You wanna find out what's really happening, go to the top. We sent DAVE ROBERTS (plus a wad of cash) to Las Vegas to talk to Sega US boss, Tom Kalinske, who gave use the real brown stuff on Sonic 2 and Sega's next generation Gigadrive wonder consoles.
And Sonic too [excerpt - pg. 14 to 15]
A game that Tom's not even prepared to show me demos of is Sonic 2. The world and his wife -- and his kids and most of mates from the pub -- are all waiting for this one and Tom's maximizing the suspense.
'We're working very, very hard on it, believe me,' -- we do, we do! 'We'll have it out just before the end of the year and it is getting a simultaneous global launch, so you'll get it in England [he means 'Britain'] at the same time we get it over here.
'What we've told the Sonic team is that Sonic 2 has simply got to be better than the original, but, more than that, it will offer a new feature that just wasn't available in the first game.'
The (Tom) thumbscrews are applied, but he won't say any more about this special feature. For now it's just one of those things that make you go hmmmmm...
As well as an explosion of software, there's also a fair bit of activity on the Sega hardware front. The first new arrival will be the Mega-CD. The only problem is, when it's launched (summer in the US, autumn in the UK) there may not be that much software support. In fact there may be more games you can play with a stick and a hoop.
Tom says there'll be seven at first and then 20 by Christmas. He doesn't say what the games will be, though, and there's a suspicion that there won't be that many big names to usher us into the CD-ROM era.
According to Tom 'every one will be special'. Well, in so much as they'll be Sega games on CD, he's right. He also says that initially Sega will be releasing single games specifically for the Mega-CD, not ten standard titles shoved on one disc.
Compilations will come, but Sega want to show us what they can do first. For the time being, it's all eyes on CD-Tokyo, but since a lot of releases are RPGs -- some inscrutably Japanese in character -- this may not be the best guide.
Unfortunately, what they can't do first is Sonic. The speeding hedgehog won't hit the M-CD until '93 (or will he? -- see the Sonic, Sonic and Sonic box). But when he does arrive, good god is he gonna be fast!
Sonic, Sonic and Sonic
News that Nintendo is rushing its own 16-bit CD-ROM drive machine into the final development stages caused rival Sega to go into a frenzy of activity as well -- in this case on the software front as well as hardware.
In Tokyo, Mr Kamata, managing director of Sega, told SEGA FORCE that, 'we will release three versions of new Sonic games in this year!'
What he's referring to is Sonic 2 on Mega Drive, Mega-CD and arcade coin-op. So it looks like we may get M-CD Sonic 2 before the end of the year after all. He went on to say: 'We plan to release about 50 titles this year, not including other publishers' games. That's 30 for Mega Drive and 20 for M-CD.'
And if anyone ever tells you that competition's good for the game-schmucks in the gutter like us -- they' right! How about this concluding statement from Mr Kamata: 'If Nintendo release the Super Famicon-CD machine, we will lower prices and release new items against them!'
Is that a 32-or-more-bit item? Mr Kamata? Love-live the Sega-Nintendo war!