Sega Saturn, PR victim or actually a bit crap? *spawn

Discussion in 'Console Industry' started by Akumajou, Jul 23, 2016.

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  1. Nesh

    Nesh Double Agent
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    There was an article I ve read years ago but I cant dig it up which explained what happened.

    Sega was going for a 2D dedicated next generation 32Bit console with some 3D capabilities which should explain why it was good with 2D games and the presence of the VDP1 and VDP2.
    But while the console was almost done, Sony reveals its plans for their 3D dedicated 32 bit console and it was a beast. The president of Sega Japan went furious and wanted to make a more powerful console. According to the article, the meeting with the president was unforgettable and one of the worst experiences ever.
    So the R&D team had to find alternatives fast because the change of plans came too late. So they made the design we know as the Saturn. If I recall Sega of America was worried and asked help from Silicon Graphics to provide them with a better option since they also helped with the design of the Playstation. That option was much easier to develop games on and was better suited for 3D but was rejected by Sega of Japan because it was considered weaker. So they went with the known Saturn architecture despite that it was a much complicated architecture. According to the article it was mostly off the shelf parts without too much thought for the overall design. It may explain why the Saturn was over-engineered with too many components, why documentation and tools were atrocious and why it was a nightmare to make games on. Too late, too hasty and too complicated.
    In general the president of Sega Japan was not a very communicative person and he was making very disastrous choices for Sega of America and Europe.

    It doesnt mean shit how great and innovative they were with 3D at the arcades. They didnt have the limitations of consumer products to consider and their arcade hardware came with partnerships with other vendors such as Lockheed Martin
     
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  2. function

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    I think the most relevant challenger to that idea would be the man-god Yu Suzuki.

    He thought Sega should ditch Saturn before release and focus on a 3D console. He was overridden, and then a year later tasked with overseeing a team that would develop an efficient and powerful set of 3D libraries for other developers to reference.

    While his team was one of the most effective that generation at using the Saturn's hardware, it's probably fair to say that the hardware was not what he thought Sega should have been targeting.
     
  3. Nesh

    Nesh Double Agent
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    I didnt want to start a new thread about it but I wanted to make a comment about a certain event.

    I think, despite it's shortcomings due to SEGA of Japan, it died prematurely because of one extra big mistake which was Sega of America's.

    Maybe it was a result from the bad relationship between SEGA of America and SEGA of Japan. Maybe SEGA of America wanted to punish SEGA of Japan for all the choices that made for the Saturn by proving the console's demise. I don''t know.
    That mistake was Bernie Stolar's announcement in 1997 (E3) that the Saturn was not Sega's future.

    Yes the console was not doing very well. But there were still big project's in development and you need as much revenue as possible during those hard times.

    1997 was way too early to make such a comment in public especially at E3. 1997 was probably the peak year of the generation and it was then that the Saturn was showing it's capabilities.

    With such a comment he prepared the market to avoid the Saturn. He implied Saturn was dead and slowed down sales further when the most important games were going to be released.
    Yu Suzuki was very hard working on Shenmue and Virtua Fighter 3 which was probably far in development. But sales were hindered further, titles sold less and projects were cancelled.

    The Dreamcast was still around one year and a half away from release in Japan and almost two years and a half away from release in US and EU.

    That's a pretty long time to endure slow console and software sales. Faith in Saturn should have been pushed as much as possible till the end.

    His comment further killed the consumer's trust in Sega and brought huge disappointment which likely affected Dreamcast's course. First Sega of Japan killed trust in the US by discontinuing support for the Genesis and then Sega of America killed trust worldwide by announcing the Saturn had no future.

    I believe from all of Sega's mistakes, the majority being Sega of Japan's, this was the one big mistake made by Sega of America and quite possibly one of the biggest.
     
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  4. ToTTenTranz

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    Nesh and Picao84 like this.
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