10 Things to Know About the Sega Saturn

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

Sega is a prominent player in the gaming industry, having developed consoles for decades.

The Sega Saturn, which was the sixth console by Sega, is often considered a failure.

But why is a pioneering technology viewed this way?

Here are ten things to know about the Sega Saturn.

The Sega Saturn was launched in 1994.

The Sega Saturn made its debut in Japan on November 22, 1994.

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

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

The Sega Saturn was launched four months before the scheduled release.

Sega decided to launch the Sega Saturn four months before the intended date of release.

It is believed that this is one of the primary reasons for its unpopularity in the US.

Gaming stores were unprepared for the early launch and consequently lacked in advertisement; some stores refused to sell it before the scheduled release date.

The Sega Saturn was most popular in Japan and France due to the fame of the fictional character Segata Sanshiro used in the advertising campaigns.

Sega Saturn was the first console by Sega to showcase 3D graphics.

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

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

Sega could have made groundbreaking progress, but due to the rush to outsell the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, certain elements were compromised.

Some games for the Sega Saturn were distorted.

Multi-platform games like Tomb Raider did not perform well on the Sega Saturn.

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

The Sega Saturn was unable to render triangular polygons, so often, the games would have distorted textures.

This was because the Saturn games used four-sided polygons and not triangles, unlike other consoles.

Over nine million units of the Sega Saturn were sold worldwide.

Although this may seem like a significant number of consoles sold, it is considered a failure when compared to some of its competitors.

Sony’s PlayStation One consoles sold almost ten times more 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 to the nine million of the Sega Saturn.

The Sega Saturn supported three Sonic the Hedgehog games.

Sega consoles became popular due to the beloved character Sonic the Hedgehog.

Three Sonic the Hedgehog games were developed: Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Sonic the Hedgehog 3, and Sonic & Knuckles.

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

However, the production of the original Sonic platform game for the Sega Saturn was stopped due to company politics.

The color of the Sega Saturn changed.

Initially, the Sega Saturn was released in Japan with a grey/blue color scheme.

The second model that was released in Japan had a white color with differently 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 created specifically for the North American market.

The Dreamcast was the successor of the Sega Saturn.

In 1998, Sega launched the Dreamcast, which was their latest console after the Sega Saturn.

This led to the production of the Sega Saturn ending in North America in 1998 and in Japan in 2000.

A total of 1046 games were developed for the Sega Saturn.

Initially, there were not many games available when the Sega Saturn was released due to being released earlier than planned, which meant game developers weren’t prepared.

The Japanese market had 785 exclusive games out of the 1046 games that were eventually produced.

The last game officially released for the console in North America was Magic Knight Rayearth.

The console was named after the sixth planet by Sega.

Since the Sega Saturn was Sega’s sixth gaming console, they named it after the sixth planet from the sun, following their theme of using planets for naming their products.

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

Due to the earlier release date, retailers were unable to advertise and prepare for the launch.

The continuous rushing to beat other consoles on the market resulted in a lack of quality.


1. What is the Sega Saturn?

The Sega Saturn is a fifth-generation home video game console released by Sega in 1994. It was the successor to the Sega Genesis and competed with the Sony PlayStation and Nintendo 64.

2. How many games were released for the Sega Saturn?

Over 600 games were released for the Sega Saturn, including popular titles like “Sonic Jam,” “Panzer Dragoon Saga,” and “Virtua Fighter 2.”

3. How was the Sega Saturn marketed?

The Sega Saturn was marketed as a high-end console with advanced 2D and 3D graphics capabilities. It was also marketed as a platform for arcade-style games.

4. What was unique about the Sega Saturn’s hardware?

The Sega Saturn had two CPUs and eight processors, making it a very powerful console for its time. It also had a unique “quad-cursor” controller that allowed for more precise movement in games.

5. How did the Sega Saturn perform commercially?

The Sega Saturn struggled commercially, primarily due to its high price point and lack of third-party developer support. It sold less than 10 million units worldwide, compared to the PlayStation’s 102 million units sold.

6. Was the Sega Saturn backwards compatible?

The Sega Saturn was not backwards compatible with the Sega Genesis, but it did have its own library of classic games available for purchase and play.

7. What was the Sega Saturn’s impact on the gaming industry?

The Sega Saturn’s impact on the gaming industry was limited due to its commercial failure, but it did pave the way for future consoles with more advanced hardware and graphics capabilities.

8. Is the Sega Saturn still playable today?

Yes, the Sega Saturn is still playable today with the use of emulators or by purchasing a used console and games. However, due to its limited library and lack of widespread popularity, it is not as commonly played or collected as other retro consoles.

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