Next Wave Report: Project Reality & The Saturn


In our last edition of the Next Wave Report, we yapped on about the much-hyped Panasonic 3DO and Atari Jaguar. Now that this glimpse into the future has become our present (see the Review Station for our thoughts on the newest 3DO & Jaguar softs), we've returned to eagerly awaiting some new info from Nintendo and Sega on their latest hardware offerings to us starving gamers. Neither company is particularly easy to pin down on this topic, but fortunately a handful of announcements have made their way through the ol' grapevine and straight to our attentive antennae. So, check this morsel out, and before you go spending almost a grand on a wildcard like 3DO, let's hear what our tried-and-true game companies have up their secretive sleeves in the works for gaming's future!

The Big N's partnership with Silicon Graphics is shaping up to be a monumental business arrangement. Unlike Nintendo's earlier attempts at cross-development with Sony, and the rather fruitless something-or-other with Phillips and their lowly CD-i, SG is putting in the footwork. The $2.5B corporation appears a solid investment, and if their resume is any indication, this "Project Reality" project is bound to be a doozy. The name of the game is 3-D technology. If Silicon Graphics can develop a worthwhile architecture, we're in for quite the treat. We're talkin' a 100 MHz microprocessor, ray-traced graphics, multidimensional environments, and one hundred thousand polygons per second! Nintendo's 64-Bit machine is a ways off, but be sure to reserve your spot in line now for that fated 1995 debut.

spotlightgreystone      spotlightsegasaturnrender

Silicon Graphics Demo "GreyStone"         Sega Saturn Concept Design

You didn't think Nintendo was the only one in on this action, did you? Fear Not, Sega Fans! The beloved Japanese arcade giant is running right alongside their mortal nemesis. Sega Enterprises has declared its official entry into the 32-Bit market with a machine destined to succeed the fabulous Genesis. Sega has not only revealed a newfound alliance with Hitachi to develop state of the art 32-Bit RISC chips, but they have finally publicized some killer specs. Tom Kalinske, duly anointed President of Sega's North America division (he narrowly defeated Georgie Boy!), was the first to utter the codename "Saturn" to refer to their new system. Seeing as this project will be Sega's sixth piece of video game hardware in Japan, it's fitting to name this device after the sixth planet from the Sun: Saturn!

Saturn will feature a 32-Bit RISC processor, a 64-Bit video processor, PCM digital sound, a CD drive with 32 MB of memory, and the ability to render 30,000 polygons per second. What does all that techno mumbo jumbo mean? Breaking it down bit-by-bit, these specs ought to be more than enough to power a perfect replica of Virtua Racing, the spectacular 3-D racing title making waves in arcade venues everywhere. Other games on the way include an unnamed arial combat title with dragon riding, a side-scrolling action game, and 3-D Virtua Soccer. Sega of Japan has officially ended consideration of new proposals for Mega-CD games, apparently shifting development to Saturn. Makes you wonder if it's no longer worth buying a Sega CD if the Saturn is truly right around the corner. More info soon at the upcoming Consumer Electronics Show...!


[Article from the February 1994 Issue of PPM]


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