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GamerFitNation SpotLights: Sega

Written by on April 20, 2011
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A look back at Sega.

 

There are only a few major names in video games that resonate for new and long time gamers alike and Sega is one of those. The Sega we are familiar with made waves with its legacy of home consoles, the first being the SG-1000, but in actuality Sega began as far back as the 1940s. Even with a strong presence in the arcades Sega continued to take on the home console market before shifting away from hardware production at the turn of the century. Continuing to hold their place in the video games industry Sega brings us big titles across many platforms.

In the beginning a few fellas, namely Marty Bromely, Irving Bromberg, and James Humpert, realized that the US military men in Honolulu had an abundance of free time and nothing to do. Out of this situation the three men worked to create coin-operated amusements before moving their operation to Japan naming it Service Games of Japan. Get it? SErvice GAmes of Japan! Ah HA! There’s the humble beginnings of SE-GA! Rosen Enterprises and Service Games merged in 1965 to create Sega Enterprises. Within a year, the new company released a submarine simulator game called Periscope that became a smash hit worldwide.

March 1968 electro-mechanical submarine game with the player looking through a periscope to shoot ships manufactured by Sega. Interior scenery inside the machine is lit up with a blacklight tube. As the game starts boats start cruising by across the back of the scenery, and the front glass lights up "torpedoes ready to fire". Look through the periscope and aim in front of the ship, then press the fire button on the right handle. An electronic "whoosh" sounds is made as the torpedo heads towards the boat. There are a series of ten torpedo shaped lights on the playfield that make the torpedo look like it's moving towards the ship (light animation). If the boat is hit the scenery flashes a 120 volt red light from each side and an explosion is heard. www.segaretro.org

 

It didn’t take long before Sega was not only getting our attention in the coin-op arcades but with home gaming consoles. The first, the aforementioned SG-1000, included titles such as Mahjong,  Space Invaders, and the popular Zaxxon. Sega Continued its console creation with the SG-1000/SG-1000 II, Sega Mark III/Master System (with variations), Mega Drive/Genesis (with variations  CD and 32X), Saturn, and the Dreamcast. A number of handheld systems were also released by Sega including the Game GearMega Jet, and the Nomad.

Sega Master System

Sega Game Gear

 

 

It was during the late 80s and early 90s that Sega was among the front runners in what was the then console wars. At this time Sega and Nintendo battled it out for market tops and each did so formidably. In an attempt to match and even out perform in advertising appeal Sega introduced a cute spiky blue mascot by way of Sonic the Hedgehog. Sonic and Mario were the two competing iconic characters who took the attention those of us who were impressionable at the time. If my household was privy to Mario and the neighbors were home to Sonic, we would trade off who’s house we hung out in after school in an effort to get the best of both worlds. Saving The Princess and collecting rings were among the best things to do when I was 11.

 

While Sega’s consoles may not have always had the most notable success, their dedication to interactive entertainment remained and at the end of the 90’s, after the release of the Dreamcast, it became clear that Sega would be making the shift to software development. On January 31, 2001, Sega of America officially announced they were becoming a third-party software publisher. And have they ever!  Current and upcoming titles from Sega include the popular Total War Shogun II, Sonic Free Riders, MLB Manager Online, THOR The Video Game, Yakuza 4, and Captain America: Super Soldiers.

With well over 50 years of innovation, creativity, and dedication, regarding interactive entertainment, Sega has become synonymous with the games industry. Starting with coin-operated arcades for military servicemen in the 1940s and 50s, and helping to drive the industry out of potential fatality (like the industry stall in ’83) to their marketing savvy console wars in the 80-90s and into the publishing dynamos they have proven to be over the past decade, Sega has not only proven their longevity but helped shape the industry into the thriving creative mass it is today. Sega continues to meet the needs of their fans and offers a wide array of games across multiple platforms.

 

Not only will you notice that Sega has been around longer than you or I, but you will also notice that they are one of the most user friendly players in the ‘biz’.  Sega is dedicated to gamers. When you  head over to http://www.sega.com/ you feel it.  Not only can you visit their website to  find out about current and new releases from Sega but you will find a plethora of ways to interact with Sega. You can sign up for their monthly newsletter, sign up for the ‘Sega Pass’, play games online free (such as one of my favorites Toejam and Earl), and watch trailers for all your favorite upcoming Sega releases. Sega offers you the chance to sign up for participation in betas and Sega research! That’s right, Sega conducts market research on a regular basis. Continuously striving to bring you the games that you are going to love, Sega listens to you. Something as simple as a followback on twitter shows that this big long standing company is aware of it’s community; a personal touch that goes a long way with gamerfitnation.

For all that they’ve done, and all they continue to do, GamerFitNation says a big “Thank You” to Sega.

.b 

 

 

Sources
http://www.segaretro.org/Periscope
http://encyclopedia.farlex.com/Service+Games+of+Japan
http://www.japan-zone.com/games/game_developers.shtml
http://www.arcade-history.com/?n=periscope&page=detail&id=14579
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sega#History
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Sega_video_game_consoles

 

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