For a week or so, gamers have been speculating about big SEGA news being teased in Famitsu for release tomorrow, and they have had some…big ideas. The concepts have ranged from Microsoft partnering with SEGA to rebrand the Xbox Series X in Japan, to Google buying SEGA outright and snapping up their properties for Stadia content.
According to a new report, it’s none of those, and the actual answer is…very strange, to say the least.
Apparently what SEGA is going to announce is a “fog gaming” system which is vaguely similar to cloud gaming, and yet has a local twist.
The concept, from what I understand it, is that SEGA is going to use local arcades and game centers in Japan as essentially server farms in order to create a low latency game streaming service. Rather than streaming from the cloud, the idea is to stream from CPUs and GPUs on local arcade machines, helping performance. And on the arcade side, this means store owners could earn money from the use of their machines even when the place isn’t open.
It’s an…interesting idea, though if you were expecting some sort of cross-brand blockbuster announcement, this is definitely not that at all, and to me this does strike me as a bit more of a pie-in-the-sky idea for an old brand searching for new relevance. Maybe not all the way in Atari VCS/hotels territory, but you can see that in the distance.
What I’m not quite clear on is how this service will work, if this is going to be some sort of SEGA Plus subscription that will have a big catalog of SEGA games. I also feel like this is probably going to be limited to Japan only, so it may not have much relevance outside of that region.
The second bit of SEGA news today is almost equally weird but does not have anything to do with the hyped Famitsu story.
Rather, that’s the news that SEGA is releasing a new Game Gear Micro, not as one mini handheld, but as four mini handhelds that cost $50 each and only have four games on them. Yes, four different consoles, four different games each, so $200 for 16 games that you have to juggle units for. A truly ridiculous concept and something pretty much only for hardware collectors.
Here are the colors and games, if for some reason you have any inclination to buy this:
Black: Sonic the Hedgehog, Puyo Puyo 2, Out Run, Royal Stone
Yellow: Shining Force Gaiden: Ensei – Jashin no Kuni he, Shining Force: The Sword of Hajya, Shining Force Gaiden: Final Conflict, Nazopuyo Aruru no Ru
Red: Revelations: The Demon Slayer, Megami Tensei Gaiden: Last Bible Special, The GG Shinobi, Columns
Blue: Sonic Chaos, Gunstar Heroes, Sylvan Tale, Baku Baku Animal
I have heard of like, four of those games.
I don’t know what SEGA is doing. Maybe they’ve become mad geniuses, or maybe they’re just mad. We’ll find out more about “fog gaming” tomorrow, it seems.