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Thread: DVD Dreamcast / Sega Master System wasn't that big of a seller.

  1. #151
    Master of Shinobi Mega Drive Bowlsey's Avatar
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    The fact remains that, as I've already pointed out, Tonka fucked up the marketing and distribution of the Master System in the US. Although, to be fair, as a company they had little to no experience of marketing a video games console, which makes it even harder to understand why Sega chose them to push the Master System in the US in the first place.

  2. #152
    Social Justice Ninja Master of Shinobi IrishNinja's Avatar
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    man, i wish my TRU had kept SMS stock that long!

    and yeah: gamepro, VG&CE, EGM etc would do reviews for SMS games here & there, but even when it was quarterly, i honestly felt like the team sega newsletter thing covered more stuff than they did on average, and that thing was the size of a pamphlet

    there's a ton of people who grew up in that generation that didn't know the system existed


  3. #153
    The Future is Yesterday Hedgehog-in-TrainingESWAT Veteran Leynos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prince Talmit View Post
    Well, that's not true. And the story noted in the youtube vid is only describing someone's ignorant impression 10 years after the Master System was out.
    The Master System had prime-time television commercials and print ads, especially showing off the 3D glasses and lightgun. The Master System had shelf space at all the major retailers: Kay-B Toys, Sears, Kmart, Toys R Us. Even up to a couple years after Genesis' launch Master System games were right there next to the Genesis games at Toys R Us and other stores.
    It obviously wasn't the most popular but it wasn't some unknown system to gamers in the later 80's to early 90's. Sure if someone only became aware of Sega in 1997 or whatever, maybe Master System would seem non-existent.


    Right about Toys R US. They did have a small section because the MS library was small. There was a good half year after Genesis was out that there were more Master System games then Genesis games on display. The Genesis had been out for nearly 3 years by the time they stopped stocking Master System games - that's a pretty notable overlap.

    Consider, how was Phantasy Star so popular if no one heard of the system?
    There were no ADS in this town. None.Toys R Us didn't have any SMS games in this city and in fact, Lionel Playworld had more locations back then in SLC. And like I said we had a membership to every rental store in the valley and that was a literal statement. They only rented NES games until Genesis came along.

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  4. #154
    Hedgehog-in-Training Hedgehog-in-TrainingRoad Rasher Prince Talmit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IrishNinja View Post
    man, i wish my TRU had kept SMS stock that long!
    They did. You said so yourself just 5 hours ago:
    Quote Originally Posted by IrishNinja View Post
    t the one by me dumped the system & library by about '91

    and yeah: gamepro, VG&CE, EGM etc would do reviews for SMS games here & there, but even when it was quarterly, i honestly felt like the team sega newsletter thing covered more stuff than they did on average, and that thing was the size of a pamphlet

    there's a ton of people who grew up in that generation that didn't know the system existed
    The print reviews were "here & there" because Master System software was at a trickle. The magazines covered what games were coming out.
    Sure there were tons of people that didn't know the system existed. But any serious gamer of the day certainly knew it existed (or even anyone who was conscious and went to a Toys R Us videogame aisle in the late 80s.)

  5. #155
    Master of Shinobi Mega Drive Bowlsey's Avatar
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    I'm not even sure what you guys are debating here. Yes, if you were a serious gamer who read all the magazines of the day and were in the loop as to which companies were doing what in the US then yes, you would have been aware of the Master System when it launched. However, if you were a casual gamer who relied on word of mouth from friends and relatives to keep you up to date then no, you probably would not have been aware at all of the console's existence.

  6. #156
    Hedgehog-in-Training Hedgehog-in-TrainingRoad Rasher Prince Talmit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SegataS View Post
    There were no ADS in this town. None.Toys R Us didn't have any SMS games in this city and in fact, Lionel Playworld had more locations back then in SLC. And like I said we had a membership to every rental store in the valley and that was a literal statement. They only rented NES games until Genesis came along.
    There were no ads in my town either. But there were on national cable TV, and in nationally distributed comic books and magazines. Sure if you lived in an isolated town and were just a child then I'm sure you didn't know of a lot of things that existed.

  7. #157
    Hedgehog-in-Training Hedgehog-in-TrainingRoad Rasher Prince Talmit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mega Drive Bowlsey View Post
    I'm not even sure what you guys are debating here. Yes, if you were a serious gamer who read all the magazines of the day and were in the loop as to which companies were doing what in the US then yes, you would have been aware of the Master System when it launched. However, if you were a casual gamer who relied on word of mouth from friends and relatives to keep you up to date then no, you probably would not have been aware at all of the console's existence.
    I'm just countering the assertion that the Master System "was barely existent in the U.S." or that "not exaggerating when I say the Master System was as well known in the US as the Xavix Port", or that there were no advertising and marketing, or that it wasn't in national chain stores. All that is bullshit and revisionist history.
    Everyone who bought a Genesis in the first couple yeas got advertisements for the Power Base convertor and Master System games. How is it barely existent and unknown.
    None of the 100s of thousands of people who bought the Genesis in the first year or two ever looked at the back of the box?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mega Drive Bowlsey View Post
    (regarding Tonka) which makes it even harder to understand why Sega chose them to push the Master System in the US in the first place.
    That has been explained in the past, I vaguely recall it was discussed in an interview. Tonka had distribution networks and guaranteed shelf space in major toy store chains like ToysRUs and KayBee.
    Last edited by Prince Talmit; 02-27-2018 at 09:37 PM.

  8. #158
    The Future is Yesterday Hedgehog-in-TrainingESWAT Veteran Leynos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prince Talmit View Post
    There were no ads in my town either. But there were on national cable TV, and in nationally distributed comic books and magazines. Sure if you lived in an isolated town and were just a child then I'm sure you didn't know of a lot of things that existed.
    We didn't have cable at home. I live/lived in the capital city but yeah in SLC there was just nothing on SMS.

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    Hedgehog-in-Training Hedgehog-in-TrainingRoad Rasher Prince Talmit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SegataS View Post
    but yeah in SLC there was just nothing on SMS.
    That you were aware of.

  10. #160
    The Future is Yesterday Hedgehog-in-TrainingESWAT Veteran Leynos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prince Talmit View Post
    That you were aware of.
    That no one was aware of.

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  11. #161
    Japanese Sonic CD FTW!!! Master of Shinobi Ecco's Avatar
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    Maybe the SMS presence depended on the specific state or city? Here in a small city of upstate NY, I can confirm that no one seemed to know that the thing existed.

    I also don't really know what you guys mean about people being informed or not. As kids of the 80's, NES seemed to be the only console that anyone knew about. That's why "videogames" were known as "Nintendo," like no one said the word "videogames;" people called playing videogames as "playing Nintendo." And mostly that meant playing Super Mario Bros. as the pack-in that came with the NES.

    I remember absolutely zero presence of the SMS in TV ads or stores. We grew up with NES, then it became the console wars of SNES vs. Genesis.

    I did know exactly one kid who owned a SMS but I considered it an oddity that his dad bought... like my older cousin who owned an Atari. Neither console was actually a presence in normal life.

    Also Genesis never seemed to have a connection with SMS.

    Actually the lack of SMS awareness was why the Game Gear was possible, as a "new" console that was actually playing SMS games that no one had ever known about lol.

  12. #162
    Hedgehog-in-Training Hedgehog-in-TrainingRoad Rasher Prince Talmit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SegataS View Post
    That no one was aware of.
    Sure. That's why all those people never played Phantasy Star and established it as a revered classic. (not to mention Wonder Boy and Alex Kidd)


    Quote Originally Posted by Ecco View Post
    Maybe the SMS presence depended on the specific state or city? Here in a small city of upstate NY, I can confirm that no one seemed to know that the thing existed.
    No one?

    I remember absolutely zero presence of the SMS in TV ads or stores. We grew up with NES, then it became the console wars of SNES vs. Genesis.
    Is it surprising that you don't remember something you weren't interested in?
    No TV ads, you didn't see or remember any, so there were none?

    I did know exactly one kid who owned a SMS but I considered it an oddity that his dad bought...
    So it did exist where you lived, and you did know about it. I thought you said "no one seemed to know that the thing existed" and "absolutely zero presence of the SMS in TV ads or store"? Obviously it was available somewhere, or the kid never bought any games for it, just had the console his dad bought from another dimension?

    Neither console was actually a presence in normal life.
    Marginal consumer products never are.

    Also Genesis never seemed to have a connection with SMS.
    Ever hear of the Power Base Converter? Ever look at the back of a launch genesis box or the free give-away promos from the first year of Genesis' release?

    Actually the lack of SMS awareness was why the Game Gear was possible, as a "new" console that was actually playing SMS games that no one had ever known about lol.
    Oh. really?
    Last edited by Prince Talmit; 02-27-2018 at 11:56 PM.

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    The Future is Yesterday Hedgehog-in-TrainingESWAT Veteran Leynos's Avatar
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    No one. You need to stop being offended SMS had practically no presence in the US back then. Nintendo had 83% of the market by 1988. SEGA shared the rest of the 16% with Atari, Hudson, Commodore, and a couple others. You don't like this fact, well too bad. SMS deserved better but the facts are the facts. SEGA before Genesis in the US was sharing 16% of the market with several others and Atari and Com had a larger presence than SEGA and even 7800 and 64 were practically nonexistent in stores. Com64 You saw occasionally something. Genesis took nearly half of NES's market away from Nintendo. He's not wrong that people from parents to kids would just say go play Nintendo.

    I remember a news story on TV in 1996-7 or so talking about how people were starting to not say go play Nintendo and saying go play PlayStation. NES back in the 80s wasn't often referred to as a video game machine back then even by the media. Just hot selling toy. After the 83 crash, the term video game was a dirty dirty word so Nintendo marketed the NES to look like a VCR and come with a Robot a Zapper and a Running Mat and say it was an ENTERTAINMENT SYSTEM. Anything marketing wise to move away from the term video games. Teddy Ruxbin which was one of the best selling toys at the time refused to be sold at SEARS unless Nintendo was allowed to sell their NES "control deck". SEARS did NOT want to sell games at all after the 83 crash. SEARS was the Amazon of its day in the US. It was the largest retailer in the US. It sold everything and every year every kid remember that 500-page catalog at Christmas of everything sold in the store. Under video games. NES and Atari mainly I do remember NEC. There may have been an SMS at some point but NES was in it every year with a few pages while everyone else got 1 or half of a page.
    Last edited by Leynos; 02-28-2018 at 03:11 AM.

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  14. #164
    Japanese Sonic CD FTW!!! Master of Shinobi Ecco's Avatar
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    Game Gear

    Sure. That's why all those people never played Phantasy Star and established it as a revered classic. (not to mention Wonder Boy and Alex Kidd)
    I never heard of Phantasy Star until I started reading this website, Sega-16. I'm still not familiar with Wonder Boy, and ironically Alex Kidd was the one game that the one kid had, with the only SMS I ever saw in my life (to this day). I considered it a lame platformer back then, whereas we all grew up loving SMB.

    No one?
    ^Right, "no one" as I knew only one kid with a SMS, and practically everyone had a NES.


    Is it surprising that you don't remember something you weren't interested in?
    No TV ads, you didn't see or remember any, so there were none?

    Lol, I have a fantastic memory, so that's not it; I was interested in videogames in general, and I would remember if there were ads. For example, I remember TV ads for SMB2, which I didn't like at the time.

    So it did exist where you lived, and you did know about it. I thought you said "no one seemed to know that the thing existed" and "absolutely zero presence of the SMS in TV ads or store"? Obviously it was available somewhere, or the kid never bought any games for it, just had the console his dad bought from another dimension?
    I compared it to the one Atari console that I saw. Both the SMS and Atari seemed did seem like oddities from another dimension lol.


    Ever hear of the Power Base Converter? Ever look at the back of a launch genesis box or the free give-away promos from the first year of Genesis' release?

    No I never did lol. I bought my Genesis in 1993 IIRC; it came with Sonic 1 and Sonic 2. No idea about PBC or SMS. They were not on my Genesis box lol.

    Oh. really?
    The Game Gear proves that no one knew about SMS, or else they wouldn't be selling the same games as "new" games on Game Gear lol. It's why the US was basically the only country with any popularity of Game Gear. It was kind of a brilliant move for Sega to take advantage of their SMS library in a country that was unfamiliar with it.

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    Raging in the Streets Yharnamresident's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SegataS View Post
    That no one was aware of.
    Wikipedia says the Master System sold 2 million in the U.S., with those sales numbers you can't be surprised that no one knew about. Compared to Genesis with 20 million.

    Quote Originally Posted by SegataS View Post
    No one. You need to stop being offended SMS had practically no presence in the US back then. Nintendo had 83% of the market by 1988. SEGA shared the rest of the 16% with Atari, Hudson, Commodore, and a couple others. You don't like this fact,well too bad. SMS deserved better but the facts are the facts.
    Yea the guy is getting butthurt for a silly reason. I would've preferred if SMS was a huge success(because then they would be cheaper nowadays), but it wasn't for 2 reasons:

    1. Tonka did a horrible job at distributing it
    2. Nintendo had illegal monopoly with 3rd parties and retailers
    Certified F-Zero GX fanboy

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