Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Is Sega planning to release a new console in 2010?

Could all our dreams finally be coming true? Probably not.

A website, entitled "Fast Game News Online", has posted an article apparently revealing Sega's plans for a new console. The blog has posted previous news articles such as Sega-Sammy's corporate restructuring, with the writer, Zach Morris, being "in the industry for over 30 years" and "a business associate of industry legends such as Hayao Nakayama, Isao Okawa, [and] Hajime Satomi".

Sega has recently dispelled rumours of a possible Dreamcast 2 announcement at this year's E3.

The post, with the title "Sega-Sammy Consumer Hardware Roadmap", outlines Sega's console plans made since the Dreamcast, including a "new Game Gear" and an upcoming casual gaming console based on the RingEdge arcade board.

Here is the article in full, interesting points in bold:

"Today we would like to present to you part 1 of our world exclusive report in which we shed light on SEGA SAMMY's plan for a HD casual system in development since 2007 and scheduled for worldwide release for the holiday season of 2010.

History

At the end of 1999 SEGA held a press conference where they laid out their hardware ambitions and talked extensively about broadband and a whole host of future technologies. Shoichiro Irimajiri was stated here as saying that SEGA would strike back with a vengeance in the next millenium. By Spring 2000 Irimajiri-san was already tasked with heading the development of SEGA's next console, Irimajiri was stated as saying that it would be a joint venture with numerous companies because the future box would do more than just play videogames thus they had to partner with cable companies, telecommuncation companies and Hollywood conglomerates. The aim for the design was a single chip solution measuring in at 250 million transistors ready for a Q4 2004 worldwide release. What is not known by the mainstream is that SEGA at this time was also in early stages of development for a 3D handheld which was to be based on the chip that went on to be known as the MBX developed by Imagination Technologies PowerVR division. The PowerVR MBX hit silicon in 2002 about the time SEGA had initially planned on launching a new Game Gear. This device would have beaten the PSP to market by 2 years. All of these plans where scrapped however by Isao Okawa who foresaw a software future for the company, the rest of the company however where vehemently against the idea of software only.

Fast forward a few years to early 2003 when Hideki Sato and the rest of SEGA's high level executives were desperately in search for either a merger or even a sale of the company. The discussions where being held with Sammy, Namco, EA and Microsoft. Again what is not known to the general public is that the reason for SEGA's desperation was that at this very moment SEGA had yet another system in development which had a worldwide target ship date of Q4 2005. This system would have competed against what went on to be known as the XBOX360 and Sony's PS3. The system was designed around a PowerVR Series 5 GPU and an unknown CPU, using standard DVD it was to be a cost/performance solution targeting a $300 launch price tag whilst simultaneously incorporating equal 3D throughput as the higher priced offerings by the competition. SEGA and Imagination Technologies on the 18th of March 2004 released a press release regarding the development of the chip for arcade use. Come Jamma 2005 when the world was expecting SEGA to unveil it's PowerVR based arcade board everyone was shocked to learn of the LINDBERGH which was basically a PC tower with an nVidia 6800GT and a Intel Pentium 4 3GHz Prescott. Whatever happened to the PowerVR based integrated silicon arcade board? Simple, the console that was to be based on the arcade board was scrapped by the newly formed SEGA SAMMY. With no console counterpart for the arcade board it wasn't financially feasible to spend tens and indeed hundreds of millions of dollars on integrated silicon thus SEGA quietly without telling anyone just took a mother board and slotted in components from a mid range PC from 2004 and called it "LINDBERGH". The PowerVR Series 5 whose development SEGA funded lived on however as the PowerVR SGX series of mobile GPU's. The Series 5 architecture was designed to be highly scaleable, low end parts for mobile phones and high end parts for arcade boards and consoles, unfortunately the world never got to see the performance of the higher end variants.

So to recap -

There was a next gen system in development in 2000 which was scrapped by owner Isao Okawa and there was a next gen system in development in 2003/2004 which was scrapped by Isao Okawa's friend and new owner Hajime Satomi.

Present and Future

With the Nintendo Wii hitting retail and gaining worldwide superstardom of the likes never witnessed SEGA SAMMY once again immediately got to work on another system with orders from the boss himself Satomi-san. This system shall be a HD casual console and is designed to compete with the successor to the Wii. The design of the system FGN can officially confirm was finalised in late 2008, it's arcade variant goes by the name "RINGEDGE" the specifications of the system are as follows.

The chosen CPU is the Intel Pentium E2160 Allendale 1.8GHz Dual-Core Processor, the GPU of choice is the Shader Model 4.0 compliant 9600GSO with 384 MB GDDR3 RAM, System memory measuring 1GB DDR2-800. Other features include an onboard HD audio DSP, 32GB SSD, standard DVD, and WiFi connectivity. SEGA SAMMY plans on shipping the system with two controllers, a motion sensing remote and one which looks similar to the Saturn 3D controller. One for casual gaming the other for non-casual. To top this off SEGA SAMMY shall be using a stripped down version of Microsoft's Windows Embedded Standard 2009 for ease of development. This particular version differs from the standard version where only the DirectX functionality is included, the standard edition costs $90 per shipping device. As SEGA SAMMY's version doesn't include the non gaming features SEGA SAMMY has managed to get a hold of the OS for less than half of that cost.

SEGA SAMMY plans on launching the system in time for the holiday season of 2010 for no less than $200 and no more than $250. The company doesn't plan on publically acknowledging the project this year, thus an official announcement won't take place until 1H 2010.

Stay tuned for part 2 of our world exclusive where we shed light on SEGA SAMMY's consumer plans for the "RINGWIDE" ."

People in the games community are suspicious about the article, especially when someone called "BIGGER" posted the link on the Sega of America forum as their first post, then promptly disappeared.

It should be noted that "Zach/Zack Morris" is a character on many sitcoms, including Saved By The Bell; and that "FGNOnline" is the name of a previous games website, shut down in 2001.

Here is the rundown of this alleged upcoming console:

  • Based on Sega's RingEdge arcade board
  • Aims to compete with the Wii's successor
  • HD Graphics
  • Comes with two controllers: One motion-sensing for casual games and the other, based on the Saturn's 3D controller, for "hardcore" games
  • First announcement expected early 2010
  • Release date Holiday Season 2010
  • Price range $200-$250
What has also been pointed out by members of the community is that a wireless, motion-sensing 3D-esque controller has recently been trademarked by Sega. Could this be the "hardcore" controller mentioned in the article?

I suspect this is completely fake, but even if it was true I would be severely disappointed. Another casual games console is not what we need, and is certainly not what most long-term Sega fans would want.

I'll wait for further news on this - probably confirming that it is indeed a hoax.

[Source: FGNOnline]

10 comments:

Sonic Yoda said...

What's interesting is that they mention the controllers look like the Saturn 3D pads. If you remember recently, SEGA trademarked a new controller recently that looked exactly like the Saturn 3D pads. I'm pretty sure motion sensing capabilites were mentioned aswell. I'm very curious about this announcement.

Hairyman said...

Here's the announcement about the controller I was on about: http://www.seganerds.com/2009/03/02/sega-patents-controller/#more-8666

Pricey said...

Thanks for the comments. I have added the part about the trademarked controller - it does look like the one mentioned in the article.

messedup said...

hate to smash ur dreams for a new cosole from sega cuz it was one of my favorits but President of Sega of America, Simon Jeffery crushed the dreams of millions of Sega fans when this year at E3 during an interview with Kotaku, he gave a big fat NO to the idea of a Dreamcast 2.
http://www.gametrailers.com/user-movie/sega-says-no-to-dreamcast/279571

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Anonymous said...

HI THERE THE RING WIGE COPMACT FLASH CARD WILL PROBALY COST $88 TOO $110 FOR 8 GB OR THE WING RIDG 32 GB SSD FOR $99 SO IT PROBALY OUT PERFORM THE X-BOX 360 OR PS3

Anonymous said...

Iam an old fashion man i played sega games from the beging of video games and iam a big fan of sega . I hope sega sega secretly planned to release a console that kicks microsoft and sony's behinds before they releasing ps4 and bluebox or nintendo us. And if sega did it they should name the console genesis x for the sake of all true gamers.

Anonymous said...

The new console that Sega are releasing is apparently called "Sega Zone" and is allegedly to be released sometime this summer, 2010, although I must admit I haven't seen or heard very much hype about it. I only discovered the information by accident.

It has an estimated retail cost of a mere 50 pounds, is wireless and apparently emulates the Nintendo Wii as well as playing older Sega titles.

The older Sega titles are inbuilt into the system and it will NOT offer the ability to download and install additional titles.

Probably a good alternative to the Wii for those on a very tight budget, but then again, the Wii is not exactly ridiculously priced anyway so given there would be more support from Nintendo for its games and the fact you have the download store, If I was buying when this was out I'd choose the Wii, it has most of the good Sega titles anyway.

Personally I feel this console is a complete waste of time, Sega should instead be keeping a close eye on the console market, looking to coin something that offers more than the rivals can.

Anonymous said...

Hey Pricey

Are you in the UK? Do you live in Warrington?? o_O

Famicom Zach said...

Could it be true? I definitly hope not. If SEGA were to release a new console this would give Nintendo a hugh headache,not to mension the tension they alraedy while competeing with Micrsoft and SONY. Either way Nintendo should be fine ,since they were able to shake off SEGA in the N64 era. They've also been in this business for almost 30 years.