In 1994, Sega released their next generation, dual 32-bit
console in Japan, and named it Sega Saturn. It was
instantly the #1 seller there. In May of 1995, Sega
unleashed their new console in America, with only a few games to support
it for the first 4 months. Sega underestimated the
popularity of 3D games that began with popular arcade titles like Virtua
Racing, Virtua Fighter and Daytona USA.
As a result, the Saturn didn't have an ideal amount of 3D
hardware. Yes, it could churn out some great 3D visuals via tight
programming, but that took too much time to develop. Sega of
America didn't do justice to the RPG market, as many great Saturn
games never saw daylight outside Japan. As it turns out, this lack of localizations
from SOA, built-in 3D support, and the Saturn's
complexity of development were mainly responsible for its waning popularity
in America and Europe. However, it does have plenty of 2D hardware
support, quick load times, and memory upgrades for superior animation.
Hindsight is 20/20. Now, we can look back and analyze the Saturn's
software library, only to find out (a surprise to some people) that the
Saturn has some of the best 32-bit software you can find.
Games like Daytona USA,
Rally, Virtua Fighter 2,
the Holy Ark,
Dragon Force, Iron Storm,
Dragoon Saga and NiGHTS remain unparalleled in
the 32-bit generation. One of the last Saturn games
to be released was Capcom's excellent Street
Fighter Zero 3, a definite must-have.