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Thread: 32X: Yay or nay?

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    Banned by Administrators 16bitter's Avatar
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    Default 32X: Yay or nay?

    Not only as far as enjoyment as a console, but also as far as what it did to Sega's name in the industry and the role it probably played in their downfall.

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    Road Rasher lordofduct's Avatar
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    Um, I think everyone here can admit it was a big role in sending SoA into the shitter, that was an amazing piece of hardware, and that it had very poor support from programmers.

    I love my lil' mushroom though... Knuckles Chaotix is damn fun, and it sure as hell looks sexy on top of my Genny1 and SegaCD1.

    Das war der Hammer.

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    No doubt that the 32 X contributed to Sega's demise in the console business. I don't think the system was flawed, I just think that it was Sega of Japan and Sega of America not functioning as a single unit. Had the Saturn not been sprung on the market when it was, the 32 X might have had a longer lifespan, but I guess we'll never know now.

    As for me, I never really got into it. I think that I only played Doom and Cosmic Carnage. I, like many people, decided to wait until the Saturn and Playstation came out and just passed on the 32 X. I'm thinking about picking one up on ebay though.

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    Sega of America's marketing department went into the shitter BEFORE 32X.

    I knew it was on its way out when I started to see those ghey candycane box backgrounds and moving away from plastic cases.

    Sorry to say it, but Sega got what they asked for. But I'm still a Sega fan for life though.

    And I still love my 32X and its limited quantity of choice titles.

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    Banned by Administrators 16bitter's Avatar
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    One of the semantic issues with the 32X I think -- or THE semantic issue -- is whether it helped to destroy the company or whether the company's decisions overall destroyed it. Could it have survived if Sega America and Sega Japan saw eye to on it rather than clashing over it? Could it have been the half-priced, lower powwered (but still powerful) alternative to Saturn? Could they have been successful together in the same market with the right strategy?

    Or, was the idea of the 32X when considering the Saturn, Playstation and so forth just insane?

    I'll say one thing: without Sega of Japan's support, this system was doomed. Back in the mid-90's I don't think a company could survive without the Japanese developers, and Sega of Japan hated the system to the degree that it turned off third parties to it as well (I'm sure they weren't too keen on an American-made product anyway).

    It's like the inverse of the Saturn in the US -- both Sega of Japan and Sega of America helped to destroy each other's plans, I believe. Kalinske hated Saturn and Japan hated Kalinske (pretty simple). Therefore they hated all his ideas, and anything that sprang from SoA was looked down upon. On the other hand, from what I know, 32X came from the dislike the US side had for the Saturn and its capabalities; so in the end you basically had the same company fighting with itself as much or more as they were outside competitors. No wonder Sega lost so badly.

    Now, the question becomes, what role does 32X play in that: is it a symptom or a victim of Sega's downfall?

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    If they would have worked together, they could have easily made the 32x and saturn compatible. They ran on the same processors. If they would have done so, it would have left 32x as a middle system, but at least a middle system w/ some love.
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    Who designed the 32X, and who did the marketing research to develop its demographic?

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    Sega of America. Sega of Japan kept their mouth shut and basically competed against soa. Stupidity. Seriously, why compete against your own company?

    As for a retro peice, Yay, its a fun little gadget, relatively inexpensive.
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    I DON'T LIKE POKEMON Hero of Algol j_factor's Avatar
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    32x should just have never been made.

    Failing that, some sort of inter-compatibility would've helped things. Saturn could've easily had a converter to play 32x games, and 32x CD could've easily had an upgrade to play Saturn games. Though that would've made for an even more complicated system structure than Turbografx.

    On another note, why didn't Saturn have a converter at least for Genesis carts? They did put the 68k processor inside the Saturn, and they had taken the same strategy with the previous generation.


    You just can't handle my jawusumness responces.

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    Quote Originally Posted by j_factor
    32x should just have never been made.

    Failing that, some sort of inter-compatibility would've helped things. Saturn could've easily had a converter to play 32x games, and 32x CD could've easily had an upgrade to play Saturn games. Though that would've made for an even more complicated system structure than Turbografx.

    On another note, why didn't Saturn have a converter at least for Genesis carts? They did put the 68k processor inside the Saturn, and they had taken the same strategy with the previous generation.
    Saturn genesis compatability woulda been great even better than the 32x idea.
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    Blast processor Melf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 16bitter
    One of the semantic issues with the 32X I think -- or THE semantic issue -- is whether it helped to destroy the company or whether the company's decisions overall destroyed it. Could it have survived if Sega America and Sega Japan saw eye to on it rather than clashing over it? Could it have been the half-priced, lower powwered (but still powerful) alternative to Saturn? Could they have been successful together in the same market with the right strategy?

    Or, was the idea of the 32X when considering the Saturn, Playstation and so forth just insane?

    I'll say one thing: without Sega of Japan's support, this system was doomed. Back in the mid-90's I don't think a company could survive without the Japanese developers, and Sega of Japan hated the system to the degree that it turned off third parties to it as well (I'm sure they weren't too keen on an American-made product anyway).

    It's like the inverse of the Saturn in the US -- both Sega of Japan and Sega of America helped to destroy each other's plans, I believe. Kalinske hated Saturn and Japan hated Kalinske (pretty simple). Therefore they hated all his ideas, and anything that sprang from SoA was looked down upon. On the other hand, from what I know, 32X came from the dislike the US side had for the Saturn and its capabalities; so in the end you basically had the same company fighting with itself as much or more as they were outside competitors. No wonder Sega lost so badly.

    Now, the question becomes, what role does 32X play in that: is it a symptom or a victim of Sega's downfall?
    I believe it was a victim. SOJ was already shitting on everything the American branch did, and the 32X was no exception. Remember Naka being a dick and making them kill the NIGHTS engine for Sonic Xtreme?

    There was just no love for anything SOA did. When you consider that after Naka got all prissy after Sonic 1 and left, it was SOA that gave him a job and the resources for the next few Sonic games. He then responded by killing their biggest project, killing the 32X and crippling the Saturn in the process.

    Nakayama's sheer shortsightedness was the big killer though. How could he discontinue the Genesis when there was so much life left in 16-bit consoles? How do you just brush aside an installed user base of over 20 million consoles? Jeez.

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    I'm surprised that SOA spearheaded the 32X. Did Japanese hardware designers move here to do it? I wouldn't expect American engineers would even care to do such a thing.

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    It was American-made, both as far as location and those who worked on its chips. Japan hated it -- they weren't going to offer support -- and Sega America moved ahead on 32X because they had zero confidence in the Saturn; that's basically why 32X was created.

    I don't know how accurate the story is, but I heard that SoA came up with what most would consider a superior, American-made chipset for the Saturn project -- which Japan flatly rejected. Supposedly it could have truly competed as far as 3D against the PS. Oh well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 16bitter
    It was American-made, both as far as location and those who worked on its chips. Japan hated it -- they weren't going to offer support -- and Sega America moved ahead on 32X because they had zero confidence in the Saturn; that's basically why 32X was created.

    I don't know how accurate the story is, but I heard that SoA came up with what most would consider a superior, American-made chipset for the Saturn project -- which Japan flatly rejected. Supposedly it could have truly competed as far as 3D against the PS. Oh well.
    Actually SoJ never told anyone about the saturn. The project was in development, but not ready for production. .SoJ chose the chipset, prepared everything, had the produced and didn't tell soA.

    There were like 3 or 4 different prototypes for the next gen system. Mars(32x), Neptune (32x & genesis hybrid), Saturn, Jupiter.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mel
    Quote Originally Posted by 16bitter
    It was American-made, both as far as location and those who worked on its chips. Japan hated it -- they weren't going to offer support -- and Sega America moved ahead on 32X because they had zero confidence in the Saturn; that's basically why 32X was created.

    I don't know how accurate the story is, but I heard that SoA came up with what most would consider a superior, American-made chipset for the Saturn project -- which Japan flatly rejected. Supposedly it could have truly competed as far as 3D against the PS. Oh well.
    Actually SoJ never told anyone about the saturn. The project was in development, but not ready for production. .SoJ chose the chipset, prepared everything, had the produced and didn't tell soA.

    There were like 3 or 4 different prototypes for the next gen system. Mars(32x), Neptune (32x & genesis hybrid), Saturn, Jupiter.
    I don't know how aware SoA was of the Saturn's innards or at what date they became aware, but I know they tried to introduce to the Japanese wing a chipset that in retrospect was superior to what we got -- only to be told no way. I'm pretty sure that the US-side was decently up to date on what was happening in Japan, whether the Japanese side wanted them to be or not -- from both the history I've heard and pure logic, I don't think the Japanese totally kept them in the dark or even could (let's face it, being aware and thus disgusted is what led the US branch to the 32X and other projects).

    Supposedly Silicon Graphics came up with a plan for Sega of America, which the Japanese branch rejected in favor of the mess they were creating.

    32X was never meant as a replacement for Saturn as far as raw power. That's part of what was stupid about it, insofar as fracturing the market and consumer confidence with the retarded step-based system (Genesis to 32X to Saturn) the US side tried to introduce in 95.

    From Sega Base:

    There wasn't time to be picky and carefully craft an all-new, highly integrated 32-bit design using the best components available like Sony had done. The announced launch of the Saturn was less than a year away (November 1994, in fact), and Sony was due to release the PlayStation at the same time. If Sega went with the Saturn as originally designed, then they would be slaughtered by Sony as soon as both systems launched. A redesigned Saturn that could successfully compete with the PlayStation was going to have to be made from off-the-shelf parts using whatever Sega had available in order to meet deadline, and this where the concept of parallel processing enters the picture. The Away Team chose this as the most expedient shortcut towards getting a redesigned yet decently priced 32-bit console out the door in the shortest amount of time. Instead of the single NEC V60, they went with dual Hitachi SH-2s in parallel - supposedly as a favor to an old golfing buddy of Nakayama's. Instead of the single VDPs of the earlier arcade boards, they went with beefed-up dual VDPs - each of which could be programmed for dedicated tasks. If this strikes you as odd, please bear in mind that parallel processing was an old concept to Sega's engineers. Many of Sega arcade hits from the 1980s, such as AfterBurner II and OutRun, utilized twin Motorola MC68000s in their board design. The Mega CD (Sega CD) can in fact be said to be Sega's first-ever dual processor console, since its internal MC68000 worked in tandem with the MC68000 of its host MegaDrive (Genesis) console. The Saturn was to be Sega's first purpose-built dual-processor console.

    This was in direct opposition to a proposal that was already on the table from Tom Kalinske and his staff from over at Sega of America. They had contacted Silicon Graphics, one of the companies behind the PlayStation's 3D graphics capabilites, and had come up with an alternative, single-chip simplistic design that they were convinced could compete with PlayStation on its own terms. To their surprise, Nakayama overruled them in favor of the Away Team's proposal. He had been unimpressed by a demonstration of the technology arranged by Kalinske, remaining convinced that Sato's dual-processor concept was actually the more flexible choice of the two. His decision left a bad taste in Kalinske's mouth, who sensed even at this early point that Saturn was going to be a doomed venture. "The Japanese are making the decisions for the U.S. market," he later grumbled, "and they do not know what they are doing."

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