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Thread: The SEGA Venus Prototype!

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    WCPO Agent Greg2600's Avatar
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    Nameless One Zeus's Avatar
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    I wish this was a real class.

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    Master of Shinobi
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    The Nomad board actually says VENUS on it if I remember right, so this isn't really news. The prototype is neat though.

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    Hedgehog-in-Training Hedgehog-in-Training matasiete's Avatar
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    I want it in black.

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    It still looks clunky, but I must say I kind of prefer that look over the irregular brick shape the Nomad ended up with on release. Kind of makes you wonder why they felt the need to change the design. (The color scheme I kind of get to make it fall more in line with the appearance of the Genesis family, but I definitely prefer the shape of the prototype).
    The funny thing about an oxymoron is, even if you remove the ox, there'll always be a moron. The Question Remains: Y?

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    Hedgehog-in-Training Hedgehog-in-TrainingNameless One zilogandmoto's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zyrobs View Post
    The Nomad board actually says VENUS on it if I remember right, so this isn't really news. The prototype is neat though.
    It's news in the sense that it's never been seen before. It's interesting how it changed from the prototype to the final Nomad. I like it, but it looks too Nintendo-ey, so I can see why they changed it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zilogandmoto View Post
    It's news in the sense that it's never been seen before. It's interesting how it changed from the prototype to the final Nomad. I like it, but it looks too Nintendo-ey, so I can see why they changed it.
    I don't really agree that this looks too "Nintendo-y", and I think at least Sega of Japan would not have felt so either - the design, and the color scheme in particular, reminds me strongly of the early silver/Grey Japanese model 1 Saturns, in fact:



    It's more likely that someone at SoA didn't like the Japanese aesthetics and that particular color scheme.
    The funny thing about an oxymoron is, even if you remove the ox, there'll always be a moron. The Question Remains: Y?

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    Raging in the Streets xelement5x's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phantar View Post
    It's more likely that someone at SoA didn't like the Japanese aesthetics and that particular color scheme.
    Gotta agree there, and it makes sense since it was a US product.
    I wonder where the Mega-Jet falls in terms of products, it was clearly the predecessor to the Nomad so I wonder if it has VENUS branding as well.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zeus View Post
    I wish this was a real class.
    I must say I was a bit disappointed that he didn't have a Neptune or Pluto to velcro to the chalkboard, but then again, I think the protos are all over in the USA!

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    Master of Shinobi
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    That is so cool to see. The colors look more like the MegaJet / Saturn than the SNES.

    Speaking of Nintendo after the Switch came out I realized Sega may have missed a huge opportunity with the Nomad, there was still a market for 16-bit games in the mid 1990s and it could have been sold as a hybrid console. Sega could have upped the colors and added a DSP to Nomad itself, then added a dock with 32X-like functionality, so you have a console that gets more powerful when you plug it in to your TV. And of course, put out a few new games optimized for the handheld experience. But I guess that just wasn't feasible in 1995.
    Last edited by axel; 12-01-2020 at 06:52 PM.

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    Nameless One Zeus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg2600 View Post
    I must say I was a bit disappointed that he didn't have a Neptune or Pluto to velcro to the chalkboard, but then again, I think the protos are all over in the USA!
    Me too. The Neptune might be my favorite Sega console design. I think he mentioned he tried searching for a Pluto prototype at Sega but couldn't find one.

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    Quote Originally Posted by axel View Post
    That is so cool to see. The colors look more like the MegaJet / Saturn than the SNES.

    Speaking of Nintendo after the Switch came out I realized Sega may have missed a huge opportunity with the Nomad, there was still a market for 16-bit games in the mid 1990s and it could have been sold as a hybrid console. Sega could have upped the colors and added a DSP to Nomad itself, then added a dock with 32X-like functionality, so you have a console that gets more powerful when you plug it in to your TV. And of course, put out a few new games optimized for the handheld experience. But I guess that just wasn't feasible in 1995.
    I don't think going the 32x upgrade route would've been necessary (the 32x itself ending up as a dead-end as it did really wouldn't have been that much of an advantage I guess), but I heartily agree that Sega made a huge mistake abandoning the 16bit market altogether when the Saturn came out - after all the Snes continued to thrive for several more years, and could do so absolutely unopposed. Imagine if Sega hadn't withdrawn, but instead poured a little more effort into refining the Nomad instead, if only to give it an improved battery life or power pack solution. The Switch-comparison is apt: you would've had a full-fledged, yet portable 16-bit console with an expansive back catalog with hundreds of titles readily available, and with well-established development tools that would have made creating new games a snap. In the light of the next-gen hardware, they could have treated the ongoing Genesis/Nomad line akin to the handheld market, with games that may be lower tech but also cheaper to produce, making the platform more attractive for gamers on a tighter budget (which was also something that still drew players to the Snes even in its waning years). They had the seed of a great idea there, but they could not work out a way to make it less cumbersome and more appealing, and the marketing was practically nonexistent - the Nomad first was rushed out too fast (it could have done with a few design improvements), and then also didn't really get to breathe before the plug was pulled on the 16 bit line. It's probably one of the biggest missed opportunities of Sega (and only one of many, many blunders the company made from the mid-90s onwards).

    Mind you, the Nomad as it is is a cumbersome beast of a handheld. And the way it was just tossed out in parallel to the established Genesis/32x/SegaCd line it really couldn't find a solid footing; Sega truly had too much going on in too short a time in '94/'95. But placed as a sensible continuation of the Genesis line, and as a true, 16-bit portable console with a huge library of games available from the get-go, it should have had a real fighting chance in the late 90s console market, given the right marketing (of course, in our reality the Nomad got virtually no marketing at all...)
    Last edited by Phantar; 12-01-2020 at 10:11 PM.
    The funny thing about an oxymoron is, even if you remove the ox, there'll always be a moron. The Question Remains: Y?

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    Master of Shinobi
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phantar View Post
    I don't think going the 32x upgrade route would've been necessary (the 32x itself ending up as a dead-end as it did really wouldn't have been that much of an advantage I guess), but I heartily agree that Sega made a huge mistake abandoning the 16bit market altogether when the Saturn came out - after all the Snes continued to thrive for several more years, and could do so absolutely unopposed. Imagine if Sega hadn't withdrawn, but instead poured a little more effort into refining the Nomad instead, if only to give it an improved battery life or power pack solution. The Switch-comparison is apt: you would've had a full-fledged, yet portable 16-bit console with an expansive back catalog with hundreds of titles readily available, and with well-established development tools that would have made creating new games a snap. In the light of the next-gen hardware, they could have treated the ongoing Genesis/Nomad line akin to the handheld market, with games that may be lower tech but also cheaper to produce, making the platform more attractive for gamers on a tighter budget (which was also something that still drew players to the Snes even in its waning years). They had the seed of a great idea there, but they could not work out a way to make it less cumbersome and more appealing, and the marketing was practically nonexistent - the Nomad first was rushed out too fast (it could have done with a few design improvements), and then also didn't really get to breathe before the plug was pulled on the 16 bit line. It's probably one of the biggest missed opportunities of Sega (and only one of many, many blunders the company made from the mid-90s onwards).

    Mind you, the Nomad as it is is a cumbersome beast of a handheld. And the way it was just tossed out in parallel to the established Genesis/32x/SegaCd line it really couldn't find a solid footing; Sega truly had too much going on in too short a time in '94/'95. But placed as a sensible continuation of the Genesis line, and as a true, 16-bit portable console with a huge library of games available from the get-go, it should have had a real fighting chance in the late 90s console market, given the right marketing (of course, in our reality the Nomad got virtually no marketing at all...)
    Yeah, exactly. A full 32X was not necessary, they could have done what was originally planned for the upgraded Genesis, add more colors, have a dock with an extra 68k at a higher clock speed, whatever. My point is the resources that went toward supporting the legacy hardware (Game Gear, Genesis, Sega CD, 32X) could all have gone toward making the Nomad the ultimate portable/hybrid system and it wouldn't have competed with the next-gen system, the Saturn.

    Plus it's something neither of Sega's rivals would have done. Nintendo was pouring money into the Virtual Boy and Sony was years away from making a portable.

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    Hedgehog-in-Training Hedgehog-in-TrainingNameless One zilogandmoto's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by axel View Post
    Yeah, exactly. A full 32X was not necessary, they could have done what was originally planned for the upgraded Genesis, add more colors, have a dock with an extra 68k at a higher clock speed, whatever. My point is the resources that went toward supporting the legacy hardware (Game Gear, Genesis, Sega CD, 32X) could all have gone toward making the Nomad the ultimate portable/hybrid system and it wouldn't have competed with the next-gen system, the Saturn.

    Plus it's something neither of Sega's rivals would have done. Nintendo was pouring money into the Virtual Boy and Sony was years away from making a portable.
    I think it was just a matter of one too many poor decisions by Sega, not to mention all the infighting between SOJ and SOA. The Nomad was (and is) still pretty expensive, I'm not sure they could have put out an enhanced version and have it sell in the late 90s, because it just would have been too expensive, and they couldn't afford any more losses at that point. Even the GBA, which is essentially (and I know I'm oversimplifying) a portable Super NES didn't launch until Summer of 2001, and the Dreamcast was all but dead by that point.

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    Hedgehog-in-Training Hedgehog-in-TrainingNameless One Centrale's Avatar
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    I like how they classified the Mega Drive Mini as "Moon."

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