Sega to Re enter the Console Market in 2015!
Sega is Back!
The time has come folks! At 3:30pm on March 31st, Sega held a press conference to announce that they will be re-entering the video game console market for another go-around! In the wake of Sony’s mindblowing announcement of Project Morpheus, a virtual reality (VR) gaming machine that goes on your head, Sega announced their plans to take it one step further with The Blueprint Neo slated for a 2015 2nd quarter release. While not quite what Sega fanboys had in mind as most were clammoring for the Dreamcast 2, Sega Corporation is taking video gaming far beyond the simplicities of a controller plugged into a machine. How is that possible? Well, The Blueprint Neo will be plugged into something different than a machine…
The Blueprint Neo is Sega’s attempt at cashing in on the new wave of upcoming virtual reality that will without a doubt be sweeping the nation once again. Currently in the fold is Sony’s Project Morpheus and the Oculus Rift. But this isn’t Sega’s first venture into the ever-elusive world of virtual reality. Sega actually created a VR headset that was slated for release in 1994. When you consider the numerous missteps Sega made in the 90s, it’s very odd that they chose to scrap this idea. Nintendo, on the other hand, pulled the trigger and missed the mark tremendously with their migraine-inducing “portable” Virtual Boy (and that awful controller!). That was 1995 and the future seemed within grasp, but the future is now and Sega knows it. Enter Blueprint Neo.
So you’ve probably been asking yourself, “What makes this Neo ‘machine’ so amazing that Sega felt compelled to re-enter the console gaming market?” I’m glad you asked because this is where it gets exciting, unbelievable, and downright scary. Since 2011, Sega has been developing a way to make VR more than just a headset. Technology, innovation, and science merged in the hands of developers Yu Suzuki and Toshihiro Nagoshi as they created the world’s first video game system of its kind. Sega CEO Hajime Satomi had this to say about their upcoming system, “Sega Neo is designed to be more than a way to play video games. The Neo can be integrated with your home appliances, electronics, cell phone, desktop computer, and more. You will never have to hold a controller ever again.” What did Nerd Bacon have to say about this news? Wow. Simply… Wow.
How Does It Work?
Blueprint Neo requires that the user get three Blueprint Neo Chips, also known as Oracle Chips, implanted into the Occipital lobe, Temporal lobe, and the hippocampus locations in the brain. While this procedure might sound risky, each chip is only the size of a BB that you’d put in a BB gun, thus making for a seemingly non-invasive 30 minute procedure. Each chip interacts with its respective brain locations and communicates with the Neo‘s computer device, also known as the Trinity Machine, in your house. The Neo is made up of three things: The Oracle Chips, the Trinity Machine, and your brain. The Trinity Machine is more of a central location for downloading games, updates, and more. It operates on Wifi or by way of Ethernet cable. While the Trinity does communicate with the Oracle Chips on a continuous basis, YOU are the controller of everything as you are essentially the gaming machine. Sounds wild right? Well, you call it like you see it. It IS wild!
The technical and scientific ways of which the Oracle Chips interact directly with the brain to create a gaming machine will not be revealed by Sega. But Sega has disclosed some general information on how the Neo will function as a whole, and they have told us that the brain controls all of its functions. By closing one’s eyes, users can bring up a user-interface similar to something you might see on PlayStation Network or Xbox Live. This central hub allows users to access all of their integrated systems such as their cell phone, television, tablet, and any other Smart-Device. The Oracle Chips read the brain to perform the user’s desired commands, and then it acts upon those commands.
Satomi says, “The Neo is like a dream come true. And we mean that literally. Just close your eyes and you will be playing a video game, streaming Netflix, talking on your cell phone, and more. All of that is accessible in a matter of seconds. And you don’t even need to pick up a controller. The Oracle Chips tap directly into the visual and emotional locations in the brain to bring you more than just a high definition gaming experience. You will feel the excitement because your brain thinks you are actually there. You will never need to wear headphones again because the sound is entirely inside your head. How is the Neo like a dream come true? Because it is like interacting with your dreams.” We get what you’re saying Satomi, but we’re very skeptical about the actual functionality of the Neo.
Sega hired numerous test groups to give this new VR “machine” a go and see if it’s worth their time and money. The results were mixed with some groups giving the Neo a very poor rating. One tester simply said, “We cannot endorse Blueprint Neo due to the numerous bugs and glitches that make everyday life a living hell.” What this anonymous tester is referring to is how the Neo glitched on his entire test group and would actually turn itself on while the users were performing daily functions such as driving, cooking, and working. One glitch proved to be a fatal one as it caused the user to start playing a prototype for Need For Speed VR while driving home from the grocery store. Minutes before dying in the hospital the user proclaimed, “I would have won the race if the cops didn’t get me.” It would appear that the glitch caused some confusion between reality and the game. At least we know the graphics and gameplay are as realistic as they come.
Despite this major system flaw and some other bugs (A man propositioned his mother thinking she was a hooker while playing the Grand Theft Auto 6 beta game), Sega Corporation pushed forward with production anyway. Now THIS reminds us of the Sega of old. Anyone remember the 32x? Exactly. The other test groups had better results but since those results were positive and praised, Sega’s legal team claims them to be “…internal secrets of Sega’s future success and cannot be discussed at this time.”
The Bottom Line
The bottom line is that Sega has dropped a fortune on this fascinating, yet scary, endeavor. Will their efforts lead to the ultimate turn-around story? Or will it lead to a full slate of lawsuits, terminated chairmen, and ultimate bankruptcy? Nerd Bacon can’t predict the outcome, but we can tell you that we’re worried about America. Can you imagine the Oracle Chips going haywire while someone is playing The Walking Dead Episode 4? They might actually stab you in the face with a stick! Furthermore, forget about 1984. This is worse than Big Brother as the potential for hacking into somebody’s brain makes the movie Inception feel like it should be played on the History channel in only a few years!
Regardless of what we think, Sega is back in the console mix and they are sure to give gamers and entertainment enthusiasts a brand spanking new experience unlike anything on the market. While concerned, the Nerd Bacon team is still excited and can’t wait to see what Sega does next! Oh, and if you reserve the Neo at GameStop before July 2014, they’ll give you $100 off your Oracle Chip procedure at the doctor of your choice! Now THAT is a deal, my fellow Baconeers.
UPDATE: Nintendo has adamantly proclaimed that they have no intentions of entering the VR market ever again. Sony recently revealed that, in an attempt to stay competitive with Sega, will not fully abandon the Project Morpheus. Instead they will make the Morpheus a permanent fixture on the user’s head, but will install a front-facing camera on top of the unit so that gamers won’t have to remove the unit. Oddly, Microsoft remains eerily quiet… A little too quiet. What are you up to Phil Spencer?
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