Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 41

Thread: When did Sega, as a console maker, reach the "point of no return"?

  1. #1
    Strawberry (Level 2)
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    551
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    139
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    20
    Thanked in
    20 Posts

    Default When did Sega, as a console maker, reach the "point of no return"?

    We know that Sega stopped making consoles in 2001, with the end of the Dreamcast. But what's the latest that Sega could, so to speak, "un-fuck" themselves and correct the mistakes of their past enough that they may still be making consoles today, or at least well past 2001?
    Real collectors drive Hondas, Toyotas, Chevys, Fords, etc... not Rolls Royces.

  2. #2
    Strawberry (Level 2) sfchakan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    497
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    2
    Thanked in
    2 Posts

    Default

    Code:
    /equip head "Hindsight"
    /ja "20/20" <me>
    It starts with the Summer of 1994.

    Cancel the 32X, citing it as a mistake, and commit full power to the Saturn in North America for 1995.

    Notify developers and retailers of intent to launch the Saturn in North America early.

    Launch the Saturn with at least a dozen games on day one, with support from third-parties.

    EDIT: Also, a quality 3-D/2-D Sonic title by the first holiday season. What a no-brainer!

    Continue existing Genesis and Game Gear sales and support into as late as 1998.

    NEVER HIRE BERNIE STOLAR.

    All of the above would have put them on stronger footing for the Saturn era and, at the very least, softened the huge losses they took.

    Then, maybe then, they might have seen themselves through the Dreamcast era, It's quite possible they would have still exited the hardware race, though. At the very worst, continue Dreamcast support through 2002, until the PS2 and Xbox developed strong user bases.

    Following the Dreamcast, ignore all furry fandom for Sonic. Don't do weird shit with Sonic during the 00s! For the love of god, never have him fall for a human girl!

    Continue making the typical software they made during the Dreamcast era, live long and prosper as a unique developer that delivers unique experiences.

    Establish themselves as a stronger PC developer and publisher by 2009, noticing all of the commotion and easy opportunities to make money with ports.
    Last edited by sfchakan; 07-08-2015 at 12:45 AM.

  3. #3
    Mindbender The Adventurer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    CT
    Posts
    828
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts

    Default

    Sega's success was largely a fluke in timing, the Genesis launching during the NES's lifespan gave it a huge lead. I'm honestly not sure if Sega was every truly capable of capitalizing on their success, as everything after felt like they were coasting on inertia alone.
    New Comics for the Week of 10-03-12


  4. #4
    FPGA arm-based system Custom rank graphic
    bb_hood's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Rhode Island
    Posts
    2,091
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    46
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    23
    Thanked in
    21 Posts
    PSN
    bb_hood99

    Default

    The Sega CD was the beginning of the end.
    It was expensive and it had alot of crap. Many games were just genesis games with cd audio. Even back then people thought the FMV games sucked.

  5. #5
    celerystalker is a poindexter celerystalker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    St Louis, MO
    Posts
    2,774
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    8
    Thanked in
    8 Posts

    Default

    Honestly, I have no idea on this one. Sega is like a child genius who just can't put it all together as an adult. They've always been talented and eccentric, but rarely have they been able to bring together their great games with popular trends and a solid long-term hardware strategy.

    Console gaming in the '90s began shifting away from trying to replicate the arcade experience and started going toward new formats with long-form RPGs and PC-style gaming. Sega has been able to come up with some great RPGs and strategy games over the years, but they've always relied on the strength of their arcade development. When what they were doing was less popular, they didn't make the adjustment, they had a haphazard hardware plan, and they remained extremely Japanese in style. The Genesis in the US was lightning in a bottle. Beyond that, Sega has been busy being brilliant, but not catering to the shift in design. Sega probably could have made brilliant FPS games or WRPGS, but they kept being Sega, making Sega games. They're wonderful and eccentric, and unfortunately just not mainstream after about 1993.

    I started to love Sega AFTER the Genesis. I always felt like the Genesis was very average. It was afterward when it was clear that Sega was going to do things their own way, pass or fail, that I started to appreciate them for marching to the beat of their own drum. What makes them great to me is a huge part of what made them fail. I have no suggestions, as I wouldn't trade the Saturn and Dreamcast libraries for an also-ran group of FPS' and western-style games.

    I really wish they'd just scale back expectations and produce Sega games on Sega hardware, not attempting to compete with what's new, but just going off in their own glorious direction, but that is entirely unrealistic.

  6. #6
    Kirby (Level 13) Tanooki's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    5,965
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    3
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    2
    Thanked in
    2 Posts

    Default

    I don't think there ever was a point of no return. They never knew how to properly return on much of anything they did at a hardware level. The Genesis was sheer dumb luck that it paid off given how badly the SMS did. Had the cards fallen into place it just as easily could have been the TG16 and not the Genesis making the waves, and probably would have given they put out more of the good Japanese stuff that would have localized quite well.

    Take the Genesis out of the picture, what successes did they really have that would have put them on a long term path of survival? Game Gear held out fine as a handheld, but what else? 32x they stupidly put out, and even more stupidly nuked fast breaking confidence of their base. The Saturn pops up early and it's not made for 3D which put it into trouble immediately outside of certain types of games it excelled at, and then they say stupid crap, break a lot more confidence, and it gets whacked badly. To somehow recover from their stupiditis, they instead overdose on it and kill the Genesis and GG which had been a revenue stream for them. And finally the Dreamcast, I had it, it was great, but it was doomed to fail when you see what it could do, the limited storage, and the rest against what would come 2 years later. Had the Genesis never taken off they'd have bit it earlier and stuck with the arcade and making games for others.

  7. #7
    Insert Coin (Level 0) Custom rank graphic

    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Louisville, KY, USA
    Posts
    30
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by bb_hood View Post
    The Sega CD was the beginning of the end.
    It was expensive and it had alot of crap. Many games were just genesis games with cd audio. Even back then people thought the FMV games sucked.
    FMV can be used well, like in FF8's train hijacking scene cinematics and when they had you control Squall moving over the FMV background before smoothly transitioning into the in-engine stuff...but nobody knew how to yet. They should've left such experimentation to the 3DO developers, though.


    The 32X should not have been made, simple as that. The Saturn should've had the DMA interrupt or whatever it's called so the CPUs could easily share data between them without s


    The problem was with the culture at Sega in Japan, unfortunately. The success of the Genesis made them arrogant enough they forgot that Kalinske had already proven he knew what he was talking about regarding what would and wouldn't work, even though he's the one who was in charge of making it successful. I'll link the same thing I did in the "summer 1996" thread:

    "One of the key reasons why I left Sega is when we had the opportunity to work with Sony, when [Sony Interactive CEO] Olaf Olafsson, [Sony Corporation of America president and CEO] Mickey Schulhof and I had agreed we were going to do one platform, share the development cost of it, share the probable loss for a couple years on it, but each benefit from the software we could bring to that platform,” he said. “Of course, in those days, we were much better at software than they were, so I saw this as a huge win. We went to Sony and they agreed, ‘Great idea.’ Whether we called it Sega-Sony or Sony-Sega, who cared? We go to Sega and the board turned it down, which I thought was the stupidest decision ever made in the history of business. And from that moment on, I didn’t feel they were capable of making the correct decisions in Japan any longer.” -- former Sega of America CEO Tom Kalinske, who resigned April 15, 1996.

    Supposedly, Kalinske also fought against the early release.
    That console became the Sony Playstation.

    Even before that, when Sega of America first saw the Saturn, it was a clearly overcomplicated, too-large board with too many chips that weren't designed to work together, so they decided to suggest a simpler alternative:

    "We went down the road to Silicon Graphics and met with [SGI founder] Jim Clark. They had bought MIPS Technologies, and they were developing a chipset for use in a game machine. We liked it, so we called up the Japanese guys to come take a look at it. The hardware guys came over, and they really pooh-poohed the whole effort. The chip was too big; there would be too much waste; lots of objections from a technical standpoint. It was upsetting to us, because we thought it was better in terms of speed, graphics, and audio.

    "So after we had this meeting, I had to report back to Jim Clark, who was then Chairman of Silicon Graphics and tell him that SEGA wasn't going to be buying, and he asked, 'Well, what should I do now?' and I said, 'Well, there's this other game company up in the Seattle area. I think their name starts with an N.' And of course, he did. He went up there and sold it to them, and that, of course, became the foundation for the Nintendo 64." -- Tom Kalinske
    http://www.ign.com/articles/2009/04/...of-sega?page=6

    In short: they reached the point of no return when they became jealous of SoA's success and forgot to listen to who they thought of as the "little gaijin people".
    I hate it when people write their initials on a game cart's label. Can't get it off without ruining part of the label!

  8. #8
    Strawberry (Level 2) calgon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    411
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts

    Default

    More than just a single issue, BUT if you had to isolate one really poor blunder that turned off many would-be Saturn owners it was releasing the 32x branded as the future, all while barely supporting it and tending to "the real future console" with the Saturn.

    Just speaking on personal perspective

  9. #9
    Kirby (Level 13) Tanooki's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    5,965
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    3
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    2
    Thanked in
    2 Posts

    Default

    Hah I never saw that bit of the story about the Sega/CGI people bit rolling into him telling them to talk to Nintendo. Good on him for roasting Sega of Japan for that one. They were stupid and arrogant to the bitter hardware end. Sometimes the stupid white little gaijin men may have a reason to be listened to.

    Only imagine had Nintendo not been so arrogant as well and they went head to head against the PS1 with a the same hardware the N64 had more or less but based off a CD model. Things would have been drastically different and yet Sega still would have been a dead company walking at that rate.

  10. #10
    Cherry (Level 1)
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    351
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    12
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    5
    Thanked in
    5 Posts

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by calgon View Post
    if you had to isolate one really poor blunder that turned off many would-be Saturn owners it was releasing the 32x branded as the future, all while barely supporting it and tending to "the real future console" with the Saturn.
    It's amazing how much damage a company can do to itself by releasing a major system and then failing to support it. I've always thought that the 5200 did Atari a lot more harm than people realize, and as a kid who got a 5200 for Christmas I was certainly pissed and disappointed when the console was dropped within months of my getting it.

    (I was even more pissed and disappointed, of course, when both controllers were practically DOA out of the box, with fire buttons so stiff that Hulk Hogan would give himself tendonitis trying to make them fire, let alone a young kid.)

    Consumers remember that stuff; it tends to turn a company into a punchline. I'm surprised Nintendo's gotten away with it twice (the Virtual Boy and 64DD).

  11. #11
    Kirby (Level 13) Tanooki's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    5,965
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    3
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    2
    Thanked in
    2 Posts

    Default

    Yup and you all too often still see droning on about Sega of the 90s screwing so many of their most loyal fans who ate up and took it in the butt with the add-on devices, and then the Saturn bail out. No one ever seems to learn that much though. I guess maybe Nintendo did at least with Virtual Boy, but Sony, look at the Vita. They propped it up, talked a heap of smack, put out a lot of great stuff for maybe 18mo or so, and then it became a painful trickle into the crapper they're clearly not interested in anymore as even this E3 again showed.

  12. #12
    Strawberry (Level 2) sfchakan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    497
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    2
    Thanked in
    2 Posts

    Default

    The Vita, so far, appears to be Sony's biggest misstep. The PSP was kind of mediocre for a while, but it eventually grew a pretty decent library.

    Nintendo, imo, has made a number of big mistakes that people seem to gloss over.

    The Virtual Boy is an obvious one.

    Sticking with cartridges for the Nintendo 64 was another.

    Hell, the Nintendo 64, GameCube, and Wii U have all received rather lackluster third-party support. A lot of very mediocre 3rd party games while their competitor's platforms have all received the majority of the hot hits. Their decisions to stay behind the curve on hardware and media have definitely hurt a lot.

    Their decision to push a tablet controller while not having making it simple and cheap to port mobile games to their platform is mystifying. WTF were they thinking?

  13. #13
    Strawberry (Level 2)
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    551
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    139
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    20
    Thanked in
    20 Posts

    Default

    I would agree that Sega's console future was salvageable in 1994, if not even later. The 32X came out in November 1994 so it could have been quietly yanked in late spring 1994 and the public would not even know about it. Heck, it could be yanked even after the CES announcement, with Sega saying something to the effect of "We're focusing on the Saturn as our future console." Sega would be damaged by this, but the damage would pale in comparison to what the 32X did. Instead of throwing major dollars at the 32X through the holiday season of '94 and first part of '95, don't even release the 32X. Stand behind the Genesis, and keep the CD going in the background. True, the CD had limited success, but it did have some great exclusive games. But the company's biggest asset was the Genesis. By late 1994, it had a very strong install base.

    Here's a timeline that would likely give Sega a better future:

    Let's start on May 9, 1994. Everything Sega's done prior to May 9, 1994 is done. The Genesis and Sega CD are their consoles. Game Gear is their portable system. They've even got the CDX out. SNES is just hitting its prime (which I consider to be the three full years 1994, 1995, 1996). 32X is in development but very few outside the business know: Summer CES 1994 hasn't happened yet.

    By June 23, 1994: Cancel the 32X before CES. Don't announce it. Word will get out years later on retro game forums, but for '94 the secret is probably safe.

    Remainder of 1994: Focus on the Genesis. Keep making Sega CD games in the background, but Genesis games are priority 1. SNES is coming out with expansion chips like the Super FX. Sega is falling behind technically, so it needs to go the expansion chip route for high end games. Sega's got the Sega Virtua Processor. Use it in several games over the 1994-1996 period. Get working on Sonic X-treme, but start its life as a Saturn game due out in '96.

    1995: From January-August, keep focus on the Genesis. Announce "Saturnday" launch in March (they actually did this). Work with third parties and retailers before and during the September 2, 1995 launch. Go for at least 10 launch games, including a good VF2. Kill regional lockout. All Sega consoles from here on should be region free. Localize a majority of Saturn Japanese games. Some games should stay in Japan (i.e. dating sims, mahjong simulators, etc), but things like shooters and fighters need to be in the US. For the holiday season, push the Saturn, but maintain a focus on the Genesis as well, continuing to push out good titles. This is the last year that most focus goes to the Genesis. Start to shut down the Sega CD upon the Saturn's release.

    1996: Push more Saturn games. Simplify the hardware and have the first price drop late in the year. Maintain Genesis support - this is the last year with a large number of Genesis releases. Overall, this year is mostly Saturn, but stand behind Genesis as a low cost option. With the Saturn out, this is the year to kill off the Sega CD for good. On Saturn, treat third parties well. This is also the year to release Sonic X-treme. It didn't make it in real life because it started on the Genesis, moved to the 32X, and finally was translated for the Saturn. Cut out even just the 32X bullshit, and Sonic X-treme can make it in stores in time for Christmas 1996. 3D Blast can be the Genesis Sonic swan song.

    1997: DON'T SAY "THE SATURN IS NOT OUR FUTURE". Development of Dreamcast should be in earnest by now, and the buzz about the Dreamcast just starting. With third parties treated well, there should still be many cross-platform third party games that appear on the Saturn (And maybe a few exclusives). Keep the number and quality of first party Saturn games high. The 3D weaknesses of the system are becoming apparent, so emphasize some good 2D games as well. 2D wasn't totally dead by '97.
    Real collectors drive Hondas, Toyotas, Chevys, Fords, etc... not Rolls Royces.

  14. #14
    Pac-Man (Level 10) theclaw's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    2,217
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    1
    Thanked in
    1 Post
    Xbox LIVE
    theclaw135
    PSN
    Eonclaw

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by TheBenenator View Post
    FMV can be used well, like in FF8's train hijacking scene cinematics and when they had you control Squall moving over the FMV background before smoothly transitioning into the in-engine stuff...but nobody knew how to yet. They should've left such experimentation to the 3DO developers, though.


    The 32X should not have been made, simple as that. The Saturn should've had the DMA interrupt or whatever it's called so the CPUs could easily share data between them without s


    The problem was with the culture at Sega in Japan, unfortunately. The success of the Genesis made them arrogant enough they forgot that Kalinske had already proven he knew what he was talking about regarding what would and wouldn't work, even though he's the one who was in charge of making it successful. I'll link the same thing I did in the "summer 1996" thread:



    That console became the Sony Playstation.

    Even before that, when Sega of America first saw the Saturn, it was a clearly overcomplicated, too-large board with too many chips that weren't designed to work together, so they decided to suggest a simpler alternative:

    http://www.ign.com/articles/2009/04/...of-sega?page=6

    In short: they reached the point of no return when they became jealous of SoA's success and forgot to listen to who they thought of as the "little gaijin people".
    No matter how I look at it, pushing Virtua Fighter as their flagship title in the west only added to Saturn's troubles.
    Last edited by theclaw; 07-09-2015 at 02:10 AM.
    Lum fan.

  15. #15
    Bell (Level 8)
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    1,618
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by goldenband View Post
    Consumers remember that stuff; it tends to turn a company into a punchline. I'm surprised Nintendo's gotten away with it twice (the Virtual Boy and 64DD).
    I'd say VB was excusable for trying to be something new and different (and in the early '90s virtual reality was the big thing people were talking about. I recall reading in magazines back then about a Sega VR unit too, but they canceled that.)
    Also it's said that VB was horrendously rushed to market, and was why Gumpei Yokoi resigned. We can only wonder what he might've intended if he had been allowed to work on it more. (Nintendo should've waited the few years it's said they would've needed to to make color feasible.)

    32X is a device it's harder to find sympathy for as it's hard to imagine why it would've seemed like a good idea to release, especially with Saturn coming.
    Sega CD it's easier to forgive because CD was clearly the next step in gaming and maybe many devs just weren't quite ready for (so we got the infamous FMV games and slightly-upgraded cart ports that brought the console down).

    64DD probably doesn't get talked about because it was constrained to a limited Japanese release. Though Japan was the worst-selling territory for the N64, the larger US install base probably means they'd have sold only maybe 50k instead of 15k in Japan. :P )

  16. #16
    Pear (Level 6) Gentlegamer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    1,207
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    4
    Thanked in
    4 Posts

    Default

    Don't believe anything Kalinske said without at least ten corroborating witnesses.

  17. #17
    Insert Coin (Level 0)
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    54
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts

    Default

    When sega lost the trust of retailers they where done.

  18. #18
    Strawberry (Level 2) sfchakan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    497
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    2
    Thanked in
    2 Posts

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Gentlegamer View Post
    Don't believe anything Kalinske said without at least ten corroborating witnesses.
    You might be interested in reading this thread.

  19. #19
    Pear (Level 6) Gentlegamer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    1,207
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    4
    Thanked in
    4 Posts

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by sfchakan View Post
    You might be interested in reading this thread.
    I was so interested, I posted in that thread when it was made.

  20. #20
    Kirby (Level 13) Tanooki's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    5,965
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    3
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    2
    Thanked in
    2 Posts

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by WelcomeToTheNextLevel View Post
    1995: From January-August, keep focus on the Genesis. ...snip.
    I think even your what if...list here is a push a real dream. The Genesis wouldn't have propped them up, if anything it would have caused a little bit of a split. Nintendo and much more so Sony still would have buried them even if they did the marketing and so forth of the Saturn correctly. The system was a disaster that companies didn't like either due to the weak output for 3D which they moved towards and because it is a nightmare to code for. Sure you can say this game or that game, but anything they did have was nothing on what Nintendo and Sony could push, sure it would have made already netted Sega fanboys happy but pulling in new blood it would not have at all in the numbers they needed. The Japanese office was stupid and arrogant, hated on the US office especially since they were right and proven so which dishonorably shamed and made their dumb moves public. I do agree the 32X should have never been born to retail. Given the garbage pricing on Virtua Racing at $100, you'd think they'd have tried to make something a little more reasonable and shovel the 32X games over that chip instead. Even if the games due to bulk could have been done in the $70 ish range, they'd have fared better than moving that 32x turd and pulling it so fast ruining their good will with the fans. Anyone can dream about what if this or that, but the laundry list of dumb crap the home office did for a great many years was not going to be reversed as a total labotomy for the lot of them was not going to happen.


    Off on that 2 times over thing side topic with Nintendo. They got away with it because the VB was virtual reality which was huge at the time, not a good excuse but it worked sadly. They should have been punished for breaking out with it too early and half baked from what was intended. The 64DD though that is a pass, it was Japan only and stayed there. Had that come to the US with those small discs and weak(mostly) library for it, it would be fair game, but they buried it at home.

Similar Threads

  1. DP Video Game Maker Challenge! Part 1 "The Pitch"
    By Collector_Gaming in forum Modern Gaming
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 08-06-2012, 10:22 AM
  2. Replies: 2
    Last Post: 11-01-2009, 08:58 PM
  3. "Mario Paint" Music Maker For Computers!
    By CaryMG in forum Classic Gaming
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 10-17-2008, 04:02 AM
  4. FS - Sega Genesis Console "ONLY", and Gunstar Hero
    By zerohero in forum Buying and Selling
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 02-01-2006, 12:11 AM
  5. "I grew outta video games"... what makes u return?
    By Steven in forum Classic Gaming
    Replies: 23
    Last Post: 08-13-2004, 07:24 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •