Sega Saturn

From the Audiovisual Identity Database, the motion graphics museum

Background

The Sega Saturn was a console created by Sega to rival Sony's PlayStation that lasted from 1994-2000 (1995-1999 in North America and 1995-1998 in Europe and Australia), with sales of 9,500,000 units (compared to over 100,000,000 PlayStation systems). While the system was very successful in Japan, it wasn't as successful in North America and Europe due to a series of poor decisions done at Sega (such as forcing up the launch of the console to mid-1995 as opposed to the holiday season and Bernie Stolar's infamous "five-star game" policy). While the console has gained a cult following, it is more often remembered for Sega's disastrous choices in marketing it.

1st Logo (November 22, 1994-December 4, 2000)

Visuals: On a black background, many glass shards zoom in and encompass the screen. The camera then rotates, and immediately afterwards, some of the shards come together and form the word "SEGASATURN", with the "S" in the center having an abstract design and is larger than the other letters, and both "A"s lack horizontal lines. A bright light appears (red lens flare can be briefly seen), and as it dissipates, it is revealed that the logo is now set on a steel gray background. The "S" also has a red-black gradient. A small blue circle with a black "S" that surrounds it appears on the lower left corner of the screen. Next to it is a copyright notice for Sega Enterprises.

Variants:

  • If you press a button (mainly Start) while the startup is playing, the animation would skip to the flash and the music fades out. This also happens with the rest of the other startups.
  • On Victor/JVC-made systems (called V-Saturn), the pieces of glass move differently and the logo reads "V-SATURN" instead (with an entirely black "S"). Also, the copyright reads "© SEGA ENTERPRISES, LTD. 1994, 1995 Ver. 1.01".

Technique: Real-time CGI.

Audio: Three loud synthesized notes (reminiscent of Also sprach Zarathustra), with the sound of glass breaking at the beginning, and a synth warble (if there's no game disc in the console).

Availability:

  • This appears when you turn on an NTSC-J (Japanese and Asian) Sega Saturn console.
  • The V-Saturn variant is only exclusive to Japan.

2nd Logo (April 1, 1995-2000?)

Note: This is an alternate logo that appeared on Hitachi's Hi-Saturn consoles.

Visuals: On a space background, there are two mirrored images of an odd shape zooming in towards the camera, rotating into place as they do so. They pass us, but a few seconds later, return, and it's revealed to be the text "HISATURN", colored gold. When the logo is in place, a bright flash can be seen, turning the 3D "HISATURN" into a 2D version, and the space background becomes a blue starburst-sky background. As in the previous logo, the small Saturn logo appears on the bottom left, but now, there are two copyrights next to the small Saturn logo: "© SEGA ENTERPRISES, LTD. 1994, 1995 Ver. 1.02" and "© Hitachi, Ltd. 1995" below that.

Technique: Again, real-time CGI.

Audio: An ascending synthesized sounder is heard, then a harmonic synth choir plays.

Audio Variant: If there's no game in the console, the same synth warble on the Sega Saturn/V-Saturn plays.

Availability: Appears on the Hi-Saturn line of consoles, which along with V-Saturn only saw release in Japan. While Hi-Saturn and V-Saturn consoles can be found on online auction sites such as eBay, they are generally expensive due to their limited production.

3rd Logo (May 11, 1995-1999)

Visuals: It's similar to the first logo, but the shards' animation is noticeably different. They instead form the blue circle from before, albeit with a silver "S". Below it are the white words "SEGA SATURN" (which are stacked on top of each other) and a copyright notice for Sega.

Technique: CGI.

Audio: A 5-note synthesized tune (the first two notes are repeated a second time), followed by a long whoosh, a brief clanging sound, and a synthesized choir.

Availability: This appears when you turn on an NTSC-U (North American) or PAL (European or Australian) Saturn console.

Sega Mega Drive/Genesis
Sega CD/Mega-CD
Sega Saturn
Dreamcast
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