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Sega Saturn

February 14, 2012 426 No of hits
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Sega Saturn

With the Saturn, Sega set out to create a 32-bit console that would surpass its own Sega Genesis as well as Nintendo's SNES, both of which were 16-bit systems. Sega development teams utilized a dual-CPU model granting the console increased computing capacity, as well as a slot for extra memory to further increase performance. Computing power was increasing rapidly during the Sega Saturn's 1995 North American release, and these efforts at future-proofing the system were well-received by the gaming public.

From its release, however, the Sega Saturn experienced a variety of technical problems. Since the console's dual central processing units shared the same interface, there were occasionally serious performance drops when both CPUs attempted to access the main system memory simultaneously. This meant that third-party developers had to be very careful with games that took full advantage of the Sega Saturn's increased processing capabilities. Programmers had to divide the game's performance tasks as best they could to ensure that the processers accessed the system memory alternately. Furthermore, third-party developers had not previously seen a console with two CPUs--the entire process of programming for the Sega Saturn was new to the developing community.

These difficulties with the Sega Saturn's system architecture diminished its reputation with third-party developers. As a result, far fewer games were developed for the Saturn console than for other competitors of the time, such as Sony's PlayStation. The Sega Saturn reinforced the point that had been made with the Atari Jaguar and numerous other systems: the importance of creating a console the gaming development community finds accessible. Though the Sega Saturn was technologically superior to most of the consoles of its time, game developers sought work with its competitors because of the Saturn's unfamiliar and problematic system architecture. This in turn led to a base of fewer games, which translated into fewer sales and a disappointed fan base.

The Sega Saturn was responsible for massive financial losses within the Sega Corporation, as well as causing significant layoffs. Its commercial failure did, however, prompt Sega into the initial stages of development for its next console, the Sega Dreamcast.

Tags:   Sega Saturn   Console   Developing community   Third-party   Games  

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With the Saturn, Sega set out to create a 32-bit console that would surpass its own Sega Genesis as well as Nintendo's SNES, both of which were 16-bit systems. Sega development teams utilized a dual-CPU model granting the console increased computing capacity, as well as a slot for extra memory to...

By: Richard Martine Created 76 months ago

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