Hochiminh Rant Day 17

Today, I would like you to delve into the past, where one company that use to be a powerhouse console company became a scrap heap of nothingness, Sega.  Since Sega now is a well-known publisher for all current and next-gen platforms, I would like to describe my thoughts on how this once console-owning company became a third-party developer.

These sites: http://www.gamefaqs.com/console/genesis/review/R50445.html, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sega_Mega_Drive/Sega_Genesis, http://www.epinions.com/game-review-241F-15938C3A-399EAD77-prod1, and http://www.gamespot.com/gamespot/features/video/sega/p4_02.html all discuss mainly about Sega’s first console, the Sega Genesis.  There are several reasons why the Genesis did fail:

1. lack of first and third-party offerings

2. bad marketing

3. came out to quickly

The Genesis was meant to stifle the popularity of the NES when it debuted in 1989.  It did just that, being the first-16 bit system, displaying 64 colors on the screen at once.  It sold incredibly well after a year or two, especially after the release of Sonic: the Hedgehog in 1991, until the unveiling of the Super Nintendo.  This Nintendo machine had 256 colors, and a ton more third-party support than the Genesis can handle.  Of course, the lack of games for the Genesis was just one reason.  They really didn’t publize the games and the system’s launch (bad marketing), plus they really were a little TOO ahead of their time (came out to quickly).  But, in retrospect, the Sega Genesis REALLY was the best and most popular Sega console.  Although it was popular before 1992, after 1992 was when the critics and players started o shift from Sega to the other platforms.

Next, they had the two add-ons, the Sega CD (http://www.amazon.com/gp/cdp/member-reviews/AKOKCTASUVS5K/104-7048936-5848756, http://www.gamefaqs.com/console/segacd/review/R31184.html, and http://www.gamefaqs.com/console/segacd/review/R21422.html) and the Sega 32X (http://www.gamefaqs.com/console/segacd/review/R21422.html and http://www.gamespot.com/features/6089727/p-8.html)

 

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<---Sega CD             Sega 32X (below)
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These were just basic add-ons to the ailing Genesis that tried to offer more power.  Both were presumably 32-bit hardware added to the 16-bit Genesis.  Neither sold well or had any decent games, which led many developers not to publish games for the system.  In addition, production cost were much higher on the more powerful machines.  Moreover, people were confused about the Saturn announcement, so people really were looking more forward to that then the add-ons.

Thirdly, Sega finally made its first-own 32-bit system to compete with the Playstation and Nintendo 64, the Sega Saturn (http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=sega+saturn, http://www.adterrasperaspera.com/blog/2006/01/03/the-downfall-of-sega-part-2/, and http://www.epinions.com/game-review-4AD4-6685645-39AA7578-prod3) Just like the last three systems, it had the SAME three problems as above.

After seeing Playstation sporting 3D graphics, the Sega Saturn, due in 1996, attempted to change their new console to accomodate that.  But really they got some of the most exceptional 2D games, but their 3D games were so clunky that they didn’t even match the Playstation’s, which came out a year before (1995) its release.  The only game to me that really felt enjoyable was Daytona USA, in my opinion, a really cool game.  Not enough third-party support, bad publicity, and just out-of-date technology made this system falter.

Lastly, the demise came after the Dreamcast (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dreamcast, http://www.consolepassion.co.uk/sega-dreamcast.htm, http://www.answers.com/topic/sega-dreamcast, and http://67.18.47.148/com/articles/Games_152/Sega-Dreamcasts-Cause-of-Death_14810/default.asp).  The CD’s on this system were subjected to piracy, which really enflamed the morale of Sega console lovers.

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Released in the fall of 1999, the Sega Dreamcast, the first 128-bit system on the market, actually sold out at launch, and even garnished plenty of third-party support and a plethora of launch titles (19).  But, shortly after, owners were able to hack and actually copy Dreamcast games from other owners, which put a divet in the profit of all of their games.  If Sega would have maybe delayed and worked on it to prevent the piracy and maybe boosted the graphics just a little bit more, they could of competed with the three major console companies today.

In conclusion, I believe that early is bad, and since Sega put every system (besides the Saturn) before everyone elses, this is what led to their downfall.  There graphics could of competed; their games could of been more polished; their system could of had more publicity; they could of had more games produced for the system; all because they wanted to dominate the market first, but they failed.  On a different note, Sony took the same approach, but they are doing well.  They got third-party support, non-piracy issues, and simple production costs for their games that earns them more profit than the other two systems.  I sure hope the Nintendo Wii turns this around in our favor, thus winning the next-gen console war.

As you know, Sega now is a huge publisher for platforms and handhelds.  I would like to say I never liked Sega, but after playing Super Monkey Ball, I went “WOW!”  Sonic was okay for the Genesis, but there really wasn’t any games currently that attracted my interest before Monkey Ball.  Well, I’m out.  For an extensive look of ALL of the Sega platforms, go to: http://www.net4tv.com/voice/Story.cfm?storyID=3401, and for a very recent console war update, go to: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Console_wars.  Peace. 

justin_hazlett2001@yahoo.com'
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About the author:

I’m 25 and own my own home. I have one step child and a wife. I work as a Team leader at a restuarant about 50 hrs. a week. Otherwise, I surf the web or play video games.

Justin – who has written posts on NintendoFuse.


  • http://cgarrett1974.1up.com/ Chad Garrett

    Nice editorial. I had all of these systems and even looked forward to… Neptune…

    Alas, Dreamcast is one of my favorite systems of all time and I realy enjoyed the VMU, especially with Sega GT; the mini games were great.

  • http://cgarrett1974.1up.com/ Chad Garrett

    Nice editorial. I had all of these systems and even looked forward to… Neptune…

    Alas, Dreamcast is one of my favorite systems of all time and I realy enjoyed the VMU, especially with Sega GT; the mini games were great.

  • http://cgarrett1974.1up.com Chad Garrett

    Nice editorial. I had all of these systems and even looked forward to… Neptune…

    Alas, Dreamcast is one of my favorite systems of all time and I realy enjoyed the VMU, especially with Sega GT; the mini games were great.

  • Hochiminh

    Yeah. I would LOVE to play Sonic Adventure, Soul Calibur, and Dead or Alive 2 again for the Dreamcast.

  • Hochiminh

    Yeah. I would LOVE to play Sonic Adventure, Soul Calibur, and Dead or Alive 2 again for the Dreamcast.

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