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Sega Saturn cracked after 20 years

Started by DJ Omnimaga, August 01, 2016, 12:44:40 am

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DJ Omnimaga

I'm a few weeks late on this but I just discovered that the Sega Saturn has been hacked after 20 years:

http://assemblergames.com/l/threads/saturn-optical-drive-emulator.62274/



That makes me wish the Sega Saturn was more popular outside Japan. It never really did well over here and now it's kinda expensive. Also I heard that finding consoles that still works fully is hard (for example, your game saves were saved on the Sega Saturn itself, but the save content was kept alive with a backup battery like in old NES carts, so if the battery is dead then your saves are gone).

I am curious if anyone will attempt making homebrew games once this is polished?

::CMG (UTOPIA)::

Quote from: DJ Omnimaga on August 01, 2016, 12:44:40 am
Also I heard that finding consoles that still works fully is hard (for example, your game saves were saved on the Sega Saturn itself, but the save content was kept alive with a backup battery like in old NES carts, so if the battery is dead then your saves are gone).


That's why THIS should be the first thing you buy when owning a Sega Saturn

I bought one a year ago, and i own "Bug!", "NightWarriors: Darkstalkers Revenge", "Rayman",  and "Fighters Megamix".  This console is my second favorite (The Sega Genesis being #1).  Got it on eBay and it's been working great ever since.

DarkestEx

Amazing video. Just watched through it :)

DJ Omnimaga

Quote from: ::CMG (UTOPIA):: on August 01, 2016, 02:21:49 pm
Quote from: DJ Omnimaga on August 01, 2016, 12:44:40 am
Also I heard that finding consoles that still works fully is hard (for example, your game saves were saved on the Sega Saturn itself, but the save content was kept alive with a backup battery like in old NES carts, so if the battery is dead then your saves are gone).


That's why THIS should be the first thing you buy when owning a Sega Saturn

I bought one a year ago, and i own "Bug!", "NightWarriors: Darkstalkers Revenge", "Rayman",  and "Fighters Megamix".  This console is my second favorite (The Sega Genesis being #1).  Got it on eBay and it's been working great ever since.
I thought that a backup memory still required a Saturn battery that actually works, though? I read somewhere that even with this device, your save files will still be lost if your console battery is dead and that it was just an extra precaution in case the battery dies later.

gameblabla

Quote from: ::CMG (UTOPIA):: on August 01, 2016, 02:21:49 pm
That's why THIS should be the first thing you buy when owning a Sega Saturn
I bought one a year ago, and i own "Bug!", "NightWarriors: Darkstalkers Revenge", "Rayman",  and "Fighters Megamix".  This console is my second favorite (The Sega Genesis being #1).  Got it on eBay and it's been working great ever since.

I actually thought that the Action Replay 4MB cart was actually the must-have to own on Sega Saturn ?
This allows you to play Japanese games with the 4MB extension pack and all and i think unlicensed games as well.

And i saw that video some days ago and it is promising.
The compatibility seems to be far higher than any other devices. (including Rhea)

There is ONE major issue though : how i can play games that uses the Video CD cart ?

DJ Omnimaga

I wish Saturn games were not that expensive. For English language JRPGs we have to spend over $100. I wanted to buy one years ago but balked at the price.

::CMG (UTOPIA)::

Quote from: DJ Omnimaga on August 01, 2016, 05:18:34 pm
it was just an extra precaution in case the battery dies later.


Thats pretty much why i said it's an essential

Quote from: gameblabla on August 01, 2016, 09:06:27 pm
I actually thought that the Action Replay 4MB cart was actually the must-have to own on Sega Saturn ?
This allows you to play Japanese games with the 4MB extension pack and all and i think unlicensed games as well.


Point taken... actually forgot about that

DJ Omnimaga

Well I was saying because if the backup requires the battery to be alive in order to work then it isn't that useful. I noticed that new batteries tend to last shorter than old ones they used in SNES carts. But yeah I might still get that device if I ever buy a Saturn (I doubt it, though, considering the console is over $100. I might as well get a Colecovision instead with dozens of $2-5 games)


On the other hand, if for whatever reasons Saturn homebrew takes off and becomes more popular than on the Dreamcast and that somebody decides to make a BASIC-like language for it, then I might be more interested, since I could do homebrew ports of my old calculator games in such case. I created many JRPGs in the early 2000's

Ivoah

Quote from: DJ Omnimaga on August 01, 2016, 12:44:40 am
I'm a few weeks late on this but I just discovered that the Sega Saturn has been hacked after 20 years:

http://assemblergames.com/l/threads/saturn-optical-drive-emulator.62274/



That makes me wish the Sega Saturn was more popular outside Japan. It never really did well over here and now it's kinda expensive. Also I heard that finding consoles that still works fully is hard (for example, your game saves were saved on the Sega Saturn itself, but the save content was kept alive with a backup battery like in old NES carts, so if the battery is dead then your saves are gone).

I am curious if anyone will attempt making homebrew games once this is polished?

It's great to see that even years after popularity with the general public has died, hackers are still working and playing with old systems.

SiphonicSugar

That thing has duel CPUs and duel GPUs...
I'm just trying to grab some inspiration. :P

gameblabla

QuoteThat thing has duel CPUs and duel GPUs...

Yeah indeed and the GPUs are why the system is so difficult to program...
I programmed for both the 32x (still working on Opossum Massage Simulator 32X) and the Sega Saturn
and in comparaison, showing a single sprite on Saturn is a very long process...
You need to put the sprite on a texture but the format is proprietary and you need to use the awful official tools for that.
The official libraries are awful and unlike the 3DO, there is no comprehensive documentation whatsoever.

It also doesn't help that the RAM is divided in two : a slow one and a fast one.
This makes it very tricky to program for because you also need to manage your memory.
On the RAM front, the 3DO and the Playstation were better than that i must say...

I hope this project gets released so people can work on better tools and libraries but as it is now,
it is really bad for making games on it.

DJ Omnimaga

Gameblabla I didn't know you were porting Opossum Massage Simulator to the 32X O.O. I wonder if it could actually run from a real Sega 32X cartridge and the real hardware? Not many people would buy it since so few own a 32X, though (plus the 32X is so expensive). But yeah I often heard about how hard it was to program the Sega Saturn. I wonder if with modern tools this could be made easier? I mean, we are forced to use proprietary formats now, but could someone just make third-party routines allowing the use of PNG/BMP or convertors?


Travis

Interesting. I've read that the Saturn was extremely complicated to develop for.

We had a Sega Saturn for a brief period around 1999 (a family friend gave it to us, I think). It was our first non-Nintendo and non-cartridge console. It did have built-in RAM and a clock (backed up by a user-replaceable coin-cell installed in a battery compartment), but IIRC it was really tiny, like about 300 bytes or so, and that had to be shared by all of your games. So I'm not sure how more complex game saves would have worked. At the time, I thought myself that it was interesting to have save data stored in the console itself rather than the games like I had always been used to.

DJ Omnimaga

I personally balked at the Saturn back then because when it got released, it costed $500, even more than the PS1, over here. And it did not have Mario, Zelda, Final Fantasy, Kirby, Metroid, etc. But years later I kinda regret not having jumped in the Saturn bandwagon and purchasing all those rare JRPGs.

As for game saves, on the N64 some games like Quest 64 used 2 blocks per saves, but Mario Kart 64 used 120 O.O

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