SEGA/SONY TO RELEASE NEW VIDEO GAME TO THE U.S.
At the Electronic Entertainment Expo in L.A. yesterday, Sega
of America announced that they will begin shipping its "next-
generation game player, called Saturn, in the U.S. immediately."
The move is a "pre-emptive attack in the war for video-game
supremacy," according to Jim Carlton in this morning's WALL
STREET JOURNAL. The move will put Saturn on the shelves "nearly
four months sooner than they had previously announced and far
ahead of new systems from rivals" Nintendo and Sony. Carlton
writes the move is "certain to put pressure" on Nintendo and Sony
as they battle Sega over the new 32-bit and 64-bit game market.
The new systems are expected to "revive the flagging video-game
industry" by offering more realistic animation. Sega's
introduction of Saturn comes at a "crucial juncture in the
industry," as sales of the older 16-bit machines are down 40%
this year and overall U.S. video game sales projected to fall
about 5%. Sega will launch a $50M ad campaign, its most
expensive ever, to promote Saturn with the slogan "It's Out
There." Saturn will sell for about $350-450 (WALL STREET
JOURNAL, 5/11). Also at the Expo, Sony announced its first move
in the video-game business by previewing the U.S. launch of
PlayStation on Sept. 9. The PlayStation runs games on CD-ROM and
uses the faster 32-bit microprocessor (Mike Langberg, SAN JOSE
MERCURY NEWS, 5/11).