RSS icon Home icon
  • 15 years ago…

    Posted on May 14th, 2010 keving 8 comments

    I’m a bit ashamed to admit it, but I missed a notable milestone back on May 11 — the 15th anniversary of the Sega Saturn’s North American release, more or less.

    The particulars are already well-known to most game historians, but in case you aren’t familiar with the story:

    • Sega of America president/CEO Tom Kalinske announces in early ’95 that the Saturn will come out on September 2; Sony then announces a September 9 release for the PlayStation.
    • At Kalinske’s keynote address, held 8:45 am on May 11 (the Thursday of E3 1995), the president announces that the Saturn’s actually on sale right now at select retailers for $399.
    • The move seriously backfires. The Saturn’s library is starved for releases through the summer. US third parties, not tipped off to Kalinske’s release-date shift, are angry that Sega robbed them of the chance to release launch titles. ¬†Retailers that weren’t selected for the launch are even angrier; Kay-Bee refuses to stock the Saturn entirely for a while.
    • Sega sells 80,000 Saturns by September 9; Sony sells 100,000 PlayStations (which had its price dropped to $299 in response to the Saturn’s MSRP) during its own launch window. Sega thus loses the generation’s console war practically before it began.

    I happened to fish this out of my shelves the other day. It’s a cardboard newspaper holder with a humorous Saturn-themed cover (you can read it by clicking on the top image). I don’t know how it was distributed — I need to look into this detail later — but it seems logical to assume that Sega set up a deal with some hotel near the LA Convention Center to place it on guestroom doorsteps on the morning of May 11.

    As you can see, the holder comes complete with a vintage copy of USA Today from May 11, 1995. Top stories include Terry Nichols‘ indictment, public debate over talk-radio hate speech, and United Airlines raising their fee for canceling flights to $50 (they now charge $150). The Life section has a PR-y story about the upcoming 3D game-console revolution: “For the first time, video games approach reality: You’re in the driver’s seat, behind the punches, atop a dragon. The 16-bit games to date are two-dimensional environments with pedestrian colors; Sega’s Saturn and Sony’s PlayStation use multiple 32-bit processors, giving them power beyond the average PC and rivaling that of the advanced computers developers use to conjure video game magic.”

     

    7 responses to “15 years ago…” RSS icon

    • ask john. as best as i recall from what he told me, they did in fact just drop these in front of everybody’s hotel door to be there in the morning. but i don’t know what hotel etc.

    • i like the term “pedestrian colours”

    • Kinda funny, considering there were more colorful games during the SNES-era than there were during the PS1-era. Most PS1/N64 games nowadays are really unbearable to watch.

    • Claudio Noboa

      |I don’t generally interrupt brilliant conversations like this with my own personal issues, but I in dire need of help from anyone who is happy to lend me a hand. I’m conducting some research using the services of http://lawncaremaintenance.net/ and I was wondering if somebody here has used them recently. I am seeking both the bad and the good issues with their business. Please get back to me as soon as possible for this is really important. I appreciate it.

    • ” This is the “consuming fire” of God mentioned in the Holy Scriptures. Binaural Beats explained and binaural beats products reviewed. 1- Irene Maxine Pepperberg, The Alex Studies, Harvard University Press, England, 1999, pp. Moonstone Soothes and balances the emotions; helps eliminate fear of “feeling”; encourages inner growth and strength; aids peace and harmony and psychic abilities; aligns vertebrae; digestive aid. Moonstone: It helps to promote happiness and long life.

    • Pretty component of content. I simply stumbled upon your website and in accession capital to
      say that I get actually enjoyed account your blog posts.

      Any way I will be subscribing for your feeds or even I achievement you access consistently rapidly.

    • Owning a trucking company is a major responsibility. It is estimated that
      there are nearly 5,000,000 Americans who suffer from Alzheimer’s and the number is expected to quadruple in the coming years.
      If an employer gets a call from someone that is unexpected, they could find the nearest driver
      and reroute them to the call.


    1 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

    Leave a reply