Discussion in 'General Sega Discussion' started by Andlabs, Aug 25, 2011.
Great addition, there's loads of examples of this, but going to take a lot of manual edits.
Pointless censorship of the day:
When Streets of Rage 2 was brought to Europe, they quite literally cleaned up the streets.
No cigarette ends, bits of paper, a knife and a plank of wood, but still a child kicking a man in the head.
EDIT: Wrong "other" topic - sorry OL
Also apparently Roman numerals are too hard for America
Maybe the PAL art is an earlier version? The US one has the correct hair colour for Axel. The latter (minus Max) was also used for the PAL Master System version.
I was hoping to link this while the Kickstarter was still active, but oh well. I don't see these books even referenced on Sega Retro so I'll just drop these two links here:
Another thing by Craig Stitt.
This information could be lost if it isn't mirrored on Sega Retro. I'm not part of that Facebook group - I can't do it.
Feel free to disregard if inappropriate, but I made a tutorial on how to access the hidden special stages in Sonic 3 & Knuckles, which can complement this wiki article, either in-line or as a reference. I'd add it myself, but I long lost my wiki access, so I'll just drop the link here.
I managed to convince them to trade AND sell (money and a replacement adapter lol) this, so I will be making replicas and selling them to anyone who wants one. I had so many people on social media saying they wanted one that I approached the owner with a more lucrative offer.
Potential solutions to the Digitiser problem:
Don't know if things should be getting pulled off the Digitiser page automatically, or copied manually (bearing in mind dates will be a thing). Of course, I don't know how to handle videos either. I don't know how to handle much.
Maybe the tabs version is best? I'm not entirely sure TBH.
We should probably upload full Digitisers as there's lots of relevant stuff outside of just reviews, so maybe the current Digitiser page is outdated. I previously added text reviews from the Digitiser section of the Teletext website, but I'm no longer sure that these were ever published on the actual Teletext service, so maybe we shouldn't add those for now.
I've been spending way too much time recovering old Japanese sales charts. Initially Japanese charts just used "points", which were presumably the number of copies sold across the stores that they tracked. Media Works/Dengeki were the first to use these points to estimate total number of sales across Japan, initially they gave both points and estimated total sales in their monthly Top 15 published in Dengeki-Oh (電撃王), which first started at the beginning of 1993. We can see that they multiplied by x55 at first to get their total sales (so they tracked <2% of the market ... so probably not too accurate), then in 1994 they had expanded to tracking 4% of the market (x25 multiplier), which lasted for quite a few years. Dengeki Playstation just used points until 1998, but as the same games had both points and extrapolated sales in Dengeki-Oh, then we can compare between them and see that it's a simple matter of multiplying by 25 to arrive at the total sales. A 1998 chart from Dengeki Sega Saturn shows that they used total sales, maybe earlier issues used points, but it should be possible to extrapolate the same as with Dengeki PS. Unfortunately we don't have scans of Dengeki SS, or Dengeki DC.
Dengeki-Oh also published annual charts, starting with a Top 30 for 1993 (the only MD game was Puyo Puyo with ~260,000 sales), by 1997 they had a Top 100, I don't know when or by how much they increased in between. In 2000 they opened their website and started publishing weekly Top 30s online, only a few of these survive (although maybe there's some copies buried deep in the internet archive), but at the start of 2001 they increased this to a weekly Top 50, which dovetails nicely with the end of Dengeki DC at the end of 2000. I've managed to recover a large majority of these, which lasted until the end of Q1 2004, when they stopped publishing the actual sales numbers, although continued publishing the Top 50 sans-numbers. So there's a lot of first week sales numbers for DC games to be added somehow, and only Baldr Force EXE charted after they dropped the numbers (although I'm missing the full charts for a couple of weeks).
Incidentally, they brought back the numbers in 2009, and continued with the weekly Top 50 until just earlier this year ! (RIP)
Famitsu has published a Top 30 since 1986, and switched from points to total sales estimates in September 1996. Their multiplier then was just x5.3, so they tracked nearly 20%, so quite a bit more accurate than Dengeki at the time. It's possible to see that they used the same formula back until early 1996 thanks to lifetime sales of titles in the Top 30 at the time of the switch. These are all well documented online (along with their annual charts ... Top 100 in 1996, Top 300 in 1999, Top 500 in 2004, and Top 1000 in 2009). Still, as Dengeki had a Top 50 from 2001-2004.03, then Dengeki can give first week sales numbers for some games that failed to make the Famitsu Top 30.
SoftBank published Sega charts with points until October 1997, when they switched to total sales. They also published a Top 100 Saturn lifetime sales chart at the same time, which is almost certainly the only sales estimates for pre-1996 Saturn titles. They gave Saturn charts until June 1999, and Dreamcast charts until September 2001, which makes them a rare source of sales numbers for late releases, especially for Saturn. They started posting multi-format weekly Top 20s online after they dropped the Dreamcast charts, these contain sales for some DC titles, and lasted until the end of 2003. Perhaps more interestingly, they published this book at the end of September 2001, which included the lifetime sales of probably every DC title sold at retail up until that point (2001.09.02). They did publish one more DC chart in Dorimaga (2 weeks ending 2001.09.16) after these numbers, which include Shenmue II.
I might buy and scan the book linked above, just checking that it hasn't already been scanned under a Romanised name.
I once compared known (probably) sales figures with Famitsu's point charts from 1993. Specifically, issue 226 of Famitsu (4/16/1993) printed a "Count Down Hot 100" that compiled all of the points they had ever awarded into a Top 100 list, along with a few other lists as well. Famitsu was, at the time, calculating points based on sales at approximately 15 retailers across Japan.
The Top 100 list featured only one game not on a Nintendo platform - Sonic the Hedgehog (MD) at #83. That is certainly a possibility. Sega announced that Sonic was the best-selling MD game in Japan with sales of ~400,000 copies.
However, the points just really didn't work out. This chart is a good breakdown of the problem. This shows the cumulative point rankings per console over the lifespan of Famitsu (keep in mind this was published 4/16/1993):
First, let's assume Sonic's 12,649 points = 400,000 sales. Sonic 2 was already out at that point, and I think Sega announced the sales of Sonic 1 around then. In addition, we know Shining Force's sales were around 200,000 (direct from Sonic Software president Hiroyuki Takahashi), which agrees with the chart to an extent (of course, there's a glaring problem in that Takahashi also said Shining in the Darkness sold ~200,000 in Japan, and it's not on the list).
The problem is Dragon Quest V, #1 on the SFC list. It had just come out 6 months before the publication of the list. It has 269,164 points, more than 20x Sonic, which would put its sales in 6 months at over 8 million copies. But Square Enix has officially put DQV's sales at 2.8 million in Japan (p. 27 here).
And from that same link, Romancing Saga is officially listed as having sold 1.2 million copies, yet the above Famitsu chart gives it 90,641 points, 7.2x Sonic (more than double the expected 3x).
So, of course we can't be certain of the numbers that Sega reported, but we have independent verification that the best-selling MD games in Japan were selling 200,000-400,000 copies.
The numbers that Famitsu is reporting for SFC games are simply too high. And that's for games that were released generally around the same time, so we can assume similar reporting methods (I wouldn't trust the data for older games such as on the Famicom).
Why might the SFC numbers be too high? Well, let's set aside the possibility that Famitsu was fabricating data to promote Nintendo. The most likely reason is just sampling bias. The retailers that they were getting their data from might have catered more to the more casual/general crowd. We know that MD games could sometimes be hard to acquire, but we don't know where most consumers were buying them. If more MD games (and PCE games) were being sold at minor retailers, then Famitsu's sales chart might not be capturing that since it only focused on a subset of presumably major retailers.
In the end, I decided the Famitsu sales charts for the early 90s should be approached with caution.
Famitsu's point values seem disproportionately high for SFC games compared with MD games.
The fact that Ghouls 'n Ghosts is number 2 on that list for Mega Drive more than four years after being released is the bigger mystery to me--I'd be curious to see what other contemporary Japanese magazines were showing for sales figures by comparison.
Beep! Mega Drive lists sales points from 04/1991, but the problem is they aren't consistent with retailers. In 1991, they list points from just 4 retailers, then by 1993 it's 8 retailers, and by 1994 it's 10 retailers. So the points gradually get inflated in value but we don't know by how much, which makes comparison very difficult.
By the way, the official ranking of best-selling MD games in Japan as released by Sega (as of 11/30/1993, from the All Soft Catalogue) is:
1) Sonic the Hedgehog
2) Super Monaco GP
3) Puyo Puyo
4) Shining Force
5) Sonic 2
6) Shining in the Darkness
7) Ghouls 'n Ghosts
8) Phantasy Star III
9) Golden Axe
11) Super Daisenryaku
13) Phantasy Star II
14) Advanced Daisenryaku
15) Altered Beast
So yeah, some of that kind of matches the Famitsu list, some doesn't.
It's not unreasonable for an old game to chart - it either suggests Ghouls'n Ghosts was mainstream and popular, or nobody bought things for the Mega Drive. Or it could be a slow release period - most Western Mega Drive charts I've seen have had Sonic 1 and/or 2 in there for any given week, because they're horrendously mainstream and there hasn't been ten new good games to push them off.
You can see something similar right now in GTA V:
For the week ending 5th September, GTA V, a game first released in 2013, ranks 7th in the UK. It's rarely been out the top 10 since launch - it's become a running joke.
To clarify: That chart I posted is a cumulative ranking of the top games per console over the lifespan of Famitsu, not a weekly ranking.
The problem with that Famitsu chart is that it only includes points from the weekly Top 30, as Sega games only spent a couple of weeks in the charts then it doesn't include a large amount of sales which happened outside of the chart, that's the main reason why you can't really use it to calculate lifetime sales for Sega games. I translated that one a while ago, I forget how, but I worked out that it was only from 1986-1992, probably by looking at the points total for games at the end of 1992. Famitsu also changed the number of retailers a lot so any ratio will vary depending on when the game was released. Still, it should probably be possible to get a ratio from comparing to Dengeki annual Top 30s, but it won't be particularly accurate.
I compared 1993 Dengeki sales of Puyo Puyo to 1993 points from SoftBank / Beep! And came up with a ratio of x13 for Beep! Mega Drive points. It comes up with reasonable estimates (145k for Sonic 2, 32k for Sonic CD, which is in the same ballpark as Media Create estimates, 113k, 16k respectively) but Puyo Puyo was pretty casual, so might not be typical of the demographic of other games.
I haven't seen that official top sellers list before, quite helpful.
Oh, that's right. As I remember it, the bottom of the Top 30 was usually around ~200-300 points at the time, so a game that is under that could still be pulling in 1000 points per month.
Something lost to time:
this is Sega Force guest reviewer "Ben the Boffin". His regular job was to turn up on Channel 4's The Big Breakfast every week to review video games... before presumably being carted off to school... because he was only 13 at the time. They dumped his slot at the same time Chris Evans left, but it does mean, in the interests of video game documentation, someone's going to have to go through 2 years-worth of Big Breakfasts to get the numbers.
and maybe this VHS. The best of an early 90s breakfast show, rated U for "U are stupid for buying this".
There are a handful of similar features in other shows. I have read there was a regular one on Sky News around the same time - good luck finding that one.
Quite a few partial Ben the Boffins on Youtube, often with prototypes. Zig and Zag also did games on there.
Violet Berlin also did "Bits & Bytes" on GMTV, and Bad Influence spin-off "Bad Level" on TCC (The Childrens Channel), I think there's one of the latter on Youtube, but could never find anything from Sky News or GMTV..
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