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More Death of Saturn Stuff!

All this talk about the death of the Saturn and people angry at Sega has been bugging me, because every time I hear some of the same arguments that just don't make any sense when you step back and look at the big picture. So instead of writing a huge editorial with everything you ever wanted to know about Sega and then some, I'll just address one of the claims representative of the class of arguments that irks me, and its implications. What is this argument? Why, the 32X argument. People are so quick to cite the throngs, the teeming masses of people burned by the 32X and how gazillions of people lost faith in Sega because Sega abandoned all their 32X customers.

Well, I'm sorry, but there's no such thing as a huge number of angry 32X owners. The 32X flopped, plain and simple. Sure the 800 thousand 32X owners have a right to be upset that Sega failed to make their system a mainstream item. But where are the other gazillion people coming from?

They're not coming from anywhere, that's where. They're in the imaginations of the gaming press and the gamers out there who, for some reason or another, like to badmouth Sega. How do I know that they are figments of someone's imagination? Because I have NEVER, EVER heard a non-gamer, which is probably something like 80% of the U.S. population, complain about Sega. I have never had to defend Sega to any non-gamer. And as far as gamers are concerned, considering the low user base of the 32X and Saturn, the vast majority of people complaining about Sega haven't even experienced these two systems, ESPECIALLY if the mob is supposed to be as large as people would lead you to believe. (more people = fewer systems per person, simple math).

And as far as I'm concerned, people who did not support the 32X or the Saturn by buying them AT FULL RETAIL PRICE (or some approximation thereof, e.g. buying a liquidated Saturn in Jan 1998 does not count) have NO right to complain that Sega did not support them, because these people did not support them, either. And this is what I consider unfair, because they do so anyways. It's bad enough that Sega could not convince these people to buy their products, but on top of that Sega has to deal with these same people, who probably do not own their products, blaming it for a situation that they helped create. It's like breaking a runner's leg and then not sponsoring him because he can't run. Well, no duh.

I'm not saying that Sega is not to blame. I'm not even claiming that anyone else "needs" to share responsibility for its failures. But this "vicarious" hatred of Sega is all too easily exaggerated from generation to generation of word of mouth (hence the gazillions of angry 32X owners), and completely pointless from any angle you look at it, except for gamers who are trying to look "smart," in which case hating Sega is perceived to be a smart view.

PS - This rant is in no way directed to bona fide Saturn and 32X purchasers, who actually are justified in complaining. >=P

If you wish to submit an editorial of your own, or make a counterpoint of an editorial, please review the submissions page for guidelines.

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