Press release: 1996-03-28: Sega Saturn price drops to $249 as game sales surge

From Sega Retro

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)--March 28, 1996--Sega of America Thursday announced it will lower the price of the core-pack Sega Saturn, next generation videogame system by $50 to $249 on April 1.

Strong worldwide hardware and software sales drove the price reduction. The lower price tag will make Sega Saturn even more accessible to the mass market.

Sega also announced that Sega Saturn systems bundled with "Virtua Fighter, Remix" will be reduced by $50 to $299 starting April 1.

Sega Saturn is the best selling next generation gaming system, with worldwide sales topping 3.5 million. North American sales surpassed 500,000 by March 1996. More than 25 million Sega Saturn games have been sold worldwide.

At $249, Sega Saturn offers a $50 price advantage over Sony PlayStation, in addition to original character games and exclusive Sega arcade hits -- such as "Virtua Fighter, 2," which GamePlayer's Magazine named "1995 Game of the Year."

"The overwhelming response to our exclusive arcade hits on Saturn gave us the latitude to competitively price our hardware," Tom Kalinske, president and CEO, Sega of America, said. "We're confident that our lineup of arcade translations, original character titles and strong third party games, combined with the $249 price point, will help us broaden the market and reach our goal of selling more than one million Sega Saturn systems in North America in 1996."

Sega will deliver 30 games developed in-house for the Sega Saturn in 1996. Additionally, 150 third-party Sega Saturn games are planned to ship this year, including previously exclusive titles for the PlayStation from publishers including Psygnosis, Takara and Williams.

In the 1995 holiday season, Sega Saturn's unit share jumped 108 percent, with unit sales doubling from September to December. Sales remained consistently strong throughout the first quarter of 1996.

"In December, with equal price points and our stellar arcade translations available, Sega significantly closed the gap on Sony. Our second-generation games, offering huge leaps in 3D rendered polygon gaming, and the new low hardware price tag are two powerful consumer propositions that will put us ahead of the competition by the end of this year," Kalinske added.

In 1995 Sega captured the leading dollar share in the videogame industry with a 40 percent share -- 18 share points above Sony and six share points above Nintendo. Sega also received the 1995 "Vendor of the Year" award from Toys R Us for outstanding performance and leadership.

Sega of America is the arm of Tokyo, Japan-based Sega Enterprises Ltd. responsible for the development, marketing and distribution of Sega videogame systems and videogames in the Americas.

Sega Enterprises Ltd. is a nearly $3.5 billion company recognized as the industry leader in interactive digital entertainment media, and is the only company that offers interactive entertainment experiences both inside and outside the home. Sega of America's World Wide Web site is located at ( -0-

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CONTACT: Sega of America

Lee McEnany/Dan Stevens, 415-802-3943/415-802-3996


Manning, Selvage & Lee

Kelly Fitzsimmons, 213-782-6600, Ext. 235
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