Why it Flopped
- It lacked a true Sonic the Hedgehog platforming game which aided its decline. 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.
- The launch in USA was a disaster.
- In addition to the PlayStation, the Saturn also had competition with the Nintendo 64, which was only $199.
- The disc cases were very big and difficult to store.
- The original controller is too similar to the Genesis 6 button controller.
- Its complex design made it difficult for western third-party developers to make games for the system so third-party games were limited for the system. Even Sega themselves had a hard time developing for the system. The PlayStation on the other hand was very easy to develop for 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 because 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 were becoming more popular and prominent. The Saturn's 3D capabilities were also very lackluster compared to its competitors.
- 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. After that the Sega Saturn was no longer supported.
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.