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Sega Saturn is difficult to turn into a mini console, says Sega boss

Dice

Pokémon Parentage Conspiracy Theorist
I like the idea of these but I don't want any that don't have CRT pixel shaders. Old games look like absolute shit with flat pixels. (I'm looking at you, Sonic Origins. Receive the blessing from Sonic Mania.)
 
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Grechy34

Member
I thought this was obvious. And let’s be honest the PS Classic was a total hunk of shit.

Yep emulation was average when so many modern options are so much better.

I like the honesty of the article though. The Saturn was a very complex piece of hardware, moreso then the Dreamcast in many respects. Emulation is still hit and miss to this day.
 

TLZ

Banned
TThen do a Master System mini, stop ignoring my baby!
Reaction GIF by MOODMAN
 

Rob_27

Member
Why does it need to be emulation. This thing is ages old. Shrink the original parts and let it accept hdmi and solid state media.
 

Wulfer

Member
what are the odds those end up on a mini? I'd say slim to none.

Most of Saturn's best games didn't even come out in the US, at all.
Panzer Dragoon wouldn't be included and you can bet the 4 meg ram cart wouldn't be added. (It's the only way a mini should ever be released!)
 
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mosantos

Banned
Those ARM cheap models are not able to run an emulator of Saturn yet, such a pity 😞.

Before that, Sega could release some Saturn games by Carbon Engine. I think it could be easy money for them !

Another thing could be a Master System mini and a Game Gear mini (not micro) and a Nomad mini too
 

Disco Dave

Gold Member
Didn't Sega lose the source code for a lot of games from the Saturn era? Shining Force 3 and Panzer Dragoon Saga source code for sure.

That's two games (four games if you include the SF3 trilogy) that, unless Sega want to invest in reverse engineering them, they will not be on the Saturn Mini collection.

How many games in total have Sega retained source code for? What would a Saturn Mini lineup look like? PS mini sold on nostalgia and offered a lot of games that sold ~million copies each. Saturn has a catalogue that reviewed well but sold poorly at the time becuase of poor hardware sales. It's nostalgic impact is likely limited.

To be honest, I'd rather Sega remaster a lot of the Saturn catalogue. But even then I would have no faith in their remasters given the absolute state of their current output.
 
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Disco Dave

Gold Member
#FREE-DEEPFEAR

This game needs to be set free. Talk about a game that could use a real remake in 2023. Underrated gem for anyone who loves old school Resident Evil or Dino Crisis. Really solid effort.
I never played it becuase I couldn't find it at retail 😪 I remember going to a few stores after launch and it wasn't even stocked. I was a huge survival horror fan (I still am) and I would liked to have played it. Its not the same emulating it 25 years later.

The Saturn was well and truly toast by the time this launched. It didn't even get a US release if I recall.
 

lyan

Member
Yes it is lol.
Pretty sure I saw a retropie like play some saturn games. Surely they could do better.
Last I saw it runs like shit.
Plus you have to consider the cost of a controller, the miniature model, some sd storage plus licensing costs, and finally add a reasonable margin of profit.
 

RoboFu

One of the green rats
Didn't Sega lose the source code for a lot of games from the Saturn era? Shining Force 3 and Panzer Dragoon Saga source code for sure.

That's two games (four games if you include the SF3 trilogy) that, unless Sega want to invest in reverse engineering them, they will not be on the Saturn Mini collection.

How many games in total have Sega retained source code for? What would a Saturn Mini lineup look like? PS mini sold on nostalgia and offered a lot of games that sold ~million copies each. Saturn has a catalogue that reviewed well but sold poorly at the time becuase of poor hardware sales. It's nostalgic impact is likely limited.

To be honest, I'd rather Sega remaster a lot of the Saturn catalogue. But even then I would have no faith in their remasters given the absolute state of their current output.
Ehh you can decompile anything to assembly and a lot of Saturn games were made in assembly. It’s a lot of work but not impossible.
 

Disco Dave

Gold Member
Ehh you can decompile anything to assembly and a lot of Saturn games were made in assembly. It’s a lot of work but not impossible.
I'd suggest it is a mountainous task which is why Sega have not attempted it.

Now I'm only a mediocre Java developer by trade and I have never attempted the process, but yes, you can certainly decompile and get the assembly dump and mostly figure out what the program does from the object code, but it’s definately not easy. All function names have been lost, all comments have been lost and likely the program has been butchered by the optimiser to make it run faster. You have to read and interpret the assembly. You have no source code to help make the assembly dump clear. There will be no direct marker to help tell what line of the source the assembly came from.

And the Saturn hardware would need to be understood in order to decipher what the code was trying to do. Its basically 25 year old assembly likely written with workarounds to make obtuse hardware sing.

Modders would have a better chance at this project than a programmer at a major company - simply becuase of the high skill level required. Modders are also generally more motivated. Look at the modder who helped Rockstar fix the long loading times in GTA 5, after they couldn’t fix it themselves for years.


A skilled programmers time is not cheap and I'd wager the cost of this project would be to prohibitive to green light. And that is only one game.
 
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Mattyp

Gold Member
Meanwhile Android phones running most Saturn games surprisingly well.

He’s not arguing it can’t be done, but cost effect of $70 bucks compared to a $1,000 android phone then yeah.

I’ve still got my original Saturn, it’s one of the few consoles I worry about breaking but as it seems fairly fragile in comparison to its competitors.
 

stranno

Member
For some weird reason, you need some beefy hardware to emulate a Saturn properly. The same with an N64. It is weird.
Not really. SSF was ported to Switch and Playstation 4 and it works perfectly fine, besides the input lag.

It is the ZebraEngine emulator by City Connection. Used in their Saturn Tribute collections and Baroque: Original as well.

Sega already used emulators for Saturn 20 years ago, when they bought the GiriGiri emulator by Shinya "MegaDeath" Miyamoto and turned it into the "Cyber Disc" service: https://web.archive.org/web/20030807190727/http://cyberdisc.zaq.ne.jp/

GiriGiri (the hacked versions) was pretty light on resources back in 2001, to be honest. Games just ran fine on my end back then.
 
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I owned a Sega Saturn for about three months and enjoyed the likes of SEGA Rally etc before I got fed up of the threadbare release schedule here in the UK and traded it in for a second hand PlayStation. I think it was the best decision I ever made but the system did have some good games. However, I would be far more excited about a Dreamcast mini personally. That was, by far, the best console from SEGA for me and it was such a shame that it was never more successful. Thinks could be very different now if SEGA still made hardware, in fact, I wonder if Microsoft would have released Xbox if SEGA hadn't abandoned the hardware market. I mean the Xbox was pretty much Dreamcast 2 for me.
 

Krathoon

Member
Not really. SSF was ported to Switch and Playstation 4 and it works perfectly fine, besides the input lag.

It is the ZebraEngine emulator by City Connection. Used in their Saturn Tribute collections and Baroque: Original as well.

Sega already used emulators for Saturn 20 years ago, when they bought the GiriGiri emulator by Shinya "MegaDeath" Miyamoto and turned it into the "Cyber Disc" service: https://web.archive.org/web/20030807190727/http://cyberdisc.zaq.ne.jp/

GiriGiri (the hacked versions) was pretty light on resources back in 2001, to be honest. Games just ran fine on my end back then.
Yeah. I think you get these modern developers that really want to hog up resources.
Sounds like they can stick GiriGiri or ZebraEngine on an android device.

I would rather they just release a collection of Saturn games on Steam.
 
Saturn is awesome, it's really a shame it's difficult to get and play with actual hardware. I heard emulation is pretty solid though.

My Saturn/Satiator/Retrovision Component Cable are the prized jewel in my gaming collection.
 

TheMan

Member
We don’t need another novelty mini console. Just release a mega compilation of emulated favorites on modern consoles with options for higher res, faster load times, etc. I’d much rather play on my ps5 than hook up some dumb little mini thing with short ass wired controllers lol.
 

Evil Calvin

Afraid of Boobs
"cost of producing parts for either a Dreamcast or Saturn would be prohibitively expensive"

I hope he realizes that you don't need disc drives and 'parts'. Only a chip and emulation.
 

mosantos

Banned
Mega drive mini uses a ZUIKI Z7213 chip with a CPU of quad-core Cortex-A7 at 1.3 GHz, has a Mali-400 GPU and 256 MB of RAM.

Amlogic S922X (it has 6 cores, 6 threads, a maximum frequency of 1,9GHz) is a minimum requirement for Yaba Sanshiro 2 on Android
 
I don't have faith that Sega would get the game selection right for the western release.

We'd all expect Saturn Bomberman, Fighters Megamix, Dragon Force, Burning Rangers, X-men vs SF, Panzer Dragoon Saga, etc.

What we'd probably get is Nights surrounded by a handful of first party launch titles and common third party games like Earthworm Jim 2 and Myst.

I have a ton of nostalgia for Saturn so they could put out a mini that consists exclusively of lower tier games like Mr Bones and Baku Baku and I'd probably still get it.
 
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Kokoloko85

Member
Last I saw it runs like shit.
Plus you have to consider the cost of a controller, the miniature model, some sd storage plus licensing costs, and finally add a reasonable margin of profit.
I was able to play PDSaga without any issues. Disc swops too
 

Wulfer

Member
I don't have faith that Sega would get the game selection right for the western release.

We'd all expect Saturn Bomberman, Fighters Megamix, Dragon Force, Burning Rangers, X-men vs SF, Panzer Dragoon Saga, etc.

What we'd probably get is Nights surrounded by a handful of first party launch titles and common third party games like Earthworm Jim 2 and Myst.

I have a ton of nostalgia for Saturn so they could put out a mini that consists exclusively of lower tier games like Mr Bones and Baku Baku and I'd probably still get it.
What? You mean the Saturn Bomberman 64 that's going for $500+ on ebay? Yea, I highly doubt that. (Edit: just looked at your list again. You're wanting games that are currently worth thousands dollars online? Yea, pretty sure you won't get those.)
 
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