June 29, 1996

Saturn Virtua Stick

Here is a pic of the Japanese Saturn Virtua Stick. The stick uses the same materials used in the Sega arcade games in Japan. It will retail for 5800 yen ($58) and will be released simultaneously with VF Kids on 7/26 in Japan.


 

June 27, 1996

Saturn Releases

Golden Axe the Duel, Worms, Shining Wisdom, and Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 have all been released for the Sega Saturn. They should arrive in stores today, or soon after.


 

June 26, 1996

Japan Release Schedule and News

 

Released date of part of the Japanese games:

Name		Type		Date	Price	*Complete	Note
Torico		AVG		   Now	6800	100       	2CDs
Fatal Fury 3	2D-fighting	28 Jun	6800	 85 (6-19)	Still incomplete
Nights		Action		 5 Jul	5800	100       	Use analog pad
Dec Athelete 	SPG		12 Jul	5800	 ??
SS Bomber Man 	Action		19 Jul  6800	100       	10 players
Greatest Nine'96 SPG		19 Jul	5800	 85 (5-31)  
VF Kids		3D fighting	26 Jul	5800	 80 (6-11)
WorldHero Perf.	2D-fighting	 9 Aug	5800     80 (6-21)	19 characters
Langrisser III	S.RPG		?? Aug	6200	 80 (6-12)	Delay to Aug
Lunar I		RPG		?? Aug	6800	 68 (6-12)	Delay to Sep	
Sakura War	AVG		?? Sep	????	 60 (5-17)	2 CDs
3 Kindoms V	SLG		?? Sep	9800	 45 (6-14)
Toshiden URA	3D-fighting	?? Sep	5800	 60 (6-14)	11 characters
SF Zero II	2D-fighting	Summer	5800	 65 (6-13)
Dark Savior	A.RPG		Summer	5800	 70 (5-17) 
Albert Odyssey	RPG		Summer	6500	 85 (6-14) 
ThunderForceGP 1 2D-shooting	Summer	5800	 30 (6-12)	MD-ver 2 and 3
ThunderForceGP 2 2D-shooting	Summer	5800	 30 (6-12)	MD-ver 4 and AC
SamuraiShadown3 2D-fighting	Summer	????	 ??
Enemy Zero	AVG		Autumn	6800	 35 (6-15)	4CDs
Ogre Battle	S.RPG		Autumn  ????	 50 (6-14)
FarEast of Eden RPG		In  96	????	 40 (6-14) 
Terracresta 3D  3D-shooting	?? ???  ????	 40 (5-9)
Fighting Viper	3D-fighting	?? ???	????	 50 (6-10)	Demo in ToyShow
Tactics Ogre	S.RPG		?? ???  ????	 30 (6-14)
Virtua On	3D-fighting	?? ???	????	 ??        	Cable link-up(?)
Virtua Cop 2	3D-shooting     ?? ???	????	 15 (6-12)
Rockman 8	Action		?? ???	????	 ??
Marvel Heros	2D-fighting	?? ???  ????	 ??
Fatal Fury RB	2D-fighting	?? ???  ????	 ??
Rockman X4	Action		?? ???  ????	 ??
Sonic Fighting  3D-fighting	?? ???	????	 ??
RiglordSaga 2	RPG		?? ???  ????	 ??		
Daytona Champion Circuit Edition
		RAC		?? ???  ????	 ??



News:

i) 8 characters of SF zero 2 have been shown. From Tokyo Toy Show, the loading
   takes about 9 seconds.

ii) For FV, pictures of Honey, Baxel, Picky, Jane and Sanman are shown this 
    time.

iii) RiglordSaga 2 was in ToykoToy Show, the graphics are improved a lot.

iv) SamuraiShadown RPG part a) and c) are coming to Saturn.

v) A new shooting game using stunner will be from SOJ.

Note: The number in the blanket is the date at which the completeness 
      referring to.

from Saturn Fan #14

Fighting Viper Details

Fighting Vipers will use Ghourad Shading, which is not used in the Arcade version. Ghourad Shading has only become possible with the implementation of the SGL 3.0. The light-source shading that will be used in the Saturn version is said to be superior to what’s used in the Arcade version. All of this will come up at the expense of the resolution.


 

June 25, 1996

Shining Wisdom is SHIPPING

Shining Wisdom is shipping today and will start arriving in stores tomorrow, Wednesday June 26, 1996.

Need for Speed, Road Rash, Shockwave Assault Released

Need for Speed, Road Rash, and Shockwave Assault have all shipped and should arrive in stores by tomorrow June 26, 1996. Some stores may receive their copies today, June 25, 1996.

Williams announces Area 51 for Saturn

Williams has announced Area 51 for developement for the Sega Saturn.


 

June 22, 1996

Sonic X-Treme Team Increased

Mr. Yasuhara, one of the men responsible for the original Sonic, was recently brought in to work on Sonic X-Treme. In addition to Mr. Yasuhara, Sega has doubled the amount of people that are currently working on Sonic X-treme.
from GF Online

Toshinden URA officially Announced

Takara has announced a September release for Toshinden URA for the Saturn. The graphics are flat-shaded, and run in the same high resolution mode Virtua Fighter 2 featured.
from GF Online

Virtua Stick Pro

Sega of Japan has announced a brand new joystick for the Saturn that will be released this fall. Known as the Virtua Stick Pro, the new joystick looks just like the control panel from a typical Japanese arcade machine, and it costs nearly as much. Retailing for over 23,000 yen ($230), the pricey stick contains two joysticks for two-player support and a sturdy arcade-quality frame.
from IG Online


 

June 21, 1996

Thunderforce Series for Saturn

TechnoSoft will be releasing the Entire Thunder Force series on two Saturn CD’s in Japan, called the Thunder Force Gold Packs. The first disc will have TF II and III, and the second will have TF IV and the arcade version of TFIII.
from GFO

Riglord Saga 2 officially announced in Japan

Riglord Saga 2 has been officially announced in Japan. RS2 takes place in the same world and features a new skills system and over 200 techniques.
from GFO


 

June 20, 1996

Daytona Remix Officially Announced

Daytona Remix has been announced for both America and Japan. In America, it will be called Daytona USA Championship Circut Edtion. The new version has 5 tracks and 4 viewpoints, new music, and can be played two players via split screen mode, or by the Saturn X-Band (in Japan).
from GFO

Sega of Japan Modem Details

Sega of Japan has announced all the details of their upcoming Saturn Modem, due to be released on July 27th. For 14,800 yen (about $135) it will include: A 14.4 Modem that plugs into the Saturn cartridge slot, 2 System CD-ROMs (one for accessing the Internet, the other for NiftyServe, Japan’s largest consumer network), and an X-Band-compatible copy of VirtuaFighter Remix. Optional peripherals include a keyboard for 7800 yen ($72) and a disk drive for 9800 yen ($90). The modem will be completely X-Band compatible, and the actual modem has a card-slot for X-Band phone cards (In Japan, gamers must purchase pre-paid X-Band cards to pay for the service). The Saturn X-Band service will be online sometime in August. The games that will be compatible with this service include: Virtua Fighter Remix, Daytona USA Remix, Sega Rally Championship, World Series Baseball, Virtual On, and Saturn Bomberman. The full details of the American version have not yet been announced, but we do know the modem will be 28.8 and retail for around $199, and should be released near the end of the year.
from GFO


 

June 19, 1996

Resident Evil for Saturn???

While it has not been officially announced, work has started on a port of Resident Evil to the Sega Saturn. It is very early in development, so don’t expect it any time soon. The game will need to be redesigned to use what the Saturn has to offer.
from GF Online


 

June 18, 1996

Saturn Scandal?

The following is from NG online (I can’t confirm or deny it) –

Next Generation Online has just learned that the “white” Saturn hardware (which is considerably less expensive), has been in Black US Saturns since as early as last August. What does Sega have to say about that? Next Generation Online explores…


In opening an off the shelf Saturn which had been marked manufactured in August of 1995, Next Generation Online found an astounding fact. The hardware inside the black case, was identical to the hardware inside the new white Saturns. 

The ramifications of the discovery are indeed potentially far reaching. Theoretically Sega may have been able to sell Saturn for as little as $199, last Christmas, a feat which Sony couldn’t have matched and would have very likely secured them as the leader in the US 32-bit market.So why didn’t they do so? Why did they keep the price as high as $299 for so long? One possible reason could have been that the Saturn was moving so well in Japan, where it is the undisputed market leader, Sega of Japan wanted to keep the prices high there. By keeping prices higher in Japan, there was no way that they could implement a price cut in the US, as it would constitute “dumping” for selling a foreign product substantially cheaper than it is selling in its country of origin.

Sega however has a different explanation. Sega openly admits that the units shipped in that early period of US release were the same as the initial “white” Saturns that have hit Japan. The change in the internals of the system was made on October 2, 1995 when the $299 Saturn core package was introduced. Units manufactured as early as August, didn’t actually hit shelves until that October 2nd date. In this way, some of the cost savings were passed on to the consumer. Sega sighted decreases in price in all of the Saturn components (especially RAM) shortly after Christmas as well as the change in the Yen to Dollar exchange rates as the reasons that the Saturn was able to drop from $300 to $250 earlier this spring. Lee Macinerny of Sega tells us “We have never made money on the hardware itself. We make our money selling software, and by changing to the cheaper version, we still weren’t making a profit. Sega understands the need of a price point advantage… and we dropped price as soon as was possible.”

Said Macinerny, “The fact that we can take advantage of what is going on in the market is a great thing. The fact that we can take advantage of what is going on in the Japanese market [specifically Saturn’s hardware and software sales success] is a great thing”.

Macinerny also told Next Generation Online that since the initial white Saturns that shipped in Japan, there has been another change in the internal components. In general the chips are the same, however it has been made even more compact. More detail of the changes will be disclosed in tomorrow’s update. The changes shaved a few more pennies off the cost of production for Sega.

Despite all of the explanations from Sega, the fact that the guts were streamlined months before the white Saturn price drop was announced, clearly displays the “white” Saturn unveiling was just a marketing gimmick.

Thanks to Jason Lizarraga for alerting starting our investigation.


June 17, 1996

Shining Wisdom Delay

Shining Wisdom will NOT arrive in stores today, June 17, 1996. According to Vic Ireland, “since it’s (Shining Wisdom) in manufacture, and that’s handled by SEGA, we have absolutely no control over it. They SAY it should be ready to ship on Thursday.”


June 15, 1996

Samurai RPG announced for Saturn

SNK has announced Samurai Spirits RPG for the Saturn (and Playstation). The game is expected to be a huge hit for the Neo Geo and is planned to be released early next year for the Saturn and Playstation.
from NG Online


June 14, 1996

Primal Rage and Shellshock to arrive today

Primal Rage and Shellshock should arrive in stores today June 14, 1996 for the Sega Saturn.

Sega VR

According to IG online, Sega of America may be working to develop some kind of stereoscopic video display. The company recently received a patent for some kind of stereoscopic/monoscopic video display system. The device includes a left and a right video display for viewing, a video driver circuit which alternates between driving the left video display and driving the right video display, and a view control circuit for providing a left-right signal which indicates which video display is currently displaying the video signal.

A video source, such as a computer or a video game console, receives the left-right signal and provides a standard video signal. The stereoscopic display is operable in both a stereo and a mono mode so that a user can select either monoscopic or stereoscopic video when the source is capable of providing stereoscopic views.
from IG Online

Dark Savior to make use of Analog Pad

Climax has announced that their upcoming 3D Isometric Action RPG, Dark Savior will make use of Sega’s analog pad. Dark Savior is currently scheduled for an August release in Japan.
from IG online


June 12, 1996

Devil Summoner Delay

The following is a response to a letter sent by Craig Kaziel which he received from Atlus We hear your cry and we have not forgotten all of you Saturn owners. The development of a game is out of control. Due to the complex story and translation involved as well as the 20-man development team needed to complete the US version, it has been delayed to next year. We promise you will see a Saturn version of the game as well as perhaps a PC version so keep your eyes and ears open. Altus understands the need for good RPG’s in the States and we promise to bring many of them to you.

More News on Sega’s Dual Stick

Sources within Sega have disclosed that the Saturn version of Virtual On will support a two stick controller. The catch is, that it is not a new peripheral, but is an extension of their existing Mission Stick (the single flight stick controller).

The Mission Stick itself provides for left or right handed players by flipping the stick to either side of the button array. What it also has is an expansion port for additional accessories such as throttle controls or in this case, a second stick. Theresulting dual analog sticks in addition to the polygon perfect game are reputed to provide an exact home version of the arcade standup.
from Next Generation


June 11, 1996

Sega of Japan Ready “On-Line” Device for Kids

According to attendees at the recent 1996 Tokyo Trade Show, Sega of Japan blew away the competition with their latest gadget, the TV-MAIL system. Essentially, the device is a communications terminal that permits youngsters to send or receive color faxes as well as “TV-mail”. Think of it as a very souped up PICO system combined with the Sega Toys’ Communicator (the calculator/organizer/portable video game/infared communicator that was released early last year in the US under the Sega Toys name) and you get a fun e-mail/fax box for kids.

The TV-Mail system, which will ship in Asia this October for approximately 16,800 yen ($168 US) can be linked to a television or a phone line. The company expects to ship approximately 100-thousand of these machines before Christmas.

According to SOJ, the company may also be setting up the “TV-MAIL Information Bureau” which tied with various media outlets, will develop specialized services for sending color transmissions of various popular cartoon characters and movie/music stars.

It appears, however that the TV-MAIL system will not be used for online games, something which the company will be reserving for the Saturn’s NetLink device.

Just in case you’re wondering, the ’96 Tokyo Toy Show, the largest of it’s kind in Asia, wrapped up yesterday. It was held at the same location as last November’s Shoshinkai trade show.

from Intelligent Gamer Online


June 8, 1996

Virtual On planned with Link Cable

AM3’s 3D robot combat game Virtual On is being converted to Saturn with the link-cable option very much in Sega’s plans. The two-player arcade hit will be an ideal platform from which to launch the cable later this year. Players will be able to play against the computer, but Sega feels that the two-player option will be more of a draw.
from Next Generation Online


June 7, 1996

Big Hurt for Saturn to arrive Today

Acclaim’s Frank Thomas Big Hurt Baseball will arrive in stores today, June 7, 1996.

X-Band for Saturn

After working out deals with Sega of Japan over the X-band Saturn network there, Catapult has just finished negotiations with Sega of America for the same in the US. The Saturn X-band network will provide US Saturn owners the opportunity to play games with other Saturn owners around the country. The network is slated to be started by Christmas this year. The Saturn X-band network will provide the opportunity for Saturn owners to play games against PC owners. For example, a Virtua Fighter Remix PC owner could be able to play Saturn Virtua Fighter Remix owners. X-band is currently in conversations with Westwood about including the ability in their forthcoming Saturn conversion. Time will tell if it actually implimented for that game. Catapult presently has no official plans for a Sony or Nintendo X-band, but has commented that it is speaking with Sony.
from NG Online


June 6, 1996

VF Kids News

This is from Spartan of Game Players Online and Eidolon Online

Well, I played a 60% completed version of VF Kids today for Saturn and it was a blast. You can choose from your Kid type. In “Normal” mode the Kids are a little taller and skinnier looking and in “Kid” mode they’re chubbier and more Superdeformed. Also, when a new challenger comes in the Kids will stop fighting and look directly at you with a look that says “What did you do that for?” Finally, the other new feature is when your Kid does a spectacular hit the hit will be instant replayed in the middle of the fight and showed from three different camera angles. On the menu screen there were six squares not accessible marked with the word “secret.”

Eternal Champions News

This is from Spartan of Game Players Online and Eidolon Online

According to a source at Sega, Eternal Champions for Saturn has been canceled.

The reasons that Sega had for us:

Resources: We only have limited dollars and resources for development. In the fighting game arena, those resources are being dedicated to the arcade titles you are very familiar with, Virtua Fighter, Fighting Vipers, etc. To make sure these games are the best in Polygon 3D fighting, the teams have to focus.

Title Success: Based on how the franchise for Eternal Champions has progressed, there is a loyal, but limited fan base. I know you might argue this, but sales of previous EC titles don’t justify the development time and cost. It is a simple equation. We have to focus on the games thatwe think will have the widest appeal and sell. That’s how we direct our resources for development.

I hope you can communicate to your friends. While I know they will be disappointed that EC won’t be on Saturn soon, I know they will be pleased with the quality of the games that will be coming out because of the focus from our developers.

NBA Action Released

NBA Action 96 was released yesterday June 5, 1996.


June 5, 1996

Net Link Browser

At E3 two web browsers were shown running on the Saturn NetLink setups. One of which was developed by Sega in Japan and will be included with the Japanese Saturn. The other was developed in the US by PlanetWeb. PlanetWeb was primarily designed by ex-Digital Pictures employees in an effort to bring the Internet to consoles. The browser itself is HTML 2.0 compliant but does support some addition HTML 3.0 tags including tags and forms. Sega of America is expected to make its decision in the next month or so with regard to the browser to be packaged with its NetLink peripheral.
from Next Generation Online


June 4, 1996

Sega of Japan Internet Plans

Sega Enterprises of Japan announced today that it will release a modem for the Saturn in July, allowing Internet access without a dedicated computer. The cost of the modem and software will be 14,800 yen, and Sega expects to sell 500,000 of the units over the first year of release. Curiously, the Japanese version is reportedly a 14.4K modem, contradicting reports at E3 that Sega of America’s NetLink modem would be a 28.8K model.
from Intelligent Gamer Online

In the Hunt Released

In the Hunt for the Saturn will arrive in stores today, June 4, 1996.


June 1, 1996

Sega Dual Analog Joystick (Japan)

Many people have been wondering if Sega will bring out a duel analog joystick (similar to the one that’s available for the Playstation), well, it appears that there is one, at least in Japan. This stick is very important, considering the upcoming release of Virtual On. The arcade game features dual sticks, and many gamers were worried that the gameplay would not translate well to the Saturn joypad, or single Arcade Stick, but it appears that those worries are over. Here is a pic of the dual stick scanned from Saturn Fan (an all Japanese all Saturn Magazine).

Striker ’96 and Virtua Open Tennis are Out

Striker ’96 and Virtua Open Tennis have been released for the Sega Saturn. They both arrived in stores, yesterday, May 31, 1996.