Top: Western and Eastern Sega Saturn logos
Middle: Model 1 "Oval Button" NA console with model 1 controller
Bottom: Model 2 "Round Button" JP console and controller
|Type||Video game console|
|Generation||Fifth generation era|
|Units sold||9.5 million|
|CPU||2 × Hitachi SH-2 32-bit RISC (28.6 MHz)|
|Storage||Internal RAM, cartridge|
|Graphics||VDP1 32-bit video display processor (VDP1) & VDP2 32-bit background and scroll plane video display processor (VDP2)|
|Online services||Sega NetLink|
The Sega Saturn (セガサターン Sega Satān?) is a 32-bit fifth-generation video game console developed by Sega and released on November 22, 1994 in Japan, May 11, 1995 in North America and July 8, 1995 in Europe as the successor to the successful Sega Genesis. At the center of the Saturn is a dual-CPU architecture and a total of eight processors. Its games are in CD-ROM format, and its game library contains a number of arcade ports as well as original titles.
Development of the Saturn began in the early 1990s. After the system's launch, Sega's upper management structure changed with the departures of chairman David Rosen and Sega of Japan CEO Hayao Nakayama from their roles in the American division, and Sega of America CEO Tom Kalinske from the company altogether. This led to the additions of Shoichiro Irimajiri and Bernie Stolar to Sega of America, who guided the Saturn to its discontinuation in 1998 in North America, three years after its release. The Saturn's complex system architecture resulted in the console receiving limited third-party support, which inhibited commercial success. The failure of Sega's development teams to create a game in the Sonic the Hedgehog series, known in development as Sonic X-treme, has also been attributed as a factor in the console's poor performance.
After the launch of the Nintendo 64 by Nintendo in late 1996, the Saturn began losing market share rapidly in the United States, and company management began to publicly distance itself from the system. By March 1998 the Saturn had sold 9.5 million units worldwide, significantly fewer than the sales of its biggest rival, the PlayStation. The Saturn's installed base reached over 6 million units in Japan, over 2 million units in the United States, and over 970,000 units in Western Europe. It is considered a commercial failure, contributing heavily to the loss of US$309 million for Sega by 1998, and another $450 million during 1998. Reception to the Saturn is mixed based on the console's game library and complex internal hardware. Sega's management has also been criticized for its decision-making during the system's development and cancellation.
Prior to development of the Saturn, the Sega Genesis was Sega's entry into the fourth generation of video game consoles. It was released in Japan as the Mega Drive in 1988, North America in 1989, and Europe as the Mega Drive in 1990. In mid-1990, Sega CEO Hayao Nakayama hired Tom Kalinske as President and CEO of Sega of America. Kalinske developed a four-point plan for sales of the Genesis: lower the price of the console, create a U.S.-based team to develop games targeted at the American market, continue aggressive advertising campaigns, and sell Sonic the Hedgehog with the console. The Japanese board of directors initially disapproved of the plan, but all four points were approved by Nakayama, who told Kalinske, "I hired you to make the decisions for Europe and the Americas, so go ahead and do it." Magazines praised Sonic as one of the greatest games yet made, and Sega's console finally took off as customers who had been waiting for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) decided to purchase a Genesis instead. However, the release of a CD-based add-on for the Genesis, the Sega CD (known as Mega-CD outside of North America), had been commercially disappointing.
Sega also experienced success with arcade games. In 1992 and 1993, the company's new Sega Model 1 arcade system board showcased Sega AM2's Virtua Racing and Virtua Fighter, which played a crucial role in popularizing polygonal graphics. The Model 1 was an expensive system board, and bringing home releases of its games to the Genesis required more than its hardware could handle. Several alternatives helped to bring Sega's newest arcade games to the console, such as the Sega Virtua Processor chip used for Virtua Racing, and eventually the Sega 32X add-on.
According to Sega project manager Hideki Okamura, the Saturn project started over two years before the system was officially unveiled at the Tokyo Game Show in June 1994. The name "Saturn" was initially the system's codename during development in Japan, but was ultimately chosen as the official product name. In 1993, Sega and Japanese electronics company Hitachi formed a joint venture to develop a new CPU for the Saturn, which resulted in the creation of the "SuperH RISC Engine" (or SH-2) later that year. According to Saturn section chief Kazuhiro Hamada, "the SH-2 was chosen for reasons of cost and efficiency. The chip has a calculation system similar to a DSP [digital signal processor], but we realized that a single CPU would not be enough to calculate a 3D world." Although the Saturn's design was largely finished before the end of 1993, reports in early 1994 of the technical capabilities of Sony's upcoming PlayStation console prompted Sega to include an additional video display processor (VDP) to improve the system's 2D performance and texture-mapping.
According to Kalinske, Sega of America "fought against the architecture of Saturn for quite some time". Seeking an alternative graphics chip for the Saturn, Kalinske attempted to broker a deal with Silicon Graphics, whose 3D graphics system was ultimately used in the Nintendo 64. Although Kalinske has stated that Sega of Japan refused the plan, Nintendo's Howard Lincoln claimed, "Mr. Nakayama wanted that technology as badly as [Nintendo President Hiroshi] Yamauchi, but Yamauchi got it." Kalinske, Sony Electronic Publishing's Olaf Olafsson, and Sony America's Micky Schulhof had previously discussed a joint "Sega/Sony hardware system" that never came to fruition. Publicly, however, Kalinske defended the Saturn's design: "Our people feel that they need the multiprocessing to be able to bring to the home what we're doing next year in the arcades."
Sega began to develop an add-on for the Genesis, the Sega 32X, which would serve as a less-expensive entry into the 32-bit era. The decision to create the add-on was made by Nakayama and widely supported by Sega of America employees. According to former Sega of America producer Scot Bayless, Nakayama was worried that the Saturn would not be available until after 1994 and that the recently-released Atari Jaguar would reduce Sega's hardware sales. As a result, Nakayama ordered his engineers to have the system ready for launch by the end of the year. The 32X would not be compatible with the Saturn, but Sega executive Richard Brudvik-Lindner pointed out that the 32X would play Genesis titles, and had the same system architecture as the Saturn. This was justified by Sega's statement that both platforms would run at the same time, and that the 32X would be aimed at players who could not afford the more expensive Saturn. According to Sega of America research and development head Joe Miller, the 32X served a role in assisting development teams to familiarize themselves with the dual SH-2 architecture also used in the Saturn. Because both machines shared many of the same parts and were preparing to launch around the same time, tensions emerged between Sega of America and Sega of Japan when the Saturn was given priority.
Sega released the Saturn in Japan on November 22, 1994, at a price of JP¥44,800. Virtua Fighter, a nearly indistinguishable port of the popular arcade game, sold at a nearly 1:1 ratio with the Saturn hardware at launch and was crucial to the system's early success in Japan. In addition to Virtua Fighter, Sega had wanted the launch to include both Clockwork Knight and Panzer Dragoon, but the latter was not ready in time. Fueled by the popularity of Virtua Fighter, Sega's initial shipment of 200,000 Saturn units sold out on the first day. Sega waited until the December 3 launch of the PlayStation to ship more units; when both were sold side-by-side, the Saturn proved to be the more popular system. Meanwhile, the 32X was released on November 21, 1994 in North America, December 3, 1994 in Japan, and January 1995 in PAL territories, and was sold at less than half of the Saturn's launch price. After the holiday season, however, interest in the 32X rapidly declined.
In early 1995, Sega of America CEO Tom Kalinske announced that the Saturn would be released in the U.S. on "Saturnday" [sic] (Saturday) September 2, 1995. However, responding to Sega of Japan's determination to beat the PlayStation to the market, Kalinske secretly devised an early launch to generate excitement for the console. At the first Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Los Angeles on May 11, 1995, Kalinske gave a keynote presentation for the upcoming Saturn in which he revealed the release price at US$399, and described the features of the console. Kalinske also revealed that Sega had already shipped 30,000 Saturns to Toys "R" Us, Babbage's, Electronics Boutique, and Software Etc. for immediate release. This announcement upset retailers who were not informed of the surprise release; KB Toys responded by dropping Sega from its lineup. Sony subsequently unveiled the retail price for the PlayStation, with speaker Steve Race taking the stage, saying "$299", and walking away to applause. The Saturn's release in Europe also came before the previously announced North American date, on July 8, 1995, at a price of GB₤399.99.
Because of the early launch, the Saturn had only six games (all made by Sega) available to start as most third-party games were slated to be released around the original launch date. Virtua Fighter's relative lack of popularity in the West, combined with a release schedule of only two games between the surprise launch and September 1995, prevented Sega from capitalizing on the Saturn's early timing. Within two days of its September 9, 1995 launch in North America, the PlayStation had sold more units than the Saturn had in the five months following its surprise launch. A high-quality port of the Namco arcade game Ridge Racer contributed to the PlayStation's early success, garnering favorable comparisons in the media to the Saturn version of Sega's Daytona USA. By the end of the year, retailers were reporting that a Saturn price reduction to $299 (which resulted in significant financial losses for Sega) and high-quality Saturn ports of the Sega Model 2 arcade hits Sega Rally Championship, Virtua Cop, and Virtua Fighter 2 had failed to reverse the PlayStation's decisive lead. By 1996, the PlayStation had a considerably larger library than the Saturn, although Sega hoped to generate increased interest in the Saturn with upcoming exclusives such as Nights into Dreams....
Changes at Sega
In 1993, Sega restructured its internal studios in preparation for the Saturn's launch. To ensure high-quality 3D games would be available early in the Saturn's life, and to create a more energetic working environment, developers from Sega's arcade division were instructed to create console games. New teams, such as Panzer Dragoon developer Team Andromeda, were formed during this time.
By the end of 1995, Sega was supporting five different consoles — Saturn, Genesis, Game Gear, Pico, and the Master System — as well as the Sega CD and Sega 32X add-ons. In Japan the Mega Drive had never been successful, and the Saturn was outselling the PlayStation, so Sega Enterprises CEO Hayao Nakayama decided to focus on the Saturn. While this was logical for the Japanese market, it proved to be a disastrous move in North America and Europe: the market for Genesis games was much larger than for the Saturn, but Sega was left without the inventory or software to meet demand. By contrast, Nintendo concentrated on the 16-bit home console market, as well as its successful handheld, the Game Boy, and as a result Nintendo took in 42 percent of the video game market dollar share, despite not launching a 32-bit console to compete directly with Sony's PlayStation and Sega's Saturn. Due to Sega's decision to cut support to its 16-bit business to focus on the Saturn, Nintendo was able to capitalize by its continued focus on the SNES and the Game Boy from 1995 onward. While Sega was still able to capture 43 percent of the dollar share of the U.S. video game market as a whole, Nakayama's decision undercut the Sega of America executives.
On July 15, 1996, it was announced that Sega of America CEO Tom Kalinske had resigned, reportedly due to long-standing disagreements with Sega of Japan. Within the same week, David Rosen and Nakayama resigned from their positions over Sega of America, though they remained with the company. Nakayama assembled a new management team for Sega of America led by Shoichiro Irimajiri as chairman and CEO, and Bernie Stolar as executive vice president in charge of product development and third-party relations. Stolar, however, was not supportive of the Saturn due to his belief that the hardware was poorly designed. Knowing that the Saturn had little support from third-party developers and that the hardware was difficult to work with, Stolar emphasized quality games for the Saturn and prevented localization of some titles from Japan in order to improve the console's image in North America. This was accompanied by a lighter image that Sega was beginning to portray in its advertising, including removing the "Sega" scream and holding press events for the education industry. Marketing in Japan for the console had also changed, with the introduction of Segata Sanshiro as a character in Japanese advertisements for the console in 1997 and 1998. Temporarily abandoning arcade development, Sega AM2 head Yu Suzuki began developing several Saturn-exclusive games, including Virtua Fighter RPG. Suzuki hoped the latter, "a revenge epic in the tradition of Chinese cinema", would be the Saturn's killer app. Development was eventually shifted to the Saturn's successor, the Dreamcast, as the game evolved into Shenmue.
In 1997, Sega entered into a short-lived merger with Japanese toy maker Bandai. Bandai subsequently called the merger off, citing "cultural differences" between the two companies. In the same year, the first GameWorks entertainment complexes opened in a joint collaboration between Sega, DreamWorks, and Universal Studios.
Following the completion of Sonic & Knuckles in 1994, Sega began working on the next game in its Sonic the Hedgehog franchise, which was known in development as Sonic X-treme. Development of the game was started by Sega Technical Institute, a U.S.-based developer that had worked on several previous Sonic games. Development of the game started on the Sega Genesis before being moved to the Sega 32X. Its design changed significantly and evolved beyond what the struggling Sega 32X was capable of, so the game was ultimately shifted to the Saturn. The Saturn version of the project was initially developed separately by two teams in parallel starting in the second half of 1995. One team, led by designer Chris Senn and programmer Ofer Alon, was in charge of developing the main game engine, while the other team, led by programmer Chris Coffin, worked on the "free-roaming, ‘arena-style’" 3D boss engine. Senn and Alon's "fixed-camera side-scroller" with the ability "to move freely in all directions" was similar to Bug! and featured a fish-eye camera system (called the "Reflex Lens") that gave players a wide-angle view of the action. Levels appeared to move around Sonic.
In March 1996, Sega of Japan representatives, including CEO Hayao Nakayama, visited STI headquarters to evaluate the game's progress. They were unimpressed by the main game engine, although they reportedly watched an outdated version. Conversely, they were so impressed by the boss engine that they requested the entire game be reworked to be like that instead. To achieve this in time for the strict December 1996 deadline, Coffin's team was moved into a place of isolation from further company politics and worked sixteen hours a day. Since their approach was similar to the Nights into Dreams... game engine, they requested access to it as a starting point, but its creator, Yuji Naka, reportedly threatened to leave the company if it was used.
Senn and Alon had initially continued on with their game engine, undeterred by their work's original rejection, hoping to pitch it Sega's PC division. However, it was eventually rejected again, prompting Alon to leave Sega. Meanwhile, Coffin, who had been overworking to get the project out, came down with pneumonia. All of this meant that the game could not be released in time and as a result the project was cancelled. For the 1996 holiday season, Sega instead decided to concentrate on a port of the Genesis title Sonic 3D Blast, and Sonic Team's Nights into Dreams... Sonic Team started work on an original 3D Sonic title for the Saturn (which eventually became Sonic Adventure), but development was ultimately shifted to the Dreamcast. According to Naka, remnants of the project can be seen in the compilation Sonic Jam. STI was officially disbanded in 1996 as a result of changes in management at Sega of America, although former STI producer Mike Wallis has stated that the group was restructured under a new mandate.
After the launch of the Nintendo 64, sales of the Saturn and Sega's 32-bit software were sharply reduced. As of August 1997, Sony controlled 47 percent of the console market, Nintendo controlled 40 percent, and Sega controlled only 12 percent. Neither price cuts nor high-profile game releases were proving helpful to the Saturn's success. As a result, the console market was dominated by the PlayStation and the Nintendo 64, leaving the Saturn behind. At E3 in 1997, Bernie Stolar stated during his keynote that "The Saturn is not our future..." which some have cited as an example of the Osborne effect. Combined with Sega's recent history of short-lived consoles, particularly the Sega CD and 32X, Sega's reputation was further damaged by the announcement. Sega announced its final games for the North American market on March 14, 1998, and by the time the Saturn was discontinued had sold 2 million consoles in the region, compared to 10.75 million PlayStation consoles sold by Sony at that time. The Saturn would last longer in Japan and Europe. In Japan, the console sold 6 million units, compared to the 3.5 million of Sega's previous console, the Genesis. 971,000 consoles were sold in Europe by the beginning of 1998.
Selling only 9.5 million units worldwide, the Saturn is considered a commercial failure. By March 1998, Sega reported losses of $309 million on the Saturn, and had begun to focus on a successor, the Dreamcast. During 1998, Sega took an additional $450 million loss. According to Stolar, his decision to abandon the Saturn was due to Sega's losses and his desire to rebuild with a new team. The decision to abandon the Saturn effectively left the Western market without Sega games for over a year. Rumors about the upcoming Dreamcast were leaked to the public before the last Saturn games were released. The Dreamcast would later be released on November 20, 1998 in Japan and in the fall of 1999 in North America.
Featuring a total of eight processors, the Saturn's main central processing units are two Hitachi SH-2 chips clocked at 28.6 MHz. The system contains a Motorola 68EC000 running at 11.3 MHz as a sound controller, a sound processor capable of up to 32 sound channels with both FM and PCM sampling at a maximum rate of 44.1 kHz, as well as two video display processors. Its double-speed CD-ROM drive is controlled by a dedicated SH-1 processor to reduce load times. The Saturn also contains a cartridge slot for memory expansion, 16 Mbit of work random-access memory (RAM), 12 Mbit video RAM and 4 Mbit of RAM for sound functions. Its video output, provided by a stereo AV cable, displays at a resolution of 320 x 224 and is capable of displaying up to 16.77 million colors simultaneously. Physically, the Saturn measures 260 mm × 230 mm × 83 mm (10 in × 9.1 in × 3.3 in). The Saturn was sold packaged with an instruction manual, one control pad, a stereo AV cable, and its 100V AC power supply, with a power consumption of approximately 15W.
The Saturn had technically impressive hardware at the time of its release, but its complexity made harnessing this power difficult for developers accustomed to conventional programming. The greatest disadvantage was that both CPUs shared the same bus and were unable to access system memory at the same time. Making full use of the 4 kB of cache memory in each CPU was critical to maintaining performance. For example, Virtua Fighter used one CPU for each character, while Nights used one CPU for 3D environments and the other for 2D objects. The Saturn's Visual Display Processor 2 (VDP2), which can generate and manipulate 3D backgrounds, has also been cited as one of the system's most important features.
The Saturn's design elicited mixed commentary among game developers and journalists. Developers quoted by Next Generation in December 1995 described the Saturn as "a real coder's machine" for "those who love to get their teeth into assembly and really hack the hardware", with "more flexibility" and "more calculating power than the PlayStation". In addition, the Saturn's sound board was widely praised. By contrast, Lobotomy Software programmer Ezra Dreisbach described the Saturn as significantly slower than the PlayStation, whereas Kenji Eno of WARP observed little difference between the two systems. In particular, Dreisbach criticized the Saturn's use of quadrilaterals as its basic geometric primitive, in contrast to the triangles rendered by the PlayStation and the Nintendo 64. Third-party development was initially hindered by the lack of useful software libraries and development tools, requiring developers to write in assembly language to achieve good performance. During early Saturn development, programming in assembly could offer a two-to-fivefold speed increase over C language. Sega responded to these criticisms by writing new graphics libraries which were claimed to help make development easier.
Several different models of the Saturn were produced in Japan. An updated model in a recolored light gray was released in Japan at a price of ¥20,000 in order to reduce the system's cost. A limited release of a "skeleton" model was also released to commemorate the release of Derby Stallion on the system. Two models were also released by third parties: Hitachi released a model known as the "Hi-Saturn", while JVC released the "V-Saturn".
A number of accessories were created for the Saturn. Its controller came in various color schemes to match each model of the console. A wireless version powered by AA batteries utilizes infrared signal to connect to the console. Designed to work with Nights into Dreams..., the 3D Pad is a fully functional controller that includes both a control pad and an analog stick for directional input. Sega also released several versions of arcade sticks as peripherals, including the Virtua Stick, the Virtua Stick Pro, the Mission Analog Stick, and the Twin Stick. Sega also created a light gun peripheral known as the "Virtua Gun" for use with shooting games such as Virtua Cop and The Guardian, as well as the Arcade Racer, a wheel for racing games. The Play Cable allows for two Saturn consoles to be connected for multiplayer gaming across two screens, while a multitap allows up to six players to play games on the same console. RAM cartridges expand the amount of memory in the system. Other accessories include a keyboard, mouse, floppy disk drive, and movie card.
Like the Genesis, the Saturn also had an Internet-based gaming service. The Sega NetLink was a 28.8k modem that fit into the cartridge slot in the Saturn for direct dial multiplayer. In Japan, a now defunct pay-to-play service was used. It could also be used for web browsing and for sending email. The NetLink functioned with five games: Daytona USA, Duke Nukem 3D, Saturn Bomberman, Sega Rally, and Cyber Troopers Virtual-On: Operation Moongate. According to Joe Miller, the NetLink was designed for different purposes than the Sega Channel, Sega's most recent network service for the Genesis.
Sega developed an arcade board based on the Saturn's hardware, called the Sega ST-V (or Titan), which was intended as an affordable alternative to Sega's Model 2 arcade board as well as a testing ground for upcoming Saturn software. The Titan was not supported by Sega AM2's Yu Suzuki and was overproduced by Sega's arcade division. Because Sega already possessed the Die Hard license, members of Sega AM1 working at the Sega Technical Institute developed Die Hard Arcade for the Titan, in order to clear out excess inventory. This goal was achieved, as Die Hard became the most successful Sega arcade game produced in the United States at that point.
Much of the Saturn's library comes from Sega's arcade ports, including Daytona USA, Die Hard Arcade, the Fighting Vipers series, Golden Axe: The Duel, The House of the Dead, Last Bronx, Manx TT Super Bike, Sega Rally, Sega Touring Car Championship, the Virtua Cop series, the Virtua Fighter series, and Virtual On. Fighters Megamix, a Saturn exclusive, combined characters from Fighting Vipers and Virtua Fighter to critical acclaim. Other highly-rated Saturn exclusives include Panzer Dragoon Saga, Dragon Force, Guardian Heroes, Nights, Panzer Dragoon II Zwei, and Shining Force III. Multiplatform games like Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, Resident Evil, and Wipeout released for the PlayStation before the Saturn achieved greater success on that console. Although Core Design (which had previously supported the Sega CD with multiple releases) created Tomb Raider with the Saturn in mind, the PlayStation version ultimately became better known to the public. Lobotomy Software's ports of Duke Nukem 3D, PowerSlave, and Quake featured some of the most impressive 3D graphics on the system. While Electronic Arts' limited support for the Saturn and Sega's failure to develop a football game for the 1996 fall season allowed Sony to take the lead in the sports genre, Sega published numerous sports games under its "Sega Sports" label, including the high-quality World Series Baseball and Worldwide Soccer series. By 1998, the Saturn had a significantly larger library than the Nintendo 64.
Due to the cancellation of Sonic X-treme, the Saturn lacks an exclusive Sonic the Hedgehog platformer, containing only the compilation Sonic Jam, a port of Sonic 3D Blast, and a racing game called Sonic R. Notable Saturn platformers include Bug!, whose eponymous main character was considered to be a potential mascot. Despite receiving highly positive reviews at the time (and being successful enough to receive a sequel), Bug! failed to catch on with audiences in the way Sonic had, and retrospective coverage of the game has been less positive. Sonic Team's Nights was praised for its originality, but did not have Sonic's mainstream appeal, and critics noted it was a mostly 2D experience. Sonic Team's Burning Rangers offered a fully 3D experience, but was less popular than Nights.
Some of the games that made the Saturn popular in Japan, such as Grandia and the Sakura Wars series never saw a Western release. Despite appearing first on the Saturn, games such as Dead or Alive, Grandia, and Lunar: Silver Star Story Complete only saw a Western release on the PlayStation. Working Designs localized several Japanese Saturn games before a public feud between Sega of America's Bernie Stolar and Working Designs president Victor Ireland resulted in the company switching their support to the PlayStation.
Modern ports of Saturn games including Guardian Heroes, Nights, and Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner: Soul Hackers have continued to receive positive reviews from critics. Partly due to rarity, Saturn titles such as Panzer Dragoon Saga and Radiant Silvergun have been noted for their cult following. Due to the system's commercial failure and hardware limitations, Saturn versions of games such as Resident Evil 2, Shenmue, Sonic Adventure, and Virtua Fighter 3 were cancelled and moved to the Dreamcast.
Reception and legacy
At the time of its release, Famicom Tsūshin scored the Saturn console 24 out of 40 possible points, higher than the PlayStation's 19 out of 40. In December 1995, Next Generation scored the system with three and a half stars out of a possible five, highlighting Sega's marketing and arcade background as strengths but the system's complexity as a weakness. Electronic Gaming Monthly's 1996 Buyer's Guide had four reviewers score the Saturn 8, 6, 7, and 8 out of 10; these scores were inferior to those of the PlayStation, which was scored 9, 10, 9, and 9 in the same review. By 1998, Electronic Gaming Monthly's scores had diminished to more mixed reviews, with reviewers citing the lack of titles for the system as a major issue. According to EGM reviewer Crispin Boyer, "the Saturn is the only system that can thrill me one month and totally disappoint me the next."
Retrospective feedback of the Saturn is mixed, but generally praises its game library. According to Greg Sewart of 1UP.com, "the Saturn will go down in history as one of the most troubled, and greatest, systems of all time." In 2009, video game website IGN chose the Saturn to be their 18th best video game console of all time, praising its unique game library. According to the reviewers, "While the Saturn ended up losing the popularity contest to both Sony and Nintendo it was host to a library of classic titles that epitomize the early days of SEGA's innovation in software. NiGHTS into Dreams, the Virtua Fighter and Panzer Dragoon series are all examples of exclusive titles that made the console a fan favorite." Retro Gamer's Damien McFerran has also praised the uniqueness of the game library, stating, "Even today, despite the widespread availability of sequels and re-releases on other formats, the Sega Saturn is still a worthwhile investment for those who appreciate the unique gameplay styles of the companies that supported it." Sewart praised the Saturn's first-party titles as "Sega's shining moment as a game developer". IGN's Travis Fahs was critical of the Saturn library's lack of "fresh ideas" and "precious few high-profile franchises", in contrast to what he described as Sega's more creative Dreamcast output.
Some criticism has befallen Sega's management regarding both the creation and handling of the Saturn. McFerran criticizes Sega's management at the time of the Saturn's development, claiming that they had "fallen out of touch with both the demands of the market and the industry". Bernie Stolar has also been criticized for his decision to end support for the Saturn. According to Fahs, "Stolar's decision to abandon the Saturn made him a villain to many SEGA fans, but he had more vision than most gave him credit for. SEGA had a lot of work to do before they'd be ready for the next battle, and it was better to regroup than to enter the next fight battered and bruised. Dreamcast would be Stolar's redemption." Stolar has defended his decision, stating, "I felt Saturn was hurting the company more than helping it. That was a battle that we weren't going to win." Sewart and IGN's Levi Buchanan cited the failure of the Saturn as the major reason for Sega's downfall as a hardware manufacturer. Douglass C. Perry of Gamasutra notes that, from its surprise launch to its ultimate failure, the Saturn "soured many gamers on Sega products".
Sewart connected the large number of Japan-exclusive Saturn releases with a subsequent boom in the game import market. In retrospect, former Working Designs president Victor Ireland described the Saturn as "the start of the future of console gaming", explaining that it "got the better developers thinking and designing with parallel-processing architecture in mind for the first time".
- Sczepaniak, John (2006). "Retroinspection: Mega Drive". Retro Gamer (Imagine Publishing) (27): 42–47.
- Kent, Steven L. (2001). "Run for the Money". The Ultimate History of Video Games: The Story Behind the Craze that Touched our Lives and Changed the World. Roseville, California: Prima Publishing. ISBN 0-7615-3643-4.
- McFerran, Damien. "Retroinspection: Sega 32X". Retro Gamer (Imagine Publishing) (77): 44–49. "Scot Bayless: The 32X call was made in early January ...There's a part of me that wishes the Saturn had adopted the 32X graphics strategy, but that ship had sailed long before the greenlight call from Nakayama."
- GameSpot Staff (2001). "Virtua Racing – Arcade (1992)". 15 Most Influential Games of All Time. GameSpot. Retrieved 2014-03-16.
- Kent, Steven L. (2001). The Ultimate History of Video Games: The Story Behind the Craze that Touched our Lives and Changed the World. Roseville, California: Prima Publishing. pp. 500–502. ISBN 0-7615-3643-4.
- Fahs, Travis (April 21, 2009). "IGN Presents the History of Sega". IGN. Retrieved March 3, 2014.
- McFerran, Damien. "Retroinspection: Sega Saturn". Retro Gamer (Imagine Publishing) (34): 44–49.
- "EGM Interviews SEGA SATURN Product Manager HIDEKI OKAMURA". Electronic Gaming Monthly (EGM Media, LLC.). July 1994. "Hideki Okamura: [Saturn] was just a development code name for hardware that was adopted by the Japanese development staff. The name has become common knowledge and it has a nice ring to it."
- "Sega Saturn". Next Generation (Imagine Media) 1 (2): 36–43. February 1995. "Sega's knee-jerk reaction was to delay it's Saturn development program for a few months to incorporate a new video processor into the system. Not only would this boost its 2D abilities considerably (something that Sony's machine was less proficient at), but it would also provide better texture mapping for 3D graphics...Of course, Hitachi's link with the Saturn project goes much deeper. In 1993, the Japanese electronics company set up a joint venture with Sega to develop a CPU for the Saturn based on proprietary Hitachi technology. Several Hitachi staff were seconded to Sega's Saturn division (it's now believed that the same team is now working on preliminary 64-bit technology for Sega), and the result was the SH-2...As with most Sega hardware, Model 1 was basically an expensive assortment of bought-in chips. Its main CPU, an NEC V60 running at just 16 MHz, was simply too slow for the Saturn. And the bulk of Virtua Racing's number crunching was handled by four serial DSPs that were way too costly to be included in any home system. Sega's consequent development of the SH-2 meant that it could also produce a Saturn-compatible arcade system."
- Pollack, Andrew (1993-09-22). "Sega to Use Hitachi Chip In Video Game Machine". The New York Times. Retrieved 2014-04-15. "Sega Enterprises said today that it would base its next-generation home video game machine, due in the fall of 1994, on a new chip being developed by Hitachi Ltd...One Sega official said Hitachi's chip was attractively priced and would be designed with Sega's needs in mind...Yamaha is expected to provide sound chips and JVC the circuitry for compressing video images."
- "NG Hardware: Saturn". Next Generation (Imagine Media) 1 (12): 45–48. December 1995. "The early pictures and technical breakdowns have remained relatively close to the final system, perhaps because the system was completed far earlier than many people realize...It was too late to make major alterations to the system, so, at the cost of pushing the launch schedule slightly, a video processor was added to the board to boost its 2D and 3D texture-mapping abilities. The real processing power of the Saturn comes from two Hitachi SH2 32-bit RISC processors running at 28 MHz. These processors were specially commissioned by Sega and are optimized for fast 3D graphics work."
- Kent, Steven L. (2001). The Ultimate History of Video Games: The Story Behind the Craze that Touched our Lives and Changed the World. Roseville, California: Prima Publishing. pp. 504–509. ISBN 0-7615-3643-4. "While Saturn and PlayStation supposedly had fairly similar capabilities on the surface, there were several very important differences in both design and marketing...In theory, Saturn, which featured two Hitachi SH2 32-bit central processing chips, was more powerful than PlayStation. The truth was that the SH2 chips were somewhat inferior to the chip Sony had selected...and allotting different operations to both of the processing chips proved nearly impossible."
- "NG Hardware: Saturn". Next Generation (Imagine Media) 1 (1): 44–45. January 1995. "Sega has spent the last nine months or so playing catch-up with Sony after a publisher-friend tipped Sega off about the power of PlayStation."
- Sewart, Greg (2005-08-05). "Sega Saturn: The Pleasure And The Pain". 1UP.com. Retrieved 2014-03-17.
- Dring, Christopher (2014-03-19). "A Tale of Two E3s - Xbox vs Sony vs Sega". MCVUK.com. Retrieved 2013-07-11.
- Kent, Steven L. (2001). The Ultimate History of Video Games: The Story Behind the Craze that Touched our Lives and Changed the World. Roseville, California: Prima Publishing. p. 510. ISBN 0-7615-3643-4.
- Horowitz, Ken (2006-07-11). "Interview: Tom Kalinske". Sega-16. Retrieved 2014-04-11. "Tom Kalinske: I remember we had a document that Olaf and Mickey took to Sony that said they'd like to develop jointly the next hardware, the next game platform, with Sega, and here's what we think it ought to do. Sony apparently gave the green light to that...Our proposal was that each of us would sell this joint Sega/Sony hardware platform; we'll share the loss on the hardware (whatever that is, we'll split it), combine our advertising and marketing, but we'll each be responsible for the software sales we'll generate. Now, at that particular point in time, Sega knew how to develop software a hell of a lot better than Sony did. They were just coming up the learning curve, so we would have benefited much more greatly...I felt that we were rushing Saturn. We didn't have the software right, and we didn't have the pricing right, so I felt we should have stayed with Genesis for another year."
- Kent, Steven L. (2001). "The "Next" Generation (Part 1)". The Ultimate History of Video Games: The Story Behind the Craze that Touched our Lives and Changed the World. Prima Publishing. ISBN 0-7615-3643-4.
- Beuscher, David. "Sega Genesis 32X - Overview". Allgame. Retrieved June 7, 2013.
- Horowitz, Ken (February 7, 2013). "Interview: Joe Miller". Sega-16. Retrieved March 3, 2014.
- "Sega Saturn" (in Japanese). Sega of Japan. Retrieved March 3, 2014.
- "Sega and Sony Sell the Dream". Edge (Imagine Media) 3 (17): 6–9. February 1995. "The December 3 ship-out of 100,000 PlayStations to stores across Japan...was not met with the same euphoria-charged reception that the Saturn received...Saturn arrived to a rapturous reception in Japan on November 22. 200,000 units sold out instantly on day one...Japanese gamers were beside themselves as they walked away with their prized possession and a near-perfect conversion of the Virtua Fighter coin-op...Sega (and Sony) have proved that with dedicated processors handling the drive (the SH-1 in the Saturn's case), negligible access times are possible."
- cf. Edge Staff (1994-12-22). "Virtua Fighter Review". Edge. Retrieved 2014-03-07. "The Saturn version of Virtua Fighter is an exceptional game in many respects. It's arguably the first true 'next generation' console game, fusing the best aspects of combat gameplay with groundbreaking animation and gorgeous sound (CD music and clear samples). In the arcades, Virtua Fighter made people stop and look. On the Saturn, it will make many people stop, look at their bank balance and then fork out for Sega's new machine. Over to you, Sony."
- Retro Gamer Staff (2008-12-17). "The Making Of... Panzer Dragoon Saga Part 1". Now Gamer. Retrieved 2014-03-20.
- Buchanan, Levi (October 24, 2008). "32X Follies". IGN. Retrieved May 25, 2013.
- "Super 32X". Sega of Japan. Retrieved February 23, 2014.
- Kent, Steven L. (2001). "The "Next" Generation (Part 2)". The Ultimate History of Video Games: The Story Behind the Craze that Touched our Lives and Changed the World. Roseville, California: Prima Publishing. ISBN 0-7615-3643-4.
- cf. "Is War hell for Sega?". Next Generation (Imagine Media) 2 (13): 7. January 1996. "Tom Kalinske: We needed to do something shocking because we were $100 more than the other guy...I still think [the surprise launch] was a good idea. If I had it to do over again would I do it a little differently? Yeah, definitely. I wouldn't take the risk of annoying retailers the way we did. I would clue them in and do an early launch in a region or three regions or something so we could include everybody."
- Rudden, Dave. "Eight Extremely Embarrassing E3 Moments". Archived from the original on July 13, 2008. Retrieved July 14, 2008. "at the same E3: Sony's keynote speaker went up on stage, said "Two hundred and Ninety-Nine Dollars" and walked off the stage."
- Kato, Matthew (2013-10-30). "Which Game Console Had The Best Launch Lineup?". Game Informer. Retrieved 2014-03-19.
- Kent, Steven L. (2001). The Ultimate History of Video Games: The Story Behind the Craze that Touched our Lives and Changed the World. Roseville, California: Prima Publishing. p. 533. ISBN 0-7615-3643-4.
- Kent, Steven L. (2001). The Ultimate History of Video Games: The Story Behind the Craze that Touched our Lives and Changed the World. Roseville, California: Prima Publishing. pp. 519–520. ISBN 0-7615-3643-4.
- DeMaria, Rusel; Wilson, Johnny L. (2004). High Score: The Illustrated History of Electronic Games. Emeryville, California: McGraw-Hill/Osborne. p. 282. ISBN 0-07-223172-6. "Sony virtually owned the consumer electronics market. With their deep pockets and marketing expertise, they were able to take the game market by storm, quickly eclipsing Saturn's sales."
- "Daytona USA". Edge (Imagine Media) 3 (21): 72–5. June 1995. "Although AM2 has managed to replicate the coin-op tolerably well, Saturn Daytona fails to capture the arcade experience that PlayStation Ridge Racer so convincingly delivers."
- McNamara, Andy et al. (September 1995). "Prepare Yourself for the Ultimate Racing Experience". Game Informer. Retrieved 2014-04-15. "Daytona rules the arcade, but I think Ridge Racer dominates the home systems."
- A contributing factor in the high-quality of certain PlayStation arcade ports was the development of PlayStation-based arcade boards. See, e.g., "Tekken". Edge (Imagine Media) 3 (21): 66–70. June 1995. "Namco took a significant risk in basing its Tekken coin-op on raw PlayStation hardware, considering that it would be competing directly with Sega's Model 2-powered Virtua Fighter 2...For once, a home system can boast an identical conversion of a cutting-edge coin-op...Namco's research section managing director, Shegeichi Nakamura...explains: "When Sony came along we decided to go for a low-cost system—in short, we've left the big arcade stores to Sega and VF2 and Tekken has been sold to smaller arcade centres"...Namco has a further four titles planned for System 11, all of which are likely to make the jump to the PlayStation." cf. "Konami takes Namco route". Edge (Imagine Media) 3 (21): 12. June 1995. "Konami has finished development of its new PlayStation-based coin-op board, following the signing of a technology licensing agreement with Sony...The chief advantage of such an arrangement lies in the ease of conversion of tried-and-tested coin-op material to the home."
- "Sony fights Sega on US streets". Next Generation (Imagine Media) 2 (13): 14–16. January 1996.
- c.f. Kent, Steven L. (2001). The Ultimate History of Video Games: The Story Behind the Craze that Touched our Lives and Changed the World. Roseville, California: Prima Publishing. p. 532. ISBN 0-7615-3643-4. "Saturn hardware was more expensive to manufacture than PlayStation, and Sega did not have Sony's deep pockets to help absorb the costs of giving away hardware and profiting from software."
- Kent, Steven L. (2001). "The "Next" Generation (Part 1)". The Ultimate History of Video Games: The Story Behind the Craze that Touched our Lives and Changed the World. Roseville, California: Prima Publishing. ISBN 0-7615-3643-4.
- "Sega captures dollar share of videogame market again; diverse product strategy yields market growth; Sega charts path for 1996". Business Wire. 1996-01-10. "Estimated dollar share for Sega-branded interactive entertainment hardware and software in 1995 was 43 percent, compared with Nintendo at 42 percent, Sony at 13 percent and The 3DO Co. at 2 percent. Sega estimates the North American videogame market will total more than $3.9 billion for 1995."
- Kent, Steven L. (2001). The Ultimate History of Video Games: The Story Behind the Craze that Touched our Lives and Changed the World. Roseville, California: Prima Publishing. p. 535. ISBN 0-7615-3643-4. "Michael Latham: [Tom] would fall asleep on occasion in meetings. That is true. These were nine-hour meetings. Sega had a thing for meetings. You'd get there at 8:00 A.M. and then you'd get out of the meeting at, like, 4:00 P.M., so he wasn't the only person...It wasn't the failure of the Saturn that made him lose interest; it was the inability to do something about it. He was not allowed to do anything. The U.S. side was basically no longer in control."
- Kent, Steven L. (2001). "The Mainstream and All Its Perils". The Ultimate History of Video Games: The Story Behind the Craze that Touched our Lives and Changed the World. Roseville, California: Prima Publishing. ISBN 0-7615-3643-4.
- "Sega of America appoints Shoichiro Irimajiri chairman/chief executive officer". M2PressWIRE (M2 Communications, Ltd.). July 16, 1996. (Subscription required.)
- Towell, Justin (June 23, 2012). "'Mr. Sega Saturn' lives on via amazing T-shirt". GamesRadar. Retrieved March 3, 2014.
- Kolan, Patrick (2007-08-07). "Shenmue: Through the Ages". IGN. Retrieved 2014-03-07.
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- Johnston, Chris (1997-05-27). "Sega, Bandai Merger Canceled – News at GameSpot". Gamespot.com. Retrieved 2014-03-19.
- Kent, Steven L. (2001). The Ultimate History of Video Games: The Story Behind the Craze that Touched our Lives and Changed the World. Roseville, California: Prima Publishing. p. 528. ISBN 0-7615-3643-4.
- Horowitz, Ken (2007-06-11). "Developer's Den: Sega Technical Institute". Sega-16. Retrieved 2014-04-16. "Roger Hector: When it became obvious that Sony was taking the lead, Sega's corporate personality changed. It became very political, with lots of finger-pointing around the company. Sega tried to get a handle on the situation, but they made a lot of mistakes, and ultimately STI was swallowed up in the corporate turmoil."
- Fahs, Travis. "Sonic X-Treme Revisited - Saturn Feature at IGN". IGN. Retrieved July 23, 2012.
- Houghton, David (April 24, 2008). "The greatest Sonic game we never got ...". GamesRadar. Retrieved July 23, 2012.
- Barnholt, Ray. "Yuji Naka Interview: Ivy the Kiwi and a Little Sega Time Traveling". 1UP.com. Retrieved 2014-03-04.
- Towell, Justin (2012-06-23). "Super-rare 1990 Sonic The Hedgehog prototype is missing". GamesRadar. Retrieved 2014-03-04. "Yuji Naka: The reason why there wasn't a Sonic game on Saturn was really because we were concentrating on NiGHTS. We were also working on Sonic Adventure—that was originally intended to be out on Saturn, but because Sega as a company was bringing out a new piece of hardware—the Dreamcast—we resorted to switching it over to the Dreamcast, which was the newest hardware at the time. So that's why there wasn't a Sonic game on Saturn. With regards to X-Treme, I'm not really sure on the exact details of why it was cut short, but from looking at how it was going, it wasn't looking very good from my perspective. So I felt relief when I heard it was cancelled."
- "Sega Enterprises, Ltd. Annual Report 1998" (PDF). Sega via Internet Archive. Archived from the original on June 17, 2002.
- "Sega Corporation Annual Report 2000" (PDF). Sega via Sega Sammy Holdings. Archived from the original on September 25, 2007. Retrieved March 12, 2010.
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- "Sega Corporation Annual Report 2004" (PDF). Sega via Sega Sammy Holdings. Archived from the original on December 25, 2009. Retrieved March 12, 2010.
- Kent, Steven L. (2001). "And the Cycle Continues". The Ultimate History of Video Games: The Story Behind the Craze that Touched our Lives and Changed the World. Roseville, California: Prima Publishing. ISBN 0-7615-3643-4.
- Beuscher, Dave. "Sega Saturn - Overview". Allgame. Retrieved February 27, 2014.
- Perlow, Jason (June 21, 2012). "Osborne effects: Death by pre-announcement". ZDNet. Retrieved March 3, 2014.
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- Man!ac Magazine staff (May 1995). "Videospiel-Algebra". Man!ac Magazine (in German) (Cybermedia Verlagsgesellschaft mbH).
- "Advanced Consoles". Screen Digest 1998. Screen Digest Ltd. July 1998.
- "Sega Dreamcast" (in English). Icons. Season 3. Episode 302. 3/11/2004. G4. http://www.g4tv.com/icons/episodes/1259/Sega_Dreamcast.html.
- Lefton, Terry (1998). "Looking for a Sonic Boom". Brandweek (Nielsen Business Media) (39.9): 26–29.
- Fahs, Travis (2010-09-09). "IGN Presents the History of Dreamcast". IGN. Retrieved 2014-03-24.
- "Sega Saturn various data" (in Japanese). Sega of Japan. Retrieved February 27, 2014.
- Edge Staff (2014-03-15). "Retrospective: Nights Into Dreams". Edge Online. Retrieved 2014-03-24. "One of the finest score-attack games ever crafted...The 3D environments were drawn by one processor, while another handled the 2D enemies, hoops and trees, melding them seamlessly to create a smooth, surprisingly fast-moving game that still looks striking today."
- cf. "VIRTUA FIGHTER 2 IS HERE AT LAST!". Next Generation Online. Retrieved 2014-04-12. "[The VDP2] can generate and manipulate 3D backgrounds. This leaves the twin processors free to deal with manipulating the fighters themselves. The result is swift, elegant animation at 60 frames a second—the same speed as the VF2 coin-op...Sony's machine does not have an equivalent of the VDP2, so the demands for better animation and more realistic movement are placing greater and greater pressure on its central processor."
- "Interview: Ezra Dreisbach". Curmudgeon Gamer. July 9, 2002. Archived from the original on September 27, 2007. Retrieved July 19, 2007. "Ezra Dreisbach: And really, if you couldn't tell from the games, the PSX is way better than the Saturn. It's way simpler and way faster. There are a lot of things about the Saturn that are totally dumb. Chief among these is that you can't draw triangles, only quadrilaterals."
- Bettenhausen, Shane; Mielke, James. "Kenji Eno: Reclusive Japanese Game Creator Breaks His Silence". 1UP.com. Retrieved 2014-03-22. "Kenji Eno: But, the PlayStation and the Saturn aren't that different, so moving it [Enemy Zero] to Saturn wasn't too difficult."
- "Sega Saturn HST-0014". Sega of Japan. Retrieved March 3, 2014.
- "Sega Saturn HST-0021". Sega of Japan. Retrieved March 3, 2014.
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- "Sega Saturn controller" (in Japanese). Sega of Japan. Retrieved March 3, 2014.
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- Redsell, Adam (May 20, 2012). "SEGA: A Soothsayer of the Games Industry". IGN. Retrieved March 3, 2014.
- "Fighters Megamix for Saturn". GameRankings. Retrieved 2014-03-26.
- cf. McNamara, Andy et al. (May 1997). "Fighters Megamix - Saturn". Game Informer. Retrieved 2014-03-19. "This has to be one of the finest fighters to ever grace consoles."
- "Panzer Dragoon Saga for Saturn". GameRankings. Retrieved 2014-03-26.
- The Saturn port of Virtua Fighter 2 is directly behind Panzer Dragoon Saga as the second highest-rated Saturn game on GameRankings. See "Virtua Fighter 2 for Saturn". GameRankings. Retrieved 2014-03-26.
- cf.GI Staff (May 1998). "Panzer Dragoon Saga". Game Informer. Retrieved 2014-03-26. "Only Final Fantasy VII tops it."
- "Dragon Force for Saturn". GameRankings. Retrieved 2014-03-26.
- "Guardian Heroes for Saturn". GameRankings. Retrieved 2014-03-26.
- "NiGHTS Into Dreams... for Saturn". GameRankings. Retrieved 2014-03-26.
- "Panzer Dragoon II Zwei for Saturn". GameRankings. Retrieved 2014-03-26.
- "Shining Force III for Saturn". GameRankings. Retrieved 2014-03-26.
- Blache III, Fabian; Fielder, Lauren. "The History of Tomb Raider". GameSpot. Retrieved 2014-03-15.
- cf. GI Staff (November 1995). "Sega Sports Does It One More Time". Retrieved 2014-03-19. "World Series Baseball is by far the smoothest baseball game ever made."
- cf. GI Staff (December 1996). "Worldwide Soccer '97". Game Informer. Retrieved 2014-03-19. "Truly, a fantastic soccer game."
- cf. GI Staff (January 1998). "Worldwide Soccer '98". Game Informer. Retrieved 2014-03-19. "The graphics are smooth, and the physics are perfect."
- Kent, Steven L. (2001). The Ultimate History of Video Games: The Story Behind the Craze that Touched our Lives and Changed the World. Roseville, California: Prima Publishing. p. 539. ISBN 0-7615-3643-4. "PlayStation and Saturn had hundreds of games, most of which sold for under $50. By comparison, there were merely dozens of games for N64, some of which sold for nearly $80, and rumors were that future third-party cartridges might cost as much as $100."
- Buchanan, Levi (2009-02-02). "What Hath Sonic Wrought? Vol. 10". IGN. Retrieved 2014-03-15. "Steven Spielberg, CES 1995: This is the character! This is the character that is going to do it for Saturn!"
- "Bug! for Saturn". GameRankings. Retrieved 2014-03-15.
- cf. McNamara, Andy, et al. (September 1995). "Not To Be Denied!". Game Informer. Retrieved 2014-03-15.
- Edge Staff (1996-08-02). "Nights into Dreams (review)". Edge. Retrieved 2014-03-11. "There can be no doubt that the game is easily the most original and visually dazzling title seen on the Saturn to date...Sonic was a very focused game a clear aim, making it easy to pick up and play. By contrast, a lot of the time Nights feels as if its gameplay has been made to fit within a set of technological displays of competence, with good 3D, excellent texture mapping, total freedom of movement for characters, fast polygon movement – selling points for the Saturn around which a game has been framed. Nights is an enigmatic game that the public might take to their hearts or might reject out of hand. Either way, it's not quite good enough to be a all-time classic."
- Kent, Steven L. (2001). The Ultimate History of Video Games: The Story Behind the Craze that Touched our Lives and Changed the World. Roseville, California: Prima Publishing. p. 533. ISBN 0-7615-3643-4. "Naka may have established his reputation as a great designer with Sonic, but with NiGHTS he demonstrated his versatility...NiGHTS showed the strengths and weaknesses of Saturn. The game's atmosphere and design were exceptional; but while the game had a free-flowing 3D feel, most of it actually took place in two dimensions."
- cf. Sheffield, Brandon (2009-12-04). "Out of the Blue: Naoto Ohshima Speaks". Gamasutra. Retrieved 2014-03-11. "Naoto Oshima: Well, [Sonic]'s a character that I think is suited to America--or, at least, the image I had of America at the time. Nights is a more delicate... well, his gender is deliberately ambiguous, for one."
- Edge was slightly more favorable in retrospective coverage. See, e.g., Edge Staff (2007-06-08). "Nights Into Dreams Retrospective". Edge Online. Retrieved 2014-03-24. "The game's 2.5D flight-paths in the place of unlimited freedom were perhaps perceived as backwards when it was first released, even if they actually offered fantastically expressive movement. In flight, its titular character has the full height of each 3D space to enact its range of acrobatic manoeuvres. Speeding and looping from hoop to item to item around each course is an exercise in flow, of unbroken momentum instead of staccato pedestrian wandering."
- cf. Bartholow, Peter (1999-10-25). "Grandia Review". GameSpot. Retrieved 2014-03-15. "Back in the heyday of Final Fantasy VII, Sega fans around the world hailed the coming of Grandia. Now, nearly two years later, PlayStation RPG fans can finally see what the hoopla was all about."
- cf. Edge Staff (2006-03-03). "Japan Votes on All Time Top 100". Edge Online. Retrieved 2014-03-15.
- Vore, Bryan (2011-10-12). "Guardian Heroes". Game Informer. Retrieved 2014-03-17. "Even though some aspects of Guardian Heroes haven't aged well, the strength of the battle system, branching paths, and characters help this brawler retain its place near the top of the class."
- Parkin, Simon (2011-10-12). "Guardian Heroes". Eurogamer. Retrieved 2014-03-28. "One of the most satisfying combat games ever conceived."
- Robinson, Martin (2012-10-05). "NiGHTS Into Dreams HD review". Eurogamer. "[While] an incredibly odd game...NiGHTS has exquisite handling...its distinctiveness is something to be celebrated."
- Wallace, Kimberley (2013-04-16). "Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner: Soul Hackers". Game Informer. Retrieved 2014-03-17. "I still can't believe that a game that came out in 1997 feels so fresh and exciting over 15 years later."
- Buchanan, Levi (2008-07-29). "Top 10 SEGA Saturn Games". IGN. Retrieved 2014-03-26.
- EGM Staff (2005-06-22). "Top 10 Cult Classics". 1UP.com. Retrieved 2014-03-15.
- Hatfield, Daemon (2011-09-13). "Radiant Silvergun Review". IGN. Retrieved 2014-03-15.
- Ohbuchi, Yutaka (1998-10-21). "RE2 for Saturn Canceled". GameSpot. Retrieved 2014-03-19.
- "The History of Sega Fighting Games". GameSpot. Retrieved 2014-04-05. "Sega executives started to quietly state that Virtua Fighter 3 was not going to come out for the Saturn."
- "Game Machine Cross Review: セガサターン". Weekly Famicom Tsūshin (in Japanese) (Famitsu) (335): 166. May 12–19, 1995.
- "EGM rates the systems of 1996!". Electronic Gaming Monthly (EGM Media, LLC.). January 1996.
- "Electronic Gaming Monthly looks at the top systems for this year". Electronic Gaming Monthly (EGM Media, LLC.). January 1996.
- cf. GamesRadar Staff (2014-03-06). "Best Saturn games of all time". GamesRadar. Retrieved 2014-04-06. "But that doesn't mean it's a total bust. Numerous excellent games were released for the console, which was supported primarily in the mid-to-late 1990s, including a variety of original Sega classics and several stellar third-party releases. RPG and fighting game fans, in particular, enjoyed a healthy array of options on the platform."
- "SEGA Saturn is number 18". IGN. Retrieved January 23, 2012.
- Perry, Douglass C. "The Rise and Fall of Dreamcast". Gamasutra. Retrieved March 3, 2014. Retrieved March 3, 2014.