SEGA Downfall Leaked

erek

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"Leaked SEGA of America (SOA) documents, emails, & internal memos have appeared online. These 1996 documents paint a bleak and fascinating picture for the Sega Saturn, Genesis, Game Gear, Nomad, and Pico consoles."

Source:
 
I was one of the 10 kids with a Sega Saturn (I also thankfully got a PlayStation later on)


I grew up in a C64 and NES town as a kid in the 80's.

Never knew anyone who had anything Sega.

Literally all of my friends had either Commodore 64's or 8 bit Nintendos.


I still have this nice little collection:


nintendo.jpg
 
Now I'll admit that I don't know much about 90's consoles. The NES is the only console I've ever owned to this day. In 1991 I got my own PC and I never so much as looked at another console again.

If I close my eyes I can kind of picture the Super Nintendo and Nintendo 64, and I'm aware that there was a Game Cube, but I don't know much about them.

I also remember the Sega Master System and something called the Mega Drive (google tells me this was called the Genesis in the U.S.), but I can't even remember what they looked like, and I have no recollection of after that.

I can't even picture what the Sega consoles of that era looked like.

I think it is interesting that their internal documents state that there is "a perception" that Sony's Playstation is better because it is newer, suggesting that it wasn't.

Was this really just a perception, and not absolute fact?

Because my recollection was that the Playstation was quite revolutionary when it came out in 1994, beating even the PC to widespread hardware accelerated 3d rendering by a year.

There was a time there in late 1994 / early 1995, before 3DFX launched the voodoo that the Playstation was absolutely crushing PC's for gaming, and I was starting to wonder what would happen to PC games, and if consoles truly were the future.

I had no experience with the 90's hardware releases from either Nintendo or Sega, but I guess I just presumed they were being crushed as well?
 
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I was one of the 10 kids with a Sega Saturn (I also thankfully got a PlayStation later on)
i still have mine.



most if not all of this was was known already, now we just can see it on paper. this should be in the game section though.
Saturn's good stuff with the QUADRANGLES and stuff

1688779932213.png




what about the Duke controller too? can't forget that one

1688780005026.png

1688780048838.png
 


That's really interesting. I had never heard of the Nvidia NV1. I don't remember discovering Nvidia until the Riva TNT2 era.

Did they provide the chips for Sega's consoles of that era or something? Or how did they get the relationship going to run their games to run on it?
 
One way or another - either through being just mine from my parents, or belonged to other family members I always visited, or grandparents buying it for me for when I went to visit them, or babysitters, or my next door neighbor/friend whose house I was always over, or later on gifts from old GFs etc - I pretty much had/had exposure/access to all the major consoles growing up

Atari 2600, NES (owned), Gameboy (owned), Sega Genesis, Game Gear, SNES (owned), Saturn (owned), PlayStation (owned), N64, Dreamcast, PlayStation 2 (owned), GameCube

I knew someone with an Xbox but that's the only one I never really got too much hands on with (played around a bit with one turned into a dedicated XBMC machine when XBMC was made for it though)

Everyone also had the Win 95/family PC growing up, from then after - and by the time PS3/Xbox 360 came out I was just all in on PC because less to buy/maintain/etc and it had 99% of the games I wanted

PlayStation 1 was hands down my favorite of all - from just the franchises and games I discovered/played on it to getting it mod chipped and saving up lunch money for bootleg games - only one I regret not still having (and emulation is good enough for me to ease that pain anyway)
 
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thats not the duke, its the 3d controller. the duke was the xbox controller.

thats not how i remember it. unless you mean sales.

For about a year or two there in late 1994 through 1995, DirectX/Dirtect3D didn't exist yet. Neither the S3 Virge, Matrox Mystique, ATI 3D Rage, or 3DFX Voodoo existed yet.

The Matrox Millenium cards had some basic 3D Acceleration capability, but notably lacked the ability to texture anything, and I can't remember any titles actually supporting them.

So really what you had on the PC was CPU software rendered 3D which was nice and all, but it didn't compare to the smooth high framerate 3D the Playstation was pumping out.

Even once the S3 Virge, Matrox Mystique and ATI Rage 3D hit about a year later, they had to have specialty versions of the games in order to use the proprietary 3D acceleration, and this was usually limited to a handful of titles. (For whatever reason MechWarrior 2 was common)

This 3D acceleration was great. I remember seeing smooth 3D rendered frames for the first time on a PC in Moto Racer for the Matrox Mystique, and I was very impressed. But since the games had to be specifically written for your specific video card, this was only in a handful of games.

At the same time the Playstation pumping out high framerate console gaming that the PC really couldn't touch, and it did it in almost every title on the platform.

It wasn't until the 3DFX Voodoo Graphics was launched in November 1996, almost two years after the Playstations December 1994 launch, that 3D rendering on PC started to coalesce aroung the Glide API and the Voodoo one.

For those two years until the 3DFX voodoo seemingly came out of nowhere, it felt like PC gaming was falling behind.

Then GLQuake came out in January 1997, and the PC has been blowing away consoles ever since.
 
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That's really interesting. I had never heard of the Nvidia NV1. I don't remember discovering Nvidia until the Riva TNT2 era.

Did they provide the chips for Sega's consoles of that era or something? Or how did they get the relationship going to run their games to run on it?

That was one of, if not Nvidia's first big pushes IIRC (getting the NV1 for the Saturn) - saw a 'history of' of either Sega or Nvidia some time ago on Youtube I picked that up from
 
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For about a year or two there in late 1994 through 1995, DirectX/Dirtect3D didn't exist yet. Neither the S3 Virge, Matrox Mystique, ATI 3D Rage, or 3DFX Voodoo existed yet.

The Matrox Millenium cards had some basic 3D Acceleration capability, but notably lacked the ability to texture anything, and I can't remember any titles actually supporting them.

So really what you had on the PC was CPU software rendered 3D which was nice and all, but it didn't compare to the smooth high framerate 3D the Playstation was pumping out.

Even once the S3 Virge, Matrox Mystique and ATI Rage 3D hit about a year later, they had to have specialty versions of the games in order to use the proprietary 3D acceleration, and this was usually limited to a handful of titles. (For whatever reason MechWarrior 2 was common)

This 3D acceleration was great. I remember seeing smooth 3D rendered frames for the first time on a PC in Moto Racer for the Matrox Mystique, and I was very impressed. But since the games had to be specifically written for your specific video card, this was only in a handful of games.

At the same time the Playstation pumping out high framerate console gaming that the PC really couldn't touch, and it did it in almost every title on the platform.

It wasn't until the 3DFX Voodoo Graphics was launched in November 1996, almost two years after the Playstations December 1994 launch, that 3D rendering on PC started to coalesce aroung the Glide API and the Voodoo one.

For those two years until the 3DFX voodoo seemingly came out of nowhere, it felt like PC gaming was falling behind.

Then GLQuake came out in January 1997, and the PC has been blowing away consoles ever since.
go watch some yt vids of ps1 vs pc games. not to mention that there were only like 11 games for the ps1 in 94/95....
 
go watch some yt vids of ps1 vs pc games. not to mention that there were only like 11 games for the ps1 in 94/95....
What about that weird missing Z delta or buffer causing all the texturing worbling
Wasn’t the Sega better in this regard, Hmm? 🤔 🧐 🤨 😡

1688784980244.jpeg
 
i still have mine.



most if not all of this was was known already, now we just can see it on paper. this should be in the game section though.
Wanna sell it? Does money talk? Everything has its price, right 💰 💴 💵

I got heatware
 
What about that weird missing Z delta or buffer causing all the texturing worbling
Wasn’t the Sega better in this regard, Hmm? 🤔 🧐 🤨 😡

Yeah but IIRC Saturn was too reliant on its weird sprites or something over PS - PS was still better overall 3D experience when playing IMO, warps be damned

Edit: I loved my Saturn for a lot of the arcade games/ports. Also the Sega controller sucked IMO after using the PS controller and especially the Dual Shock - I get that the Sega (Genesis/Saturn) controllers were more arcade/gamepad type with the 6 buttons (not counting the 3 button Genesis controller) but it just never worked/clicked for me
 
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Yeah but IIRC Saturn was too reliant on its weird sprites or something over PS - PS was still better overall 3D experience when playing IMO, warps be damned

Edit: I loved my Saturn for a lot of the arcade games/ports, also the Sega controller sucked IMO after using the PS controller and especially the Dual Shock

I think the model 2 controller was one of the best ones ever made that didn’t need any type of stick. Compared to an original non dual shock, gimme the Saturn controller every day. Even the 3d controller isn’t that bad. Could have been worse, like an N64 controller…
 
I think the model 2 controller was one of the best ones ever made that didn’t need any type of stick. Compared to an original non dual shock, gimme the Saturn controller every day. Even the 3d controller isn’t that bad. Could have been worse, like an N64 controller…

It's the shape of the controller/how it fits into the hand, along with then the 6 button layout on top of that - mostly after being ruined by the PlayStation controller w/ handlebars (not little nubs like on the Sega controllers)

I used to just lay the (Sega) controller flat and use it like an arcade pad a lot lol
 
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Ive never seen a Saturn in Person. Its my understanding it had some great games, in its small library.
 
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Virtua Cop, Nights into Dreams, Virtua Fighter 2 and Daytona USA were the first party titles I played the most on mine, there were some third party games I had for it that I played frequently (Duke Nukem 3D, Alien Trilogy, Die Hard) - but mostly I gravitated towards the PlayStation once I got that. Even had some games for Saturn (Resident Evil, Tomb Raider) that I just 'noped' and played on the PlayStation instead. If I had known I could use the Saturn as a CD music player like I did my PlayStation, I might have used it more for that too.
 
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Yeah but IIRC Saturn was too reliant on its weird sprites or something over PS - PS was still better overall 3D experience when playing IMO, warps be damned

Edit: I loved my Saturn for a lot of the arcade games/ports. Also the Sega controller sucked IMO after using the PS controller and especially the Dual Shock - I get that the Sega (Genesis/Saturn) controllers were more arcade/gamepad type with the 6 buttons (not counting the 3 button Genesis controller) but it just never worked/clicked for me

I think the Saturn had warpy textures too.

Its 3d was pretty fucked up. It rendered quads instead of triangles. Fever dream ass hardware.
 
I think the model 2 controller was one of the best ones ever made that didn’t need any type of stick. Compared to an original non dual shock, gimme the Saturn controller every day. Even the 3d controller isn’t that bad. Could have been worse, like an N64 controller…
What about the 3-D controller
 
What about the 3-D controller

I like it for some of the support games. Nights plays much better with it than the regular controller. Unfortunately there isn’t widespread support for it and not all the supported titles really need it to feel fine.

That said I’d never rely on it on non-supported games as it would just add bulk to the standard controller that I think is fantastic.
 
One of my friends had a Sega Saturn most of us had a playstation, N64 or both. He was the only one with the Saturn. He didn't have RAM cart so we couldn't play the Capcom fighters how they were meant to be played. But damn those sprites were thick and fast compared playstation at the time.
 
I still love to hear the. SEEEGA jingle when someone powers on a Genesis with some Mlrtal Kombat or Sonic in the console. I don't own one but it's fun to hear.
 
T-Rex tries to eat the Sega logo afterward in the Jurassic Park game lol

NBA Jam, Jurassic Park, Jurassic Park Rampage Edition, X-Men and the Mortal Kombat games were my favorite Genesis games

Edit: Oh and Aladdin and Lion King, some of these games were pains in the ass
 
That's really interesting. I had never heard of the Nvidia NV1.
Hell, I remember seeing one on the store shelf of a CompUSA back in the 90's. They wanted $300 for a 2MB version, which I think was already price reduced. I passed that Edge 3D (learning from touching my hand to the S3 ViRGE stove already) up promptly for a Monster 3D instead. Even if I had known how much such a card would have been worth one day, I still would have opted for the Monster. Quadrilaterals were a dead end even then, and developers loathed working with them. I'd trade my memories and experiences of using 3dfx hardware for nothing.
 
I had a Saturn for about 3 days....I returned it to EB when I just couldn't really justify the $400+ I had paid for it (whatever they were at launch) and they were absolute dicks about taking it back, even though it was returnable within a week. Glad I did, the Playstation dropped later and that was more of what I was looking for in a console, even with its 20fps graphics when pushing polygons :)
I still have the Playstation and the Dreamcast (The last of the great arcade machines, because it represents the last days of real arcade games IMHO) that I bought later on....they still work last time I tried them..

But I started on Telstar. You may now commence with your ageist mockery.
coleco-telstar-2-preview.png


PS: it's sitting about 15 feet away from me right now, and it probably still works.......PPSS: Side Request: Anyone know of an online forum or company that brings dead Apple II "Disk ][" Drives back to life or rebuilds II+ Power Supplies?
 
I had a Saturn for about 3 days....I returned it to EB when I just couldn't really justify the $400+ I had paid for it (whatever they were at launch) and they were absolute dicks about taking it back, even though it was returnable within a week. Glad I did, the Playstation dropped later and that was more of what I was looking for in a console, even with its 20fps graphics when pushing polygons :)
I still have the Playstation and the Dreamcast (The last of the great arcade machines, because it represents the last days of real arcade games IMHO) that I bought later on....they still work last time I tried them..

But I started on Telstar. You may now commence with your ageist mockery.
View attachment 582138

PS: it's sitting about 15 feet away from me right now, and it probably still works.......PPSS: Side Request: Anyone know of an online forum or company that brings dead Apple II "Disk ][" Drives back to life or rebuilds II+ Power Supplies?
"Let's talk about when the Sega Saturn Destroyed the Sony Playstation, leading the market in the first few years."
 
go watch some yt vids of ps1 vs pc games. not to mention that there were only like 11 games for the ps1 in 94/95....

I've never done any side by sides, simply speaking from my recollection of what I saw at the time. I recall the Playstation having fluidly moving 3d stuff, which even on the best PC at the time was not that fluid.

I haven't even looked at anything playstation since 1995...
 
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I've never done any side by sides, simply speaking from my recollection of what I saw at the time. I recall the Playstation having fluidly moving 3d stuff, which even on the best PC at the time was not that fluid.

I haven't even looked at anything playstation since 1995...
It was the most fluid and detailed 3D of that generation, although the INT only, non Z-buffered geometry engine and affine texture mapping really made it look like ass in comparison to arcade, PC post 3dfx, or by some extent N64 (even though it was as if viewed through a vaseline filter)
 
Genesis / Mega Drive was easily the most successful of the Sega consoles. While it was a bit lacking in color depth, and the sound chip wasn't quite as good as its other 16 bit competitors, the fact that it was basically the same guts as the System 16 arcade board made for some excellent game play. My college dorm floor would always congregate to my room, since I was the first there with a Genesis, and the sports games from Electronic Arts were the best.

Sega did a smart move by using the Motorola 68000 CPU, and programmers were very comfortable with this platform, since the 68000 was a mainstay in many gaming systems (arcade included).

Sega did a foolish thing by using two SH-2 CPU's as their platform for the Saturn, since programmers for these games weren't familiar with programming for dual CPU's. I may be mistaken here, but most of the programmers would only use one of the two CPU's on that platform. I honestly believe that had they stuck with one of their other plans to use a single Motorola 68040 CPU and a 3D co-processor, that the Saturn could very well have turned out much better.



There was actually a really good thread here that pointed out the failures of the Saturn, and how Sega was being foolish.

https://hardforum.com/threads/inter...nt-of-sega-saturns-hitachi-sh-2-cpus.2022704/
 
Genesis / Mega Drive was easily the most successful of the Sega consoles. While it was a bit lacking in color depth, and the sound chip wasn't quite as good as its other 16 bit competitors, the fact that it was basically the same guts as the System 16 arcade board made for some excellent game play. My college dorm floor would always congregate to my room, since I was the first there with a Genesis, and the sports games from Electronic Arts were the best.

Sega did a smart move by using the Motorola 68000 CPU, and programmers were very comfortable with this platform, since the 68000 was a mainstay in many gaming systems (arcade included).

Sega did a foolish thing by using two SH-2 CPU's as their platform for the Saturn, since programmers for these games weren't familiar with programming for dual CPU's. I may be mistaken here, but most of the programmers would only use one of the two CPU's on that platform. I honestly believe that had they stuck with one of their other plans to use a single Motorola 68040 CPU and a 3D co-processor, that the Saturn could very well have turned out much better.



There was actually a really good thread here that pointed out the failures of the Saturn, and how Sega was being foolish.

https://hardforum.com/threads/inter...nt-of-sega-saturns-hitachi-sh-2-cpus.2022704/

Amusingly the PS2 also appears to have been a nightmare system to develop for in a very similar way, but by then they had so much traction it didn't matter.
 
That's really interesting. I had never heard of the Nvidia NV1. I don't remember discovering Nvidia until the Riva TNT2 era.

Did they provide the chips for Sega's consoles of that era or something? Or how did they get the relationship going to run their games to run on it?

My friend bought a Diamond Edge 3D (NV1). If I recall, Frys Electronics sold it and he bought it there. All I cared about was the Roland SCC-1. 3dfx wasn't in the game yet.
 
The death of the Sega consoles were due to the differences between Sega of American and Sega of Japan. American made the 32X while Japan made the Saturn, and while these were diferrent consoles, they weren't all that different. For example, both the 32X and Saturn had parallel SH2 processors, but the Saturn obviously ran at a slightly higher clock speed. The Saturn also has a Motorola 6800 just like the Sega Genesis, but it was used for audio. If the two had worked together, they could have made the systems compatible. For example games like Earthworm Jim 2 which was on the Saturn and Genesis, could have been made for the 32X and still worked on the Saturn. It wasn't a graphically intense game that needed something like the VDP1 & VDP2 found in the Saturn. Plus, the Saturn did have a catridge slot, but would not fit a Genesis or 32X game cartridge. Again, if both Sega of America and Japan worked together the Saturn could have played Genesis and 32X games, thus not screwing over consumers who bought a 32X, a Sega CD, and didn't want to lose their large library of Genesis games.

The Saturns failure was a combination of things. The main problem was games, as who here can remember an exclusive to the Saturn that everyone must have to play? Playstation has a number of great exclusives, as well as the Nintendo 64. Sega is mostly an arcade company that spent a lot of money on arcade systems, so a lot of the games on the Saturn that were exclusive were basically arcade style games. The Saturns best game Nights Into Dreams was an arcade style game. Panzer Dragoon, Virtual Fighter 2, Daytona USA, Sega Rally Championship, Virtual Cop, and the list goes on. These were all arcade style games that people didn't care much for. It also desperately needed a Sonic game, which was Sonic 3D blast which you can find on the Genesis and sucked. Sonic R which was terrible as well. Sega didn't have that killer game like Mario 64 and Crash Bandicoot. The Saturn being difficult to make games left the console looking worse than the Playstation, despite it being technically more powerful. It could have leveraged backwards compatibility and take advantage of the large library of Genesis games, and they didn't.

The Dreamcast though was damn near perfect machine, and had a lot of unique games that are still better played on the Dreamcast. The problem on the Dreamcast was the rampant piracy that forced Sega to cancel the console. Which is an odd move considering the rampant piracy on the Nintendo Switch and yet Nintendo still banks.
 
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