32X

The 32X is an add-on for the Sega Genesis video game console. Codenamed "Project Mars", the 32X was designed to expand the power of the Genesis and serve as a transitional console into the 32-bit era until the release of the Sega Saturn. Independent of the Genesis, the 32X uses its own ROM cartridges and has its own library of games. The add-on was distributed under the name Super 32X[a] in Japan, Genesis 32X in North America, Mega Drive 32X in the PAL region, and Mega 32X in Brazil.

Unveiled by Sega at June 1994's Consumer Electronics Show, the 32X was presented as a low-cost option for consumers looking to play 32-bit games. Developed in response to the Atari Jaguar and concerns that the Saturn would not make it to market by the end of 1994, the product was conceived as an entirely new console. At the suggestion of Sega of America executive Joe Miller and his team, the console was converted into an add-on to the existing Genesis and made more powerful. The final design contained two 32-bit central processing units and a 3D graphics processor. To bring the new add-on to market by its scheduled release date of November 1994, development of the new system and its games was rushed. The console failed to attract third-party video game developers and consumers because of the announcement of the Sega Saturn's simultaneous release in Japan. Sega's efforts to rush the 32X to market cut into available time for game development, resulting in a weak library of forty titles that could not fully use the add-on's hardware, including Genesis ports. By the end of 1994, the 32X had sold 665,000 units. After price reductions in 1995, it was discontinued in 1996 as Sega turned its focus to the Saturn.

The 32X is considered a commercial failure. Reception after the add-on's unveiling and launch was positive, highlighting the low price of the system and power expansion to the Genesis. Later reviews, both contemporary and retrospective, for the 32X have been mostly negative because of its shallow game library, poor market timing and the resulting market fragmentation for the Genesis.

32X
Sega 32X logo
Sega-Genesis-Model2-32X
The 32X attached to a second model Genesis
ManufacturerSega
TypeVideo game console add-on
GenerationFifth generation
Release date
  • NA: November 21, 1994
  • JP: December 3, 1994
  • EU: January 1995
Lifespan1994-1996
Introductory priceUS$159.99
¥16,800
£169.99
Discontinued1996
Units sold665,000 as of the end of 1994
MediaROM cartridge,
CD-ROM (with Sega CD)
CPU2 × SH-2 32-bit RISC @ 23 MHz
Memory256 KB RAM, 256 KB VRAM
Display320 × 240 resolution, 32,768 on-screen colors[1]
Dimensions110 mm × 210 mm × 100 mm (4.3 in × 8.3 in × 3.9 in)
Mass495 g (17.5 oz)[1]
Backward
compatibility
Sega Genesis cartridges
Related articlesSega CD

History

The Sega Genesis, initially released in Japan as the Mega Drive in 1988, was Sega's entry into the 16-bit era of video game consoles.[2] The console was then released as the Genesis in 1989 for the North American market, with releases in other regions following a year later.[2]

Although the earlier release of the Sega CD add-on had been commercially disappointing,[3][4] Sega began to develop a stop-gap solution that would bridge the gap between the Genesis and the Sega Saturn, serving as a less expensive entry into the 32-bit era.[5] The decision to create a new system was made by Sega CEO Hayao Nakayama and broadly supported by Sega of America employees. According to former Sega of America producer Scot Bayless, Nakayama was worried that the Saturn would not be available until after 1994, and about the recent release of the 64-bit Atari Jaguar. As a result, the direction given was to have this second release to market by the end of the year.[3]

Development

During the Winter Consumer Electronics Show in January 1994, Sega of America research and development head Joe Miller took a phone call in his Las Vegas hotel suite from Nakayama, in which Nakayama stressed the importance of coming up with a quick response to the Jaguar. Included on this call were Bayless, Sega hardware team head Hideki Sato, and Sega of America vice president of technology Marty Franz. One potential idea for this came from a concept from Sega of Japan, later known as "Project Jupiter", an entirely new independent console.[3] Project Jupiter was initially slated to be a new version of the Genesis, with an upgraded color palette and a lower cost than the upcoming Saturn, as well as with some limited 3D capabilities thanks to integration of ideas from the development of the Sega Virtua Processor chip. Miller suggested an alternative strategy, citing concerns with releasing a new console with no previous design specifications within six to nine months.[6] According to former Sega of America producer Michael Latham, Miller said, "Oh, that's just a horrible idea. If all you're going to do is enhance the system, you should make it an add-on. If it's a new system with legitimate new software, great. But if the only thing it does is double the colors...."[7] Miller, however, insists that the decision was made collectively to talk about alternative solutions. One idea was to leverage the existing Genesis as a way to keep from alienating Sega customers, who would otherwise be required to discard their Genesis systems entirely to play 32-bit games, and to control the cost of the new system.[6] This would come in the form of an add-on. From these discussions, Project Jupiter was discontinued and the new add-on, codenamed "Project Mars", was advanced.[3]

At the suggestion from Miller and his team, Sega designed the 32X as a peripheral for the existing Genesis, expanding its power with two 32-bit SuperH-2 processors.[7] The SH-2 had been developed in 1993 as a joint venture between Sega and Japanese electronics company Hitachi.[8] The original design for the 32X add-on, according to Bayless, was created on a cocktail napkin,[9] but Miller insists that this was not the case. At the end of the Consumer Electronics show, with the basic design of the 32X in place, Sega of Japan invited Sega of America to assist in development of the new add-on.[6]

Although the new unit was a stronger console than originally proposed, it was not compatible with Saturn games.[7] This was justified by Sega's statement that both platforms would run at the same time, and that the 32X would be aimed at players who could not afford the more expensive Saturn.[10][11] Bayless praised the potential of this system at this point, calling it "a coder's dream for the day" with its twin processors and 3D capabilities.[3] Sega of America headed up the development of the 32X, with some assistance from Sato's team at Sega of Japan. Shortages of processors due to the same 32-bit chips being used in both the 32X and the Saturn hindered the development of the 32X, as did the language barrier between the teams in Japan and the United States.[3]

Before the 32X could be launched, the release date of the Saturn was announced for November 1994 in Japan, coinciding with the 32X's target launch date in North America. Sega of America now was faced with trying to market the 32X with the Saturn's Japan release occurring simultaneously. Their answer was to call the 32X a "transitional device" between the Genesis and the Saturn, to which Bayless describes of the strategy, "[f]rankly, it just made us look greedy and dumb to consumers."[3]

Pre-launch promotion, release, and marketing

Sega-Saturn-JP-Mk1-Console-Set
Japanese Sega Saturn, released in November 1994. The 32X was incompatible with Saturn software.

The unveiling of the 32X to the public came at the Summer Consumer Electronics Show in June 1994 in Chicago. Promoted as the "poor man's entry into 'next generation' games", 32X was marketed for its US$159 price point as a less-expensive alternative to the Saturn. However, Sega would not answer as to whether or not a Genesis console equipped with a Sega CD and a 32X would be able to run Saturn software. Founder of The 3DO Company, Trip Hawkins, was willing to point out that it would not, stating, "Everyone knows that 32X is a Band-Aid. It's not a 'next generation system.' It's fairly expensive. It's not particularly high-performance. It's hard to program for, and it's not compatible with the Saturn."[7] In response to these comments, Sega executive Richard Brudvik-Lindner pointed out that the 32X would play Genesis titles, and had the same system architecture as the Saturn.[7]

In August of that year, GamePro highlighted the advantages of the upcoming add-on in its 32-bit processors and significantly lower price, noting that "[n]o doubt gotta-get-it-now gamers will spend the big bucks to grab Saturn or PlayStation systems and games from Japan. For the rest of us, however, 32X may well be the system of choice in '94."[12] In promotion for the new system, Sega promised 12 games available at launch and 50 games due for release in 1995 from third-party developers.[12]

The 32X was released on November 21, 1994, in North America, in time for the holiday season that year.[7] As announced, it retailed for $159.99, and had a reasonably successful launch in the marketplace.[3] Demand among retailers was high, and Sega could not keep up with orders for the new system.[7] Over 1,000,000 orders had been placed for 32X units, but Sega had only managed to ship 600,000 units by January 1995.[11] Launching at about the same price as a Genesis console, the price of the 32X was less than half of what the Saturn's price would be at launch.[5] Despite Sega's initial promises, only six titles were available at its North American launch, including Doom, Star Wars Arcade, Virtua Racing Deluxe, and Cosmic Carnage. Although Virtua Racing was considered a "strong" title, Cosmic Carnage "looked and played so poorly that reporters made jokes about it."[7][13] Games were available at a retail price of $69.95.[12] Advertising for the system included images of the 32X being connected to a Genesis console to create an "arcade system". Japan received the 32X on December 3, 1994, at a cost of JP¥16,800.[14] The system's PAL release came in January 1995, at a price of GB£169.99, and also experienced initial high demand.[3]

Decline

Despite the lower price console's positioning as an inexpensive entry into 32-bit gaming, Sega had a difficult time convincing third-party developers to create games for the new system. Top developers were already aware of the coming arrival of the Sega Saturn, Nintendo 64, and PlayStation, and did not believe the 32X would be capable of competing with any of those systems.[7] The quick development time of the 32X also made game development difficult, according to Franz.[3] Not wanting to create games for an add-on that was "a technological dead-end", many developers decided not to make games for the system.[15] Issues also plagued titles developed in-house due to the time crunch to release the 32X. According to Bayless, "games in the queue were effectively jammed into a box as fast as possible, which meant massive cutting of corners in every conceivable way. Even from the outset, designs of those games were deliberately conservative because of the time crunch. By the time they shipped they were even more conservative; they did nothing to show off what the hardware was capable of."[3]

Journalists were similarly concerned about Sega's tactic of selling two similar consoles at different prices and attempting to support both, likening Sega's approach to that of General Motors and segmenting the market for its consoles.[16] In order to convince the press that the 32X was a worthwhile console, Sega flew in journalists from all around the country to San Francisco for a party at a local nightclub. The event featured a speech from Tom Kalinske, live music with a local rapper praising the 32X, and 32X games on exhibition. However, the event turned out to be a bust, as journalists attempted to leave the party due to its loud music and unimpressive games on display, only to find that the buses that brought them to the nightclub had just left and would not return until the scheduled end of the party.[7][17]

Though the system had a successful launch, demand soon disappeared. Over the first three months of 1995, several of the 32X's third party publishers, including Capcom and Konami, cancelled their 32X projects so that they could focus on producing games for the Saturn and PlayStation.[18] The 32X failed to catch on with the public, and is considered a commercial failure.[7] By 1995, the Genesis had still not proven successful in Japan, where it was known as Mega Drive, and the Saturn was beating the PlayStation, so Sega CEO Hayao Nakayama decided to force Sega of America to focus on the Saturn and cut support for Genesis products, executing a surprise early launch of the Saturn in the early summer of 1995. Sega was supporting five different consoles before this—Saturn, Genesis, Game Gear, Pico, and the Master System—as well as the Sega CD and Sega 32X add-ons.[19] Sales estimates for the 32X stood at 665,000 units at the end of 1994.[20] Despite assurances from Sega that many games would be developed for the system, in early 1996, Sega finally conceded that it had promised too much out of the add-on and decided to discontinue the 32X in order to focus on the Saturn.[11] In September 1995, the retail price for the 32X dropped to $99,[21] and later the remaining inventory was cleared out of stores at $19.95.[7]

Sega Neptune

The Sega Neptune is an unproduced two-in-one Genesis and 32X console which Sega planned to release in fall 1995, with the retail price planned to be something less than US$200.[22] Sega cancelled the Neptune in October 1995, citing fears that it would dilute their marketing for the Saturn while being priced too close to the Saturn to be a viable competitor.[23] Electronic Gaming Monthly used the Sega Neptune as an April Fools' Day prank in its April 2001 issue. The issue included a small article in which the writers announced that Sega had found a warehouse full of old Sega Neptunes, and were selling them on a website for $199.[24]

Technical aspects and specifications

Sega-Genesis-32X-Motherboard-Top
Twin Hitachi's 32-bit SH2 chips power the 32X

The 32X can be used only in conjunction with a Genesis system. It is inserted into the system like a standard game cartridge. The add-on requires its own separate power supply, a connection cable linking it to the Genesis, and an additional conversion cable for the original model of the Genesis. As well as playing its own library of cartridges, the 32X is backwards-compatible with Genesis games, and can also be used in conjunction with the Sega CD to play games that use both add-ons. The 32X also came with a spacer so it would fit properly with the second model of the Genesis; an optional spacer was offered for use with the Sega Genesis CDX system, but ultimately never shipped due to risks of electric shock when the 32X and CDX were connected.[25] Installation of the 32X also requires the insertion of two included electromagnetic shield plates into the Genesis' cartridge slot.[1][11]

Seated on top of a Genesis, the 32X measures 115 mm × 210 mm × 100 mm (4.5 in × 8.3 in × 3.9 in). The 32X contains two Hitachi SH2 32-bit RISC processors with a clock speed of 23 MHz,[1] which Sega claimed would allow the system to work 40 times faster than a stand-alone Genesis.[7] Its graphics processing unit is capable of producing 32,768 colors and rendering 50,000 polygons per second, which provides a noticeable improvement over the polygon rendering of the Genesis.[1][7][11] The 32X also includes 256 kilobytes of random-access memory (RAM), along with 256 kilobytes of video RAM. Sound is supplied through a pulse-width modulation sound source. Input/output is supplied to a television set via a provided A/V cable that supplies composite video and stereo audio, or through an RF modulator. Stereo audio can also be played through headphones via a headphone jack on the attached Genesis.[1]

Game library

Doom32X
The 32X version of Doom.

The 32X's game library consists of forty titles, including six that required both the Sega 32X and Sega CD. Among the titles for the 32X were ports of arcade games Space Harrier and Star Wars Arcade, a sidescroller with a hummingbird as a main character in Kolibri, and a 32X-exclusive game in the Sonic the Hedgehog series titled Knuckles' Chaotix. Several of the games released for the 32X are enhanced ports of Genesis games, including After Burner, NFL Quarterback Club, and World Series Baseball '95.[26] In a retrospective review of the console, Star Wars Arcade was considered the best game for the 32X by IGN for its cooperative play, soundtrack, and faithful reproduction of the experiences of Star Wars.[5][27] In a separate review, IGN's Buchanan praised the 32X title Shadow Squadron as superior to Star Wars Arcade.[28] Retro Gamer writer Damien McFerran, however, praised Virtua Fighter as "the jewel in the 32X's crown",[3][29] and GamesRadar+ named Knuckles' Chaotix as the best game for the system.[15] Next Generation called Virtua Fighter "the colorful wreath on 32X's coffin",[30] reflecting the consensus among contemporary critics that the game was at once arguably the 32X's best release and a clear harbinger of the platform's imminent discontinuation, since it was clearly inferior to the Saturn versions of Virtua Fighter Remix (which had already been released) and Virtua Fighter 2 (which was due out in just a few months).[31][32][33] In response to fan inquiries, Sega stated that the 32X architecture was not powerful enough to handle a port of Virtua Fighter 2.[34]

Although the console used 32-bit processing and was capable of better graphics and sound than the Genesis alone, most games for the 32X did not take advantage of its hardware.[15] Doom for the 32X received near perfect reviews from gaming magazines upon launch,[35][36][37][38] but was later criticized for being an inferior version of the game compared to releases for the PC and the Atari Jaguar, with the 32X version criticized for missing levels, poor graphic and audio quality, jerky movement, and running within a window on the screen.[5][39][40] Though the system had enhanced audio capabilities, 32X games did not use this, which Franz believes was due to developers being unwilling to invest in designing games to work with the new audio enhancements.[3] One source of these issues was the rush to release games on time for the 32X's launch; former Sega of America executive producer Michael Latham explained, in reference to 32X launch title Cosmic Carnage, "We were rushed. We had to get games out for the 32X and it was going to be such a close cycle. When Cosmic Carnage showed up, we didn't even want to ship it. It took a lot of convincing, you know, to ship that title."[7] Likewise with Doom, id Software's John Carmack rushed to have the port ready for release at the 32X's launch and had to trim out a third of the game's levels in order to meet the deadline for the port to be published on time. Because of time limitations, game designs were intentionally conservative and did not show what the 32X hardware was able to do.[3] In an interview at the end of 1995, Sega vice president of marketing Mike Ribero, while insisting that Sega was not abandoning the 32X, acknowledged that first party software support for the system had been lackluster: "I won't lie to you, we screwed up with 32X. We overpromised and underdelivered."[41]

Reception and legacy

Sega-Genesis-Model-2-Monster-Bare
Sega Genesis with both the 32X and CD add-ons

Initial reception to the 32X and its games upon the launch of the add-on was very positive. Four reviewers from Electronic Gaming Monthly scored the add-on 8, 7, 8, and 8 out of 10 in their 1995 Buyer's Guide, highlighting the add-on's enhancements to the Genesis but questioning how long the system would be supported.[42] GamePro commented that the 32X's multiple input and power cords make it "as complicated as setting up your VCR" and noted some performance glitches with the prototype such as freezes and overheating, but expressed confidence that the production models would perform well and gave the add-on their overall approval.[43] Reviews of its launch titles, such as Doom, were likewise positive.[35][36][37] By late 1995, feedback to the add-on had soured. In its 1996 Buyer's Guide, Electronic Gaming Monthly's four reviewers scored the add-on 3, 3, 3, and 2 out of 10, criticizing the game library and Sega's abandonment of the system in favor of the Saturn.[44] A review in Next Generation panned the 32X for its weak polygon processing, the tendency of developers to show off its capabilities with garishly colored games, and its apparent function as "simply a way of grabbing extra 1994 mind and market share while waiting for Saturn". The review gave it one out of five stars.[30]

Retrospectively, the 32X is widely criticized as having been under-supported and a poor idea in the wake of the release of the Sega Saturn. 1UP.com's Jeremy Parish stated that the 32X "tainted just about everything it touched."[45] GamesRadar+ also panned the system, placing it as their ninth-worst console with reviewer Mikel Reparaz criticizing that "it was a stopgap system that would be thrown under the bus when the Sega Saturn came out six months later, and everyone seemed to know it except for die-hard Sega fans and the company itself."[15] Retro Gamer's Damien McFerran offered some praise for the power increase of the 32X to offer ports of Space Harrier, After Burner, and Virtua Fighter that were accurate to the original arcade versions, as well as the add-on's price point, stating, "If you didn't have deep enough pockets to afford a Saturn, then the 32X was a viable option; it's just a shame that it sold so poorly because the potential was there for true greatness."[3] Levi Buchanan, writing for IGN, saw some sense in the move for Sega to create the 32X but criticized its implementation. According to Buchanan, "I actually thought the 32X was a better idea than the SEGA CD... The 32X, while underpowered, at least advanced the ball. Maybe it only gained a few inches in no small part due to a weak library, but at least the idea was the right one."[5]

In particular, the console's status as an add-on and poor timing after the announcement of the Saturn has been identified by reviewers as being responsible factors for fracturing the audience for Sega's video game consoles in terms of both developers and consumers. Allgame's Scott Alan Marriott states that "[e]very add-on whittled away at the number of potential buyers and discouraged third-party companies from making the games necessary to boost sales."[46] GamePro criticized the concept of the add-on, noting the expenses involved in purchasing the system. According to reviewer Blake Snow, "Just how many 16-bit attachments did one need? All in all, if you were one of the unlucky souls who completely bought into Sega's add-on frenzy, you would have spent a whopping $650 for something that weighed about as much as a small dog."[47] Writing for GamesRadar+, Reparaz noted that "developers—not wanting to waste time on a technological dead-end—abandoned the 32X in droves. Gamers quickly followed suit, turning what was once a promising idea into an embarrassing footnote in console history, as well as an object lesson in why console makers shouldn't split their user base with pricey add-ons."[15] Reparaz went on to criticize Sega's decision to release the 32X, noting that "(u)ltimately, the 32X was the product of boneheaded short-sightedness: its existence put Sega into competition with itself once the Saturn rolled out."[15] Writing for IGN, Buchanan points out, "Notice that we haven't seen many add-ons like the 32X since 1994? I think the 32X killed the idea of an add-on like this—a power booster—permanently. And that's a good thing. Because add-ons, if not implemented properly, just splinter an audience."[5]

Former executives at Sega have mixed opinions of the 32X. Bayless believes firmly that the 32X serves as a warning to the video game industry not to risk splintering the market for consoles by creating add-ons, and was critical of the Kinect and PlayStation Move for doing so.[3] Franz places the 32X's commercial failure on its inability to function without an attached Genesis and lack of a CD drive, despite its compatibility with the Sega CD, stating, "The 32X was destined to die because it didn't have a CD drive and was an add-on. An add-on device is never as well thought out as a built-from-scratch device."[3] Miller, on the other hand, remembers the 32X positively, stating, "I think the 32X actually was an interesting, viable platform. The timing was wrong, and certainly our ability to stick with it, given what we did with Saturn, was severely limited. There were a whole bunch of reasons why we couldn’t ultimately do what we had to do with that platform, without third party support and with the timing of Saturn, but I still think the project was a success for a bunch of other reasons. In hindsight, it was not a great idea for a whole bunch of other reasons."[6]

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Japanese: スーパー32X (エックス) Hepburn: Sūpā Sanjūni Ekkusu

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f Sega Genesis 32X instruction manual. Sega Enterprises, Ltd. 1994.
  2. ^ a b Sczepaniak, John (2006). "Retroinspection: Mega Drive". Retro Gamer. Imagine Publishing (27): 42–47.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q McFerran, Damien. "Retroinspection: Sega 32X". Retro Gamer. Imagine Publishing (77): 44–49.
  4. ^ McFerran, Damien (February 22, 2012). "The Rise and Fall of Sega Enterprises". Eurogamer. Archived from the original on February 16, 2014. Retrieved May 1, 2014.
  5. ^ a b c d e f Buchanan, Levi (October 24, 2008). "32X Follies". IGN. Archived from the original on April 17, 2016. Retrieved May 25, 2013.
  6. ^ a b c d Horowitz, Ken (February 7, 2013). "Interview: Joe Miller". Sega-16. Archived from the original on December 2, 2013. Retrieved January 10, 2014.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o Kent, Steven L. (2001). "The "Next" Generation (Part 1)". The Ultimate History of Video Games: The Story Behind the Craze that Touched our Lives and Changed the World. Prima Publishing. ISBN 0-7615-3643-4.
  8. ^ "Sega Saturn". Next Generation. Imagine Media. 1 (2): 36–43. February 1995.
  9. ^ McFerran, Damien (2013). "Retroinspection: Mega-CD". Retro Gamer — the Mega Drive Book. Imagine Publishing: 18–27.
  10. ^ Semrad, Ed (December 1994). "EGM Goes One-on-One with Sega's Chief - Tom Kalinske". Electronic Gaming Monthly. Sendai Publishing (65): 191.
  11. ^ a b c d e Beuscher, David. "Sega Genesis 32X — Overview". Allgame. Archived from the original on November 14, 2014. Retrieved June 7, 2013.
  12. ^ a b c "The Whizz" (August 1994). "32X: On the Upgrade Path". GamePro. IDG: 30.
  13. ^ McConville, James A. (January 2, 1995). "Sega 32X upgrade sees a sold-out Yule". Business Wire. Retrieved February 11, 2014.
  14. ^ "Super 32X". Sega Corporation. Archived from the original on July 16, 2014. Retrieved February 23, 2014.
  15. ^ a b c d e f Reparaz, Mikel (February 23, 2008). "The 10 worst consoles ever". GamesRadar+. p. 2. Archived from the original on February 11, 2017. Retrieved June 7, 2013.
  16. ^ Morris, Kathleen (February 21, 1995). "Nightmare in the Fun House". Financial World. 32.
  17. ^ Kent, Steven (2001). The Ultimate History of Video Games. Three Rivers Press. pp. 495–496.
  18. ^ "32X Update". GamePro. IDG (70): 138. May 1995.
  19. ^ Kent, Steven L. (2001). "The "Next" Generation (Part 2)". The Ultimate History of Video Games: The Story Behind the Craze that Touched our Lives and Changed the World. Prima Publishing. pp. 508, 531. ISBN 0-7615-3643-4.
  20. ^ Man!ac Magazine staff (May 1995). "Videospiel-Algebra". Man!ac Magazine (in German). Cybermedia Verlagsgesellschaft mbH.
  21. ^ "Sega Genesis 32X price comes down to $99". Business Wire. September 19, 1995. Retrieved February 11, 2014.
  22. ^ "CES ProNews Flashes!". GamePro. IDG (68): 156. March 1995.
  23. ^ "1995: The Calm Before the Storm?". Next Generation. Imagine Media (13): 56. January 1996.
  24. ^ "Sega's Neptune Finally Surfaces". Electronic Gaming Monthly. EGM Media, LLC. April 2001.
  25. ^ Marriott, Scott Alan. "Sega Genesis CDX – Overview". Allgame. Archived from the original on November 14, 2014. Retrieved June 19, 2013.
  26. ^ "World Series Baseball". Next Generation. Imagine Media. 1 (11): 177. November 1995. World Series Baseball '95 for the 32X isn't much better than its 16-bit counterpart, but it's easily the best baseball game available.
  27. ^ Buchanan, Levi. "Star Wars Arcade Review". IGN. Archived from the original on February 23, 2014. Retrieved May 24, 2013.
  28. ^ See Buchanan, Levi (November 13, 2008). "Shadow Squadron Review". IGN. Archived from the original on November 27, 2014. Retrieved November 14, 2014.
  29. ^ cf. "Un-X-Pected". Next Generation. Imagine Media. 1 (11): 177. November 1995. The 32X version has kept all the moves intact. The characters don't look quite as solid as the Saturn version, but still look amazingly solid. Also added is the three new camera angles (birds-eye, low-angle, and high angle), a tournament feature for a group of competitors, and a full-match replay feature.
  30. ^ a b "Which Game System is the Best!?". Next Generation. Imagine Media (12): 73. December 1995.
  31. ^ "Virtua Fighter Review". Electronic Gaming Monthly. No. 75. Sendai Publishing. October 1995. p. 36.
  32. ^ "ProReview: Virtua Fighter". GamePro. No. 86. IDG. November 1995. p. 66.
  33. ^ "Un-X-Pected!". Next Generation. No. 11. Imagine Media. November 1995. p. 177.
  34. ^ "Buyers Beware". GamePro. No. 90. IDG. March 1996. p. 14.
  35. ^ a b "Doom Review". Electronic Gaming Monthly. EGM Media, LLC. (66): 40. January 1995. Scores: 9, 8, 8, 8, 9 — Oh, yeah! Hours of fun! Just the thing a person needs after a rough day! This isn't the PC version, but it still does a great job with the first-person, point-the-weapon-and-shoot idea. This has to be the ultimate stress reliever!
  36. ^ a b "Doom Review". GamePro. IDG (67): 58. February 1995. Score: 100 — Join the Space Marines! Travel to exotic worlds, meet new creatures and shoot them. It's time to lock and load Doom into a 32X and enjoy the game Wolfenstein built. This Doom sports fewer levels and less complex graphics than the PC or Jaguar versions, but it still has the chops!
  37. ^ a b "Doom Review". GameFan. DieHard Gamers Club. 1994. Score: 87 — I'm become accustomed to seeing new systems come out with horrible "games" imaginable, but the 32X is the complete opposite! With Doom, you get about 75% of the PC original's greatness (er, not counting the background music) for a tenth of the price. Hey...I'm there!
  38. ^ "Mega 32X Doom Review". Sega Force. 1995. Archived from the original on March 15, 2014. Retrieved March 4, 2014. Score: 100
  39. ^ Buchanan, Levi (December 5, 2008). "Doom 32X Review". IGN. Archived from the original on February 23, 2014. Retrieved May 24, 2013.
  40. ^ Diver, Mike (May 6, 2014). "20 years after launch, what can Sega's 32X teach today's console giants?". Edge. Archived from the original on November 29, 2014. Retrieved November 14, 2014.
  41. ^ "1996". Electronic Gaming Monthly. Ziff Davis (78): 18–20. January 1996.
  42. ^ "Electronic Gaming Monthly's Buyer's Guide". Electronic Gaming Monthly. EGM Media, LLC. January 1995.
  43. ^ "The Return of the X". GamePro (66). IDG. January 1995. p. 188.
  44. ^ "Electronic Gaming Monthly's Buyer's Guide". Electronic Gaming Monthly. EGM Media, LLC. January 1996.
  45. ^ Parish, Jeremy (October 16, 2012). "20 Years Ago, Sega Gave Us the Sega CD". 1UP.com. Archived from the original on June 15, 2013. Retrieved December 11, 2016.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  46. ^ Marriott, Scott Alan. "Sega Genesis CD 32X — Overview". Allgame. Archived from the original on December 10, 2014. Retrieved June 7, 2013.
  47. ^ Snow, Blake (May 4, 2007). "The 10 Worst-Selling Consoles of All Time". GamePro. Archived from the original on May 8, 2007. Retrieved November 25, 2007.
After Burner

After Burner (アフターバーナー, Afutā Bānā) is a 1987 combat flight simulator arcade game designed by Yu Suzuki for Sega AM2. The player flies an F-14 (with moving seat, in some installations) using a specialized joystick. The game spawned several sequels.

Blackthorne

Blackthorne (released as Blackhawk in some European countries) is a cinematic platformer video game developed by Blizzard Entertainment. It was released for the SNES and DOS in 1994. The cover art for the SNES version was drawn by Jim Lee. The following year, Blackthorne was released for the Sega 32X with modified graphics, higher color palette and four new levels. In 2013, Blizzard made Blackthorne available as a free download.

CD-ROM

A CD-ROM (, compact disc read-only memory) is a pre-pressed optical compact disc that contains data. Computers can read—but not write to or erase—CD-ROMs, i.e. it is a type of read-only memory.

During the 1990s, CD-ROMs were popularly used to distribute software and data for computers and fourth generation video game consoles. Some CDs, called enhanced CDs, hold both computer data and audio with the latter capable of being played on a CD player, while data (such as software or digital video) is only usable on a computer (such as ISO 9660 format PC CD-ROMs).

The CD-ROM format was developed by Japanese company Denon in 1982. It was an extension of Compact Disc Digital Audio, and adapted the format to hold any form of digital data, with a storage capacity of 553 MiB. CD-ROM was then introduced by Denon and Sony at a Japanese computer show in 1984. The Yellow Book is the technical standard that defines the format of CD-ROMs. One of a set of color-bound books that contain the technical specifications for all CD formats, the Yellow Book, standardized by Sony and Philips in 1983, specifies a format for discs with a maximum capacity of 650 MiB.

Corpse Killer

Corpse Killer is a game released for the Sega CD, Sega CD 32X, 3DO, Sega Saturn, Windows 95 and Macintosh computers that features live action full motion video in a format similar to other games developed by Digital Pictures. The quality of the full motion video on the Sega CD version is less than that of the others. Also, after the release of the Sega CD version, Digital Pictures created an option to have English subtitles during the full motion video as critics had complained that it was difficult to understand what the driver was saying in the Sega CD and Sega 32X versions. Corpse Killer was the first CD game released for the Sega 32X.Footage from the game was later recycled for the 2003 film Game Over.

Genesis Nomad

The Genesis Nomad (also known as Sega Nomad) is a handheld game console by Sega released in North America in October 1995. The Nomad is a portable variation of Sega's home console, the Sega Genesis (known as the Mega Drive outside North America). Based on the Mega Jet, a portable version of the home console designed for use on airline flights in Japan, Nomad served to succeed the Game Gear and was the last handheld console released by Sega. In addition to functioning as a portable device, it was designed to be used with a television set via a video port. Released late in the Genesis era, the Nomad had a short lifespan.

Sold exclusively in North America, the Nomad was never officially released worldwide, and employs a regional lockout. Sega's focus on the Sega Saturn left the Nomad undersupported, and the handheld itself was incompatible with several Genesis peripherals, including the Power Base Converter, the Sega CD, and the 32X.

Knuckles' Chaotix

Knuckles' Chaotix is a 1995 platform game by Sega for the 32X. A spinoff from the Sonic the Hedgehog series, it features Knuckles the Echidna and four other characters known as the Chaotix, who must prevent Doctor Robotnik and Metal Sonic from obtaining six magic rings and conquering a mysterious island. Gameplay is similar to previous Sonic games: players complete levels while collecting rings and defeating enemies. Knuckles' Chaotix introduces a partner system whereby the player is connected to another character via a tether; the tether behaves like a rubber band and must be used to maneuver the characters.

While Sonic Team is sometimes credited with creating Knuckles' Chaotix, the game was developed by another development team at Sega. Production began with Sonic Crackers, a 1994 prototype for the Sega Genesis which experimented with the tethering system and featured Sonic and Tails. Development transitioned to the 32X under the working title Knuckles' Ringstar; Sonic and Tails were replaced by Knuckles and the Chaotix. One of the Chaotix members was Mighty the Armadillo, who first appeared in the arcade game SegaSonic the Hedgehog (1993).

Knuckles' Chaotix was released in North America and Japan in April 1995, and in Europe in June 1995. It received mixed reviews and failed commercially. Reviewers found the tethering physics cumbersome, although some appreciated it as an attempt to innovate. The level design and low difficulty level were also criticized. Journalists have described Knuckles' Chaotix as the last of the "classic" 2D Sonic games before the series moved to 3D. Some characters and concepts introduced in the game feature in later Sonic games and media. Despite interest from fans, it has not been rereleased beyond a brief period through GameTap in the mid-2000s.

List of 32X games

The 32X is an add-on for the Sega Genesis video game console. Codenamed "Project Mars", the 32X was designed to expand the power of the Genesis and serve as a holdover until the release of the Sega Saturn. Independent of the Genesis, the 32X used its own ROM cartridges and had its own library of games. A total of 40 titles were produced worldwide [36 NA games (10 Exclusives), 27 PAL (2 Exclusives), 18 JP (1 exclusive), and 1 game exclusive to BR], including six that required both the 32X and Sega CD add-ons.Unveiled at June 1994's Consumer Electronics Show, Sega presented the 32X as the "poor man's entry into 'next generation' games." The product was originally conceived as an entirely new console by Sega of Japan and positioned as an inexpensive alternative for gamers into the 32-bit era, but at the suggestion of Sega of America research and development head Joe Miller, the console was converted into an add-on to the existing Genesis and made more powerful, with two 32-bit central processing unit chips and a 3D graphics processor. Despite these changes, the console failed to attract either developers or consumers as the Sega Saturn had already been announced for release the next year. In part because of this, and also to rush the 32X to market before the holiday season in 1994, the 32X suffered from a poor library of titles, including Genesis ports with improvements to the number of colors that appeared on screen. Originally released at US$159, Sega dropped the price to $99 in only a few months and ultimately cleared the remaining inventory at $19.95. At least 665,000 units were sold.The following list contains all of the games released for the 32X, as well as the games that required both the 32X and the CD. Among the titles for the 32X were ports of arcade games Space Harrier and Star Wars Arcade, a sidescroller with a hummingbird as a main character in Kolibri, a 32X-exclusive game in the Sonic the Hedgehog series in Knuckles' Chaotix, and a version of Doom that was noted for its movement and game length issues when compared to other versions of the game. In a retrospective review of the console, Star Wars Arcade was considered the best game for the 32X by IGN for its co-operative play, soundtrack, and faithful reproduction of the experiences of Star Wars.

NFL Quarterback Club

NFL Quarterback Club is an American football video game for multiple platforms that features quarterbacks from the NFL. It is the first game in Acclaim Entertainment's NFL Quarterback Club series.

The first game to use the name was a Game Boy title developed by Beam Software and released under Acclaim's LJN brand in 1993 that was a simulation of the NFL Quarterback Challenge. The following year, Acclaim and LJN released a new multiplatform title under the same name, adding options to play full team games under NFL rules, while retaining the Quarterback Challenge mode. The game was released for the Super NES, Genesis and Game Gear. A Game Boy version, called NFL Quarterback Club II and a 32X version were released in 1995. Both these versions omitted the Quarterback Challenge mode, a trend that would continue with NFL Quarterback Club 96.

SegaSonic the Hedgehog

SegaSonic the Hedgehog is a 1993 arcade game in the Sonic the Hedgehog series by Sega. Controlling Sonic the Hedgehog and his friends Mighty the Armadillo and Ray the Flying Squirrel, the player must escape an island as quickly as possible after they are kidnapped by series antagonist Doctor Eggman. The game is presented from an isometric perspective and players use a trackball to move the characters while dodging obstacles and collecting rings. The game was developed by Sega's arcade division, Sega AM3; it is one of four Sonic games to bear the SegaSonic name and was inspired by the 1984 game Marble Madness.

The game was released in Japanese arcades in October 1993. It has never been rereleased; plans to port the game to Sega's 32X platform never materialized and the game was cut from Sonic compilation release Sonic Gems Collection (2005) due to problems with replicating the game's trackball control system on a standard controller. At the time of release, SegaSonic the Hedgehog received highly positive reviews from Electronic Gaming Monthly and Computer and Video Games for its graphics and gameplay. Journalists writing in retrospect have been more divided. The game marked the debuts of Sonic characters Mighty and Ray; both have reappeared sparingly in the franchise.

Shellshock (video game)

Shellshock (subtitled Jus' Keepin' da Peace in Japan) is a video game developed by Core Design and published by US Gold for Sega Saturn and PlayStation, first released in 1995.

Sonic X-treme

Sonic X-treme was a platform game developed by Sega Technical Institute from 1994 until its cancellation in 1997. It was intended to be the first fully 3D Sonic the Hedgehog game and the first original Sonic game for the Sega Saturn. It built on past Sonic games while introducing elements to take Sonic into the 3D era of video games. The storyline followed Sonic on his journey to stop Dr. Robotnik stealing six magic rings from Tiara Boobowski and her father.

X-treme was conceived as a side-scrolling platform game for the Sega Genesis to succeed Sonic & Knuckles (1994). Development shifted to the 32X and then the Saturn and Windows, and the game was redesigned as a 3D platform game for the 1996 holiday season. The plan was disrupted by company politics, an unfavorable visit by Sega of Japan executives, and obstacles using a game engine developed by Sonic Team for another project. Staff illness made it impossible to finish X-treme on time, leading to its cancellation. A film tie-in with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer was also canceled.

In place of X-treme, Sega released a port of the Genesis game Sonic 3D Blast, but did not release an original 3D Sonic platform game until Sonic Adventure for the Dreamcast in 1998. The cancellation is considered an important factor in the Saturn's commercial failure, as it left the system with no original Sonic platform game. Elements similar to those in X-treme appeared in later games, such as Sonic Lost World (2013).

Star Wars Arcade

Star Wars Arcade (also known as Star Wars) is a video game developed by Sega and released in 1993 to arcades. A home port served as a launch title for the Sega 32X in 1994. It is set during the original Star Wars trilogy.

Supreme Warrior

Supreme Warrior is a full-motion video action game developed by Digital Pictures. It was released in 1995 for North America and Europe.

Virtua Fighter (video game)

Virtua Fighter (Japanese: バーチャファイター, Hepburn: Bācha Faitā) is a fighting game created for the Sega Model 1 arcade platform by AM2, a development group within Sega, headed by Yu Suzuki. It was released in October 1993. It is the first game in the Virtua Fighter series, and the first arcade fighting game to feature fully 3D polygon graphics. The game has been ported to several platforms including the Sega Saturn, Sega 32X, and Microsoft Windows. A critically acclaimed and hit game, Virtua Fighter was highly regarded for its in-depth fighting engine and real world fighting techniques, and has been revolutionary and highly influential in the evolution of the genre and video games in general.

An update titled Virtua Fighter Remix, developed by AM1, was released for the Saturn in 1995, and ported to the arcade later that same year. The game's remake, Virtua Fighter 10th Anniversary, was released exclusively for the PlayStation 2 in 2003 as a stand-alone title in Japan and as a bonus to Virtua Fighter 4: Evolution in North America.

Virtua Racing

Virtua Racing or V.R. for short, is a Formula One racing arcade game, developed by Sega AM2 and released in 1992. Virtua Racing was initially a proof-of-concept application for exercising a new 3D-graphics platform under development, the "Model 1". The results were so encouraging, that Virtua Racing was fully developed into a standalone arcade title. Though its use of 3D polygonal graphics was predated by arcade rivals Namco (Winning Run in 1988) and Atari (Hard Drivin' in 1989), Virtua Racing had vastly improved visuals in terms of polygon count, frame rate, and overall scene complexity, and displayed multiple camera angles and 3D human non-player characters, which all contributed to a greater sense of immersion. Virtua Racing is regarded as one of the most influential video games of all time, for laying the foundations for subsequent 3D racing games and for popularizing 3D polygonal graphics among a wider audience.The original arcade game has three levels, designated into difficulties. Beginner is "Big Forest", intermediate is "Bay Bridge" and expert is "Acropolis". Each level has its own special feature, for example the amusement park in "Big Forest", or the "Bay Bridge" itself, or the tight hairpin of "Acropolis".

When selecting a car, the player can choose different transmission types. VR introduced the "V.R. View System" by allowing the player to choose one of four views to play the game. This feature was then used in most other Sega arcade racing games (and is mentioned as a feature in the attract mode of games such as Daytona USA). It was later ported to home consoles, starting with the Mega Drive/Genesis in 1994.

WWF Raw (1994 video game)

WWF Raw is a video game based on the television show of the same name produced by the World Wrestling Federation (WWF), released for the SNES, 32X, Mega Drive/Genesis, and Game Boy in late 1994 and early 1995 by Acclaim Entertainment. It is the sequel to the WWF Royal Rumble game that was released in 1993, and is the final part of LJN's 16-bit WWF trilogy. Players can play either One-on-One, Tag Team, Bedlam, Survivor Series, Royal Rumble, or a Raw Endurance Match. Unlike its predecessor, WWF RAW is multitap compatible.WWF RAW introduces differences between the characters in that they not only have their own signature moves, but differing move sets altogether (including new over-the-top "mega moves"). The game adds many moves not seen in the previous games, such as a DDT, a fallaway slam, and various types of suplexes. Additionally, wrestlers differ in attributes of speed, strength, stamina, and weight.

The game itself is arcade-like and involves a "tug-of-war" system in which, when the wrestlers lock-up, a meter appears above them and players must repeatedly press buttons to pull the energy away from the opponent's side to theirs. With more energy, they can perform moves with greater impact. Once an opponent's energy is low enough, a player can perform a wrestler's unique signature move.

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