Sega - 15 years later

Reserved for classic gaming discussions.
User avatar
scotland
Posts: 1864
Joined: April 7th, 2015, 7:33 pm

Sega - 15 years later

Postby scotland » April 2nd, 2016, 1:43 pm

Its been 15 years since Sega discontinued the Dreamcast (March 31st, 2001).

Video gaming really has become the big leagues in that time, with deep pocketed like MS and Sony becoming dominant. Nintendo has (wisely) tried not to compete head to head, but has survived with its handhelds, the Wii motion control phenomenon, and keeping a dedicated fanbase that buy Nintendo products like Amiibos.

Recall the horrible launch of the Xbox360, shipping with a double digit fail rate (RROD)? That kind of issue might have sunk a Sega console, but the Xbox360 recovered so well I have gotten flamed for tarring MS with the memory of those high fail launch motherboard designs.

However, Nintendo has survived, even prospered. Could Sega have competed in the 'undercard' with Nintendo? Or would continued Dreamcast sales have hurt Nintendo's Gamecube sales so much it damaged both companies? Could Sega surviving risked losing both Sega and Nintendo ( 'there can be only one' )

For 2 years, there was significant console support for the 7th generation while promoting the growing 8th. Could this 'console overlap' have helped save Sega in the 90s? For instance, they could have made more money on the Genesis had they kept supporting it longer, while still moving on with the Saturn?

Or if Microsoft had just bought Sega to be its home console division, maybe or maybe not keeping the brand?

Would anything really have made a difference that could have seen Sega not just survive past 2001, but all the way to 2016?

Sut
Posts: 570
Joined: April 8th, 2015, 4:23 pm

Re: Sega - 15 years later

Postby Sut » April 2nd, 2016, 3:08 pm

It still hurts not to see Sega at the top table.
Once MS and Sony entered the arena I guess it was kinda inevitable one of the previous big fish will fall and it happened to be Sega. But I guess that's no different to when Nintendo and Sega arrived and moved Atari and Commodore out of the equation (the Japanese are coming!).

You can definitely trace Sega's downfall to the transition from Genesis to Saturn. I fully believe they should have been braver with the Saturn and continued to support the Genesis. Rather than running scared of PlayStation and rushing the Saturn to market. They should have gone head to head with a more polished Daytona and Virtua Fighter Remix along with a game which demonstrated the Saturns 2D abilities would have been a far better strategy and kept third party developers and retailers onside.

DevMac10
Posts: 20
Joined: November 25th, 2015, 6:47 pm

Re: Sega - 15 years later

Postby DevMac10 » April 2nd, 2016, 5:04 pm

Maybe if Sega made the Dreamcast able to play DVD's and used DVD technology for their games. But the real question is, what would we have seen from them going up against the likes of the Wii or PS3 and Xbox 360? What would they have done to set them apart from those companies?

jon
Posts: 315
Joined: April 9th, 2015, 4:30 pm

Re: Sega - 15 years later

Postby jon » April 2nd, 2016, 6:39 pm

Unfortunately the Saturn couldn't do 3d very well, and that ruined it. A perfect example is Virtua Striker, a fully polygonal 1994 soccer game on the Model 2 that they couldn't even do on the Saturn. Instead they had some pathetic 2d top down soccer game.

User avatar
scotland
Posts: 1864
Joined: April 7th, 2015, 7:33 pm

Re: Sega - 15 years later

Postby scotland » April 2nd, 2016, 7:09 pm

DevMac10 wrote:..the real question is, what would we have seen from them going up against the likes of the Wii or PS3 and Xbox 360? What would they have done to set them apart from those companies?


That is the question. Even if Sega had somehow kept their mojo from the early 90s through the decade, that the way gaming has changed, and the quality of Sega's software output in these last 15 years, how much longer could Sega have kept going? Considering the rising cost of AAA video games, the decline of middle tier games, more mulitplatform games across Sony and Microsoft that may not have come to Sega, all seem reasonable evidence that Sega would not have lasted into the 8th generation.

User avatar
VideoGameCritic
Site Admin
Posts: 11011
Joined: April 1st, 2015, 7:23 pm

Re: Sega - 15 years later

Postby VideoGameCritic » April 2nd, 2016, 8:27 pm

A lot of interesting thoughts in this thread.

I never really understood the Sega philosophy "if we can't be number one we're just gonna quit". I find it hard to believe a well-managed Sega couldn't have made money with the Dreamcast, even if it was the #4 console. Staying in the game would have been key, since video games have really blown up over the past 15 years.

Plus, I think that getting out of the hardware business caused Sega to lose their edge in their software development. Instead of the bleeding edge stuff they were pushing out for the Dreamcast, they settled for makeshift ports (Crazy Tax 3) and easy wins (Sonic). What was their last big hit? Super Monkey Ball? Not only have they not been very prolific, but they've let their once-valuable intellectual property rot! It's really sad to see a once-great company run into the ground.

User avatar
Retrology
Posts: 306
Joined: July 17th, 2015, 2:45 am

Re: Sega - 15 years later

Postby Retrology » April 2nd, 2016, 9:50 pm

Nintendo was able to survive because of Mario, Zelda, and Pokemon. As great of a run Sega had in the 90s (and it was really great), Sonic was the only franchise that had truly mass appeal to many people, and they couldn't make a 3D Sonic to save the Saturn's life cycle.

Combine that with the Dreamcast's lack of DVD support (pretty dumb for a gaming system anyway), and people saw it as DOA, which sucks.

I think if they handled their top franchises better, Sega would've certainly been a console maker today. Though I'm not sure how their emphasis on arcade style gaming would compare in today's realistic video game market.

jon
Posts: 315
Joined: April 9th, 2015, 4:30 pm

Re: Sega - 15 years later

Postby jon » April 2nd, 2016, 10:05 pm

I don't know why you're knocking Virtua Striker, "SilveryFire". You seem so high on Worldwide Soccer '97, but that game resembles Virtua Striker and was probably made by the same people. Also, the first soccer game released for the Saturn in North America, International Victory goal, looks shockingly pathetic compared to Virtua Striker which was released a year earlier, with players made of 2d sprites. What kind of message does that send your consumer base that the arcade games are so much better than the console games? When you're playing games on the Model 2, and then have to settle for sprites on the Saturn? Granted, Worldwide Soccer '97 had 3d players, but that game was released in mid October 1996. By that time it was game over, the Saturn was finished. The PS1 by that time had outsold it by what most likely is an astounding number, and the N64 had been out since September. So add up all of those facts, and Worldwide Soccer '97 was hardly a game changing release. What I'm saying with Virtua Striker is that if released at launch (obviously the Saturn couldn't handle it so it's all hypothetical) it could have made a huge splash and established the Saturn as a 3d powerhouse, along with all the other Model 2 games. All those Model 2 games ended up either getting inferior ports, ported too late, or not even showed up on the Saturn, lol.

User avatar
Atariboy
Posts: 498
Joined: April 7th, 2015, 11:07 pm

Re: Sega - 15 years later

Postby Atariboy » April 2nd, 2016, 10:27 pm

Sega simply couldn't afford to continue. I don't think it had much to do with the Xbox or deciding that if they couldn't be competing for the top spot, that they didn't want to compete at all.

Finances were stretched for what was a very expensive product and they decided that its future had to hinge on the Christmas 2000 season due to Sega's bank balance draining much faster than it was being replenished. Sadly, their hopes with the numbers that they needed to pull in order to justify the continuance of the project didn't come anywhere close to fruition and millions of consoles sat unsold that holiday season.

You can primarily thank the PS2 juggernaut that was strangling the system from day 1 even before Sony's next-gen contender first launched in Japan, thanks to so many gamers playing the waiting game for the successor to their favorite system. Sony had established an excellent reputation for themselves unlike Sega's various attempts to implode themselves since 1993 or so, had hardware that was DVD capable at a time that format was exploding in popularity, and had Electronic Arts and its massively popular sports portfolio behind them.

Thus Sega proceeded to officially discontinue the Dreamcast later that winter in March 2001, over half a year before the launch of Microsoft's contender. They just didn't have the capital to continue the fight and had to retrench to what they traditionally were best at anyways, game development, in order to save the company (An asset that sadly seemed to fall by the wayside after the first five years or so of being a 3rd party publisher/developer with gems like Outrun 2).

SilveryFire
Posts: 37
Joined: March 2nd, 2016, 11:57 pm

Re: Sega - 15 years later

Postby SilveryFire » April 3rd, 2016, 1:42 am

jon wrote:I don't know why you're knocking Virtua Striker, "SilveryFire". You seem so high on Worldwide Soccer '97, but that game resembles Virtua Striker and was probably made by the same people. Also, the first soccer game released for the Saturn in North America, International Victory goal, looks shockingly pathetic compared to Virtua Striker which was released a year earlier, with players made of 2d sprites. What kind of message does that send your consumer base that the arcade games are so much better than the console games? When you're playing games on the Model 2, and then have to settle for sprites on the Saturn? Granted, Worldwide Soccer '97 had 3d players, but that game was released in mid October 1996. By that time it was game over, the Saturn was finished. The PS1 by that time had outsold it by what most likely is an astounding number, and the N64 had been out since September. So add up all of those facts, and Worldwide Soccer '97 was hardly a game changing release. What I'm saying with Virtua Striker is that if released at launch (obviously the Saturn couldn't handle it so it's all hypothetical) it could have made a huge splash and established the Saturn as a 3d powerhouse, along with all the other Model 2 games. All those Model 2 games ended up either getting inferior ports, ported too late, or not even showed up on the Saturn, lol.

Not knocking Virtua Striker. Laughing at your choice of game to knock the Saturn, an arcade soccer game of all things. Because the PS1 and N64 had such stellar 3D graphics comparable to Model 2? Let me know which games, huh?

Must've been a radical dreamer expecting Model 2 graghics on a home console in 95. I think you're just playing with me right now.

Sega messed up way before this. The Sega CD was a joke. Why would you add cd quality sound, graphical tricks, and fmv but keep the same weak 64 on screen colors and small palette? It made the games look no different then Genesis games and the fmv funky and unwatchable. Sega seemed to be scared of color with the Genesis. That CD add-on was completely worthless and was the start of a string of retarded decisions by Sega.


Return to “Classic Gaming”