The Sega Saturn was Sega’s sixth attempt in the home console market, and was part of the fifth generation of gaming consoles. It succeeded the super popular Sega Genesis in the United States, and was the company’s first home console to feature 3D graphics. However, the console’s launch played a major role in it being considered a massive failure in America. Here are five facts about the Sega Saturn.
5 Sega Saturn Facts
- The Sega Saturn was released four months early. (source) In a move that was truly a Sega move in the 90s, the company decided to release their much-anticipated new console much earlier than expected. This caused a massive issue with gaming shops around the country, as they were not prepared for the unexpected launch, and advertising lacked because of this. Today, people believe that the unexpected release is a big factor in why the console was considered a failure in the United States.
- The Sega Saturn sold 9.26 million units worldwide, making it the 10th worst-selling home gaming console ever. (source) Overall, the Sega Saturn was considered to be a commercial failure. It was Sega’s third worst-selling home console ever, just slightly ahead of the Sega Dreamcast (9.13 million units), and far ahead of the Sega Pico (less than 3.4 million units).
- It was the first Sega console to feature 3D graphics. (source) Sega’s prior console, the Genesis, was only a 16-bit console. The Sega Saturn was the company’s move into the 32-bit realm, allowing their games to support 3D graphics. To do this, Sega worked closely with Hitachi to develop the console around their new CPU.
- Madden NFL 97 was the best-selling game for the Sega Saturn. (source) It may be surprising to some to see that a Sonic the Hedgehog title didn’t top the list, considering that Sonic was one of the most iconic figures in gaming throughout the 1990s. In fact, only one Sonic title for the Saturn made the top 10 list, with that being Sonic 3D Blast as the 8th best-selling Saturn game. The five best-selling games for the console included Madden NFL 97, Nights Into Dreams, Virtua Fighter 2, Daytona USA and Virtua Cop.
- The console got its name from being Sega’s sixth console, with Saturn being the sixth planet in the solar system. (source) The Saturn was released in 1995, twelve years after Sega’s first console release with the SG-1000, which released exclusively in Japan on July 15, 1983. Sega’s best-selling home console, however, was the Mega Drive, which sold 29.5 million units.
While the Sega Saturn was considered to be a massive failure overall from a business standpoint, the console and its library still have a big following in the retro community today. Not only that, but Saturn games fetch some of the highest prices amongst retro game collectors!
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