• Release Date November 22, 1994
  • CPU 2X Hitachi SH-2 @ 28.6 MHz
  • Graphics VDP1 & VDP2 video display processors
  • Memory 2 MB RAM, 1.5 MB VRAM
  • Sound Yamaha YMF292
  • Media CD-ROM
  • Manufacturer Sega
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The Sega Saturn is the fifth generation Sega console, features 32-bit technology and launched in Japan on November 22, 1994, on May 11, 1995 in the US and on July 8, 1995 in Europe. Prized by devoted fans but doomed to an early death, the Saturn had too many burdens against it from the start. With the recent 32X disaster, Sega desperately wanted to start over with its 32-bit system, but the damage was done. Veteran gamers weren't very likely to give Sega the benefit of the doubt. In addition, Sega made several serious mistakes that would also lay the first stone for the failure of the future Dreamcast. To try to steal the spotlight from the PlayStation, Sega released the Saturn months before Sony's console. But because of the preview, it had few games available, and some key retail chains didn't like the move, and they withdrew support for Sega.

The learning curve to program for the Saturn's dual-processor system was very long and, in fact, Sega is said to have added a second processor upon learning of the PlayStation's specifications, but this is not a proven fact. What is certain is that, leaving Sega's own games aside, it seems that no other study was able to take advantage of the second processor. Between one thing and another, when the really powerful Saturn games came out, the PlayStation was already light years ahead of the market.While the console enjoyed some success in Japan, especially in its early days, the American episode was key in the history of the fifth generation. Tom Kalinske, president of Sega America, announced that the Saturn would be launched on the so-called "Saturnday", on September 2, 1995. This date was expected by the media and gamers, and also let it be known that Sony would launch its PlayStation one week later on September 9.