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Press release: 1995-09-05: SEGA SHARPENS TOOLS FOR GAME DEVELOPERS

From Sega Retro

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This is an unaltered copy of a press release, for use as a primary source on Sega Retro. Please do not edit the contents below.
Language: English
Original source: The Free Library


REDWOOD CITY, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Sept. 5, 1995--Sega of America today announced significant enhancements to development tools for the Sega Saturn, videogame system.

The enhancements include a new CD-ROM emulator and an improved software debugger. The result is a lower cost, improved set of tools that can speed the creation of Sega Saturn games and allow programmers to continuously test code in a "real world" scenario before finalizing CDs.

"Game developers are starting to realize the potential of the Sega Saturn platform and discovering new ways to leverage our technology," said Steve Payne, vice president of product development at Sega of America. "Now, with an enhanced tool set, developers will deliver new types of gameplay and richer visual and audio experiences that won't be found on any other advanced gaming system."

Key to the developer tool kit is the new Mirage CD-ROM Emulator, developed by Cross Products, Ltd. -- a U.K.-based tools company recently acquired by Sega. Mirage connects to the development PC and acts as a transparent substitute for the Sega Saturn's CD-ROM drive to streamline the code test-and-fix process. It uses a high performance dual-SCSI bus which means the programmer can use his development PC while testing code on the emulator.

Built into Mirage are a universal power supply, a 1 GB SCSI removable hard drive (swap drives to switch projects), and user-upgradable firmware. It is compatible with most CD-ROM-based consumer electronic products. Mirage costs approximately $3,000, nearly $4,000 less than the current CD emulation equipment available for Sega Saturn game development.

Integrated with Mirage is a new version of the Sega Saturn debugger software called SNASM2.1 -- also supplied by Cross Products. SNASM2.1 is the latest version of Cross Products' real-time PC-based debugger.

New features include comprehensive search facilities in source, memory, and disassembly windows; symbol completion; support for GNU C++ qualified function names; a SNASM2-to-GNU COFF converter; and a standalone COFF loader utility. Working with Mirage, SNASM2.1 lets programmers debug code on the PC while code is being tested on a production Sega Saturn with real-time CD emulation. The full development environment, including the Mirage CD-ROM Emulator, the CartDev interface, SNASM2.1 software, a PC SCSI card and modified production Sega Saturn, is available now for under $8,000.

"These tools were designed to solve two major problems in game development: time delays and equipment costs," said Jim Woods, general manager of Cross Products, Ltd. "Now developers can work on different parts of a game simultaneously and constantly check to ensure their code will work once it's burned onto a CD. We expect to see big leaps in programmer performance, and ultimately in Sega Saturn game play."

Cross Products is a leading creator of development tools for video game programming. Based in Leeds, England, the company was started in June 1994 and has grown to include more than 25 employees. Sega acquired Cross Products in August 1994.

Sega of America is the arm of Tokyo, Japan-based Sega Enterprises Ltd. responsible for the development, marketing and distribution of Sega products in the America. Sega Enterprises Ltd. is a nearly $4 billion company known as a leader in interactive digital entertainment media with operations on five continents. Sega of America's internet addresses are: http://www.segaoa.com (World Wide Web); GO SEGA (CompuServe Forum); [email protected] (e-mail); and ftp.segaoa.com (ftp site). Cross Products Ltd. can be contacted at [email protected] (e-mail).

CONTACT: Dan Stevens

Sega of America

415-802-3996
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