Editor's Note: Sega Retrospective

Sega Retrospective

This week we turn the eye of The Escpaist toward Sega, the company of contradictions, in an attempt to understand what it is that makes Sega so unique and so troubled.

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Was the saturn really that advanced? It is prorbaly the system i have least experience in but i've always thought it lost out technologically to it's two better remembered rivals. Also the dreamcast, whilst ahead of it's time, was graphically slaughtered by the PS2 and subsiquently the GC and Xbox and this is considered by many as a large reason for it's decline.

SEGA has always fascinated me, mainly because they had this massive almost dominant pressence in europe in the Genesis era (and my early childhood) then just seemed to fade into nothing when the 3D consoles came into being. Infact at the time i had no idea the Saturn existed at all, i only really became aware of the console when i got more into gaming histoty.

Eh. Sega's consoles? Most advanced of their generation? That all rather depends on what you're comparing them to.

For instance, if you consider the dreamcast part of the same generation as the original Playstation and Nintendo 64, it looks powerful.

But if you lump it in with the gamecube, PS2, and Xbox, suddenly it looks a little less impressive.

I can't say much for the saturn, although what I just read does suggest it might be quite powerful.

The Genesis VS the Super Nintendo is a much more difficult comparison though; - While the Genesis is faster (and thus can deal with high speed action games somewhat better), the Snes appears to have noticably better graphics hardware, with a much larger range of colours, and the ability to easily pull off colour blending operations.

But that nitpicking aside, it is something of a puzzle as to why Sega seemed to struggle so much in the console wars.

The only console that did well is the Genesis/Mega Drive, and even then it was a geographic split with the Snes (Snes was ahead in some countries, Genesis in others). The end result on a global scale being something of a draw.

But the Saturn was almost a complete failure... The Game Gear died out really quickly, The 32x and Mega CD were both failures, and the Dreamcast didn't fare too well either once the competition actually showed up.

It's difficult to understand where this came from.

I've long been a fan of Sega from mid-80s arcade days, and have always admired their tenacity in this business. Looking forward to today's articles.

I have been interested in Sega, since they were the main rivals in the 16 bit era of the console wars. And they lead an interesting history.

..wow I keep forgetting that US video game history is VERY different from what I experienced back in the 80's/90's.
In more polite parts of the world , Sega were pretty much neck and neck rivals with nintendo back in the 8 bit days. The Master System , while not having the huge library of games the NES had , tended to put out better looking and quite often better playing games.Plus it was priced more competitively and the games were cheaper and easier to find (this down to the fact that nintendo seem to actively despise regions that aren't the US or Japan.)

CrystalShadow:
Eh. Sega's consoles? Most advanced of their generation? That all rather depends on what you're comparing them to.

For instance, if you consider the dreamcast part of the same generation as the original Playstation and Nintendo 64, it looks powerful.

But if you lump it in with the gamecube, PS2, and Xbox, suddenly it looks a little less impressive.

I can't say much for the saturn, although what I just read does suggest it might be quite powerful.

The Genesis VS the Super Nintendo is a much more difficult comparison though; - While the Genesis is faster (and thus can deal with high speed action games somewhat better), the Snes appears to have noticably better graphics hardware, with a much larger range of colours, and the ability to easily pull off colour blending operations.

But that nitpicking aside, it is something of a puzzle as to why Sega seemed to struggle so much in the console wars.

The only console that did well is the Genesis/Mega Drive, and even then it was a geographic split with the Snes (Snes was ahead in some countries, Genesis in others). The end result on a global scale being something of a draw.

But the Saturn was almost a complete failure... The Game Gear died out really quickly, The 32x and Mega CD were both failures, and the Dreamcast didn't fare too well either once the competition actually showed up.

It's difficult to understand where this came from.

You have to look at Sega's consoles in the context of the arcade hardware that the company was developing. And in each era there were technical innovations (for example, the Saturn's dual processors) driven by what the arcade division was doing.

Here in the UK, the 16-bit Megadrive (Genesis) had the head start on the SNES, and that was key. But the Saturn and Dreamcast both got overshadowed by Sony's consoles.

While I am more of a Nintendo fan, there are several games that are inimitably Sega that I will always love - OutRun, Super Monkey Ball, Sonic Spinball.

Russ Pitts:
Editor's Note: Sega Retrospective

This week we turn the eye of The Escpaist toward Sega, the company of contradictions, in an attempt to understand what it is that makes Sega so unique and so troubled.

Read Full Article

Nitpicking here: "Escpaist"? And this is the Editor's Note? *wags finger shamingly*

You may now return to the topic at hand.

 

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