The fourth home video game console manufactured by Sega was known as Sega Saturn in Japanese (セガサターン Sega Satān). It was the immediate successor to Mega Drive of the fifth generation of video game consoles, and was pitted against Sony PlayStation and Nintendo 64. Release dates in North America (May 11, 1995), Europe (July 8, 1995), and Japan (November 22, 1994) are all the same.
The hardware was created by a team at RandD under the direction of Hideki Sato and used a dual CPU with two Hitachi SH-2 cores for three-dimensional graphics. Over 1000 games, all available in CD-ROM format and developed by Sega and other companies, are available for the system. For the most part, they were only available in Japan. A cartridge loader was also incorporated, allowing the RAM memory of some games to be expanded.
Sega Saturn exceeded expectations with a total global sales figure of 9.26 million units, falling behind PlayStation and Nintendo 64. Although Sony's system far outsold in North America and Europe, it was the second best-selling game console of its generation. in Japan, surpassing Mega Drive sales there. Saturn games were still released in Japan until 2000, but Sega stopped marketing them in 1998 to make room for the Dreamcast.
The Saturn library is famous for classic games such as Nights into Dreams, Sega Rally Championship, the Panzer Dragoon series, Virtua Cop and the Virtua Fighter series (the best-selling game is Virtua Fighter 2 (SAT)), as well as for its arcade conversions. In addition, its gaming prowess has been emphasized. Thanks to the RAM expansion cartridges and the Sega 32X, 2D. However, due to its intricate dual-processor architecture and use of four-vertex polygons, developers found it difficult to program 3D games. Sega's management has come under fire over the years for the decisions it made regarding the console's development and promotion.
Along with novelty devices such as Game and Car Navi or HiSaturn, there are numerous Sega Saturn models available in a variety of sizes, shades and designs. The differences between systems are not as pronounced as with Sega Mega Drive because the same fundamental feature set and component designs were used worldwide throughout the console's existence.
Models from manufacturers and from Sega
|Sega Saturn||First model but without aesthetic changes.|
|Hitachi Saturn (HiSaturn)||Model manufactured by Hitachi. Same hardware.|
|Victor Saturn (V-Saturn)||Model manufactured by Victor/JVC for the Japanese market. Same hardware.|
|Samsung Saturn||Model manufactured by Samsung for the Korean market. Same hardware.|
|Sega Titan Video (ST-V)||Arcade board with Saturn hardware.|
Special or regional models
|Sega Saturn Europe||Model for Europe without hardware changes.|
|Sega Saturn Korean||South Korea model with no hardware changes.|
|Sega Saturn HST-0020 "This is Cool"||Special model for Japan with no hardware changes.|
|Sega Saturn HST-0022 "Derby Stallion"||Special model for Japan with no hardware changes.|
|Sega Saturn HST-0001 "White"||White color model for Japan without hardware changes.|
|Victor Saturn RG-JX2 (V-Saturn RG-JX2)||Model with color changes in the buttons for Japan without hardware changes.|
Music and Sound
Its sound hardware is a dual sound processor, consisting of the Motorola 68EC000 and the 32-channel Yamaha YMF292 chip.
At the top is the CD-ROM drive, as well as a cartridge drive for adding peripherals, while at the front there are two ports for controllers. In addition, the console incorporates a multimedia center capable of playing audio, video CD and photo CD. Saturn discs have a capacity of 650 MB.
It consists of:
- Sound: 16bit CISC 68EC000 (11.3 MHz)
- 32 PCM and 8 FM channels
- 16-bit sampling, 44.1 kHz max.
- Digital Signal Processor (DSP) for audio
- CD drive: Double speed (300 kb/s)