Should Sega Make a New Video Game Console?
Should Sega Make a New Video Game Console?
The answer to that one would be a simple… MAYBE. Not a great answer is it? It’s not very simple either, is it? Why just “maybe”? We’ll get into that one in a little bit. For now, let’s take a look into Sega‘s RELEVANT history in video gaming.
Sega‘s entry in the home gaming market was in 1983 with the SG-1000, a system that was released in Japan on the same date as the NES. Virtually invisible in America, mainly due to the fact that the SG-1000 wasn’t marketed in America at all AND the Atari 2600 was still popular and going strong, the SG-1000 had a somewhat short lifespan due to the release of the Sega Master System, which was highly superior to the SG-1000 (AND it played SG-1000 games).
In 1986, Sega would use their arcade game success to make their 2nd home-gaming console a better experience than the first. The 8-bit Sega Master System (originally known as the Sega Mark III). In many ways similar to the NES, but technically superior and truly unique! The NES also seemed to do a much better job at appealing to the Americans’ interests, an area Sega would struggle with up until they would close up shop in their console department. The Sega Master System was a huge success in Brazil and Europe, but was unpopular in Japan and went widely unrecognized in the United States as the original Nintendo Entertainment System had a FIRM grasp on the American market with the success of the lovable and easily identifiable character Mario.
In 1989, Sega released the stupid-popular 16-bit Sega Genesis (known as the Mega Drive in Japan and Europe) to the American market. While the system instantly made waves in the market and was well-received by the American market, it wasn’t until 1991 with the release of Sonic the Hedgehog that the Sega Genesis would become a true competitor and threat to Nintendo. The Sega Genesis went head-to-head with the Super Nintendo Entertainment System and outright blasted them publicly with their slogan “Genesis does what Nintendon’t!” Ultimately, the Sega Genesis would win the 16-bit console war, but it’s still debatable as to which system of the 2 has the superior gaming library.
In 1992, Sega released the Sega CD add-on for the Sega Genesis. The Sega CD allowed Sega to create a higher quality gaming experience with a wider color palate, increased storage space, and CD quality audio. What we got instead was an awkward CD add-on (well, the model 1 was pretty badass looking, but the model 2 is still kinda weird) and a library full of some of the worst games ever made and too much time devoted to FMV (full motion video) games and Genesis cartridge ports.
In 1994, with the Sega Genesis and Sega CD in the waning years of its life, Sega released the Sega 32x add-on to increase the life of the Genesis. The 32x boasted 32-bit graphics and an improved color palate, but the 32x is possibly the worst video game mistake ever made (it might not be as bad as the Virtual Boy, but it’s damn close). The 32x had its own special game library, including Knuckles’ Chaotix and Kolibri, which are widely regarded as some of the best 32x exclusive titles.
In 1991, Sega released the Game Gear. A large portable gaming device that would directly battle against the Nintendo Game Boy and the Atari Lynx. The Game Gear was far superior to the Game Boy with its colored back-lit screen and again, being “cooler” than Nintendo. But it failed to win the battle over the Game Boy due to its extremely poor battery life, unoriginal titles ported from the Genesis, and a lack of support from Sega, who was focusing all of its energy on the Genesis.
Another portable Sega game system is the Sega Nomad, which plays Sega Genesis games on the go. I’m hoping to get up a full review on that sooner than later.
In 1995, Sega would release the Sega Saturn, a 32-bit CD based video gaming console that was rushed to the market to compete directly with the Sony Playstation and Nintendo 64. The Saturn was a commercial failure, and Sega’s decision to NOT release an original Sonic title with the Saturn is widely thought to be one of the many reasons the Sega Saturn failed miserably!
In 1999, Sega would release THE most tech-strong home console gaming system to date. After a series of failures in the mid-90s, the Sega Dreamcast hit the North American market in 9/9/99, and was a huge success right off the bat. Dreamcast units were sold out for weeks in most retail stores, further stirring up the system’s popularity. Sonic Adventure was a launch title, a lesson learned by the lack of a Sonic release on their previous system. The Dreamcast was the first system to feature a built-in modem and to actually receive full support for online games. While way ahead of its time, the Dreamcast ultimately failed to keep Sega afloat, and Sega would close up shop [permanently] as far as making consoles go.
Now that you have a brief, albeit somewhat incomplete, history on Sega‘s history in gaming hardware, we can discuss why Sega doesn’t need to make a new system!
I often find these fan-made articles out there on the internet where people try to stir up false rumors and get people excited about crazy things, especially about a new Sega console. If you put “Sega N” in your Google browser, no, you’re not about to finish typing “Sega Nomad” because they suggest “Sega New Console” for you. There have been rumors of the Sega Dreamcast 2 for nearly 5 years, which is just stupid considering the Dreamcast can be considered only a minor success. Sega might as well make “Sega Saturn X!” with the slogan “Because America is all about second chances!” *Below are pictures of some fan-made Dreamcast 2 prototypes.
Apparently Sega has announced that they do plan to release a new Sega system sometime in late 2013 or early 2014. It’s hard to believe, and I’m still not convinced. Allegedly, Sega has been working on this in complete secrecy as to not give any edge to Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo. To say that I’m not curious as hell would be a lie! I’m such a Sega fan (I even love the Saturn, but only because it’s a Sega machine! It’s just… COOL!) that I would buy this system on its launch date. Do I believe this is real? Not really… I just can’t believe it. Not until I hear it directly from Sega. Some reputable companies are reporting this news, but only in the forums. The system prototype is beautiful and sleek and would look very welcome in anyone’s living room (see picture below)… If only I could believe it’s real.
Right now, Sega is sitting high rolling in the Benjamins making third-party games for AT LEAST 3 gaming consoles, The Wii U, Xbox One, and Playstation 4. They can release a multi-platform game and could potentially sell that one game to over 20 million people! If Sega had their own system releasing in late 2013 with the Xbox One and PS4, then they’d be competing with other hardware systems and would develop games to be released on their system only.
If the system fails, the game will fail. And not just that one game, all of the other Sega-developed games will fail as well, further putting them in the hole and further tarnishing their reputation. Assuming Sega does release something this fall, or next spring, they would really need to create something unique and different!
I’ve heard rumors that gamers will download an app to their phone and/or tablet, then use the phone/tablet as a controller! This would rock, because then you can play on anyone’s system with possibly personalized controls, or save features, etc and load your personalized settings from your phone/tablet to the game! Hopefully this is the case. Damnit Sega for not making this real.
Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo are too formidable to just lay down or be pushed over. With the rise in popularity of phone and tablet games, and the OUYA, plus the Neo Geo X system, there seems to be a slow progression for simple gaming, less expensive gaming that still offers great content, and some nostalgic gaming. With that being said, there might be a market for a tech-strong Sega system that offers simple, uncomplicated gaming. This would allow it to be more affordable and could make it IMMEDIATELY competitive against the 3 console giants. So, what do you think?
Does it make sense for Sega to make a system once everyone forgets the mistakes Sega made? Or would it be wiser for Sega to make a gaming system right now while the success of the Genesis and Dreamcast is still fresh in everyone’s mind? After-all, we talk about Sega-this and Sega-that, and many people say “Sega is my favorite gaming console company of the ’90s.” But Sega was really only relevant for a very short period of time. With such a short run of success, it’s odd that us olde retro gamers still think SO fondly of the Genesis. They obviously did something right.
After-all, you can have THE BEST wide receivers in the world on your football team, but if you don’t have a quarterback that can throw, your receivers are worthless. Failure is not imminent, but if history has proven anything, Sega can have the best intentions but still fail miserably. I often feel that Sega doesn’t have a great concept on the American demographic. Hopefully this time around, the Dreamcast 2 is here to stay and Sega can stay in the market for some time to come.
When I started this article days ago, I was convinced that Sega should NEVER try to make another system again. The more I’ve spoken with other video gaming experts on the subject matter, the more I feel that Sega might be able to give it one more go-round, but they just can’t fail this time. It HAS to succeed. I want it to. I know the Dreamcast 2 rumors are false, but even the false rumors stirred enough fanboy excitement in me that I actually want to see Sega do it.
Why? Because Nerd Bacon says so. Reporting exclusively for Nerd Bacon, I’m NerdBerry.
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