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Old 06-19-2019, 05:55 AM   #1
x7q3 x7q3 is offline
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Default Why did Sega consoles fail?

Most of the time, when Sega released a console, it wasn't very successful. The Genesis and Game Gear are their 2 more popular systems.

But the Sega Saturn and Dreamcast, no. And the consoles Sega released before Genesis were not as popular.

Sega was always out-competed, old-sold, etc, by Nintendo and Sony. But the Genises, like I said, was an exception. The Genesis was an awesome console, with series' like Sonic the Hedgehog, Streets of Rage and Golden Axe. But Genesis is an exception.

Why did Sega consoles fail? Sega stopped making consoles after Dreamcast, because it failed. Most Sega consoles failed commercially, had lower sales, etc. Why?
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Old 06-19-2019, 08:34 AM   #2
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Saturn had a worse controller, worse marketing, and was much harder to program for than the PlayStation.

Dreamcast had a worse controller, worse marketing, lower storage capabilities, and was a far less powerful console than than the PlayStation 2, GameCube, and XBox.
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Old 06-19-2019, 08:47 AM   #3
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Upgrades & competition against non competitors.

I’ll edit in details

In short form,

Sega’s competition was only Nintendo but they thought they needed to compete against Turbo Grafix 16, Panasonic 3DO, Atari Jaguar, & Sony PlayStation. So they released expensive add ons like 32X with games for that format, then Sega CD. Those 2 upgrades were meant to keep them in competition with NEC, Atari & Panasonic. It separated the business model & overall point to having a console. Sega then released Sega Saturn but most of the damage had been done with their fans feeling ripped off. Sony Launched their system cheaper which didn’t help the Saturn take off. What’s sad about that in my opinion was they learned from that mistake & then came back with the best console they had ever created which of course was the 1999 Dreamcast. 1 year before the launch of the much anticipated PS2.

Last edited by Derb; 06-19-2019 at 11:50 AM.
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Old 06-19-2019, 08:51 AM   #4
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There can only be one.
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Old 06-19-2019, 01:39 PM   #5
Talal86 Talal86 is offline
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maybe my mind blocked it, but I don't remember seeing the Saturn, or its game in stores when I was young. I thought they went from the Genesis to the Dreamcast
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Old 06-19-2019, 04:12 PM   #6
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The Dreamcast was actually an awesome system with tons of great games (the lineup was already deep at the American launch). Controller was as good as the Xbox's and Gamecube's IMO (none were great compared to today's controllers or even those from previous generations) and the system was easy to develop for so its graphics more than held their own with the first generation of PS2 games. It was also the first major console to offer comprehensive online play IIRC. Even the marketing was impressive: I still distinctly remember several of their ads from gaming magazines.

Problem was consumers felt burned after the Saturn and the Japanese parent company had been hemorrhaging money for years (probably not helped by the very aggressive pricing of the Dreamcast console). I actually remember speculation that the American branch might have survived on their own if not for how bad things were across the Pacific. Eventually the massively hyped PS2 swamped whatever momentum the Dreamcast had picked up with its earlier release and Sega read the writing on the wall.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Talal86 View Post
maybe my mind blocked it, but I don't remember seeing the Saturn, or its game in stores when I was young. I thought they went from the Genesis to the Dreamcast
The Saturn never existed for me either even though the Genesis was my 16 bit console. I think the string of add-ons for the Genesis muddied the water for consumers and then the N64 dominated the gaming lives of me and my friends for the next few years.
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Old 06-19-2019, 05:01 PM   #7
prkchopexpress prkchopexpress is offline
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the dreamcast failed because it didn't have a dvd drive. when the ps2 had just come out, it was the cheapest did player in japan and the matrix had just come out on dvd.

all this stuff about power and marketing is garbage. the dreamcast was a fun system with a lot of great games and they all looked fantastic. arcade ports on the dreamcast looked better than ps2 counterparts.

all this talk about "people felt burned by sega" is revisionist nonsense.

there was a passionate fan base for the dreamcast, as games sold quickly. the fan able just wasn't large enough. when people had the decision "can I buy a dvd player and a console or can I buy a dvd player in a console?"

the sports 2k games that are still being made today came out on the dreamcast.
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Old 06-19-2019, 05:23 PM   #8
donzo29 donzo29 is offline
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I had a Saturn. I played the first Tomb Raider on it but don't remember any other games that I really liked. I did not keep the Saturn for long though as I wanted to play Air Combat and Ace Combat 2 and they were only available on the Playstation.

I also pre-ordered the Dreamcast. I had a TON of fun with that little console. They had some great games. SoulCalibur, Seaman, Hydro Thunder, F355 Challenge, Quake III Arena, Tokyo Xtreme Racer, and Crazy Taxi are the ones that really stick in my memory.

I had a wheel for the driving games and a keyboard and mouse for Quake. It had the dial-up modem so you could play online which actually worked pretty well as I remember.

I really liked my Dreamcast but as soon as they announced that Sega was going to stop supporting it I traded it in.

These consoles were both technically better than the competition at launch but Sega was losing money on them. They just couldn't sell enough games to make up the difference on the console sales.

While I have no statistics in front of me to back this up, I do believe that there was some resentment towards Sega after the Saturn failed which probably did keep some people from investing in the Dreamcast.
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Old 06-19-2019, 05:34 PM   #9
Cherokee Jack Cherokee Jack is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prkchopexpress View Post
the dreamcast failed because it didn't have a dvd drive. when the ps2 had just come out, it was the cheapest did player in japan and the matrix had just come out on dvd.

all this stuff about power and marketing is garbage. the dreamcast was a fun system with a lot of great games and they all looked fantastic. arcade ports on the dreamcast looked better than ps2 counterparts.

all this talk about "people felt burned by sega" is revisionist nonsense.

there was a passionate fan base for the dreamcast
, as games sold quickly. the fan able just wasn't large enough. when people had the decision "can I buy a dvd player and a console or can I buy a dvd player in a console?"

the sports 2k games that are still being made today came out on the dreamcast.
Yes, and it's very hard to keep a console viable with the support of hardcore fanboys alone (no offense intended as I was a Dreamcast fanboy myself). Sega's reputation among more casual gamers was atrocious before the release of the Dreamcast and American Sega execs acknowledged before launch that much of their job was convincing people to give Sega another try. They would not have been so aggressive with their pricing and online strategy if they didn't feel they were playing catchup from day one.

The PS2's DVD capability helped it become ubiquitous but it didn't kill the Dreamcast alone. Early demos of that system's capabilities were pretty misleading and gave the impression that it would be capable of Toy Story quality graphics. Many expected the system's power to blow the Dreamcast away (we now know that wasn't true) and were hesitant to spend on a system they anticipated becoming quickly obsolete. Sony also had Square and EA on board and they had some of the most anticipated games before launch. Lack of support from key third party developers hurt the Dreamcast just as it had hurt the N64 before it.
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Old 06-19-2019, 07:27 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Talal86 View Post
maybe my mind blocked it, but I don't remember seeing the Saturn, or its game in stores when I was young. I thought they went from the Genesis to the Dreamcast
Where did you usually shop back then?

SoA did a surprise launch during E3 in 1995, much to the shock of devs, stores, and gamers. Only a few store chains were in on it, and many that were excluded stopped carrying Sega products out of spite.
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Old 06-19-2019, 08:38 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PenguinInfinity View Post
Saturn had a worse controller, worse marketing, and was much harder to program for than the PlayStation.


The Saturn controller is the BEST (non-analog) controller ever made!

Of course I mean the Japanese version, the American re-design was only ok...
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Old 06-19-2019, 09:55 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prkchopexpress View Post

all this talk about "people felt burned by sega" is revisionist nonsense.

I bought the 32X add on when it was released because I bought into the hype of it being billed as an arcade quality system. Within one year it was clearanced, no new games were being made for it, yet in all the gaming magazines like Gamepro and Electronic Gaming Monthly, all I read was Saturn Saturn Saturn. I know it was just $150 but that's a lot of money to a 13-14 year old back then. No way would I buy another Sega system. When the next generation of systems came, my friends and I all went with PlayStation and Nintendo 64.
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Old 06-19-2019, 10:26 PM   #13
WKoA13 WKoA13 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cherokee Jack View Post
Yes, and it's very hard to keep a console viable with the support of hardcore fanboys alone (no offense intended as I was a Dreamcast fanboy myself). Sega's reputation among more casual gamers was atrocious before the release of the Dreamcast and American Sega execs acknowledged before launch that much of their job was convincing people to give Sega another try. They would not have been so aggressive with their pricing and online strategy if they didn't feel they were playing catchup from day one.

The PS2's DVD capability helped it become ubiquitous but it didn't kill the Dreamcast alone. Early demos of that system's capabilities were pretty misleading and gave the impression that it would be capable of Toy Story quality graphics. Many expected the system's power to blow the Dreamcast away (we now know that wasn't true) and were hesitant to spend on a system they anticipated becoming quickly obsolete. Sony also had Square and EA on board and they had some of the most anticipated games before launch. Lack of support from key third party developers hurt the Dreamcast just as it had hurt the N64 before it.

Yep. Lack of 3rd party support (both from Sony locking up exclusivity in some areas, and some devs feeling burned by how easy it was to pirate DC games), and yes...marketing did play a part as well. Like you said, fanboys alone can't keep a system afloat for the entire generation. By the time PS2 was about to hit, SoA definitely didn't have the funds (or was just choosing not to spend them) to market the DC to the same degree as it did before/during the initial launch. Not saying that better marketing would have toppled Sony, or even totally saved the Dreamcast....but, maybe it would have lasted a bit longer? Maybe even long enough to release the planned DVD add-on (can't recall if that even made it to market in Japan or not).

While games/gaming has come a long way, my Dreamcast was/is my favorite console. I still plug it in from time to time. My launch console still works, last I checked.

I just wish I had another way to play the games (not sure what the best emulation option would be, if any. Have heard retro-pi isn't quite capable of running them). Also, wish I hadn't lived with a smoker for 3 years once upon a time. My little console sadly has quite a bit of yellowing, and i have no idea how to remedy that that doesn't involve taking it apart.

Still....so many great memories with it. Maybe the Genesis mini will sell well enough that we'll get a Dreamcast mini some day. Maybe. (I'd love a Saturn mini with Panzer Dragoon Saga, but, know that's even less likely).
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Old 06-19-2019, 10:35 PM   #14
WKoA13 WKoA13 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by october27 View Post
I bought the 32X add on when it was released because I bought into the hype of it being billed as an arcade quality system. Within one year it was clearanced, no new games were being made for it, yet in all the gaming magazines like Gamepro and Electronic Gaming Monthly, all I read was Saturn Saturn Saturn. I know it was just $150 but that's a lot of money to a 13-14 year old back then. No way would I buy another Sega system. When the next generation of systems came, my friends and I all went with PlayStation and Nintendo 64.
Yup. Nothing revisionist about it. Consumers were pissed. Retailers were pissed. Devs were pissed. While the Dreamcast might not have committed the same sins as the "32-X + Sega CD-immediately-into-Saturn" transition, there were plenty of people in all areas of the market who hadn't forgotten being burned by the brand. That alone didn't kill the Dreamcast, no. But, it was a major injury to Sega as a hardware company in general. And still a factor in ending that side of their business.
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Old 06-19-2019, 11:57 PM   #15
PenguinInfinity PenguinInfinity is online now
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Quote:
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The Dreamcast controller was as good as the Xbox's and Gamecube's IMO
The Dreamcast's controller was lacking 5 buttons and an analog stick compared to the Xbox's controller (or PS1's dual analog controller which came out 2 years before the Dreamcast). It was good for racing games, fighting games, and 2D games but most other genres were much better with a dual analog controller.
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Old 06-20-2019, 03:15 AM   #16
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I loved the Dreamcast. Great system. Bought it on launch day in the US. If it would have had a DVD drive it might have succeeded. Soul Calibur, Sonic Adventure, Shenmue and Dead or Alive 2 were some of my favorites.

Sega in the US was a mess though. After the Genesis...we had Sega CD, Sega 32X and a surprise release of the Saturn. Most consumers,retailers and developers were weary of Sega by the time the Dreamcast was released.

Last edited by bandit29; 06-20-2019 at 03:29 AM.
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Old 06-20-2019, 03:25 AM   #17
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I actually preferred the Dreamcast over the Playstation. I still even have my Dreamcast. I don't know if it still works though...
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Old 06-20-2019, 01:27 PM   #18
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How do any of you that had a dreamcast fail to mention Virtual Fighter
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Old 06-20-2019, 02:28 PM   #19
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Whether the Dreamcast could have survived the PS2 in the long run is a debate we'll never know the answer to. That being said they pulled the plug on the Dreamcast early because they cut the price to much, too quickly and were taking too big of a loss on the hardware. It was a catch-22. The more consoles they sold the more money they lost. They were banking on making it up on game sales but it didn't matter as they were also cutting prices on those as well just to compete. The damage was already done.

Sent mine in to get the DCHDMI mod done to it. Can't wait to get it back. Been wanting to get the SD drive for it as well but getting in on a pre-order for one has been impossible so far.

Last edited by dyne; 06-20-2019 at 02:56 PM.
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Old 06-20-2019, 03:12 PM   #20
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Imo the beginning of the end for Sega as a console maker was when Nintendo pissed off Sony and awoke a sleeping giant!
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