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Thread: SEGA Saturn a Historical Revisionism

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

    Figuring out how to push the system on the CPU side means nothing if your GPU is broken.
    I think more credit should be given to developers that pushed the system as well. Team Ninja more or less out did Virtual Fighter II and also Tekken with Dead Or Alive. Climax did some really amazing stuff in Dark Saviour, very impressive given there was such a small team and it was an early game. Zoom did some super impressive stuff with Zero Divide. Game Arts Grandia was so impressive, more so given the lack of any polygon folding or break up, Lemon did some nice stuff with Scorcher and where in the hell did Cynus come from with Savaki????

    But probably the best example was Radiant Silvergun; A game that pushed the Saturn hard and all from a team of 6 people in little over a year and where the modelling tools, were downloaded off the internet for free. Treasure not only showed the world what the system could do, but also showed up so many bigger teams. It was like Treasure giving other developers the 2 fingers
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    Bored, so some simple analysis of NPD sales data for Top 25 games from May 1996:

    Number of games on Top 25 list:

    SNES: 5
    Genesis: 10

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

    SNES: 1.79 million
    Genesis: 3.21 million

    Genesis was well alive and healthy in the middle of 1996. I think people are deceived by the few really strong titles that the SNES had (e.g. DKC). Genesis was overall doing well and continuing to be supported and promoted heavily by Sega into 1997.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gryson View Post
    Bored, so some simple analysis of NPD sales data for Top 25 games from May 1996:

    Number of games on Top 25 list:

    SNES: 5
    Genesis: 10

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

    SNES: 1.79 million
    Genesis: 3.21 million

    Genesis was well alive and healthy in the middle of 1996. I think people are deceived by the few really strong titles that the SNES had (e.g. DKC). Genesis was overall doing well and continuing to be supported and promoted heavily by Sega into 1997.
    A massive userbase advantage and only 5 titles in the charts and most of them by 3rd parties. Looking over it's shows SEGA didn't kill off the Mega Drive early . I wounder how many PS2 games were in the charts even after the PS3 and 360 launched .

    I see for that even in the 1st quarter of 2007 the PS 2 sold more games than the PS 3 or 360 and 4 of the best selling games for the whole of 2007...One wonders why SONY brought out the PS3, so soon after the PS2 ..
    Last edited by Team Andromeda; 01-11-2020 at 11:46 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by gamevet View Post
    That makes no sense at all. Nobody is going to pay for a console upgrade, just for more colors. I was at least interested in 32X, until information on the Saturn and PlayStation started arriving. I would have much rather had Sega stay the course with enhanced carts for the Genesis, then either choice. It would have been much cooler to have the Saturn launch with an arcade perfect port of Star Wars arcade, along with Space Harrier and Shadow Squadron. Give us a pumped up version of Knuckles Chaotix on Saturn and get North American titles ready for a 1995 launch of the Saturn.
    Trying to support three home consoles at once is what doesn't make sense, once you go down that road you have to compromise somewhere. I'm not saying the 32X should have been JUST more colors. I'm saying to economize resources they should have made either the 32X games playable on the Genesis in more limited form (just like Gameboy games that get enhanced on the SGB/GBC) or build 32X compatibility into the Saturn. I think the first option is better because making the Saturn backward compatible would have meant dropping features to include a modified cart slot, 32X VDP and Z80. But I agree none of these are ideal.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gryson View Post
    Just imagine if Sega had known that the Saturn would be selling for $299 right after launch in Oct 1995, or $249 in March 1996, or $200 in May 1996. In the end, the whole concern about price came to nothing. Granted, in early 1994, it was unimaginable that Sega would sell the Saturn for under $400 (launch price in Japan was ~$450).
    That wasn't by design though -- Sony was cutting prices aggressively so they had no choice.

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

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    Quote Originally Posted by axel View Post
    That wasn't by design though -- Sony was cutting prices aggressively so they had no choice.
    Right. Initially, with how much Sega was losing on each unit sold, they had to sell something like 5 games per console to break even. That only got worse as they dropped price, although eventually they developed a Saturn that was cheaper to manufacture. But yeah, they would've had to have a really strong showing to survive the price war with Sony.

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

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gryson View Post
    Right. Initially, with how much Sega was losing on each unit sold, they had to sell something like 5 games per console to break even. .
    What was the best selling game in 2007, in the USA? I think it was Madden on the PS2.
    So why did SONY rush out the PS3 in 2006? More so given SONY was losing so much per PS3 sold. That's to look over how even SONY couldn't support both the PS Vita and PS4 with software, while SEGA was expected to support the Mega Drive, Master System, Game Gear, Arcades, 32 X, 32X CD and Sega Saturn
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gryson View Post
    Bored, so some simple analysis of NPD sales data for Top 25 games from May 1996:

    Number of games on Top 25 list:

    SNES: 5
    Genesis: 10

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

    SNES: 1.79 million
    Genesis: 3.21 million

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

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    Quote Originally Posted by turboxray View Post
    Okay.. Ms. Pacman that came out in 1991 for the Genesis... sold 13,000 copies in 1996?! What?
    Sports games are a poor indication of system's 'life' IMO. I knew of a LOT of teens that had a Genesis and only played sports games - nothing else. They weren't gamers, or representative of the systems audience.
    Ms Pac Man was one of those budget titles that sold for $20 or less and was always selling high. Majesco even re-released it at some point.

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

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

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    Quote Originally Posted by turboxray View Post
    I mean technically, sure. I just don't consider 'sports' only consumer audience to be representative of the main stream system audience - regardless of their purchasing power. It's no different than the CoD only players of the PS3/360 era. If it a system is 'alive' but the general demographic is reduced to budget and sports consumers.. what is that really indicating? That doesn't tell me the system is strong, it tells me it's dying. And yes, there's going to be kids 'stuck' with retro systems at the tail end of its life, but a two year overlap in new tech? Technically, 3 or so if you count 3DO. The only thing keeping it from tanking sharply is the limited disposable income of kids and teens. The envy and desire is always going to be the new stuff. Alive and healthy, is not what I would describe the Genesis in 1996 (nor the SNES). Some profit still left in it? Sure. But I would say more like on life support, because things this like don't have nice linear tapper offs.
    I use the language "alive and healthy" to counter claims that Sega discontinued development and promotion of the Genesis in 1994 or 1995 (or whatever the particular claim might be). The Genesis sold more than 1 million units in 1996 in the US.

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

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    Quote Originally Posted by axel View Post
    Trying to support three home consoles at once is what doesn't make sense, once you go down that road you have to compromise somewhere. I'm not saying the 32X should have been JUST more colors. I'm saying to economize resources they should have made either the 32X games playable on the Genesis in more limited form (just like Gameboy games that get enhanced on the SGB/GBC) or build 32X compatibility into the Saturn. I think the first option is better because making the Saturn backward compatible would have meant dropping features to include a modified cart slot, 32X VDP and Z80. But I agree none of these are ideal.
    You would of had to fit a sprite based version of a game and a polygon version of a game on the same cart. The carts would have been expensive. Corpse Killer could get away with having the Sega CD and 32X game on the same disc, because of how much can be stored on CD.


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

    Of the Genesis games listed on the linked NPD data, only 2 are sports games. These are outsold overall by Mortal Kombat 3, Vectorman, Toy Story, X-Men 2, and others. It's subjective, but that doesn't really seem like the system is on life support to me. The system and games were still selling well.
    It is May, so you're not going to see a ton of Hockey or Football games on the charts in the spring.
    Last edited by gamevet; 01-11-2020 at 02:53 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by gamevet View Post
    You would of had to fit a sprite based version of a game and a polygon version of a game on the same cart. The carts would have been expensive. Corpse Killer could get away with having the Sega CD and 32X game on the same disc, because of how much can be stored on CD
    I agree 3D games wouldn't work. But take something like Comix Zone, adding a lot of colors could really enhance the visuals. Or Ristar. Maybe add a 3D bonus stage just like Chaotix but keep the rest in 2D. I have no way of knowing if that would have helped but considering what did happen it's hard to believe things could have gone worse.

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

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

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

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

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gryson View Post
    Also, that reminds me of something I think Ken Kutaragi said - he said that Sony could have dropped the price of the PlayStation so low at launch that it would have immediately knocked Sega out of the competition, but that he didn't think it was necessary so they (relatively) slowly dropped price and allowed Sega to keep pace.
    That just shows how arrogant Ken Kutaragi could be. Visionary he might have been at the time, but he sure knew how to piss people off. It's a small wonder Sony accepted his proposal for them to make their own console based on his design of the PS1.

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