November 28, 1996
SEGA’S JAPANESE PLANS
On November 8, Sega Enterprises summoned the game media to its Tokyo head office and held a major press conference named Sega Saturn Power Up meeting ’96 ~ ’97. They announced that the Saturn had shipped over 3.7 million units in Japan over a period spanning nearly two years. Sega’s Vice President Ichiro Irimajiri, with some help from AM2 head Yu Suzuki, made a series of major announcements concerning an ambitious plan to ship five million units by the end of March next year, and eventually ten million.
The announcements started with the unveiling of several major Saturn titles, the Try! Network campaign to promote the already available Sega Saturn Network, the development of a TV phone system and multimedia activities using Saturn. Sega also announced that it will overhaul its distribution system including its agency system and participation in Digicube, the company formed by software companies to sell software at convenience stores.
The major titles that were announced included Virtua Fighter 3, Last Bronx, X-Men vs. Street Fighter, Fighter’s Megamix, Evangelion 2nd Impression and Grandia. Sega also announced a present campaign for the limited edition Christmas Nights.
With regard to a Saturn conversion of VF3, Suzuki concluded, “I think we’ll be able to make something that we could call ‘VF3’. AM2 and myself will take full responsibility for the translation so please count on us. I’m afraid I can’t invest more power into my statements, but that’s how I feel right now. We’re going to do everything we can to the best of our ability, so we hope you will be patient and believe in us.”
SOURCE: Teleparc Game Geisen
November 22, 1996
VIRTUA COP 2 RELEASED
Virtua Cop 2 has been released for the Saturn, although many stores have not received their copies as of yet. Most stores should have them available on either Saturday, November 23, 1996 or Monday, November 25, 1996.
SATURN SALES INCREASE
According to a small survey of 12 different video game retailers, the Saturn has experienced a huge increase in sales due to the three game pack-in deal that began four days ago on November 18th. Every one of the stores contacted claimed to have sold out their entire stock of the Sega Saturn (not including the Saturn/NetLink bundle pack). One EB employee stated, “We completely sold out on all non-Netlink based units. (Rally and Cores), total of 7 machines. Expect big sales this weekend. Our company is anticipating increased sales according to internal documents.”
November 21, 1996
MORE SATURN GAMES ARRIVE
Daytona CCE, Batman Forever and Breakpoint have been shipped and should begin arriving in stores nationwide today, November 21, 1996 for the Sega Saturn. Daytona CCE is the upgrade version of last year’s much maligned Daytona USA. It features more tracks, more cars, a higher resolution and a better frame rate.
November 20, 1996
NEW SATURN GAMES ARRIVE
NFL ’97, Sonic 3D Blast and Area 51 shipped yesterday and should begin arriving in stores nationwide today, November 20, 1996. NFL ’97 is Sega’s first football game for the Saturn; it features an exclusive Play Editor that will allow you to design your own plays and run them with any offense in the NFL. NFL ’97 also features 1,500 real NFL players and all the real NFL teams. NFL ’97 allows 1-8 players to play at once.
Sonic 3D Blast will be the very first Sonic title to arrive for the Saturn. Sonic 3D Blast is essentially the Genesis version with an increased color pallete, some special effects, redbook audio and amazing 3D bonus rounds.
Area 51 is an arcade translation of on of the most sucessful arcade titles of the past year; the game is a light gun shooter with CG based graphics.
November 19, 1996
DIE HARD ARCADE TOPS CHARTS
For the second month in a row, Sega GameWorks’ Die Hard Arcade is in the number one position on RePlay Magazine’s arcade charts. The charts are tabulated based on ballots received from video arcade operators nationwide rating games currently in active opearation in the US. Die Hard Arcade makes use of Sega’s state-of-the-art Titan architecture, which means that a Saturn port should be just about arcade pefect. Die Hard Arcade should hit the Saturn in Japan sometime this upcoming January.
DEVIL SUMMONER NEWS
It appears that NGO’s report on the status of Devil Summoner is wrong, below is a letter from Atlus to Jeremy Rutz with regards to the situation with Devil Summoner:
I wish you could understand all the other business factors involved with
importing a game. Not only do you have Atlus programmers who do not wish to
go back and redo a game they just completed, but other corporate heads who
also makes the decision.
We have not completely abandoned Devil Summoner. We will keep you all
posted on the development of this title. Next Gen has spread some awful
rumors and we hope you can understand and be patient.
Please e-mail us again with any of your concerns.
Please email Atlus at firstname.lastname@example.org and voice your support for bringing Devil Summoner out in the US.
November 18, 1996
TOMB RAIDER ARRIVES IN STORES
Tomb Raider arrived in stores nationwide today for the Sega Saturn. In other game release news, Virtua Cop 2 has been released in Japan and is available for import right now. The Japanese gun for VC2 is slightly different than the gun released last year in that it has Sega Saturn on the side in white as well as some other minor changes with the color (the trigger and start button are yellow).
November 14, 1996
EIDOS ANNOUNCES RELEASE OF TOMB RAIDER
Eidos Interactive, a developer and publisher of entertainment software for the PC, Macintosh, and console platforms, announced today the much anticipated simultaneous release of Tomb Raider for the PC CD-ROM, Sony PlayStation, and Sega Saturn. “We are very excited about the simultaneous launch of Tomb Raider. Our goal is to appeal to all gamers of all three systems by combining the best of gaming elements in one package,” added McGarvey.
DIE HARD ARCADE ALMOST FINISHED
Saturnworld has reported that Die Hard Arcade, Sega’s ST-V 3-D polygonal fighter is nearly complete and should be released in Japan this January, with a retail price of ¥5,800. For more information, go to Saturnworld.
November 13, 1996
TOSHINDEN URA SHIPS
Toshinden URA has shipped today for the Sega Saturn and should begin arriving in stores nationwide tomorrow, November 14, 1996.
November 11, 1996
FULL DETAILS ABOUT SEGA’S PACK IN OFFER
Sega of America Monday announced its plans for a special retail promotion this holiday buying season: for every Sega Saturn purchased, retailers will give the customer a special free “threepack” of software including “Daytona USA”, “Virtua Fighter 2” and “Virtua Cop”.
Sega’s “threepack” will also include a mail-in bonus coupon worth $5 off one or $15 off two first or third-party Sega Saturn titles. Sega’s special offer will run from Nov. 18, 1996 through Dec. 31, 1996 or while supplies last.
The promotion is the cornerstone in Sega’s fall marketing campaign for Sega Saturn, which includes the strongest software lineup in the industry, lower software pricing, and heavy trial opportunities for consumers. “Sega’s pulling out all the stops for this holiday,” Ted Hoff, executive vice president, Sega of America, said. “We have fantastic new software for all gamers with our new low prices between $19.99 and $59.99. Add to this our great `threepack’ deal for new Sega Saturn owners, with some of our best-selling software ever, and you have the best holiday promotion in the industry,” Hoff added.
Sega’s holiday software lineup includes titles in every gaming category including: “Fighting Vipers”, straight from the arcade machine which was one of the top grossing arcade games of 1996; “NiGHTS”, called the “best 32-bit videogame yet” by Next Generation Magazine (July, 1996); “Sonic 3D Blast”, Sonic the Hedgehog’s first appearance on the Sega Saturn; and “World Series Baseball 2” the improved sequel to Sega’s widely-acclaimed baseball title of 1995.
Sega has also increased trial opportunities for the consumer with more than 6,000 Sega Saturn demonstration units at retail outlets around the country.
November 8, 1996
AM2’s surprise Saturn-exclusive game has been announced. It is called FIGHTER’S MEGAMiX. FIGHTERS MEGAMiX will feature characters from Fighting Vipers and Virtua Fighter plus some hidden characters. FIGHTERS MEGAMiX will hit Japanese stores on December 21, 1996 and retail for ¥5,800.
VIRTUAL ON IS OUT AND IT ROCKS!
Virtual On began arriving in stores, nationwide today. Virtual On is possibly Sega’s finest Arcade to home translation yet. There is no noticeable pop op in the mechs, and the backgrounds are great despite missing some structures that were found in the arcade. Otherwise, Virtual On is a phenomenal translation and it has one of the best game soundtracks ever. (In fact, I’m listening to it on my PC, as I am doing this update) Virtual On is a must buy for any Saturn owner. You just better hope it isn’t already sold out.
In other Virtual On news, the US version is compatible with the Twin Sticks. The Twin Sticks are not available in stores but can be ordered from Sega by calling 1-888-SEGA-SALES.
SATURN PACK-IN RUMOR CONFIRMED
According to Next Generation Online and Saturnworld, the Saturn 3 game pack-in rumor has been confirmed by Sega of America. As I reported earlier the pack in will include Daytona, Virtua Fighter 2 and Virtua Cop, plus discount coupons for other games. The offer will run from November 18 through December 31. For more information go to Next Generation Online or Saturnworld.
SF VS XMEN SATURN EXCLUSIVE
According to Next Generation Online and Saturnworld, SF vs X-Men will be a Sega Saturn exclusive and will arrive sometime next year. For more information go to Next Generation Online or Saturnworld.
ONE MILLION SATURNS DURING HOLIDAYS?
Sega Enterprises Ltd. said on Friday it aimed to sell one million Sega Saturn videogame players during the Christmas season in Japan, in what is expected to be a heated sales race with Sony Corp and Nintendo CO Ltd. .
Sega said it would launch 130 software titles aimed at the Christmas and New Year season, including Fighters Mega Mix, strengthening further the titles in the popular hand-to-hand combat genre. It also said the popular arcade game title Virtua Fighter 3 will be remade for the 32-bit Saturn player and go on sale next year.
Sega currently suffers a setback in the domestic market due to offensives by rival Sony’s 32-bit PlayStation and Nintendo’s cutting-edge 64-bit game player Nintendo 64, industry circles say.
Some analysts say Sega may fail to achieve its annual sales target of 2.5 million players in the domestic market.
Sega said it sold 1.2 million units of its Sega Saturns in the period between April and October, raising the cumulative sales to 3.7 million since the player’s launch in November 1994.
SATURN TV PHONE
Sega Enterprises Ltd. said on Friday that it would start selling a home-use TV-telephone system compatible with Sega’s Saturn videogame players.
A Sega official in charge of multimedia services said the system would allow transmission of graphics and voice data.
He said the system could go on sale as early as next year, but did not provide any other details.
November 7, 1996
VIRTUAL ON SHIPS
According to Electronics Boutique, Virtual On has shipped for the Sega Saturn and should arrive in stores tomorrow, November 8, 1996.
November 6, 1996
MORTAL KOMBAT TRILOGY
According to Midway Games Inc., Mortal Kombat Trilogy will be released for the Sega Saturn in the summer of 1997. There was no mention of whether or not the Saturn version will be similar to the PS and N64 versions or that it will feature any upgrades.
GRID RUNNERS RELEASED
Virgin Interactive Entertainment has announced the release of Grid Runners for the Sega Saturn.
November 5, 1996
SATURN ONLY AM2 GAME?
Game Fan Online recently reported that according to numerous Japanese sources, Yu Suzuki and the entire AM2 staff have been taken off the Model 3 projects that they are working on to put their efforts into a Saturn-only fighting game. It will not be a Virtua Fighter and is unlikely to be related to Fighting Vipers. For more information on this story, go to GFO.
RECENT IMPORT SATURN RELEASES
Samurai Shodown 3 (with and w/o RAM cart), Sexy Parodius, Ogre Battle, and Riglord Saga 2 have all been recently released in Japan.
November 1, 1996
STREET FIGHTER ALPHA 2 RELEASED
Capcom has released Street Fighter Alpha 2 for the Sega Saturn. SFA2 was shipped yesterday and started to arrive in stores nationwide, today, November 1, 1996.
JAPANESE RELEASE DATE UPDATES
Riglord Saga 2 is set for a November 8th release in Japan as is Samurai Shodown 3. Virtual On is finished and should be released on November 29, in Japan at 5800 yen, with the dual sticks also retailing for 5800 yen. Tactic Ogre is set for a December 13th release in Japan, as is Enemy Zero. Far East of Eden is going to be released on January 14, 1997.