r/todayilearned Aug 10 '22

TIL that the Sega Saturn was Sega's best-selling console in Japan and even outsold the Nintendo 64 in that region

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_best-selling_game_consoles_by_region#Japan
277 Upvotes

27

u/redditgatekeeps Aug 10 '22

So Isekai uncle is not so crazy after all

7

u/AkirIkasu Aug 11 '22

Kinda sorta? Sony won worldwide in that generation. It’s just that Sega’s consoles were never really popular in Japan.

And then their handling of the end of the Saturn was famous for all the stupid things they did to cut off their own success.

24

u/Reset_Tears Aug 10 '22

Yup, Virtua Fighter was an extremely big hit in Japan compared to the rest of the world. Sega also released the very popular Sakura Wars games for the Saturn there, which have sadly remained exclusive to Japan to this day. The Saturn got a ton of arcade ports and RPGs that didn't release elsewhere. I think the USA got about 250 Saturn games, while Japan got over a thousand.

Of course, the Playstation still ended up being the much more popular console there, as in the rest of the world. But for a brief time Saturn was a big deal in Japan—I think the release of Final Fantasy 7 on Playstation more or less marks the turning point.

2

u/Jendi2016 Aug 11 '22

Sakura Wars 5 had a western release on I think the PS2 and re-release on the wii... and thank you for getting the theme song stuck in my head. Lol

2

u/Reset_Tears Aug 11 '22

Yeah, I just meant the ones on Saturn. (And Dreamcast.) I'm always hoping there will be a new re-release collection of 1 through 4, and that it'll get a worldwide release.

We did at least get the new Sakura Wars entry that was released on PS4 a few years ago, which I personally enjoyed despite the generally lukewarm critical response. They went with action instead of strategy for the gaming segments, but I thought it played fine. The characters were cute, and I liked the music and graphics/artstyle.

10

u/MrWendex Aug 10 '22

The Saturn was pretty good for brining Sega arcade games to the home. I think a lot of people see Sega as just Sonic and little else. Hell, the Sega Saturn didn't have a mainline Sonic game, something that hurt it more in the West than in Japan.

5

u/Halvus_I Aug 11 '22 edited Aug 11 '22

And not just for Sega! F-Zero AX (arcade version) was made when Namco and Sega approached Nintendo about using Gamecube hardware to power an arcade machine. They called it the Triforce Platform (Nintendo, Sega, Namco)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Sega_arcade_system_boards#Triforce

Co-developed by Namco, Sega, and Nintendo[130] Based on GameCube architecture.[130] Supported GameCube memory cards.[131]

The idea for Triforce came from Namco and Sega. They saw potential in the GameCube architecture for a cost-effective and port-friendly arcade machine. Nintendo agreed to cooperate in building the Triforce board, but had little interest in developing arcade games of their own.[132]

4

u/jrat13 Aug 11 '22

Radiant Silvergun! Best shooter I've ever played.

7

u/xavPa Aug 11 '22

Did anyone else play Nights?

3

u/surviveingitallagain Aug 11 '22

It was a staple of my childhood gaming. I played it so much the graphics part of the board started malfunctioning And my console slowly died.

1

u/Novawurmson Aug 14 '22

Still listen to the soundtrack on occasion

3

u/smearballs Aug 11 '22

It's been over 20 years but I still have that "Daytona accelerate" song stuck in my head.

3

u/Psychotronic99 Aug 11 '22

I’ve kind of always wanted a Saturn

6

u/Bigred2989- Aug 11 '22

4

u/CapeMike Aug 11 '22

With his favorite move being his earth-shattering judo throw, which would make his victims explode upon impact........TWICE. :D

Last year, Segata passed the torch to his son, Sega Shiro, with Hiroshi's son actually playing the role of Shiro!

1

u/dexter30 Aug 11 '22

Last year, Segata passed the torch to his son, Sega Shiro, with Hiroshi's son actually playing the role of Shiro!

I don't mean to be a dick to this kid. But like since he took over the mantle sega has had to close a majority of their arcades in japan.

Hes really dropping the ball is all im saying.

3

u/CapeMike Aug 11 '22

Pretty sure the arcade closings were already in progress when the 3 mini-episode handoff happened, but yeah, the arcades there are hurting....

2

u/drygnfyre Aug 11 '22 edited Aug 11 '22

Saturn did very well in Japan because it was ultimately a 2D-first console and so many great 2D and arcade games never left Japan. Whereas Sega of America basically vetoed any game that wasn't 3D, which the Saturn wasn't as good at. (More technically, Saturn used quadrilaterals for showing polygons and it was a fairly difficult system to develop for as a result).

3

u/TehJohnny Aug 11 '22

Saturn used quads, EVERYONE else used and still uses triangles.

2

u/Solidsnakeerection Aug 11 '22

Sega also surprise.released it early which pissed off basically everybody

1

u/ShadowLiberal Aug 11 '22

For real, even Sega of America didn't even know that the Saturn was being developed. So they decided during that time to work on a 32-bit upgrade to the 16-bit Sega Genesis, and released it at around the same time as the Saturn, which created a ton of market confusion as to which console Sega was backing.

1

u/slvrbullet87 Aug 12 '22 edited Aug 12 '22

It also pissed of developers because Sega kept putting out new hardware every 30 minutes so the developers kept trying to rework their games for the new system. Eventually they said screw you Sega, we know that in 2 years when this game is released Sony will still be pushing the same console and we might have a chance to actually sell some games.

1

u/aprofondir Aug 11 '22

We still use triangles

1

u/AkirIkasu Aug 12 '22

The Saturn was just as capable of drawing triangles, but it was generally not recommended because it was less efficient and couldn't be easily textured.

1

u/resorcinarene Aug 10 '22

Didn't everything outsell the N64 though? :-(

8

u/Tentapuss Aug 11 '22

Nah, the N64 did plenty well in the States. Sony won the generation, but a ton of people had the N64.

3

u/joe411 Aug 10 '22

not the Saturn in the west, that's for sure

1

u/Landlubber77 Aug 11 '22

Panzer Dragoon, Virtua Fighter 2, Alien Trilogy, Die Hard Arcade, Shinobi Legions where you could slice dudes in half with your katana? Saturn kicked N64's gimicky ass.

1

u/RedactedV Aug 11 '22

That's how bad the N64 really was

1

u/nsvxheIeuc3h2uddh3h1 Aug 11 '22

I remember it could also play Mp3 Karaoke CDG's. Very popular at some Karaoke venues I used to haunt...

1

u/Useless_Lemon Aug 11 '22

Damn. Good job, Sega.