Saw performs today 60 years of history and big promises were made Announcements for the occasion, however, the announcements that have emerged so far and those that seem to be arriving in the next few hours seem to be rather disappointing. A particular corridor voice had made fans dream: it was the scoop of a Japanese journalist who seemed to reveal something huge, at the level of the launch of a new consoletherefore many have fantasized about Sega’s return to the hardware market, to be honest rather than the logic of the market and the facts recorded so far. The construction of a new console is certainly not an operation that can be carried out on your own and in secret, so it would have been almost impossible to start it keeping the whole world in the dark, but Sega taught us to believe in impossible things, acting according to inscrutable and often not very logical designs compared to the normal standard administration of a company. This is also the beauty of this company, which compared to the monolithic corporatism of today’s major producers reminds us how the gaming industry was once an environment for dreamers.
Even without wanting to curb expectations, the idea of a new console was very bold, while the re-release of some other would have been more likely console of the past, after the great success of the excellent Mega Drive Mini. This has actually happened, but not exactly as many would have hoped: Game Gear Micro was announced this morning, a truly tiny version of the original Game Gear sold in various versions and colors, although there are still no precise details on the his arrival in the west. To tell the truth, the issue is already the subject of debate and criticism, especially for the choice to equip each version with only four preloaded non-interchangeable games, therefore not really a big deal in fact. However, it is necessary to consider how it is little more than a simple commemorative gadget and in this sense it finds a different dimension from that of a mini console, in turn halfway between a real gadget and console but much closer to this latest conception. The other news, the “big scoop”, could also disappoint many: it is in fact a cloud gaming system based on arcade hardware, defined “Fog Gaming” but dedicated exclusively to arcades, therefore an area that still has considerable importance in Japan but almost extinct in our parts.
This last information comes from Serkan Toto, a very reliable source, so we can say that this is the big news from Sega. Disappointed? Indeed, the dreams of glory on a return to the console market were somewhat out of this world by now, but there could be many other more interesting solutions in absolute terms. Also the supposed idea of distributing Xbox Series X in Japan under the Sega brand, through a agreement with Microsoft which many would have bet on until recently, would have been a very interesting step, at least more than what seems to be Fog Gaming, for ordinary users. Of course it would have been little more than marketing, but if the agreement also included exclusive agreements on Sega games, wouldn’t it have been a major move? The idea on which such a vision was based was to encourage Microsoft’s penetration into Japan, which had always been hostile to Redmond’s house and probably provide economic support to Sega, although this does not seem to need it much. Some rumors even spoke of the possibility of a bulk acquisition of the gaming software division of Sega by Microsoft, but the operation would have been at least risky, considering precisely the difficulty of affirming the American company in Japan even in the face of the enormous costs that would emerge to complete it.
Between one extreme and another, i.e. the Game Gear Micro and the Fog Gaming on one side and the launch of a new console or the acquisition by Microsoft on the other, there was still room for some intermediate solutions, of a non-capital importance but in any case capable of affecting public opinion in a more decisive and even more positive way. We have already seen many mini consoles but there would still have been room for another introduction, given the 60th anniversary anniversary: a Saturn Mini would have made sense, considering both the audience of fans but also the many who do not know the console well, which has spread relatively little in our part. Even a Dreamcast Mini could be appreciable, although as regards the two machines in question, the obstacle could be more technical than strategic, considering the difficulties still encountered in the field of emulation. To tell the truth, even a Game Gear Mini with a larger softeca would have been well received, probably, but also a reproduction of the Mega CD, as a separate mini console or even as an add-on to be applied to the Mega Drive Mini, would have been a very welcome thing. Among the interesting ideas also included cloud gaming, but in a different sense from what seems to be the Fog Gaming to be announced: it could have been a subscription service able to access the large historical and recent catalog of Sega from any device, another perhaps strange idea, given that the company’s titles are available in the traditional way on the market, but that would certainly have delighted many players. In short, commemorative gadgets such as the Game Gear Mini or strategic agreements that can do well at the company’s coffers such as Fog Gaming are fine, but we would certainly have wanted something more. In any case, we are only 60 years old and we wish many more in Sega, and continuing to dream of blue skies we can continue to hope for some return also in the future.