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Thread: How much was Sega CD's success limited by the fact that it was a $300 add on?

  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by profholt82 View Post
    But yeah, had it been $200 from the get-go, it probably would have sold much better. And it's easy for us to say now that they shouldn't have focused so much on FMV, but at the time, FMV looked like it was the future of gaming. We're talking about a small window of gaming history here, and at that time FMV was probably the best way to make the SCD look like an amazing futuristic piece of technology. Someone mentioned how amazing Star Fox looked in commercials, well yeah, but that was over a year later, and it didn't take long for trends to change in those days. So quickly, FMV was old hat and 3d polygons looked like the wave of the future (and they actually were, unlike fmv, haha). Perhaps Sega should have pushed stuff like Batman Returns and Soul Star more than pap like Prize Fighter and Sewer Shark, but retrospect/hindsight, etc, etc. The FMV wave was as good of a gimmick as any to push in 92, I just think the $300 price tag for an add-on was asking too much from the average consumer of the time.
    CD-ROM and memory was really expensive in 1990. I don't think SEGA could afford to make the price any lower and I don't think that was its main issue really. Also, while I like some of the FMV games, it wasn't like the Mega CD was the only FMV system or was the best at handling it either. I think its main issue was how little of its games actually took the time to use the system and show us games and graphics not possible on the Mega Drive or Snes and sadly the likes of Soul Star just took too long to get to market.

    I think the story could have been so much different if for one AfterBurner 3 showed off advanced sprite scaling and rotation effects and SEGA backed that up with ports of OutRun, AB II, Super Hang-On, GF II all making use of the ASIC and with Arcade perfect music and sound effects and SEGA also looked to make better versions of Mega Drive titles. Strider could have been improved with all the Arcade intro's, speech and animation, much the same for Ghous N Ghouls or in Ecco II on the Mega CD the 3D sections didn't make use of the ASIC chip, Sonic CD was a letdown in many area's too, none of the boss battles used the ASIC chip, no use of the PCM soundchip for the bulk of the game and even the bones sections didn't use the ASIC chip to scale the UFO's; Sonic Team made more use of the ASIC chip for the clouds on the title screen and special D.A Garden mode when you finish the game it was also a total letdown that PS IV was dropped for the Mega CD too

    All that said I liked and was far more Impressed with Mega CD than my PC Eng Duo. Batman Returns was just the best 16-bit driving game around and Lunar is still the best RPG I have ever played. Speaking of NEC somebody on here raised a good point and how NEC really pushed the all in one Duo and how that helped get the PC Eng CD Rom established and so got great support, while SEGA never pushed its Wondermega and the Multi-Mega came too late. Maybe, SEGA when making the Mega Drive/Mega CD II, should have also made an all in one MegaDrive/CD combo too and really pushed that, but that's with the benefit of hindsight.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Team Andromeda View Post
    SEGA when making the Mega Drive/Mega CD II, should have also made an all in one MegaDrive/CD combo too and really pushed that
    Agreed, which is puzzling from Sega because we all know how much they enjoyed churning out hardware, even cannibalising their own install base. But if they launched and all in one system at the same time as the add-on I think it would really have gained traction.

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    The Gaming Gangsta Master of Shinobi profholt82's Avatar
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    Well, the CDX and X'Eye both came out in 94, about a year after the Model 2. I don't think either sold particularly well, however. The CDX probably would have sold much better had they not released the 32x later that same year. 94/95 was just product overload for Sega, flooding the market.

    Now I believe the Wondermega came out much earlier than that. Perhaps as early as 92, but I can't confirm that. Being a Japan release though, I doubt it sold well at all since Sega was getting demolished in that market at the time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by profholt82 View Post
    Well, the CDX and X'Eye both came out in 94, about a year after the Model 2. I don't think either sold particularly well, however. The CDX probably would have sold much better had they not released the 32x later that same year. 94/95 was just product overload for Sega, flooding the market.

    Now I believe the Wondermega came out much earlier than that. Perhaps as early as 92, but I can't confirm that. Being a Japan release though, I doubt it sold well at all since Sega was getting demolished in that market at the time.
    The Multi-Mega was strictly limited and came out too late after the Mega CD to make any sort of difference, even if it's a super product (much like the Nomad). When SEGA were redesigning the Mega Drive, that was the time they should have made an All In One Mega Drive and Mega CD to go along with the Mega Drive/Mega CD 2 or really should have just made an All In One unit and that just pushed that . I don't think it was the price that was the Mega CD main issue it was the lack of quality software coming out at a decent rate and SEGA Japan totally let the Mega-CD down and failed the system

    Such a shame too when used the Mega-CD offered so much more than the NEC PC Eng CD-Rom.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Team Andromeda View Post
    The Multi-Mega was strictly limited and came out too late after the Mega CD to make any sort of difference, even if it's a super product (much like the Nomad). When SEGA were redesigning the Mega Drive, that was the time they should have made an All In One Mega Drive and Mega CD to go along with the Mega Drive/Mega CD 2 or really should have just made an All In One unit and that just pushed that . I don't think it was the price that was the Mega CD main issue it was the lack of quality software coming out at a decent rate and SEGA Japan totally let the Mega-CD down and failed the system

    Such a shame too when used the Mega-CD offered so much more than the NEC PC Eng CD-Rom.
    That's why the Mega-CD should never have been a convoluted mess and instead been the exact same as the PC Engine CD-ROM, but launch with even more memory plus the same ability to expand it in the future.

    SNES SFIIT would have shipped along side SFIISCE CD, which would have had a lower price than a regular Mega Drive game, which would help offset the price of the Mega-CD or the existing Mega-all-in-one. The game would have had arcade quality music or arranged CD music along side crystal clear voice and sfx. Add in the gratuitous extra assets and content... it would have been as much of a killer app as World Warrior was for SNES.
    Quote Originally Posted by year2kill06
    everyone knows nintendo is far way cooler than sega just face it nintendo has more better games and originals

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    Quote Originally Posted by Black_Tiger View Post
    That's why the Mega-CD should never have been a convoluted mess and instead been the exact same as the PC Engine CD-ROM, but launch with even more memory plus the same ability to expand it in the future.
    I tend to agree but that's also a far cry from what seemed to be SOJ's target here: the SFC.

    I think it's safe to assume that both the choice for the 8-channel PCM sound chip and the ASIC which can produce "Mode 7-like" effects were heavily influenced by the SFC. And, probably, the faster M68K was a response to the use of in-cart coprocessors by Nintendo, as with Pilotwings (1990).

    The PC Engine CD didn't have that same poisonous influence (since it was designed and released prior to the SFC) and/or its designers weren't as gullible/short-sighted as SOJ's.
    While the 12.5 MHz 68000 and the ASIC tend to get most of the hate, especially because of how little good use was made of them, I tend to hate the audio design a lot more.

    The resulting design is limited to 64 kB of audio RAM with no ADPCM support and has to rely on constant MCD's CPU-driven uploads to go beyond that (as Mickey Mania does); that's kinda fucked up. Both the PC Engine CD and the Amiga CD32 go in the opposite direction and, as a consequence, are more extendible.
    In the long run, it resulted in the PC Engine being able to have arcade ports with tons of in-game samples, as the SNK fighting games showed. While, eh, the Sega CD got the lower-than-MD quality samples in its rendition of Samurai Showdown, shorter-than-MD PCM effects in Flashback, less-than-MD in-game voice clips in NBA Jam; just to cite three well-known games.

    Yeah, I know, I know; people will then angrily reply: "They still sounded better than their SNES versions!!!!!!!" which is a sad fanboy excuse to the actual fact: it was a less extendible design than the older and cheaper PCE CD, it made the platform not really suitable to receive ports of sample-heavy games and, ackchyually, it was superseded by the stock MD using its old YM2612's hacky PCM support driven by the SMS Z80 + bigger ROMs; in short: lol.
    Last edited by Barone; 06-27-2021 at 05:09 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Black_Tiger View Post
    That's why the Mega-CD should never have been a convoluted mess and instead been the exact same as the PC Engine CD-ROM, but launch with even more memory plus the same ability to expand it in the future.
    .
    But the PC Engine wasn't exclusively sold as a One in One. NEC made a number of systems, some of which weren't compatible with the other (never mind the different system cards) at least with the Mega CD, SEGA allowed any combination of systems to work and the Mega CD had more than enough memory at the time. That said, SEGA should have also made a All In One system when it was also redesigning the Mega Drive and Mega CD

    I get the impression that Capcom weren't interested in SF II coming to either the PC Eng CD or Mega CD formats and wanting to go for the biggest userbase and that sadly was the base MD or PC Eng. Nintendo getting the exclusive rights in 91 was the real killer app




    Quote Originally Posted by Barone View Post
    .
    In the long run, it resulted in the PC Engine being able to have arcade ports with tons of in-game samples, as the SNK fighting games showed. While, eh, the Sega CD got the lower-than-MD quality samples in its rendition of Samurai Showdown, shorter-than-MD PCM effects in Flashback, less-than-MD in-game voice clips in NBA Jam; just to cite three well-known games.
    The SNK titles needed the Arcade card and were ported by the co-designers of the system, rather than an Arcade port farmed out to Eurocom, I would look to expect better results
    You're being a little selective in games, never mind comparing the Mega-CD 32Bit CD system?

    Playing PopfulMail on the Mega CD was far better than on the PC Eng and loads more speech, Snatcher sound and speech is better on the Mega CD to the PC Eng, WingCommander is much better on the Mega CD than the CD32 and features speech. Final Fight on the Mega CD contains all the Arcade speech and sound effects and are all but Arcade perfect, far more impressive than Forgotten Worlds on the PC Eng (both CPS games) Another World sounds much better on the Mega CD than the Mega Drive version and Fifa/Pitfall on the Mega CD makes fantastic of the sound chip to game sound effects far more impressive than even the Snes versions, never mind the base MD

    The Mega CD's biggest issue, was it badly underutilized not least by SOJ
    Last edited by Team Andromeda; 06-28-2021 at 12:59 AM.
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    But the PC Engine wasn't exclusively sold as a One in One. NEC made a number of systems, some of which weren't compatible with the other (never mind the different system cards) at least with the Mega CD, SEGA allowed any combination of systems to work and the Mega CD had more than enough memory at the time. That said, SEGA should have also made a All In One system when it was also redesigning the Mega Drive and Mega CD
    Sega's Mega Drive family had the most hardware and compatibilty variations of the generation and likey in all of pre-3D console gaming.

    You can't hook every cart based Mega Drive to a CD-ROM.

    The system card system was very simple and straightforward. Most CD games use the Super CD format which also plays CD2 games.

    The PC Engine Duo was out months before the Mega-CD launched and was the most popular hardware format going forward. Duos play all but maybe 5 CD games. The PC Engine's killer app CD game was released 3 months after the Mega-CD. The Mega-CD should have launched along side an epic Phantasy Star CD game.
    Quote Originally Posted by year2kill06
    everyone knows nintendo is far way cooler than sega just face it nintendo has more better games and originals

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    The $300 price tag of the original SEGA CD was a huge turn-off. I believe the Turbo-CD was also 300 in North America, which was way too much in 1992. I finally got a clam shell SEGA CD for @$200 and Lunar the Silver Star when it came out. I ended up trading in my 60 something SEGA CD games, along with the CD drive in 1995, to pay for import Saturn games. I sort of regret that I did that, but I probably wouldn’t play it all that much today, anyhow.
    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 Black_Tiger View Post
    Sega's Mega Drive family had the most hardware and compatibilty variations of the generation and likey in all of pre-3D console gaming.

    You can't hook every cart based Mega Drive to a CD-ROM.

    The system card system was very simple and straightforward. Most CD games use the Super CD format which also plays CD2 games. The Systen card needed to be updated twice, so if you bought a PC Engine CD Rom at launch, you needed to buy a upgrade to play the lastest

    The PC Engine Duo was out months before the Mega-CD launched and was the most popular hardware format going forward. Duos play all but maybe 5 CD games. The PC Engine's killer app CD game was released 3 months after the Mega-CD. The Mega-CD should have launched along side an epic Phantasy Star CD game.
    The Mega CD 1 or 2 worked with every official Mega Drive manufactured by SEGA. With NEC you couldn't use the PC Engine shuttle with the CD ROM,, never mind the issues with the Super Grafx . if you bought a PC Engine CD ROM early in you needed to buy system card upgrade to play the latest CDROM 2 games, not so for the Mega CD.

    Both systems had their plus and mius points.. I would agree that SEGA should have never dropped PS IV for the Mega CD, but SEGA Japan seemed not to care much for the Mega CD sadly
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    I think another factor that gets overlooked was that shortly after the release of the system that cartridge sizes started to increase leading to bigger and better looking games on cartridge.

    Cart sizes regularly were 16Meg and 24 Meg compared to the earlier 4Meg and occasional 8 Meg carts.

    This lead to larger games, more animation and more graphic variety in cartridge games.

    Stuff like Aladdin had exquisite animation and good sound, Streets of Rage 2 had large sprites, derailed backgrounds and a stellar soundtrack, the phenomenon of Street Fighter 2 and the media frenzy for Mortal Kombat was all on cartridge (the CD version was way too late). Then you had stuff like Flashback that had animated cut scenes on cartridge meaning to the casual observer (or paying parents) there simply wasn’t a justification to upgrade from cartridge to cd.

    Still so many brilliant games released on CD despite all of this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GreyFox View Post
    Stuff like Aladdin had exquisite animation and good sound, Streets of Rage 2 had large sprites, derailed backgrounds and a stellar soundtrack, the phenomenon of Street Fighter 2 and the media frenzy for Mortal Kombat was all on cartridge (the CD version was way too late). Then you had stuff like Flashback that had animated cut scenes on cartridge meaning to the casual observer (or paying parents) there simply wasn’t a justification to upgrade from cartridge to cd.

    Still so many brilliant games released on CD despite all of this.
    But you could have had better versions of those said games on the Mega CD. Can you imagine a SOR II on the Mega CD with a real CD-DA soundtrack and better sound effects; Ecco was so much better than the MD version just thanks to the music
    It's really hard to think of any Mega Drive game that was better than the Mega CD version. SEGA needed to make more use of it and for the Mega CD to have had a steady flow of games from SEGA each month.

    That was the Mega CD biggest issue for me, software and the rate of software along with SEGA Japan lack of showing off the ASIC chip, all that said mind. Its an awesome system and for me much better than the PC Eng CD Rom
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    Hedgehog-in-Training Hedgehog-in-TrainingSports Talker Blake00's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barone View Post
    While the 12.5 MHz 68000 and the ASIC tend to get most of the hate, especially because of how little good use was made of them
    Well that's the other thing. To add to my earlier post about them heavily advertising FMV games instead of the '3D' ones I also think about how they marketed the console itself. In that they could have come up with all sorts marketing "Blast processing" BS with what they had.. eg adding the faster second 68000 to the existing one in the Genesis could have been hyped out as "twice the power" and "twice the speed" and the ASIC hyped as "amazing true 3D graphics better than the competition" blah blah.. yeah there would have been some technical ifs and buts with those statements.. but who in marketing cares about that.. blast processing people!!!

    But yes as someone pointed out earlier in reply to my post I can certainly understand why SEGA pushed the FMV games in the marketing instead since yeah, without hindsight and knowing what we know now it was indeed exciting! Everyone was excited about these new games coming that made you feel like you were in a movie or a real life game. It was only when the games came out and we played them that we realised they were bad lol.

    So yeah I understand why they did it, but I still wonder what if they had also pushed it as a 'super powerful 3D upgrade to your Genesis/Mega Drive' (eg the kind of marketing they'd use years later for the 32x when it was too late) and showed off some of the games using that, instead of almost totally ignoring those features.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blake00 View Post
    But yes as someone pointed out earlier in reply to my post I can certainly understand why SEGA pushed the FMV games in the marketing instead since yeah, without hindsight and knowing what we know now it was indeed exciting! Everyone was excited about these new games coming that made you feel like you were in a movie or a real life game. It was only when the games came out and we played them that we realised they were bad lol.
    I think most Mega Drive owners were sick of having Model 7 and Snes sound samples rammed down their throats When SEGA Japan 1st showed off the Mega-CD they were hoping for all those fancy sounds and graphics effects on the Mega Drive only much better.
    The sad part was SOJ looked to make little use of them while a tiny British studio along with Malibu Inter was showing what could be done when you looked to make use of the ASIC chip.
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    Mode 7 wasn’t pushed down our throats and the sampled sound of the SNES was what all consoles used, going forward, including the PlayStation. You certainly don’t have a problem showing off that Batman game, with its Mode 7 like driving levels.
    Last edited by gamevet; 06-29-2021 at 11:38 AM.
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