Bad PR 101: Sega’s “Funny” Folly Went Over (and On) the Heads of Some…

next gen sega card (Large)Yeah, that postcard to the left was promising back in 1996, but less than three years later, the Sega Saturn ship was about to come crashing to earth in a slow nuclear explosion. While the console did get a number of excellent titles, fans of the system in North America suffered through Sega of America’s leadership at the time that seemed to ignore some pretty obvious Japanese 2D imports in a few genres in favor of approving too many first and third party polygon-based games or imports that seemed “safe” bets if the right segment of the system’s audience was willing to buy them.

Combine that with some third-party games taking seemingly forever to arrive and Sega deciding to only ship limited quantities of the last few major games on the platform and having the gall to rub consumer’s faces in it for the best game on the platform (see below the jump) and you end up with a console that died a horrible death it really didn’t need to…

panzer dragoon ad 

Granted, Sega greatly made up for the loss of the Saturn with the Dreamcast, but despite the first huge leap in visuals from the 32 and 64-bit “era” and a load of critically and commercially received titles, even that console sunk within a few years, taking Sega out as a major player in the home console business permanently. Granted, that certainly didn’t stop developers from still making games for the system for years afterwards (mostly arcade shooters and assorted simulation and adventure games) and the most diehard fans from buying them, so one could say the system didn’t “die” as much as go forgotten in the woods by the company that created it.

I say Microsoft is quite lucky indeed that they didn’t zoom down the same road with the Xbox One based on their recent policy changes (that are far from perfect). However, it’s still early and that new console isn’t out yet, so they have plenty of time to muck thinks up in the new post-Mattrick stage of the console’s pre-launch countdown. Of course, they have a MUCH larger bankroll than Sega ever did and can take the hits (or misses) against their new system… well, to some extent. On the other hand, the amount of damage caused to the Xbox brand in the first seven months of this year alone could spell less than stellar early sales of the new Xbox unless the same people complaining and campaigning so furiously for changes suddenly get a bad case of forgiveness and have lifetime passes to Short Attention Span Theater.

Yeah, I can see the flocks of early adopter sheep stacking up in those midnight launch lines sooner than later, but as usual, we shall see…

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