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News From March 1998:

SSM (UK) Gets PD Saga Demo...Top

Source- UK: Resistance

You lucky Brits are in for a real treat! The May issue of Sega Saturn Magazine (out April 15th) will be coming with a special CD in front: The complete first disc to Panzer Dragoon Saga. Cool eh? Looks like the folks at Sega Europe are still doing their job with the Saturn unlike the blokes at SoA.

Stolar Promoted to Pres.Top

Sega has promoted Bernie Stolar, from COO (Chief Operating Officer) to COO and President of Sega of America. Stolar will report directly to Shoichiro Irimajiri who is the represenative director and president of Sega Enterprises. Irimajiri is also the chairman and CEO of Sega of America. "Sega's goal is to be the global leader in in-home interactive entertainment, and the first step toward accomplishing this is putting the right people in the right places," said Irimajiri. "Bernie's experience and competitive drive will keep the company focused on the key elements for success in the North American market."

In other news, Sega promoted Yukio Aoyama from senior vice president of finance to chief financial officer and Makoto Kaneshiro from senior vice president of business planning to executive vice president of business planning and operations, reporting to Stolar. Both Aoyama and Kaneshiro come from Sega Enterprises, Ltd. to support Stolar's leadership in North America.

Next Gen PowerVR Debuts at CeBit '98Top

While everyone's attention is turned to the Spring Tokyo Game Show, VideoLogic is showing its second generation PowerVR chipset, collectively dubbed 'Highlander' at CeBit '98 in Hanover, Germany (Euro equiv. of Comdex+E3.) Actually 'Highlander' refers to a product line of five chipsets, each with a different target market: the console market (In Sega's next console), mid-range 2d/3d, high end 2d/3d, mid-range 3d, and high end 3d. Thomas Pabst of Tom's Hardware Guide spent several hours at the PowerVR booth and has commented on the demos that are running. Here are some quotes of his comments from a RealAudio clip:

  • "A knockout..3D performance beyond the Voodoo 2...image quality beyond anything on the market....a highlight of CeBit."
  • "Saw games such as Incoming, Forsaken, and MDK2..all running smooth and great looking..."
  • "This chipset could get 3Dfx in it [PowerVR] is more powerful and cheaper than the Voodoo 2..."
  • "Full DirectX support including advanced features such as real time bump mapping, and anisotropic texture filtering with little or no performance degradation. [Ed. Anisotrpoic texture filtering is a type of filtering which results in less blurring than bi/tri-linear texture filtering. An example of tri-linear filtering is the N64 and its notoriously fuzzy texture maps. Basically, your 3D textured objects will have much sharper textures...]
For those of you who do not know, Thomas Pabst is a well respected hardware guru in the PC industry. He has done very (and I mean very) thorough research on 3D chipsets such as the Voodoo 1/2, Intel 740, the Riva chipset, etc. When the second gen PowerVR was first announced, Mr. Pabst even warned his readers not to get too excited over the press release until we actually see the chip running things. Well, from his comments, I'd say he's now very enthusiastic about VideoLogic's upcoming chipsets.

Confusion Surrounding DiscontinuationTop

Officials at Sega of America have stated that Saturn software & hardware is not being discontinued as of March 31st in the US. They claim that there has been a translation problem regarding the statements made by Japanese officials at Sega. Officials at SoA have stated that "...We are continuing to sell Saturn hardware and software and will continue to do so after March 31." However, developers have stated that hardware will be discontinued on March 31st and software releases will cease at the end of May...after the release of upcoming US titles. Whether it's just spin control, a true misunderstanding, or something else...who knows. Only time will reveal what will happen. I'll keep you informed.

Sega Discontinues Saturn Support in USTop

Its a sad time for Saturn fans. We've known that such an announcement was inevitable considering the Saturn's condition in the US market. The only question was when. Sega of Japan cites "fierce competition" in the US market as the reason for widthdrawing the Saturn from the US market. They state that the Saturn hardware and software will be withdrawn from sale in the US market. However, support in Europe and Japan will continue as more games are in development for European and Japanese release. The effect on future US Saturn games such as Panzer Dragoon RPG and Burning Rangers is unkown. It is probable that Sega will press limited amounts of the games. More info as it comes. Sega plans to now concentrate on its next console...

No X-men v. SF For USATop

The header states it all. Capcom has announced that they currently do not have any plans to release the game for the Saturn in the States. A European release is still scheduled (in about a month) however its release seems sketchy also. So it appears that if you want the game you'll have to import the Japanese or Euro (if it comes out) version along with a 4meg cart. Too bad Capcom...such a game would be extremely well recieved by US Saturn owners...along with the other '4meg' cart titles including Vampire Saviour.

Two Upcoming Title Release Dates AnnouncedTop

Just a note that the second game in the Shining Force III series, Shining Force III Scenario 2, will ship in Japan on April 30th selling for ¥4800. Konami has also announced the ship date of the long awaited Dracula X: Symphony of the Night. The game will ship in Japan on May 21st, it will retail for ¥3800.

Budget for European Launch of Next ConsoleTop

Sega of Europe has also secured $100 million for the launch of Sega's next console. European launch of the system is in September '99. Last month, Sega of America announced a $100 million launch plan as well.

Sega of America is the arm of Tokyo, Japan-based Sega Enterprises Ltd. responsible for the development, marketing and distribution of Sega videogame systems and videogames in the Americas. Sega Enterprises Ltd. is a $3.6 billion company recognized as the industry leader in interactive digital entertainment media, and is the only company that offers interactive entertainment experiences both inside and outside the home. Sega of America's World Wide Web site is located at (

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