What do random games like that matter?
The example is mot important. The principle elucidated by the example is what matters.
First you bash it then you complain we never got a port? What?
The principle I am talking about is Sega as a business, not as a game maker. I like most of their games, but that doesn’t make it impossible to think rationally about bad decisions.
Sega overextended itself way too much. Consoles with no games on them. Arcade games with no ports. Cool Riders came out 3 years after Virtua Racing. That is insane for 1995. A good game at the wrong time can be a bad business decision. But that isn’t enough for Sega. Competing against Ridge Racer, they launch with Gale Racer, a game that makes Stunt Race FX look like Gran Turismo 7.
if it made the money back just from selling/running a couple of cabinets in some crowded centers or what?
This is exactly the problem. Any big company can make a bit of money releasing an unpopular product. That doesn’t mean it is the right decision. Microsoft could make money by branching into the potato chip market, but should they?
As for console ports, not all games were/are suitable.
A few unported games is fine. If you look at a list of unported Sega arcade games you will notice that the problem is not just a few random examples, but a deep systemic problem which went on for a very long time. I count at least 20 arcade games from the 90’s that could have used a port, there are probably more.
The fact of the matter is Sega of Japan was not controlling the American branch. There seems to have been limited integration between the arcade and console divisions.
what the R&D for the hardware/software led to
I do know what it led to: the end of Sega as a serious player.
I know I wouldn't buy it for my Saturn
I like sprite scalers. I think they look cool. I would buy Cool Riders for my Saturn. But I also think making it was a mistake, a mistake emblematic of deep systemic problems with Sega.