Sega CD Delay

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Bob Rusbasan

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Nov 10, 1992, 6:21:15 PM11/10/92
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In case some of you were expecting to have your hands on a Sega CD
today and are wondering where they are, I got the inside story from
a local video game shop owner.

He had been taking pre-orders for some time, and the ship date was
to be today. I ordered one and stopped by to pick it up, and he
told me that they hadn't arrived yet, and he didn't have any idea
whether or not they would be in at all today.

I prodded him a little, and he told me that while he was doing
everything possible to get his hands on some, his distributor was
giving him the runaround. While I was there, he called the distributor
again, and he finally admitted to the store owner that they hadn't
received any CD drives from Sega yet! According to the store owner,
this means the earliest he will get them is on Thursday.

He said that Sega first began trying to sell the thing in the early
summer, and they were getting very, very low orders (like major
chains only wanting 85 for all of their stores combined). Coupled
with the fact that the Mega CD had basically flopped in Japan, Sega
had very low expectations. They decided to wait until around
Christmas to sell the CD units.

Sega only made 20,000 initially, and they started an advertising
campaign which has increased demand way beyond what they expected.
People are allowing their customers to pre-order, and apparently
more than 20,000 people want the CD drive *now*. Sega says that
another 130,000 will be made before Christmas, but right now the
situation is chaotic.

The guy I talked to said that people are not very happy with Sega.
Everyone wants the CD drive, but Sega is going to have to choose who
gets them and how many they can have. Initially they had agreed
to provide this guy with more than enough to fill his pre-orders
(he has 12), but he says now they won't even guarantee that he'll
get 12. He said he talked to a vice-president at Sega (which is
where most of this info comes from). When the VP told him how bad
the situation was, the owner of the store told him that he had plenty
Turbo Duos and he was going to start pushing those when people
came in wanting Sega CD's, as they have been doing lately. He said
the VP nearly had a fit about that and promised to do what he could
to get him some Sega CD units.

He was supposed to get some CD players in today, but apparently Sega
didn't ship any to his distributor yet. I have no idea why his
distributor tried to hide that fact until he was forced to admit it.

Well, that's the story as I heard it. As I said, I have mine ordered,
and the store owner assures me that he will fill pre-orders in the
order in which he got them and that he will not sell a single unit
over the counter until every pre-order has been filled. I'm hoping
to have it within a week or so.

By the way, if any has managed to get their hands on one, please
post some news about it!

--
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
/ Bob Rusbasan | Dance to the tension \
/ rusb...@expert.cc.purdue.edu | of a world on edge \
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

Marshall Vale

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Nov 10, 1992, 7:16:45 PM11/10/92
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Well, to add more fire to the rumor mill, I heard this from the
Babbage's people in North Attleboro, Mass. (btw, this came from
a regional manager who was there chewing out the workers for
improper happenings).
Anyway, she stated that Sega has put a street date on it and that
although they were going to ship early this week, Sega would
announce when they could sell it. She guessed either Thursday or
Friday.

Btw, the Duo was doing very well there.

Oh well, I'll get one when Dungeon Master: Skull Keep comes out,
Marshall
--m...@brownvm.brown.edu

hasit mehta

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Nov 11, 1992, 4:19:34 PM11/11/92
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In article <1dpje2...@cat.cis

Does anyone have any opinion as to which system is better? The Genesis
CD-ROM or the new Turbo Duo? Could someone please post (or E-mail me) some
specs on the Turbo Duo. I have am on a Genesis CD-ROM waiting list and it
will cost me 300 bucks to get the Genesis CD-ROM player. I heard that the
Turbo Duo can also be had for around 300 bucks. Is it a superior product?
How much support will the Turbo Duo have? Does the Turbo-Duo support more
than 64 colours on the screen at once?
Hasit

Stephen Jonke

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Nov 12, 1992, 11:20:23 AM11/12/92
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In article <1992Nov11.2...@galileo.cc.rochester.edu> hasit mehta,

The Duo can display 256 colors from a palette of 4096 (I know the on screen
colors are right, but somebody please verify the palette size which I'm not
absolutely sure about.) The Genesis and Duo have roughly the same pixel
resolution. The Sega CD has more RAM (Sega 768K, Duo 256K) so that fewer CD
accesses are needed (data is loaded into the RAM from the CD as needed, thus
games can be much larger then these RAM sizes, it's just that only these
amounts can be loaded at one time). Sega CD has scaling and rotating
hardware. Sega CD has a second microprocesser, the purpose of which is much
speculated about, but is completely unknown -- Sega doesn't say. Duo has
existing CD titles and a strong Japanese market as a backbone (Sega CD has not
done all that well in Japan.) Sega CD has a motorized tray, Duo is a manual
system with a cover that pops up (like a portable CD player.) TTI has
announced a Duo to Mac/PC adaptor to be released next year. Duo provides
stereo audio/video cable, but you can't use an RF cable even if you want to
(apparently an adaptor will be available in the future.) Not sure if Sega CD
includes a stereo audio cable or not (presumably it uses the video out from
the Genesis, but the CD unit has stereo outputs.) The Duo is smaller and
thinner, especially since you need both the base and the CD unit for the Sega
CD system. Both systems look cool (well, coolness does count somewhat!) Duo
offers optional adaptor for up to five player play.

The Duo has built in memory backup. The Sega CD offers optional memory cards
that plug into the old cartridge slot -- two disadvantages to this are that it
means cartridge games can't take advantage of the memory (some HuCards do for
the Duo) and obviously it's an extra expense. An advantage is you could have
as many as you want (at a price), so there is no limit on the memory space.
The Duo has a limit, but I don't know what it is. The Duo's memory backup
lasts for about two weeks when unplugged -- you must turn on the system for a
little bit every two weeks even if you don't play it to ensure that the memory
is saved, but it will work virtually forever. Don't know how the Sega memory
backup cards work, but probably uses a lithium battery that you don't need to
recharge, but does run out of power after x years (personally I'd have
prefered if the Duo had a replacable lithium battery....)

Music quality should be equivalent on both systems, however sound effect
quality may vary -- only the music (usually) is recorded as tracks on the CD,
so the sound effects are generally a mix of normal synthesized stuff and
digitally sampled sounds that are incorporated into the code. Since data is
loaded in as needed, they can give plenty of space to digitized sound
effects/voice. Thus the sound effects are still vastly improved over HuCard
and (presumably) cartridge games. In some unusual cases (Loom), the sound
effects are also recorded as tracks on the CD.

Game prices for Duo CD and SuperCD games range from $39.99 to $53.99 (SuperCD
games do not seem to cost any more then regular CD games, in fact the prices
actually seem a bit lower -- the highest SuperCD game price I've seen is
$49.99) and HuCards anywhere from $9.99 to $53.99 (in my area.) Many Genesis
cartridges already cost over $60 even over $70, so I'm a bit worried about the
CD game prices -- Sega has said that "some games MAY be cheaper on CD-Rom",
but I'm certain they're refering to rereleases of cartridge games as part of
multi game CDs (where price per game will be cheaper.) We will see what
transpires, though.

Note that neither system can handle very many colors when displaying full
motion video. Also, Sherlock Holmes on the Duo has rather jumpy video and the
sound isn't synched well at all (I understand that It Came From the Desert is
much better in both catagories, though -- S.H. was the first game with full
motion video and was not designed explicitely for the Duo, so it may be a
first effort and/or port problem.) The game is cool in spite of those
problems. I haven't seen any video on the Sega CD other then the short
glimpses in the commercials they've been broadcasting and obviously you can't
use that for comparison. Maybe someone with a Mega CD can comment on this?

Steve
------------------------
jo...@kong.gsfc.nasa.gov
------------------------

Ana M Rodriguez

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Nov 12, 1992, 1:53:47 PM11/12/92
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In <1992Nov12....@kong.gsfc.nasa.gov> writes:

>In article <1992Nov11.2...@galileo.cc.rochester.edu> hasit mehta,

>includes a stereo audio cable or not (presumably it uses the video out from
>the Genesis, but the CD unit has stereo outputs.) The Duo is smaller and
>thinner, especially since you need both the base and the CD unit for the Sega


The Sega CD unit did not include any audio cables that I could find.

>The Duo has built in memory backup. The Sega CD offers optional memory ca

>lasts for about two weeks when unplugged -- you must turn on the system for a
>little bit every two weeks even if you don't play it to ensure that the memory
>is saved, but it will work virtually forever. Don't know how the Sega memory
>backup cards work, but probably uses a lithium battery that you don't need to
>recharge, but does run out of power after x years (personally I'd have
>prefered if the Duo had a replacable lithium battery....)

The Sega unit has built in Static RAM with NiCad backup for up to 30 Days.
So you must keep using the Sega CD in order to keep the data saved.

There are memory managment functions built into the Sega CD OS. You can
choose to "format" all memory, or delete a certain item from memory. The
system software reports total SRAM free, with listing of stored items.

An interesting note: The Sega CD unit does have a socketed EPPROM, so
that should light up your eyes pretty quick. The OS is upgradable quite
easily, not a standard EPROM though. More that if you want it!!!

>Music quality should be equivalent on both systems, however sound effect
>quality may vary -- only the music (usually) is recorded as tracks on the CD,
>so the sound effects are generally a mix of normal synthesized stuff and
>digitally sampled sounds that are incorporated into the code. Since data is
>loaded in as needed, they can give plenty of space to digitized sound
>effects/voice. Thus the sound effects are still vastly improved over HuCard
>and (presumably) cartridge games. In some unusual cases (Loom), the sound
>effects are also recorded as tracks on the CD.

The Sega CD does offer a 1/8" Mixed output on back of unit, along with a
RCA L/R out. In Sol Feace during the animations the sound F/X are on
the CD.

>Note that neither system can handle very many colors when displaying full
>motion video. Also, Sherlock Holmes on the Duo has rather jumpy video and the
>sound isn't synched well at all (I understand that It Came From the Desert is
>much better in both catagories, though -- S.H. was the first game with full
>motion video and was not designed explicitely for the Duo, so it may be a
>first effort and/or port problem.) The game is cool in spite of those
>problems. I haven't seen any video on the Sega CD other then the short
>glimpses in the commercials they've been broadcasting and obviously you can't
>use that for comparison. Maybe someone with a Mega CD can comment on this?

The Animation is pretty darn smooth on the Sherlock Holmes game, and things
looked fairly well in sync.


My Total Opinion: The Sega CD is going to be a big winner this year!!

The price is high, but the demand is there. Sega was the first to make a
real big media push. So the Duo may not get too much spotlight, but
after the Sega CD's are soldout... The mice do play...

If you all want tech data let me know... That's my second report.

-Ana

an...@cats.ucsc.edu


E. Kontei

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Nov 12, 1992, 5:53:08 PM11/12/92
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In article <1992Nov12....@kong.gsfc.nasa.gov>, Stephen Jonke <jo...@kong.gsfc.nasa.gov> writes:
>
[Memory Save feature on the Duo]

> The Duo has a limit, but I don't know what it is.

I think it's 8 save games. I hit it last night when I was playing DRAGON
SLAYER. I had 5 Ys savegames, and the high-score list from Gates of Thunder.
I had two DS save games, and the game complained when I tried to save a
third...

> Note that neither system can handle very many colors when displaying full
> motion video. Also, Sherlock Holmes on the Duo has rather jumpy video and the
> sound isn't synched well at all (I understand that It Came From the Desert is
> much better in both catagories, though

Not to mention full-screen animation as opposed to a little window in the
middle. However, the graphics in ICFTD are quite poor comared to SH.

--
E n r i q u e C o n t y
The Incredible Man-with-no-Life
jes...@ihlpm.att.com
Disclaimer: You're not dealing with AT&T

Stephen Jonke

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Nov 13, 1992, 8:20:55 PM11/13/92
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In article <1992Nov12.2...@cbnewsl.cb.att.com> E. Kontei,

co...@cbnewsl.cb.att.com writes:
>I think it's 8 save games. I hit it last night when I was playing DRAGON
>SLAYER. I had 5 Ys savegames, and the high-score list from Gates of Thunder.
>I had two DS save games, and the game complained when I tried to save a
>third...

It's not dependent on number of things saved, but how much space they take up.
Both Dragon Slayer and Y's require a lot of space for each saved game, but
the high scores in GoT take up very little space. The question is how much
space does Y's saved games (or similar such as D.S.) actually take up and how
much space is available?

Incidentally, what does it do when there is no more space? Does it give you
the option to delete somthing else, or are you screwed over (can't save that
game)?

Steve
------------------------
jo...@kong.gsfc.nasa.gov
------------------------

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