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  1. #1
    Midwinter- Dreamcast Warm Midwinter's Avatar
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    Default Who or What Killed Sega Consoles?

    It has almost been a year since Tom Kalinske provided an interview badmouthing Sega that the board turned down a partnership with Sony that would have ultimately led to the Playstation being developed with Sega (very similar to the Nintendo partnership that never came to fruition).

    I still get upset when reading this because in my opinion Tom Kalinske did more damage to Sega than the board's vote to not approve the joint console with Sony.

    Don't get me wrong Tom Kalinske helped turn the Sega business around in America, but he boasts that all the success came from him, but the Mega Drive also took Europe by storm without Kalinske's help.

    Ultimately the botched launch of the Saturn on America shores and its utter failure in the marketplace led to the early development of the Dreamcast even when the Saturn was doing fairly good numbers in Japan. Nintendo 64 never did catch up with the Saturn sales. Playstation only surpassed them with the help of Final Fantasy VII. Over 70% of the Saturn's library stayed in Japan because no third party wanted to release games for the Saturn overseas. Sega needed the revenue from America to succeed though. The company would struggle against Nintendo and Sony if they couldn't bring in the bigger market.
    I realize failure is not 100% on anyone's shoulders. The console failed to catch on in Europe too.

    Other than the terrible Saturn launch in America I believe Sega failed in the following ways:
    1. No Sonic game for Western markets launched with Saturn (just like Sega of Japan to pick this fight with the west)
    2. Hardware was too expensive to manufacture. Sony and Nintendo had way more wiggle room in their pricing structure.
    3. They had too many consoles on the market at one time: Mega Drive II, Mega CD II, Master System II, Game Gear, 32X, Pico. Then Saturn launched. Sony had one unit with no baggage. You didn't have to worry if you were missing something by just buying the one Sony console on the market. Nintendo suffered from a similar buyer's fatigue of too many skus by the time N64 came out.

    What do you guys think? What led to the demise of Sega's hardware business? Anyone who lived through it first hand would have told you the Saturn was about to deliver on what the Mega Drive had come so close to doing. Towards the late 90's the dream was starting to break and ultimately in 2001 it finally did.

  2. #2
    Biggest X'Eye fan. Ever. supersega's Avatar
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    Default

    I didn't read it, because I already know it is the Dreamcast which didn't have DVD support killed Sega. The Saturn was a little bit of a failure, but it was recoverable. Note how the DC sold very well until the PS2 came out. Thats because DVD was the thing to have. If you went into a store in Japan (or frankly anywhere), PS2s were playing DVDs; not the actual DVD players, because it was also cheaper and had more functions than a DVD player.
    Collection; Neo Geo CD, JVC X'Eye, Model 1 Genesis, Model 2 Genesis, 2 Japanese Saturns, 2 Game Gears in a few thousand pieces, 5 or 8 PS1s (don't judge), 1 PS1 DTL (TOOL, NOT a Yaroze), 1 Gamecube, 1 Wii, 1 Xbox 360, 2 Gameboy Advances, 1 3DS, 1 PS2 TEST that WORKS!!!

    Do I have a console addiction?

  3. #3
    YEAOH. TCB's Avatar
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    Default

    The strife between American and Japan offices bleed right out into the public in ways it should have never done. Granted I don't remember any of the mid-to-late 90 chaos SEGA had behind the scenes, but one point sticks out to me whenever I go back and read it. It was hearing one of SoA's top brass (forget the name) say that the 'Saturn is not our future." Even before then prematurely releasing the console months ahead of its intended release stabbed the company deep. That's when I felt the real woes began.

  4. #4
    Midwinter- Dreamcast Warm Midwinter's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by supersega View Post
    I didn't read it, because I already know it is the Dreamcast which didn't have DVD support killed Sega. The Saturn was a little bit of a failure, but it was recoverable. Note how the DC sold very well until the PS2 came out. Thats because DVD was the thing to have. If you went into a store in Japan (or frankly anywhere), PS2s were playing DVDs; not the actual DVD players, because it was also cheaper and had more functions than a DVD player.
    The problem was that Sega could not recover from the Dreamcast because they had made little to nothing in America and Europe with the Saturn so the Dreamcast had no margin for error. Also third party publishers abandoned Sega in Japan because of the premature drop of the Saturn.

    It didn't help that Sony was content to lose tons of money to push a DVD player and their system in every home. Sony was in a battle to own the living room and Sega and Nintendo were in a battle to be the top selling video game console.
    Last edited by Midwinter; 28-01-2016 at 01:35.

  5. #5

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    Default

    Chuck Norris!

  6. #6

  7. #7
    Midwinter- Dreamcast Warm Midwinter's Avatar
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    Default

    Peter Moore was just the poor soul that had to pull the plug. The Dreamcast was doomed to fail because of Sony selling at a huge loss so they could include a DVD player at a reasonable price. Just like the PS3 being the cheapest Blu-Ray player on the market the PS2 was one of the cheapest DVD players on the market when released. Sega was never going to be able to match. Sony could care less if Playstation was totally bleeding money as along as they won the living room.

    Sega was not going to be able to float another unsuccessful console. The Saturn had emptied their coffers.

    Peter Moore actually gives a lot of cool interviews about the Dreamcast and how fond he is of it.

  8. #8

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Midwinter View Post
    Peter Moore was just the poor soul that had to pull the plug. The Dreamcast was doomed to fail because of Sony selling at a huge loss so they could include a DVD player at a reasonable price. Just like the PS3 being the cheapest Blu-Ray player on the market the PS2 was one of the cheapest DVD players on the market when released. Sega was never going to be able to match. Sony could care less if Playstation was totally bleeding money as along as they won the living room.

    Sega was not going to be able to float another unsuccessful console. The Saturn had emptied their coffers.

    Peter Moore actually gives a lot of cool interviews about the Dreamcast and how fond he is of it.
    SEGA's decision to use GD-ROM instead of DVD-ROM is probably the single death blow to the console. Not only was it a format no one used frequently, but it turned out that it was insanely simple to pirate DC games, burn them on standard CD-Rs and the drive would read/run them. Once your console's anti-piracy feature has been defeated your console is dead to developers. SEGA could have fixed this with a revision change but I think making a drive that would be able to read CD, GD, and DVD-ROMs was beyond what technology could do cheaply. Honestly I would have just bit the bullet and said release a re-design using DVD-ROM and other anti-piracy methods but they were probably too financially in the hole at the time.

    But the lack of DVD, at the consumer level, I don't think was that big of a deal, while XBOX was able to play DVD movies you needed a add-on to do so and I don't know anyone who had that. Microsoft would go on to make the same mistake again, HD-DVD.
    Last edited by voice; 28-01-2016 at 23:48. Reason: words
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  9. #9
    Midwinter- Dreamcast Warm Midwinter's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by voice View Post
    SEGA's decision to use GD-ROM instead of DVD-ROM is probably the single death blow to the console. Not only was it a format no one used frequently, but it turned out that it was insanely simple to pirate DC games, burn them on standard CD-Rs and the drive would read/run them. Once your console's anti-piracy feature has been defeated your console is dead to developers. SEGA could have fixed this with a revision change but I think making a drive that would be able to read CD, GD, and DVD-ROMs was beyond what technology could do cheaply. Honestly I would have just bit the bullet and said release a re-design using DVD-ROM and other anti-piracy methods but they were probably too financially in the hole at the time.

    But the lack of DVD, at the consumer level, I don't think was that big of a deal, while XBOX was able to play DVD movies you needed a add-on to do so and I don't know anyone who had that. Microsoft would go on to make the same mistake again, HD-DVD.
    Yeah - Microsoft just backed HD-DVD to make Sony pay out the nose for Blu-Ray adoption. Microsoft invested little to no money in the tech (other than software) and left Toshiba high and dry. They made Sony pay for their win. Blu-Ray was never able to turn big profit and has paled in comparison to DVD sales. They ultimately destroyed home video in a physical format. They tried to do the same with the Xbox One, but consumer backlash stopped that.

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