Saturday, January 15, 2005


Saturn and so on

Today, after its seven-year journey through the Solar System on board the Cassini spacecraft, ESA's Huygens probe has successfully descended through the atmosphere of Titan, Saturn's largest moon, and safely landed on its surface.
Europe Reaches New Frontier - Huygens Lands on Titan
January 14, 2005 (from NASA)

And, in celebration of humankind's scientific achievements (and with a fortuitous sense of timing) I made the following purchase yesterday...

I actually quite fancied a white one, but this is what I got.
It's still pretty nice!

Yes, by a random coincidence I went out and bought a Sega Saturn, perhaps mankind's finest technological achievement (for facts and stats about this piece of technological wizardry, click here.)

The Sega Saturn (ten years old last Christmas) was, sadly, not a great success in the British market. Thanks to its bizarre technology, it was an absolute fiddle to program games for, leaving it with less software support than its main competitor, the Sony Playstation. And it was pricy. VERY pricy.

Nevertheless, video gaming-wise, the Sega Saturn is one of my true loves. My first post-graduate pay cheque got me a second-hand Saturn and a bunch of games from Coventry market. Nothing made me happier than coming home from the pub with a bag of chips and blasting the hell out of a bunch of zombies on House of the dead. My original Saturn, my light guns and my modest collection of games are all safely packed away in a cupboard in Coventry, awaiting the day when Dan returns to wreak drunken vengeance on the undead once more. Or they'd better be, at any rate.

As it turns out, the Saturn enjoyed rather more popularity in Japan, largely thanks to a bizarre advertising campaign in which Segata Sanshiro (a caricature of a famous Japanese judo ka) instructs children to play Sega Saturn ("Until your fingers break!"), unleashing a ferocious martial arts beatdown on anyone who tries to go outside for some fresh air, a game of baseball, etc. Deeply hilarious and disturbing stuff. The accompanying theme tune is one of Mike's karaoke favourites, by the way.

So, on a whim, Mike and I trekked into Denden town and bought a Sega Saturn and 7 games, for 4,500 yen, which is less than I had in my penny jar when I went to cash it in. On the very rare occasions when I start to feel that maybe Japan isn't some kind of futuristic paradise designed specifically for me, something like this happens and I fall in love with the place all over again.

Sega Saturn... SHIRO!


omedeto. bring it to the teacher's room on tuesday.--vending machine man
Saw a Panasonic 3DO in the place too- well tempted.
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