Riding high on the success of their hot-selling Sega Genesis video game console, the company unveiled the Sega 32X at the 1994 Consumer Electronics Show. The Sega 32X was an add-on for the Genesis, meant to enhance the games within the Genesis’ library, as well as introduce exclusive titles for the Sega 32X. The 32X was yet another add-on for the Sega Genesis, along with the Sega CD.
However, the Sega 32X is considered one of the biggest commercial failures ever in gaming.
Here are five interesting facts about the Sega 32X.
- Only 40 games were released for the Sega 32X. (source) The 32X was Sega’s way to expand the power of the highly-successful Sega Genesis, but was also used as a way to hold over fans until the release of the company’s next big home console release with the Sega Saturn. However, the 32X quickly proved to be a commercial failure, and only 40 titles were released, six of which required consumers to not only own the 32X add-on, but the Sega CD add-on as well.
- Today, the most valuable Sega 32X is Spiderman Web of Fire. (source) Retro video games are highly collectible, and this isn’t any different with the Sega 32X’s small library. As of May 2022, a loose copy of Spiderman Web of Fire sells for an average of $660.00, making it not only the most valuable Sega 32X game, but also the only game within its library to be worth more than $225.00 for a copy. Complete copies of the game sell for $1,244.69 and sealed copies have gone for $2,489.00.
- There were more than 1 million pre-orders for the Sega 32X, but Sega couldn’t meet the demand. (source) In North America, the Sega 32X hit store shelves on November 21, 1994, just in time for the holiday season. At launch, the cost of the 32X was $159.99, and there were actually more than one million orders placed for Sega 32X units, but Sega couldn’t keep up with demand. By January of 1995, the company had only been able to ship about 600,000 units, and by the time the add-on was discontinued, only about 800,000 units in total had been sold.
- The Sega Neptune was originally going to follow the 32X, but was ultimately canceled. (source) The Sega 32X was sold as an add-on for the Sega Genesis, but Sega did have plans to eventually release the Sega Neptune, which was one full console that was a combination of a Sega Genesis and a Sega 32X. However, due to the poor sales of the 32X and the imminent release of the company’s next big console, the Sega Saturn, the Neptune was never released.
- There were nearly 30 canceled Sega 32X games. (source) The 32X proved to be a much bigger commercial failure for Sega than was anticipated. With the Sega 32X being discontinued, several games for the add-on that were in the works were abruptly canceled. Some of these canceled titles included CastleVania, Pinocchio, Primetime NFL Football, SegaSonic the Hedgehog, Wild Guns and X-Men.
When it was all said and done, the Sega 32X failed to sell even one million units, making it one of the biggest commercial failures ever in gaming. Did you happen to own one?