That Time Sony Destroyed Sega With A Three-Word Announcement
Remember SEGA? We don't, but the old books say that it's a company that once came close to defeating Nintendo during its powerful SNES days – not during its bonkers Wii U period. Sega has since fallen off the console market and has been in the game-making and publishing business side of things. What the hell happened here? We're talking about a company that made games capable of rivaling Final Fantasy VII and Ocarina Of Time the most popular game on the Playstation and Nintendo 64, respectively. Is it even possible to pinpoint the moment in which things started to go downhill for SEGA? Well, it turns out that it is, and it's quite a hilarious moment. What a convenient coincidence.
Back in 1995, video game fans projected the upcoming battle in the console war between Nintendo Sega, and newcomer Sony to be long and hard-fought, but spoilers: Sony was going to crush everyone very quickly. That's actually as much of a sense of poetic justice as we'll ever get from big company shenanigans as Sony had just sustained humiliation from having previously tried to partner with both Sega and Nintendo.
The stage was set at E3 ‘95, and after Sega announced all the cool stuff that the Sega Saturn could do for the hefty price of $399, it was Sony's turn. Steve Race, Sony’s very aptly-named keynote speaker showed up, and instead of talking about tech, games, or even the hatred he felt for his rival (and previous employer), he just announced the price of the Sony Playstation,
and then left.
Brand loyalty is cool and all (for people who aren't cool at all), but knowing that a well-respected tech company is coming up with its own console that's $100 cheaper than Sega proved too powerful of a blow for Sega to handle. That's the price of two games one could get right away. Sony has since stuck with the strategy of sacrificing money in hardware sales to make it back by video game sales, and it has since more than paid off. The Saturn was much more expensive, harder to develop games for, and had fewer games from the get-go. This made it all but impossible for the Sega Saturn to ever compete with Sony, finishing its run with a total of around 10 million units sold versus the Playstation's 100 million.
Top Image: Sony