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Sega To Return To Console Manufacturing
System tentatively known as "re_@L".
By Bpwner | April 6, 2012
Sega announced their intention to return to console manufacturing on Friday, in a surprising reveal that the publisher hopes will return it to prominence in the video games industry.
"This is totally real, promise."
"We feel that the time is right for Sega to return to its rightful place as the preeminent choice in digital amusement apparatus diversions, or 'video games' as they're known in the Americas," said Mike Hayes, CEO of Sega West. "The experience offered by the telly-box kits of electronics conglomerates like Sony and Microsoft is a homogenized one that fails to differentiate middling titles like Brotherhood of Chaps from Battleground of Honour in the mind of the consumer. I'm feeling rather bully to announce that the blokes in Japan are working on a computer sports machine that will turn the whole industry tipsy-turvy."
In an exclusive demonstration, which staff writer Polly S. Hate refused to attend on the grounds of it being "too British," Hayes unveiled the new console prototype. The tentatively-dubbed re_@L (Reactive Augmented Logic) is designed to use no disc-based or removable media, but is far from a typical digital distribution platform. Sega engineers explained to Giant Bpwn that all possible game assets for all future releases will be contained on a write-protected, solid state drive that is not directly accessible to the player. The games themselves are downloaded as applications from a cloud service, planned to be unveiled as The Sega Channel 4G, and will occupy a much smaller, second hard disk along with player account and save data. All downloaded games will utilize the models, textures, and physics engines already present on the console. Hayes describes this model of "framework distribution" as a way to provide an all-digital platform while greatly reducing download times and bandwidth costs.
"If there's one thing that causes virtual participants to throw a wobbly, it's waiting," said Hayes. "Our platform will eliminate the need for optional installations, disc read times, and development time spent creating new assets on a per-release basis. With our pre-loaded library of assets, we can make the cybernetic fantasy worlds that we want, and deliver them to the toffee-nosed mum's teet biting twits (ED's note - I think he's talking about players) when they want them."
Expressing some frustration at our reporter's inability to follow him, Hayes continued, "The re_@L's unique architecture is ideal for the development cycle of our, uh, games, as your people call them. Other developers go to considerable expense to turn games into sequential moving picture screeny dramas (Um, films, I guess? - ED) with their digital telly clips and voice recordings. With the re_@L, we will be able to save a considerable number of pounds by eliminating the temptation to include all that rubbish. The developer will be using the tools that we give them to create a more focused, strictly non-multimedia experience."
When asked if there was a place in the world of increasing media convergence for a game console that included no multimedia capabilities, Hayes responded, "Sega has always been tragically ahead of its time when it comes to advances in technology. The world simply wasn't ready for that silver disc of light apparatus that connected to the Mega Drive. We believe that instead of trying to predict future trends, we should focus on the segment of the wretched money-squandering public who wants a focused alternate-reality diversion, not extravagant digital theatric multimedia events with exclusive pre-order baubles and Patrick Stewart providing narration. We are hoping to pave our own way in the industry, and the re_@L is the lorry that will charge through and smash through the ramparts of our competition."
The only working demo that we were allowed to see at press time was Rappy Rancher, an apparently Phantasy Star-based farm simulator. Other planned titles include:
Alex Kidd Dimensions
Space Harrier Online
Panzer Dragoon Gestalt
Jet Set Radio RPG
Frank Miller's Sonic: Year One
Super Eternal Champions Championship Edition Alpha Gaiden
Live Free or Die Hard Arcade
Aliens: Colonial Marines
Hayes declined to comment when asked if any third party publishers were on board for launch.
Filed under: Sega, re_@L, It's Thinking