Sega’s plans for the Saturn were drawn up in 1992, under the codename Giga Drive. The decision was made to use CD-ROM technology for its games, and the machine was specifically designed to better the 3DO, the only other 32- bit console available at the time. The internal architecture was based on Sega’s Model 1 arcade hardware, adapted by its creator Hideki Sato and his team. A number of prototypes were built in 1993 and, as the team approached a design they were happy with, the name was changed from Giga Drive to Aurora and, finally, Saturn.
However, this machine was very different to the one that would launch almost two years later. In December 1993, almost a year before the Saturn’s planned launch, Sony revealed the system specifications of Ken Kutaragi’s PlayStation project. These alluded to 3D graphical capabilities that matched Sega’s cutting edge arcade hardware, and the capacity to handle complex 2D processing, too.
When Sega CEO Hayao Nakayama obtained a copy of the PlayStation system specs and compared them to those of his company’s Saturn prototype he called an emergency meeting with his R&D department. One staff member reportedly said of the meeting that his boss was “the maddest I’ve ever seen him”. Nakayama was furious at the way in which Sony had bettered his own machine. Sato was charged by Nakayama to ‘fix’ the Saturn so it could compete with the PlayStation. With less than a year till launch, Sato handpicked a team of 27 Sega engineers to start work. There was no time to commission a new chip for the machine, so Sega was forced to look to existing components. The team opted for a dual-processor architecture, despite the fact that Sega’s US head Tom Kalinske had contacted Silicon Graphics, one of the companies behind the PlayStation’s 3D capabilities, to research a simpler single chip design. Allegedly, Nakayama opted for the dual-processor design as a favour to an old golfing buddy at Hitachi.
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.
Have an amazing project to share? The Electronics Show and Tell is every Wednesday at 7pm ET! To join, head over to YouTube and check out the show’s live chat – we’ll post the link there.
Join us every Wednesday night at 8pm ET for Ask an Engineer!
Maker Business — Moving manufacturing out of China
Wearables — Zip it, zip it good
Electronics — When to opt for alkaline batteries
Python for Microcontrollers — Python on Microcontrollers Newsletter: Arduino 2.0, Podcasts and much more! #CircuitPython @micropython @ThePSF @Raspberry_Pi
Adafruit IoT Monthly — BBQ Smoker, Emoji Telegraph, and more!
Microsoft MakeCode — MakeCode Thank You!
EYE on NPI — Maxim’s Himalaya uSLIC Step-Down Power Module #EyeOnNPI @maximintegrated @digikey
New Products – Adafruit Industries – Makers, hackers, artists, designers and engineers! — New Products 9/21/2022 Featuring Adafruit ENS160 MOX Gas Sensor – Sciosense CCS811 Upgrade – STEMMA QT / Qwiic
No comments yet.
Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.