October 2, 1996

NiGHTS makes Top 10 in sales

As reported by Next Gen Online, NiGHTS is the 10th best seller in the US for the month of August, according to SofTrends. The only Saturn game in the top 20.


September 30, 1996

New Saturn Releases

Three Dirty Dwarves from Sega Soft and Casper – The Movie from Interplay were released on Friday, September 27, 1996 for the Sega Saturn. For more information on either game, go to the Saturn Software section of this site.

Dragon Force and Rayearth Delayed

The release date for Dragon Force has been pushed back to late October/early November, and the release of Magic Knight Rayearth has been pushed back to early 1997. For more information on both of these delays, go to the Working Designs section of this site.


September 27, 1996

Sega Donates 1000 NetLinks

Projectneat (National Education Advancement Team) Thursday announced its mission to donate interactive learning tools that will connect every primary and secondary school in America to the Internet by the summer of 1998.

The first 1,000 schools will be connected by Oct. 26 in collaboration with NetDay96, the day a national grassroots initiative is expected to wire 20,000 schools nationwide.

Projectneat, an independent nonprofit organization, was founded in July 1996 by high-tech entrepreneur Kamran Elahian, who has joined together a team of leading companies and associations to provide hardware, software, services and content free of charge to schools.

Sega of America is donating 1000 NetLinks to this project.

(information from: OOverlord)

Sonic Bingo

Sega, in cooperation with Advanced Gaming Technologies Inc. (big electronic gaming firm) recently announced Sonic Bingo. an electronic bingo unit. it’s networkable and can be used as a stand-alone.

(information from OOverlord)

Japanese Saturn Release Dates

The following dates have been obtained from Game Fan Online:

  • Nov 22 Virtua Cop 2
  • Nov 29 Virtual On
  • Dec 20 Shining the Holy Ark
  • Dec 20 Airs Adventure
  • Dec 20 Terra Phantastica
  • 1997 Daytona USA Circuit Edition
  • 1997 Evangelion 2


September 25, 1996

Madden released Yesterday

Madden ’97 by EA Sports arrived in stores yesterday September 24, 1996 for the Sega Saturn.


September 23, 1996

Portable Japanese Saturn

The Hitachi MMP-1000NV Saturn model is the Saturn fanatic’s dream machine. The unit can be used in the home and connected to your television like a regular Saturn or taken with you in a car for play on those long trips in the back seat. Imagine getting through a round of Fighting Vipers as scenery of woody outdoors or as masses of New Yorkers pass you by. Why look out the window when you can look at a Saturn video game? When going on a trip, the Hitachi Saturn can be outfitted with an active matrix LCD screen for bright colors and excellent resolution.

The Hitachi can also be used as a GPS tracker for your car trips. Software is included for the main provinces in Japan while more detailed territory discs can be purchased separately from Navisoft for the different areas such as Hokkaido or Chubu in Japan that you might be travelling to. Of course, this function is moot here in the States but since the Hitachi is portable and you might go to Japan one day, its a little something extra that you get when you purchase the Hi-Saturn.

The other parts of the Hi Saturn that are included are a video-CD decoder which will allow you to run MPEG-1 movies on the Saturn, a Photo-CD card which will let you view picture discs on your Saturn, a TV tuner so that you can watch some television if you get tired of playing your two games and a standard Saturn black controller, to match the color of the unit itself.

National Console Support has the Portable Saturn for a retail price of $1499.

New Import Releases

The following titles have been recently released in Japan: Sakura Taisen, Sakura Taisen Deluxe, Afterburner II, Toshinden URA, and Thunderforce Gold Pack 1.

News Correction

Yesterday, It was reported on this page that Madden ’97 shipped last Friday and should have arrived in stores today. That information is not true. Madden ’97 will ship for the Sega Saturn, Genesis, SNES, and PC on Wednesday September 25, 1996. Arriving in stores soon afterwards.


September 22, 1996

Other Titles May arrive this Week

According to Gamex, other Saturn titles that should arrive this week, include: Casper, Iron Man, Robopit, and Three Dirty Dwarves for the US. And imports that should arrive this week include: Toshinden URA, Afterburner II, Thunderforce Gold Pack 1, and Sakura Taisen.


September 19, 1996

Sega Gameworks Names new President

Sega GameWorks, a joint venture between Sega Enterprises Ltd , DreamWorks SKG and Seagram Co Ltd’s MCA Inc , said it named Michael Montgomery president and chief operating officer. He joins Sega GameWorks from DreamWorks, where he led the effort to build the company’s studio and raise equity capital. Sega GameWorks is building a network of entertainment “gathering places” that will incorporate some proprietary interactive games as well as arcade games and simulators, food and merchandise.


September 18, 1996

US Fighting Vipers Update

The Domestic release of Fighting Vipers does not appear to have the Pepsiman character, and it does not contain any of the Pepsi logos, anywhere. The Pepsi logo that was on the truck is now a Sega logo, and the other pepsi ads have just been eliminated entirely or replaced with some unknown logo.


September 17, 1996

Sega Announces More Net Link News

Sega of America Tuesday said it will break down the “techno” image of the Internet with its low-cost videogame console TV Web device called the Sega Saturn Net Link.

Working with four leading Internet companies, Sega will offer a 3D Net Link city interface, point-and-click navigation and a custom designed Web browser making Internet access on a TV as easy as playing a videogame.

Sega Saturn Net Link combines two consumer entertainment products in one: an advanced 32-bit CD-based videogame system offering more than 150 interactive entertainment titles, and a modem providing full Internet functionality for email, Web surfing and ultimately networked gaming.

“Sega’s research shows that consumers’ No. 1 reason for using the Internet is for entertainment,” said Shoichiro Irimajiri, chairman and CEO of Sega of America. “Sega Saturn Net Link is inter-tainment in a box — a combination of Internet applications and entertainment activities packaged in an engaging, easy-to-use format only Sega could deliver to the consumer market.”

Sega Saturn Net Link is the only affordably-priced TV Internet product offering a hybrid of CD drive functionality combined with Internet access — an advantage for users and content providers alike. Not only can the drive be used for online gaming in the future, but it can hold important sound or graphics files that speed access to particular sites and can house premium, exclusive content customized for Sega Saturn Net Link users.

The Sega Saturn Net Link Web browser uses new image processing and text display technologies to give Web content a crisp, clean look and prevent picture flicker on the TV screen. The browser’s proprietary technology compensates for the reduced line count of television screens, compared to the display capabilities of computer monitors, to ensure clear visibility for informational and entertainment Web activities.

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 the hit arcade game “Sega Rally Championship.”

Concentric only ISP Bundled with Net Link

Concentric Network Corporation, provider of on-line and tailored network services, announced today that the company is the only Internet access provider bundled with Sega of America’s new videogame and TV Web console — Sega Saturn Net Link. Sega Saturn Net Link provides consumers with everything needed to surf the Internet including a full featured browser, email and ultimately online gaming applications. Sega users can register online for Concentric Network’s Internet service which provides users with a powerful fixed low-latency connection ideal for the Internet. Sega Saturn Net Link users can surf the Internet free for their first month and then upgrade to full unlimited Concentric access for $19.95 per month thereafter.

“Concentric Network is excited about powering Sega of America’s Saturn Net Link users and believe that the quality of our network services will greatly enhance their experience on the Internet,” said Henry R. Nothhaft, Concentric’s president and chief executive officer.

Sega Saturn Net Link is a 32-bit CD-based videogame system that provides more than 250 interactive entertainment choices and a suite of Internet tools including an HTML browser and email all for less than $400.00. The Sega Saturn Net Link peripheral and the Sega Saturn videogame system have a suggested retail price of $199.00 each respectively.

“We selected Concentric Network as the preferred Internet service provider for Sega Saturn Net Link users based on the company’s superior low-latency network services and ability to provide our users with an easy-to-use registration process,” said Shoichiro Irimajiri, chairman and CEO of Sega of America. “Sega Saturn users will be up and running on the Internet within minutes and receive the added benefit of receiving their first month of Internet access complementary from Concentric Network.”

PlanetWeb Browser for Net Link

PlanetWeb, Inc., a Santa Clara, Calif.-based start-up software company today introduced the first entertaining World Wide Web browser and e-mail application designed specifically for consumers’ television sets.

The PlanetWeb Browser will initially be bundled with the Sega Saturn Net Link — a plug-in modem for the popular Sega Saturn videogame system — as the Net Link browser.

“We want to make it simple and fun for ordinary consumers to access the Internet,” said Ken Soohoo, PlanetWeb founder and chief technology officer. “In the past, television screens did not display fonts and images very well.

“Now, Web content can be clearly viewed with the software technology we developed. At the same time, we’ve given the browser an entertaining look and feel, with graphics and sounds that make the Web surfing experience much more fun.”

“Consumers are beginning to grasp the power of the Internet, but haven’t yet found an easy way to harness it,” said Kamran Elahian, PlanetWeb co-founder and chairman.

“Because of the cost and complication involved, just 4% of the U.S. population can access the Web. But with the PlanetWeb Browser and the Sega Saturn Net Link, anyone can be up-and-running on the Internet in 15 minutes for as little as $200, or just $400 if they don’t already own a Sega Saturn.”

About the PlanetWeb Browser

The PlanetWeb Browser is a powerful World Wide Web browser and integrated e-mail application.

Consumer-Friendly Interface Innovations

The Browser’s unique push button interface presents users with eye-catching graphics and sounds, including:

— A translucent tool bar, which allows users to access the navigation controls and see the underlying page at the same time (the tool bar can also be hidden to increase the viewing space);

— A pop-up “Command Compass” which is hidden when not in use so that more of the screen can be devoted to displaying a page;

— A magnifying glass, which allows users to enlarge any area of a page while preserving the context;

— Sounds, which give instant responses to actions;

— A customizable interface, which allows users to change icons and sounds to suit their individual preferences;

— An easy-to-use on-screen keyboard with convenient preprogrammed buttons for “www.,” “http://,” etc. which reduces the number of key strokes;

— A discrete data transfer status indicator;

— Backward/forward buttons in the tool bar which store the order in which Web sites were browsed; and

— An option to download only text for faster Web site viewing.

Parental Control

Since the Internet isn’t always G-rated, PlanetWeb has incorporated a highly-regarded parental control system into its browser. Parents can regulate access to Web sites using 15 separate criteria and five different content-filtering levels within each given criteria. Over 170,000 Web sites have been rated for this service.

Clear Text on TVs — via Software

PlanetWeb has tackled the problem of using an ordinary television screen as a display device by developing proprietary software methods for displaying text and images. The Company’s anti-aliasing technology produces clear, readable and high-density text that scrolls smoothly across a television screen. PlanetWeb also employs image-processing techniques to smooth pictures, reduce flicker and produce bright, accurate colors.

Built-In-E-mail

The PlanetWeb Browser allows users to send and receive e-mail from anyone on the Internet. The browser supports POP3 and SMTP e-mail standards.

Web Standards Support

The Browser also supports most current World Wide Web standard extensions, as well as common image and sound formats, including:

— HTML 2.0 and most HTML 3.0 extensions, including those for forms, tables, in-line images, centered text and text of various sizes and styles;

— GIF, animated GIF89, JPEG and XBM image display support;

— WAV (PC), AIFF (Mac) and AU (UNIX) audio file playback capability.

Future upgrades to the PlanetWeb Browser will include support for Internet newsgroups and IRC Chat.

Uses Any Service Provider

Set up and configuration is as easy as putting a CD-ROM into the Sega Saturn and turning it on. The PlanetWeb Browser gives users the option of using any Internet Service Provider that supports PPP. Users can select a desired service provider or use a default service provider suggested during set-up.

Pricing and Availability

PlanetWeb’s Browser will initially be bundled with the Sega Saturn Net Link, which will be available in stores starting October 31 at a suggested retail price of $199.99.

About PlanetWeb

PlanetWeb, Inc. develops enabling software that makes it simple and easy for consumers to surf the Internet. The Company’s first product is The PlanetWeb Browser, a powerful World Wide Web browser and e-mail application.

PlanetWeb’s focus is consumer software. The Company’s browser works with existing hardware designs and allows users to choose their own Internet Service Provider. Consumers can use PlanetWeb software on low-cost “Internet appliances” attached to standard television screens connected to the Internet via standard telephone lines.

Initially available for 32-bit game systems, The PlanetWeb Browser’s portable architecture, small memory requirements and lack of need for an operating system will enable it to be quickly and inexpensively customized for a wide variety of Internet appliances.

Net Link City on Planet Oasis

In an effort to alleviate consumers’ intimidation of the Internet, Ark Interface today announced that it has created The Net Link city on Planet Oasis, a customized version of Planet Oasis(TM) exclusively for Sega of America’s new Sega Saturn(TM) Net Link, a videogame TV Web device.

The Net Link city, a 3D city interface for the Internet, will provide Sega Saturn Net Link customers with a low-cost, friendly and intuitive entrance to the online world and will allow users to gain access to the Internet without a PC.

The Net Link city on Planet Oasis will automatically launch when users log onto the Internet with Sega Saturn Net Link. Its 3D interface has 20 different neighborhoods to explore. By using PlanetWeb’s browsing technology, users can visit 225 of the best places on the Internet with a simple point and click and can have direct access to the World Wide Web.

Planet Oasis gives both novice and savvy Internet users a sense of community by serving as their “homebase.” It encourages Sega Saturn Net Link users to explore the World Wide Web while always allowing them to return to Net Link’s city at the click of a button. “The partnering of Ark Interface and Sega Saturn Systems’ technology is a powerful combination,” said Tom O’Rourke, president and CEO of Ark Interface.

“This customized version of Planet Oasis lets Sega of America offer its users an easy-to-use, inviting environment for exploring the World Wide Web. And Ark Interface can leverage Sega’s international distribution to reach more than a million homes this year.”

“Sega is committed to winning the next generation battle and to do so has developed a strategy which combines original content, powerful third party software and direct Internet access for our users,” said Shoichiro Irimajiri, chairmen and CEO of Sega of America.

“Planet Oasis’ interactive 3D interface is synergistic and provides the quality and rich content that users have come to expect from Sega. Net Link city on Planet Oasis’ customized interface is an ideal solution to provide our users with access to the World Wide Web.”

The Net Link city works in conjunction with PlanetWeb, Inc.’s browser, designed specifically for TV display as well as with Excite, which has created custom search directories and indexes for the Sega Saturn Net Link.

The Sega Saturn Net Link system is a 28.8 speed modem on a cartridge that plugs into the Sega Saturn videogame console. Packaged with a phone cord and a CD containing Planet Oasis and PlanetWeb, the suggested retail price is $199.

The Net Link city is a customized version of Planet Oasis, a 3D “Internet city” that allows users to explore the World Wide Web. Web surfers can cruise through the 20-block virtual city using their mouse and clicking on the icon or topic that interests them.