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1996 Sega Document Reveals It Believed It Was “Killing Sony” With The Saturn

A newly discovered Sega document from 1996 shows the company’s unbridled confidence in the Saturn, saying the console was “killing Sony” in Japan.

As reported by pc gamerthe document that was previously confidential and was placed on the website sega retrorevealed 272 pages of internal information, including manufacturing costs, sales figures, product strategies, and more.

An email from former Sega of America CEO Tom Kalinske, sent on March 28, 1996, draws attention to his confidence in the success of the Sega Saturn video game.

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“It’s one thing to hear or read about how well we’re doing in Japan against Sony, it’s another to witness it in person,” Kalinske said. “We are killing Sony. In every store, the Saturn is sold out and there are piles of PlayStation. Retailers commented that they cannot compare the true sales rate because the Saturn sells out before they can accurately measure it.”

The year before this email was sent, during E3 1995, Sega said that it would not release the Saturn in September as planned, but that it would be available immediately, which came as a surprise to everyone at the time.

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In response, Sony took to the stage a few hours later to announce that the PlayStation would cost $299 (down from the Saturn’s $399). The situation later became known as one of the worst video game launches in history, as in addition to the higher price, Sega did not have enough console units and games to justify launching the Saturn earlier.

Ultimately, the Saturn was a commercial failure, but is fondly remembered for games like Panzer Dragoon Saga, Virtua Fighter 2, Shining Force 3, Nights into Dreams, Radiant Silvergun, and others.

Via IGN

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1996 Sega Document Reveals It Believed It Was “Killing Sony” With The Saturn

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