Sega Saturn new in its box. The Sega Saturn is a 32-bit 5th generation game console that was released on November 22, 1994 in Japan, May 11, 1995 in North America and July 8, 1995 in Europe.
Sega Saturn box. It gained popularity in Japan, but failed to attain a similar market share in either North America or Europe. The prime competitors were the PlayStation and later the Nintendo 64.
Back of the Sega Saturn box. At the time of its release the Saturn had impressive power, but its dual CPU design, with 6 other processors, made programming difficult for developers. Since some of the ancillary chips were common components, they were not specifically designed to work together.
Inside the Sega Saturn box. programming difficulties can be overcome. The biggest issue was the comparisons to programming for the PlayStation. Many developers came out saying it was easier to code for Sony's console. This may have been a large behind-the-scenes reason for the Saturn's performance.
Sega Saturn Console
The Sega Saturn console. Two different RAM cartridges were released for the system; a 1MB and a 4MB RAM cart.
The Sega Saturn console: right view. The Saturn was initially slated to launch on "Saturnday" - a week before the PlayStation launch in September 1995. It was then announced that the Saturn would launch immediately via 4 select retailers: Toys "R" Us, Babbage's, Software Etc. and Electronics Boutique.
The Sega Saturn console with the door open.
The Sega Saturn console: rear view.
The Sega Saturn console: bottom view.
Sega Saturn Joystick Controller
Sega Saturn's joystick controller.
Sega Saturn's joystick controller: three-quarter view.
Sega Saturn's joystick controller: front view showing the index finger paddles.
Sega Saturn's 3D controller. This controller was packaged with the game, Nights into Dreams. It provides an additional analog stick and shoulder triggers. It's round shape was likely to set it apart visually from other controllers, but it also has grips on the bottom to make it easier to handle. Nights Into Dreams was often packaged with Sega's new 3D Controller.
Sega Saturn Ports & Connections
Sega Saturn's 2 joystick controller ports.
Saturn's cartridge slot is on the top side of the console behind the game disc door. Many had hopes of inserting Genesis carts into it... no dice. The cartridge slot gave the ability to add RAM or storage devices for saving games to the system. Two ROM cartridges were released with Saturn games. One came with King of Fighters '95 and the other with Ultraman: Hikari no Kyojin Densetsu. These ROM carts contained portions of the game data due to lack of available system memory.
Saturn's ROM cartridge slot in the open position. ROM Cartridges were used to reduce loading times, a common problem in the early days of disc-based media, by storing some game data.. The Saturn can read data more quickly from the cartridge slot than from a compact disc, and so it can make more sense to store data in a cartridge.
Saturn's rear ports on the right-side of the console. A/C power port, A/V output and Communication Connector ports.
Saturn's rear Internal Expansion port on the left-side of the console. This slot also gives access to the 3 volt lithium battery that powers non-volatile RAM and an SMPC internal real-time clock.
Saturn's rear Internal Expansion port on the left-side of the console. It was designed for an optional MPEG adapter card. this view shows the edge-connector slot deep inside the Saturn.
Sega Saturn Promotional Ads
Sega Saturn's 1995 "Beautiful Naked Woman" ad. They point out that there's an attractive woman on the page in case you were overwhelmed by the Saturn's triple 32-bit processing power.
Ad text: She's got blonde hair, blue eyes and the best body her money can buy. SO WHAT! There's no time for distractions when you're deep into Sega Saturn. Besides, check out those screenshots. Ba-dah-boom, ba-dah-bing, know what I mean?
Sega Saturn's "Head For Saturn" campaign featuring Ice Cube.