too. Daytona USA was a rushed port and that's what hurt it's sales and I wouldn't really expect a Rally game to do well In the USA, in the UK you had Arcade cabs every where

Arcade gaming still had its fans and carried a lot of weight untill the late 90s

Hi Team Andromeda, I didn't expect to bump into you on here away from NTSC-UK! As you say, Arcades in the eyes of the hardcore gamer in the UK were the promised land so if a home console was replicating a game well, it was alright in our books!


The port was not that good, hence why Sega was handing out copies of VF Remix only months later.
You're right about hardcore gamers but they weren't that big of a group. By the mid '90s most people had moved on from arcades because everyone already had a console at home and overall it cost less, in the arcade you would spend $1 every few minutes. If you lived in an area where the arcades were still popular I envy you but that wasn't common, look at the sales numbers. In Japan it was different and the Saturn did much better there.

At the time, all reviews of VF on Saturn were excellent and time has been kind to the port, the Edge mafgazine 9 / 10 got me well hyped for it. Alhough it's not 1:1 with the AM2 Arcade game, it was received well at the time and I feel most people think of it as a good version.

Although hardcore gamers are obviously the smallest group of potential players, at the time, it was generally only hardcore players who purchased and played consoles on release so it made sense to cater for us lot with great ports of the best Arcade games and I feel Sega done just that. Well, the less said about the first port of Daytona USA the better! ;)

gamevet
01-15-2020, 01:13 PM
That wasn't the case in Vancouver at least. Not only were dedicated arcades going strong and cabs were everywhere, movie theatres and mall began setting up larger arcade sections than ever.

Even the arcades at mainstream malls were bringing in imports from Japan. The biggest mall in Metro Vancouver built a new entertainment themed expansion and the the biggest businesses were a new theatre and a massive multi-level arcade.

https://604now.com/playdium-metrotown-burnaby/amp/


Thatís a supercade. We had a Gameworks (supercade) at Grapevine Mills mall that closed around 2005. It opened in 1997, and that is where I think I finally saw a SEGA Rally machine, not D&B. Most of the deluxe SEGA arcade games I played were at either a Supercade, an adult entertainment place like D&B, or at a large Putt Putt Golf location in Plano. Putt Putt was the only place that Iíd seen (not in the malls) Star Wars: Ep1 racer and Star
Wars arcade.


I frequented malls all over Dallas/Fort Worth and had 2 large malls by my apartment in the mid 90ís. The arcade in Prestonwood Mall stopped getting new machines after @1994 and closed down after the Street Fighter craze died down. The other mall, Valley View, had a couple of arcades that came and went; they didnít carry the more expensive hardware, because they were small operations. The Parks Mall in Arlington (other side of the metroplex) had a large arced below the food court, but it stopped updating its machines by the mid 90ís and started brining in ticket redemption games instead. The smaller arcades stopped updating their games, held on for as long as they could and folded.

Team Andromeda
01-15-2020, 01:21 PM
The port was not that good, hence why Sega was handing out copies of VF Remix only months later.
You're right about hardcore gamers but they weren't that big of a group. By the mid '90s most people had moved on from arcades because everyone already had a console at home and overall it cost less, in the arcade you would spend $1 every few minutes.

The Saturn port of VF was excellent, it looked amazing and sounded amazing (still sounds amazing) and AM#2 nailed the gameplay and controls . But this was in Nov 94. I have no idea why SEGA didn't launch in the West with VF Remix or just look to keep VF a pack in title only.

gamevet
01-15-2020, 01:27 PM
Virtua Fighter was a pack-in title back in May of 1995. SEGA sent me a free copy of VF remix in the fall.

Team Andromeda
01-15-2020, 01:31 PM
Sad to hear that the Arcade was in decline in the US. There's no question that Arcades didn't have the same cultural relevance as they did in the 1970's - 80's, but they were the place to experience bleeding edge graphics in the UK and seemed to still have that thrill in the mid to late 90's.



Hi Team Andromeda, I didn't expect to bump into you on here away from NTSC-UK! As you say, Arcades in the eyes of the hardcore gamer in the UK were the promised land so if a home console was replicating a game well, it was alright in our books!



At the time, all reviews of VF on Saturn were excellent and time has been kind to the port, the Edge mafgazine 9 / 10 got me well hyped for it. Alhough it's not 1:1 with the AM2 Arcade game, it was received well at the time and I feel most people think of it as a good version.

Although hardcore gamers are obviously the smallest group of potential players, at the time, it was generally only hardcore players who purchased and played consoles on release so it made sense to cater for us lot with great ports of the best Arcade games and I feel Sega done just that. Well, the less said about the first port of Daytona USA the better! ;)

Hello boss. Yeah Arcades were still big in the UK in 94/95/96 and we also had SEGA Europe opening SEGA worlds in the likes of London and Bournemouth Ect . I didn't notice a decline till 1999, when Arcades were either shutting down or moving to Fruit machines.

Arcade games still helped to sell consoles and also did well on consoles In the mid 90s . Tekken 3 was huge in the Arcades and home, even crap like Crusin USA did the business in the Arcades and home and I remember seeing House of the Dead, Sega Rally and Gun Blade NY cabs in nearly every Arcade in the UK

Daytona USA was hurt but it looking crap on the Saturn. It wasn't ready or finished , but SEGA rushed it out sadly. The only good thing, was it was the making of AM#2 on the Saturn . Their pride was hurt and after that, looked to push the Saturn to insane lengths and were the 1sr to show off the Saturn High Res mode.

axel
01-15-2020, 04:03 PM
You know maybe I'm remembering it wrong, I looked at some numbers and the arcades were still bringing in decent money in 1995.
See this article for example, there's a graph halfway down that shows the numbers on mouseover:
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-01-23/peak-video-game-top-analyst-sees-industry-slumping-in-2019

In 1995 the arcades still had the highest market share at $14 billion, with consoles and handhelds at $5 bn each and PC gaming at $10 bn.
I was surprised to see that but in retrospect maybe I shouldn't be, I was getting more into PC gaming at the time too.

So I guess you guys are right, the arcade was alive and well at the time of the Saturn release.

Gryson
01-15-2020, 04:41 PM
You know maybe I'm remembering it wrong, I looked at some numbers and the arcades were still bringing in decent money in 1995.
See this article for example, there's a graph halfway down that shows the numbers on mouseover:
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-01-23/peak-video-game-top-analyst-sees-industry-slumping-in-2019

In 1995 the arcades still had the highest market share at $14 billion, with consoles and handhelds at $5 bn each and PC gaming at $10 bn.
I was surprised to see that but in retrospect maybe I shouldn't be, I was getting more into PC gaming at the time too.

So I guess you guys are right, the arcade was alive and well at the time of the Saturn release.

That graph is meant to represent worldwide figures (I think), so it includes places like Japan where arcades were very strong through the end of the 90s.

But honestly, what is the source of that graph? It's supplied by the industry analyst who is interviewed in the article from his own research.

The strangest thing is that he shows almost no growth in the PC market from 1993 ($8 billion) to 2001 ($10 billion), but that seems incredibly hard to believe. That is the period that represents the explosion in PC gaming. How can there be no revenue growth?

gamevet
01-15-2020, 05:51 PM
Iíd say by 1997, that arcade games were a non-factor on consoles. Even Nintendo really didnít hype Killer Instinct Gold in 1996, when they released it on the N64. Really, 1996 was the year when arcade games in the West took a back seat to console games.

axel
01-15-2020, 06:59 PM
That graph is meant to represent worldwide figures (I think), so it includes places like Japan where arcades were very strong through the end of the 90s.

But honestly, what is the source of that graph? It's supplied by the industry analyst who is interviewed in the article from his own research.

The strangest thing is that he shows almost no growth in the PC market from 1993 ($8 billion) to 2001 ($10 billion), but that seems incredibly hard to believe. That is the period that represents the explosion in PC gaming. How can there be no revenue growth?

Hmm... yes that's true PC gaming was growing by leaps and bounds in the 90s. Is there another source for this kind of information?


Iíd say by 1997, that arcade games were a non-factor on consoles. Even Nintendo really didnít hype Killer Instinct Gold in 1996, when they released it on the N64. Really, 1996 was the year when arcade games in the West took a back seat to console games.

That sounds right to me too. The one on one fighters were the last big arcade hits I remember, so the Capcom games, Mortal Kombat, Neo Geo, VF, Tekken, stuff like that. About 1995 was the limit, you look at the big games after that time and it's titles like Mario 64, FF7, a bunch of FPSs, stuff that doesn't work as well in an arcade.

Team Andromeda
01-16-2020, 01:32 AM
Tekken 3 sold over 8 million units, Tekken 2 sold over 5 million, even Ace Combat was a million seller, So was Crusin USA, even Crazy Taxi . So Arcade ports still could sell and do well.. In the UK in was in 1999 that one started to see a Big decline.

In 1995 the only difference I saw was the move away from having Arcade games (like Strider, Shinobi) in take aways, Cafe's and the local chippy..But there was plenty of big dedicated Arcades and also loads of Arcade games, in the Cinema and tenpin bowling arenas

gamevet
01-16-2020, 09:59 AM
Cruis ní USA was a 1994 arcade game, and let me tell you, those arcade cabinets looked really cheap, especially the sit-down cabinet. And considering how sparse the N64 software lineup was, games like that could sell on the N64. Tekken 2 and 3 sold well, because of the 1st game on the PS, not because millions of people played those in an arcade. Crazy Taxi was on Naomi hardware, so itís not like the arcade hardware was as expensive as model 3. I actually saw Crazy Taxi in smaller establishments.

The great Nolan Bushnell once said that arcades died the day it costed a $1 to play a game.

Team Andromeda
01-16-2020, 11:34 AM
Crusin USA sold well enough to have a sequel in the Arcades and on the N64 Tekken 2 and 3 did the business in the Arcades and in the home.

They was still quite a lot of Arcades players in the home and Arcades in the mid 90's. It's not like Arcade games made up the bulk of Mega Drive or SNES sales, but there was still a decent demand.

Speaking of Midway , Their crappy WWF games did well in the Arcades and Konami's Silent Cope and beat Mania games did well too.

No idea of the USA but I saw the decline and come 2000 it was rapid and where so many Arcades were gone or full of Gambling Fruit machines.

I saw and played plenty of NA@MI games in UK Arcades, only saw and played Club Drive when it came to NA@MI 2 games *wipes tear*

zyrobs
01-16-2020, 12:03 PM
Cruisn USA and World were gigantic over here, they had a dual cab in every arcade I ever visited.

gamevet
01-16-2020, 12:12 PM
@Zyrobs. You saw a lot of Cruis Ní ISA and World because they were cheap cabinets. World was just a kit upgrade to the 1st game. I thought that they were pretty boring and certainly not worth the 75 cents to a $1 most places were charging.

I saw tons of Cruis Ní USA and Tekken games in the theater game rooms. Thatís where a good bulk of them were sold to, movie chains. Regal theater had the exact same games in every theater.

Most of the arcades became more about ticket redemption games and a sprinkling of cheap upright arcade machines like San Francisco Rush and Tekken. You wouldnít see Deluxe arcade machines like Jumbo Safari and Jurassic Park outside of the high end arcade places like D&B and Gameworks. Smaller arcade chains like Gold Mine and Aladdinís Castle weíre disappearing.

And I never said arcade style games werenít popular in the 90s. I said that most people werenít interested in games from arcades, as in, thatís not where they played them. Hell, I never played Street Fighter Alpha, or MK4 in the arcades, and I barely played MK3 there either. I mostly played those games on the consoles. Now Silent Scope, that was a game you needed to experience in the arcades. The game wasnít the same without that sniper rifle.

Team Andromeda
01-16-2020, 01:54 PM
That's what Namco did so well with Tekken 1 and 2 had it running on the super cheap PSX based System 11 board, even Tekken 3 run on a speed up PS system board with System 12, which would have been way cheaper than VF on Model 1, never mind VF 3 on Model 3

That said Sega Rally was huge in the UK with Arcade cabs in almost every UK Arcade one visited. Gun Blade NY was massive too. When it came to Model 3 games in the UK. Sega Rally II and GetBass seemed to be everywhere, but it was hard to find any Arcades with Daytona USA 2, LA machine guns in the UK (bar the massive Arcade centers)

Gryson
01-16-2020, 02:28 PM
I think the disagreement here comes down to each of you having different subjective experiences in your local arcades. But that's probably not a good indicator of the health of the arcade industry.

We really need to see revenue numbers for different arcade manufacturers.

Those numbers are available for Sega (https://segaretro.org/images/f/fe/AnnualReport1998_English.pdf), but they include Japan, so it's not going to answer this question. I'll give the numbers anyway:

Sega arcade operations revenue:
1993: 59 billion yen
1998: 91 billion yen
2001: 74 billion yen

Sega arcade machine revenue:
1993: 58 billion yen
1998: 102 billion yen
2001: 53 billion yen

From 1993 to 1998, Sega's revenue from its arcades and sales of arcade games almost doubled. But 1998 was the peak, and it began to fall quite sharply after that.

gamevet
01-16-2020, 02:37 PM
My observations were that mall arcades became fewer and fewer. And if you wanted to play an arcade game, you were more likely to see them in a game room like your local bowling alley, or in large supercades like Gameworks. The small arcade chains like Aladdinís castle were pretty much gone, and Iíve read that Namco bought them out and it became Cyberstation, which I havenít seen in forever.

Leynos
01-16-2020, 04:18 PM
My mall had an arcade center until the entire mall was torn down in 2003. It had a bunch of SEGA machines from the 80s up to Naomi games. My last apartment was close to a shopping area with a Movies 10 theatre which had arcade machines and still had Crazy Taxi, Outrun, Area 51, Initial D,Cruis'n USA and others up until it's closure 3 years ago.

gamevet
01-16-2020, 05:23 PM
The closest one to my Apartment was Gold Mine in Prestonwood Mall. They had price tags on all of their machines for several years before shutting it down around 99. They tore the mall down in 2004 and replaced it with a shopping center for Walmart, Best Buy, Etc.

axel
01-16-2020, 06:57 PM
The great Nolan Bushnell once said that arcades died the day it costed a $1 to play a game.

Bushnell is right. Arcades got very expensive, especially at a time when people already had consoles and computers at home. The high difficulty of most arcade games didn't help. They became the domain of hardcore gamers because nobody else wanted to pay money to watch it disappear in a minute or two.


I think the disagreement here comes down to each of you having different subjective experiences in your local arcades. But that's probably not a good indicator of the health of the arcade industry.

We really need to see revenue numbers for different arcade manufacturers.

Those numbers are available for Sega (https://segaretro.org/images/f/fe/AnnualReport1998_English.pdf), but they include Japan, so it's not going to answer this question. I'll give the numbers anyway:

Sega arcade operations revenue:
1993: 59 billion yen
1998: 91 billion yen
2001: 74 billion yen

Sega arcade machine revenue:
1993: 58 billion yen
1998: 102 billion yen
2001: 53 billion yen

From 1993 to 1998, Sega's revenue from its arcades and sales of arcade games almost doubled. But 1998 was the peak, and it began to fall quite sharply after that.

That is interesting that revenue went up in the 90s. But there are two parts to the business, so we'd need to see revenue for both the manufacturer and the arcade operators. Sega selling a lot of units is good for them but doesn't help the guy running an arcade at the local mall if people stop playing the games.

Gryson
01-16-2020, 09:06 PM
That is interesting that revenue went up in the 90s. But there are two parts to the business, so we'd need to see revenue for both the manufacturer and the arcade operators. Sega selling a lot of units is good for them but doesn't help the guy running an arcade at the local mall if people stop playing the games.

The revenue figures I provided are for both Sega's arcade operations (meaning the arcades they run) and the sales of their games to arcades. Their arcades were mostly in Japan, though.

But the two are closely connected. Arcade operators would be buying fewer new machines if revenues were down.