Numerous documents related to Sega’s activities in the 1990s appeared on the Internet. They open a unique window into the past. For example, they highlight the factors and decisions that led to the company’s exit from the console industry. It turns out the company grossly underestimated the Sony PlayStation and overestimated its own success. The documents relate to the Sega-Saturn console, which once faced many obstacles to success, especially in the US market.
A collection of documents, including business e-mails, financial results and plans, allows you to assess the “landscape” of the gaming industry at that time. One of the most interesting documents is a letter from Tom Kalinsky, CEO of Sega of America, dated March 1996, which fully reflects the optimism and power of the console manufacturer’s rivalry.
“I just visited 10 retail stores in Tokyo (mainly in Akihabara Electronics Market); It’s spring break so there are huge crowds of teenagers/students everywhere. We’re killing Sony. Saturn consoles are sold out in every store, but PlayStations are in stock.the businessman wrote optimistically.
“According to sellers, they couldn’t compare actual sales volumes because Saturns sell out before sales figures can be accurately calculated.”Kalinske wrote optimistically and also referred to the superiority in other ways, probably without being aware of future disappointments.
As it turned out, despite Sega’s confidence in the early stages of sales, the Saturn wasn’t really a commercial success. As a result, this also affected the sales of the later, significantly more developed Dreamcast model, which was also unable to achieve any real success. Meanwhile, the PlayStation continued to win the hearts of gamers and Sony grew into one of the most influential companies in the gaming industry.
As you know, today, having long left the game console market, Sega collaborates with other platforms and is mainly engaged in video game development. According to Neowin, even Microsoft considered buying the company at one point.