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