Thursday, 20 May 2010

Alpha Protocol Has a Saturn!

Obsidian's Alpha Protocol may only be published by SEGA, but don't tell special agent Michael Thorton that! It seems the game's star has an entertainment setup not too different from our own. HDTV (check), a line of games (check) and... a SEGA Saturn?! Who knows, maybe players can head on down to the local convenience mart and enter a raffle for some games.

SJY exclusive: the same image enlarged and altered to better see the sweet system.

SJY second exclusive: could this be the same model, a white Japanese model 1?

[Source: UK:R]

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Ryo Hazuki's Saturn

As a part of Shenmonth I've got a very special treat. I contacted Ryo Hazuki of the 'Shenmue' games and asked him to tell us about his Saturn collection! Enjoy!

The Saturn Junkyard (SJY): Hey bro!

Ryo Hazuki (RH): Hey Barry.

SJY: I'll get right to the point: What happened after Shenmue II?

RH: I'm sorry, I cannot discuss that.

SJY: Why not?

RH: I have a NDA with SEGA and Yu Suzuki. I can not discuss my early life experiences as I have an exclusive contract. SEGA makes games based off my life story and in return I receive a cut of their profits. If I disclose the events of Shenmue III my contract is void.

SJY: But there has not been a new Shenmue for nearly ten years, surly you could-

RH: Listen! That 'Sega and Sonic Racers' really helped both me and Nozomi! Those avatar jackets alone paid for our house!

SJY: So you're married to Nozomi!?

RH: Oh sh- um... how about we talk about the Saturn.

SJY: How about this: I don't tell SEGA you breached your NDA and you tell me, personally and secretly, the plot of Shenmue III.

RH: Don't you know that blackmail is way uncool?

SJY: ... I was only joking, Ryo.

RH: [laughs] I know! Let's get sweaty and talk about the Saturn!

SJY: [laughs] Alright bro! The first thing you have to tell us is how in the world did you own a Saturn in 1987?

RH: SEGA has always been ahead of the times. The Meganet modem for the Mega Drive, 3D gaming on the Master System and 128-bit graphics on the Dreamcast. In 1987 SEGA had already developed an early model of the Saturn and chose Yokosuka as a testing ground.

SJY: That's amazing! I had thought development began in 1993, but you're telling me SEGA began work as early as 1987?

RH: Yes, however the hardware was very different. My Saturn could only play arcade ports at the time. 3D capability was still being tested. My two games were 'Space Harrier' and 'Hang-On'.

 Low-res scan of Ryo's copy of Space Harrier

SJY: Which you won in a raffle at the Tomato Convenience Store?

RH: Exactly. In an effort to promote local businesses, SEGA gave a Saturn system to select households, but did not provide games. Instead we had to win games which in turn helped the local businesses. It was a unique idea, and it worked. I could play thousand dollar arcade machine games at home!

SJY: Do you still have the games and the system? They must be very rare!

RH:  I may be a 41-year old man, but I never outgrew my Saturn. I still have it hooked up in the basement. Iwao Jr. loves 'Hang-On'.

SJY: You have a son?

RH:  DAMN! Please don't spread that information around.

SJY: No problem. Maybe we can discuss a trade? I'd love to get that copy of 'Space Harrier'. Looking for anything Saturn related?

RH:  I'm looking for a black Saturn.

SJY: I have one, but I'm not willing to trade.

RH:  Have you seen a black Saturn?

SJY: I have seen one. I own it, but I'm not trading.

RH:  I'm looking for a black Saturn.

SJY: Thanks for talking Ryo, we'll talk again soon!

RH:  Excuse me.

SJY: Yeah?

RH:  It's nothing.

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

SEGA Saturn surprise launch announcement anniversary

by George of SEGAbits

Oh, SEGA,  just to one-up Sony you guys decided to launch your console early. 15 years ago today, SEGA CEO Tom Kalinske stood in front of the press and announced that the SEGA Saturn would launch early do to “high consumer demand”. The announcement was made at the first ever E3.
“Many Americans have gone to the extent of paying $ 800 and more for Sega Saturn units from Japan,” Kalinske explained. “We’ve decided to bring the product to market earlier than scheduled to meet the high consumer demand, to refine our marketing strategy over the summer, prior to the important fall season, and to get a headstart on the competition.”
The SEGA Saturn launched at the price of $399.99 for the stand alone version and $499.99 with Virtua Fighter (also came with a disc that showed other titles).

Click here to read SEGA’s press release from 1995. It is like going back in time.

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

My Lame 'Nuts & Bolts' Saturn

Before you execute a Segata stanglehold on me for not posting a pic from a Saturn game, let me explain. I recently picked up the 360 game 'Banjo-Kazooie Nuts & Bolts' and am throughly enjoying it. Particularly the vehicle building aspect. Finally a way for me to play with Legos as a grown man! Of course, my first order of business was to build a Sega Saturn car. As you can see above, I did a so-so job. As this is my first vehicle, and my parts inventory is small, I ask you to forgive me and let me have another crack at it once my skills improve. Expect a "model 2" in the coming month. Do I get extra points for adding the memory cartridge?

Fun fact: 'Nuts & Bolts' has one degree of seperation from Segata Sanshiro. Banjo & Kazooie appeared in the 360 version of 'Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing', and Segata himself was considered as a racer early in the dev stages. They even drew up concept art (which has yet to be seen)! His lack of inclusion was, in part, due to Sega not owning the likeness of Hiroshi Fujioka (Segata's actor).

Obligatory vintage Hiroshi image:

UPDATE – I gave it another try and made a much better Saturn vehicle: