October 31, 1996

SATURN ACTRAISER RENAMED

Game Fan Online recently reported that the Saturn remake of the SNES classic Actraiser has been renamed “Solo Crisis,” (still tentative). The game will also be much more different that what was previously planned. Solo Crisis is Quintet’s first Saturn title, and will be released by Sega of Japan sometime in 1997. For more information, go to GFO.

SATURN BASIC DEVELOPMENT KIT ANNOUNCED

As reported by Game Fan Online, Sega will introduce a BASIC kit for the Saturn in early December. The BASIC for SEGA SATURN is developed by Bits System and will feature two models, one that interfaces with a PC and a standalone version. For more information on BASIC for SEGA SATURN, go to GFO.


October 29, 1996

SEGA RELEASES FIGHTING VIPERS

Symptoms of accelerated heart rates, profuse sweating and strained eye sockets were reported nationwide as Sega of America boldly announced Tuesday the release of “Fighting Vipers” as a part of its “Blood, Sweat & Tears” arcade-to-home line-up, exclusively on the Sega Saturn.

Currently ranked among the top five games in arcades, “Fighting Vipers” is hard-hitting proof that Sega Saturn continues its reign as the undefeated champion of in-home arcade gaming. “Fighting Vipers” leads the pack of four new arcade games shipping for Sega Saturn this holiday season, bringing Sega’s arcade-to-home library to 11 titles.

Rated T, “Fighting Vipers” hits retail shelves on Oct. 29 for a suggested retail price of $49.99.


October 26, 1996

SEGA PICKS UP BOMBERMAN

According to Next Generation Online, Sega of America has picked up Hudson Soft’s Bomberman for release in the US. Bomberman will be made compatible with Sega’s NetLink and should be available early next year.

TOMB RAIDER NEWS

According to a producer of Tomb Raider at Eidos Interactive, Tomb Raider should come out around mid-November for the Sony Playstation with the Sega Saturn and PC versions being released a week afterwards. Tomb Raider is currently out in Europe only on the Saturn.

SOURCE: Marty Chinn of Video Source


October 22, 1996

SEGA UNVEILS NETLINK

Sega of America will once again redefine interactive entertainment with the national launch of its Sega Saturn Net Link, a low-cost device that allows Internet access through the television.

Starting Oct. 31, consumers across the country will be able to do more than simply watch TV — they’ll be able to enjoy the expanse of the Internet without the expense traditionally associated with high-end computers.

Simple to use for Internet novices and veritable “Net Heads” alike, the Sega Saturn Net Link is chock full of tools that make surfing the Web, sending and receiving e-mails, participating in chat sessions, and playing networked games an easy and, at less than $400, an affordable experience.

“With Sega Saturn Net Link, we’ve given the mass consumer a passport to the exciting world of the Internet,” said Kerry Bradford, general manager of Sega Online, Sega of America. “We’ve simplified the Internet by combining a graphically-rich roadmap, useful tools, and an intuitive interface that takes the `tech’ out of the `Net.'”

The Sega Saturn Net Link combines two consumer entertainment products in one: an advanced 32-bit CD-based video game system offering more than 200 interactive entertainment titles by Christmas, and a modem providing full Internet functionality for e-mail, Web surfing and, ultimately, networked game play. It is the only TV-based Web device offering a hybrid CD drive/Internet functionality that can enhance the user’s on-line experience.

Sega’s first foray into low-cost Internet access is an extension of the company’s steadfast mission to deliver top-notch interactive entertainment on all platforms, including arcades, consoles, PCs and now, the Internet. While Sega Saturn Net Link offers traditional Internet tools for surfing and e-mail, it will be the first video game console to deliver networked games.

The first networkable Sega Saturn Net Link game will be the arcade and Sega Saturn hit, “Sega Rally Championship.” A head-to-head off-road rally race, “Sega Rally Championship” is scheduled for release in the first quarter of 1997. Additionally, a number of third party game companies plan to deliver Sega Saturn Net Link games in 1997 including Capcom and GT Interactive Software.

Sega Saturn Net Link will be available nationwide on Oct. 31 for a suggested retail price of $199.99. That price includes a 28.8 Kbps speed modem cartridge that plugs into the Sega Saturn, a phone cord and a CD containing the Web browser and 3D city interface. Sold separately are the Sega Saturn system (SRP $199.99), a Sega Saturn mouse (SRP $24.99) and a PS/2 keyboard adapter (SRP $19.99).

A bundled package will also be available (SRP $449.99) combining the Sega Saturn, the modem/browser package, a custom Sega Saturn keyboard and a non-networkable version of the hit arcade game, “Sega Rally Championship.”

For information on the features of the Net Link, Click Here

SEGA TO BROADEN DISTRIBUTION PLANS

In support of the Sega Saturn Net Link launching nationwide on Oct. 31, Sega(TM) of America Tuesday announced retail distribution plans for its television-based Internet connector.

Sega will broaden the scope of retail outlets to include both core consumer electronics and toy retailers, as well as alternative channels such as rental, computer interest, catalogs and cable programming.

A much-anticipated low-cost Internet solution, the Sega Saturn Net Link will be available at retail outlets nationwide, predominantly in Sega’s core retailers, including Toys R Us, Best Buy, Walmart, Electronics Boutique, Neostar, The Good Guys and Incredible Universe. Computer retail channels have also expressed interest in carrying the product.

Sega also has opted to tap alternative distribution channels for Sega Saturn Net Link. Offering consumers a chance to “try before they buy,” Sega plans to place Sega Saturn Net Link in the lucrative rental market, ranging from small, independent video rental outlets to regional chain operations. When renting both the Sega Saturn and Sega Saturn Net Link, consumers will receive three days of free Internet access through Concentric Network Corp.

Additional channels include the CompuCard catalog, QVC (the cable shopping channel) and value-added retailers targeting college bookstores, school districts, and independent computer and education-oriented outlets.

Sega projects that 100,000 Sega Saturn Net Link units will be sold in 1996, citing retailer excitement and consumer demand as early indicators for the product’s success.


October 21, 1996

SEGA TO UNVEIL NETLINK

Sega of America plans to unveil the Sega Saturn Net Link at a press conference tomorrow, October 22, 1996. The Net Link is the first video game console to offer online Internet gaming.


October 18, 1996

NEW SATURN SATURN RELEASES

World Wide Soccer 97, Tetris Plus, Bottom of the 9th, and Mr. Bones have been released for the Sega Saturn and should be in stores nationwide today.


October 17, 1996

DAYTONA USA CCE TO BE RELEASED BEFORE THANKSGIVING

Daytona USA Championship Circuit Edition will be released before Thanksgiving in the US, which will be before the Japanese version is released. Daytona USA CCE will not be compatible with the Net Link and will not have a track editor (in fact, it never had one to begin with). In other Sega release date news, NFL ’97 is planned to be released on the same day as Daytona. Virtual On and Virtua Cop 2 are both scheduled for a late November release. Manx TT will not be released this holiday season, it has been delayed until March of 1997.

NETLINK GAME WOES

As mentioned in the above article, Daytona USA Championship Circuit Edition is not going to be Net Link compatible. In addition, Command and Conquer for the Saturn will not be compatible with the Net Link, cause Sega didn’t get Westwood the Net Link code in time.

NEWS CORRECTION: FIGHTING VIPERS IS NOT OUT

This past Saturday I reported that Fighting Vipers arrived in stores on Friday, October 11, 1996. On that day, I was contacted by a local video game retailer saying that Fighting Vipers had arrived. It turns out that they never received the game. Fighting Vipers is not in stores and has been delayed till October 31, 1996. I apologize for any problems and inconveniences that this has caused.