- When I originally proposed this story, I called it "The Saturnization of PlayStation 3" because I saw some striking parallels between the way SEGA handled its ill-fated Saturn game console and the way Sony's been handling its PS3. Of late, though, Sony has shown signs of reasonable intelligence.
While working on the backstory of this article, I became aware that the real analogies are not between SEGA and Sony; they are between Microsoft and SEGA.
When I first mentioned my story idea to John Taylor, a savvy videogames analyst working for Arcadia Investment Corporation, he said, "If I were your editor I would ask, Who remembers the Saturn and why is it relevant?"
I think, though, if you look carefully, you will see parallels.
It has been 12 years since Saturn first appeared, and a lot of people have forgotten about the system, but lessons learned at that time are no less valuable today.
So let's talk history. SEGA, a Japanese company founded by Americans after the Korean War, has a long and successful history in coin-operated entertainment. It also has a history as a console manufacturer, but that history is spotty at best.
In 1986, SEGA made an unsuccessful bid to compete with the Nintendo Entertainment System (known as the...