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The 32X incident – a mushroom in the SEGA universe – was Nintendo behind?

May 21, 2016

The SEGA route was on success with the MD/Genesis, but then suddenly a mushroom appeared and tossed Sega into a deep fall. Experts are since then discussing eagerly who was behind this coward attack. Was it an accident based on drunken inhouse Cowboys?? But the Sega management was always 100% flawless, especially 1994/1995, therefore all experts assure that this is for sure out of question! So only one possibility still remains … it was an act of sabotage!!

Most experts blame Nintendo to stand behind this hided & coward attack to the in purity and peace living Sega universe. It was simply viciousness and jealousy that pushed Nintendo to this deed. Experts revealed in psychologically studies, that behind Marios ridiculous “it’se meee Mariooo” theres a very dark intention behind … a luring evil which likes to rule with gag contracts … like in the good old NES days.

Till now there were only conjectures. But now the experts revealed the proof! On the pic you can clearly see the Goomba-mushroom heritage of the 32X. No doupt the 32X was part of the 16-bit warfare by Nintendo. Confronted with this facts, Mario hided into his room. His press spokeswoman said he can’t give a comment, cause he can only say “it’se meee Mario” and yelling&giggle around. But we all know it’s not the truth … Mario, be a man and come out and take responsibility!1

sega32x   Goomba

The 32X – the FX-machine for the Mega Drive/Genesis

The 32X is a machine made for flamin’ fanboy discussions – and everyone who wants to bash SEGA. But You can regard the 32X theme from two sides. From the companies side – the decision to launch the 32X was for sure a disastrous failure for SEGA … and the gamers side.

So I don’t want to talk about the general imo well known 32X issue with all its consequences for SEGA … I think everyone who’s reading this article already knows the story.

But of course, as a SEGA fan I was (and still be), the add-on was a selfdestructive trigger (but as we now know, it was Nintendo!1). I was completely upset and disturbed about this product policy … but for a gamer – every failed system brings also a chance in form of affordable price-tags on the boxes! And as a Mega Drive/Genesis owner the quick & massive pricedrop of the 32X opened a real bargain to get a FX-unit cheap for your SEGA 16-bit system.

So I want to bring a more personal view onto the 32X – how I see it, not regarding the systems reputation in public or the consequences for the company … I don’t want to care about that and to write my own story to it.

Note: DM = Deutsche Mark = German Mark = old currency of the pre-€ era.

Maybe there was not many – but imo for sure some very appealing games on the system –  and when supermarkets sold this thing out for 99,- DM (50 $) – it was for sure a chance to get a kind of FX-Chip upgrade for your Mega Drive/Genesis for an awesome price.

And in the 32X clearance sale – also the games were sold-out for cheap. It was a perfect time to catch the system and some games – bargain time – and I did it.

It was late 1995 and I was with a couple of friends in a store to take a look onto the NextGen systems Playstation and the SEGA Saturn. I thought about maybe to buy a next system – but I was a student, money low and the systems high priced. To buy a NextGen console costed 599,- DM (300,-$) or more, with two games, second controller and memorycard you had to pay … a lot, really a lot!

At the time I had since one year my first PC and was completely satisfied with that – but also wanted something new to play on my couch on the big screen/television. I like PC, but I’m a console guy. So I took a look on the NextGen systems. Virtua Fighter and Tekken were used to run as a demo in the market. I found both games visually not appealing, to edgy, to low polygone rate … I found both games … to be honest … ugly. Today as a Virtua Fighter fan – the first installment of the series has a certain cult factor … but back the time, never mind if Tekken or VF – both visuals scared me off … … I only went into the VF-series with VF 2 – and became a big fan of the francise! But that’s another story.

The other thing (I mentioned it in another post before) – was that the NextGen consoles had no analog controllers available. That was in my eyes so backwarded 1995.

The massive price for the new consoles let me step back and take a look onto other things.

At the other side in the store there was a clearance sale of the failed SEGA Mega Drive add-on 32X. The hardware and Software were massively reduced – simply to toss every 32X stuff out to be able to use the space for the NextGen systems.

I walked a while around and made my thoughts – I was here cause of the NextGen systems, but they were much too expensive and even if the 32X was a big mistake companywise there were some games I really wanted to have.

Here is a list of 32X games I like:

Blackthorne

Coolibri

Doom

Knuckles Chaotix

Mortal Kombat II

Star Trek: Starfleet Academy

Star Wars Arcade

Space Harrier

Stallar Assault/Shadow Squadron

Virtua Racing Deluxe

Other good 32X Games – but Im not so interested in:

After Burner II

Metal Head

Spider Man – Web of Fire

Tempo

Virtua Fighter

Other games I like at the first sight – but don’t know the quality:

Darxide

Zaxxon’s Motherbase 2000

There are not much but some more games released on the 32X – but these games are for me the most interesting.

I choosed then to buy a 32X with Virtua Racing, Star Wars Arcade, Star Trek Starfleet Acadamy and … … Doom …

… yes Doom … yes I had a PC at home and could play this game on my PC, but instead to play it on the 14 inch PC-screen I wanted to play it on the big TV sitting on the couch in the living room. Back the time I played often such games rotatory with a friend so we changed the controller after each level or e.g. after loosing a life or so – I played single player games like action games or plattformer often in that way with a friend  in the past – and this works only in front of a TV in a livingroom. The PC doesn’t work for that. So this is how I try to justify why I played Doom on my 32X. I don’t care what others say and it was fun to play it alternately sitting on the couch in the livingroom – – plus it was the best console port of the time! And I simply like to play on TV! I regret nothing 😉

For the price of 99,- DM (50,-$) it felt like to buy a separate FX chip for my Mega Drive with the possibility to play multiple games on it. It was less expensive than to buy a couple of games with implemented FX chips. Yeah … the clearance sale helped 🙂

The Playstation costs 599,- DM (300,-$) – a game was around 120-140 DM (60-70,-$) and you needed an addional memorycard for around 60 DM (30,-$) … … and maybe a second controller!! That was a lot of money back the time – and the Saturn was even more expensive (720,- DM) if I remember correct in Germany (360,-$). Yeah, the Saturn had a memory inside already – but the storage capacity was limited and so a memorycard/modul – or better a mixture of memory&code free card was after a short time necessary too.

So at all – fuckin’ expensive – end 1995 I decided for me … a later starting point is the better one!

With the 32X with Virtua Racing, Star Wars Arcade, Star Trek Starfleet Acadamy and Doom I was a lucky guy and that for around 220-240,- DM (110-120$).

If you thought at the time “hmm only one game with FX chip was not enough for the MegaDrive/Genesis” then this was the time to grab the 32X!!

And this is why I like the 32X dispite it was a major fault by SEGA – a ridiculous decision to bring an add-on like the 32X end 1994 (Jp/US) and even beginning 1995 in Europe – – – for the price tag of 400,- DM (200,-$) in Germany (USA 160 $)!!! Ridicolous – the US department of SEGA (which is responsible for the 32X … ähäm Nintendo of course!!!) must have been drunk!!!

Even as a big SEGA fan, I never had payed the price. The SEGA CD was also not a cheap add-on for the Mega Drive/Genesis – – – but it was released just right in the lifespan of the Mega Drive/Genesis! And I’m really a big fan of the SEGA CD, but this I will discuss in a later article 🙂

I was one of them who was thrilled by the release of Virtua Racing (SVP chip) for the Mega Drive – and yes, I was a day one costumer, and put the massive cash of 199,- DM (100,- $) on the cash account 😛

But I never regretted it, Virtua Racing was an outstanding game of its time and 1993 a spot on version on the Mega Drive.

So I wished more FX chip supported games for my Mega Drive – maybe not for 200,- DM … but was ready to pay up to 150,- DM (75,- $) for new FX-chip supported games. And for me the 32X delivered in that way, I loved the 32X version of Virtua Racing and also the three other games!! The 32X brought the FX chip experience to the MegaDrive/Genesis I wanted to have.

Therefore the pricedrop of the 32X, to be able to purchase the machine for 99,- DM, came handy to me. It was “my” FX-chip for my Mega Drive – able to play multiple games on it.

sega-32x-genesis

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