The Sega Saturn has finally been cracked 20 years after its release
The Sega Saturn is one of the most underrated consoles of its time, mired by Sega’s poor marketing strategy to compete with the Sony PlayStation. The device is incredibly and unnecessarily complicated to replicate. While other systems before and after it have been broken down and unlocked by enthusiastic homebrewers, the Sega Saturn has remained elusive. Until now.
Dr Abrasive of Drag and Derp took interest with the Saturn while he was in Japan. He took home a Saturn as a souvenir from a vacation and has been tinkering with it ever since. Tearing down the console. He discovered that there are 3 different processors.; 1 that operates the GPU, 1 for the sound and 1 for the CD drive itself.
The work that went into developing the Sega Saturn flash drive is impressive
The video goes into way more detail than I ever could, but essentially Dr Abraasive was able to make his very own flash card (like the Ever Drive and Retro USB for other devices) that tricked the Saturn into thinking that it was booting an actual CD drive. His demo of Daytona USA proves that he was able to replicate the process on a 1:1 scale. Even the load times were similar.
This is incredibly groundbreaking as the only way to get homebrew games to play was to burn them to CD then trick the Sega Saturn into reading the discs. While this is a simple solution, it’s not a long term one. The CD lasers in the Sega Saturn are running on borrowed time and eventually stop working. With none of these parts in production, it’s very important to get a modern device that replaces the need for expensive replacement parts.
When can the public expect a working Sega Saturn flash cart?
While Dr Abrasive plans to use his prototype for sound composition, it can be used for a wide range of things from homebrew to emulation on the PC. While the device is in very early stages of development, Dr Abrasive plans to bring his tech to the masses which will allow easy Sega Saturn homebrew and emulation.
Check out the full video below.