The Sega Saturn a console made by Sega. It was the successor to the Sega Genesis and released in 1995. It competed against the Sony PlayStation and the Nintendo 64. It was succeeded by the Sega Dreamcast.
Why it Flopped
- It lacked a true original Sonic the Hedgehog platforming game. There was going to be a game called Sonic X-Treme but it was canceled and instead all it got was Sonic Jam, which was just a compilation game of the Genesis trilogy, and a port of Sonic 3D Blast, and Sonic R.
- The launch in the USA was a disaster.
- It was more expensive than its competitors at $399.
- The disc cases were very big and difficult to store.
- The original controller is too similar to the Genesis 6 button controller.
- The North American/European model was colorless compared to the Japanese version's model which had more color compared to their counterparts.
- The 1 or 4-Meg cart that was used to insert it on top of the Saturn to expand the game's data wasn't sold in North America and Europe.
- Its complex design made it difficult for western third-party developers to make games for the system, so third-party games were limited to the system. Even Sega themselves had a hard time developing the system. The PlayStation, on the other hand, was very easy to develop so third-party developers often preferred making games for PlayStation over Saturn.
- Rather than sticking with Segata Sanshiro commercials, which proved to be successful in Japan, the USA advertisements for the Saturn were rather surreal and confusing. Several of the commercials directly attacked the Sony PlayStation, which outsold Saturn by more than 90 Million units.
- The main reason the Saturn was able to have so many games was that most of them were ports to Sega arcade games, and by that time Arcade ports for consoles were declining in favor of home console games.
- It was designed mostly for 2D sprite-based games, but at the time it was released 3D polygon based games for Sony PlayStation and Nintendo 64 were becoming more popular and prominent. The Saturn's 3D capabilities were also very lackluster compared to its competitors, likely because the system was originally just a heavily upgraded Sega 32X for most of its development, with a polygon processor hastily added in late on.
- Bernie Stolar kept blacklisting all the good 2D Japan only games. Which is ironic considering the Saturn was designed around 2D.
- Stolar ultimately said, "Saturn isn't our future" and discontinued the system too soon at 1997. Because of that, hardly anyone bothered to buy a Saturn or develop games for it.
Despite being a commercial failure, the Sega Saturn has enough redeeming qualities to have an article on Awesome Games Wiki. For the redeeming qualities, click here.
Although well-received in Japan, worldwide, only 9.5 million were sold, with it failing miserably in the U.S. This failure would be a contributing factor to Sega abandoning its last console, the Sega Dreamcast because of the financial loss and damaged reputation Sega suffered from the Saturn.
Despite failing, the Saturn is considered a good console and have a decent game library of 596 games. Most of the reasons the Saturn failed were due to Sega's mismanagement and poor business choices, not the console itself. Today the Saturn is considered a cult classic and is a valuable collector's item.