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Sega FY1997 Brand Review

Discussion in 'General Sega Discussion' started by Black Squirrel, Jul 3, 2023.

  1. I get that, but it came at such a cost, 16 cars on track would have still been more than a lot of games and what the game was used in early production screenshots. The poor graphics and bordered display, even on a NTSC system really hurt the Saturn's 3D rep early in and was used by so many mags and SONY fans to bash the Saturn.

    Like with Rally 2 on the DC, the title should have been delayed and more work done on the gfx.

    I would have liked a redesign of the Game Gear too, not just for battery life but the size of the unit. It wasn't comfortable to hold and the D-pad was terrible coming from SEGA
  2. Palas


    Don't lose your temper so quickly. Member
    I love how the emails are all just Tom Kalinske (politely) saying "oh my GOD can't you guys do ANYTHING" and everyone else (just as politely, but more nervously) replying "man our budget is a bag of Cheetos and a discount coupon for a Coke"
  3. Mookey


    Really gives you a good view into the dysfunctional state Sega of America was in at the time, doesn't it?
  4. And who was the boss at the time?

    Tom Kalinske should take far more responsibility for the mess SOA was in.
  5. Sixfortyfive


    The most striking thing about it is how crystal clear the sense of impending doom really is. Much of it is dated to January 1996. The Saturn has been on the US market for less than a year, the Playstation has exactly one holiday season under its belt, and the N64 is still the Ultra 64 at this point in time, but they know they're already cooked.
  6. I think it all goes back to the 32X . I just feel SEGA America was so sure the 32X would sell millions and be the only mass-market next gen console for 2 odd years, they never factored in that it would flop and had no plan B at all, Add in the mess the studios were in with Multi Media Studio doing nothing other than music for the Saturn and STI totally screwing up Sonic Xtreme .It was just so disorganised and that sums up SEGA America during the 32Bit battle

    All that said I still would have rathered had Tom for the end of Saturn's life than Bernie.
  7. Ted909


    the future kick your ass Member
    Again, I do get that many never liked his policies - but Stolar simply did what he was supposed to do in more ways than one. If you look at his wider career history he was a fixer, often brought in to go along with changes in failing companies. Not only that, but people tend to overstate his authority over decision making and mistake him for the actual CEO and not COO during the Saturn period, which at that point in time was Shoichiro Irimajiri.

    We will never truly know what would've happened of course, but unless Japan reigned things in to a further extent I believe it's very much possible that Kalinske staying would've made Sega's crippling losses worse than they already were, and perhaps even nullified the lifeline they later got (the late Okawa's selfless donation) when the Dreamcast was added to them. Is that really worth getting a few more localised RPGs than we did in the end?
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2023
  8. Bernie did not need to piss off 3rd parties or look to stop funding for Working Designs E3 booth. When Bernie took over, so many 3rd parties dropped SEGA like a stone.
    SEGA was going to lose money in the west, not matter what but to more or less kill the Saturn off 2 years before you have a console ready to take its place made no sense at all
  9. doc eggfan

    doc eggfan

    Are you pondering what I'm pondering? Wiki Sysop
    GreatMegaLD, GreatSC3k, Great SG1k
    One thing I had forgotten about was how much those Psygnosis ports of Wipeout and Destruction Derby hurt the Saturn. I always blame the poor comparison between Daytona and Ridge Racer, but the like-for-like comparison with the Psygnosis titles was probably a much greater blow to the perception of the Saturn's capabilities.

    I remember having conspiracy theories back in the day that Sony made Psygnosis do a bad job on purpose, since Sony largely owned Psygnosis at this point.
  10. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

    no reverse gear Wiki Sysop
    Northumberland, UK
    steamboat wiki
    I had to double and triple check the Psygnosis situation a few months ago, and I'm still not sure I fully understand the story.

    Sony Computer Entertainment completely owned Psygnosis in 1995, yet for whatever reason, the company was allowed to develop and publish games independently (hence their games getting to the PC, Saturn and even Nintendo 64). They were even involved in making development kits... somehow.

    In the US, Sega themselves were geared up to publish Wipeout and Destruction Derby on Saturn, which is the 1996 equivalent of Microsoft publishing a version of Uncharted or The Last of Us for Xbox. And this wasn't some holdover deal from before the purchase that Sony were forced to honour - Psygnosis were adamant that they'd keep making Saturn games. From what I recall, they only stopped because the technical challenges were too great.

    They were even involved in the Saturn port of Manx TT, a first-party Sega product. But it gets a bit weird, because despite credits going to Psygnosis, a lot of the work was sub-contracted, and Psygnosis' involvement was downplayed. Then Sega of America gave up them - Wipeout was the only Psygnosis game published in the US, but half a dozen more got released in Europe and Japan.

    Which includes Wipeout 2097 which from what I recall, closed the gap with its PlayStation counterpart quite a bit... which if anything suggests they cared more as time went on. We also have pages for eight Psygnosis Saturn ports that were scrapped.

    It almost reads as if Sega of America were the biggest blocker for Psygnosis, not Sony, which makes no sense at all.
  11. wonder-inc


    I will continue to put a much much bigger blame on Destruction Derby to the day I die.
    At least despite the lack of 2P, and being 20 fps I can still play and enjoy Wipeout.

    Destruction Derby is honestly to me, worse to play than Doom on that system.
  12. That's not right IMO. When a console game is developed exclusively for a console, a port is always going to miss out in many cases, not matter how better the hardware is . Overlooking that a few of the ports weren't that bad, did it really hurt the PS 2 when ports of Grandia 2, Code Veronica, DOA2 Makken X looked worse and of course you'll always only hear of when a Saturn port was inferior, never so much, when the PS port was inferior like for Gradian, Souky, Darius Gaiden, Street Racer, Thunder Force V, Dead or Alive

    Then of course you had the fact that Perfect were never going to give the same resources to their Saturn ports that SONY was going to give to their In-House teams and for me Wipeout 2097 was a very good port of game that some mags said was the best looking PS1 game at the time

    Daytona USA did so much damage to the Saturn's 3D rep early in. IMO what also never helped Saturn was the hardware issue over 3D transparencies which made so many Saturn ports look inferior straight away; Tunnel B1, Loaded and Layered Section 2 on the Saturn are really close ports and show off great polygon handling (especially in the Layered Section 2 case) but the mesh transparencies stick out like a sore thumb and instantly make the games look worse
  13. Pirate Dragon

    Pirate Dragon

    Yeah, that's the reason Sony bought them, and it paid off big time.