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Thread: Japan execs were upset that Kalinske was allowed to resign w/o taking blame for 32X

  1. #166
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    https://groups.google.com/g/rec.game.../c/2rZBAlG9PbU
    Wallace Poulter
    7/26/94
    to
    The 32X is most certainly not "only a holiday item." Prior to joining
    Sega I worked as a freelance writer and I was reasonably blunt about
    the different systems available or planned. It is my personal opinion that
    the 32X is the right system at the right time at the right price and it will
    do better than even our own internal forecasts (no I'm not saying what they
    are <g>).

    No you don't have to believe me. Save this post and repost it in 1 year. I
    strongly believe that it will still be the right system at the right
    time at the right price
    Teh Kao Yang's profile photo
    Teh Kao Yang
    7/26/94
    to
    In article <B63w7yq....@delphi.com> Wallace Poulter <wpou...@delphi.com> writes:
    >The 32X is most certainly not "only a holiday item." Prior to joining
    >Sega I worked as a freelance writer and I was reasonably blunt about
    >the different systems available or planned. It is my personal opinion that
    >the 32X is the right system at the right time at the right price and it will
    >do better than even our own internal forecasts (no I'm not saying what they
    >are <g>).
    I totally agree with you here. I can't see why so many other people believe
    that it will fail. To me and I think to many other gamers out there the 32X
    seems like the cheapest, and therefore, safest upgrade path to 32bit gaming.

    Just think
    about the whole gaming population, and how many of them are willing to spend
    the $$ for a Jag or 3DO, and how many would be willing to buy a cheap upgrade
    for their Genesis.... you do the math. (no pun intended

    -

  2. #167
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    In the clearest confirmation yet that Sega will be introducing a
    significant Saturn upgrade with VF3, Adrian Smith, VP of Core, told DHGF
    that they've "been talking to Sega about this cartridge which will be
    launched for Virtua Fighter 3 at Christmas--there's a possibility of using
    that" for Tomb Raider 2.]
    https://groups.google.com/g/rec.game...m/9WmWmFI_BysJ

  3. #168
    Mega Driver Hedgehog-in-TrainingMaster of Shinobi Gryson's Avatar
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    That EGM2 issue is here:

    https://retrocdn.net/File:EGM2_US_01.pdf

    p. 106 for the claim that the Saturn would launch in April 1995.

    I can imagine how that date originated, given the officially-supplied dates I've seen in the Japanese newspapers. Going from memory:

    Sega's earliest plan was to launch the Saturn in both Japan and the US at the end of 1994. Then, in early 1994, the plan was to launch the 32X "in the fall" and the Saturn after that around April 1995. However, with Nakayama's announcement (translated somewhere in this thread) that the 32X would be the focus for SOA, the decision was made to push the Saturn back in the US even further, to late 1995 at the earliest (but uncertain). Basically, EGM's info is a bit out of date, even though the Saturn's limited release did end up occurring around then. We know from Kalinske and Nakayama that the decision for the limited release of the Saturn in the US in May 1995 was made very last-minute.

    I think I've also seen that April 1995 date in some American newspapers. Maybe the New York Times. EGM probably got it from there.

    Changing dates like that at the very least confused the magazine and caused distrust of the 32X early on, though. That EGM was published in July 1994, way before the 32X release.

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    This thread just goes to show that the writing was already on the wall. Even months before the 32X came out there were well-founded concerns this was going to be a short-lived system, that the Saturn was just around the corner and it would be incredibly stupid to try to sell two consoles at the same time. Any product facing that kind of perception is pretty much doomed even if there were people at Sega who would have liked to keep it going for 3 years.

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    Quote Originally Posted by axel View Post
    This thread just goes to show that the writing was already on the wall. Even months before the 32X came out there were well-founded concerns this was going to be a short-lived system, that the Saturn was just around the corner and it would be incredibly stupid to try to sell two consoles at the same time. Any product facing that kind of perception is pretty much doomed even if there were people at Sega who would have liked to keep it going for 3 years.
    To me it seems that people were excited for the 32X and felt that it would be the system to own, looking at it being the "cheapest, and therefore, safest upgrade path to 32bit gaming." People were even claiming that weren't even plans for the Saturn to "launch outside of Japan anytime soon" It seems that some people there felt it was a solid upgrade for a couple of years at least. OUCH! I bet that was a tough pill to swallow.
    Of course this was before it was launched with its crappy launch lineup 6 titles including a less than stellar version of Doom and Cosmic Carnage!!. I'm sure people revised their opinion after that and probably felt burned, then SOA panicked and the the Saturn launch debacle happened. I'm sure many felt even more let down. Smacks of over promising and under delivering to me .. never a good thing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gamevet View Post
    Okay, Mr. dumbass!

    Barone’s last post pointed out exactly why listing best sellers on a console doesn’t mean anything, especially for a game that was over 4 years old by the time it came to N64 and a top launch title on the PlayStation.
    Before you look to try and be clever and your typical insulting self. Just bare in mind that I for a 'fact' made sure to talk of Duke, Dark Forces, Doom Quake & Quake 2. And no, the likes of Quake 2 weren't 4 years old by the time it dropped on the PS or N64 and they're nowhere in ther sale charts sadly, despite Quake 2 getting a lot of hype and also being one of the games to show off those lovely 3DFX graphics, console players weren't bothered.

    Quote Originally Posted by axel View Post
    This thread just goes to show that the writing was already on the wall. Even months before the 32X came out there were well-founded concerns this was going to be a short-lived system, that the Saturn was just around the corner and it would be incredibly stupid to try to sell two consoles at the same time. Any product facing that kind of perception is pretty much doomed even if there were people at Sega who would have liked to keep it going for 3 years.
    You know I remember posting this way back in 2014, when talking of hanging on the 16 bit market was a mistake



    It was clear to many around at the time 1994/5 so many gamers were ready to move on and bored of the same old style of games and graphics. Noone can bring themself's to say it, but the simple truth is SEGA America made the most horrendous call of its tenure, with their belief Price alone would win the 32Bit and not wanting to let go of its user base, they compound that with totally and utterly screwing up the most import Sonic game of a generation and SEGA could never recover from that in the West, both SEGA America and Europe were so sure and so convinced the 32X would beat all, they never stopped to think or worry if it didn't and where the Saturn was like an afterthought; It was very like Xbox with Kinect

    When SOJ showed the finished Saturn off the to press and world in April of 1994 and commented to the fall 1994 launch date, was the day the 32X should have been killed and where SEGA focused on the Saturn and letgo of the Mega Drive and move all production to the Saturn.If SEGA had done that, I would say they could have beaten the N64 in the west and Japan (well that part SEGA did). A shame too, because the Saturn was such a good console and so much better than the N64 for starters
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    Quote Originally Posted by stu View Post
    To me it seems that people were excited for the 32X and felt that it would be the system to own, looking at it being the "cheapest, and therefore, safest upgrade path to 32bit gaming." People were even claiming that weren't even plans for the Saturn to "launch outside of Japan anytime soon" It seems that some people there felt it was a solid upgrade for a couple of years at least. OUCH! I bet that was a tough pill to swallow.
    Of course this was before it was launched with its crappy launch lineup 6 titles including a less than stellar version of Doom and Cosmic Carnage!!. I'm sure people revised their opinion after that and probably felt burned, then SOA panicked and the the Saturn launch debacle happened. I'm sure many felt even more let down. Smacks of over promising and under delivering to me .. never a good thing.
    Exactly. On paper it did sound good. Don't spend hundreds on a brand new console, just upgrade your Genesis and enjoy a new library of games.... except that most of them didn't live up to the hype at all.

    Quote Originally Posted by Team Andromeda View Post
    If SEGA had done that, I would say they could have beaten the N64 in the west and Japan (well that part SEGA did). A shame too, because the Saturn was such a good console and so much better than the N64 for starters
    Better is a relative term. if you were making a 2D sidescroller or an RPG that relies on voice acting and FMV then sure the Saturn is a better platform. For 3D... not a chance.

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    Quote Originally Posted by axel View Post

    Better is a relative term. if you were making a 2D sidescroller or an RPG that relies on voice acting and FMV then sure the Saturn is a better platform. For 3D... not a chance.
    Well, it would really depeond on what kind of 3D game we're talking about here. A 3D RPG like Final Fantasy would still probably work better on Saturn than the N64 at the time. Rail Shooters and 3D Fighters Saturn can be a pretty good fit as well thanks to VDP2. 3D Light Gun games will also be a better fit as well since the Saturn actually has lightguns. Games like Resident Evil would also work better on Saturn. Sure there's RE2 on N64, but you can't deny Saturn could probably handle that game better than the N64 does. I'd also imagine a game like Metal Gear Solid would also work better on Saturn than N64 thanks to all the voice acting, cutscenes, etc. VDP2 floors would also probably work really well for that game.

    Really it's just 3D Racers, Platformers/Adventure games, and First Person Shooters where N64 would be a clearly better fit. But even then, there's plenty of official Saturn games in those genres as well as homebrew efforts that show the system definitely can hold it's own if needed:



    In that video you can see it doing 4 player split screen and it actually can hit 30fps when doing it. It dips low when everyone is in the same geometrically complex room looking across the entire space at each other. And even then it dips to 10-15fps, which is no worse than what Goldeneye and Perfect Dark do on the N64.

    Yes VDP1's fillrate is lower than the other systems, but I think people really over exaggerate it. A lot of people will point to games with bad pop-up, flickering polygons, etc. and claim it's proof VDP1's fillrate is too low, but generally that's not what's causing those issues. In reality the cause of those issues tends to point back to SGL and how it works. SGL is setup in a way that may make things easy to do, but it's not very optimized. For example SGL fills HWRAM with quite a few different static buffers. When one of these buffers fills up, it just stops trying to draw anything else for that frame. So for example if the buffer for your vertices fills up, SGL will just stop drawing for the rest of that frame even if you have CPU resources and VDP1 fillrate to draw more. One optimization developers started doing was to merge vertices in their 3D data to eliminate duplicate vertices so they don't waste space in the buffer. Others dropped SGL entirely and wrote their own 3D engine/library.

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    Quote Originally Posted by axel View Post
    Better is a relative term. if you were making a 2D sidescroller or an RPG that relies on voice acting and FMV then sure the Saturn is a better platform. For 3D... not a chance.
    Not really. I can't think of any Vs 3D fighter than looks better on the N64, much less match the screen Res of the likes of Last Bronx or VF 2. Sega Rally, Daytona USA EC stands right up there with any major N64 Racer and Decathlete its miles better looking than any N64 sports games and runs at 60FPS in 640X480. I'll go on a limb and say Grandia is more impressive than any N64 RPG, well Zelda
    So many N64 games run in low res, with washed out and blurry textures. I was far more impressed with the PS and Saturn myself, bar the odd stand out title like Mario 64 which was one of the few N64 games not be blurry and had a decent frame rate

    After all the hype the N64 chipset wasn't that great for me. I love my N64, but that was more because of the games than being blown away by graphics and sound. The N64 was there for the taking, but SEGA America fecked it all up.
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  10. #175
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    So I checked back into this thread after a few PMs about some issues and what do I see......


    TA why is it so hard for you to admit that you sometimes don't know what you're talking about? The comment about Doom alone literally made my eyes roll into the back of my damn skull. The world of gaming doesn't just revolve where you live. I know it's hard for you to accept other people's viewpoints but this is just beyond silly. You don't try and join any discussions, you literally interject yourself into them and piss multiple people off.

    I wish you'd take a step back and stop trying to flex so hard when you're obviously not as educated on a certain subject as you think you are.

    I admit there are times you're right on a few issues but when you post inane crap like you did about Doom, you lose any credibility you've built up.

    Just please stop doing this because I'm tired of getting complaints about you.
    05/05/15

  11. #176
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrekkiesUnite118 View Post
    Well, it would really depeond on what kind of 3D game we're talking about here. A 3D RPG like Final Fantasy would still probably work better on Saturn than the N64 at the time. Rail Shooters and 3D Fighters Saturn can be a pretty good fit as well thanks to VDP2. 3D Light Gun games will also be a better fit as well since the Saturn actually has lightguns. Games like Resident Evil would also work better on Saturn. Sure there's RE2 on N64, but you can't deny Saturn could probably handle that game better than the N64 does. I'd also imagine a game like Metal Gear Solid would also work better on Saturn than N64 thanks to all the voice acting, cutscenes, etc. VDP2 floors would also probably work really well for that game.

    Really it's just 3D Racers, Platformers/Adventure games, and First Person Shooters where N64 would be a clearly better fit. But even then, there's plenty of official Saturn games in those genres as well as homebrew efforts that show the system definitely can hold it's own if needed:
    Anything 2D is better on the Saturn for the simple fact you can actually see the details in the image; N64 video output is dogshit (to put it mildly).

    For FPS, at least in theory, I'll partially disagree with you. Sure, you'll lose transparencies and other fancier effects that the N64 can do far easier but there are many other factors and it also depends on which kind of FPS we're talking about.
    The Saturn has many advantages in my view:
    - It actually has a mouse and even a keyboard.
    - You could use Netlink.
    - For PC ports of games that originally didn't use sampled music, the Saturn is by far a much better fit. It could do laps around the N64 with soundtracks of games like Doom and Duke Nukem 3D.
    - For stuff with sampled music, it can also deliver far superior quality than the N64 and without impacting its processing.
    - The dual-CPU architecture should be able to deliver a more stable framerate, even if with lower peaks.
    - The CD medium is a huge, huge advantage, and keep in mind that the N64's cart access is slow as hell. Doom 64 had several monsters cut due to the cart size limit; you realistically would suffer a lot to port even stuff like Final Doom to it.
    The cart also forces you to recycle textures a lot across different stages.
    - Saturn's cart slot was never used for FPS games but I believe it could have been used to great extent. You could, for example, store all Doom's Arch-vile's animation frames in a cart RAM (or even ROM) and put it in any stage you wanted. Pretty much impractical for both PS1 and N64.

    Again, for sure games like GoldenEye would have a much different look and feel on the Saturn, but it's not like it doesn't run with bad, inconsistent framerate on the N64 and cuts corners with stuff such as the disappearing bodies.



    For 3D racers I really think the Saturn hardware isn't good at all if you want more advanced 5th gen stuff. Sega Rally is awesome but that's about the best we saw on the Saturn.
    Even Daytona USA CCE has that shit of reducing the scrolling speed when the screen gets filled with more cars/scenery details. The speed sensation is not good.

    The system didn't have anything even remotely near to the level of N64's Top Gear Overdrive, RR 64, Beetle Adventure Racing, Hot Wheels Turbo Racing, or World Driver Championship. The PS1 library also wipes the floor with it in terms of graphics; Gran Turismo games, CTR, Speed Punks, Muppet RaceMania, RR Type 4, Ray Tracers, Motorhead, Wipeout 3 (the earlier ports run at 20 fps instead of 30 fps, look uglier, etc.), Moto Racer, Total Drivin games, Colin McRae Rally 2.0, Dead in the Water, Rapid Racer, RC Revenge, etc.

    For most 3D racing games you really needed raw rendering speed, transparencies (heck, not even proper shadows you can do without it; see Saturn's NFS), lighting effects to make the stages look good, and some multitexturing to make the cars look fancy. Not a good fit for the Saturn.
    PS1's additive alpha blending is a big deal here too. Stuff like skid marks only look good with it, smoke looks much better with it, etc.

    It isn't that you couldn't have had many more decent 3D racers than it has, but graphically most of them would look dated/lacking in comparison.


    In general, I'd say a couple of things killed 3D on the Saturn:
    - The standard libraries, the lack of proper debugging and profiling tools;
    - Quads instead of triangles which put it outside of what got standardized in the industry during that gen, tools were all made around triangles and not quads;
    - The need of learning how to make proper use of the dual-CPU architecture in order to get top-tier 3D performance out of it;
    - The lack of proper transparencies and the use of additive shading made most cross-platform games look like crap;
    - Failed hard commercially in the west so most of the game genres which were strong in US/EU never got a proper push; most companies not even tried to use the VDP2.
    Last edited by Barone; 06-04-2022 at 11:32 AM.

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    I think that with enough time, the Saturn could pull out some head turners.

    Scorcher is a nice looking racer with transparent vapor trails and smoke. It may be cheating a little, with the raised track and some draw in, but it's not like the other versions of wipeout didn't have some draw-in as well.


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    Quote Originally Posted by BonusKun View Post
    So I checked back into this thread after a few PMs about some issues and what do I see......


    TA why is it so hard for you to admit that you sometimes don't know what you're talking about? The comment about Doom alone literally made my eyes roll into the back of my damn skull.
    I don't live in the USA and used USA sales charts and Doom, Quake, Quake 2 are nowhere. And for the best selling PC game of all time, it world wide sales.

    So it had nothing to do with my neck of the Wood's.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Team Andromeda View Post
    Not really. I can't think of any Vs 3D fighter than looks better on the N64, much less match the screen Res of the likes of Last Bronx or VF 2. Sega Rally, Daytona USA EC stands right up there with any major N64 Racer and Decathlete its miles better looking than any N64 sports games and runs at 60FPS in 640X480. I'll go on a limb and say Grandia is more impressive than any N64 RPG, well Zelda
    So many N64 games run in low res, with washed out and blurry textures. I was far more impressed with the PS and Saturn myself, bar the odd stand out title like Mario 64 which was one of the few N64 games not be blurry and had a decent frame rate

    After all the hype the N64 chipset wasn't that great for me. I love my N64, but that was more because of the games than being blown away by graphics and sound. The N64 was there for the taking, but SEGA America fecked it all up.
    I see what you mean, it depends what kind of games you like. I never got into 3D fighters. I do like 2D fighters and the Saturn is a very good platform for those. For me the N64 games that mattered were things like Mario 64 and Ocarina of Time, which would be very difficult to pull off on the Saturn. The Saturn did have some advantages in 3D though, the games often have better textures than what you'd see on the N64.

  15. #180
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    Quote Originally Posted by gamevet View Post
    I think that with enough time, the Saturn could pull out some head turners.

    Scorcher is a nice looking racer with transparent vapor trails and smoke. It may be cheating a little, with the raised track and some draw in, but it's not like the other versions of wipeout didn't have some draw-in as well.
    Scorcher has much fewer polygons than most proper racing games would require. No actual cars, no grid/traffic, no crowd, limited trackside visibility, narrow track, short draw distance, etc.
    And it's a really dark game. The atmosphere is similar to PS1's Motorhead, just a much, much simpler game 3D-wise and much slower.
    Not too bad for 1996 though.

    But it was released just two months apart from this (real hardware capture):


    The gap is abysmal IMHO.

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