Monthly Archives: February 2013
Here it is the article dedicated to the Angry Black Guy. He was the mascot for the Genesis add-ons Sega CD & 32x. The two products Sega invented as a way to compete against Nintendo’s Super Nintendo by making it look more impressive by showing off a CD add-on and a 32 bit graphics add-on. I’m pairing these two products into one article cause the same black guy is shown advertising them and they’re a little more entertaining that the non-gimmicky commercials for the Sega CD & 32x. So let’s talk about the mascot first.
The Angry Black Guy is very similar to Jack from the Atari Jaguar Cave commercial. You remember him right? That guy who is so obsessed with the Jaguar that he tries to convince every single person to own one including Bob was suckered in to buy one. This guy is similar to Jack except he’s more abusive and taunts the video gamers to buy a Sega CD & 32x. The first commercial involves a gamer watching TV only to see the Angry Black Guy shouting “Hey!” “You still don’t own a Sega CD?!” While the gamer would look like a idiot and give “huh” and “duh” for an answer with the Angry Black Guy shouting with the responses “You have seen the games right?” “You waiting for Nintendo CD to come out?” “Wrong answer, show him!” And then the game is blasted with rapid images of Sega CD games and other random footage as if his mind couldn’t take the magnitude of power of the system. Then the commercial would end with the gamer stuck on the wall of the TV room saying “Sega!” the common catch phrase for Sega’s ads at the time. While the other commercials would have the Angry Black Guy showing off what the Sega CD has to offer and why the 32x & Genesis were made for each other.
These commercials are both funny and nostalgic to watch. James Rolfe from Cinemassacre.com made a parody of these commercials for his Sega CD & 32x reviews. I highly recommended watching those reviews cause he sums up what was good and what was bad about the add-on products. The Sega CD was introduced back in 1991 and was sold as an add-on for the Genesis. The product only works if it’s hooked up to a Genesis and it requires its own AC adapter. So gamers needed two open outlets in order to play both the Genesis and Sega CD. While the product did show case some relatively good games it also had a share of unusual games that use Full Motion Video related games that have some game play but plays like a movie. At the time it was cool to see live action clips on a video game console except most of the full motion videos on the Sega CD is small and pixellated making the experience unappealing to some gamers. The product was discontinued by 1996 with only 6 million units sold at the stores. I think James Rolfe said it best that the Sega CD is an interesting piece of hardware but the only down side is that it was too expensive for gamers to buy at the time and the technology it uses was premature compared to what would be accomplished years later.
While the 32x came into the market back in 1994 a few years after the Sega CD. It was Sega’s last attempt to expand the Genesis life span by introducing an add-on that you insert on the game slot of the Genesis. It uses 32 bits of graphics so it exceeds the number of graphics the Genesis uses. Instead of CDs, the 32x uses cartridges instead that are made specifically for the 32x. It also plays regular Genesis games as well allowing gamers to play either type of games. However at a retail price of $159.99 no one was suckered in to buy a small add-on product when they’re better off using that kind of money to buy a console. However the 32x was meant to be a console called the Sega Neptune but the development of the console proved to be problematic for Sega so they morphed it into the add-on we all know today as the 32x. It was reported that at least one prototype Neptune system exists before the idea was scrapped. The 32x also requires its own AC adapter which also creates a problem for plugging it into an outlet when that outlet would already have the plugs for the AC adapters for the Genesis and Sega CD. The 32x bit the dust by 1995, a shorter life span than the Sega CD. One year of being in the market is a laugh riot in my opinion. That was also the same year when the Sega Saturn was put into the market the first Sega Console since forever. I’ll talk more about that one next time.
In the end 220 games were made for the Sega CD while 34 games were made for the 32x. While the Sega CD had some popularity, the 32x ended up being Sega’s biggest marketing mistake they ever pulled. While they’re loosing money, Sony had already entered the gaming market with their first Playstation console, while Nintendo’s developing the Nintendo 64 that will be in the market within a year later. After the introduction of these Sega add-ons, it only proved to show that adding additional hardware to a system doesn’t mean it’ll do better in the market. It only creates money lost and looking like a fool in public. Anyways here’s some commercials on the products to wrap this article up and next week will be me talking about the Saturn.
Here’s the console that many gamers would praise as Sega’s best system. Originally called the Mega Drive in Japan but changed to Genesis in America due to Sega of America not being able to secure legal rights on the name. It was a 16 bit console which succeeded in the numbers of graphics compared to what the Nintendo Entertainment System had. It was backwards compatible to Master System games with the help of the Power Base Converter sold separately at the stores. The console was the first to achieve a notable market share in both Europe and America. The console was so proud of having 16 bits that it even labels 16-bits on top of the first version of Genesis. The smaller version made later had no label.
The console was originally released in Japan back in October 29, 1988. It was released in America the following year. Originally Sega was going to team up with Atari to distribute the console however Atari didn’t agree to the terms to Sega decided to distribute it themselves. The average price for the console was $189.99, $10 less than originally intended. This is the system where Sonic the Hedgehog would gain his popularity and for the rest of Sega’s career he was ranked as their own mascot. Business was good for Sega until Nintendo revealed their newest console called the Super Nintendo in 1990, 1991 for the US release. This lead to the start of the console wars which was the same console wars that made the Atari Jaguar dead in the water. I made a really long article in the past on how unfortunate that console was. Sega funded a good number of ads with the slogan “Gotta Get Genesis” & “Genesis Does What Nintendon’t” as a way to tackle Nintendo in the market. Unfortunately they weren’t able to push Nintendo off the top of the mountain of fame. This lead to the invention of the Sega CD & 32x add-ons which was the start of Sega’s down fall.
In the end, over 41 million units have been sold and the console was retired back in 1997. A total of 915 Genesis games were made in the end. That excludes prototype and unreleased games alone. Despite the console’s struggle in the market it did fairly well it’s just that the competition made the company thick-headed when it comes to trying to beat Nintendo. If they only focused on what they are good at they would have maintain good business in the gaming market however the Sega CD & 32x add-ons proved to show that they know no better. Read the next article to learn more about those two consoles. As well as the Angry Black Guy, the products’ main mascot.
For the entire month of February I will doing articles on Sega consoles. To start it off I’m going to talk about the very first American Sega console which is the Master System, you can’t go older than the Master System cause before that Sega released the SG-1000 which is Japan only so releasing a console in America is a new step for them back then. They just entered the U.S. gaming market right after the video game crash of 1983 along with Nintendo as the new icons of video games to over shadow the failure of Atari. For more info on Atari’s consoles look them up in my archive of articles. When Sega announced itself in America, Nintendo soon learn that they have a likely competitor. Unlike Atari, Sega would for the next decade ridicule and backlash towards Nintendo by trying to make their consoles look more impressive than what Nintendo had to offer but the attempts would end up backfiring. I’ll explain so in the later articles. So let me talk a little about the history on Sega’s first console.
The Master System was first introduced in Japan back in October 1985 under the name Mark III. Much like how the Nintendo Entertainment System’s Japanese counterpart was called the Nintendo Family Computer or the Famicom(but that’s another story). The system under the name we know was released the following year. The console sold over 3.3 million units which is fairly good even though by 1988 Nintendo was sitting on top of success in the market while Sega was only #2 on the list. The company knew they can do better so they went into developement of the new console called the Genesis as their first step in trying to gain more fame than Nintendo. The Master System’s production was discontinued by 1989 in Japan while it’s 1990 in America in favor of only focusing on the Genesis as their main product.
With a total of 318 games, the Master system was fairly successful at the time and was a good start for Sega’s attempt in the gaming market. Their most famous game for the console was Alex Kidd who had appeared in a hand full of games mostly for the Master System, but unfortunately he hasn’t had his own game since 1990 due to Sega only wanting Sonic to be their mascot rather than Alex. But luckily Alex hasn’t been forgotten as he’s appeared in the Sega All Star Racers game. While Sonic has a long history of his own thanks to the success of Genesis which we’ll be talking about for next week.