SEGA Pluto Prototype

Discussion in 'General Sega Discussion' started by BlackHole, Mar 30, 2020.

  1. BlackHole

    BlackHole

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    So someone managed to secure a SEGA Pluto, and the Ben Heck Show opened it up to repair a couple of issues with it. I didn't see anything on here since it was posted about it, but I might have missed something. Either way, something interesting to see.
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2020
  2. Billy

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    Interesting. In contrast to Nintendo PlayStation prototype, this one wasn't completely really ready to go. Looks like it was abandoned early-ish on. Makes sense, given that Dreamcast was on its way, "Saturn is not our future", etc.

    Wonder what the hard drive was for, though.
     
  3. BlackHole

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    I'd say game saves, since the SEGA Saturn has that problem where if the battery dies, you lose all your save data on the console.

    Anyone else got thoughts on that?
     
  4. Neowl

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    Maybe it contained software for the modem and/or internet access (similar to the CDs that came with the Dreamcast, but obviously stored on HDD, saving the need to constantly insert discs)?
     
  5. Vangar

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    Surely more than saved games, 500mb drive for saves is extreme. Maybe online game downloads?
     
  6. TheBdude

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    My take is that the hard drive probably did game saves, and *maybe* they had plans for downloadable content. They definitely did DLC on the Dreamcast around the same time so it's not out of the question. If it had a web browser and networking software built-in they'd have probably needed a custom BIOS to allow loading into it -- which I haven't seen yet.
     
  7. Aesculapius Piranha

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    Lack of memory cards was big criticism of the Saturn back then when pitted against the PS1 and N64, so it makes sense for saves. The other thing that was happening during that time period was that internet was becoming a big thing. I bet someone had the idea it would be good as a replacement for PC. After all, Saturn already had a keyboard and mouse and this strategy was very closely integrated into the Dreamcast. The Steam business model didn't exist then and while excessive for saves, it is a bit small for games even by the standards of that day. You could argue it could be used for something like SEGA channel, but I think just looking at what this kind of thing wound up being used for in the next generation tells you more or less where their hearts were at the time in regard to plans for internet connectivity. Its also entirely possible that the consumer model hard drive would be a different size as well, and they may have just used whatever hard drive was easy to get a hold of for the prototype.
     
  8. big smile

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    But the Saturn did have memory cards (Or memory cartridge). In fact with the Saturn, you could buy a system, start playing games and buy a memory cartridge later on so long as it was within a year. I believe the PS1 & N64 had no internal storage, so you need to buy a memory card from the get go.

    And then with Saturn memory cartridge, you could make back ups of the internal memory. Whereas with a PS1 & N64, you'd have to buy two memory cards to duplicate data.
     
  9. Mentski

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    A fair few Saturn games will allow you to save directly to the cart rather than the internal storage, too.
     
  10. Blue Spikeball

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    I agree that the hard drive would most likely have been used for saves, downloads, internet settings and DLC (or add-ons, as they would later be called on the Dreamcast). The DC VMU's 128KB storage was extremely restrictive for downloads, I can see Sega initially pursuing a larger storage media.

    I also agree that they would probably have had downloadable games. Yeah, that HDD doesn't have enough capacity to store many CD-sized games, but I doubt they would have wanted to digitally distribute full-sized games anyway, what with internet speeds of the time. Downloadable titles would probably have been demos and free minigames.

    Perhaps we would have seen more demos with unique content ala Christmas Nights. Who knows, that might have been the original planned distribution method for this game as far as anyone knows, or it might even have been initially conceived as a Christmas DLC for Nights, like they would later do with SA1 and SA2 (just throwing that out there). Didn't Ohshima say that they originally planned to make more seasonal editions of Nights? The shelving of the Sega Pluto might have been the reason they were cancelled, with only Xmas Nights getting released on CD so that the work they had done on it wouldn't go to waste.
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2020
  11. Aesculapius Piranha

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    Misconception among my friends at the time then. Even now I was only aware of the ram cartridges, owning and loving my Saturn. Yes it has internal storage, but that was limited to your battery life. Was the cost at all prohibitive compared to PS1's carts?(Add: 60 bucks at launch? Freaking wowzers.) Regardless, hard drive storage would have been really really useful to have for the Saturn, as would a built-in modem.

    (Add:This is embarassing. Apparently I have one and didn't realize it. Glad I picked up that copy of Tokimeki Memorial during my trip to Japan.)
     
  12. Overlord

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    I mean, they did think seriously about it: Dreamcast_Zip_Drive
     
  13. BlackHole

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    Y'know, I see a lot of things connecting to the Dreamcast through the modem input. I wonder if there's a way to make use of that outside of the official technology...
     
  14. Vangar

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    I know they joked about people on the internet getting annoyed about them cutting into the prototype. I guess I'm one of those people.

    Why couldn't they have just wrapped something around this plastic part and pushed the plastic part, rather than adding something that damaged the plastic that pulled?

    Something like foam would even work here without digging into a prototype 'only two of a kind' as they stated over and over in the video. As long as it kept the door shut, it doesn't need to be a pernament solution as i'd hope you'd just play on a regular saturn for gaming and not wear this one out?

    [​IMG]

    If he never sells it than I guess whatever. But pretty sure he's tried to sell it before and probably wants these videos to drum up interest to sell it again, like the nintendo playstation on ben heck. IMO I would be paying less for frankensteined prototypes. He seemed pretty chill digging into several areas of the plastic to bite it and 'check if it was painted' ...
     
  15. Aesculapius Piranha

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    I mean as long as its documented what is inside, that is what really matters.
     
  16. Hivebrain

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  17. Aesculapius Piranha

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    Anyway, even if it were worth all the hype a closer aproximation were if they spray painted Sanik on it... Small alterations that make it functional for the user of something I will never own isn't worth getting worked up over. Its more cool that we got to see the guts which gives us a hope of being the basis for future projects.
     
  18. JaxTH

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    Jack shit.
  19. Aesculapius Piranha

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    Any archivists like drx getting on this?
     
  20. biggestsonicfan

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    Get the pets.com guy tbh