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  • NAKI Lunar Gun


    Source: Electronic Gaming Monthly – Issue Number 97 – August 1997

    The third party controller market seemed to peak in the 16-bit era but there were plenty of third party controllers in the 32-bit era and even today. This particular ad is for a company called NAKI that developed controllers and other accessories. However, the latest stuff I could find from them is for the PS2.

    This ad is highlighting a gun controller by NAKI for the PlayStation, Sega Saturn, and Nintendo 64 called the Lunar Gun. What is unique about this particular gun is that there was also an optional accessory for it called the Red Sight Laser Target System. That’s a pretty fancy name for something that basically amounted to a laser pointer. In theory, it makes it easier to hit what you are aiming for because, just like a laser sight on a real gun, you just have to put the red dot on what you are trying to hit.

    Overall, the Lunar Gun was a pretty good choice if you needed a light gun. It’s main competition was the Justifier and while that one is better known, the Lunar Gun has more options like auto-reload, easy (three round burst) and a laser sight among others. My one problem with it is philosophical. I’m not sure I could see buying an accessory for my accessory. I couldn’t find prices but i’m guessing the price of the Red Sight Laser Target System was not trivial making the combined price of the gun pretty hefty. It would have been nice if they could have just made a slightly more expensive gun and included the laser. They probably felt that they couldn’t have competed on price with the Justifier that way and that once they suckered you in with the gun then you would want to buy the laser anyway. No doubt the gun packaging includes advertising for it.

    This ad is from the August 1997 issue of Electronic Gaming Monthly.

  • Sega Saturn Net Link

    Sega Saturn Net Link


    While online gaming with video game consoles didn’t really reach mainstream proportions until systems started coming with built-in broadband capability, network connectivity options (usually modems) were available for most systems going back almost to the beginning. For the Sega Saturn, this was the Net Link.

    The Net Link was essentially a $200 28.8 bps modem with a build-in web browser that plugged into the Sega Saturn cartridge port. While that sounds pretty expensive, it was actually pretty reasonable for such a device at the time (1996). A keyboard and mouse were also available for the Saturn which made the Saturn actually tolerable to check e-mail or to do light web surfing on. Of course, the main reason you would want this device is in order to play games against other people remotely.

    The Net Link had a couple of advantages over other similar devices and even over current ways to play games over the internet. It did not require a subscription or the use of a Sega specific service. You simply configured the Saturn to dial into whatever ISP you used for Internet access or dialed the person you wanted to play against directly. This was a normal way of doing things for computer users but it was pretty novel for console gamers.

    Unfortunately, due to the relative lack of success of the Sega Saturn, there were only a handful of games that supported the Net Link. These included a special version of Daytona USA (Daytona USA CCE Net Link Edition), Duke Nukem 3D, Saturn Bomberman, Sega Rally and Virtual On. The good news is that since no 3rd party service was required, it’s just as easy today to dial-up someone else and play against them as it was at the height of the Saturn’s popularity. Assuming you both have some sort of landline of course…