In the latest issue of Japanese publication Famitsu, Sega's former President Hideki Sato - who led the company between 2001 and 2003 - reflected on the period prior to the release of the Sega Mega Drive / Genesis. When asked about the planning that went into the creation of the system, Sato confessed the team simply wanted to create a game console that could beat Nintendo:
In short, we just wanted to make a game console that could beat Nintendo. We released our very first video game console, the SG-1000, and it sold 160,000 units. Those were huge numbers, considering Sega has only made arcade games that sold no more than several thousand units up until then. However, it stood no chance against the Family Computer [Famicom], which released on the same day…
Back then, we had some Sega employees check out department stores to see the product packaging and customer reaction, but instead what we saw were Family Computers flying off the shelves, right before our eyes. They said that it was about ten for every one who purchased the SG-1000.
He went on to admit Sega could not compete against Nintendo's quality software:
I thought the difference was in software. Honestly, the software quality wasn’t that great. The reason was because the company saw video game consoles as an extra or bonus, in a sense. We couldn’t get our in-house development team to budge. We had no choice but to outsource the software, but against Nintendo’s fine software, it just wasn’t meant to be.
What do you think about Hideki Sato's comments? Do you remember the days when Sega was competing against Nintendo in the console market? Tell us below.