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Sega Saturn: Was it really a bad console?

Started by PGen98, August 19, 2023, 12:16:41 PM

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The Saturn is universally panned as a flop, one of Sega's worst even consoles.  It's the reason they rushed the Dreamcast out the door, to the annoyance of every third party publisher; however, was the Saturn truly a BAD console?  It was harder to develop for, Sega weren't exactly extending their arms in friendship to third party developers, and the architecture was far ahead of its' time, but the console itself was great, IMO.  It was a fun gaming console with some incredible and truly innovative games that pushed the boundaries of what gaming could be for the time.  Yes, it got demolished in the graphics department by both the PS1 and the N64, but the actual gameplay always felt better to me.  More fun, more controlled.  What are your thoughts on the Saturn?


Honestly I don't think the Saturn itself was the problem, it was more so Sega kept releasing things for the Genesis.

The Sega Genesis x32 was released on November 21, 1994 in NA. The Saturn itself was released on May 11, 1995 in NA. Earlier in Japan.

The Sega CD was also released around 92-93 depending on the region.

So that kind of split up the potential buys between an add-on and new console.

I think if they stopped with addons for the Genesis  and then put all focus on the Saturn, things would have turned out much better for them.


I'm not going to lie, the Saturn is my personal least favorite Sega console. It didn't have the killer Sonic app, sure Sonic R exists but it's a racing game. Sonic Jam was a collection of the Genesis titles that were ported over, and Sonic 3D had some cool extra effects over it's Genesis counterpart. Ultimately Sega releasing the 32X not too long before the Saturn really screwed them over.  It was confusing for some people at the time, some people didn't realize you needed a Genesis in order for the 32X to work since it's a addon. Plus having a console difficult to program games for made it difficult for devs to actually develop 3D titles. Plus the price of the Saturn was expensive, I think that's another reason why so many people got a PS1 over it.  Maybe if Sonic Xtreme was released it could have helped with sales, but it just didn't do well in the states. However it's funny, it was Sega's best selling console in Japan. You can read more about the history of the release of the console over at Sega Retro in this wiki page:


Hell no! I love the Sega Saturn. I honestly prefer it over the Playstation!

I actually like to get multiplats on Saturn to have a first time experience that differs from most people and experience these games from a then Sega fan's POV. It's been fun arguing with people over which is better online anyway.  :laugh:

 I think the Saturn definitely started the downfall of Sega as a console maker due to terrible decisions from both SOJ and SOA.
However, I believe it was only a flop in North America. In Japan it did better than the Nintendo 64. In Europe it did okay, particularly in the British Isles and in Portgual.

Where I live they're not rare to find. I know people who had a Saturn back in the day and the console & games aren't nearly as expensive as they are in NA. (Though prices can still be bad)