News From June 1997:
Upgrade Cancelled - 6/23/97 - 8:00:04 PM
Quake on Saturn Only for '97 & Why - 6/13/97 - 7:42:21 PM
Dracula X For Saturn - 6/13/97 - 7:38:38 PM
Cable Version of the NetLink Developed - 6/13/97 - 8:01:20 AM
Pricedrop Now Official - 6/4/97 - 2:12:20 PM
There are (or now, were) two future systems in development, the Black Belt and Dural. Black Belt was developed in the US by Segasoft, 3Dfx and Microsoft. The Dural system used NEC's PowerVR chipset instead and was developed in Japan. Sega looked at the two systems to see which one had more raw power, and which one would offer better programming flexibility and ease of use. Their decision, the Black Belt. When contacted, Sega of America said, "No hardware was shown at E3."
Way back in February, dEX reported that an upgrade of some sort was in the works for the Saturn. At the time this was true. Until very recently this may have been true. However Sega has announced that "We will not be doing another 32X. At some point we will simply cut it off." In other words, no upgrade. This comes as Sega will probably release their new system next year in Japan, and hopefully, shortly after in the US...if there is enough software ready.
It has recently been made known that Quake will not be coming to the PSX any time soon. It is rumoured that versions of Quake for the PSX could not be done well enough. Also, while a N64 version is still in development, it will not be released until next year.
Why can the Saturn do Quake so well? The Saturn uses quadrangles to do 3d. The rest of the 3d world uses triangles. When people refer to polygons, they are generally talking about triangles. However, with most of the surfaces in a game such as Quake being rectangular maybe this is why the Saturn, given talented coders, is better at producing this kind of game. The Saturn would only need to use one [quadrangular] polygon to create a surface such as a flat wall, while the PSX would have to use two or more [triangular] polygons. Furthermore, the Saturn's additional video memory allow it to keep more things loaded at once such as texture maps. This is why the Saturn version of Powerslave had larger levels than the PSX version.
Konami of Japan has announced that Dracula X for the Saturn is scheduled for a Fall release in Japan. They also stated that it may use the RAM cart to enhance the quality of the animation. Konami of America has not commented if it will be released in the US.
Taken from: Nikkei English News
Sega Enterprises Ltd. and Micro Research Institute Inc. have developed an adapter enabling cable TV subscribers to access the Internet using Saturn game machines. Subsidiary Sega Digital Communications Co. will release the product to cable service providers by the end of the year. Sega has also developed a World Wide Web browser in cooperation with CSK Research Institute.
The game machine maker claims its equipment provides simpler Internet access for those unfamiliar with computers because it requires no complicated devices or settings. Cable service providers will be able to offer Internet access to some 1 million Saturn users nationwide, company officials said.
The adapter is expected to sell for 10,000-20,000 yen.
Sega has finally dropped hardware and software prices due to competition from Sony and Nintendo, and from developer pressure. The new pricing breaks down like this:
Sega reduced pricing on more than 30 Sega Saturn games into the range of $19.99 - $39.99, including top-ranked titles such as NiGHTS, Fighting Vipers, Virtua Cop 2, and Sonic 3D Blast. Suggested retail pricing for new Sega Saturn games in 1997 will not exceed $49.99. Sega also mentioned that software sales are up more than 120% over the first quarter last year.
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