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Thread: Was Saturn doomed to fail or could it somehow have sold more than the PS1?

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    Pretty much. Software wasnít selling in the West, which could have kept The Saturn around a little longer. It didnít need to sell an extra million, if people werenít going to buy 8 to 10 games for the system.
    A Black Falcon: no, computer games and video games are NOT the same thing. Video games are on consoles, computer games are on PC. The two kinds of games are different, and have significantly different design styles, distribution methods, and game genre selections. Computer gaming and console (video) gaming are NOT the same thing."



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    Quote Originally Posted by gamevet View Post
    Pretty much. Software wasnít selling in the West, which could have kept The Saturn around a little longer. It didnít need to sell an extra million, if people werenít going to buy 8 to 10 games for the system.
    For what it's worth, according to Sega's 1998 financial reports they had up to that point sold about 8.8 Million Saturns and about 80 million games worldwide. So that would give it an attach rate of about 9:1 which is higher than the N64 which last I checked was ~6-7:1. I'm not sure what PS1's was. Granted that was probably all Japan, but it's still impressive none the less.

    Personally I think if Sega had just handled the Western launch better and scrapped the 32X before it released it could have made a world of difference. Sure they weren't going to beat Sony, but they could have probably pulled of a decent 2nd place around where the N64 finished.

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    The 8.8 million could not have been true for japan only, last time I checked the serials, I got a way lower number.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TrekkiesUnite118 View Post
    For what it's worth, according to Sega's 1998 financial reports they had up to that point sold about 8.8 Million Saturns and about 80 million games worldwide. So that would give it an attach rate of about 9:1 which is higher than the N64 which last I checked was ~6-7:1. I'm not sure what PS1's was. Granted that was probably all Japan, but it's still impressive none the less.

    Personally I think if Sega had just handled the Western launch better and scrapped the 32X before it released it could have made a world of difference. Sure they weren't going to beat Sony, but they could have probably pulled of a decent 2nd place around where the N64 finished.
    It was probably mostly in Japan. That's why a Japanese copy of a game usually sells for about 45-60% of what it would cost to get the North American version. Even I have 4 or 5 Japanese games on my Saturn, including Wing Arms, that I bought an import copy of from a Die Hard Gameclub, because I didn't have any more North American games I could buy in the summer of 1995. Japan had everything ready for the launch, while Sega of a America didn't look like they were ready for it.
    Last edited by gamevet; 04-09-2021 at 07:24 PM.
    A Black Falcon: no, computer games and video games are NOT the same thing. Video games are on consoles, computer games are on PC. The two kinds of games are different, and have significantly different design styles, distribution methods, and game genre selections. Computer gaming and console (video) gaming are NOT the same thing."



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    Quote Originally Posted by Blades View Post
    I still don't know why Panasonic ever agreed to manufacture for 3DO. They couldn't have made that much money off the deal.
    Panasonic were supposed to make a profit off the hardware, and to be fair to 3DO and its manufacturers loss making consoles hadn't really been a thing before the 32-bit generation. Also, I think the idea was that if the 3DO succeeded in in becoming the videogame equivalent of VHS, economies of scale and hardware costs decreasing over time would increase profitability in the long term, and the early adopting manufacturers would be in prime positions going forward into the next generation. I believe the original plan was that newer generation machines would retain backwards compatibility, which is one of the reasons all the games had to use the Portfolio OS.

    Leaving the manufacturers to foot the bill for marketing, while they didn't receive any share of the 3DO licensing fee, was a massive mistake though. 3DO were apparently going to change the business model for M2 before Panasonic bought it outright (and cancelled it), but that was too late.

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    That plan would have worked in an environment like what the VCR had, if there wasn't superior technology just around the corner at a less expensive price. $700 in a world market where everyone was practically giving away the razor to sell the blades wasn't going to work for 3D0.
    A Black Falcon: no, computer games and video games are NOT the same thing. Video games are on consoles, computer games are on PC. The two kinds of games are different, and have significantly different design styles, distribution methods, and game genre selections. Computer gaming and console (video) gaming are NOT the same thing."



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    Quote Originally Posted by zyrobs View Post
    The 8.8 million could not have been true for japan only, last time I checked the serials, I got a way lower number.
    Just to follow up on this, I counted the serials again and got around 6.7 million (this is combining normal consoles, Victor and Hitachi special units, and refurbished units too). This is NOT an accurate number as I did not do proper statistical analysis on it (I would need to compute the mean number for every production run and add it on top of the largest number I have for them, to get more accurate estimates).

    I'd estimate that there were somewhere between 7-8 million Saturns made based on the serial numbers. Most likely somewhere in the lower 7 million.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zyrobs View Post
    The 8.8 million could not have been true for japan only, last time I checked the serials, I got a way lower number.
    It's not, it's worldwide which is what I said. The "granted that was probably all Japan" was in reference to the high attach rate.

    Quote Originally Posted by zyrobs View Post
    Just to follow up on this, I counted the serials again and got around 6.7 million (this is combining normal consoles, Victor and Hitachi special units, and refurbished units too). This is NOT an accurate number as I did not do proper statistical analysis on it (I would need to compute the mean number for every production run and add it on top of the largest number I have for them, to get more accurate estimates).

    I'd estimate that there were somewhere between 7-8 million Saturns made based on the serial numbers. Most likely somewhere in the lower 7 million.
    The 8.8 Million sold is from a 1998 Finanicial report and is for the total number of systems sold worldwide up to that point. Which that does align with the ~9 Million Saturns were sold. The report can be read here:
    https://segaretro.org/images/f/fe/An...98_English.pdf

    On Page 7 it states this:
    As of the end of fiscal 1998, the Company had sold 8.8 million SegaSaturn game consoles and 80.0 million game software units.

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    VG Chartz can be a bit of a grab bag, but they show Saturn software sales at 35.6 million for Japan, 6.91 for North America and the rest of the world tallying up the total to 47 million software units sold for the console.

    https://www.vgchartz.com/analysis/pl.../Software/ROW/
    A Black Falcon: no, computer games and video games are NOT the same thing. Video games are on consoles, computer games are on PC. The two kinds of games are different, and have significantly different design styles, distribution methods, and game genre selections. Computer gaming and console (video) gaming are NOT the same thing."



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    I think Sega's official numbers hold a bit more weight than VGChartz.

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    Sega's numbers also kind of match what Nakayama said to the Japanese media around '96 or '97: the tie ratio for the Saturn in Japan was ~8 games per console, but in North America was only 3-4 games per console.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TrekkiesUnite118 View Post
    I think Sega's official numbers hold a bit more weight than VGChartz.
    Well, they did have the same amount of console units sold at 8.8 million. There's about 33 million units of software that went unaccounted for.
    A Black Falcon: no, computer games and video games are NOT the same thing. Video games are on consoles, computer games are on PC. The two kinds of games are different, and have significantly different design styles, distribution methods, and game genre selections. Computer gaming and console (video) gaming are NOT the same thing."



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    Quote Originally Posted by gamevet View Post
    Well, they did have the same amount of console units sold at 8.8 million. There's about 33 million units of software that went unaccounted for.
    VGChartz numbers also have massive holes in them. For example for Dragon Force there's US sales, but none for Japan. There's stuff like that all throughout the numbers. Which is why it's probably best to just take the numbers Sega gave in their financials back in 1998.

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    VGChartz is simply not reliable for historic data. Where do their numbers come from? They don't cite any sources. They didn't even exist until 2005. Their historic data are just estimates or based on figures that Sega has publicly released. Better to look for authentic sources.

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    I would not be surprised in the least if the Sega numbers were inflated - just a tiny bit. You've got to look good in front of shareholders after all.

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