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39 Facts About Sega Saturn
Development of the Saturn began in 1992, the same year Sega's groundbreaking 3D Model 1 arcade hardware debuted.
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Sega Saturn added another video display processor in early 1994 to better compete with Sony's forthcoming PlayStation.
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Sega Saturn's management has been criticized for its decisions during the system's development and discontinuation.
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Development of the Saturn was supervised by Hideki Sato, Sega's director and deputy general manager of research and development.
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The name "Sega Saturn" was initially only the codename during development.
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In 1993, Sega restructured its internal studios in preparation for the Saturn's launch.
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In January 1994, Sega Saturn began to develop an add-on for the Genesis, the 32X, to serve as a less expensive entry into the 32-bit era.
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Kalinske revealed that, due to "high consumer demand", Sega had already shipped 30, 000 Saturns to Toys "R" Us, Babbage's, Electronics Boutique, and Software Etc.
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Sega Saturn underestimated the continued popularity of the Genesis, and did not have the inventory to meet demand.
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Sega Saturn announced that David Rosen and Nakayama had resigned from their positions as chairman and co-chairman of Sega Saturn of America, though both remained with the company.
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Stolar was not supportive of the Sega Saturn, feeling it was poorly designed, and publicly announced at E3 1997 that "the Sega Saturn is not our future".
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Shortly before announcing its financial losses, Sega announced that it was discontinuing the Saturn in North America to prepare for the launch of its successor.
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Only 12 Sega Saturn games were released in North America in 1998, compared to 119 in 1996.
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Between June 1996 and August 1998, the Sega Saturn sold a further 1, 103, 468 consoles and 29, 685, 781 games in Japan, giving the Sega Saturn a Japanese attach rate of 16.
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Rumors about the upcoming Dreamcast—spread mainly by Sega itself—were leaked to the public before the last Saturn games were released.
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Worldwide Sega Saturn sales include at least the following amounts in each territory: 5.
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Sega Saturn had technically impressive hardware at the time of its release, but its complexity made harnessing this power difficult for developers accustomed to conventional programming.
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Sega Saturn's design elicited mixed commentary among game developers and journalists.
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Sega responded to complaints about the difficulty of programming for the Saturn by writing new graphics libraries which were claimed to make development easier.
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Sega Saturn controllers came in various color schemes to match different models of the console.
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Sega Saturn released several versions of arcade sticks as peripherals, including the Virtua Stick, the Virtua Stick Pro, the Mission Analog Stick, and the Twin Stick.
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Sega Saturn created a light gun peripheral, the Virtua Gun, for shooting games such as Virtua Cop and The Guardian, and the Arcade Racer, a wheel for racing games.
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The Sega Saturn was designed to support up to 12 players on a single console, by using two multitaps.
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In 1995, Sega announced a variant of the Saturn featuring a built-in NetLink modem under the code name "Sega Pluto", but it was never released.
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Sega developed an arcade board based on the Saturn's hardware, the Sega ST-V, intended as an affordable alternative to Sega's Model 2 arcade board and as a testing ground for upcoming Saturn software.
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However, Sega released fewer than 20, 000 retail copies in North America in what IGN's Levi Buchanan characterized as an example of the Saturn's "ignominious send-off" in the region.
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Later ports of Sega Saturn games including Guardian Heroes, Nights, and Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner: Soul Hackers continued to garner positive reviews.
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In 2015, The Guardians Keith Stuart wrote that "the Sega Saturn has perhaps the strongest line-up of 2D shooters and fighting games in console history".
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Retro Gamers Damien McFerran wrote: "Even today, despite the widespread availability of sequels and re-releases on other formats, the Sega Saturn is still a worthwhile investment for those who appreciate the unique gameplay styles of the companies that supported it.
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Sega Saturn commented on the many Japan-exclusive Saturn releases, which he connected with a subsequent boom in the game import market.
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Sega Saturn'sffield portrayed Sega's mistakes with the Saturn as emblematic of the broader then-decline of the Japanese gaming industry: "They thought they were invincible, and that structure and hierarchy were necessary for their survival, but more flexibility, and a greater participation with the West could have saved them.
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