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View Poll Results: Should the Sega 32X have been released?

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Thread: Should The 32X Have Been Released?

  1. #61
    Road Rasher chrisbid's Avatar
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    The PS3 and 360 are sharing the market share previously dominated by the most dominant console. Which makes me very happy actually, no company should dominate sales like Sony and Nintendo have. That is the reason neither console has sold in as high of numbers as say the PS2 did.


    youre ignoring the wii? it is dominating this generation because wii sports was a killer app. when things were starting to slow down, new super mario bros wii started the engine back up, the same way dkc rebooted the snes in its mid-later years.


    You would have a hard time supporting your claim that neither console has a "killer app." Exclusives on both systems have boosted sales for the season of their release. If you only consider a game a "killer app" if it does what Sonic did for the Genesis or FF7 did for the PS1 we're really talking about a short list. Also, both games and systems were boosted by a well filled library of games prior to their release. They were sort of "the hair that broke the camel's back" for the masses.

    yes, the list of killer app games is short, but name an uber successful console that did not have one. the 2600, genesis, snes, and playstation were floundering and vulnerable before the release of their killer app title


    This generation is more about whether casual gaming, new controller types or new features will seize the day. The companies themselves haven't even figured out how to balance the three yet, though Nintendo has certainly seen the most success with the Wiimote. It's too bad for their third parties though.

    the wiimote itself isnt what saved the day for nintendo, it was wii sports. the sad thing is, even nintendo themselves have yet to really capitalize on the wiimote since then.



    Back on topic though, even if the 32X launched with the fanciest Sonic game ever it could not have overcome the hype that Donkey Kong Country received. Sega didn't even have a game from generation's past with Donkey Kong's following to counter with, but it already had games with all of it's supposed innovations in the Genesis library alone. The fact that Sega would release experimental games like Knuckles Chaotix instead is why I used to respect them as a company. It wasn't perfect, and judging from people's reactions no amount of work on the game was going to make it a "killer app", but they released it, and plenty of people have enjoyed it over the last fifteen years. That should be the only qualifier a gamer needs to see value in the hardware.
    for the record, i dont think sonic 4 wouldve pushed 32x sales. sonic cd had already failed to push the sega cd. sonic cd was simply a top choice for people that bought a sega cd. people did not buy sega cd hardware to play sonic cd.

    in the end, i am happy choatix was released as well. i love niche game, you love them, most people on this board love them. i am simply aruguing that best selling platforms with the biggest libraries get the most niche/experimental games. the dreamcast is a great example. though it had a short shelf life, due to three competing platforms being released within two years of the dc launch, its initial success (due to nfl 2k) allowed sega to do what it did best. had the dreamcast flopped like the saturn or 32x, we would not have seen typing of the dead in north america.

  2. #62
    Outrunner Defolto's Avatar
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    Yeah, the 32X had too many flaws it's biggest would probably be it's release date.

  3. #63
    Hero of Algol kool kitty89's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sheath View Post
    Based on the numerous discussions on the topic that I have already been privy to I'd like to insert some facts about the Saturn's first year library. The idea that the 32X siphoned resources away from Saturn development just doesn't make sense. That is, unless the person touting the idea thinks that there really is such a thing as a "AAA" title, the Saturn's first couple of years were on par or better than the PS1's.

    At that point one has to make an illogical leap that a 32X title would both be made better on Saturn instead and would have sold well. Sales, you see, is a key criteria to the much sought after "AAA" status. With that in mind, we should be able to see, being intelligent post-modern individuals, that these are two very huge assumptions.
    I don't think anyone's arguing that the 32x library on the Saturn (obviously technically more advanced had they been on the Saturn in every case) would have been top titles for the system overall, but could have seriously bolstered the launch lineup. The sheer number of titles is quite significant, even if you go by the Japanese developed ones.
    Even Doom wouldn't have been as much of a killer app by 1995, but still significant. (and if specifically designed for the Saturn -unlike the later Saturn port- could have been very good)

    Virtua Racing, Virtua Fighter (or rather Remix -or something close- corrected on Saturn BEFORE the US launch), Space Harrier, After Burner, Star Wars Arcade Metal Head, Shadow Squadron, Chaotix, Tempo, and such could certainly have made good additions to the early Saturn library, an dincluded some genres which were lacking, at least early on. (did the Saturn ever even get a proper Space combat Sim in the West??? I know the PSX got a lot -both ports and exclusives)

    If some of those western developed 32x titles had also been on the Saturn instead, that also would have been big. (and all could have been better than the 32x... like Mortal Kombat 2 or Doom)




    Quote Originally Posted by Chilly Willy View Post
    Of course the 32X was less powerful - it was to be the cheap low-end way into 32 bit gaming. The PSX, N64, and Saturn were more powerful, but they were also four times the price.
    It was an add-on too, though (so any non Genesis owners would have additional cost, or the cost of the Neptune -not considering CD games). As it was, the 32x was only a 1/3 the price of the PSX at launch. ($100 still at that time I think, prices went way lower after it was dumped soon after though -but those aren't applicable as such)

    Oh, and the 32X is WAY more powerful than the 3DO. It's not as powerful as the Jaguar, but not by much. The main advantage the Jaguar has (and the ONLY advantage of the 3DO) is it has a lot more memory.
    The 32x's SH2s can render highcolor gouraud shaded or texture mapped polygonal 3D faster than the 3DO for typical games? (the 3DO has hardware affine texture mapping, gouraud shading, quad rasterization, dedicated fixed point matrix coprocessor, though there's the issue of contention for GPU and CPU in main bus -for texture mapping at least- and no CPU or GPU cache) The CPU is obviously slower, but it's got all that dedicated hardware. (the only issue is resource required for game logic, AI, and software Z-sorting) And that's not talking 2D stuff either. (where CPU usage would be a lot less intensive)

    The Jaguar would be way ahead for 2D stuff, but a lot closer to the 32x in polygonal 3D depending on the case. (for flat shaded or texture mapped polygonal 3D especially -gouraud shading is nice though, and non polygonal rendering -like ray casting or height mapped voxel engines or simpler pseudo 3D stuff)



    Quote Originally Posted by sheath View Post
    "Killer Apps" are advertising magnets and nothing more. They benefit gamers not at all. I have played most of them, and have enjoyed other games in the same genre just as much.

    The persistence of the very idea of a "killer app" or "AAA" title, especially among actual gamers, is the reason why each generation has so many gems slip by. Depending on our genre preferences, the 32X had more than a handful of gems that people passed by because of the likes of Donkey Kong Country.

    Overhyped games don't just kill good ideas for hardware, they kill good ideas for software and software developers. Seriously, Donkey Kong Country is a competent blend of Sonic 2 and Super Mario World, why should it be the only game people buy for 16-bit consoles for a season?
    Yes, but actually hypes system selling killer games are extremely important to the overall mass market success of a platform, just like having good tech demo-ing games at launch. (SNES did both)

    Regardless of what it means to actual consumers, it's critical for the selling company.
    Hype and marketing was a huge reason for Sega breaking Nintendo's hold on the US market in the early 90s (and the killer pack-in of Sonic and then Sonic 2, plus the price point advantage over the SNES).
    Sony did the same thing but on a much larger scale with a huge amount of self-invested capital: not to mention several other factors (hardware+software related) that favored 3rd parties with the well funded major competition making some big mistakes on top of all that. (Sega's numerous internal problems, 3DO's management mess and Pannasonic getting spooked, NEC getting spooked and pushing the PC-FX out, and Nintendo remaining arrogant and obsessed with control over media/game releases so much so as to drop optical media with not even plans for an add-on at or soon after launch)

    It's not so much whether the 32x was good for gamers, but whether it was good for Sega as a company, and on the mass market in the long term.

    Quote Originally Posted by sheath View Post
    Great discussion! No game prior to the 32X launch does what Virtua Racing, Space Harrier or After Burner do without massive and obvious cuts. Whether the reasons be totally different genre focuses or hardware design, the difference is night and day. I can think all I want that the 3DO, Jaguar or even the Sega CD could have done justice to some of these games, but reality is different than theory.
    Sega CD could have done justice to the scaling stuff for sure, though with more cuts to color and frame rate or screen size. (space harrier probably could have been 288x200 at 20 FPS -which wouldn't be very noticeably lower res on most TVs, but the color reduction would probably be a lot more noticeable)

    Jaguar would have more than handled all the 2D stuff on the 32x and could have had more color to boot or higher framerate. (any sprite scaling stuff could have been 60 fps, not to mention the added RAM giving more potential for animation and higher res textures/objects -could be heavily compressed in ROM and loaded into RAM)
    It's a bit of a shame the Jaguar didn't push those sorts of games that much (Super Burnout is possibly the best example).
    Virtua Racing could have been good too, though pure flat shaded polygons is where the 32x is strongest as it would come down to rendering on the SH2s vs rendering on the Jaguar RISC chips. (not to mention the ease of programming for the SH2s and especially the 68k on its own bus to work in parallel with the system and caches on the SH2s -jaguar having no cache and the custom RISC processors having some bugs that complicated things as well as 68k sharing the main bus so pretty much slowing things down when used -but taking more work to run the game engine on the GPU primarily due to the bugs)
    The Jaguar has tons of graphics hardware support, but none for polygon rasterization, while the 32x is all software rendering, but for flat shaded polygons, they're in the same boat. (gouraud shaded polygons would have a big advantage for the Jaguar though, in fact it's CRY gouraud shading format was smoother than anything up to truecolor rendering -though it had limitations compared to 16-bit RGB shading too) The hardware Z buffering probably would have been advantageous too.

    It had hardware texture mapping support, but it was a lesser emphasized feature and not buffered for high bandwidth like other hardware features of the blitter (like shading and Z buffering) so it was a bit slow, though it is highcolor texture mapping. (there's also gouraud shaded texture mapping, but that's even slower -Doom uses it for super smooth light gradients)

    In addition, we need to make sure that we don't compare a CD-ROM game with a Cartridge game as one to one. We all know there are significant differences. Just look at the N64 library's lack of FMV intros as an example of that.
    Yep and also the higher prices and low res textures in N64 games. (and lack of CD-DA, more compressed/lower quality sound samples, etc)

    Basically, if the Jaguar or SNES SFX series had produced anything like these three games prior to Fall 1994 I would not have made the argument.
    Fall of '94 was the first real holiday season for the Jaguar... it didn't have a chance before that point. (it's actual launch wasn't until early '94: '93 was a desparate PR mode -that worked, granted, bus still not the real launch)
    And Atari didn't have awesome 1st party support like the 32x, in fact, they had none: just commissioned games from 3rd parties and 3rd party published releases.
    Super FX was a non issue... it was far less powerful, especially SFX1, not to mention games being 16 colors like Virtua racing. (though Doom, Stunt Racer, and Dirt Trax FX used 256 color modes) No Super FX game was ever on the level of the poorer Jaguar 3D games, let alone worst 32x stuff. (worst Jaguar stuff dropped below the worst 32x 3D -and 2D is out of the discussion and sound design isn't major criteria either given your comparison)
    If you're talking technical/graphical capabilities: Super FX games never came close to what Cybermorph did. (regardless of the appeal of the gameplay to the average gamer or the arguable art direction of the game)

    The only reason the 32x had the sort of early releases it did is because of 1st party development support, especially from SoJ. (as it was, Id was probably the most capable 3rd party developer commissioned for Atari published titles -and probably should have been commissioned to build a better SDK too -which they actually did develop for their own use, more or less)
    Even 3DO didn't really have strong 1st party support so to speak. (and wasn't even released in Japan until early 1994, so less incentive fro JP development to carry over anyway)

    Given releases are focused mainly in the fall season (approaching christmas holiday), it's less fair to go by that either, though there were a few summer '94 releases too. For all intents and purposes, 1994 was the first real year for the 3DO and Jaguar. (and in 3DO's case, it probably would have been better had they flipped the US and JP launch dates -much bigger problems with the 3DO's management though)

    PC games would be a much better comparison, tons of common support and rather similar contemporary hardware to the 32x for the base PC market: all software rendering, almost entirely 256 color, similar resolutions, FM synthesis (there's differences, of course) with some PCM being most common for onboard sound, etc. (the big difference would be RAM and game media -disks or CDs on PC)

    And PC games in '93/94 were definitely competitive with 32x stuff. (some more advanced stuff in '94 was closer to Saturn/PSX level even, though that stuff wouldn't run well on common mid-range 486 PCs -at least without the detail level turned way down -and close to 32x stuff, again)

    Another great point. Public perception is a totally different topic to me. What a gaming enthusiast will enjoy is far more diverse than what the mass market public will even consider looking at. I am arguing for the 32X from a gaming perspective, as a console that would have given 20 million or so Genesis owners a very cost effective leg in to 32-bit gaming.
    Public perception is critical for company image and selling the product. It's not about how good it actually is (though that helps obviously), but how good people think it is.





    Quote Originally Posted by Da_Shocker View Post
    N64 was the most overrated system back then. But the N64 launched with 2 games then the others were out before the end of the year.
    Yeah, but it had SM64 at launch: one of the definitive games of the generation, and a HUGE killer app for the platform and decent tech demo as well.
    There's probably not a better title it could have had at launch if it was down to 1 game. (better games perhaps, but not a better mass market game that had the appeal to as broad a spectrum of consumers, the only think it lacked was multiplayer in that respect -not to mention limiting that selection to 8 MB or less carts -things like Star Fox 64 or SSB were 12 or 16 MB games, Ocerina of Time was 32 MB!)

    If the Saturn had had just one title at launch, but something that big in the mass market (especially in the west) that would endure though the generation and not just appeal early on, that could have made a big difference. (Sega never did come out with a real 3D platformer that generation, and onle a few 3rd party games even made it -like Croc) The closest thing to a 3D sonic game was probably sonic R. (and that engine seems like it might have made for a decent 3D sonic game too -better than the Sonic X-Treme stuff or the PC Fish Eye engine for that matter, probably better than Sonic Jam's Sonic world too)
    Hell, they didn't even push out a new 2D sonic title for the Saturn, or 2.5D... (or port Sonic CD or Chaotix for that matter -when they ported so many more common Genesis Sonic games)
    It wouldn't have been Sonic Adventure (or 2), but it could have still been very significant if released by late '96 to meet Sony and Nintendo's offerings in the genre.

    Now, a niche product can be more flexible about such than a mass market platform and is less dependent on popular mass market competing games or hype. (or catering to common mass marketable genres)






    Quote Originally Posted by roundwars View Post
    How much more expensive would the 32X have been if it had been its own system and not an add-on to the Genesis? I'm not talking about a so-called "Neptune" system that included both the Genesis and the 32X hardware, I'm talking about a redesigned 32X that included everything necessary to be a standalone console but didn't include the (mostly unnecessary) Genesis hardware. Possibly other aspects of the hardware could have been beefed up to make up for this.

    This would have expanded its audience to the general public rather than just current Genesis owners. If the 32X was really just supposed to be the cheap option for next generation gaming, there's no reason it needed to be an add-on to accomplish that.

    Edit: KoolKitty posted right before me so I missed his comment. The bit about the Jupiter really does sound a lot better than 32X.
    Yeah, and given Sega was going to go with the Saturn no matter what, it makes a lot more sense.
    If they did want a super cheap next-gen cart-based platform in line with the 32x, the only thing really missing is I/O hardware for controller ports.
    That certianly would have been cheaper than Neptune too, but if they actually made it standalone it probably would have added a bit more too: kicked the SH2s up to full 28.7 MHz, hardware support for simple affine texture mapping support and more main RAM (1 MB at the very least, and full 32-bit bus rather than 16-bit like the 32x -2 MB would have been great and probably facilitated if cheap slower DRAM was used -which is what 1/2 the Saturn's main RAM is), maybe hardware gouraud shading support. The PWM was OK for what it was, at least if the DMA was supported, though 16-bit linear DACs with DMA mxing would have been a lot better. (especially at lower sample rates) Or an array of 8-bit DACs with DMA for that matter, or the Ricoh PCM chip from the Sega CD even. (actually, it might have saved time if the graphics ASIC in the MCD was used as the basis for the 32x VDP -integrated with the simple bitmap display controller of the 32x VDP -that could have been a lot better for 2D stuff) Adding a DSP coprocessor would help too, and Sega already had the SSP-1601 core licensed for the SVP. (so probably integrate that with the VDP ASIC too)

    That and have a cheap, minimalistic CD add-on (perhaps added RAM -definitely if the cart system didn't have 2 MB) to couple with it, and a standalone CD system. (way cheaper than the Saturn though also less capable -especially for 2D or quad based 3D, but about the same for triangle based 3D -especially with the DSP used) A lot better than the 32x as well in pretty much every way. (even significantly better at flat shaded
    That's probably the most cost effective route for Sega at the time though, and more cut back a backwards compatible oriented system as well. (plus it adds highcolor rendering too -at least if the bitmap display modes were the same as the 32x's "super VDP")


    Again that's all moot in the perspective that SoJ was already going with the Saturn no matter what. (in that case, the "Jupiter" made the most sense if they HAD to release something before the Saturn in the west)
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    Quote Originally Posted by evilevoix View Post
    Dude it’s the bios that marries the 16 bit and the 8 bit that makes it 24 bit. If SNK released their double speed bios revision SNK would have had the world’s first 48 bit machine, IDK how you keep ignoring this.
    Quote Originally Posted by evilevoix View Post
    the PCE, that system has no extra silicone for music, how many resources are used to make music and it has less sprites than the MD on screen at once but a larger sprite area?

  4. #64
    Hero of Algol kool kitty89's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chrisbid View Post
    the original question was whether or not sega shouldve released the 32x. it didnt really matter, there was no pressing reason for the gaming masses to buy either a 32x or a saturn. few consumers buy hardware for hardwares sake, they buy hardware to play software. thats why the wii is running away in the current generation of consoles, much to the chagrin of technophile gamers.
    There were killer apps for the 32x, the early library was pretty competitive for 1994/early '95. Same for the Saturn, a significant number of System sellers and big cross platform games. That changed after 1996 though.
    The big difference was Sony's capital: the ability to push TONs of ads and slash the hardware price. (with other advantages further compelling developers to shift to the PSX -and additional in-house advantages making the PSX cheaper still on top of the moderately cheaper hardware design: vertical integration, previous license for the CPU, owning CD-ROM patents, etc)

    A lot of it was marketing hype though, but until '97 there wasn't an sheer dominance as such. (like the NES in the US prior to late 1987) The shift of Square to PSX and FFVII pretty much solidified the PSX in Japan, and with JP developers goes a long way for the western market as well (as with the NES).

    Without the 32x and botched US Saturn launch in '95, Sega probably would have been a lot more competitive overall, though with Sony's inherent advantages, they'd at best have a better chance at matching Nintendo in the west, especially with Sony having Square regardless.
    Had NEC and Nintendo not screwed up as well, things could have been far different: if Nintendo had CD-ROM (or an add-on soon after at least) OR NEC not rushing out the PC-FX based ont he shelved "Iron Man" hardware, but actually added decent 3D capabilities, Square might have not gone with Sony, or at least not exclusively. (especially with the PCFX's excellent video decoding capabilities -and N64's potential for such with suitable media)

    Still, had it not been for Sony's massive advantages, the market would have stayed a lot more even (it had taken long enough to overcome Nintendo in the first place -and they'd still had the majority market share up until '95 and the lead market share until '96, though it mainly ended up just trading to another monopoly with Sony, except with a much larger market than in the NES days). It was pretty much a perfect storm in Sony's favor with: funds, hardware/software attractive to mass market 3rd parties, and pretty much all the competition screwing up and/or being too small to hold up against that. (and not establishing a niche to maintain in spite of mass market dominance by others -like the ST, Amiga, and Mac in the US in the face of the PC in the late 80s)




    Quote Originally Posted by sheath View Post
    You really think that killer apps are solely responsible for the industry's health. How in the world does one game from a megapublisher stealing everybody's attention, and sales, away from smaller publisher's games? How does game A selling 12 million units while Game C sells 200k due to lack of exposure help the industry?

    Especially in today's climate, Game C failing to sell over 500k results in the studio being shut down. Killer apps only support mega publishers and console manufacturers, not the industry as a whole.
    That heavily depends on the developer in question and the context of the game. (especially if 500k meant little to no profit for the game after production and licensing costs at the given sale price) For a lower budget, niche (especially downloadable) title, that wouldn't be the case, and again depending on the developer in question.

    But Killer apps aren't good for the consumer... they're good for the seller/manufacturer. Big mass market products NEED those sorts of games to be successful as such, it's the perspective of the companies, not the end user. (the important thing is selling the product to the end user, and hype is a critical part of such salesmanship)

    Even with healthy market competition you need those sorts of games to be competitive unless we're talking about a niche product.

    The Saturn for example had some killer apps, but not the sort of System sellers that competition had, let alone the marketing hype. (which, granted, Sony had an unfair advantage of being a mega corporation in an almost ideal position -much more so than NEC who had their massive PC market fall out in the early 90s) Sega's own internal problems put a lot of hurt on that, of course, preventing them from even the sort of competition the N64 offered in the long term. (in the west at least)





    Quote Originally Posted by chrisbid View Post
    youre ignoring the wii? it is dominating this generation because wii sports was a killer app. when things were starting to slow down, new super mario bros wii started the engine back up, the same way dkc rebooted the snes in its mid-later years.
    DKC didn't reboot the SNES, it pushed it at its peak at a time the Genesis had already passed its peak. (like the NES in '89/90) It's not like the SNES was settling down/declining in popularity prior to that.

    As for the Wii, how about comparing total game sales rather than just base units sold. (how many of the massive base of "casual" users even bought more than a couple games?)
    Not sure what the comment of NSMBW is about though... I think there are much bigger examples than that, especially if you're going for non-casual games. (Galaxy 2 would be a much bigger example) But the Wii motion plus and Wii Sports Resort are probably a much better example for th ecasual sector.

    Of course, Nintendo is probably a lot healthier than competition doing what they did, especially with the profits from hardware sales.

    yes, the list of killer app games is short, but name an uber successful console that did not have one. the 2600, genesis, snes, and playstation were floundering and vulnerable before the release of their killer app title
    Hmm, don't forget the difference between popularity and Success: you could argue the Xbox or 360 (possibly PS3) weren't/aren't successful if they never made a net profit for the parent companies: from the perspective of 3rd party developers or consumers, yeah, but only from a PR standpoint for the parent companies. (and the 360's laughable technical problems as well as the PS3's price -or bulk/weight- as well as less than ideal reliability aren't good PR either)

    The 32x and Saturn (and related management issues) aren't "failures" for Sega because they didn't sell well, but because they hurt the company financially, hurt relationships with 3rd party developers, hurt their public Image, etc. Had either made a net profit, I certianly wouldn't consider them failures. (especially if PR was kept up too)
    Likewise the 5200 was mainly a failure for the negative impact it had on Atari, though it may have actually been profitable overall. (except for the general losses tied to the market crash -the 2600 was a failure in that respect too though and not releasign the 5200 wouldn't have stopped the market from crashing -Atari had serious internal problems that didn't start getting addressed until the crash was almost there and they owned the market: had Commodore not had the price war in '83 or had Atari fallen behind the majority market share by then, the crash might have been avoided -and obviously would have had Atari/Warner fixed things by '83)

    The 7800 wasn't a failure, the SG-1000 wasn't, the Mk.III/SMS wasn't, the Lynx wasn't, Colecovision and Intellivision werent, and even the Jaguar wasn't from an economic standpoint (even from a PR standpoint probably not so much -maybe in Europe where the constant delays and shortages would have been pretty detrimental). Hell, the Jaguar turned the company around when they were in a desperate situation. (and allowed the Tramiels to leave the market in '96 with a very profitable reverse merger in '96 when in '93 the company had been in rather heavy debt).
    I think the 3DO might count as a market failure though. (it would depend on how much the success in Asia made up for losses of dumped hardware in the west) 3DO was all management though: EA+3DO+Panasonic had potential if not for that.




    Quote Originally Posted by Defolto View Post
    Yeah, the 32X had too many flaws it's biggest would probably be it's release date.
    That's not a flaw as such with the 32x itself though: the 32x was released exactly when SoJ wanted Mars to be released, so it's really just poor management and foresight on their part. (feeling that such an interim system was absolutely necessary and that it was a good idea to make it MD compatible and not Saturn compatible.
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    Quote Originally Posted by evilevoix View Post
    Dude it’s the bios that marries the 16 bit and the 8 bit that makes it 24 bit. If SNK released their double speed bios revision SNK would have had the world’s first 48 bit machine, IDK how you keep ignoring this.
    Quote Originally Posted by evilevoix View Post
    the PCE, that system has no extra silicone for music, how many resources are used to make music and it has less sprites than the MD on screen at once but a larger sprite area?

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    ESWAT Veteran Chilly Willy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kool kitty89 View Post
    The 32x's SH2s can render highcolor gouraud shaded or texture mapped polygonal 3D faster than the 3DO for typical games? (the 3DO has hardware affine texture mapping, gouraud shading, quad rasterization, dedicated fixed point matrix coprocessor, though there's the issue of contention for GPU and CPU in main bus -for texture mapping at least- and no CPU or GPU cache) The CPU is obviously slower, but it's got all that dedicated hardware. (the only issue is resource required for game logic, AI, and software Z-sorting) And that's not talking 2D stuff either. (where CPU usage would be a lot less intensive)
    Well, not the fill rate (at least, not the publicly stated fill rate), but the rest of it is no big deal. I'm not sure the fill rate is anywhere close to what their specs state given how slow the graphics are for many games.

    Dedicated hardware just made it easier... with the 32X, you have to do code to do everything yourself. Need 3D matrix math? No problem... just write some code for it. Need Goraud shading? There's code for that too. Clearly, some bits of code are easier than others. You also need a good grasp of SH assembly since trying to do those things in C would slow things down.

    I still think the only advantages the 3DO had were lots more memory, and all those DMA channels.


    The Jaguar would be way ahead for 2D stuff, but a lot closer to the 32x in polygonal 3D depending on the case. (for flat shaded or texture mapped polygonal 3D especially -gouraud shading is nice though, and non polygonal rendering -like ray casting or height mapped voxel engines or simpler pseudo 3D stuff)
    Well, the main advantages the Jaguar had were, again, more memory, but also much better throughput from the coprocessors to the memory. The 32X just used a 16 bit bus to make it easier to interface to the Genesis, and to keep down the number of ram chips needed.

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    Road Rasher chrisbid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kool kitty89 View Post
    There were killer apps for the 32x, the early library was pretty competitive for 1994/early '95. Same for the Saturn, a significant number of System sellers and big cross platform games. That changed after 1996 though.

    your idea of a killer app is far too loose. killer apps are the rare hit titles that push hardware sales to the stratosphere. there are less than 2 dozen of these titles in the history of the industry. the 32x, sega cd, and saturn never had their sonic the hedgehog, the proof is in their poor system sales.


    The big difference was Sony's capital: the ability to push TONs of ads and slash the hardware price. (with other advantages further compelling developers to shift to the PSX -and additional in-house advantages making the PSX cheaper still on top of the moderately cheaper hardware design: vertical integration, previous license for the CPU, owning CD-ROM patents, etc)
    marketing and capital were and still are secondary. in the gaming industry you have to have the games first. then all the other advantages can work their magic. the playstation before the release of final fantasy vii was in good shape, but it was not a world beater. had square stuck with nintendo, the effect of sonys capital and marketing wouldve been greatly diminished. kids werent exactly lining up to play crash bandicoot, their parents bought the game if they had a playstation as a substitute for mario.

    A lot of it was marketing hype though, but until '97 there wasn't an sheer dominance as such. (like the NES in the US prior to late 1987) The shift of Square to PSX and FFVII pretty much solidified the PSX in Japan, and with JP developers goes a long way for the western market as well (as with the NES).
    you're pretty much agreeing with my previous statement. though the 32 bit generation is when japans influence on the west started to fade

    Without the 32x and botched US Saturn launch in '95, Sega probably would have been a lot more competitive overall, though with Sony's inherent advantages, they'd at best have a better chance at matching Nintendo in the west, especially with Sony having Square regardless.
    Had NEC and Nintendo not screwed up as well, things could have been far different: if Nintendo had CD-ROM (or an add-on soon after at least) OR NEC not rushing out the PC-FX based ont he shelved "Iron Man" hardware, but actually added decent 3D capabilities, Square might have not gone with Sony, or at least not exclusively. (especially with the PCFX's excellent video decoding capabilities -and N64's potential for such with suitable media)
    consumers do not buy hardware for hardware's sake. software drives hardware sales

    Still, had it not been for Sony's massive advantages, the market would have stayed a lot more even (it had taken long enough to overcome Nintendo in the first place -and they'd still had the majority market share up until '95 and the lead market share until '96, though it mainly ended up just trading to another monopoly with Sony, except with a much larger market than in the NES days). It was pretty much a perfect storm in Sony's favor with: funds, hardware/software attractive to mass market 3rd parties, and pretty much all the competition screwing up and/or being too small to hold up against that. (and not establishing a niche to maintain in spite of mass market dominance by others -like the ST, Amiga, and Mac in the US in the face of the PC in the late 80s)
    final fantasy vii was the catalyst that blew the doors open for sony. sony had money and muscle when the playstation launched, but jumping flash and mortal kombat 3 didnt sell playstations.

    in 1991, nintendo had every financial advantage over sega, but sonic the hedgehog exploded onto the scene, and sega made up the difference in a hurry. software changed the game.




    That heavily depends on the developer in question and the context of the game. (especially if 500k meant little to no profit for the game after production and licensing costs at the given sale price) For a lower budget, niche (especially downloadable) title, that wouldn't be the case, and again depending on the developer in question.

    But Killer apps aren't good for the consumer... they're good for the seller/manufacturer. Big mass market products NEED those sorts of games to be successful as such, it's the perspective of the companies, not the end user. (the important thing is selling the product to the end user, and hype is a critical part of such salesmanship)

    killer apps arent good the for the consumer? this is impossible. consumers are the ones that give a game the status of killer app. if a title is so good, a consumer buys a system to play it, they are obviously happy. happy consumer = success.


    Even with healthy market competition you need those sorts of games to be competitive unless we're talking about a niche product.

    The Saturn for example had some killer apps, but not the sort of System sellers that competition had, let alone the marketing hype. (which, granted, Sony had an unfair advantage of being a mega corporation in an almost ideal position -much more so than NEC who had their massive PC market fall out in the early 90s) Sega's own internal problems put a lot of hurt on that, of course, preventing them from even the sort of competition the N64 offered in the long term. (in the west at least)

    in the west, there were no killer apps for the saturn. sega tried to position nights to be one, but that move turned out to be a flop. virtua fighter 2 was the killer app in japan, in the US interest for the VF series was tepid.

    sega's internal problems, and infighting was going on during the early genesis days as well. sonic the hedgehog was a giant bottle of aspirin that cured the corporate headaches.





    DKC didn't reboot the SNES, it pushed it at its peak at a time the Genesis had already passed its peak. (like the NES in '89/90) It's not like the SNES was settling down/declining in popularity prior to that.

    reboot was probably the wrong word, but it was the title that sustained snes sales, while sega abruptly dropped out of the 16 bit market. without it, the 32 bit generation may have matured faster... or it may have withered on the vine.


    As for the Wii, how about comparing total game sales rather than just base units sold. (how many of the massive base of "casual" users even bought more than a couple games?)
    Not sure what the comment of NSMBW is about though... I think there are much bigger examples than that, especially if you're going for non-casual games. (Galaxy 2 would be a much bigger example) But the Wii motion plus and Wii Sports Resort are probably a much better example for th ecasual sector.
    i dont know exactly what you are getting at, but new super mario bros wii is the best selling game this year (the year after it was released). it is a juggernaut plain and simple. wii sales were starting to wear off but nsmbw pushed the hardware sales back up to sold-out levels again last christmas and strong sales this year.

    casual gamer is a complete bs term. the industry made up the term 'casual' as a substitute for the term 'retarded'. with the success of wii sports, a genuinely fun game, the industry only saw a bunch of retards (anyone not playing first person shooters) playing stupid flash games. so they made a bunch of crappy flash games and called them 'casual games'. consumers do know the difference, thus most of the shovelware on the wii hasn't sold, and attempts from sony and microsoft to make retard games have failed to sell as well.

    Of course, Nintendo is probably a lot healthier than competition doing what they did, especially with the profits from hardware sales.


    Hmm, don't forget the difference between popularity and Success: you could argue the Xbox or 360 (possibly PS3) weren't/aren't successful if they never made a net profit for the parent companies: from the perspective of 3rd party developers or consumers, yeah, but only from a PR standpoint for the parent companies. (and the 360's laughable technical problems as well as the PS3's price -or bulk/weight- as well as less than ideal reliability aren't good PR either)

    The 32x and Saturn (and related management issues) aren't "failures" for Sega because they didn't sell well, but because they hurt the company financially, hurt relationships with 3rd party developers, hurt their public Image, etc. Had either made a net profit, I certianly wouldn't consider them failures. (especially if PR was kept up too)
    Likewise the 5200 was mainly a failure for the negative impact it had on Atari, though it may have actually been profitable overall. (except for the general losses tied to the market crash -the 2600 was a failure in that respect too though and not releasign the 5200 wouldn't have stopped the market from crashing -Atari had serious internal problems that didn't start getting addressed until the crash was almost there and they owned the market: had Commodore not had the price war in '83 or had Atari fallen behind the majority market share by then, the crash might have been avoided -and obviously would have had Atari/Warner fixed things by '83)
    the 32x didnt sell well, but sega's expectations weren't very clear about its position in the company. imho, it was probably seen a liferaft for the genesis while the saturn was being developed. in those terms it was failure, but it didnt sink the company.

    but the saturn was the true failure for sega. the saturn was supposed to go toe-to-toe with the playstation and the ultra 64. by the time the nintendo 64 was launched, the saturn was an afterthought. the saving grace of the saturn was its relative success in japan. success that stemmed from... you guess it... software, namely virtua fighter 2.


    The 7800 wasn't a failure, the SG-1000 wasn't, the Mk.III/SMS wasn't, the Lynx wasn't, Colecovision and Intellivision werent, and even the Jaguar wasn't from an economic standpoint (even from a PR standpoint probably not so much -maybe in Europe where the constant delays and shortages would have been pretty detrimental). Hell, the Jaguar turned the company around when they were in a desperate situation. (and allowed the Tramiels to leave the market in '96 with a very profitable reverse merger in '96 when in '93 the company had been in rather heavy debt).
    I think the 3DO might count as a market failure though. (it would depend on how much the success in Asia made up for losses of dumped hardware in the west) 3DO was all management though: EA+3DO+Panasonic had potential if not for that.
    turning profits is the goal of a company, and hobbyist gamers like ourselves love finding diamonds in the rough when it comes to systems like these, but in the general publics mind, these systems are afterthoughts at best. and none of them had a killer app.

    the killer app is the key component required for a console to become hugely successful. the playstation had a killer app and is a legend. the playstation 3 is mired in mediocrity, it lacks a definitive game (though they tried with little big planet).

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    The power of a "killer app" to sell consoles can also be overstated. Case and point, the PS2 sold out around the world without stellar software for two years. It had games, even well reviewed games, but people were buying it for the hardware.

    Theoretically people were buying the PS2 for its DVD capabilities, but that is just one in several popular theories. Grand Theft Auto III took off because the PS2 was already dominant in that generation. The point is, PS2's mass market success and reputation preceded any perceivable "killer app." PS2's success even preceded its release date.

    The 32X is an entirely different device. It could not have sold more than the total number of Genesis systems already out there. People had to still be using their Genesis systems, furthermore, to even care about the 32X. Historically, most consumers only pay attention within a few months of their purchase of the hardware.

    The only reason we are talking about whether the 32X should exist is because it was canceled in less than a year, along with its host platform and another add-on system. The reason why it was canceled had little to do with its ability to be a financially successful product or its gaming promise. 32X, Genesis and Sega CD were canceled because Sega was already out of money, due to the already declining Arcade markets.

    So, most of the people who might have cared to look for the 32X would have been within the few million people who bought a Genesis in 1994 and 1995. Maybe ten percent of that number, who purchased a Genesis in the years prior were still actively following the format. That is the market 32X was aimed at. By comparison, the "next gen" Playstation did not sell 1 million units by the end of 1996, beating Saturn to the mark by a month or so in the US.

    On the topic of software, most seem to be coming from the perspective that the 32X games would have served the Saturn better than the 32X. There are a few problems with this. One, it does not regard the very significant cost difference between porting a game versus designing one from the ground up. Also neglected is the cost difference between designing a cartridge game with relatively little voice acting or FMV cutscenes and a CD-ROM game that needed all of the bell's and whistles.

    Finally, the Saturn's library in 1995-96 was greater in number of quality titles than the PS1, but inferior in numbers of mass market buzz generating titles to the PS1. The PS1 didn't have a "killer app" during this time frame. Somehow the synergy between popular game magazine buzz and a handful of unique exclusives was propelling the PS1 to higher month to month sales by a mediocre margin.

    In 1994 a flat shaded polygonal fighter/racer was more neat than a Gameboy adapter for the SNES. In 1995 it was less cool, by 1996 everything needed to be texture mapped shaded 3D or it wasn't cool. Games didn't matter, which console appeared more "cutting edge" did. From a gaming perspective this is idiotic, but that is the masses for you.

    Advertising makes a big difference in this perception, probably more so than games. Advertising and Sony's brand had a huge impact on people's willingness to see the PS1 as cutting edge. Meanwhile, like a swarm of sharks, magazines and industry heads like EA's Trip Hawkins were pointing at Sega and making them look weak and inferior. It really is as simple as that.

    Consumers don't research specs, they don't reverse engineer consoles, they don't even look at the total library of games for a console. They flock where they think the herd is moving to, only the signpost fads of "what's new" change. Killer apps are only games that successful marketing has propelled to monolithic status among the masses.

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    Finally, the Saturn's library in 1995-96 was greater in number of quality titles than the PS1, but inferior in numbers of mass market buzz generating titles to the PS1. The PS1 didn't have a "killer app" during this time frame. Somehow the synergy between popular game magazine buzz and a handful of unique exclusives was propelling the PS1 to higher month to month sales by a mediocre margin.
    I guess Toshinden wasn't a killer app? Or MK3?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chilly Willy View Post
    Well, not the fill rate (at least, not the publicly stated fill rate), but the rest of it is no big deal. I'm not sure the fill rate is anywhere close to what their specs state given how slow the graphics are for many games.
    One problem with the 3DO is that there was no hardware level documentation or tools for programmers to really push the hardware with low level optimization: everything was done entirely in C with the libraries provided in the DSK. (I think the PSX was a bit like that early on too, but Sony released more detailed low-level stuff later on iirc)
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    Quote Originally Posted by evilevoix View Post
    Dude it’s the bios that marries the 16 bit and the 8 bit that makes it 24 bit. If SNK released their double speed bios revision SNK would have had the world’s first 48 bit machine, IDK how you keep ignoring this.
    Quote Originally Posted by evilevoix View Post
    the PCE, that system has no extra silicone for music, how many resources are used to make music and it has less sprites than the MD on screen at once but a larger sprite area?

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    Quote Originally Posted by chrisbid View Post
    your idea of a killer app is far too loose. killer apps are the rare hit titles that push hardware sales to the stratosphere. there are less than 2 dozen of these titles in the history of the industry. the 32x, sega cd, and saturn never had their sonic the hedgehog, the proof is in their poor system sales.
    Killer apps aren't defined by the quality of a game alone: most depend HUGELY on the amount and quality of marketing/advertising poured into it. So even IF Sega had some massive killer app that trumped everyone else, but they couldn't manage the competitive marketing necessary to push it on the market at the time, they'd still be stuck. (there are cases of viral killer apps like Doom, but that largely spread due to shareware)

    Or if the Jaguar had a game that trumped anything else in late 1995 it would still not have likely made a big splash due to the extremely limited marketing budget.

    Marketing budget and marketing management alone is the key reasons for the Playstation's popularity.

    On top of sheer budget, you have brand name: FFVII wouldn't have been what is was without the marketing AND the Square name (especially in Japan).

    Plus some major games would have stayed multiplatform if it hadn't been for Sony buying stuff up as exclusives. (Tomb Raider II for example)

    With the sort of investments Sony made, they weren't going to fail. (even if they'd had the 3DO hardware and launched a year earlier)

    So they had tons of money being poured into marketing: including buying up games as exclusives (if staying short of buying full companies), AND invested TONs into game deveolpment (both 1st and 3rd party commissions): hundreds of millions of dollars spent on that alone. (200 million invested specifically for software acquisition early on)

    Particularly this quote comes to mind:
    http://www.konixmultisystem.co.uk/in...content=martin
    Martin Brennan:


    Around the time of the Summer spring CES I remember it was at the same time as the World Cup. Sony announced that they were going to spend 200 million dollars acquiring software for the Playstation. They'd hired Chicago's rock café and invited software developers to come to it.

    When you have pockets that deep you're not going to fail. I happen to know that at that time the Atari family had made 60 million dollars cash from the sale of some land in Taiwan that they had judiciously purchased.
    60 million dollars is a great deal of money for a family - but they must have had to consider putting their 60 million up against Sony's 200 million dollars - I'm not sure I'd have made any other choice than theirs. You can't compete with that - even if you have a better product or not.


    you're pretty much agreeing with my previous statement. though the 32 bit generation is when japans influence on the west started to fade
    I was saying that a shift in Japanese development for the PSX (a MASSIVE shift in PSX popularity in '97 and continually declining Saturn thereafter -below the N64 in market share by '98 I believe) would have had a huge impact on the west as well with key developers catering to that platform: and even if developers were catering to the Saturn in Japan on top of PSX, they'd be FAR less likely to push translations for such Saturn titles. (and more likely to push N64 ports after 1997)

    consumers do not buy hardware for hardware's sake. software drives hardware sales
    Marketing+software tie-ins drive hardware sales, without both you have nothing... Marketing is not just advertising, but would also include distribution plan, game release schedule, hardware and game pricing, etc.
    It's a chicken and the egg or snowball sort of thing if you take marketing out: you need good software support to be popular and you need to be popular to get good support.

    Marketing could also include investment plan for buying 3rd party software and such as well. Sony's money let them do things that others really couldn't. (3DO+Panasonic could have to some extent, but their marketing was all wrong for that while Sony got that right and had even more capital to throw around)

    in 1991, nintendo had every financial advantage over sega, but sonic the hedgehog exploded onto the scene, and sega made up the difference in a hurry. software changed the game.
    Nintendo wasn't spending on marketing like Sega was and wasn't aiming at the key niche Sega was with its marketing. Sonic (as a game) wasn't a leap over what the SNES was offering... Sega had the marketing, Nintendo was arrogantly not meeting them on those grounds (and got caught rather off guard), continued to push limiting contracts and censorship on 3rd parties, etc. (marketing is what made Sega and Nintendo pack-in Sonic and SMW and what made the Genesis $50 cheaper than the SNES)
    Plus, that didn't do it for Sega in Japan, Nintendo was huge due to their name and clout in the market.

    killer apps arent good the for the consumer? this is impossible. consumers are the ones that give a game the status of killer app. if a title is so good, a consumer buys a system to play it, they are obviously happy. happy consumer = success.
    Game sales don't mean a good game... I mean overhyped and overrated games overshadowing works by developers without the advantage of massive marketing budgets and hype (and brand name).
    None of that is good for the gamer, just good for the developer/seller.

    There's a reason that all such killer games have a tendency of being exceptionally overrated. (many being touted as "best" when that's hardly the case, even at the time in many cases: SMB, FFVII, Halo, SM64, Modern Warfare II -possible the most overrated game currently in existence- etc)

    in the west, there were no killer apps for the saturn. sega tried to position nights to be one, but that move turned out to be a flop. virtua fighter 2 was the killer app in japan, in the US interest for the VF series was tepid.
    Nights didn't have a chance: Sega's marketing budget crashed just days prior to the planned start for a MASSIVE Nights add campaign.
    Granted, Nights isn't the sort fo game that necessarily has the mass appeal as SM64 (though I'd argue FFVII on that one too... other than the FMV eye candy), but it didn't even have a chance due to Sega's marketing tanking just before the massive push for the game was to start.

    sega's internal problems, and infighting was going on during the early genesis days as well. sonic the hedgehog was a giant bottle of aspirin that cured the corporate headaches.
    No, there were no problems like those of '94-98 at any point prior to that, it was a unique case of odd conflicts and management issues.
    Granted, SoA's marketing of the SMS sucked and is the main reason it didn't compete against the NES in the critical 1986-1987 period (Tonka corrected that to a fair degree in '88, but that was too late). Katz came in and fought really hard with the Genesis (with surprisingly positive results given Nintendo's mounting monopoly), and Kalinske followed that up and had Sonic to work with as well. (granted, there's a lot of standard pack-in changes that really should have been considered prior to that over Altered beast)

    There was no way Sega was goign to break through the NES's grip until after it had peaked anyway (NES peaked in '89 and 90, so '91 was the first year to really open that up), plus there were also those waiting to decide to buy a Genesis until the SNES was out too, so they could make their choice.

    Marketing alone is what killed the PCE in the west. (poor management in the US and lack of release in Europe) Or rather, marketing and Nintendo's clout and anticompetitive contracts stifling US releases for the system. (Sega had very productive in-house developers pushing stuff out to compensate)
    A real shame they didn't push the PCE in Europe, that could have been a far mroe favorable market in many respects.

    reboot was probably the wrong word, but it was the title that sustained snes sales, while sega abruptly dropped out of the 16 bit market. without it, the 32 bit generation may have matured faster... or it may have withered on the vine.
    Sega gradually declined following their 1993/1994 peak, very much like the SNES. (but starting a year earlier -no surprise there given its age)
    http://www.sega-16.com/forum/showthread.php?p=199097

    And that's even with the cut off Genesis marketing in '96/97 and the cease in production leading to shortages starting in '97. (cuing Majesco to step in)

    casual gamer is a complete bs term. the industry made up the term 'casual' as a substitute for the term 'retarded'. with the success of wii sports, a genuinely fun game, the industry only saw a bunch of retards (anyone not playing first person shooters) playing stupid flash games. so they made a bunch of crappy flash games and called them 'casual games'. consumers do know the difference, thus most of the shovelware on the wii hasn't sold, and attempts from sony and microsoft to make retard games have failed to sell as well.
    No, I men casual in the general sense of people who buy a system for a narrow niche and aren't really gamers in the broader sense: the sort of people who buy only a very few games though the life of the system. (opposed to big time gamers collecting a lot of games, or kid/family gamers on a budget buying a few games a year and amassing a significant collection over time)

    My Grandpa bought his NES as such a "casual gamer" and owned all of 2 or 3 games ever. (the pack-in Mario/Duck Hunt/Track Meet, Jack Nicholson Golf, and maybe one other)
    The Wii didn't create such consumers for sure, but it greatly caters to such, as the NES did more so than pretty much anything prior to it.
    In that line you had a lot of users buying the PS3 primarily as a DVD player (and maybe a few games later on, but very few cases of such users being converted into big game buyers) heavily inflating PS2 sales.

    the 32x didnt sell well, but sega's expectations weren't very clear about its position in the company. imho, it was probably seen a liferaft for the genesis while the saturn was being developed. in those terms it was failure, but it didnt sink the company.
    Except the Saturn was completed about the same time... and the Genesis didn't need a life boat as such as a console its self. (if anything the 32x detracted from Genesis development alone -and CD development for that matter -obviously Saturn as well)

    32x would have made some sense if Sega actually needed such an intrim system worldwide ans the Saturn (or a replacement) had a lot more development time to go before release. (like '95/96 in Japan)

    but the saturn was the true failure for sega. the saturn was supposed to go toe-to-toe with the playstation and the ultra 64. by the time the nintendo 64 was launched, the saturn was an afterthought. the saving grace of the saturn was its relative success in japan. success that stemmed from... you guess it... software, namely virtua fighter 2.
    Saturn wasn't an afterthought in the west until after 1997... it may not have been top by any means, but up to '97 is was still a very significant contender. (the drop off in advertising in '96 was a big start of it, plus the N64's launch, and of course FFVII the next year having a huge impact in general -and correspondingly for JP development trends toward Sony and away from Sega and Nintendo)

    Again, NEC was gone from Japan with the failure of the PCFX, so that didn't buffer anything either opposed to the previous generation.

    turning profits is the goal of a company, and hobbyist gamers like ourselves love finding diamonds in the rough when it comes to systems like these, but in the general publics mind, these systems are afterthoughts at best. and none of them had a killer app.
    Growing up as an average gamer with my freinds, I never much bought into any hype or such, I just judged games by what I saw: I was into Mario 64 and Star Fox 64 sheerly from what I'd played of the games at freinds' kiosks, or rentals.
    I shopped for games by looking at the games available at Funcoland and such, or by previous experience with friends, not by commercials or print ads. (sometimes renting first, a few cases of random chance -like Mega Man X which I hadn't heard of at the time as a 8 or 9 year old in the late 90s -got our SNES in '96)
    I knew I'd wanted Pocky and Rocky and Earthbound from playing it with one friend who owned it, but none of those showed up at local stores. (I had no idea they were uncommon games)

    the killer app is the key component required for a console to become hugely successful. the playstation had a killer app and is a legend. the playstation 3 is mired in mediocrity, it lacks a definitive game (though they tried with little big planet).
    A lot of that is simply due to competition and multiplatform releases. Sony didn't have competitive pricing (a HUGE issue) had a tough to develop for platform for the second time in a row (not quite as bad as the PS2, but fool me twice... plus having the price issues and lacking the pull with BD that DVD had in 2000).

    If Sony could have pulled a lot of big titles as exclusives like they did with the PSX and been price competitive, it would have been a different story. (even without developer friendly hardware -though that would factor in as well)
    A bit part of that is MS matching Sony on their terms with money (even if they had to sacrifice more than Sony to do so -ie not profited financially overall). Without the Xbox in the west last generation, things likely would have been rather different. (though it could also simply have meant an even greater shift to cross-platform PC releases -which did happen with the PSX too, many PSX 3rd party console exclusives going to PC -including Tomb Raider II and FFVII -and often with significant graphical improvement with the advances of contemporary PCs -Sega was pushing PC too of course starting with Sonic CD in '95)
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    Quote Originally Posted by evilevoix View Post
    Dude it’s the bios that marries the 16 bit and the 8 bit that makes it 24 bit. If SNK released their double speed bios revision SNK would have had the world’s first 48 bit machine, IDK how you keep ignoring this.
    Quote Originally Posted by evilevoix View Post
    the PCE, that system has no extra silicone for music, how many resources are used to make music and it has less sprites than the MD on screen at once but a larger sprite area?

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    lets make a distinction here

    flash-in-the-pan hit: any title that is marketed/hyped/reviewed well that sells well for a week or two, then fades to obscurity. heavy rain would be an example

    killer app: any title that may or may not sell well after release, but sells well for weeks, months and even years later. these are the titles that do not rely on marketing, word of mouth (aka customer satisfaction, aka quality software) is the ultimate marketing tool. new super mario bros wii is the latest app.



    there is wisdom in crowds. consistent high sales of a title if proof of this. when sales for a game peter out after a couple of weeks, that is the effect of marketing over substance.

    look at nsmbw, nintendo didnt even want to make it. it was an afterthought title on the ds that blew away expectations, so somebody at nintendo made the brave decision to make a 2D smb game on the wii. marketing was minimal, reviews were tepid, the "hardcore" set was furious. despite all this, it is the best selling game this year.

    look at some other killer apps through the years. super mario bros on the NES didnt have out-of-this-world marketing behind it. the nes took a couple of years of word of mouth, pre-internet marketing to really take off.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kool kitty89 View Post
    One problem with the 3DO is that there was no hardware level documentation or tools for programmers to really push the hardware with low level optimization: everything was done entirely in C with the libraries provided in the DSK. (I think the PSX was a bit like that early on too, but Sony released more detailed low-level stuff later on iirc)
    It wasn't that there was simply no documentation, they were forbidden from having low level access to the system. All 3DO games had to be certified and encrypted by 3DO themselves, which AFAIK they would not do unless the games were programmed using 3DO's OS. Not ideal as of course since the OS was loaded from disc it had a memory footprint as well as being slower than direct access. I guess the idea was that the system could be altered significantly while remaining compatible with all software. As it was this didn't really happen as some games were buggy with certain hardware revisions anyway.
    Last edited by Silanda; 08-16-2010 at 08:58 AM.

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    Hero of Algol kool kitty89's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chrisbid View Post
    lets make a distinction here

    flash-in-the-pan hit: any title that is marketed/hyped/reviewed well that sells well for a week or two, then fades to obscurity. heavy rain would be an example

    killer app: any title that may or may not sell well after release, but sells well for weeks, months and even years later. these are the titles that do not rely on marketing, word of mouth (aka customer satisfaction, aka quality software) is the ultimate marketing tool. new super mario bros wii is the latest app.
    Name one killer app as such that didn't have a huge marketing push of some sort, was pack-in, a major arcade hit (like Space invaders or Pac Man), or facilitated spread via shareware or free demos. (like Doom)

    look at some other killer apps through the years. super mario bros on the NES didnt have out-of-this-world marketing behind it. the nes took a couple of years of word of mouth, pre-internet marketing to really take off.
    It was pack-in... and HAD TONS of marketing pushing the NES...
    Plus, it, like many other such games is severely overrated to the exclusion of other titles, which, even if know, are said to be "worse" due to the hype of the game...

    Now, it wasn't pack-in in Japan, but unlike the US, the Famicom was already big (opposed to the NES not even launching until fall of 1986 with SMB pack-in -and not even expanding their test market beyond NYC until spring of '86) and Nintendo had a big name already in Japan.
    Plus, if you go into Japan, the Saturn had several killer apps, or at least big system sellers as such (some more short term though -like Virtua Fighter), Nights and several RPGs would fit into that category for sure.

    The Tomb Raider games weren't flash in the pan hits only, neither were the Crash Bandicoot games...

    FFVII in particular sold to a huge extent due to hype and FMV eye candy (fueling viral hype as well), on top of being a 3D RPG in general, but the FMV cinema was a massive reason, probably the main one in the mass market. The quality of the game itself didn't so much matter (it could have been decent, it could have been amazing -as long as it wasn't crap) it had the marketing push and the multimedia hook, and its massive hype from the time made it persist in the industry like SMB, Doom, etc.
    Had it stayed on the N64 with all game engine cutscenes and synthesized music, it would have been pretty much the same game overall, but without the multimedia cinema appeal. (just the 3D appeal)

    Had it been released on the Saturn as well as PSX, it would still have been a killer app for sure, but no longer a boon for Sony alone. (save for the fact that marketing in the west was WAY better with Sony -namely the budget- and with Sega's increasingly shaky position, a Saturn translation for the west likely would have been delayed compared to the PSX -if Sony hadn't leveraged for an exclusive western release in general)

    Again, it was a perfect storm for Sony, they had the money, the right marketing, the right hardware, the right timing, everything, and competition had either screwed up already or would do so later on.
    With hardware more like the PS2 vs Dreamcast (relatively speaking) in design orientation and developer friendliness, it would have been different, but Sony still would have had a huge advantage in the other areas (even with the 3DO hardware they would have so long as their management and marketing held).

    As it was, Sega still had a chance to be reasonably competitive (and was very strong in Japan -so a big help in the west so long as translations were forthcoming), but FFVII being a Sony console exclusive toppled that and not only solidified the PSX (especially in Japan), but catalyzed a shift of JP developers to push prominently for Sony, often to the exclusion of Nintendo and Sega. (many Sega loyalists hanging on, but the mass of Nintendo strong companies shifting to Sony and sometimes supporting Saturn as well, but pretty much never in the west)



    You've also got cult games that may not have ever sold exceptionally well in some markets, but were established as exceptional games in general and held that reputation for a long time and sold over a very long period. (like Castlevania Symphony of the Night)
    Those wouldn't be killer apps either though.






    Quote Originally Posted by sheath View Post
    The 32X is an entirely different device. It could not have sold more than the total number of Genesis systems already out there. People had to still be using their Genesis systems, furthermore, to even care about the 32X. Historically, most consumers only pay attention within a few months of their purchase of the hardware.
    That wouldn't have been the case if the Neptune had been brought out, but again, that made no sense with the Saturn already there, neither did the 32x, again.

    The only reason we are talking about whether the 32X should exist is because it was canceled in less than a year, along with its host platform and another add-on system. The reason why it was canceled had little to do with its ability to be a financially successful product or its gaming promise. 32X, Genesis and Sega CD were canceled because Sega was already out of money, due to the already declining Arcade markets.
    No, I question it because it's in direct conflict with the Saturn, doesn't mesh at all with the pending release of the Saturn in 1994 in Japan, doesn't make sense as an interim system (even if it had a full year), detracted from potential Genesis and CD support as well as Saturn, etc, etc.

    It WOULD have made some sense in the interim if the Saturn couldn't have been released in Japan until '95 or '96 (or some replacement for the Saturn), but that wasn't the case at all. And It's not SoA that planned it either, but SoJ who pushed Mars in the first place.

    I also question it due to the similarly confusing issues with the Saturn in the US from 1995-1998, as well as management shift with the DC. (in the case of the latter, massive amounts of money spent with the DC when they'd apparently been forced to cut way back on the Saturn in 1996 in the west -when Sega was in worse shape when the DC launched but was spending far more on marketing and software development)

    On top of all that, other than just having no 32x at all (which would have been fine given the Genesis on the market, not to mention CD and GG to support), they did have other options for interim beyond the CD, with the SVP (granted, best case would have been VR being lock-on in the first place), but beyond short-term interim stuff (which is what the 32x/Mars was planned to be), if Sega really did want a lower cost platform that could be released at reasonable price in the US in 1994 AND be well supported alongside the Saturn for the whole generation: the so-called Jupiter design already considered by SoJ would have made plenty of sense there (many, many, many times more sense for the time than the Mars concept given the Saturn would be totally unrelated and incompatible)

    On the topic of software, most seem to be coming from the perspective that the 32X games would have served the Saturn better than the 32X. There are a few problems with this. One, it does not regard the very significant cost difference between porting a game versus designing one from the ground up. Also neglected is the cost difference between designing a cartridge game with relatively little voice acting or FMV cutscenes and a CD-ROM game that needed all of the bell's and whistles.
    No, no, I meant if there WAS no 32x, and all of its games WERE designed from the ground up for the Saturn and not simple ports from the 32x. (or ports from the Arcade originals)
    It higher poly count, framerate, draw distance, and lack of dithering on all flat shaded games (ie VR and SWA), texture mapping and gouraud shading on top of that for Stellar Assault, more and higher res textures on top of all that for Metal Head, Doom similar in quality to the PSX port (more likely with original music and sfx though -likely CD-DA arrangements), not to mention the possibilities in the 2D games. (of course, western developed titles would depend on development support for the Saturn AND assumign some of those games wouldn't go to the Genesis or CD instead)

    Then FMV, CD-DA, and better sound samples on top of all that.
    Plus for VF on the Saturn, instead of the 32x port, they could have pushed a corrected version (ie remix or the like) much sooner. (ie before the US release)

    In 1994 a flat shaded polygonal fighter/racer was more neat than a Gameboy adapter for the SNES. In 1995 it was less cool, by 1996 everything needed to be texture mapped shaded 3D or it wasn't cool. Games didn't matter, which console appeared more "cutting edge" did. From a gaming perspective this is idiotic, but that is the masses for you.
    Why mention the Super game boy: the Super FX stuff would be more comparable there, and most obviously more limited than 32x stuff.
    The 32x didn't help sell the Genesis though, it did nothing for the mass market and there's no reason the Genesis alone shouldn't have stayed (especially along with the CD). It was a cool machine for PR with hardcore fans and mass media in the short term (horrible in the long term in both regards), it didn't help extend the life of the console either. (the Genesis outlived the 32x and CD by a good margin as it was -more so had Sega focused on continued support in the budget category longer -ie continued to push it up to 1999 at least rather than halting production in '96 with shortages starting in '97 prompting Majesco to offer licenced distribution and selling 2 million more units -not to mention game sales)

    Games did matter for the long run, and Sega cranking out more genesis games (and especially bringing over some Japanese titles) and maybe CD stuff or even SVP could have been quite significant. (it's also possible that later SVP games would have been cheaper: economies of scale countering the initial cost of licensing the Samsung DSP core and implementing it in their custom SVP ASIC, even without even going the lock-on route: let alone games that didn't have to be a full 2 MB like VR -only the most expensive SFX2 games like Doom and Yoshi's Island were 2 MB: most were 512 kB or 1 MB: Yoshi's island also had the SRAM+battery cost)
    Most 32x games could reasonably have been put on Sega CD, Genesis, or with SVP and those that took too big a hit would wait for Saturn. (many others still merited Saturn upgrades regardless)

    The Saturn's sparse early library hurt too, especially without any real killer app in the west, not to mention weaker marketing. (and in some cases they did have big 3rd party games like Tomb Raider, but Sony took that too with the Sequel and even rolled Laura Croft into their roster of featured "Sony" characters in their ads)
    The PSX may have arguably had some weaker games in some areas, be many of those that (arguably) play worse than Saturn contemporaries, were still impressive looking and eye catching in general, and had some rather significant games in gneral. (in terms of library alone, the PSX was never really superior overall -for specific genres each had strengths- until 1997 with the real shift coming: prior to that the main difference was marketing in both budget and management -though the 2 go hand in hand to some extent: it's a lot harder to screw up if you have enough money -3DO REALLY screwed up in a composite of ways)


    Consumers don't research specs, they don't reverse engineer consoles, they don't even look at the total library of games for a console. They flock where they think the herd is moving to, only the signpost fads of "what's new" change. Killer apps are only games that successful marketing has propelled to monolithic status among the masses.
    Yep, and some killer apps may be excellent games that last through the ages, others may be more average games that at least looked impressive for the time and didn't hold up later on other than tied to old hype.

    You can also have multiplatform killer apps too, but those aren't system sellers unless one version is significantly superior to others, or comes pack-in with the console. (like Donkey Kong on the Colecovision -though the A8 version was better)


    In that line though, for kids at the time (up to ~13 year olds at least), the N64 had a lot going for it: kid friendly and family friendly connotations and the Nintendo name regardless of actual advertising they kept a lot of that marketing (with a shift in some cases like Goldeneye), so Nintendo held the Same niche that they had in previous generations in the US, but they fell back in other areas. Maybe it was just the local trend, but almost all the kids I knew (at least 4 out of 5, probably more) who had new consoles from 1996-2000 tended to have N64s. I personally remember being more impressed with the stuff I saw on the Saturn than PSX early on, but it was no contest for the games I saw on N64. (hardly remember any commercials other than OOT and SSB, maybe some of the pokemon games; most came from actual play with friends or at store displays)
    Plus I had PC games too, so some of the PSX stuff was less significant in that regard. (the 4 player stuff in particular did it for me on the N64)
    I'm not sure how I'd have felt as a teenager at the time though. (I do remember older kids, teens, and family freinds at the time owning Saturns or PSXs more often -I actually remember Saturns more prominently than PSX as such around '96)

    Sony cut directly into Sega's previous niche with the PSX (not so much very early on, but definitely by 1997 they had pretty much assimilated the market model Sega had used with the Genesis but with a lot more money to throw around).


    Quote Originally Posted by Silanda View Post
    It wasn't that there was simply no documentation, they were forbidden from having low level access to the system. All 3DO games had to be certified and encrypted by 3DO themselves, which AFAIK they would not do unless the games were programmed using 3DO's OS. Not ideal as of course since the OS was loaded from disc it had a memory footprint as well as being slower than direct access. I guess the idea was that the system could be altered significantly while remaining compatible with all software. As it was this didn't really happen as some games were buggy with certain hardware revisions anyway.
    Yeah, that all ties into the market model 3DO had created: more or less trying to create a general standard like that of PC games (except even PC stuff had a ton of low level optimization at the time -and was all software based).

    The 3DO pretty much showed every reason why that doesn't work well for a console.
    Had the same hardware been pushed like contemporary consoles (especially with tight partnership with Panasonic and lots of funding -even if a lot more modest than what Sony pushed) thing would definitely have been way different.
    But that wasn't Trip Hawkins' plan... Part of it was wanting to bring the game market back to the US, and if that had been all (with traditional razor and blade model and fixed console hardware -let alone Sony taking that to another level with their spending and selling below cost) things would have been far different.
    ---In that respect, had he been willing to push that same idea and partner with Atari over it as well as another big corporation with the necessary production and funding capabilities -not to mention applicable brand name in Japan, like Panasonic- that makes an even more interesting hypothetical; of course the Jaguar and 3DO design concepts and software tools were almost polar opposites -though the base Jaguar chipset could have been implemented in a much less conservative design and still been a lot cheaper than 3DO due to the tight design -as it was it was sold for a profit, though likely a slim margin compared to the 3DO's licensed production. (actually the Co-Jag added 1 MB of 32-bit VRAM like the 3DO -though on the same bus, just a separate bank, not a separate bus like the 3DO- and a 25 MHz 68EC020 or MIPS R3000, though that would obviously have added a lot compared to the super cut back home console, adding a CD drive would have cost more, of course, though a partnership with Panasonic -or another for that matter- could have facilitated a lot of that)
    Last edited by kool kitty89; 08-16-2010 at 05:57 PM.
    6 days older than SEGA Genesis
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    Quote Originally Posted by evilevoix View Post
    Dude it’s the bios that marries the 16 bit and the 8 bit that makes it 24 bit. If SNK released their double speed bios revision SNK would have had the world’s first 48 bit machine, IDK how you keep ignoring this.
    Quote Originally Posted by evilevoix View Post
    the PCE, that system has no extra silicone for music, how many resources are used to make music and it has less sprites than the MD on screen at once but a larger sprite area?

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    Road Rasher chrisbid's Avatar
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    i will not deny the importance of marketing, but consumers are quick to figure out if title x only has sizzle without the steak. games are the backbone of the industry. marketing is the muscle. a skeleton with a little muscle is in better shape than a spineless pile of meat.

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    I remain nonsequitur Shining Hero sheath's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kool kitty89 View Post
    That wouldn't have been the case if the Neptune had been brought out, but again, that made no sense with the Saturn already there, neither did the 32x, again.
    I'm not so sure about that. One solid year of 32X sales might have legitimized a Neptune replacing the Genesis in 1996. Again, we're talking about both the Saturn and PS1 taking over 1.5 years to sell one million units by 1997. I don't know the exact figures, but I think Genesis sold around 3-4 million in the US alone during the same timeframe, and might have even sold more if it had remained supported by Sega.

    That's at least several million consumers who might want to play some 3D games, or enhanced Genesis games or better ports of Dracula X than the SNES got, etc. Let's assume the 32X could have been $100 cost by mid 1995, we're talking about a solid revenue source for Sega while they wait for the big 32-bitters to go mainstream in '97. Residual Genesis-32X sales in '98-99 would only have helped their situation.

    Even if developers moved away from porting to them, all Sega had to do was republish the hits and make money. Again though, the cost of making a 32X version of a Saturn game would have been relatively small compared to making a full blown Saturn title.

    Quote Originally Posted by kool kitty89 View Post
    No, I question it because it's in direct conflict with the Saturn, doesn't mesh at all with the pending release of the Saturn in 1994 in Japan, doesn't make sense as an interim system (even if it had a full year), detracted from potential Genesis and CD support as well as Saturn, etc, etc.

    It WOULD have made some sense in the interim if the Saturn couldn't have been released in Japan until '95 or '96 (or some replacement for the Saturn), but that wasn't the case at all. And It's not SoA that planned it either, but SoJ who pushed Mars in the first place.
    Why mess with Japan, whatever Sega did worked there. If anything having it out in Japan early helped the US library expand faster than the PS1's did.

    Quote Originally Posted by kool kitty89 View Post
    I also question it due to the similarly confusing issues with the Saturn in the US from 1995-1998, as well as management shift with the DC. (in the case of the latter, massive amounts of money spent with the DC when they'd apparently been forced to cut way back on the Saturn in 1996 in the west -when Sega was in worse shape when the DC launched but was spending far more on marketing and software development)
    It is pretty well assumed that Kalinske and his team would not have left Sega if SoJ hadn't screwed up his plans. This could only have helped Saturn in the long run ('97 onward).

    Quote Originally Posted by kool kitty89 View Post
    No, no, I meant if there WAS no 32x, and all of its games WERE designed from the ground up for the Saturn and not simple ports from the 32x. (or ports from the Arcade originals)
    It higher poly count, framerate, draw distance, and lack of dithering on all flat shaded games (ie VR and SWA), texture mapping and gouraud shading on top of that for Stellar Assault, more and higher res textures on top of all that for Metal Head, Doom similar in quality to the PSX port (more likely with original music and sfx though -likely CD-DA arrangements), not to mention the possibilities in the 2D games. (of course, western developed titles would depend on development support for the Saturn AND assumign some of those games wouldn't go to the Genesis or CD instead)

    Then FMV, CD-DA, and better sound samples on top of all that.
    Plus for VF on the Saturn, instead of the 32x port, they could have pushed a corrected version (ie remix or the like) much sooner. (ie before the US release)
    You don't know that 32X development delayed VF Remix. If anything, if the Saturn had launched in September instead of May it might have had Remix as a launch title.


    Quote Originally Posted by kool kitty89 View Post
    Why mention the Super game boy: the Super FX stuff would be more comparable there, and most obviously more limited than 32x stuff.
    The magazines, August 1994, primarily compared the 32X to SVP Virtua Racing and the Super Gameboy adapter.

    Quote Originally Posted by kool kitty89 View Post
    The 32x didn't help sell the Genesis though, it did nothing for the mass market and there's no reason the Genesis alone shouldn't have stayed (especially along with the CD). It was a cool machine for PR with hardcore fans and mass media in the short term (horrible in the long term in both regards), it didn't help extend the life of the console either. (the Genesis outlived the 32x and CD by a good margin as it was -more so had Sega focused on continued support in the budget category longer -ie continued to push it up to 1999 at least rather than halting production in '96 with shortages starting in '97 prompting Majesco to offer licenced distribution and selling 2 million more units -not to mention game sales)
    Right, the 32X would not have sold Genesis, it would have kept Genesis users, especially the hardcore, playing Genesis games a little longer though.

    Quote Originally Posted by kool kitty89 View Post
    The Saturn's sparse early library hurt too, especially without any real killer app in the west, not to mention weaker marketing. (and in some cases they did have big 3rd party games like Tomb Raider, but Sony took that too with the Sequel and even rolled Laura Croft into their roster of featured "Sony" characters in their ads)
    The Saturn's early library was not sparse, the PS1's was.

    Quote Originally Posted by kool kitty89 View Post
    The PSX may have arguably had some weaker games in some areas, be many of those that (arguably) play worse than Saturn contemporaries, were still impressive looking and eye catching in general, and had some rather significant games in gneral. (in terms of library alone, the PSX was never really superior overall -for specific genres each had strengths- until 1997 with the real shift coming: prior to that the main difference was marketing in both budget and management -though the 2 go hand in hand to some extent: it's a lot harder to screw up if you have enough money -3DO REALLY screwed up in a composite of ways)
    How can you say this in the same breath you call the Saturn library sparse? It is just true that the Saturn had the stronger library until '97, as you say. Tossing in the entire 32X library on the Saturn in 1995 would have only resulted in dividing consumer interests in Saturn software even further.

    Quote Originally Posted by kool kitty89 View Post
    Sony cut directly into Sega's previous niche with the PSX (not so much very early on, but definitely by 1997 they had pretty much assimilated the market model Sega had used with the Genesis but with a lot more money to throw around).
    That's why they needed to keep Genesis owners, principally consumers, happy at least until 1997. What better way to keep a late adopting Genesis owner happy than to keep the Genesis on the market with a solid release schedule? Allowing the 32X to exist, when I have already demonstrated it was the best value proposition of 1995, and was cost effective for Sega and developers, only sweetens the pot. To this day people are talking about how well Virtua Fighter 32X turned out, imagine a half a dozen other titles of equal quality Christmas 1995 alongside VF2, Sega Rally, and Virtua Cop on Saturn. Sega's reputation would have only been helped by such a scenario. Having all SNES-32X multiplatform titles turn out noticeably better on 32X wouldn't have hurt Sega's reputation any either.

    The revenue the two platforms alone would have generated could have helped Sega promote the Saturn better when it reached $200. Solid revenue would also have helped Sega secure loyal third parties for the big fight in 1997. 32X was cost effective (all around) 32-bit gaming for Genesis owners who weren't going to be buying a Saturn or PS1 until late '96 anyway.

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