Angry Black Guy with Sega CD & 32X
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.