Could The Sega Saturn Have Been Number 1?

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itsthinkingstill
Sega RPG
Posts: 602

Could The Sega Saturn Have Been Number 1?

Post#1 » Sun Oct 08, 2017 7:44 pm

Through out my life iv asked many questions, what would Shenmue on Saturn have been like, what would have happened if Sega did not pull the plug on the Dc so soon, Can Michael Jackson turn into a spaceship?
But one i have been thinking about after doing my sales research for the Dreamcast is could the Sega Saturn have been number one in the 5th generation?

The crazy thing is i think it might have been possible, before the pitch forks come out il try to explain with some good old facts

The story of the Saturn in a gist is as follows, SOJ Makes SOA to drop the collaboration with Sony (Who goes on and makes the PSX), Partnership with Silicon Graphics (Which in turns makes the N64), Forces them to launch the 32x, Forces SOA to launch the Saturn early. Then Sonic Xtreme is canceled and the final nail in the coffin is when Bernie Stollar make's the famous comment at e3 97. The result of killing the Saturn early put Sega in so much debt that even though the Dreamcast sold well and made a profit it did not matter as Sega is in too much debt from the Saturn costing them 300 million dollars.

We also need to lay down some other facts before i say my opinion

Nintendo does not release the n64 til 96 and not in some regions until 97 giving the Saturn & PSX a almost 3 year head start. The main reason Sony became the king of the console market is because their competition made stupid mistakes (Sega as mentioned above) and Nintendo sticking to cartridges which increased the price and also turned most devs away from them and instead going to Sega or Sony.

Now lets rewind the clock to early 95
So lets say SOJ lets Tom K and SOA to do what they want and instead build the launch to September 2 1995, if one reads magazines and articles from the time you will find that most Developers had no real interest in working with Sony and Sega had a good standing among Developers. The main reason lots of original Saturn exclusives or Multiplats left the Saturn for the PSX is because of the early launch. This means the Saturn would have a much better launch than the PSX (Even the rushed launch had a better line up than the PSX) this would also mean that any games that where rushed would now have time to be completed like Daytona & VF and also means that any games that where originally released in the gap of May to September might have been released at launch like Astal, Virtua Cop or maybe even Sega Rally. This would also help the Saturn as it would have a bigger launch line up & has built in memory card and a free game which would be a better deal for consumers.

The result of this strong launch meant that it would most likely block most of the success the PSX had in those early days and would have lead to other big PSX exclusives head to the Saturn (FF7 Maybe?)

Fast forward to 96
Lets pretend that the games coming out for the Saturn where the same as real life

This means the Saturn would have had the following tipple A games exlusive
Nights, Panzer Dragoon zwie, Sonic Xtreme, VF2, Tomb Raider and the Netlink (With most likely greater support)
And the already big fan base from last year

While the N64 only had Mario 64 and the PSX big game was Crash Bandicoot
To me with all these factors would have pushed the Saturn to the top (Assuming the n64 status stayed the same)
With this and the fact that the Saturn was a huge success in Japan at the very least if stuff was done correctly it could have reached the number two spot
It would have been interesting how much the gaming landscape would have changed if this was the case
Love to hear your opinion!

Read console wars if you want a good background where it all went wrong :D
Last edited by itsthinkingstill on Mon Oct 09, 2017 1:00 am, edited 2 times in total.

User avatar
HuntrRose
GD-ROM
Posts: 472

Re: Could The Sega Saturn Have Been Number 1?

Post#2 » Sun Oct 08, 2017 8:30 pm

no

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Xiden
Uber
Posts: 1003

Re: Could The Sega Saturn Have Been Number 1?

Post#3 » Sun Oct 08, 2017 9:14 pm

too many marketing mistakes. They could of at the very least beat sony.

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Xiden
Uber
Posts: 1003

Re: Could The Sega Saturn Have Been Number 1?

Post#4 » Sun Oct 08, 2017 9:16 pm

Wanted to add the saturn actually did very well in japan. It could of done well in usa if not for their crappy launch tatic. Also making the console difficult to program for was an issue but could of been over looked if it was popular.

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itsthinkingstill
Sega RPG
Posts: 602

Re: Could The Sega Saturn Have Been Number 1?

Post#5 » Mon Oct 09, 2017 12:59 am

Xiden wrote:Wanted to add the saturn actually did very well in japan. It could of done well in usa if not for their crappy launch tatic. Also making the console difficult to program for was an issue but could of been over looked if it was popular.


Boils down to basically what i said :D two many screw ups, at the very least if those screw ups did not happen they could have easily have taken the number two spot 8-)

WingMantis
lithium
Posts: 47

Re: Could The Sega Saturn Have Been Number 1?

Post#6 » Mon Oct 09, 2017 4:15 am

Wasn't it Sony and Nintendo working together that lead to PSX?

SOJ had a lot of ego and they messed up by not working out kinks with SGI and having a real development cycle. They could have been in the 64 bit era and Nintendo wouldn't have had a partially made platform delivered to them. What Bernie said was unforgivable though. SEGA should have told him he wasn't their future in short order.

If he hadn't said that, there could have been one or two more years of new and import games for Saturn, they might have even been able to postpone Dreamcast. DC could have been more like Atomiswave. Just a little bit more resources to work with and more experience from developers from Naomi and preparing launch titles, they could have really taken advantage of the hardware. Maybe DVD drives would have become more affordable by then, and Naomi 2 could have launched in arcades as well.

At the same time, SOJ shouldn't have killed Segata Sanshiro. They had huge capital there and they threw it away.

Ultimately though, SEGA plays with too many gimmicks. They didn't learn their lesson from their 16-32 bit adolescence. There was about 100 different editions of the Dreamcast, phone adapters, credit card reader type things for online shopping, a camera that never got used for much of anything. An actual DVD player that just rubbed it in and putting out mediocre games just to make deadlines.

They didn't play to their arcade roots. No link cable for Virtual On or Sega Rally on Saturn. And Daytona didn't get it right away. I think I read someone at Sega (maybe Bernie) didn't like the idea so no link cable or twin sticks for the west and they ended up having tons of them in storage for years while we got crappy split screen multiplayer and terrible controls (V.O.).

If one person has a system, a friend might get that system so they can link up for an arcade experience at home. Especially when Dreamcast came out. If Sega had built on that with Saturn and stuck with it for DC, namco might have actually released Time Crisis II with link cable support on Dreamcast (PS2 has it) and that would have been another beyond arcade perfect launch title. They could have moved more hardware and more software of higher quality. OK lol

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itsthinkingstill
Sega RPG
Posts: 602

Re: Could The Sega Saturn Have Been Number 1?

Post#7 » Mon Oct 09, 2017 1:27 pm

WingMantis wrote:Wasn't it Sony and Nintendo working together that lead to PSX?

SOJ had a lot of ego and they messed up by not working out kinks with SGI and having a real development cycle. They could have been in the 64 bit era and Nintendo wouldn't have had a partially made platform delivered to them. What Bernie said was unforgivable though. SEGA should have told him he wasn't their future in short order.

If he hadn't said that, there could have been one or two more years of new and import games for Saturn, they might have even been able to postpone Dreamcast. DC could have been more like Atomiswave. Just a little bit more resources to work with and more experience from developers from Naomi and preparing launch titles, they could have really taken advantage of the hardware. Maybe DVD drives would have become more affordable by then, and Naomi 2 could have launched in arcades as well.

At the same time, SOJ shouldn't have killed Segata Sanshiro. They had huge capital there and they threw it away.

Ultimately though, SEGA plays with too many gimmicks. They didn't learn their lesson from their 16-32 bit adolescence. There was about 100 different editions of the Dreamcast, phone adapters, credit card reader type things for online shopping, a camera that never got used for much of anything. An actual DVD player that just rubbed it in and putting out mediocre games just to make deadlines.

They didn't play to their arcade roots. No link cable for Virtual On or Sega Rally on Saturn. And Daytona didn't get it right away. I think I read someone at Sega (maybe Bernie) didn't like the idea so no link cable or twin sticks for the west and they ended up having tons of them in storage for years while we got crappy split screen multiplayer and terrible controls (V.O.).

If one person has a system, a friend might get that system so they can link up for an arcade experience at home. Especially when Dreamcast came out. If Sega had built on that with Saturn and stuck with it for DC, namco might have actually released Time Crisis II with link cable support on Dreamcast (PS2 has it) and that would have been another beyond arcade perfect launch title. They could have moved more hardware and more software of higher quality. OK lol


Good ideas! while the PSX started with Nintendo, what we know as "The Playstation" was actually when Sega was involved, if you read the book "Console Wars" you will get the idea of how much Sega had influenced Sony. Tom K has even confirmed that the Specs Sega has proposed for the project where used in the PSX

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pastelshoal
shadow
Posts: 11

Re: Could The Sega Saturn Have Been Number 1?

Post#8 » Mon Oct 09, 2017 10:27 pm

Eh, the 32X, and arguably, the Sega CD would have needed to not happen. Then the console launch should have been better and not stupid as hell. It was also way too expensive. If all of that had happened, I think SEGA still would have lost outside of Japan, but not nearly as badly as they did in reality.

After fixing brand integrity though, you still have to deal with making your console stand out better in game selection, and utilising it's full technical power. I cannot see how two 32 bit consoles could simultaneously exist with a 64 bit console. One had to lose, and the PSX was just more powerful in the right areas and had a decent brand.

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itsthinkingstill
Sega RPG
Posts: 602

Re: Could The Sega Saturn Have Been Number 1?

Post#9 » Mon Oct 09, 2017 10:38 pm

pastelshoal wrote:Eh, the 32X, and arguably, the Sega CD would have needed to not happen. Then the console launch should have been better and not stupid as hell. It was also way too expensive. If all of that had happened, I think SEGA still would have lost outside of Japan, but not nearly as badly as they did in reality.

After fixing brand integrity though, you still have to deal with making your console stand out better in game selection, and utilising it's full technical power. I cannot see how two 32 bit consoles could simultaneously exist with a 64 bit console. One had to lose, and the PSX was just more powerful in the right areas and had a decent brand.


Agree someone had to go, and unless Sega changed their ways what ended up happening happened. At the very least they could have made it suck way less

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SomeGuyWithASega
minority
Posts: 69

Re: Could The Sega Saturn Have Been Number 1?

Post#10 » Sun Oct 22, 2017 8:22 pm

The problems with the Saturn go deep into the system itself. Sega threw a second processor into the thing at the last minute due to pressure from the PlayStation's full 3D graphics, thinking that someone, somewhere would figure out how to use it. This never happened, thus we couldn't, and probably never will, see the true power of the Saturn. Tom Kalinske, who was forced to go through with Saturn, said in retrospect that "no one would be able to successfully market the console."

It still might have been popular if not for the early launch and Stolar being CEO; that killed any hope of it selling here.

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