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Welcome to an alternative universe...


Gamenerd

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Welcome, traveller of time and space, to Earth B. Earth B is different to Earth A in few ways; SEGA took an entirely different route in the early 3D era.

The year is 1994, but something is strangely wrong. The 32X was never released, and the Saturn in Japan still hasn't been released. Some time passes. Sony have the Japanese market to themselves as SEGA fail to release their console. Then 1995 rolls around. Sony has every marketplace to itself, with the Ultra 64 being delayed, and not planned for release until 1996 (and not until midway through the year). Suddenly out of nowhere, SEGA makes a grand reappearance. They show off some cool shit with their Saturn console, only unlike on Earth A, the Saturn is using a simplified-but-powerful chipset, nearly identical to their Model 2 arcade machines - the graphics are as good as Nintendo 64 or Playstation, but easier to code for than in Earth A. The console is slated for release in late 1995.

There are two great big killer apps planned for the system; Nights and Sonic Saturn. Nights is identical to its Earth A counterpart, only with better graphics and smoother gameplay since the Saturn is easier to program for. Sonic Saturn is entirely unlike Sonic X-treme. It is a game being worked on by the finest members of some of SEGA's best dev teams, from Sonic Team to Amusement Vision. It is a game that runs on a Sonic Jam-like engine, with its intuitive camera and visual design, but faster, with pinball physics in play, fully explorable 3D worlds and a Mario 64-like mission system. Things are looking up for SEGA.

And things go great. The system is easy to program for, earning it much third-party support. More importantly, SEGA releases Nights before Nintendo releases Mario 64, as well as beating Mario to the punch with their new, revolutionary-for-its-time Sonic Saturn. Suddenly, SEGA has the industry by the balls! They've revolutionised the action-platformer with Nights and Sonic Saturn, whereas on Earth A, it was Mario that took the world by storm and showed us what 3D can do.

Now for the point of this thread. Where would SEGA, and by proxy Sonic, be in 2009 if during the fifth generation of home consoles, SEGA made their console easier to program for, and revolutionised the 3D Platformer before Mario had the chance to? Would Nintendo be the one out of the console business? Would Sonic be in better games than he is now, or would he be whored out to epic proportions like Mario is? Would SEGA have even released the Dreamcast or would they have taken a different route? And would Sonic have had his Adventure makeover or would he be old-school still? Through these few changes on the part of SEGA and Sonic, both the company and the franchise could be massively different today. In fact I'd argue that gaming itself would be an entirely different beast. If Sonic never went on hiatus, would we still be seeing copycats like Bubsy and Sparkster?

The mind boggles at where things could go in Earth B. What do you think?

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Sega's losses in the console wars certainly started with the Saturn, so I'll agree with you on that. Their decisions make no sense, like even considering going ahead with the 32X. How many games did that chunky thing even have, 20? Or not committing to its brand's hottest franchises, like how they go and cancel Sonic X-treme. Why would you do that. With some of the more embarrassing Sonic games out there, I don't think it's even an issue arguing whether that would have been good or not. A fully 3D Sonic game moves units, regardless.

I think when Sony entered the business, it became about how Nintendo and Sega as natives of the video game industry, would survive against a hardware giant with their own console. Nintendo got by with character, because their brand was strong. They slipped with the GC, but are back strong now. Sega could have been that, if they didn't quit on the freaking DC. If the Wii didn't succeed like it did this generation, Nintendo could've stepped out like Sega did. Sega couldn't innovate. The quality of Sega games drops off right where the Dreamcast dies. Thanks, Peter Moore! <_<

I seriously think that Sega could make a comeback with a handheld, though. They just keep certain handheld releases exclusive.

Edited by Badnikz
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Or not committing to its brand's hottest franchises, like how they go and cancel Sonic X-treme. Why would you do that.

Sega could have been that, if they didn't quit on the freaking DC. If the Wii didn't succeed like it did this generation, Nintendo could've stepped out like Sega did. Sega couldn't innovate. The quality of Sega games drops off right where the Dreamcast dies. Thanks, Peter Moore! <_<

Well, you'd have to take into consideration the kind of circumstances that caused both their downfall. Sonic X-Treme was severely behind schedule due to many technical problems and just plain bad luck, and the amount of pressure that was under the dev team almost killed one of the creators.

And the Dreamcast, despite having a strong collection of launch games, ultimately could not keep the markets attention after the PS2's booming popularity in Japan, and taking the vast majority of the market because of it's DVD player which was a big deal for the Japanese.

Edited by VirgoTheCougar
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Nintendo wouldn't have been out of business; they just wouldn't have been dominating the console market because SEGA would have come up with the Wii first.

Here's a link. The pictures aren't there anymore, so it's hard to see what it looked like, but the similarities were surprising.

Even though this is definitely fake. But whatever.

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Sega's problems have always had to do with massive mismanagement. Steve Kalinski (I appriciate what he does, but I don't fel like looking up his name right now) was basically responsible for the success of the Genesis in the US. So the Japanese baord of directors forces the president to fire him. They were jealous or something. They killed the Genesis way too early - it was still selling, but they wanted to make way for the Saturn. The Saturn's early release came as a complete surprise to everyone outside Sega... including third party developers. They're games weren't ready yet. They also made enemies out of a bunch of big retail chains who weren't in on the surprise. Skip forward a few years, the Saturn is starting to have more nice games come out for it. Then Bernie Solar (president of Sega's US division) says the Saturn is done for.

Sonic Xtreme wouldn't have changed shit, the problem was that Sega couldn't manage their way out of a wet paper bag.

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Sega's problems have always had to do with massive mismanagement. Steve Kalinski (I appriciate what he does, but I don't fel like looking up his name right now) was basically responsible for the success of the Genesis in the US. So the Japanese baord of directors forces the president to fire him. They were jealous or something. They killed the Genesis way too early - it was still selling, but they wanted to make way for the Saturn. The Saturn's early release came as a complete surprise to everyone outside Sega... including third party developers. They're games weren't ready yet. They also made enemies out of a bunch of big retail chains who weren't in on the surprise. Skip forward a few years, the Saturn is starting to have more nice games come out for it. Then Bernie Solar (president of Sega's US division) says the Saturn is done for.

Sonic Xtreme wouldn't have changed shit, the problem was that Sega couldn't manage their way out of a wet paper bag.

Yeah, I've always noticed that Sega has a bit too much internal disarray to properly sustain itself. I mean, if there wasn't such high competition between STI and Sonic Team, Yuji Naka probably wouldn't have had such a fit over X-Treme.

But I disagree that Xtreme wouldn't have changed anything. Had it been a success, STI would probably still be around and maybe even have taken Sonic Team's place.

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While the 32x seemed to be a mistake for the company to even think of, I would go so far as to say the Sega CD was the initial downfall. We can all say that the 32X was an attempt to keep the genesis alive but so was the CD. Now while I'm not completely aware of the process it took to create the Sega CD but take a hint from nintendo. They held off on trying to improve the sales if their 16-bit systems to make the N64. The 64 was the last on the market of the console wars and it sold very well. Sega deliberately stopped working on their Saturn to try to beat Sony and Nintendo on the next gen systems. Sega attempts to be the 1st on the market never turned out well for them (even today with Sonic 06 showing how rushed jobs don't work).

Now imagine Sonic CD with the Saturn's powers. If there was more effort to work on the Sonic3 & knuckles game as the FULL game (I know that Sonic CD was made by japan but the funding for the game could've been given to the American team, regardless) and then the epic story telling, the animation, and the gameplay was built to be played on the Saturn. That game would make the Saturn soar for the same length as the Genesis was, we'd might even see Sonic X-treme completed. With all that aside, it's all about the 3rd party games, and the Saturn had games like 'D' for sale. If you ask me, Sony is under the same boat right now. Sony only makes it for having BlueRay and exclusive 3rd party games, which for me I would only get one for Kingdom Hearts and they're not going to make exclusive Sony games anymore (because they won't survive on that system alone). Nintendo realized you had to go 3rd party and this resulted in the Genesis complex; sell out to grab a wider audience but sacrifice quality (Shaq-Fu).

Xbox does not have a marketable character and relies on their 3rd party producers to keep the system functioning.

I wouldn't be surprised if Sega decided to side with Microsoft and made Sonic games exclusive for 360 if they didn't want to loose the obvious target market advantage of Nintendo. In the future I could predict Sega excluding Sony from their games, just for the fact that is was Sony that pushed them out of the console wars (while Microsoft was the company that pushed Sega over the edge) .

This is an idea I've been thinking about though, that Sonic is not doing well because the designers have to work in the confounds of the systems limitations, rather then systems made to run at Sonic speeds. Still, while so many 3rd party programmers can make unknown characters strive (like Cooking Mama), it still raises questions about what Sonic Team is doing wrong.

Edited by Annie-Mae
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Actually, with SEGA around, Microsoft may not have had the bright idea to go into the video game hardware business, as SEGA's consoles used Microsoft software to operate.

Well shows how lose the companies are connected. The disadvantage of Sega becoming a console exclusive again would be to loose Nintendos wider younger market, which is key for Sonic games. While 360 shows that it's more kid accessible, it's still doesn't attract parents in like a Wii or DS.

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But I disagree that Xtreme wouldn't have changed anything. Had it been a success, STI would probably still be around and maybe even have taken Sonic Team's place.

I agree there. However, I also consider Sonic Team USA to be a sort of successor to STI. And yes, they are capable of being that good - Sega games would definitely be of much higher quality if there was still Sega hardware to put them on.

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