Sega Saturn, the iconic gaming console of the past, presents a unique challenge when it comes to creating a mini version, according to Sega’s top executive. In an interview with Famitsu, the Sega boss acknowledged the difficulty in miniaturizing Saturn due to its surprisingly high performance.
Unlike the approach of creating a replica simply because it would sell well, Sega believes that a Saturn mini console requires careful consideration and collaboration with passionate fans of the original console. The company aims to develop it openly and involve those who have always cherished the Sega Saturn and its successor, the Dreamcast.
Comparatively, the Sega Saturn was released during the same console generation as the Sony PlayStation and Nintendo 64, offering a diverse gaming landscape. While Sony has already embraced the trend of releasing classic PlayStation consoles, Nintendo has yet to follow suit with the Nintendo 64. Should Nintendo decide to venture into this market, it is likely that the Nintendo 64 would be the logical choice for a mini console.
Last year, Yosuke Okunari, Sega’s classic hardware producer, expressed interest in producing mini versions of both the Dreamcast and the Saturn. However, he noted that the cost of manufacturing parts for these consoles would be prohibitively expensive, which posed a significant hurdle.
While introducing the Mega Drive Mini 2 console, Okunari addressed the desire for a Saturn or Dreamcast mini console, emphasizing that Sega had indeed considered that direction. In October 2022, Sega conducted a survey among its customers in Japan who owned the Mega Drive Mini 2 to gather feedback on which mini console they would like to see next.
The Dreamcast, Sega’s final home console, marked the end of the company’s nearly two-decade-long presence in the console hardware market. Despite its relatively short lifespan, Dreamcast boasted a collection of critically acclaimed game franchises such as Shenmue, Soul Calibur, Phantasy Star Online, Crazy Taxi, Jet Set Radio, and Rez.
To date, Sega has already released two mini-consoles. The first one, the Mega Drive Mini, hit the shelves in 2019 and featured 42 games, although the library varied by region. Notably, this console introduced new ports of Darius and Tetris that had never been released before.
While the prospects for a Sega Saturn mini console may seem uncertain, Sega remains committed to exploring the possibilities in due time. The challenges presented by miniaturizing such a powerful console require careful consideration and technical expertise, but Sega’s dedication to honoring its legacy consoles continues to resonate with gaming enthusiasts worldwide.