Saturn
Saturn
The Saturn, arcade stick, analog
controller, and (left) one
of the rarer Saturn controllers.
This version controller is my favorite.
  The Sega Saturn's life was about twice as long as its successor, the Dreamcast's life. The launch in 1995 preceded the PlayStation by just a hair, although both were out for Christmas so the numbers still fell short of the PlayStation. The Saturn's game library was adequate, with good third-party support and some first-party hits like Virtua Cop and NiGHTS. The system lost most of its steam when these gems dwindled and while the gaming masses were buying game systems with fat plumbers and busty explorers (if there's a connection there, I don't see it). As a result many Saturn titles were canceled, particularly the hotly anticipated Lunar remake, and the system died an early death.

  Yet, the only glaring omission for the Saturn was the complete lack of a serious Sonic the Hedgehog game. After releasing three major games and many offshoots on the Genesis, there was a mass of hype around a Sonic title that was fully 3D and could easily compete with the N64's Mario 64. The name of the game was Sonic Xtreme. It was not released, or at least not until the Dreamcast was launched with Sonic Adventure. A game that would have been years ahead of its time never came out until several years later. The closest thing Sega released to a Sonic game for the Saturn was a Genesis port Sonic 3D Blast, which was a ridiculous joke because the game had 2D graphics that were just rotated on a 45 degree angle like the game's 10-year predecessor, Marble Madness.

  Part of the Saturn's claim to success was its appeal to the niche market of 2D fighting game fans. While the PlayStation had games like Battle Arena Toshinden with mediocre 3D graphics and weaker gameplay, Saturn featured the 2D cousins released by companies like Capcom of Street Fighter fame. (And then there was also Virtua Fighter. Let's not go there.) One reason why the Saturn did well to begin with is because of its 6-button gamepad, which corresponded perfectly to the three kicks and three punches in all the great fighting games. Ironically, as important as the 6-button controller is to fighting games, the Dreamcast eliminated it (except for the arcade controller that was seldom fully supported) and no other system since has come with a 6-button controller.

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PC Adapters
Saturn
3-in-1 Joy Box, PSXPad home-
built cable.
  Fortunately, the great Saturn controller can be adapted for PC. There are two ways of doing it, and like the SNES, those two ways are to build one and to buy one. I did the same USB modification for this one, although I do not remember if I tried building the adapter without it. Both support the official arcade stick and controller fine, so both get my seal of approval. Unfortunately, there is no solution yet for the 3D analog controller. The PSXPad adapter supports it only while in digital mode, and the 3-in-1 doesn't support it at all.

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