- Tag Archives 32X
Sega’s 32X is certainly an odd beast. It was introduced only about a year or so before the Sega Saturn and while it was quite a bit cheaper, it still couldn’t exactly be called inexpensive at the time at $159 (plus the cost of a Genesis if you didn’t already have one). It plugged in to the cartridge port of the Genesis. You could then plug in either standard Genesis carts and it simply acted as a pass through or you could plug in special 32X cartridges that took advantage of the 32X hardware. It could also be used in conjunction with the Sega CD for 32X enhanced CD games.
As an add-on, the 32X was a pretty powerful device. In included two Hitachi 32bit RISC processors running at 32 MHz (compared to the 7.6 MHz Motorola 68000 CPU of the Genesis) as well as a new Video Display Processor with 3D capabilities. It enabled 32,768 simultaneous colors (compared to the 61 colors at once out of a palette of 512 available on the Genesis) and added 4 Mbit of RAM. The CPUs were essentially the same ones used in the Sega Saturn.
So why did Sega release this system only a year before the Saturn would be released in North America? There were a couple of reasons but it retrospect it was a bad idea.
The 32X was originally conceived as a stand alone console that would compete with Atari’s Jaguar. As it would turn out, this was completely unnecessary but apparently Sega was worried about competition from Atari at the time. They instead made it an add-on so as not to alienate Genesis owners though an all-in-one Genesis/Sega CD/32X was planned but never released.
The other theory that Sega apparently had was that the Saturn would not be a mass market item because of its price and it would be the Sega Genesis/CD/32X systems that would compete for the dollars from the masses. I guess they envisioned a video game class system of sorts. In the end, this was a huge mistake for Sega and the start of their downfall in my opinion. They rushed the 32X to market to compete with the Jaguar and get out ahead of the Saturn and the games suffered for it. Then they rushed the Saturn to market to beat the PlayStation and there really weren’t any games available for it for a while. In addition, the Saturn was initially priced much higher than the PlayStation. Part of this was probably due to system cost but I think part of it was due to their concept of a video game class system. They did a pretty good job of resolving these types of issues once the Dreamcast came out but it was already too late for Sega.
Only 40 games would ever be released for the 32X (36 in North America) including 6 that were CD based.
I’ll leave you with one of the more cringe-worthy ads for the 32X (or any other video game or system for that matter). The ad below as well as all of the images above are from the premiere issue of Next Generation magazine from January 1995.
There were a vast number of home video game systems to chose from in the mid 1990s and EGM covered them all. From the older but still viable 16-bit classics to Segas frankenstein add-on system to the latest and greatest 32-bit systems and systems that were never really mainstream, they were all here. It makes today’s video game scene look tame by comparison. The August 1995 issue of Electronic Gaming Monthly includes:
Cover Story – Super NES, Genesis, PlayStation? Which system will have the best translation of Mortal Kombat 3? Check out this issue’s cover story!
- Insert Coin
- Interface: Letters to the Editor
- Press Start
- Review Crew
- EGM Hot 50
- Gaming Gossip
- Special Features
- Arcade Action
- International Outlook
- Next Wave
- Tricks of the Trade
- Team EGM
- Advertising Index
- Super NES – Save the kiddies from the baddies in SWAT Kats!
- Genesis – Go on a deadly adventure with Indiana Jones!
- Sega CD – Drive a bus across the desert and back again in Penn & Teller!
- 3DO – Play s a brain on a scavenger hunt in Daedalus Encounter!
- PlayStation – Wear a cosmic powersuit in the futuristic RPG Space Griffon!
- Game Gear – Stop the evil terrorists with the portable game, Jungle Strike!
- Which System Will Be Crowned King of the Home Translation of MK3? – The Super NES, Genesis and PlayStation will be battling this holiday season for the best translation of the arcade smash, Mortal Kombat 3. The Genesis version, although a bit grainy, contains smooth animation and excellent sound. The Super NES version has everything from the Versus Screen with the secret code on the bottom to the Continued Screen. Don’t forget the PlayStation version with its fantastic graphics, and the game might even be shipped with the system. It’s up to gamers now to judge the winner!
- It’s Mario’s 10th Anniversary and Nintendo Celebrates with Yoshi’s Island! – Mario, the famous plumber, is in trouble again and it is up to Yoshi to help his Italian pal out. Super Mario 2: Yoshi’s Island will be slamming onto the Super NES. In this issue, we have hot pictures, secrets and a cool two-page map of the game. This cart falls in nicely with the other Mario games and sticks to its genre, with all the Mario secrets, techniques and loads of levels. However, this time the classic look is traded for an almost childlike perspective with crayon style graphics and cuteness at every angle.
- EGM Travels to the Tokyo Toy Show to Bring Back Exclusive Pictures – The Tokyo toy show is one of the most highly anticipated shows in Japan and EGM was there! Housing tons of video game companies and toy manufacturers, we received exclusive pictures on Rockman 3 (Mega Man X3) and Final Fight 3. Also check out the shots of Mickey Mouse 3, DarkStalkers for the PSX, RayTracers, Zeitgeist, Hat Trick Hero, Darius Gaiden (Darius 3 in the U.S.), Race Drivin’, Clockwork Knight 2, Kabuki Fighting Lore and many more. Also, EGM snuck in and photographed the highly anticipated 3DO M2 unit!
More than 60 games are reviewed, previewed or otherwise covered in this issue.