Released in November 1994 and discontinued in 1998, the Sega Saturn is a powerful 32-bit game console, and the successor to the legendary Sega Mega Drive. The system offered a dual-CPU architecture with eight processors and a CD-ROM drive.

  • Initially sold for $399 in the US (1995)
  • It is estimated that 9.26 million units were sold worldwide



Sega European (PAL) Model from collection...The Sega Saturn was built on a Hitachi CPU, but later a 3D video display processor was added to compete with the Sony PlayStation

  • There were 3 separate versions of the system (US, European, and Japanese)
  • The Sega Saturn is region-locked
  • The hardware is very powerful in processing 2D graphics, but not as strong in 3D graphics

Tech Specs

  • 2× CPUs (Hitachi SH-2 running at 28.6 MHz
  • Sega SCU DSP running at 14.3 MHz
  • Yamaha VDP2 running at 57.2 MHz (video display processor)
  • CD-ROM drive (Compatible with Video CD, Mini CD, and Photo CD)
  • 2 MB RAM
  • Internal RAM storage and cartridge port



  • 16.78 million colors (24-bit)
  • Resolutions from 320×224 to 704×224 pixels
  • VDP1 & VDP2 video display processors
  • 1.5 MB VRAM
  • Used 2D sprites to generate polygons by simulating 3D space


Sound Capabilities

  • Yamaha YMF292 multi-function sound chip developed by Yamaha (was also used in some of Sega's arcade machines)
  • 32 sound generators that can be used either for FM synthesis or PCM digital audio
  • 128-step sound effects Digital Signal Processor with 16 sound effect presets
  • Audio-mixing
  • 512 KB sound RAM



  • Extended RAM cartridges (simple RAM expansion cards)
  • All-in-one cards (which offer extra RAM and several other functions)
  • Modems (Online with Sega NetLink)
  • Video CD Cards

Boxed Sega Saturn with a couple of Video Games and a Memory Cartridge...Add-ons

  • Arcade Joysticks, Light Guns, and Steering Wheels
  • Sega Saturn 6-Player Adapter
  • Sega Saturn Direct Link
  • Saturn Karaoke Unit (Hitachi Karaoke MKU-1)


I/O Ports

  • 2 joystick ports (on the front)
  • Cartridge port (on the top)
  • Video-out (supporting S-Video, RGB SCART, and Composite Video)
  • Communication Connector (used with the SEGA Netlink Modem)


Game Titles

  • It is estimated that about 1,100 titles were officially released for the Sega Saturn until 2000
  • The Sega Saturn is region-locked
  • The Japanese consoles can play most American CD-ROMs, but most Japanese CD-ROMs are locked for American and European consoles
  • New games for the console are still released today, by homebrew game creators


 Sega Saturn Games Console (c)



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