10 Facts About The Sega Saturn

Written by:
Becca Marsh
Est. reading time:
4 mins read

Sega is one of the biggest names in gaming, and they have been making consoles for decades.

The Sega Saturn was Sega’s sixth console, and it is known as the failure of Sega.

But how can a pioneering piece of technology be viewed this way?

Here are ten facts about the Sega Saturn.

The Sega Saturn was released in 1994.

Someone holding a Sega Saturn controller

The Sega Saturn was released in Japan on November 22, 1994.

The first shipment of 200,000 consoles sold out on the first day of sales.

Following its success, it was released in North America on May 11, 1995, and in Europe on July 8, 1995.

The Sega Saturn was released four months early.

The original Japanese Sega Saturn in a golden box

Sega decided to release the Sega Saturn 4 months earlier than anticipated.

It is expected that this is one of the main reasons for its unpopularity in the USA.

Gaming shops were not prepared for the earlier launch and therefore not only lacked in the advertisement, but some shops refused to sell it at an earlier date.

The Sega Saturn was most popular in Japan and France because of the popularity of the fictional character Segata Sanshiro who was used in the ad campaigns.

Sega Saturn was the first Sega console to display 3D graphics.

The Pandemonium game in 3D on Sega Saturn

The Sega Saturn was a 32-bit console that was Sega’s first attempt at creating a machine supporting 3D graphics.

Sega worked with Hitachi to design a console around their new CPU.

This could have been groundbreaking for Sega, but due to being rushed to try and beat sales of the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, certain elements were pushed aside.

Some games for the Sega Saturn were distorted.

A game on the Sega Saturn that is distorted

Multi-platform games such as Tomb Raider were a bit of a fail on the Sega Saturn.

This is because the graphics were very different from any other console.

The Sega Saturn couldn’t render triangular polygons, so often, the games would appear to have distorted textures.

This was because the Saturn games were made using four-sided polygons and never triangles, unlike other consoles.

Over nine million units were sold worldwide.

Lots of different colored Sega Saturn controllers

This may seem like a lot of consoles sold; however, when compared with some of its competitors, it is considered a failure.

There were almost 10 times more of Sony’s PlayStation One consoles sold than the Sega Saturn.

The PS1 was released in the same year as the Sega Saturn but managed to sell around 100 million consoles compared with the Sega Saturn’s nine million.

The Sega Saturn supported three Sonic the Hedgehog games.

Sonic The Hedgehog on Sega

Sega consoles had become popular due to the much-loved character Sonic the Hedgehog.

There were three Sonic the Hedgehog games; Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Sonic the Hedgehog 3, and Sonic & Knuckles.

Sonic X-treme was going to be the first 3D Sonic the Hedgehog game produced to use on the Sega Saturn.

However, due to company politics, production of the game was ceased, and there was no original Sonic platform game for the Sega Saturn.

The Sega Saturn changed color.

Sega Saturn black console

The original Sega Saturn sported a grey/blue color scheme when it was first released in Japan.

The second model released in Japan was white with different colored buttons.

The third and final model sold in Japan was known as the “skeleton model,” which was transparent.

A black version of the console was designed specifically for the North American market.

Dreamcast was Sega Saturn’s successor.

A white Dreamcast console

In 1998 Sega released the Dreamcast, which was their latest console since the Sega Saturn.

This caused the Sega Saturn production to cease in 1998 in North America, and in Japan, production ended in 2000.

There were 1047 Sega Saturn games produced in the US.

Many games in their cases

When the Sega Saturn was released, there weren’t a huge amount of games available.

This was due to it being released earlier than planned, which meant that the game developers weren’t prepared.

However, over time more were produced, and there was a total of 1047 games available in the US.

Deep Fear was the last game ever released for the Sega Saturn.

Sega named the console after the sixth planet.

Sega Saturn logo with the letter "S" twisted around a blue sphere

The Sega Saturn was Sega’s sixth gaming console, so they named it after the sixth planet from the sun.

This followed their theme of using planets for naming products.

 

There are many reasons why the Sega Saturn wasn’t popular, and it mostly comes down to the time and effort put in.

Due to the earlier release date, retailers weren’t able to advertise and prepare for the launch.

The continuous rushing to beat other consoles on the market meant that quality was lacking.

Did you know that the Sega Saturn was the first Sega console to display 3D graphics?

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