For the past few years, SEGA has released a nice number of their prized Genesis and somewhat-less prized Master System libraries, not only as downloadable titles, but also at retail with collections like Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection. More recently, they’ve revealed their slightly-late (that is, if you considered the tenth anniversary to be the perfect time) plans to make downloadable Dreamcast titles available for the PlayStation Network and Xbox LIVE Arcade.
But, amidst all of this retro gaming glory, was the SEGA Saturn forgotten?
Not so, said the SEGA Producer handling the Dreamcast re-releases, Yosuke Okunari, in an interview with Impress Watch:
“When you look globally,” he said when asked about the skipped generation, “the Genesis and Dreamcast are well known, but Saturn is unknown. During that period, PlayStation and Nintendo 64 were a success overseas, but to be honest Saturn was not a success. Because of this, we decided on Dreamcast.”
“It’s not that we’re ignoring Saturn I think you can see this, considering that we ported Nights Into Dreams and other titles.”
Of course, this references the PlayStation 2 port of NiGHTS, which did not see a Western release, to the chagrin of the series’ fans.
Pressed further about the possibility of future releases, Okunari said:
“What we announced this time is a project where we will have consecutive releases of titles that were debuted on Dreamcast. Separate from this, we’re of course thinking about ports of Saturn games. It’s the same as how Sega Ages and Virtual Console were separate existences. It’s not that we have no intention of porting Saturn titles, so please share your requests.”
Moving on to address the two Dreamcast games which have been announced for a future release, Sonic Adventure and Crazy Taxi, Okunari said the games would arrive separately sometime in the Fall, and he is hoping for a faster pace than the SEGA Ages releases.
In addition, the games will be true ports, rather than running through emulation, due to issues with emulating the Dreamcast hardware. This will allow the developers at SEGA Shanghai (who created the PlayStation 2 ports of Dynamite Dekka and NiGHTS) to make some tweaks to the titles, including updated visuals and framerates, a 16:9 widescreen mode for Crazy Taxi, plus the possible addition of online capabilities where applicable.
As to future Dreamcast releases, it seems the next batch have already been decided upon. But while Okunari could not give any announcement as to what they would be, he did say that “the next titles that we announce will be titles that are representative of the Dreamcast.”
And according to Siliconera‘s (via GoNintendo) report on the article, SEGA is listening to what the fans want, and know that they want Jet Grind Radio. But while they do their best to accommodate some requests, others are greater than they can handle:
“A packaged title, Virtual-On Force for Xbox 360 was born from voiced requests.” Unfortunately, Phantasy Star Online looks like too big of a project to release. Okunari said the “scale of the title is a problem.”
Finally, he addresses the reason why the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 are getting all the Dreamcast love, and as you might have guessed, it’s an issue of size:
“Dreamcast used 1 gigabyte discs, so because of memory problems, Wii would be difficult.”
Fortunately, Wii owners may yet have other reasons to rejoice:
“However, there are other things we’d like to do on Wii. We’re continuing with development of games for Virtual Console, for instance, and would like to keep continuing this.”